All 3 of the 120ís are pretty similar. They are recreational kayaks. One of the biggest differences between them and a touring kayak is the rec boats do not have a fwd bulkhead. If the boat fills with water it is going to float standing up and down since there will only be an air pocket in the stern. If a boat has an air pocket fore and aft like a touring yak then it will float with the cockpit rim above water and it can be bailed out. A rec boat has to be drug ashore and dumped. This can be overcome or improved at least with float bags or extra foam flotation but thatís more money and effort. Also that huge open cockpit is not really meant to have a skirt over it. If you are able to find a skirt it will likely cave in with enough water over it. On the plus side it is easier to get in and out. The cockpit on the conduit is it a little smaller, more like a crossover between rec and touring kayak. The conduit also has the fwd bulkhead in addition to the rear one, more storage and sinks evenly.
None of the boats have perimeter lines, which you need if you want to do on water rescues. Perimeter lines are non-stretching cords that run around the edge of the boat in addition to the bungees cords. You can buy rope and the hardware and drill holes in your boat and install them if you want to modify your outfitting.
All 3 of the 120 are similar wide widths, stable and slow compared to other SINKs. The conduit being longer and slightly skinnier will go faster than the others with the same effort.
None of the above is necessarily a bad thing, Iím just telling you the difference between recreational kayaks and what you get if you spend a more money. These are not performance boats, you wonít be rolling them (there are people here who CAN do it, but thatís not what they are built for). No paddling great distances offshore, no whitewater. They are nice boats for paddling on calm warm water. I have three different models of rec boats in my fleet. Like you I agonized over the different models before buying the first one but now, in my opinion, there is not a lick of difference between any of them. They will all track and handle the same with identical capabilities. I would be skeptical of a review written by someone who has only had one a couple weeks and never paddled anything else. You need to at least sit in them at the store. They will all fit a little different and you might scratch one of the boats off your list within five seconds of sitting in it.
Of the four boats, the conduit is a step above the others but for slow warm waterways where reaching shore is not a problem the other three are adequate. You could take the price difference and go get a $150 -$200 paddle from a paddle shop instead of the $30-50 ones at Dickís or academy sports. $100 difference on a boat is not going to mean much on the water, but the better paddle will and you will have it when you decide to upgrade boats.
Buy a kayak PFD and wear it. I find the bottom edge of regular boating PFD is going to hit the middle of the seat and run across your back about kidney high. Very uncomfortable after awhile.
Remember itís your first boat, you can have more.
Enjoy it. And please post back with what you finally decide on. People that ask for advice and disappear bring me down.
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
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