As long as we are discussing folders we might as well mention two other brands, Trak and Folbot. Folbot (http://www.folbot.com/) is one of the grand old names in folders. They are U.S. made and their Cooper is a nice solo sea kayak that in many ways is similar to the Pakboat XT-15. They are both lighter-weight lower-cost boats. Trak makes only one boat (at last check) the T1600 (http://www.rethinkkayak.com/). This is an outstanding solo kayak that to me performs very much like an equivalent hard shell boat. Price wise it falls about midway between the lighter-weight Pakboats and Folbots and the Long Hauls and Feather Crafts. Folders need to have a mechanism that allows the frame to be tightened into the skin so that the shell is drawn taught. The XT-15 and Cooper do this with inflatable tubes in the hull. Trak uses a sophisticated jack system that expands the frame to tighten against the skin. As a consequence of this architecture, it is possible to use the jacks to change the shape of the boat. Most interestingly it allows you to change the rocker on the kayak. The other advantage is that it makes the boat very fast and easy to assemble. When I was choosing a folder this was the deciding point. With some of these boats it is a half hour or more at the beginning and end of a paddling session to put the boat together and take it apart again. With the T-1600 it is more like 10 minutes. This is of little consequence if you are going to leave the boat assembled but can be important if you intend to put it together and take it down regularly.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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