Sea Eagle 385 FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Review
Sea Eagle has been very popular in the inflatable kayak market for a very long time. Their Explorer kayaks and Sport kayaks are well known all over the world. Just this year (2010) they have come out with a brand new sleeker inflatable kayak that will likely appeal to a wide range of paddling enthusiasts.
The Sea Eagle FastTrack is a faster and lighter weight inflatable kayak that can handle most types of water including lakes, ocean and river kayaking (up to class III). Below I will compare it to Sea Eagle's Explorer kayaks as well as point out the pros and cons of this new popular model.
My Inflatable Kayak Story
I have personally been a fan of Sea Eagle inflatable boats ever since I first began searching for an inflatable kayak a few years ago. I have kayaked for most of my life and in the past had always used a rigid hard-shell kayak. I chose to purchase an inflatable kayak for the sheer convenience of them. I wanted a kayak that I could easily store away in a closet, transport in the trunk of my car as well as on an airplane and be able to carry by myself.
After a whole lot of research I ended up purchasing the Sea Eagle 380X Explorer Kayak. I have been absolutely satisfied and happy with it and have used it for many, many hours of paddling fun … including for some travel as well.
What Makes the FastTrack so Great>
I love my Explorer kayak but there are two things about it that I wished were different. For one thing I wish it was lighter. It weighs 47 lbs. which isn't bad for a tandem kayak but it would be far easier for travel if it were lighter.
The second thing I wish were different is the speed. Again it isn't bad but it is known for not being the fastest kayak in the water.
Knowing these two downsides of my own inflatable kayak I couldn't help but love the new Sea Eagle FastTrack. With this inflatable kayak they have taken all of the positive features of their Explorer kayaks and added:
- a new design for better speed and tracking
- as well as a new super rugged but lighter weight material
The Sea Eagle FastTrack compared to the Sea Eagle Explorer Kayaks
The FastTrack is very comparable to the Sea Eagle 380X as far as size is concerned. It is identical in length and about an inch smaller in width. It also has the identical weight capacity (750 lbs.).
However the major plus with the FastTrack is the fact that it weighs twelve pounds less than the 380X. That is quite a big difference and will make transporting the kayak to and from the water as well as much easier for airplane travel.
The fact that this tandem inflatable kayak weighs so little is awesome and it also means that if a person wanted to use the kayak solo they would have no problem carrying it themselves.
As far as design is concerned you can tell just by looking at the FastTrack that it has a slightly different shape than the Explorer kayaks. This new shape allows for better speeds for three reasons:
- It has a drop stitch outside keel at the bow which provides buoyancy and helps to stop the natural yaw of an inflatable kayak.
- There is a removable rear skeg that helps to keep the kayak tracking straight.
- It comes with a separate very rigid drop stitch floor which increases the overall rigidity of the kayak and creates side chines under the pontoons which enhances the overall paddling performance.
Sea Eagle actually states that the floor of the new FastTrack is so rigid that it could even be used as a stand-up paddle board. That is quite impressive.
Pros & Cons of the Sea Eagle FastTrack
Pro Sea Eagle FastTrack:
- able to reach higher speeds than any other Sea Eagle inflatable kayak
- very high load capacity
- lots of room for two people to be very comfortable – can also be paddled solo
- very lightweight for a tandem inflatable kayak
- versatile – can handle most types of water including lakes, ocean and rivers (up to class III)
- good tracking
- rigid floor
- good storage space including below spray skirts and rope lacing for storage above
Against Sea Eagle FastTrack:
- At this time there is only the one size option – whereas the Explorer kayaks come in three different size options.
Conclusion on the Sea Eagle FastTrack
I think there is little doubt why the Sea Eagle 385 FastTrack is quickly becoming a favorite inflatable kayak with many. Even though I love my 380X Explorer kayak, if I had the choice today I would have chosen the FastTrack over my currant model.
The fact that this kayak has lighter weight and gets higher speeds as well as has the same rugged and solid construction makes this inflatable kayak in my opinion the very best one on the Sea Eagle website as well as likely one of the best ones on the market .
I think if you do the comparisons yourself you will likely agree that the FastTrack offers far more positive points and features than many other inflatable kayaks on the market.
One thing that is for sure is that there are lots of inflatable kayak brands to choose from. I would suggest doing the comparisons yourself so you can decide which features are most important in a kayak for you.