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Critter Reviews


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Wilderness Systems
Critter Reviews

Read reviews for the Critter by Wilderness Systems 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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There is NOTHING I can say…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/28/2019

There is NOTHING I can say bad about this craft! Had mine for 15yrs now. It's still bright, shiny, with just normal scratches. I did by an padded seat cover for it as it didn't come with one but I don't think many kayaks came with padded seats way back then. I have introduced and got people "hooked" just by a 45min drip down the Smith river into the Dan river......everyone loves the "orange one"!!! I'd like to know what is the closest to it as far as kayaks made today? Anyway, get u a used Critter and have a blast! Come down to the lil land of 3 rivers.


I bought my Critter used and…

Submitted by: paddler237175 on 10/21/2016
I bought my Critter used and I love it I use it for my logjammin adventures on remote rivers and creeks in the Adirondacks it's dry stable and tracks well you can get in and out easily cause of the large cockpit it's low for sliding under downed trees and light enough to push or drag over them for my needs it's perfect only con it didn't come with a drain plug.

Kinda surprised by all the…

Submitted by: paddler235759 on 7/20/2014
Kinda surprised by all the positive reviews. I bought my Critter second-hand, but as best I can tell this kayak is not made anymore. And it's probably just as well.

The good thing about this kayak is that it is roomy and stable, with a good, comfortable seat and lots of storage both front and aft. I've found it to be a nice kayak for paddling around on small, local lakes. If you have to negotiate a stream, however, forget it. It tracks poorly, hangs on seemingly every rock, and you will expends LOTS of energy paddling through those long, still stretches of water. Just yesterday, I did a 17-mile trip with a friend of mine and it fought me every step of the way. I really wish we could have traded boats about halfway through the trip.

If you want to use your kayak for something other than lake fishing, I suggest you get something with a keel.


I bought this kayak used as a…

Submitted by: Andy_Berry on 7/30/2013
I bought this kayak used as a rental over ten years ago and I cannot say enough good about it. It is incredibly stable (I could probably stand up in it), tracks incredibly well for a short kayak (it has a molded double keel), is very light (only 38 pounds even in ABS plastic), and beyond tough (I have dropped this thing off my car more times than I can count, rammed it over hundreds of beaver dams, and drag it over rocks with reckless abandon.)

I love this kayak and wish it was still made because I'd by another one in a heart beat.


Extremely stable. Tracks…

Submitted by: DavidMurphy on 4/28/2011
Extremely stable. Tracks well. Able to go in and out of tight spaces such as coves and inlets. Paddles fast when you want to. Light and easy to carry. I have even rigged up a 30 pound thrust electric motor.

I have had the Critter for…

Submitted by: paddler233252 on 7/23/2009
I have had the Critter for several years now (6?) and it is as good as the day I bought it. I typically run it in the ocean (I live on Cape Cod) or down the Bass River in Yarmouth (also on the Cape) and catch a lot of boat wake and this little Critter holds tough. I have a medical issue that prevents me from lifting heavy objects...even though this is heavier than I am supposed to lift, I manage easily enough.

The Critter was my families…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/26/2008
The Critter was my families first kayak. Because of its small size, we have progressed to the point where we are touring small fishing streams. We can easily maneuver under and, at times, pull over logs. We are able to view wildlife in places others can't reach. The Critter also has generous room fore and aft for food and drink.

We like the low ride height. Because of this, with a specially designed plywood rack we are able to fit our 3 kayaks in the back of a small pickup truck.

This little kayak has introduced many of our friends to kayaking too. We have 4 Critters/Blast and have not looked back or wanted anything else. Our touring is generally limited to 3-5 hours or half day trips.

The only modifications we made were for comfort and safety. We added seat pads and recovery ropes, (a lesson we learned on a fast stream where we almost lost the craft.) We started Kayaking 5 years ago. I was 10. Now I developed a technique where, because of the flat bottom, I can slide down steep banks and gain entry into ponds that don't have "perfect" entry points.

This little kayak really helped us enjoy the nature in our backyard we took for granted.


I love this little kayak. I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/11/2005
I love this little kayak. I bought two, one for me and one for my 9 year old at the time. We have had them three years. We go on lakes and rivers and creeks. Pretty easy to maneuver. I like to go on the local lake at night when its windy and the chop is about 12" or so. With a spray skirt and paddling jacket it is a real adventure. Anyway, the kayak is very stable. My son can put it on its side almost 90 degrees and hold it there with a brace. We have been over in them many times just for the fun of getting wet and doing exits. Of course, there is no storage and the foam is less than adequate to keep it afloat if it is filled with water upside down. So you have to add a little bigger foam. Have fun, they have served us well.

I love how well it handles…

Submitted by: paddler230648 on 6/25/2004
I love how well it handles and how easy it is to load. (only 41 lbs). The salesmen told me it was designed for women, children and beginners. So I bought it for my wife. She loves it too. we call it the rubber duck. It is big enough she can put our dog in it. He likes kayaking also.

I have a Big Critter by…

Submitted by: fixit on 6/22/2004
I have a Big Critter by Wilderness Systems and it is the best for all kinds of water . this is my first kayak and when i tryed it out I feel in love with it . I take it on rivers and back water and yes in the gulf . It is stable and very tough .made of the thick plastic. I did the wet exit and the first time it worked ..I feel safe and would love to see each first timer learn in one, stay safe

I own four wilderness systems…

Submitted by: paddler230569 on 5/18/2004
I own four wilderness systems kayaks. Two sea kayaks, a Pungo, and a Critter. I like them all but for everyday use on small rivers, lakes, and sounds, the Critter is perfect. Light, tough, roomy, stable. My favorite kayaking is on a local river with lots of rocky shallows to negotiate and, for this, the Critter is an absolute joy. It will spin on a dime and keep me dry during those occasional times when I inadvertently try to negotiate a rapid sideways. It fell out of the back of my pickup truck yesterday and slid out into the middle of an intersection. I just stopped, picked it up, threw it back in the truck, and kept going. Great little boat!

The reason I rate this boat…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/9/2004
The reason I rate this boat so highly is that it performs its specific function so perfectly. It is very stable, very roomy and comfortable to ride. It is also light and can be easily carried by hand from the car down to the waterfront. Its slowness and sluggishness are the price one pays for a small wide boat, but it tracks well enough where you don't have to wear yourself out against moderate wind and current.

I purchased the Critter for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/14/2003
I purchased the Critter for my college graduation. Kind of a reward to myself. I had never used a kayak before this, but I did have a lot of canoe experience. I was a little worried about stability and tracking issues before my "initial" launch. I have to tell you, I was amazed at the ease and stability of this kayak! I believe itto be much more stable than my Alumacraft canoe. I even began feeling a little brave and started to challenge the river by taking "shortcuts" through all the tree "snags". It slid easily over limbs a few inches under water. (Kansas has mud water, visibility less than 1mm) I never felt as if it would dump me or even kick me out! I did manage to dump it when I got between the current and a tree snag, but it was easy to bail out of and get downstream. This is a very forgiving Kayak. Dumping the water from the kayak was a chore so I recommend a bilge pump of some kind. Tracking is so-so. It is easy to get headed in the wrong direction with one sweep of the paddle, leading to overcorrection to the other direction, and back and forth. With practice it is easy to overcome. I purchased a Pelican spray skirt about 1 hour before an overnight 25 mile river trip. Saturday went with no excitement, but Sunday we got trapped in a severe thunderstorm (KS is known for them), with 30mph wind and 40-50 mph wind gusts (estimated), lightning, thunder and even some pea size hail. Rain was heavy limiting visibility to less than 50 ft!! We stopped when it began to hail and used our kayaks for cover. With a quick look on the GPS we discovered we where within 5 miles of our destination. So we put back in and set an insane pace for our destination. Without our spray skirt we would've been in trouble, probably would've spent half the time bailing, and half the time paddling. Wind was not much problem, except when heading into it. It didn't affect tracking all that badly when paddling horizontally with the wind. Waves were around 8-10 inches but never really swamped the cockpit. The boat did cut through the waves nicely, making me feel very comfortable, and with only minimal overlap of the bow. I recommend this kayak to who ever wants a kayak for any reason, experienced or beginner it is a fun little boat. Size is conservative making overnight trips a challenge for overpackers! We're planning a 3 day 2 night trip to the Jacks Fork in MO. It will be a challenge, packing wise and we'll see how it goes. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, I'd be happy to answer any that I could.

I purchased 2 critters for my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/20/2002
I purchased 2 critters for my family to use, wife an 2 childern son 13 an daughter 7 an yes it will be a few years before she can go alone.i did get a chance to try the critter out frist an i did like some other kayaks that i tried but i bought 2 demo's at a nice price.I paid $450.00 for both.Plus these will become the kids kayaks in time.i live 5 min from a lake so they'll get alot of use.i'll say my kids are part fish, they spend all summer in the lake.I purchased the critters in mid sept an have had them out approx 20 different times. in different conditions. they are very stable boats you almost have to try an tip these over it is that tracks very well with its built in keel beams.i've had it on slow moving rivers an it was very nice but the currents did pull it there way a few times but still did very well. even hitting a few rocks it just went over them very didnt feel as tho it was going to dump me over.i had it out on my lake on a windy day an it didnt do as well, as to be expected. but i did get where i wanted to go. i had to come across one other time at about 45 degrees against the waves that where about 10-12" high. this did get interseting. i did get a little wet an was a little concerned when a few waves seemed to get close to top of cockpit. i have since bought a spray skirt but havent had a chance to try it.I will be looking for a better boat for my wife an i but do not regret buying the critter i'll still use them offen if i can get them from the kids.My wife likes the critters stabilty as well.I built a portage carrier to take them to the lake it works great even going offer tree roots.