I have been paddling inflatables for several years. I started off with the Sea Eagle 380X and eventually moved on to the 385 FastTrack. I have had the opportunity to paddle in several different types of IK's so am able to do a fairly good comparison.
There are several things I like best about the 385 FT.
The large skeg that comes with it is needed to get the good tracking. The only time you wouldn't want to use the skeg is if on a moving river. I got the tall back seats which are really comfortable for my back although not much padding on the actually seat.
- It is lightweight - I can carry it by myself if I am paddling solo and it is great to travel with.
- I can adjust the seats around to suit my needs.
- It tracks well and can get some pretty good speed.
This kayak is stable, easy to paddle and extremely comfortable. I took my Dad out kayaking for the first time in it and within 20 minutes he was out in it solo paddling like a pro - or at least like he knew what he was doing... The open deck is nice if you want to load it with gear or bring along your dog. If you are used to paddling a closed deck kayak it can take some time to get used to the different feel but personally for lake and bay kayaking I love it.
I think you get a lot for your money with the 385 FT and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a portable kayak that is easy to transport and store. I would not recommend it for long distance ocean kayaking - unless you plan to stick to the shoreline. Otherwise it's a great kayak.I've purchased the Fast Track 385 and I just love it. I bought it in the the end of spring and been boating 2-4Xweek. It's great that it folds up easily and goes into the trunk of my Honda with ease. The tracking is straight as an arrow with the skeg, otherwise you can go in circles very easily. At my age speed is not a factor anymore but it does travel slower than a rigid kayak there is plenty of room even with 2 paddlers.
Set up time is 10 minutes and taking my sweet time, you probably can do it in 8 but I'm not as young as I used to be. Take down time is less, as I wash & dry the kayak at home. Storage at home is a breeze due to the compact size of the bag, just any corner will do. I don't have any negatives to say about this boat.
I would recommend this kayak to anyone that is looking for an inflatable.