Are you an RVer or traveler who loves the idea of exploring nearby lakes and waterways in your own kayak? We do too!
For many years we didn’t want to spend the money on a kayak and the equipment and racks necessary to lug one around. Instead, we’d pay the $10 – $40 rental fees (if available) and rent a kayak or boat for a few hours and paddle around.
As you can imagine, the rental costs add up quickly – even if you only go boating every month or so. We decided to find a kayak that’s easy-to-use, won’t break the bank, and takes up minimal storage space. Enter the Sea Eagle 2-Person SE370KP Inflatable Kayak.
Our Kayak Decision Making Process
With such a wide variety of kayaks on the market it can be confusing to know which one is right for your situation.
We love to paddle/kayak as part of our full-time RV lifestyle, so we went through the process of researching all types of kayaks before we made a purchase.
In this review I’ll give an brief summary on what we learned about hard-sided/hard-shell kayaks, foldable kayaks, and modular kayaks. Then we’ll focus on why we chose the Sea Eagle SE370KP Inflatable Kayak.
We started looking at kayaks years ago. First we checked out the ever popular hard-sided “sit-in” kayaks, which are designed with a cockpit seating area. Unfortunately, these kayaks present a few special challenges for RVers. A single hard-sided kayak may require more space than some RVs or vehicles can carry, and bringing two kayaks is difficult or impossible for most RV setups.
Most traditional kayaks also weigh at least 40-50 pounds – and that needs to be factored into your total RV weight.
We have seen large Trucks – the type that pull trailers and fifth-wheels – successfully carry two kayaks on the roof, but in most cases they’re stuck carrying the kayaks with them everywhere they go – which isn’t desirable in our opinion.
“Sit-on top” hard-sided kayaks can weigh less than the sit-in type, but have the same size and weight issues for RVers as the sit-in types. Both types start at a reasonable price point, at $300 – $400 and up.
We looked into whether we could carry one or two of them with us on our 32-foot Winnebago motorhome. Even though we had enough space for a roof-mounted kayak, we ruled that out since we felt it would be too hard to mount the kayak and take it down. We couldn’t mount it on the back of the RV because we have a garage. Our Honda Fit wouldn’t work either, since we have a roof-mounted Thule bike rack that carries our two bikes.
Since we had nowhere to carry a hard-sided kayak we finally ruled them out.
Then we looked into modular (or sectional) kayaks– which come in two or three sections for easy carrying and storing. Technically these are hard-sided kayaks, but they’re modular, fitting together like a puzzle. They’re also reasonably priced, at around $200-$500 a piece. But the reviews we read talked about two common problems: 1) they sit very low into the water, so you may get splashed more easily, and 2) they don’t track as well as regular hard-sided kayaks. With these concerns we ruled them out.
There are also some pretty cool foldable kayaks on the market, that are assembled like Origami. They’re made of a lightweight foldable material, as the name implies, and they only weigh 25-30 pounds. They’re great in the storage department, as a full-sized kayak can fold down to fit into a 1′ x 2′ x 3′ space. While these kayaks are rated very highly by most users, they are very pricey, costing in the $1,500 range for each kayak! We have other financial priorities so we ruled these out just based on price.
After this initial search, we hadn’t found a viable solution, so we held off buying a kayak for awhile.
Enter the Inflatable Kayaks:
A while later in conversation with some fellow full-time RVers we were told that they’d had great results with several Sea Eagle inflatable products. This couple is known for their research, so we started thinking about inflatable kayaks as an option.
Still, we weren’t ready to buy an inflatable due to some horror stories we’d heard about inflatable kayaks – such as people sinking in the middle of lakes or far from shore. Some older inflatables in particular have issues with leaks and ripped seams and I prefer to stay afloat when in deep waters!
After doing some research, we learned that inflatables are much more reliable than they used to be (Sea Eagle in particular is excellent). And today, after using our Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak for the past several years with no issues, we recommend it as a reliable, lightweight, compact, easy-to-store, and affordable kayaking solution
We were looking into Kayaks as we were RVing in Florida, and we found ourselves in an area with lots of natural springs we wanted to explore. One Saturday we went to Crystal River Preserve State Park and rented a standard canoe.
The canoe worked out fine, and we scouted the area for Manatees that crowd into the warm springs during the winter. It was also a decent rate – around $40 for the afternoon – but we like to explore on our timeline, and we didn’t like the fact that we had to get the kayak back to the rental office by 5pm.
That day we decided it was time to invest in a kayak.
Our Solution: the Sea Eagle SE370KP Inflatable Kayak
We normally compare manufacturers when we make any purchase. However, since Sea Eagle inflatables were recommended we zeroed in on this brand. We were pleased to find 4-star reviews, positive testimonials, a 3-year manufacturer’s warrantee, AND a 180-day money back guarantee!
We decided to go with a Sea Eagle product and began looking model that would hold the two of us. Rich is 6′-4″ so we needed a kayak that would accommodate his height. We also needed one that was rated to hold at least 450 pounds – to account for our combined weight, a cooler, and a little extra margin to be safe.
We planned to kayak on lakes and fairly calm waters – and in temperate conditions, so this made our selection easier. (Specialized kayaking like whitewater or paddling in the arctic obviously requires a kayak designed especially for those conditions.)
We decided on the Sea Eagle SE370KP Pro Package. It’s perfect for us because it included the kayak, inflatable spray skirts, deluxe inflatable front and rear seats, two oars, a foot pump, and a rugged carrying bag that keeps it all together.
The larger, deluxe seats included in this model are super important to us, since they provide the extra back support needed for Rich’s height. Plus we tend to kayak for hours at a time,and these seats keep us pretty comfortable for the entire trip. It holds up to 650 pounds, while weighing only 32 pounds.
Shortly after buying our Sea Eagle we went back to Crystal River State Park and tried it out. We kayaked amongst hundreds of manatees and were especially happy with the performance of our Sea Eagle. While paddling down the river at one point, a large (500+ pound?) manatee swam up underneath the front of our kayak, lifting the front end in the air several inches, and we didn’t tip over!
We take our kayak with us everywhere, storing it in our RV shower when traveling. When not in motion, we store it in the front seat of our RV, along with the paddles. The carrying bag keeps everything together, and is light and enough that we can easily bring it into our car for day trips. I can even carry, inflate, and deflate it by myself if needed.
This kayak is also easy to use! It inflates within less than 10 minutes, is simple to assemble, and holds air for very well for the entire time we’re on the water (and until we deflate it). It also tracks well on the water, handles nicely — and carries Rich, me, and our supplies even better than I’d envisioned. I always feel safe in it, and it even keeps me pretty dry.
We’ve had no leaks or other quality issues over the years, and it’s still as good as new, even with all the use and fun it’s provided for us!
The Sea Eagle SE370KP Inflatable Kayak is 12′-6″ x 2′-10″when inflated. Deflated size: 31 x 19″ x 8″. Weight: 32 pounds.
The hull is constructed from a highly sturdy material called Polykrylar. Built with “I-beam” construction in the floor floor for extra rigidity. This Pro Package includes 2 Deluxe, movable seats, two paddles, a foot pump for inflating, a carrying/storage bag, and a repair kit.
- Cost-effective kayaking solution
- Lightweight and compact – fits in any RV or car when deflated
- Rated up to Class III Whitewater
- Complete Pro package includes all the parts and features you’ll need
- Material is tough enough to withstand a variety of conditions (even dog paws!)
- Simple, streamlined design – easy to assemble and operate
- Inflates and deflates in less than 10 minutes
- Comfortable seating for hours of kayaking
- 3-year manufacturer’s warrantee against defects; also a 180-day return policy
- A few complaints by some customers about steel paddle clips that can rust (ours does not have this problem)
- Some general concern because the product is made in China (however product is rated 4/5 stars on Amazon)
- May not navigate as well as hard-sided kayak in certain conditions
- Not suitable for all kayaking conditions such as extreme cold or in whitewater rapids
If you’re looking for a versatile, cost-effective and durable kayak, we recommend the Sea Eagle SE370KP Inflatable Kayak. It’s been a great addition to our RV gear, and we’ve had a great time using it.
In short, this Sea Eagle is a compact and lightweight kayak for fellow RVers, campers, and other travelers alike!