Most Recent Reviews
This stove will easily fit in a canoe and in most kayak hatches. I use it with propane. PROS: stable pot support, automatic Piezo ignition, easy setup, good flame adjustment, simmers well, comes with a case that you can use to wash and rinse dishes. Only con: it's a bit hard to fit the hose in the case but it can be done.
People who portage might find this stove too heavy (2.2 lbs with case not including fuel), but I like it much better than my backpacking stoves and better than my two-burner Coleman stove.
If you liked the original Helinox Cot One, you might like the Cot One convertible even better. Its main advantage is that you can use it for paddle camping (6.7" high) in a 2P or 3P tent and car camping with a 4P tent or larger with the extra leg set, which makes it 15" high. When you're paying this much for a cot you don't want to have to buy two cots for two uses. Problem solved with the Convertible! Like the original Cot One, the Convertible is lightweight, easy to assemble, comfortable, and the packed size is small. It fits 26" Exped mattresses very well (I recommend the Synmat 3D-7). The leg set (12 legs) is very small and weighs just 1 lb. The legs are easier to assemble (1 minute) and stronger than you might think---the cot is very stable with the legs.
I have to take one star off for the exorbitant price. This is a cot for the rich and the desperate for ultimate comfort. There are now Chinese knockoffs of the Cot One, but not of the Convertible. Your two best choices for a 15" cot that is reasonably lightweight are the Convertible and the Camptime Roll-a-Cot. The latter is 1/3 the price, just as comfortable, but weighs 10 lbs, takes longer to assemble, and is quite a bit larger when packed. Still, the Roll-a-Cot is a very good choice for car camping, possibly canoe camping at a stretch, without portages.
Some observations on stability
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.
I’ve owned 7 thermoformed kayaks from 5 different manufacturers. The Sojourn 135 is the keeper. Along with the Deltas, it is the most stable kayak I’ve ever paddled due to the large volume in the bow and stern which gives it buoyancy in waves. The hull shape and stability are very similar to Delta’s and the opposite of Eddyline’s very low bow and stern. This translates to a safe, dry ride even for less skilled paddlers as the kayak naturally wants to remain upright in side waves and wind. Despite its stability, the Sojourn 135 has very reasonable speed and excellent maneuverability, making lean turns in a small radius. Tracking is perfect and no rudder is needed. This kayak is suitable for everything from twisting and turning marshes to large lakes and protected coastal waters. (It’s not suitable for white water, but that’s true of all thermoformed kayaks, and you do need to be careful with all thermoformed kayaks in very cold air and water temperatures.)
This is a great touring kayak. The large volume in the bow and stern makes for easy packing. I can even bring a Helinox cot, chair, and table––camping comfort doesn’t get any better.
The seat is quite good with real thigh support and a stable seat back that adjusts easily up and down. For me the padding is a bit hard and I added a cushion under the seat cover, which can be lifted up at the front.
The one drawback of the Sojourn is that the bottom is a bit thin, which accounts for its lower price compared to its competitors, the Eddyline Equinox ($500 more) and the Delta 14 ($700 more). But the Sojourn 135 has better stability and speed than the Eddyline and a more comfortable cockpit than the Delta. Its beauty is on par with both. For the first time, Hurricane is offering a well-designed product that has advantages over the thermoformed competition. With the Sojourn series it becomes hard to justify the higher price of the competitors. And the Sojourn is only a couple hundred dollars more than a rotomolded kayak, but weighs 10 lbs less.
Hurricane’s customer service is top notch. They are very responsive to questions and problems.
I gave up a 15.5’ thermoformed kayak for the shorter, lighter Sojourn and have been very happy with that exchange. I lost nothing in speed and gained a tremendous amount of stability, maneuverability, much more volume for camping gear, more comfort, and easier loading and storage.
ACTUAL MEASURED SPECS Depth, floor to underside of coaming, at front of cockpit: 13” Cockpit, internal dimensions: 16.5 x 34 (dimensions at website are external) Weight: 43 lbs on my scale; 45 lbs published"
You can put this together in about three minutes and take it apart and stowe in one minute. It has a very taught surface. It easily holds my weight and feels sturdy when I turn over.
I wish it were higher than 6". The taller Helinox cots have gotten absurdly expensive so I drew the line at the Cot One. You need a mattress with all cots. I've used the REI Campbed 3.5 and the Exped Synmat 7 with this cot. Both are great.
I give this cot a 10 in all ways except price, but if you camp a lot you won't regret buying it.
This bag is NOT waterproof, but I find it much more useful than a waterproof dry bag. The material has a water resistant coating and is very rugged.
The small version of this bag measures 18.5"L x 10"W x 7.5"H. In the main compartment I can fit a small dry case (wallet, camera, binoculars), rain coat, lunch, gloves, a book, water bottle, etc---basically everything I need for a day on the water. There are three large exterior pockets and several smaller pockets, including a map case inside the lid.
The zippers and zipper tabs are heavy duty and work very well. The bottom isn't waterproof but it has four rubber feet to keep the bag out of any small amount of water in the bottom of your kayak or canoe.
For security I run a line from the bag to a carabiner clip on the deck so the bag doesn't get lost if I overturn.
This would also make a great general camping or canoe gear bag. Should cost you about $35 at Cabelas.
PROS Large, comfortable Accurately rated! This WILL keep you warm at 20…
Accurately rated! This WILL keep you warm at 20 degrees.
Material has a soft, luxurious feel
None! Really, this sleeping bag is perfect in every way. It is light enough and packs up small enough for paddle camping.
I think this is THE best mattress on the market for paddle camping, bar none. It offers unbeatable comfort in a weight and packed size that are perfectly acceptable for a canoe or kayak. The LXW fits easily in my kayak hatch but I've ordered the narrower MW to use on the Helinox Cot One.
When I say the comfort is unbeatable, I mean I slept on it for 6 months at home and was very comfortable. It's a whopping 4.7" thick. The only way to get that much thickness in an air mattress is something like an Intex. So why would you spend four times the price on the Exped Synmat Mega 12? BECAUSE IT'S INSULATED. You can use this in the winter. It's rated to minus 4.
What makes the comfort besides the thickness: the large tubes that you barely feel, larger exterior tubes to keep you on the mattress, box sides, and soft material.
The overall best paddle camping mattress is the Synmat Mega 12 MW. Check these specs:
24 x 73 | 2lbs 8 oz | Packed size 6 x 11
Unless you're counting grams because you do long portages, this is a great size and weight for so much comfort. If you're a larger person, get the LXW---it's only a bit larger packed size.
Expensive, yes. Well worth the price if you camp a lot and value sleeping comfort. I own three Expeds and a fourth is on the way. I've never had a single quality problem and I've slept on these mattresses literally hundreds of nights.
Very light, easy to assemble, fairly comfortable.
The back is somewhat narrow and tight in the rib area.
The feet sink into the ground pretty badly.
To remedy the second problem Helinox came out with a set of feet and a ground mat. Both of them add $25 to the price of an already very expensive chair. I use wiffle balls on the legs, works fine but the balls don't fit in the bag.
Excellent addition to a paddle camping trip or day trip. Pair it with the Helinox Table One for ultimate camping comfort.
I use one of the recessed holders for a water bottle and the other one for small items (glasses etc.).
Light, small, sturdy, assembles in a jiffy. I wouldn't put a stove on it.