Innova’s Swing II
L: 13’2”; W: 33”; 31 lbs. ($799;innovakayak.com
While most of the above companies also offer IKs for touring, none specialize in it as much as Innova, whose new Swing II has something most other IKs don’t: a deck to keep spray at bay. Measuring 13’2” and weighing 31 lbs, the tandem can carry up to 400 lbs. of people and gear. More importantly, its “tubeless” design via rubber-coated rip-stop polyester hulls means its two side chambers and I-beam floor can inflate to a higher pressure than bladder kayaks for a more rigid ride (it also dries quicker for roll-up storage). Helping its rigidity are three nifty metal crossbars that snap in beneath the deck for added support. For gear storage, access the fore and aft areas via a zippered deck, and secure additional items on deck rigging above. For better tracking, attach a snap-in fin. We pulled it from our Subaru’s cargo hatch for a jaunt around Colorado’s Trapper’s Lake and found ourselves as pumped up as our paddlecraft. Bonus: Velcro along the cockpit combing for securing an add-on spray skirt.
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