Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak Reviews
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380x Reviews (80 total, avg. review: 4.6 out of 5)
I've been fishing lakes in a Sea Eagle 420X for the past week. Most days in pretty high winds. ANY inflatable watercraft is going to be lumbering on flat water and catch wind like a sail. Nature of the beast. But the SE 420X was BY FAR the best inflatable I have ever used...AND my absolute favorite fly fishing boat of all time. I ordered a 380X after the 2nd day. I don't need the extra length more ▼ of the 420X.
I paddled this boat for hours in 30 mph wind on an East Texas lake, transiting open water and along shoreline structure while fishing. I have no qualms with the way it handles. Does it handle as well as a hard boat? Yes... a canoe. But not a kayak. But for an inflatable kayak, that's as good as it gets! I even paddled the boat for an hour while my brother fished where I was sitting in the bow and he was fishing from the stern. 290 lbs of former football lineman sitting over the skeg and 30 mph winds...and I had no problem keeping him in position for fishing the shoreline we were covering.
But my favorite things about this boat are that it is ultimately comfortable and it has nothing on it to foul a fly line when fishing. These are the two most important ingredients for any fishing boat in my world.
We purchased a 340x and a 380X one each for my spouse and I in 2007. We are experienced paddlers with canoes and hard shell sea kayaks. While the Sea Eagles are sold as kayaks, they are really more like an inflatable Canoes (in terms of load carrying) that you paddle like a kayak, and which behaves like a raft.
In flatwater any substantial wind will seriously affect your progress and while this may be true of all water craft the effects are really serious with the sea eagle. We purchased the boats for long (read 7+ days) treks in rivers of Canadian wilderness. The boats are great for that. Have taken them in Class 3 rapids fully loaded, while you do get wet, the boat rides the rapids just like a raft. No more long portages. One benefit of these inflating crafts is that they load on aircraft at a fraction of the cost (or impossible for) hard shell watercraft. They pack inside your vehicle and no wind drag. We plan more river trips in 2008.show full review ▼
I agree with most other positive comments on this site (regarding comfort, paddling, skeg etc). When loaded with equipment in flat water with chop the self bailing plugs usually do not work very well.
I first reviewed my 14 foot Sea Eagle in 2004 & thought I would add a couple of observations. I have used the boat in a wide variety of conditions & I still enjoy the boat's versatility. She excells at camping & load carrying. We took her to Baja Sur Mexico & was a comfortable day long fishing craft during an extended camping trip. Also discovered that she was perfect for birding & approaching wildlife - very quiet - you can't make noise if you bump your paddle into the side. Can be a bear in the Sea of Cortez winds, but all the paddlers I saw were working hard. Now that I have a home, I plan to buy a hard boat that I can throw onto the roof of my truck & go. The ritual of inflating, deflating, & wrestling her into a packable unit grows tiresome for casual paddles around the area. I could leave her ready to go, but fear the elements would get to her. Still, she has been a great boat & I will hang on to her for road trips & other suitable adventures.
I bought the 380 two years ago as a go anywhere boat. Nope this won't give you a hard shell's performance on flat water but if you are looking for quality, load capacity and at an economical price, this is a great boat. The skeg will really help out in flat water as will not carrying your stroke past 90 degrees otherwise you get that left/right fishtail go nowhere movement. The hull is rugged raft type material. This is a great multi purpose boat which will find itself at home in an apt closet.
I bought the boat 2 years ago because my wife insisted on a tandem. As it turns out, this boat is a perfect starting out boat for newbys. With the skeg mounted, the tracking is good on flat water, I think this boat may be impossible to capsize, we have paddled the Puget Sound and many lakes between there and Los Angeles. It handles ocean as well as lakes. I haven't tryed witewater yet in it but plan to next month. I strongly recommend this boat if you are thinking about giving Kayaks a try for the first time. I also own hard kayaks but we keep coming back to the Sea Eagle because it is stress free and holds everything you could want.
First, this kayak is not comparable to a "hard" kayak, but it will fit in the backseat or trunk of the smallest car when deflated. I purchased the boat to be used as a fishing craft in swift river situations. I have now owned this craft for 2 years. It handles well and performs admirably up to class III (I have not had to brave anything higher so far). The optional stablizer is almost necessary for flat water paddling. It is certainly a tough craft. I have bounced off many rocks and often suspend the craft on rocks to fish. I have even stood up in this kayak but this is definitely not recommended nor safe. The 380 is a good stable IK for fishing or fun in moderate white water. By the way, the fly fisherman's optional seat will raise your seated position about 3 inches--very helpful when fishing.
I puchased the 380x because I have no place to keep a hard boat right now. I have been very pleased with craft, accepting its limitations. It is broad & doesn't have the speed of a sleek hard boat, but you gain a ton of comfort. For camping it's hard to beat its gear carrying capacity (850 lbs) and it's by far the most stable boat I've owned. The removable skeg permits very straight tracking & it can be removed for whitewater. I've paddled the California coast, Lake Mead, Kern River & lower Colorado river & the boats versatility has been exceptional. If you accept the craft for what she is, you have a versatile workhorse that will handle a variety of conditions.
Not bad for an inflatable kayak. Though it is a very hard boat to paddle in flat water (maybe due to the large surface area in contact with the water) VERY VERY poor tracking for beginners in flat water. This is contrary to what they state on their web site .I think on their site they stated that there could be "hours and hours of flat water paddling enjoyment". Well, for beginners, it's going to be hours and hours of paddling in circles. That was my only major disappointment. (According to their website though, an optional stablizer is suppose to help improve tracking greatly. Another 40 bucks US) I haven't tried the boat yet in white water but from the looks of it, it's built to last so when I get better I'm definitely going to take her down a class 2 or 3. Prepare to get WET! because of the boats width, the water dripping from the paddles tend to drip on the pontoons and splash back into your lap or your seat. I will be upgrading my paddles as the flat ones that came with the boat weigh a ton. Other than those few things, this boat is good price wise and is pretty portable. I hope that with enough time and experience, maybe the boat will prove itself to me.
Been paddling the 380x for one full season in whitewater. This boat can handle up to class IV- pretty well. It is made of a hard WW Raft-like material, Denier 1100. The boat is 12' long and about 36" wide. Tracks well in moving water, tracks poor flatwater.nnThe only drawback is that it floods rather quickly in big water. It drains eventually, but if you get stuck in a big hole, you sure do feel like you are one with the river!nnIt comes with inflatable seats, but I prefer to paddle it kneeling down. It is still quite comfortable and you can see a whole lot of the river downstream.nnIf you are looking for an inexpensive white water "Ducky" this boat has what it takes to get you out on the river safely. I have just upgraded to a WW K1 and will not be selling this boat due to the overall amount of fun I had last whitewater season. It will always find its way back to the river.
I know, it's not a hard shell kayak...but it never claimed to be. I just took my Sea Eagle on her maiden voyage and was satisfied with my first trip. It really only took 5-10 minutes to blow up with the foot pump. and after hooking up some seats and attaching the optional 'directional stabilizer', a friend and I paddled across a nearby lake.nnTwo 6' 180lb guys fit in the kayak/canoe comfortably. If I would have adjusted the straps on my seat more I could have put my legs straight out, so the interior has plenty of room. I haven't tried it without the rudder/stabilizer; with the stabilizer in place it tracked straight. I felt the 380x was a sturdy, reliable craft. Since the bottom has so much surface area you can't get moving that fast, but it turns ok and is comfortable. One negative is that it seems a bit wide for the type of strokes I wanted to do. Since you're not packed in like a sardine you've gotta pay for that comfort somehow!nnI'll try to post a follow up when I do some summer paddling, but I predict this will be very enjoyable for some leisurely River Running and Class I/II action, with a little current to keep things interesting.nnFor someone looking for a recreational paddling solution, the 380x is a nice combination of comfort, stability, and portability.