Aquaglide Inflatable Kayaks - Our review of the 2020 range
Why buy an inflatable kayak?
They’re packable, lightweight, easy to paddle and lots of fun! With advancements in materials, manufacturing processes and designs over the last few years, inflatable kayaks with excellent performance and durability are now available at an affordable price. The double skin options with their outer skin and bladder acts in a similar way to a bicycle tire and inner tube, the inner provides an airtight chamber whilst the outer gives and kayak durability. The welded single skin options use the same technology as white water rafts giving them the highest level of durability, these kayaks can also be inflated to higher pressures giving the feel and performance closer to that of a rigid craft.
Aquaglide 2020 range
Our test team where really pleased with the Chinook’s updates. A new look, improved bladder durability and a rip-stop outer make this a compact and affordable kayak. The Chinook 100 is designed to be used as either a solo or tandem craft with the emphasis on solo due to its short length. Saying this our long legged testers had a surprising amount of room and found the kayak perfect for a short trip on the canal when paddled tandem.
The first thing that struck the test team was the volume of the main tubes, in practice this kept the kayak riding high when loaded. With its self-bailing floor this ‘micro raft’ will take the paddler on easy white water adventures and lakes with rougher conditions. Considering this kayaks bulky nature it had really good speed and glide on the flat. Perfect for a micro-adventure!
This new range got the attention of our test team as soon as they rolled it out ready for inflation. Its innovative ‘Feather Frame’ consists of a non-inflatable EVA foam floor with inflatable ‘thwarts’ which add structural stability to the hull. This was one of the quickest kayaks to inflate and also one of the lightest for its size. On the water it had our testers beaming with excitement! The Deschutes has amazing speed and was really nimble considering its length, this is due to the light weight design of the hull (no extra floor bladder) it also means this kayak is amongst the easiest to dry.
With all the attributes of the 130 with an injection of speed and load carrying capacity. Our test team loved the way the 14.5 foot hull glided through the water. The innovative design features of the Deschutes range were a real hit with our testers. Everything that you need in an inflatable kayak; fast, durable, fun, light, easy to inflate and dry out after paddling. Happy days!
The test team loved the idea that you can add a spray deck to this kayak, this will keep your lap dry whilst paddling in any conditions and allows the paddler to dress with a dry cag combo for maximum comfort and warmth. The slender bow profile cut through the water with ease, we could easily imagine paddling this kayak all day.
We couldn’t get Alex (from the windsurfing department) out of this kayak! One of the advantages of the semi-closed nature of this boat allows it to be edged. This means that you can do all the cool manoeuvres that you can do in a white water boat. It was super stable and really forgiving. This will make a fantastic kayak for progressing your skills as a paddler.
We took the opportunity to speed test the new Aquaglide kayaks whilst we had them on the water. We set out a course and our kayak man Will put the boats through their paces, you can see by his gurning skills that he was giving his all on each lap!
Speed Test Results
Chinook 100 45.95
McKenzie 125 46.42
Deschutes 130 40.67
Deschutes 145 41.38
Navarro 110 45.45
Noyo 90 51.58
Those who are familiar with the Aquaglide range will also be pleased to hear that the Chelan110, Chelan 140 and Chelan 155 XL will remain unchanged. This range offers the highest level of durability and rigidity with Duratex construction and ‘drop stiched’ floors.
Here at Robin Hood Watersports we love to talk anything kayak related and so for advice tailored to suit your scenario, aspirations and budget always get in touch. The Aquaglide 2020 range will be available to purchase very shortly so keep an eye out for more updates.
Robin Hood Watersports