The Journey has been replaced by the Sitka LT
The Journey is a touring kayak for the paddler seeking exceptional stability, but unwilling to compromise performance. Based on the Fathom series, the Journey is nimble, quick, and features a large cockpit for ease of entry and exit and the padded thigh braces and adjustable foot pedals, backrest, and seat allow virtually anyone to have a good fit. The Journey comes completely rigged with roomy bulkheaded compartments bow and stern, a retractable skeg, a full complement of deck rigging, perimeter lines, our popular retractable carry handles and our Infinity sliding seat design.The seat has 3 inches of fore and aft adjustment which allows the paddler to change position relative to the thigh pads for the best fit. The backrest/backband combo has a locking knob in the rear for setting the vertical height and an easy to reach cleat adjustment at the hip for the forward and back positioning. The backrest (or optional backband) is spring loaded upright and can fold fully forward for uncluttered easy access to the storage space behind. This system is comfortable for extended paddling trips and very easy to adjust to alter your seating position. Take a journey of your own in this fun and easy to paddle kayak!
Carbonlite 2000 looks and performs like fiberglass with clear advantages over other plastics: lighter weight, hard glossy finish, excellent abrasion and impact resistance, superior UV protection, dimensional stability, and increased stiffness. Tough, easy to repair, and 100% recyclable!
Bought this as my first kayak. Very stable. Goes almost anywhere. Ocean, Bay, Rivers, Lakes and Ponds. It is big and it does take some strength to get on to the car. A great all around kayak.
This is an update to my previous review and a downgrade, based on subsequent experience. In my opinion, the Journey is a kayak for either intermediate paddlers in unchallenging water or expert paddlers in rough water and open ocean conditions. Meaning, you need strong bracing skills to keep the Journey upright, especially when you're getting hit by waves from the side because those will push you over quickly. The reason is that the very low bow and stern lack buoyancy to keep you upright (compounded by the hard chines? I'm not certain about that part.). In some photos and videos of the Journey you can see that the stern is almost submerged or actually submerged. The theory is that this reduces wind exposure. But how much control do you have over a kayak when the stern is submerged?
You won't really understand the performance of this kayak until you encounter strong wind and large waves. If you kayak enough, that will happen sooner or later. When it does, I prefer to have a kayak that does its fair share of the stability work with its hull design. I don't think that's the case with the Journey in either side waves of frontal waves. It punches down through frontal waves so again, the bow is submerged.
Comparing the Journey to, say, Deltas, I can say that the Deltas are literally twice as stable by virtue of their very different hull shape. Meaning, a Delta takes half the skill to keep upright and an intermediate paddler is safer in a Delta.
The Journey may very well be a stable kayak in the hands of an expert paddler. I have since replaced it with a kayak with a high-volume bow and stern and the difference is like night and day in rough water---it is barely affected by conditions that made the Journey hard to control. It bobs around but comes upright naturally.
First I must say the Eddyline Journey is a very elegant craft. Overall the fit-and-finish of the kayak is flawless. Absolutely the finest build quality that I've seen. The thermoplastic material has a fantastic finish, is relatively light weight and bulletproof. I get many compliments on the beauty of this boat.
I'm surprised that a boat of this fine quality has a couple of major flaws. First of all the seating system is uncomfortable. It slides forward and backward a few inches and the backrest or backband can be cinched but there is no adjustment to raise the seat pan. I also feel a little lost in the relatively wide cockpit because the thigh braces are a insufficient. My Dagger Alchemy and the Tempest 170 both have superior seating compared to the Journey. My girlfriend has also remarked about the less than comfortable seat. The thigh braces are not adjustable but the sliding seat does allow you to get locked in. The foot braces are excellent quality.
The other item that disappoints me is the deck rigging. Directly behind the seat there are bungees but no perimeter decklines. This lack of non-stretchy decklines makes a paddlefloat re-entry very difficult if not impossible.
In spite of these issues, which could be remedied, the boat is a joy to paddle. It has excellent glide and tracks nicely even without the skeg. By the way, the skeg system is excellent and far superior to the skeg systems in my other boats. The craft has a decent amount of rocker, is very maneuverable and responds wonderfully to paddle input and edging.
I hope this info is useful to anyone considering the purchase of this boat. She is a beautiful craft and I do enjoy paddling her but I'd probably recommend one of my other two boats to a potential buyer.
I've owned the Journey for several years and found it to be a decent all-round boat, but master at none. There's a lot to like about the Journey.
Construction: The Carbonlite 2000 hull is relatively light and doesn't "oil can" like roto-molded plastic. The hatches seal easier than many, and stay dry. The skeg is cable operated, conveniently located, and works reliably. The 15.5 foot hull is long enough to take in the ocean or for touring, yet short enough to take on small lakes and rivers. The 24" beam makes it a little sluggish compared to narrower kayaks, but it feels stable. The seat is a weak point. In theory, it's a good design. The seat is adjustable forward and back, and the back has a height adjustment as well as tilt. The problem is that the components are made of plastic that is prone to breakage. (I've had to replace broken parts) I also find it uncomfortable after an hour or so.
The cockpit has ample room, and is relatively easy to enter and exit. The knee braces are in the way during entry, but correctly located once you're inside.
Handling: The Journey feels stable, probably due to the 24" beam. I have mixed feelings about the tracking. This kayak has quite a bit of "rocker" which makes it easy to maneuver in tight places, especially considering it's length. The downside is tracking. Without the skeg, the tracking is poor. As soon as you stop paddling, even in calm water, the boat will immediately veer to one side or the other. If left uncorrected, it will just rotate on the rocker. The skeg corrects this 100%. So the boat is highly maneuverable without the skeg, and tracks well with it. There is a sweet spot with the skeg half down.
The hull design creates more wake than I'd like to see. My wife's 15 ft Venture slices through the water with almost no wake. The Journey wants to push the water aside. In the ocean and rough water, it does a lot of slapping and splashing which makes for a wet ride.
Overall, I find myself thinking that I'm paddling more boat than I need when in small lakes, and less than I want in the ocean. Still, if you want one kayak that will work in many situations, the Journey isn't a bad choice.
Everything that the previous reviewers said I agree with, so I won't go into those details. Eddylines are made in the good ol' USA and are top quality. I haven't seen anything near the price that compares. In summary: try it, you'll like it. It's a kayak that you don't outgrow.
The fastrack foot pegs and easily adjustable from a seated position. The seat and backband are adjustable and very comfortable.the Journey has a large cockpit which makes it easy to get this 70 year old frame in and out. Both hatches offer ample room for a multi-day trip camping gear. I would give it a 10 but for the stern hatch cover - it is very difficult to close.
This is a very stable kayak (both primary and secondary) that can be handled by beginners but will satisfy experienced paddlers. It is wide (24"), but fast for that length, with excellent glide. Due to its shorter length it is more manageable than longer sea kayaks both in and out of the water, but it can go anywhere—ponds, lakes, sea—in just about any conditions. It is fully seaworthy. It leans well. It tracks well in calm water but is slightly skeg dependent in wind—but the skeg works well.
The cockpit will accommodate larger people in its length and width, but the area over the knees is a bit too low and confining, especially as the thigh braces angle down and have a sharp edge. I removed the braces and gained quite a bit of comfort.
My women's size 9.5 feet (= men's 8) fit nicely under the deck, but with not much room to spare, reflecting the low ends of the kayak. The seat did not work for me and I replaced it. The seat slides back unexpectedly if you push too hard on the foot pedals, and yet you can't adjust it fore and aft while sitting in the boat.
The hatch capacity appears limited due to the low ends, but in fact I was easily able to fit gear for a 3-day trip, and I'm pretty sure you could do a 7-day trip with lightweight backpacking-type equipment and careful planning of your food.
In spite of the above problems with the Journey, I am ultimately pretty happy with it. It is a big step above all the thermoformed competition under 16'— Delta, Hurricane, Swift — and worth the extra money. It's only real thermoformed competition is the 16' Delta. Eddyline remains first in thermoform, as they claim.
Raising the thigh/knee area by 1" and a new seat would make the Journey a perfect 10.