This boat is an awesome beginner boat. At 200 bucks, new from Wal-Mart, it has adjustable foot pegs, a water tight rear hatch (but no bulkhead), and a comfy seat. The skeg wheel on the back makes a nice addition, when moving it by yourself, though I can carry it with ease. I'm 6', 180 lbs, and my foot pegs are set halfway down their travel length.
On the water, the arrow tracks pretty well, for a 10 ft boat, and while it can rock a little, it just wants to sit upright. Now, when I took it out, it was windy, and moving against it was a little difficult, but I didn't notice very much weather cocking, going out or coming back, with the wind at a 45° angle to me. It can get up and moving, but it's not a race boat. It happily moves where you want it, and keeps a line when you want it to also, but I didn't habe much trouble turning it around either.
All in all, the only thing I don't like about it are 1) the lack of bulkhead around the seat, separating front from back and making a watertight compartment, and 2) the fact that a spray skirt won't work with this boat because of the lack of a combing lip. Otherwise, this boat is just what I wanted.
Overall, this is a reasonable starter kayak if you buy it at a discounted price. I ordered it from Walmart in February of 2017 for $276 w/ tax. Currently the retail price is over $400 at which point you should be able to find a better used kayak on Craigslist. This Lifetime model goes by a couple of names: Arrow 10 and Arrow 123 (as in 123” inches = 10’-3”). If Lifetime discontinues it in the future, the newer Guster model appears similar. The claimed weight of the Arrow is 46 pounds but mine weighs 47.2.
The main things I like about this kayak are: 1) entry level price, 2) rear storage compartment, 3) padded knee rests, 4) front and rear shock cord straps, 5) paddle holder, and 6) the plastic is thick (hence the weight) & feels sturdy. I picked a 10’ model because kayaks under 11.5’ fit inside our minivan.
The things I dislike about this kayak are: 1) the rear storage compartment is open below the seat so it’s not water tight, 2) relies on foam blocks for buoyancy, 3) the shock cords are flimsy-thin like shoelaces, 4) the water bottle holder is only 1” deep so it’s more of an ashtray, 5) the seatback only adjusts in depth not height, and 6) the flat area ahead of the cockpit is too small to mount a standard deck compass.
Tweaks I’ve made: Removed the foam blocks and stored dry bags in their place on either side of the seat – very handy to access while seated. Wedged 8” kickballs in the bow and stern to make up for the loss of foam. Replaced the skinny shock cords with 3/16” cords in an accent color and added more cleats. Installed a Brunton 70P compass after a lot of fussing with shims to deal with the undersized mount. Cut out the bottom of the cup holder with a Dremel so it is now 4” deep. Removed the seat straps since I have no need to move the seatback forward.
I’m 5’10 and 155 pounds. The seat is comfortable for me and I use setting 3 of 12 of the adjustable foot rests. At nearly 50 pounds, I like the option of using the rear wheel to drag the boat to the water rather than carry it. This model is an upgrade from the bottom tier Sun Dolphin and Pelican brands. If I upgrade to an even better kayak, the similar models I would consider are the Perception Tribute 10, Liquid Logic Marvel 10, Dagger Axis 10.5, and Wilderness Systems Aspire 105.
I’ll update this review after I’ve had the Arrow on the water a few times. Happy paddling!