The Sea Eagle 380X is a dream come true. I haven’t tried the rest of the Sea Eagle line, but I can tell you why I’ll never part with it. When I moved out of the desert in Texas to Austin, I became addicted to kayaking. I bought a ladder rack for my truck and stuck my cheap Sun Dolphin on it taking it everywhere I went. Every chance I had to go to Colorado Bend, I’d whitewater it down the Colorado for a while. Loved it! Not too long after, I met my wife, and we traded in my single cab for an SUV (I know! In Austin traffic?!?!?) But no luggage rack, no ladder rack, and no room in my house to place it. For such a “cheap” budget vessel, it was certainly cumbersome. Forced to let it go…women. Here’s the thing; I had never heard of an inflatable kayak before and when I first heard about it, I laughed and thought, “I’ll just blow up an inner tube.”
The Sea Eagle 380X is incredibly sturdy and after several instances of bottoming out on the rocks, there isn’t even so much as a scratch on this thing. It is sturdy enough to stand up in while on the water, which is more than I can say for many kayaks, as I am 6’4” and well over 200 pounds.
Mild Waters Performance
On lakes and in the sea, the 380X is stable. Gentle waves don’t seem to affect it much and the sensation when climbing over waves head-on is so fun. In milder rivers, Class I and II streams at best, the 380X can definitely hold its own with some of its more expensive shelled counterparts. With easily 120 pounds of gear, all 200+ of me, and my itty bitty wife, we are unable to capsize if we tried. That is quality. The fact of the matter is that inflatable boats are far superior for gentle water than the shelled equivalent as inflatables are much easier to traverse with a paddle, especially with the removable side skeg.
This is what the boat is made for; Class III Class IV whitewater. It outperforms anything remotely close to its price-point and handles a wave or dip better than any hard-shelled I’ve ever been on. As stable as you can possibly imagine and can’t roll over. Depending on where whitewater, this may be the most important feature. We were caught under a waterfall but the boat didn’t even budge. Dependable!
As with any kayak, the speed and handling is all effected with the amount of cargo contained within the boat. You can’t expect to pull of zero degree turns down a class III rapid with a boat full of people; not going to happen. But what you CAN do is make a surprisingly sold and evasive maneuver for avoiding rocks and branches and whatnot.
I wasn’t crazy about the pump. I luckily had a compressor a nozzle that fit the inflation valve on the 380x so this wasn’t a deal-breaker for me. Additionally there is a three year warranty from the manufacturer. There are plenty of manufacturers that stand by their work forever with a lifetime warranty. Seeing as this is essentially a glorified balloon, a three year warranty feels appropriate. Nothing has really begun to show any signs of wear as of yet and I’ve had it since 2009.
What’s in the package? Inside are two TBS “tallback” seats, Two 8” AB40 paddles, the flight bag, and both the electric and foot pumps for inflating the inflated.
Many of my friends have gotten one at my recommendation and replaced their main boat with this. It does its job too well and is too convenient to be overlooked but when I actually saw the Sea Eagle for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to think of an inflatable kayak. But the Sea Eagle 380X is the Mercedes Benz of kayaks. Coming in at twelve and a half feet long, It seats up to three people and can hold over 750 pounds of cargo. Most other conventional kayaks can do this too, but how many of those can be rolled up into a convenient duffle bag when you finish using it. Not many, I would imagine.
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