Most Recent Reviews
I cannot say that the transparent bags were defective, but the Baja bags are more durable, in my experience. I would give the clear bags an 8, but Cascade Design's customer service merits a solid 10, so let's average the two and give them a ranking of 9 overall.
Expensive boat with several unacceptable design problems. Back band offers no lumbar support…
- Back band offers no lumbar support. Paddling becomes painful in less than an hour.
- Add-on accessory back rest is made with a flimsy overly flexible piece of plastic that provides a bit more back support but makes use of neoprene spray skirt impossible.
- Hatch leaks in spite of repairs and inspection by the dealer.
- Hatch cover is held on by a pathetic, cheap piece of rubber that broke the first day the boat was put into the water.
- The two 7-ft linear channels molded into the underside of the hull make the boat difficult to turn in moving water, although it will spin readily in calm water. In shallow, rocky rivers such as most of ours in Texas, the channels hang up on most rocks when the boat is moving laterally to the current over rocks.
- Boat is very slow, and the bow plows when paddling hard.
ProTec makes a lot of helmets for various purposes, not just for kayaking, but I will not buy any of their other helmets for fear that they may use the same worthless glue in their other ones.
This is a followup to my previous review. I decided to…
I decided to contact Jackson Kayak about the problem I had with the Fun Float Bag. They responded immediately and sent me a new bag along with a container for me to send the broken product back to them for their inspection. I was very favorably impressed with Jackson's customer service!
On the negative side, however, the rigid plastic inflation tube into which one blows air to fill the bag is easily broken by routine use. The stiff tube broke off at its insertion point and pulled out of the bag, rendering the product useless. It seems to me that Jackson should redesign the Fun Float and use a flexible inflation tube which would not break off when the bag is inflated. I have tried in vain in the past to get Jackson Kayak to respond regarding product issues, so I didn't waste my time contacting them about this issue.
I give the Jackson Kayak Fun Float a 10 for the concept, but a 1 for durability. It is not cheap, and it should hold up much better than it does. It gets an overall rating of 4 from me.
The PETT toilet is lightweight, sturdy, compact, and easy to set up. It utilizes "WAG" (waste alleviation and gelling) Bags which can be legally and safely deposited in regular trash receptacles.
I have used my PETT system for four years on river trips involving as many as twelve people. If the WAG Bags have to be transported for more than a couple of days, you should bring a military rocket box or some other container that is absolutely airtight to transport the bags; otherwise, odors will almost certainly pass through the plastic bags. That is the only significant drawback that I have discovered.
Overall the PETT is more user-friendly than systems that have to be flushed out at dump stations. The PETT toilet and privacy tent are available at most river and camping retailers such as Northwest River Supplies, Campmor, and Cabelas. I found that prices vary a lot, so make comparisons before you buy.
Since that earlier review I have purchased another Fun 1, and we have two kayakers (5 and 9 years old) using the boats. The kids now have more than four "user years" of experience paddling these kayaks. We are completely satisfied with the original boat but not nearly so with the newer one. There has been a change in the design of the boat that leads me to lower my rating.
The more recent version of the Fun 1 has a redesigned seat back that is problematic. The manufacturer replaced the ratchet clasp on the seat back (which was an excellent design) with a cord-and-cleat arrangement. Every time our 5-year-old kayaker paddles the boat, the cords pull out of the cleat; this abruptly releases the seatback and allows it to slide rearward into a useless position. I am sure that the manufacturer believed that the new design would be an improvement since it does allow the paddler to quickly adjust the seatback. However, because the cord tends to release and slide back at inopportune times, it is a constant hassle and a safety issue. The older ratchet clasp design was clear1y superior, in my opinion.
The Fun 1 is still an excellent kayak for young kids; however, I would advise buyers to look for an older used boat that has the ratchet clasp on the seatback.
I would now give the Jackson Fun 1 kayak an 8.0 for the boat itself, but because I got a total cold shoulder from the company when I tried to address my concerns to them, I am lowering my rating by one additional point for poor customer service. I now give the Jackson Fun 1 an overall rating of 7.0.