Submitted: 05-25-2004 by Tenacious D
Being a novice, with varied paddling interests, I wanted a kayak I could use on flat water up to Class II rivers. And I figure that any stream you can take a canoe on, the Patriot would do just fine. I went out planning to buy a Wilderness 12' at REI, but they were out and back ordered (big sale going on). So I stopped in at Dick's Sptg. Goods and saw the Patriot. I liked the big cockpit, although I am 5'7" 140 lbs and don't need the room for me. Just lots of space for a small cooler or my dog. The bulkheaded aft storage compartment was also a plus, since I plan to overnight and weekend with this boat. Large watertight hatch makes for easy access. Plenty of storage forward as well. Seats are not the best, but few kayaks are exactly Miller-Eames recliner comfy! As to the complaints about tracking, I think it may be the skill of the paddlers. I took this boat straight from the store to a small lake to shake it down. Lots of lillypads and grass. I would pick two objects about a boat's-width apart and, say, 25-50 yds away, and aim for them. On almost every try I was able to flawlessly slide through these targets in an arrow-straight line. So much for being a poor tracking boat! Getting it on and off my Forester took a little effort, but now I know the drill and it is no problem. A little heavy at 50 lbs, but still easy enough to carry when necessary. All in all a great kayak.