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
I own a 380X that was made 4 years ago. I want to buy a new 380X and give the old one to the Boy Scouts. What are the differences in specs.. Length, width, weight, and etc. of the new one to older version? How different are they?
Thanks for your question! The 380 Explorer has transformed itself over the last few years without changing any of the specs other than weight. Weight reductions of 15% were brought about with reduction in materials in non-critical areas while still maintaining strength and durability. Recently Sea Eagle once again redesigned the Explorer to include 16 drain valves which increase self draining by 400%. Slide in skegs are now improved and standard. 4 additional carry handles each with 2-Rings were added. The carry handles also provide attachment points for optional motor-mounts and Neil Pride Sail Rigs. All in all the new Explorer is a brand new creation even down to improved more modern blue graphics.
So to ahead and give cheerfully. The Scouts will love you for it!
I am 6’2″ and 205 pounds. Would I be more comfortable with the deluxe or pro seats in a new Fastrack?
Hi Al…Thanks for your question!
We discuss seat choices in this blog entry: http://inflatableboats4less.com/orderyournewpremiumkayak/
We have only run into one occasion in the last ten years that a Tall Back Seat made sense and that was due to a genetic eating disorder that left this customer pear shaped. Go with the Deluxe Kayak Seat.
Trying to decide between 380x or 385 fast track
Older larger couple, 230 lbs + 210lb , maybe a grand kid in at times
flat water recreational,lake slow river leads me to gastric
our sixe and weight suggest explorer
which model do yu think we will happier with long term? thanks
The narrow side chambers of the FastTrack 385 lend themselves to speed at the expense of stability for larger paddlers. Particularly larger paddlers in the bow position. You will love the big-tubed 380 Explorer.
How is Fasttrack safer than the 330 and 370?
Would you feel safer in a kayak constructed of stretchable thin beach ball material (330/370) or a kayak constructed from rigid bulletproof football material(FastTrack, Explorer, PaddleSki)?
Thank you for your response. The 330 and 370 are touted as safe. Should this not be trusted? Could it deflate out of the ocean if I hit a rock?
Well Hi Agsin Jeremy….this thread seems to be at a dead end. You asked which was safer. The FastTrack or the 330/370. Both are safe and stable. On a scale of 1-10 the FastTrack is a 10 and the 370 is a 7 and a 370 is an 8. So to review. Which kayak is safer? Once again it’s the FastTrack. Any of the three can be trusted and none are likely to sink. Only this thread is sinking. Bye.
Still confused if 380 or 385.
Will be using it in salt water- open water- all condition in the sea/ocean.
Mostly for fishing,snorkeling.
Which is most durable between the two?
Will be shipping and using it in asia pacific- philippines.
Hi Arnhol…the Sea Eagle 380 is tougher and less complicated and will outlive the 385 in conditions you describe. The Sea Eagle 380’s much larger tubes keep more water on the outside than the Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayak and should also be easier to roll back into while snorkeling. The single use Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayak shines in calm flat-water inland lakes and ocean bays with one or two paddlers in traditional paddler positions. The Sea Eagle 380 is multi-use kayak which doesn’t particularly care where you sit or how many you cram into and will still do an admiral job keeping up with the sleek Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayak. We can ship to freight forwarders on phone orders. Hope all this helps.
I cannot decide between the Sea Eagle 330 or 370.
I am 5′ 6″ and so is my wife. I may use it alone at times or rarely with a taller friend.
I would like to put about 50 lbs of camping gear in it if alone or with a friend mounted on the bow or stearn splash guards. I am concerned that if paddling alone or on winding creeks that the 370 may be too long.
Hi Jim…Thanks for your qustions and thanks for visiting Inflatable Boats 4 Less, our online Mom and Pop boat store. Ther aren’t many situations that the Sea Eagle 370 wouldn’t be the best choice. The 370 is a better kayak for solo paddling because it tracks better and has a better glide ratio and the likelihood of finding a stream too twisty for the 370 is remote.
The bow and stern spray shields are not going to support 50 pounds of gear…it must ride in the kayak ideally between the two paddlers or divided equally and slid under the rear and front spray shield.
I am 6’5″ and weigh in about 215lbs. I plan on buying an inflatable to take out mostly on lakes and mellow rivers – maybe an occasional ocean bay trip. Passengers will include my wife and a child at times, maybe a dog some times and always a small ice chest. I would also like to some day purchase the motor mount for trolling. So, between the fast track and the explorer, what do you think would best suit me? I’m pretty sure the longer 3 person models would also best suite my needs but let me know if that’d be overkill.
My concerns are:
I’m used to hard, sit on top kayaks, so paddling with the explorer may be disappointing vs the fast track.
The fast track looks really low on the water – I’m a little worried about excessive water entry from kids or whitecaps on a windy day.
I plan to fish with kids from the kayak – more interior space and moveability/stability would be nice.
Hi Don M….Thanks for your qustions and thanks for visiting Inflatable Boats 4 Less, our online Mom and Pop boat store.
You seemed to have done excellent research on which Sea Eagle kayak will fit your needs. In a nutshell, the Sea Eagle 465 FastTrack Kayak’s increased interior length will provide you the legroom you desire and at the same time the Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayak design will offer you performance that equals or exceeds most sit on top kayaks. The Sea Eagle Explorer 420 larger tubes provides a dryer ride and increased stability. I’ll leave it to you to decide which benit has the highest priority.
Tim, Thanks for the quick reply. Such a tough call for me. I like the idea of the more stable and possibly dryer experience of the explorer, but……
Just a few more questions if you don’t mind – does the explorer paddle decently compared to a sit on top hard kayak? Or is it a HUGE difference between the fasttrack and explorer’s paddling performance? I know this is a very subjective question, but based on your experience, I’m curious if it will be frustrating to paddle the explorer(we’re not speed record movers – just casual paddlers).
Also, the dimensions of the interiors show that the fasttrack has 3″ more interior width than the explorer – that sounds like a lot. Do you find the explorer to feel more squeezed in?
Thank you so much for your input – it is very valuable to me as this is not small purchase.
Hi Again Don…sorry for the tardy response. So you know…questions via email, text, and phone have a much higher priority and often it’s all we can do to keep up. When the phone, text, and email question volume slows we’ll take a peek here.
I once had a Tandem Ocean Sit on Top hard kayak that was very stable but paddled like s barge with two aboard. The Explorer is a couple of notches above my memories of that sit on top. My guess is that there a lot of sit on top designs so I can’t compare to your experiences but I can compare the Sea Eagle Explorer to the Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayak because we use both. If you had been paddling the FastTrack Kayak and then paddled the Explorer immediately afterward you would notice that the Exploerr seemed sluggish. In numbers the FastTrack Kayak is 1 mph faster. You will not feel the difference in width. The slightly narrow interior of the Explorer is only noticeable when you select the Pro Option Group which includes black Tall Back Seats. The TBS seat height places your hips at the narrowest point between the roll of the two side chambers. The Sea Eagle deluxe option group includes grey inflatable seats called appropriately Deluxke Kayak Seats and the seat bottom raises you 3-4 inches above the floor and in the widest distance between the side charmers. We personally only use the DKS seats and highly recommend choosing the Deluxe Option Gropp in al Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayaks, Explorers, and PaddleSkies. Not so with Sea Eagle 330 and 370 Sport Kayaks which should only be ordered with the Pro Options. In the Sea Eagle Sports Kayaks the Pro OPtion package includes the same inflatable Deluke Kayak Seat(DKS)we prefer.
I have ordered the Fast Track 465 I am sure that I will be very satisfied with it. But, what does the 485 signify? I saw some places where it is referred to as 465 feet. What does that mean?
Thanks for your qustions and thanks for visiting Inflatable Boats 4 Less, our online Mom and Pop boat store. Sea Eaglle Kayaks all have metric length measurements from tip to tip from bow to stern.
Hi Tim, we just moved to Mesa, AZ and looking hard at the Sea Eagle product line. We went out in a hard shell over the weekend on Saguaro Lake and took on some water due to the boats and waves; not sure what size waves but enough to overlap the boat occasionally. Overall I’d say we’d plan to be on calm waters but should prepare for boaters just in case.
With that said…I’m excited about the Explorer but intrigued by the FastTrack with better tracking and speed. My wife however is concerned about getting wet (especially in the Fall) and boating with our two small dogs. If you were me, which one would you buy based on what I’ve shared? If Explorer, am I forgoing noticeably better performance, especially in wind?
Thanks. — Rick
Thanks for your qustions and thanks for visiting Inflatable Boats 4 Less, our online Mom and Pop boat store.
What is it they say? “If Mama ain’t happy nobodies happy!” Sexist for sure but really good advice for men choosing kayaks.in general the Sea Eagle Explorers are drier than the Sea Eagle FastTrack Kayak in heavy water. Specifically I would need to know the weights, agility, and primary uses of the paddlers
Please reply via email for more prompt and thorough replays,
I’m a big guy, 6′ and 300 lb. Wife is 5 8 and 150. Exclusive use will be on a class II twisty River with a 80% to over rate for kayaks. Trying to decide between the paddleski and the explorer. Thoughts? Thanks.
Thanks for your qustions and thanks for visiting Inflatable Boats 4 Less, our online Mom and Pop boat store. The Sea Eagle 380 or 420 Explorere kayaks are the only kayaks that I would recommend for300 pound paddlers in any kind of water from lakes to Class IV whitewater.
Hi Tim. I would like to know your opinion on 380x vs 420x.
I am an absolute newbie. Most days it will be me and my son (6’2″ 200 lbs + soon to be 6’2) and the dog, a lab.
Some days I may take our lab for a swim in the lake on my own also.
I dont know what is your recomendation (if 420 woukd be too much for solo use or other considerations).
Hi Vicente…Thanks for your qustions and thanks for visiting Inflatable Boats 4 Less, our online Mom and Pop boat store. The Sea Eagle 420 Explorer can be a forever kayak. Long enough to handle 2 robust men,their dog, and enough camping gear for a couple of weeks on the water and still handy enough for one paddler to enjoy himself on a local lake for a couple of hours. We like the Sea Eagle Explorer 420?…
Happy Paddling…Captain Tim
Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!
In our latest blog entry http://inflatableboats4less.com/lets-do-launch/ we give credit to our web design team as you’ll see in the quote below.
“My worldwide search for a WordPress Wizard ended in my Arizona Mountain home backyard when we found Tim Lewis and Iron Springs Design
Many thanks! A lot of facts. https://bucketlist.org/idea/6LiG/ideas-to-assist-properly-deal-with-nervousness/
Thanks for visiting InflatableBoat4Less.com our Mom and Po boat store. In our our two decades of selling Sea Eagle Inflatables we have played an important part in many BUCKET LISTS!
Hello, I’m looking for advice (as everyone else seems to be) on a kayak. I probably want everything. Most of my time it will be my wife and I on lakes. Sometimes on a not very fast river. At times we would like to take our two dogs or some picnic items. I would like to be able to paddle solo, most likely for an hour or two on the lake. We might like to run it out into the surf in the gulf. I will say, I have some interest in maybe going out on the Rio Grande in the Big Bend, which could have class III rapids.
I appreciate your input.
The best option for you is hands down the Explorer series! It’s a tad bulkier than the FastTrack series, but it’s our most versatile kayak. It’s very tough, it’s got 16 self-draining valves that let water out as fast as it comes in (great for rapids!) and can go in up to Class 4 rapids. I hope this helps! Feel free to email us or chat with us on our website if you’ve got any further questions. We’ll be able to help you quickly!
Also – our Holiday Sale is coming up and the Explorers will be an additional $50 off. 🙂