When assembled the 500 looks and preforms like a hardshell of similar dimensions: 16' 6" x 24". I feel it is a well engineered boat. The frame is made of fiberglass rods and wood ribs with stainless steel hardware. The skin is reinforced PVC for hull and some other light synthetic for the deck.
Assembly (from bag to water) is 30 minutes. It is straight foreward and logical, however, one MUST follow the written directions -- the first few times.
Performance is good. Very stable, yet decent glide. Turns easily. tracking seems ok, but i haven't had it out in the rough stuff or wind yet. The boat was very easy to scramble back into after a wet exit.
The specs. say weight is 42lbs, but after flotation bags and paddle leash, ect., it's more like 50lbs. Still not bad. I'm 5' 10" 170lbs and the boat fits me like a glove. Somebody bigger may not fit as well. Also, I was impressed that after a week of kayak camping (on flat water), not a drop of water got inside the boat. I was using a sea sock and no skirt. The seams on the skin are welded now instaed of sewn
Over all a decent folding kayak that can keep up with your harshell buds. I give it 9 out of 10 because no boat is perfect.