Most Recent Reviews
-Ordered it and tried on along with other PFDs
-Did not like the kapok
-Found the vest to be like a winter parka
-much too warm for even a half day paddle
Fit was OK but not great
Lightweight and easy to adjust.
Pfd I reach for the most
Started paddling with an outfitter and bought a Pfd at West Marine. Was soon dissatisfied with lack of adjustments so bought a Kokotat Naiad thinking that would be better. Ended up feeling puffy and getting in my way. As kayaking skills improved, bought a red Eddyline Sitka LT.kayak. Ordered the red/black version of the Linda simply because it matched my kayak, thinking it would be OK for light duty days, but I wear it all the time! It is the lightest, and least warm vest. Keeps me from overheating when I am paddling hard. Cannot stand the kapok vests; prefer foam. Whether foam is soft/pliable or more rigid, what matters is fit/easy adjustments. I paddle with a waterproof camera, tissues for my runny nose (allergies) and a lip protectant stick in my vest as well as river knife, safety gear, etc. Pockets are ample and fit my gear. Would love to have the MsFit actually fit me as I do more and more sea kayaking, but the side pockets on my well endowed; short torso cause my paddle stroke to graze the vest. The best Pfd is the one you do not mind wearing and for me, this is it.
Others observed my "high angle" paddling style which seemed to me might go away when I finally bought a longer, narrower boat. My style didn't change so I changed the paddle. Went from Werner Kaliste low angle 220cm to Werner Shuna 210 cm with carbon shaft, fiberglass blades. Low angle paddles are supposed to be bought shorter-- you dig in closer to the sides. It weighs a few ounces more which I have not noticed at all as it is still a lighter paddle. (The carbon/foam version of the Shuna weighs only one ounce less and the mostly carbon Werner Cyprus-- also high angle-- weighs just 4.5 ounces less.) This is a great paddle that I use all the time. The blades come in bright colors-- in solids and blended ombre tones. I like the red blades for visibility if I roll out and the paddle ends in the water. (I still have the Kalliste on board for paddle float rescue.) It is nice to have the strength of the Shuna fiberglass blade for bracing-- and mishaps with oyster beds, rocks etc! I still have the Kalliste on board-- longer blade for paddle float rescue. 100 % happy with this paddle!
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.