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That being said: Other than these flaws, My boat has been in my trunk for over a year and it has always treated me right. It has never left me stranded and it performs well in lakes and rapids. Price is amazing for the quality and it weighs like 40ish pounds. It is almost identical to an old Sevylor boat that I used to have, but the D-rings are a bit different and the floor was a bit different too. It is also similar to the "Pathfinder" and others on the market today.
It's a great beater boat! Worth every penny.
Both of them track poorly like every other inflatable, but both make up for it, since they turn on a dime. If you are looking for tracking DO NOT BUY ANY inflatable. They are meant to be maneuverable, not to go in a straight line. I admit that I have never tried the included tracking fins, though.
Both are a wetter ride than my Aire Lynx, but they also cost 1/5 of the price, 1/7th of the price if you count paddles, pumps, etc. The Pathfinder developed a slow leak in the left tube, which was easily repaired. The K2 has had no problems, besides one of the tie down rings broke. This is my second summer with the k2 and I sold the pathfinder this spring. I have had no other problems so far, and they have been on 25+ runs. I still like my AIRE kayaks much better, but for the price, these are EXCELLENT kayaks.
As another reviewer said: The paddles are ok, but they are the weakest link. If you get these into over class 2 waters, or on an overnight trip, you should get new paddles.
I give the k2 a 9 and the pathfinder an 8. I plan on getting another K2, and my friend bought one right after our trip last year. I would recommend these to any kayaker on a budget. I was really surprised!
Then on the second water trial I accidentally overinflated the bottom (although using pressure gauge; pressure was under 1.7PSI). I repaired then the hole, but I still had broken the I-beam joint on the floor section. The tracking is very poor as the boat tends to turn left constantly. So poor assembly quality (plus my own over enthusiastic approach) left me without 240£. I am totally not satisfied with the product.
Now I purchased Pathfinder XXL inflatable (for 95£ on eBay) and compared to Wildwater K2, it is a premium product (especially the floor section, which is much stiffer and seems to be made from stronger PVC). Maybe I was an unfortunate with defective kayak, but from what I've seen, I wouldn't recommend it to a friend.
It was easy to inflate and looked to be made of high quality, thick materials. It was much heavier than I expected, but in a good way. This is not a pool toy by any means. I inflated the kayak and had the seats on in 15 minutes, though after you get used to it it takes less time. The paddles were questionable at first but proved to be quite sturdy (3 paddles included!) The seats are supportive and adjustable.
The kayak is quite rigid. The underside is made from some kind of really heavy rubber or plastic that is very tough. I was on the river with my dry bags and cooler in very little time. All the d rings make for nice tie down points. I as in flat water and up to class 2 rapids and it performed very well. I had the self bailers closed on the flatwater section and pulled over (after the first rapid) to partially deflate it and open the self bailing ports. This took 5-10 minutes, but it was easy and worth it. It bailed fairly well, but my rear was still wet, but I was not sitting in water. The ride was stable and I never felt as if I as tipping, yet it paddled easier than I thought in the flat water. It would spin around in circles if I stopped paddling, but if I kept good stroke, I could go quite fast. I was surprised!
I have since taken it on quite a few journeys and I have never had a problem, besides when I accidentally stabbed a hole in it with a recently sharpened knife (don't ask) I was upset, but to my surprise, I patched it quite easily. There are actually 2 tubes inside the boat that are accessible through zippers on the side. I patched one of the side tubes and then I used another included patch to repair the outside. I let it dry and I has never leaked again.
I will give this boat as follows:
10 for value
9 for appearance
9 for durability
9 for customization
6 for paddles
9 for comfort
9 for stability
9 for whitewater (not big drops)
8 for flatwater (have not tried the skegs)
I am no pro, but this is a good inflatable. I have rented many "duckies" from outfitters, and this is comparable in quality to what is used by rental fleets for intermediate whitewater and below. It is better than I expected, and I have had no problems to speak of as far of quality.
I have hit my hand a few times on the d-rings and maybe they can be placed a little lower to avoid this. not a huge deal, though.
It does not bail as quick as some, so your rear will get wet in splashy continuous rapids.
The paddles are questionable, but as the last reviewer said: they have not failed me yet.
If anything changes about this review, I will try to update it as the paddling season progresses.
I have put about 20 river hours on it already, and I have had only 1 problem: One of the D-rings broke while I while I was bearing down hard on the thigh braces. It was at a wave at the bottom of a class III- slide and recovery was easy. The boat is so stable that I didn't come close to tipping. I just replaced it with a caribiner. I would suggest that replacing the D-Rings with $15 worth of caribiners would be a good investment. The boat handles well for its length and it is surprisingly quick. I was able to get a modest sideways surf going a few times and that was the closest that I came to tipping it.
Overall, this is a great boat for the price. If you want to paddle some intermediate whitewater, lakes, or bays, and you do not want to spend a lot money, then this would be a perfect choice for you. I was not expecting such a durable boat for the price and I now own 2 of these. They are only available on Ebay in the US to my knowledge.
Moving water pros: Fast and maneuverable for its size, Stable, Comfortable, Adjustable, Big enough for camping gear, Durable (20+ river hours and no leaks), Dog friendly, Makes a comfortable bed!
Whitewater Cons: Wet ride when loaded to capacity, D-Rings need to be replaced, High winds can blow you around a bit.
A note on the paddles: On my first review, I said that the paddles looked flimsy. I have since, actually TRIED to break one of these paddles while paddling and I cannot do it! While I still do not "trust" them; I will give them more credit than I did before. I used my other paddles on the bigger water and used the included paddle as a spare.
1 foot bellows pump, 2 seats, 2 3-pocket cargo hold/bottle holders, 2 foot braces, 3 break down paddles, 2 detachable skegs, 2 removable tubes, 1 basic patch kit, multiple d rings, 1 spare b-valve , 1 bag to carry it all inThat's a lot of stuff for $350, so I was wary of the quality. After talking to the seller, I agreed to have one shipped to me.
The box weighs a little over 50 pounds with all the above accessories. When I opened the box the first thing I noticed was the paddles. The seller told me that they were not "great" paddles and I would agree. They are, however, very light and would be fine for flat water or spares. I opened the mesh case, unrolled the kayak, and had it outfitted and inflated in less than 15 minutes. It looks good! I inflated it to 1.7 psi and it was surprisingly rigid. The seats looked basic, but had good support and good storage.So far I am very happy. for $350 I am still skeptical... My wife and my dog and I took it down to the river. We did not use the skegs but it paddled pretty straight for an inflatable. It did not have much glide though as with almost all inflatables. It held me (200lbs)my wife(98lbs) and my dog(70lbs)just fine and was stable even with my dog pacing around. The next week, My dog and I paddled around the lake for 4 hours and had a blast! The skegs help a lot when the wind is blowing and gives it a bit more glide. I used my gps to calculate my mph and on a normal stroke I was getting about 3.5 mph and a hard stroke was about 6mph. Not too bad...
I have now purchased some thigh braces and I am ready for some whitewater. It has rained 2 inches tonight so expect an update later. So far I give it a 9 and I doubt that you could find a better all around kayak with as many accessories for under $400 ANYwhere.
1100 Tough Denier Material.
Comes with everything you need to get in the water in 15 minutes.
2 or 1 man configuration.
So comfortable I nearly fell asleep
Paddle is not the best, but I have had no problems as of yet.
I don't trust Boston Valves, but I bought spares and it came with 1 spare. No problems as of yet.
Does not come with a pressure gauge and I could see somebody trying to over-inflate it with bad results (get a $20 manometer and be safe)
100,000+ people can't be wrong!
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