I would bet that anyone who lives in a small condo or has a small car, will appreciate the compactness and ease of storage of inflatable kayaks. The downside is that most of them feature a pretty open cockpit design, and they don’t offer much resistance to nature rough waters. Running into trouble with either of them will get both you, and your entire travel gear wet, possibly damaging it. The Swing II Inflatable Kayak, made by Innova, offers a closed deck that repels spray, making it an ideal solution for these situations. Even though if you have rough waters into consideration, you might not even be looking into an inflatable kayak, this will make sure that you’re warm and protected while you’re touring. If we’ve got your attention, read on for the full Innova Swing II Inflatable kayak review and see if this should be your next purchase.
Excellent for small storage spaces and small vehicles for transportation, the kayak has packed dimensions of 26” x 16” x 10”. It’s as compact as it gets, but Innova were careful not to hold back on any construction or material quality. It is made of rubber-coated polyester hulls, named LitePack, which are made to prevent rips, and it has two side chambers and floor that inflate to a higher pressure, resulting in a more rigid ride and shorter dry times for storage. The fabric is coated with rubber on the inside, which increases air retention. It’s also treated with a Teflon water repellant, which both prevents staining, and helps drying. If you’re an environmentally-friendly person, you will be happy to know that LitePack is actually PVC-free.
When talking about the construction, if the material and higher pressure don’t convince you of its stiffness yet, there are also three metal crossbars, which snap in beneath the deck to add even more support. It also has a snap-in fin, which you can attach before inflating it, and it will give you improved tracking. The Swing II Inflatable kayak is actually fairly comfortable to sit in, and you can easily rest your legs on the sides. If you’re a more aggressive paddler, you might also find use in the foot rest. The design has no separate inner chambers, which means that you won’t have to deal with trapped water between the layers. If you want to store gear in the snout, there is a 24” long zipper, and it also gives you access to the foot brace.
Given that this is a tandem kayak, it paddles well, tracks very smoothly and doesn’t have any issues. The deck lifts raise the hood, giving a bit more foot clearance than other inflatables. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re paddling this kayak by yourself, some added weight in the front will give you a severe performance increase. If you’re using it as a tandem, the taller paddler will have more room if he or she sits in the front seat, due to the construction of the kayak. You might want to keep in mind that the seats are made of thin foam, and have a low back against the aluminum bar, which might become a problem of comfort over time. To solve this, you can loosen up the back seat strap and tighten the side straps, which will move the seat forward. The storage, both front and back, has plenty of room for all of your gear, and the weight limit of 400 pounds should be sufficient for a touring tandem.
At the end of the day, what you can conclude from the Innova Swing II inflatable kayak is that it’s an amazing option for tandem travelers. It’s rugged and nature-proof, especially with the closed cockpit design, yet it’s lightweight and doesn’t take up much space in your vehicle or home. You can also easily backpack it into remote areas as well. It’s roomy enough for two, and the seating has more headroom than competitor products. When all is said and done, if you’re after a portable, lightweight kayak that you can setup and disassemble in a short period of time, and you appreciate the closed cockpit design, you will find that the Swing II inflatable kayak is an excellent choice.
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