Submitted: 10-27-2004 by hfoster
Our primary considerations in a kayak were light weight, stability, relatively large cockpit, and suitability for recreational use on flat, relatively still water. We ideally wanted something that would work for a 10 year old child, a 5'7" woman, and a 6'5" man.
We bought a 12' Swift Adirondack this fall during an end-of-season sale and have had the boat out a few times since then. The kayak was originally meant for our ten year old son who was getting bored just riding in our tandem canoe, but Mom has used it more than he has! The boat is very lightweight. My son can carry it by himself, and Mom can load it on the minivan herself. The boat is very stable and seems quite fast for its length. We also tried the 13'6" version of the boat but it seemed tippier, and it was noticeably heavier. So far we've used it on small ponds and on the Erie Canal, but next year we intend to use it on smaller lakes in the Adirondacks.
The kayak we bought has a highback seat and a sealed hatch behind the paddler. The seat is very comfortable. We also like the large cockpit (maybe because we are used to canoes).
I'd recommend this canoe for family recreational use. It's a delight to paddle.