Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak Reviews
6 Discount Packages available. starting at $1,049
380x Reviews (74 total, avg. review: 4.6 out of 5)
I have owned the 380x for over a year now. I also own the SE 370, so I can compare the two. If you are considering purchasing the 380x, there are some pros and cons (sometimes the same things that are pros are cons!):
-It bails quickly. I have sat, stuck, in a class III rapid, and witnessed the kayak not filling all the way.more ▼
-Space. Despite being the same length as the 370, it has far more elbow room, due in large part to the drop-stitch floor.
-Material. It's tough. You'll have a very hard time puncturing either boat, but especially the 380x which is far tougher.
-It sits lower in the water than the 370, so it isn't affected by wind as much.
-It has a removable skeg. This helps to track better on flat water.
-You can use either the high back or the low seat, and both secure to the boat.
-The removable skeg. If you are on a rafting trip with stretches of flat and whitewater, just leave it out. It's annoying having to flip the boat over and take it out, put it in, take it out, put it in. If you are in low water, also, take it out.
-The self-bail design is poor in comparison to NRS's boats. With theirs, you are sitting dry; with the 380x, you are sitting in two inches of water all the time. Since the plugs are on the underside It doesn't matter whether you have just one or all 16 plugs open.
-Closing or opening the drain plugs is a royal pain in the rear. Even with the boat completely deflated, it takes effort; with it inflated, you need little monkey hands to get to them.
Just came back from Monksville Reservoir in New Jersey for a 4-hour kayaking day trip with my new 380x. What an impressive inflatable kayak! Firstly, setup is literally less than 10 minutes. I especially like the adaptor for the valve being a twist in and twist out, pump and done! The seats also inflated with ease because of their boston valves. The floor, wow how rigid! making it super easy in and out of the boat! The material of the boat is as advertised - see the "hammer-cinderblock-Jeep" stress test, which made me a believer.more ▼
When I was looking for my second inflatable kayak, at first I thought $1K was too much. I know I only have one experience with the boat, but I believe it's worth every penny, plus with the 180-day trial, 3 year warranty, you can't go wrong! You might find the same boat on other online stores, but you will NOT get the 180-day trial period.
Overall, I am very glad I got this boat! Well done sea eagle! and thanks!
1. Stable & forgiving
2. Tough material.
1. Very slow in flat water.
You can find my detailed review (constantly updated with my experiences) with pics at:
For the last two years I've owned both a SE 385 FastTrack and a SE 380X Explorer. Both are excellent inflatable kayaks each with their own strengths and weakness but the 380X Explorer is the best in my opinion. First, a little about my wife an I. She's 5 foot 0 inches and I'm 5 foot 8 inches and we are both very overweight. If you're a tall person or weigh over 200 pounds then this review will more ▼ pertain to you.
The SE 380X Explorer is great for people who are heavy but no so much if you are tall or have long legs. The extra large 11.5" diameter tubes are excellent at holding lots of weight while keeping the kayak high in the water. Much better than the 10" diameter tubes on the 385X FT and WAY better than the 9.5" tubes on the current 2014 model 385 FT! With two people in the boat plus coolers and gear the 380X Explorer still sits high on the water while the 385 FT sits very low and sometimes allows water into the boat during fast turns especially in light whitewater. On both models the person in the rear sits very far back while the person in front sits just ahead of the middle of the boat. This causes the boat to rise in the front and drop in the back. Having the extra air volume in the 380X Explore keeps the water out even in moderate whitewater. Having larger tubes does pose one problem though. There's less room width-wise which can cause the tube to pinch you and cause discomfort. Riding two up in the 380X Explorer the person in the rear has less room than the person up front due to the tubes converging at the rear. Riding two up in the 385 FT both persons have more than enough space without the tubes touching them. On the SeaEagle website it says that both boats have 3'1" of interior width but I disagree. The 380X Explorer has a few inches less due to the larger tubes.
Regarding leg space the 380X Explorer wins hands down. According to the SeaEagle website the 380X Explorer only has 2" of extra interior space but it feels like a lot more. It's possibly due to the placement of the D-rings that hold the seats to the boat but I don't think so. When riding in the back of the 385 FT my feet touch the back of my wife's seat but in the 380X Explorer I have 6 inches of space which is just enough for me to place my cooler there. My wife has the same amount of legroom on both models. If you're taller than 5'8" or have long legs I highly recommend you look at the larger 420X Explorer or 465 FT especially if you want to bring a cooler or two or plan a multi day trip.
Both models track great on the water but the 385 FT tracks best and glides further on less paddle strokes especially with the front keel inflated. The 380X Explorer track great with the removable skeg installed but just ok without it. The larger tubes on the 380X Explorer make it susceptible to wind even with the skeg installed. For lakes and other flat water the 385 FT is best but on bayous and especially whitewater the 380X Explorer without the skeg installed is king. Our fully loaded 380X Explorer with two riders can easily float in as little as 5" of water but the 385 FT needs at least 8" due to the inflatable front keel even with it un-inflated. On rivers or shallow bayous the keel gets stuck quite often on rocks, tree stumps, and sandbars. Tree stumps grab hold of the keel and won't let go which means a trip into the water for me to get the boat free. The 380X Explorer gets stuck less often and when it does I can rock the flat bottomed kayak back and forth and usually get free.
While the 385 FT has some great features that make it superior to the 380X Explorer like better tracking,longer gliding per paddle stroke, and more interior width it does have one fatal flaw. It does not hold up to the extreme Texas heat. The material used to make both models is top notch and have held up to rebar, sharp rocks, sharp tree branches, and being dragged across concrete while inflated but it's the welded seams that hold the 385 FT together that are weak. After each trip I always inflate the boats and wash them to keep nasty smells from sinking in then let them dry in the sun. Last summer both boats were drying in the back yard when I noticed the 385 FT was losing air. Seems the 100 degree heat had melted the 'glue' holding a seam together and air came pouring out. I tried using the included patch kit but to no avail. A quick call to Sea Eagle headquarters and a replacement hull was delivered in 4 days! Sea Eagle has THE BEST customer service hands down! No questions asked, they just sent a new hull. Last weekend my wife an I went for a trip down the San Marcos river in the 385 FT. The San Marcos has Class 1 and minimal Class II whitewater but nothing the 385 FT can't handle. After portaging a large dam we set the 385 FT on some gravel on the side of the river and ate lunch. Fifteen minutes later we heard a loud swoosh and looked to see that the heat had once again melted the 'glue' on not one but two seams and the boat was toast. It was only 95 degrees that day but the gravel rocks must have been hotter. My sister was using the 380X Explorer that day and it was sitting right next to the 385 FT with no leaks. The 380X Explorer has larger weld seams which make all the difference in the heat. My new 'second boat' will be a 420X Explorer due to it being built better plus the extra legroom.
The Sea Eagle Explorer (47 years in business!) is an excellent class IV rated white water inflatable - yes you heard right: inflatable - kayak.
I have had different types of hard shell and I can honestly say the Explorer soft shell 380x is an amazing Kayak very forgiving, you can sail, add a motor or paddle it. at the end of the day deflate it and pack it in your car trunk. this Kayak is very rugged and durable awesome unit highly recommend it.
If you enjoy the water you will love the Explorer 380x made by Sea Eagle. This inflatable kayak is tough and rugged and yet fairly spacious even for someone who is 6'8" like myself. It holds up to 750 lbs including cargo which gives plenty of space for overnight trips.
The 380x can handle class 3 and 4 with ease. this kayak is great in white water in addition to paddling in the ocean. I have used it to travel down the kayak down the Snake River in Wyoming and "kayak surfing" in California. I agree that a directional stabilizer or fin is needed if you do not want to fishtail while paddling on flat water.more ▼
I do wish that the kayak had a spray guard to limit the amount of water during white water kayaking. All in all, this is one inflatable that everyone should enjoy!
Very happy with this so far. Have done high class III's on the Potomac and it rode the high waves without ever feeling like it would flip. Problem is that it fills with water very fast since Sea Eagle does not yet make any kind of splash guard for it. So you have to dock and drain it from the valves. Otherwise, it handles quite well for it's size, even through some tighter turning. On flatwater, the skeg is A MUST. Otherwise, you will fishtail a lot. I hope Sea Eagle makes a splash guard to fit the 380 soon. But overall, a very fun all around kayak that transports easily.
My wife and I took the 380x out for our maiden voyage yesterday. Class II/III WW on the Colorado river. We went with rafter friends for support and river advice. The only reason I gave an 8 is that the self bailing is not that great. You sit in water once you hit any WW waves. Otherwise the boat was extremely stable and comfortable. It forgave a lot of bad moves through the class III WW. Never came close to tipping. Even when going through waves that were two or three feet high. Scary for a first ride but now I'm looking forward to a second run.
I would say the control and steering are comparable to a canoe. You can't turn on a dime like a hard shell kayak but you don't have to worry about tipping. At 50 yrs old I'm more into the safety and comfort than high performance sport kayaking. I'm 6'1" 225lbs and had plenty of room. The high back seats were very comfortable and secure. I may go to a higher deluxe seat for my wife. She did not more ▼ enjoy sitting in the water.
The 380x seems to be high quality and very durable. I spent a little more money for a boat that will last many years. I ran the boat up the concrete exit ramp and it didn't even scratch the bottom.
So with the self bailing exception, the 380x is all that I hoped for in an IK. Safe, stable, durable, comfortable and fun. I look forward to many years of river runs and camping floats.
What a great inflatable kayak. I have been kayaking for over 20 years in a variety of hard shell kayaks. Being of age now and having had several surgeries, my legs just aren't what they used to be, so I have been searching for a solution to getting out of our kayaks with my weakened legs. I fitted it with a seat similar to the optional fishing seat, and what a dream come true. It is so stable and easy to get in and out of now. I can keep up with my wife in her 13' Perception America except in strong wind. Sitting higher in the fishing seat as opposed to the Deluxe or Pro Highback seats makes paddling a breeze.more ▼
I highly recommend this kayak fitted with or without the optional fishing seat.
We purchased this boat this spring as a whitewater tandem since my wife was wary of paddling alone. We intended on running the upper New in WV. The boat is great in mild whitewater...with the valves closed. We ran the Lower Yough in SW PA this weekend. A much smaller river that packs a big punch with most of the rapids rated III/IV. We still ran with the valves closed because if the rear paddler is a little larger, he sits in about 2 inches of water that slows quick moves required on this river to a great extent. Getting hung up on a rock can spell disaster as the boat quickly fills with water and made it like trying to turn a battleship. I have contacted Sea Eagle to find if an additional floor can be added or a thicker floor installed to displace the water that enters when the valves are open.more ▼
I still like the boat but with the design as it is, the floor needs to be thicker to displace the water so the rear paddler sits at or above the water level and the self bailing feature really works, because as it is now, it really isn't a self-bailer, at least not with the high back seats.
I can attest to the fact that even filled to the brim, it still CAN be paddled.