Inflatable Kayak – Stearns Cordova
The Stearns Cordova was the first inflatable kayak I ever purchased. I was looking for a kayak that would match as near as possible the performance found in a hard-shell kayak.
Also the practicality of being able to store an inflatable kayak easily inside the house was something of a necessity at the time. This kayak does have a genuine feel of a plastic boat once it is inflated as it has an extremely rigid hull.
The build quality of the Stearns Cordova inflatable kayak is also extremely good and has all the features you would expect from D-rings, removable spray deck, fitted kayak seat, adjustable footrests, bungee straps and two material cargo holds.
The Cordova is also very hard wearing and is made from reinforced nylon and PVC.
It has three separate air chambers and rather annoyingly they all take three different valves so make sure you buy a pump which has multiple connectors and be prepared to modify them if need be. The integral kayak seat is adequate but does not offer any real comfort for prolonged paddles however it does suffice for short journeys.
A good feature are the adjustable foot straps that allow both short and tall people to adjust their paddling position for the maximum possible comfort. They also add extra turning and handling performance.
The cockpit is fitted with a foam padded ring and the detachable spay skirt can be taken off to allow for a sit on top kayak like feel. This kayak has a ribbed hull and fin allowing for better tracking. The Cordova looks very stylish in orange and grey and the orange is not too bright or offensive.
Like most quality kayaks the Stearns Cordova comes with a puncture repair kit and has a very good bag about the size of a laundry bag which once deflated allows you to transport this inflatable with relative ease.
As my first kayak I found it quite difficult to warm to and for a beginner the Stearns Cordova can feel very tippy and will take some time to get used to. I would recommend this kayak to a more seasoned kayaker, where storage space was a premium and for shorter journeys.
Overall I had many good kayak travels in the Cordova which was often mistaken for a plastic boat. I would recommend this kayak for its many qualities including good speed and tracking for an inflatable kayak together with stylish looks, excellent build quality and durability. The only draw back I found personally was the stability for a novice and the minimalist comfort factor of the seat.
The Stearns Cordova is 12ft long and 30 inches wide and weighs in at 31 pounds. It cost around $500 so not the cheapest inflatable kayak money can buy but definitely one of the best I have paddled.