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Name: jweier111

Most Recent Reviews

I picked this boat up in the used market with a specific use in mind. Running the Class I-III creeks around where I live in southern Wisconsin. I usually paddle an old Sealution XL for flat water touring. Which someone on here aptly referred to as “an aircraft carrier”. The Crossover by comparison is less a corvette and more an F150 with a snow plow. It is literally a blunt instrument to pound through poorly kept water ways. The blunt “v” shaped nose creates a lot of drag. Which honestly, transitioning from flat water paddling to faster current I don’t find to be an all together bad thing. Tracking on flat water isn’t terrible. I would say it’s a few steps up from your average rec kayak. It turns quickly, but not as uncontrollably fast as something like the Dagger Crossfire (my previous short boat). It does edge reasonably well and has better than average primary stability. There is no rear bulkhead in the aft compartment. Which I found odd as our other Dagger boats have some of the better bulkheads for rotomolded kayaks. There is plenty of legroom for bigger paddlers. Overall I really like this kayak. I wouldn’t want it as my only option for flat water. But for creeks that have long stretches of flats between moderate whitewater segments it seems ideal.

We've been using this system for 6 years now for paddling and backpacking. It's held up incredibly well. Adding the carbon element is pretty much a requirement for good tasting water out on the river's in Wisconsin. The Dirty bag can be a bit of a trick to learn to fill in shallow water. The best bet is to hold the mouth of the bag open with your fingers and "sweep" the bag several times through the water until it is full. Keep the back flush syringe with you as water with a lot of algae can slow things down quickly. Overall we've been really happy with the filter system and the weight it saves. Our most recent trip I filtered about 20L of water with it over three days.

I've had the Smart Track system on my Wilderness Systems Sealution XL through out most of the 2020 season. I purchased most of the components from Olympic Outdoor Center in Port Gamble, WA. The tubing I purchased through Chesapeake Light Craft. I installed the system myself in a bout 2 hours. My kayak required adding the "standard" stainless steel mount. The install went fairly smoothly, though I had to look up a few videos on youtube. The included instructions are very sparse. The peddles work very well and I haven't had the issues others have mentioned with failures (yet). The only thing I'm not thrilled with is that the rudder return line tends to bind if pulled up all the way to the vertical "stowed position". The spring will not drop the rudder from this position as the knot in the line that connects to the rudder gets stuck between the metal housing of the system. It's not a big deal as the rudder can be slightly deployed before putting in. The design does have a slight disadvantage n that it's very exposed on the back of the kayak. Depending on where you are putting in or taking out it's very easy for the assembly to run into rocks and get damaged. The cool wedge blocks are an interesting setup for adjusting tension on the rudder lines. However they tend to fall out of adjustment quickly during transport. And it seems as tough I have to tighten them every time we go out on the water. Overall I'm very pleased with how much the SmartTrack improved the tracking of the Sealution XL. Most of the components are durable and work as advertised. The only draw backs are the relatively finicky cool rudder wedge setup and the amount of moving parts protruding aft in a vulnerable spot.

If you are looking for the older Sealline See model they are no longer branded by that name. In 2020 they are currently made as the Baja View. I got my first SealLine bags in 1997 before a trip to Philmont. 23 years later I'm still using the same bags. Yes the black rubber area at the fold seam tends to crack a little over time. Contrary to what some reviewers think, this does not affect performance (keeping things dry) in the least. Over the years I've purchased other drybags and still keep coming back to the SealLine bags. Though I've lost a few of them, I've never had one fail (knock on wood) or puncture. I have several of the newer Baja View bags and can confirm that they are every bit as good as the older See version.

I've had this PFD since the beginning of the 2020 season. So far this year we've been out 2-3 times a week, primarily with touring kayaks. I purchased mine new from Outdoor Gear Exchange for $56. The construction is excellent, and the materials are also high quality. As another review stated, if you have a short torso it tends to ride up or down pretty easily. It's not terrible, but I do find myself adjusting the PFD back down occasionally while paddling. Otherwise it is very comfortable. Actual in the water performance. I've had to make 3 emergency wet exits this year. Two while wearing this PFD (wet exit number one is why I got it in the first place). In both cases the XX sized PFD supported my 220lb frame with out much effort on my part. I'm PADI advanced open water certified. And I didn't notice myself needing to make any extra effort to maintain buoyancy at the surface while wearing the PFD. The most recent wet exit was this past weekend. I was overturned in a current eddy under a railroad bridge and wasn't able to make a return roll or self rescue. I was stuck in the current flow like a merry-go-round for about 3 minutes. The Vapor provided enough buoyancy for me to right the 18ft kayak (with about 150lbs of gear and water in in it) while I was waiting to get in a position where I could swim out of the current. The PFD kept me above water the hole time despite a noticeable undertoe. Most importantly I didn't waste a lot of energy keeping my head and arms above water. To me a PFD is measured by comfort and how well it preforms in the worst type of situation. The NRS Vapor does great on both. If it weren't for the slight tendency to ride up while paddling, this would be a 5 star review.

I just picked these up recently. My wife has had a pair of Sea to Summit Ultra Flex booties for the last few seasons. I've cycled through three different options over this season before deciding to bite the bullet and purchase a pair of dedicated water shoes. They were half off direct from Sea to Summit. Construction seems good, though some of the contact glue seams are somewhat obvious. I'm a little concerned about the joint at the Velcro strap. The toe box has what I can only describe as a "ninja" toe. The big toe is shifted slightly away from the others. I don't mind this, but I know other people really don't like it. There isn't much texture on the sole for traction, but the rubber does grip well on wet stone surfaces. I'm not too sure how well it will grip in mud or wet wood. Overall they are comfortable and seem to be constructed as well the Ultra Flex booties models. My only real complaint if there is one is that dark gray version wasn't available in my size. I'm not a huge fan of the 80's neon colors (blue or green) that StS offers.

With the COVID 19 situation we've spent much of this summer paddling. I've upgraded all three of our kayaks over the last few months. The Wilderness Systems Sealution XL (plastic) is the boat I picked up for myself second hand. Pros: -Roomy cockpit for a bigger guy (5'8" 220lbs) -Primary stability is OK, not great. -Lots of room -Very durable in it's plastic form -Fairly fast for such a heavy boat -Not the easiest to add a rudder Cons: -Poor secondary stability -Difficult to "edge" due to poor secondary stability -Tracking is poor without a rudder -Tends to weathercock in even a slight breeze -Heavy, takes a lot of effort to turn sharply I haven't had this kayak long, but for the last several months I've had it out 2-3 times a week or more. Primary stability isn't as good as I'd hoped. Secondary stability is almost non-existent. Maybe it's just my body shape (or the kayaks), but once I'm past a certain point the kayak is tipping over, not edging. Unfortunately this affects how well the kayak handles in general as edging can only be done with a minor bit of roll on the kayak. Consequently maneuvering with this boat requires quite a bit of effort. We ran a narrow creek with a lot of obstacles just a few weeks ago. Not an easy task with a boat this size, but even more difficult to navigate with a boat so slow to respond. Tracking is also poor. Staying in a straight line on open water without a rudder is frustrating. I've tried various different paddling techniques to keep it straight and none had much affect. The bow tends to wander substantially in any sort of wind. I did choose to add a Smart Trac rudder setup and that has helped immensely with the tracking trouble. It's improved the maneuverability some as well. However mounting the rudder required an additional adapter (Standard mount bent to fit), and the "Tandem" length rudder. I'll do a separate review of the rudder setup. Now the one thing I do really like about this kayak is the durability. The rivers we run can dole out some punishment and this old boat has handled it well. When I have had to get the boat to move in a in a hurry it does respond well. It's not a speed demon by any stretch but it does move quite well in a straight line (with the rudder down) with a little effort. Overall I'm happy with this kayak for now. Though the experience with this boat has made it clear that I'll need to be upgrading again soon

This was the second boat we picked up this summer. We've been upgrading our little fleet of rec boats to touring kayaks over the last few months. Obviously this is an older boat we bought second hand. But for anyone else considering the same, here are my observations: Pros: -Great primary stability -Good secondary stability -Tracks very well -Very well made bulkheads Cons: -Hatches aren't very durable against UV damage and replacements are expensive -Cockpit is a little cramped but not bad for a mid sized paddler -Hull is more prone to oil canning than the other roto-moled boats we currently have, but doesn't seem to affect tracking much. This boat is primarily used by my wife. But I have to say I really like it too. It tracks extremely well even in wind. It turns quite well for such a long hull. Primary stability is good and it seems to take far less effort to hold steady when getting in and out than the kayak I primarily paddle. The hull does seem to deform easily when placed on a kayak rack if exposed to heat. This hasn't affected tracking much (or speed) but it is a bit of an inconvenience (the kayak can't be left on a car for long). Overall we're very satisfied with this kayak.