The Sitka LT is a lightweight, high performing day touring kayak designed to fit the medium- to large-frame paddler. This fully outfitted seaworthy kayak has perimeter lines, bulkheads and hatches, a 6 inch forward day hatch for easy access of small items, retractable handles, deck bungees and an upgraded ergonomic Infinity Seat System with backrest (standard) or backband (optional).
Looked at at all the 13-15' Thermoform plastic, lightweight kayaks I could find to demo-- Delta, Current Designs Vision, Hurricane Sojourn,etc. I ordered the Sitka LT, 14'6" , 23.5" wide, which I could not find anywhere within driving distance of my home to even sit in, let alone demo. I was looking to keep it under 14.5'; less than 50 lbs.
My state, NJ, has a lot of shore line. Ocean bays are on the list of trips, plus estuarial rivers, interior rivers ,medium and small lakes. I am not a true "sea kayaker," but I like to take a "nature hike" on the water and mix it up with different venues. The closest boat to this one that I demoed was Delta 14, which I paddled against the boats an outfitter provided many times for me-- Old Town Castine 140 and 135 and various Wilderness Tsunamis.
I was looking for a boat to paddle consistently for skill building as the outfitter boats with higher decks and wider widths were not a good fit with my shorter arms and desire to improve. Did I develop that "high angle" paddling style for power? No! My short arms made it a necessity!
Approaching the boat like the Delta, I landed in the water first time I tried to sit in my Sitka LT. I laughed at myself then-- my "don't take it too seriously" approach to all kayak faux pas. I have to straddle and sit right down in the seat then tuck in legs due to "tippy" initial stability and sitting on the rear deck to slide in definitely does not work. Secondary stability of the shallow V shaped hull, however, is excellent. Edging; doing J leans and bracing; turning this kayak is a pleasure. It is faster, more nimble than Delta 14 and it has an easy sliding skeg that I prefer to a rudder. The boat tr t is a good, comfortable fit for an M/L person like me. Sitka XT (formerly Denali meant for the big and tall at 200 lb +) is too big overall. The Sitka LT (formerly Samba) is too small, lower deck and meant for someone around 130 lb or under. So "Goldilocks just right" Sitka LT for me. The deck height is 1/2" higher than Delta 14 and the keyhole cockpit is 1/2" wider and 1.2" longer than Delta but the shape is really the thing-- the long key part of the keyhole just works so I can pull my legs up for a "break" if I need it. Hip pads are on the sides of the seat and the thigh pads on the interior are not adjustable, but the seat adjustment takes care of that. (I plan to add some foam padding to the thigh pads, but in the same place.) There are no leg lifters because the very well made, padded seat angles up a bit, naturally giving thighs a boost.
I need to move the seat forward a little, but it looks to 5 6" me that there is plenty of length for a 6' or taller person to get a good fit. The cockpit shape is excellent for going straight or bracing for edges. The foot pads are a decent size and the adjustment mechanism is durable. Day touring is what I do most, but there is enough storage in the front and rear hatches to support a weekend or even a week long trip. Capacity is 350 lbs. My C tug cart with the larger diameter sand wheels; breaks down to fit inside the rear hatch with lots of room for more gear. The day hatch is handy right in front of the paddler about 6" wide 4" deep. As an Apple Watch (waterproof with it's own cellular) wearer, I do not keep my phone handy but others might like it for keys; phone. I use it for snacks and sun block. All hatches have stayed dry.
Claimed weight on the websites, including REI's, is 49 lbs; but the manufacturer's tag and their rep's demo videos say 47 lbs, which seems right to me when I lift it. Delta 14 claims 43 lbs but that does not include the necessary 4 lb rudder making these 2 boats the same weight. Delta 14 was my second favorite boat, and it holds a ridiculous amount of cargo, but is not as fast; has a more restrictive cockpit.
This is the most fun and fastest (under 16') kayak I have paddled to date! Bonus is "red pearl" with metallics in the paint, currently the only "pearl" color from Eddyline. When they loaded my car, the REI guys almost drooled over the "candy apple car paint" color. Build is beautiful; high quality, outfitting. Performance exceeds my expectations.
The Eddyline Sitka LT is the all new mid-size kayak introduced as part of the Sitka family. It accompanies the smaller Sitka ST (formerly known as Samba) and the larger Sitka XT (formerly known as Denali).
I purchased this boat with the intention of taking it out to large rivers and lakes in Oregon. At the same time, I wanted a sea-worthy boat that could be paddled in Puget Sound. The Sitka LT has not disappointed me yet!
If you're accustomed to wider boats such as I was, the Sitka LT will feel a bit "tippy" at first. But don't let that put you off as like with any new boat, you have to take some time to learn how it responds to you on the water. In my case, I felt completely at home on the Sitka LT after just a few hours of paddling. The chines while on edge feel very...defined. Like it's either "on or off". I'm not an advanced paddler but I have found that with some mild edging, the boat has an excellent turning radius. I have no problems maneuvering around and weaving through trees in the Tualatin River. This also feels like a fast boat for its category. Compared to other thermoformed and rotomolded kayaks I have recently paddled, this boat glides effortlessly through the water and can be brought up to speed with ease. You'll really just need to demo one to know what I'm talking about.
Tracking of this boat is also great. Point where you want to go and you're going there! I have also paddled through windy conditions where I found the adjustable skeg to be a useful component. Speaking of the skeg, I love how Eddyline incorporates their skeg control. It's a metal rod with a plastic nob sitting inside a recessed rectangle to your side. Sliding it all the way back fully deploys the skeg. Sliding it partially down allows you to feather the skeg.
The Sitka LT incorporates a day hatch located at the front of the cockpit. It's a bit small compared to a Delta front day hatch but it's more than enough space for my keys, wallet, phone, couple granola bars, and still with some room to spare for small items. I don't think if this was intentional or not, but the day hatch has a flat smooth surface with no logo on it. This makes it the perfect spot for a GoPro suction cup mount. I can even swivel the camera by rotating the day hatch left and right. Really love that because without it, I would have to figure out a new way to mount a camera while keeping it level.
It is excellent. It is sturdy but fast. I love it.