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Kestrel 170T Description

The Kestrel 170T is a kayak brought to you by Current Designs Kayaks. Read Kestrel 170T reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Kestrel 170T Reviews


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Current Designs Kayaks
Kestrel 170T Reviews

Read reviews for the Kestrel 170T by Current Designs Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I purchased the Current…

Submitted by: jbessman on 8/17/2014
I purchased the Current Designs Kestrel 170T for use with my kids. I have owned a wide range of tandem kayaks and paddle on lakes and slow rivers. Build quality on CD kayaks is exceptional. The interior and exterior of this kayak is flawless.

My only minor complaints are that the deck bungees used are 1/8" and have limited holding strength, and the paddle-holder bungees are glassed in through the kayak shell which would make it very difficult to replace.

Kayak seating is exceptional. Very comfortable/adjustable seats, and the spacing of the seats allows non-synchronized paddling. This helps for taking out the kids and letting them practice. The center hatch is large enough for a small child to sit in, but not comfortably or for very long periods of time given the limited leg room. Would be great to hold tons of gear.

This kayak paddles very well. Obviously not as fast as longer sleeker tandems, but can easily maintain 3.5 mph cruising and can hold 5 mph with effort. Two adult paddlers would be a bit more efficient! Stability is excellent. Can easily get in/out of the seats on the water.

Kayak turns very well with the large rudder and is lots of fun around motor boat wakes. Dry ride in the two-foot swells we've experienced and absolutely no rolling concerns with young kids.

Wide cockpits and light weight make this kayak enjoyable to get into the water. Much easier to cartop and portage than most. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a quality kayak at the beginning to intermediate recreational/light touring level.


This is an update to my prior review.... We still like this boat…

Submitted by: paddler233203 on 7/2/2009
This is an update to my prior review....
We still like this boat a lot but here are some additional findings.
This boat and the Seaward Gemini are very similar except the Gemini has less cockpit separation which puts the forward paddler further back and gives a drier ride in rough conditions. My wife has gotten soaked a couple of times in our Kestrel... but she does not keep a steady rhythm either so we probably would still pick the Kestrel. The leg room up front is also less then some paddlers would like. These are definite trade-offs to be considered.

I also discovered that the rudder cables were not stainless steel so they rusted and froze up. They are easy to replace but that's what I get for buying a Chinese made boat. Hopefully they have discovered this problem and fixed it.

Bottom line: we still like the Kestrel but can also see where the Gemini could be a good choice. Take your pick.


This is the boat we ended up…

Submitted by: paddler231630 on 7/20/2006
This is the boat we ended up buying after trying several other doubles. The next closest contender was the Seaward Gemini. First, the Kestrel has good cockpit separation and this makes for much more relaxed paddling. You can pretty much ignore the other paddler.

Next, the final stability is excellent but the bottom is not flat. It's a definite V-bottom which means you can lean it into a wave. It also has almost a bit of a keel which helps the rudder work. Of all the boats we tried this rudder worked the best in every way.

The cockpits are large and easy to get in and out of. You don't feel cramped sitting in it. The seats are among the best with high backs. With over 400# in the boat it still has plenty of freeboard.

The construction and hardware are good quality. Advertised weight is 65# but I have not checked it. Testing with GPS, I think we are cruising at close to 4mph but I need more testing to average this out better.

There are very few things I would change about this boat.