gear

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160 – Big-water Fishing Kayaks

10.24.2011

The Tarpon name is a proud one reaching back to the early days of the modern kayak fishing movement.

5 Pack Canoes Tested

10.14.2011

Canoes have a problem: They’re not always floating. Sometimes you have to carry them. And that can be an issue, especially in the Adirondack region of upstate New York, the birthplace of John Rushton’s legendary pack canoe. We tested 5 pack canoes that can ease the pain of portaging.

Wenonah Canak – Packing Light

10.04.2011

As the name would suggest, Wenonah’s new Canak isn’t really a canoe or a kayak; it’s a blend of both.

Old Town Pack Canoe – Packing Light

10.04.2011

An extremely practical little boat, the Old Town Pack is built for abuse, if not speed.

Hornbeck Blackjack Carbon Fiber Canoe

10.04.2011

Made in Peter Hornbeck’s pine shed, the Blackjack carbon fiber canoe is simply the lightest pack canoe you’ll find anywhere. Featured in C&K magazine.

Swift Pack 13.6 Carbon Fusion – Packing Light

10.04.2011

If you want an open-deck canoe that feels like a kayak, consider the Swift Pack 13.6, a pint-sized lightweight carbon/Kevlar trimmed solo canoe that paddles exactly like Swift’s popular Adirondack Kayak.

Placid Boatworks Spitfire – Packing Light

10.04.2011

Touted by this Adirondack boat-crafter as “the most sophisticated pack canoe ever designed,” the handmade SpitFire is a modern remake of the classic Adirondack pack canoe—only longer, faster, and more stable than Rushton’s original.

Tunnel Vision

09.02.2011

Something bad happened to North American tent design shortly after the first freestanding dome tents became popular in the 1980s. With the exception of those who clung to tired yet trusty A-frames, the camping masses shunned non-freestanding tents as being old and dated.

Creek Streak

08.19.2011

Squatting in the rain on the banks of Washington’s East Fork of the Lewis, MacGyvering a drain-plug from a rotten stick and duct tape, it hit me; creekboating is an odd human behavior. The practice pushes the limits of what’s possible in a small, plastic boat, and challenges manufacturers to make reliable kayaks that paddlers can trust.

Big Dog Drop Zone – Creek Streak

08.19.2011

This new dog knows all the old tricks, and does them well. Britain’s fastest-growing kayak manufacturer designed this high-volume displacement hull beast with a long waterline for speed and highly controlled, confident paddling. “It’s perfect for tight lines in big, pushy water,” one tester said. “It would be great on the North Fork Payette-anything large and continuous.”

Fluid Detox – Creek Streak

08.19.2011

Like to bomb the big stuff and play along the way? Imagine a creekboat with a playboat hull: That’s the Detox. Aptly suited for tearing up big green waves and dropping waterfalls, the Detox is the missing link between Fluid’s playful river-running Spice and its creek-specific Solo.

Jackson Super Hero Elite – Creek Streak

08.19.2011

You don’t necessarily need to be a hero to paddle Jackson’s revamped 2011 Hero line. Faster, lighter, and easier to control than its predecessor, the new Super Hero’s wide, flat-as-possible hull means stability. Lots of it.

Prijon Pure XL – Creek Streak

08.19.2011

Bombproof. The blow-molded, high-molecular-weight plastic in this new, plus-size downriver tank could likely survive a direct hit from a howitzer. We didn’t actually put a bomb in the German-designed creeker, but our testers did slam it into a rock or two.

Pyranha Burn – Creek Streak

08.19.2011

After setting the creekboat design bar high in 2006 with the release of the lightning-fast original Burn, Pyranha has managed to make it better. Raised front rocker makes for easier boof strokes without sacrificing speed, and the redesigned Burn’s slightly raised carving rails still provide precise maneuvering for quick eddy turns without getting hung-up on low-volume slides or while skittering over rocks.

Six Fast and Fit Touring Kayaks

07.21.2011

Running a kayak touring business in Manhattan is like driving a yellow cab in Boothbay, Maine. You get fares, but making a living is not easy. For the past 16 years, Eric Stiller, the founder of Manhattan Kayak Company has sold kayaking in the city that never sleeps and rarely paddles.

Current Designs Freedom – Fast and Fit Boats

07.20.2011

Here’s a boat that increases both your heart rate and fun rate. Long, fast, and exceedingly light, the smooth-lined Freedom is also surprisingly stable for those craving a specialty fitness boat, making it a great fit for any traditional sea kayaker looking to move faster while sacrificing only a wee bit of stability.

Cobra Eliminator – Fast and Fit Boats

07.20.2011

Made from super-linear polyethylene, the Eliminator is hit-me-with-your-best-shot durable. But at 42 pounds, it’s a handful to carry alone. It has the sleek racing design of an Olympic K-1—narrow bow, relatively high bucket seat and adjustable foot pedals to control the over-stern rudder…

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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide