Length: 12' 6" - Width: 34.00" - Starting at: $329.00See More Details about this Kayak
The total kit includes a storage bag, two four-piece paddles, two inflatable seats, a foot-operated air pump, a repair kit, two inflatable "doughnuts" to protect the skegs while packed, and two inflation gauges. The boat is very rugged with heavy fabric, a tow point on the bow and a drain plug at the stern. There are a total of five separate air chambers: the floor, each side tube, the bow and stern skirts (which are separate pieces and held in place with rigging). The inflation gauges help get the correct pressure on the side tubes, but you have to guess at the correct pressure for the floor. I don't know why the manufacturer couldn't have setup the flooring to also use the inflation gauge.
After a bit of practice I've been able to setup the boat in 20 minutes, about the same amount of time it takes me to setup my hard shell. Packing up is also quick as I merely deflate the boat and throw everything into my car, knowing I'm going to clean everything when I get home.
The Sea Eagle's buoyancy and center of gravity feels more like a canoe than a kayak as you sit higher up in the boat due to the inflatable seats and inflatable bottom. Because the seats are removable, you can set them for either two people or use only one seat for a single paddler, something not possible in hard shell tandem boats.
Stability is a bit touchy in high crosswinds, but easy enough to get used to. The length of this boat is roomy for two people and cargo. With one person you could easily pack all necessary equipment for several day's camping.
Paddling is also a bit different as the sides of the boat are a bit higher than a hard shell, which forces me to hold the paddles a little higher to avoid rubbing the sides of the boat. The paddles are covered with rubber tubing when they can rub the boat, which I think is a nice touch for protecting the boat's fabric. The skegs seem to help with tracking, but I do notice that winds blow this boat around more than a hard shell kayak, presumably because there is more exposed surface area. The boat will also "flex" in choppy water, which takes a bit getting used to.
The real advantage of this inflatable boat is it's ease of transport. As one other reviewer has noted, the boat is airline transportable. The entire kit packs into a large duffle bag which is a real storage advantage for a condo dweller or someone who only has a small car. For people who have rotator cuff (shoulder) problems, it is much easier to load this boat into a car instead of dragging it off the top roof rack. It's also easier to pack this boat along on a long trip, instead of tying a kayak onto the car roof.
One caution is that the boat has to be absolutely dry before storing it to prevent mold from growing on the fabric. I learned this the hard way and now I have a very unsightly three-inch diameter black stain up at the bow, around the area where the skirt and side tube meet.
Overall, this is a great boat. It's easy to store, easy to pack for a trip, and will get you out on the water for a great day of paddling.
My wife and I headed out to the Columbia river near Bateman Island to test it out and we were very happy. I have since been out again near Two rivers park and this time just me and again the SE370 was great. I am looking forward to many more outings on this Kayak. Best purchase and I recommend the Sea Eagle.
The 370 is stable, easy to paddle, and great for fishing. The improvements I would like to see added to this kayak are larger skegs, a grab line that runs all the way around the kayak with attachments points to hold the rope in place and paddle holders. We loved this kayak so much we purchased a Sea Eagle 365 (same as the SE-370 just a different color) last year.
It doesn't really have all the features you need as you graduate to faster water and bigger rapids. No self-bailing, skegs aren't removable, and the material doesn't feel strong enough to handle hard hits. Mind you, I never had any problems with the hull at all, but I doubt I could say that if I'd tried serious rapids in it. Class 1-2s are no problem, but anything beyond that and I'd be a bit worried.
No high pressure floor means you really don't want to stand up, I never felt comfortable standing up even in calm conditions.
Some of the accessories are not great. The included paddles in particular are a bit sub par. I am not a fan of the materials used for the handles. It is durable, but very hard on your hands. The locking mechanism is very prone to jamming/rusting as well. Unfortunately, none of their packages offer better paddles.
This is a perfect entry level boat. I would strongly recommend it to anyone new to paddling who wanted a good, yet inexpensive kayak. It's served me very well for 2 years now. Great for couples or families too.
One limitation of this boat is how it sits a bit deeper in the water. Since the bottom of the boat protrudes downward from the side parts of the boat, and boat's floatation and stability comes a lot from the two large side tubes, then that means it takes more clearance, i.e., sits lower in the water. An example of this was paddling down the Crystal River in Northern Michigan, which is a very shallow river. Those in our two 10-foot recreational hard shells coasted over everything in that 5-mile stretch of river. But with the SE370, there may have been eight or nine times that we had to get out and walk briefly.
The rating of 7 given is somewhat of an "overall" rating. If you consider the greater sphere of kayaking, you may only give it about a 6; but if you consider the world of inflatable kayaks, you may give it a 7; and finally, if you consider how much you get for such a reasonable price, you could give it an 8.
I would definitely get the deluxe seats which cost a little more than the basic ones.
When choosing between an SE330 and an SE370, I definitely prefer the 370:
a) I like it better for solo paddling than the 330
b) while the 330 is tight with two adults, the 370's extra 16" of length helps a lot
c) you'll get a little more speed from the 370's extra length
d) the 370 uses 38 mil Polykrylar instead of the 33 mil on the 330
e) the 370 seems more stable
f) these noticeable advantages come w/ little extra weight and for only another $50.
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