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  too bad....
  Posted by: willowleaf on Dec-18-12 11:15 AM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Dec-18-12 11:18 AM EST --

....that you excluded the kayak itself. My suggestions would have been the Orukayak (origami folding kayak), the new Pakboat Quest models and the Feathercraft Kurrent. Ultralight and highly portable boats are a particular interest of mine and are something getting more attention with the popularity of paddling amongst both older people (who don't want to or can't haul 70 lb boats) and younger and urban entrants to the sport who lack storage and transport options for conventional kayaks.

Shaving a few ounces off miscellaneous accessories and gear has far less effect on the enjoyment of the activity than shaving pounds off the boat itself.

And, at least in my circle of paddlers, we are perhaps less likely to jump on novel lightweight equipment until it has been proven to be reliable. It is a lot more risky to have a piece of gear fail when you are miles from shore than it would be if you were backpacking or bike touring. I've been involved in outdoor recreation, including the marketing of gear, for over 40 years. My observations have been that paddlers may be the group least apt to jump on "the latest thing" compared to other categories of wilderness sports enthusiasts.

Yoy may have others respond who disagree with me, but I feel like gear lightness is not as big a deal to us as with other outdoor travelers since we have a "vehicle" for transporting our kit.

But, to throw out what I can to aid your search, I would say that the recent innovations I most appreciate (besides light boats) are light and strong two and 3-piece carbon fiber standard and Greenland paddles (Novorca, Northern Lights, Onno, Pacific). And for miscellaneous gear: waterproof LED flashlights and signal beacons and the compact waterproof still and video cameras (like GoPro). Improved lightweight stretchy neoprene wear, too, like NRS Hydroskins.
Might also add the various kayak sailing rigs.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Touring Kayak Paddles

Paddle Floats

Sport Cases (Electronics)

Canoe/Kayak Carts

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