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Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:37 am
by Shilden72
Hello everyone!

I'm joining this forum because I'm on the market for a pair of kayaks for my wife and I to cruise mountain rivers and lakes in; we've done it a couple times on holidays and decided we should stop just travelling and renting out stuff if we can just buy our own boats and use them as we want to. The problem is that we don't know where to find these and what a good price is, and I came here to correct this issue!
Oh, and we're both from France, although we're expats now.

Re: Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:33 am
by KerryOnKayaks
Welcome, Shilden!

Sources for new folders have shrunk in recent years due to two of the major makers, Feathercraft and Folbot, going out of business. But there are still options.

Where you are located might be helpful in recommending sources and resources.

Pakboat in New Hampshire makes a range of very reasonably priced folding kayaks. They just lost some of their new boats to a warehouse fire but still have many models in stock. For used folders you can also watch the classified ads on this forum and check the "Deals Found" topic in the board index.

The Pakboat Puffin Saco is a nice entry level folding kayak. These 12' boats are easy to assemble, light (20 to 25 pounds) and can be paddled with or without the deck. Also comes in a tandem model, the Saranac. Very popular with travelers. I took mine to the UK two years ago. I was able to check the boat and all the gear and outfitting necessary to paddle with it in one standard size rolling bag that was within the "free baggage" limitations. (here's a link to a photo album of that trip and how I packed the boat): ... 1327686552

If you want something that you can carry up into mountain lakes and streams you might want to look at packrafts, ultralight inflatable rafts that can be under 10 pounds and carried in a back pack. There is a company called DIYpackraft that sells kits to make your own though there are several companies from whom you can buy them ready made.

Re: Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:21 am
by Shilden72
Thanks! Right now, I don't live in a kayak-friendly place (Moscow, Russia) but I will later on move to France, Germany or Greece. These packrafts do sound great, is it something one can take in their luggage on a plane?

Re: Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:41 pm
by kdwalmsley
Welcome, Bienvenue, und Willkommen!

Check the luggage policy of your preferred air carrier. It may influence the size of the boat you purchase.

Re: Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:28 am
by KerryOnKayaks
Pack rafts generally pack down smaller and lighter than the kayak I took to the UK, and, as I mentioned, I was able to contain the entire 24 pound boat, paddle and all the gear and clothing I needed to paddle it inside a standard airline checkable rolling suitcase under 22 kilos and 62 unified inches. Packrafts are less than half that weight -- some are under 5 pounds -- and lacking the bulk of a frame they pack down quite small, like the size of an ultralight backpacking tent.

Pack rafts will not track as straight and fast as a skin on frame folding kayak, and they can blow around on windy open water. But many people prefer them for backcountry use because they are so easy to transport and set up.

Re: Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:04 pm
by Shilden72
Okay, thanks for the explanations.
If the budget allows it, then I think I'll settle for both a tandem folding kayak for kayak-centric trips with my wife and for inflatable packrafts for casual use with our 14 year old daughter, that we'd bring to usual holidays if we want to "sail" a little without dedicating the entire trip to it.

Re: Shilden introduces himself

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:15 pm
by siravingmon
In addition to the Saranac, Pakboats now also do an XT-19 tandem, if you want something bigger and stiffer and faster, and race proven (they raced a 21 foot version successfully)

At the other end of the spectrum, as you're French, you may well find that the Decathlon Itiwit XT-500s are cheaper than packrafts, and will be a lot faster, but also a lot heavier at around 16 kg each