It’s not often that we come down real hard on any specific kayak in these reviews. We have no affiliation with any brand and that allows us to remain neutral.
When we came across this next boat though we were really torn. It is made to look like something it essentially is not. To be more specific the boat looks like a whitewater kayak, but even the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it for whitewater use. That for starters just gave us a bad feeling about it.
We first saw this boat when touring one of our favorite kayak stores. The first thing that came to our minds was that this was a product to lure in amateurs. Who could think that they are buying a high-quality product.
Let’s take a longer look at the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 to find out if our suspicions are true.
For starters, it has a good aerodynamic design. It is very similar to a top of the line whitewater kayak in that regard. That is why we initially felt that it was trying to deceive customers. At least speed wise it can be up there with the best of them in calm waters. The reason that neither Old Town nor we recommend this boat for tougher use is the hull. It doesn’t provide enough stability in whitewater.
This could serve as a good training boat for kids or people who want to start getting into whitewater kayaking. As the look and feel of the boat both in and out of the water is very similar to what you find in a whitewater kayak.
Just remember to stay in calm waters. It comes with an adjustable seat that is very comfortable in prolonged use. The cockpit also screams practice boat. It is a little wider than the typical sit-in kayak cockpit. This allows people who are not used to sit-in boats to start getting a feel for them. Without feeling closed in or anything like that. While getting used to entering a cockpit and feeling comfortable inside the boat.
The kayak originally does not come with rod holders or dry storage compartments. It basically has the compartments in place, though. Many stores offer to adapt this same boat for fishing by opening up rod holes and storage compartments. Which gives the boat a lot more versatility! If the boat is used in the proper circumstances it may end up being a good investment.
We actually warmed up to the idea of this boat as a training boat. Plus you have the option of adjusting it into a fishing boat later on. Which means you are going to be able to really get a good number of quality hours in the water with it.
The fact that you can get the look and feel of whitewater boat while still in safe territory is a good plus! The very accessible cockpit is also an idea that has grown on us. That way people of all sizes can use the boat comfortably. We usually focus on performance in these reviews, but with this boat, we do have to mention the price.
At 399 it is a great option for people who are just starting out. Few boats are going to give you as good an overall kayaking experience at that price. So it is obviously something we wanted to point out!
Yes, the price is great! Yes, this boat is very versatile as you can convert it into whatever it is you like. The issue we have though is that we see it in many stores and even online and they give you just the price for what is basically an empty shell. All of the accommodations you want on the boat like rod holders are extras.
Which of course you have to pay for. It doesn’t even come with a standard paddle. If you don’t find the right retailer you might end up paying way over market value for this boat. Heck, we repeat the boat doesn’t even come with a paddle! So even though it is a great option for rookie users they can end up being ripped off.
We will never endorse what we believe to be sketchy sales tactics from companies. So this deducts a lot of points from this boat in our book. While we are still on the subject of negatives we should say we don’t love the balance either. This is one of those boats that could just be a whole lot better.
Yet the manufacturers insist on trying to deceive customers with certain aspects of the boat. That really did not sit well with us!
With this boat, we strongly suggest you don’t skim over this section of the review! For starters, if you buy online keep in mind you will only be getting the boat itself.
The only things included are the carry handles and the seat. The rod holders, storage hatchets, and even the paddle are sold separately. Don’t expect to just unload your shipment directly at the lake and getting in the water. We recommend that you visit a local retailer. That way you can get an estimate of what the real cost of adapting the boat to what you need is.
So that when you do get in the water everything fits just right. For some people, the idea of a customizable boat may actually be appealing. Just make sure you are getting a fair price!
This boat can potentially be whatever you want it to be! The problem is if you are a beginner is you may not know what you really want it to be. It comes at a great price, but you will inevitably be charged a couple more because you will at least have to buy a paddle.
Mild kayak users that want to get into whitewater kayaking could really take advantage of this boat. That is who we think this boat fits best! Even then be very careful with where you buy and make sure you know exactly what it is you are getting before you actually pay for it!