A question we hear often is “which Sea Eagle Kayak is best for me?” You may be interested in our educated opinion of our 5 Sea Eagle kayak models ranked from 1 to 5 with 1 being the best and 5 our least favorite. You can balance our opinions against reviews found on our website, on Sea Eagle’s website, and You Tube Videos. You can find hundreds of positive testimonials on the internet along with just a few grumps.
Here is Tim’s Insane Ranking of our five available kayak models. I gave a 1 thru 10 points to each inflatable kayak for each of the following: stability, tracking, safety, exit and entry, speed, versatility, weight, car-topping ability, speed from trunk to water, trouble free, build quality, and lastly price. The insanity is that our rankings also heavily weighted the quality of the material the kayak is constructed from and gave very little weight to price. So the final ranking placed the three Sea Eagle Premium kayaks 1, 2, and 3 while the 2 Value kayaks finished 4 and 5. Bear in mind that the points earned by the pricing of the Value Group was quickly overcome by the quality of the Sea Eagle Premium kayaks which leads me to my bit of hard earned advice.
First Tim’s Tip: Our Value Group Sport Kayaks are worthy kayaks for low budget kayak’ers but contrary to popular belief the 370 and 330 Sport Kayaks are NOT the best choice for Beginners! It is far easier to learn to paddle in the most stable equipment available. In the case of Sea Eagle that would be our number 1, 2, or 3 premium level kayaks. The same holds true for those who plan on only using their kayaks sparingly. When it’s time to pull the kayak out of storage it’s nice to look forward to the most stable, and safest kayak money can buy.
Sea Eagle Kayaks are divided into two price and quality groups
Sea Eagle Value Group…Sea Eagle calls their affordable recreational level kayaks the Sea Eagle 330 and 370 Sport Kayaks. Sport kayaks are low pressure kayaks constructed of 33 mill fabric marine grade vinyl, in the case of the 330 Sport Kayaks, and 38 mill marine grade vinyl in the top selling 370 Sport Kayaks. Sea Eagle calls this heavy marine grade vinyl PolyKrylor. PolyKrylor is the industries thickest and toughest vinyl and is designed to hold up to the rocks, shells, tree limbs and other abuses found by recreational kayakers in and along most rivers and streams. Prices for these low pressure kayak start at $209. The Sea Eagle 370 Pro Kayak is our top selling kayak mainly due to price and acceptable performance and very strong customer reviews.
Sea Eagle Premium Kayaks. The blue ribbon of IK’s (Inflatable Kayaks).
Sea Eagle’s premium kayaks are the Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 and 465, the Sea Eagle Explorer 300, 380, and 420, and the Sea Eagle PaddleSki 435. All three models are constructed of 1000 denier supported fabric PVC. Whereas the Value Group Sport Kayaks are low pressure (think beach ball) while the Premium Level Kayaks are high pressure kayaks and are nearly rigid (think football). Observers often take our FastTrack 385 to be a hard kayak. This line of blue-ribbon kayaks are our safest, most stable, driest, and best tracking kayaks. Each of these three kayaks have advantages and large fan base. The FastTrack 385 is second only to the Sea Eagle 370 in sales in spite of a cost three times higher than the 370. The newly designed Sea Eagle 385 is faster than many hard kayaks yet has better tracking and more, much more stability. Sea Eagle premium kayaks start at $899.
Now for Tim’s Insane Rankings
1. The FastTrack is our top selling and our top pick! The catchy name and leading edge design keeps FastTrack sales humming. Justifiably! This runaway number one and, with the new 2015 redesigned FastTrack, the lead between one and two is widening. Sales of FastTracks are almost as strong as the much cheaper 370. The FastTrack tracks like it’s on rails and paddles into the wind with little reduction in speed. The newest design change result’s in a quick turning kayak that’s light as a feather. The FastTrack is great for experienced kayakers who want to keep up with their hard kayak friends…and then pass them! This is also the very best choice for beginners due to its rock solid stability and easy entry. Primarily a flat water kayak the FastTrack can handle moving water up to class three and now has a motor-mount. This is an all-around kayak and is also available with a nifty fishing module for solo fishing. The 15 foot 465 FastTrack has all the attributes of the shorter 385 but can seat three paddlers comfortably. The 465 is our only kayak that really seats three without risk of paddling interference by the other paddlers.
A. All Sea Eagle premium kayaks (FastTrack, Explorer, and PaddleSki) boast supported fabric construction and are nearly rigid. The bullet-proof PVC FastTrack and Explorer also have removable rigid drop stitch air floors which allow you to enter and exit with ease and even stand-up in motion and take advantage of one of the fastest growing paddle sports SUP paddling or Stand-Up-Paddling.
B. We use and recommend the Deluxe Option Group in any of the 1, 2, and 3 rated premium FastTrack, Explorer, or PaddleSki kayaks. You will have the most comfortable, driest, and easiest rigging inflatable Deluxe Kayaks Seats and save money to boot!
2. Number two would be the Newly Designed Explorer. The workhorse Explorer actually shines in Class IV technical whitewater paddling yet still is a very good flat-water kayak because of the slide-in slide-out skeg. The Explorer is also less expensive and roomier and with much bigger tubes makes a drier kayak than the #1 FastTrack and thus is better choice for those with dogs and kids as passengers. Paddlers over 250 pounds would be wise to make The Sea Eagle Explorer kayak your number one choice! The 420 Explorer is a tough kayak with enough room for family on nearby lakes and rivers or on long kayaking expeditions. Take the 420 on camping trips or use it to haul that moose out of the outback.
3. The PaddleSki 435 is number three and is our personal favorite for over 15 years. We enjoy the sit on top design, and stability of the PaddleSki and the versatility of adding a sail or motor to the PaddleSki’s stable platform. Longer and heavier than numbers 1 and 2 this outpoints all of our kayaks for stability which is saying something. PaddleSki’s have a cult following and I’ll always have one in my garage…right next to my new FastTrack.
Last Tip: I’ve often told kayak prospects that you could put the FastTrack, Explorer, and PaddleSki names in a hat and blind draw a name and you would happy as a clam with your choice! They’re all that good. Now here are numbers 4 and 5.
4. The 370 Sport Kayak is the best of the 330/370 Sport Kayaks for one or two paddlers. The 370 is roomy and has a far better glide ration than the 330 which tends to wander if you’re not paying attention. Always choose the 330 or 370 Pro Package so you get the most comfortable seats. A day on the water with uncomfortable seats can be miserable. The 370 is a great choice when you absolutely want a kayak but budget doesn’t allow for a FastTrack. This entry level recreational level kayak has the comfort, durability, and tracking of kayaks costing much more.
5. The 330 Sport Kayak is really only big enough for one and half paddlers and share all the attributes of big brother 370…except for tracking. Short kayaks like the 11’ Sea Eagle 330 can turn on a dime so short quick jabbing paddle strokes keep the bow going straight. We sell this as a Solo Package and, yes there’s room for a dog. You can take a dog in any of our 5 kayaks without worrying about punctures.
That’s how we see it…Happy Paddling…Tim and Crystal