Most Recent Reviews
It is a bit pricey but, I've looked at several different options and this seems to be the best value for my needs. With the ability to suspend the messaging service on a monthly basis and to customize the level of messaging and tracking the annual subscription cost is very manageable. I can use the device as a GPS without activating and paying for the messaging service for paddles where cell service is legitimate, or I can activate the messaging subscription when I expect to be paddling in remote locations. The fact that the basic safety plan allows the sending of an unlimited number of the 3 messages I can pre-define allows me to provide quick updates to friends or family so they know I'm safe and can follow my progress while I'm on longer trips.
I have only used this while practicing, but I found it to be easy to use, and provides excellent support. The float easily slipped over the paddle blade when deflated and inflated with not much effort. I didn't make sure the valves were closed before the start of the session so it did get a fair amount of water in it during the several flips practicing other rescue techniques before practicing the self-rescues, even so, it still worked easily enough. I do consider myself a strong and confident swimmer and the water was a warm, calm lake so real world self-rescue situation is likely to add some difficulties, but the buckles and valves worked easily enough under those conditions and I'm confident will be serviceable enough under real conditions.
It has kept me dry when hit with heavy splash across the bow. I have not gone "swimming" in this but as far as keeping icy splash off you it does what it says. It can get steamy inside when the air is warmer and the sun comes out, but it does seem to a do a good job breathing and opening the neck definitely helps. I'm 6 foot and weigh between 170 and 180, the XL fits well with room for a couple of layers underneath.
I have not had to deal with wet pants while wearing these. I have not gone swimming while wearing these, but have taken several waves into the cockpit and been sitting in the puddle that was my seat for a couple of hours and still had a dry butt at the end of the paddle. I'm 6 foot even and weigh between 170 and 180 and have a 34 inch inseam, the XL fits me well with room for a couple of layers underneath.
I am fairly new to paddling, having only paddled low-end recreational kayaks before I cannot compare this boat to anything else. When I went to purchase this boat I was looking for something that I would be able to use on larger water than what I could confidently or easily paddle in my recreational boat, would have room for overnight trips and still work on the smaller rivers around me. I was also hoping to find a boat that I can advance my paddling skills in. So far I'm very pleased with this boat. at 6 foot, 170 lbs, a 34 inch inseam, and a size men's 11 foot this boat fits me very comfortably and allows me to achieve a very firm fit. I sat in several other boats in the same size range but this one felt the most comfortable for me. I was able to test paddle one at the mouth of one of the rivers feeding the Chesapeake Bay and fell in love with the boat. Since my purchase at the end of July I've had it on several of the lakes around me and on one of the smaller rivers and am very pleased with this boat's handling and feel, it also handles the winds on the lakes nicely. I am very excited to get this boat back onto the rivers after their levels come back up to recommended paddling height.