Innova sunny and helios........
I'm looking hard for an inflatable tandem kayak and these inflatables sound pretty incredible.
I was sold on an Aire until I researched these guys...
The fact that they roll up so much smaller than the aires (lynx, tomcat etc.) and only weigh 20-29 pounds means I'd be able to take my Kayak to Mexico for vacations too...
Thoughts on these Innova IK's?............
Curious - I read some reviews (http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showKayaks.html?manf=66). I wondered about the light weight.
Innovas are favored by some, for flat water or moving water up to Class III in one (most recent) review. Clicking the "more information" button in that review led to more info ... the Safari model has street cred among some long distance paddlers it seems and includes these specs:
River Rating: Class III Length: 10 ft. Width: 28 in. Weight: 24 lbs. Air Chambers: 3 Main Capacity: 220 lbs
1 person Packed Dim.: 10x17x20 in. Material: 1,200-denier Nitrylon™ Color: Red
In some of the other reviews on paddling.net, it seems like the Helios models reviewed fell short on straight line tracking. There were a few comments on damage resistance of the materials. In the Sunny review (Jun'09), a step up in enthusiasm, including apparently better tracking ... and 29 pounds!
Quick impression overall: if the weight was a big factor (e.g., for commercial air travel), and long paddles or remote locations weren't expected and plans held only Class I-II streams in mind, then this IK is worth a look. Be nice to have a chance to paddle one first.
Interesting inflatables. Best of luck.
If you use a Safari you had better have a hardshell kayakers brace. At 28 inches in width, it is only an inch wider than my Jackson creekboat. My friend Jim has one, and his son took it down the class IV Echo Bend section of Eagle River, on one of our trips down it. Also he has taken one off of a 15 foot waterfall with a perfect landing.
Yes this boat can perform, but the user had better know what to do with it on moving water, or they will have that big long sad face. In my opinion only, if you are after a packable IK for moving water, go with the Bandit. For flat water I would not use either of these models.
The best multi purpose boat in my opinion, for whitewater, flatwater, hauling gear, reasonable weight, nearly bomb proof construction, and a ten year warranty to boot, the Lynx is hard to beat, I know. Some of the other models shine in certain areas, but lack badly in others. The Lynx gets no real complaints from me................
The intended use would be mainly lakes with occasional trips down milder parts of the Salmon and Snake.
That 29lbs is a huge selling point for me. I travel to ole Mex quite often and I'm always wishing I had an inflatable to get just past the shoreline breaks for fishing...
As you know, 6X, Aire is hard to beat (trust that the traveler is treating you well) but they do pack on the pounds. Also the cost of the Lynx II is a bit daunting for casual use.
...tough and reliable. Yes, enjoying that Traveler and hope all is well with you.
You're onto something though. For your trips to Mexico; air drop, light duty, I can see how 29# could be appealing. Something to keep in mind for flyouts and light, recreational use for others too maybe.
Mark's pointers about handling characteristics are helpful. The NRS Bandit he mentioned has good specs too, no? The Bandit II: tandem kayak, 28#, 34" wide, $950, http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=1626
Interesting ideas. Good luck with your shopping.
Guessing you are looking at a 1-person boat with pack-ability, light-weight, and versatility?
This would put you in something like the Safari.
As Mark related --- this boat won't be nearly as forgiving as something like the Tomcat, Strike, Lynx, and some others. It's a kayaker's kinda feel/handling.
Some of the Innova (Gumotex in Europe) boats nowadays use what is called Nitrylon... the 1200 fabrics are a synthetic plus natural or modified/natural rubber over a polyester base-cloth. Nice thing about this stuff is all you need is a bicycle tire patch kit for pin-holes to small leaks w/ a little rubber adhesive. We are not talking weight/mass stresses of rafting so all in all not too bad strength to weight. They fold up small on a hot or cold day. You are very unlikely to have the frigid cold handling/storage damages that occur w/ PVC.
Don't let all the green talk fool ya about rubber. Some of the Innova boats also use Mirasol PVC. Most of the time this is to increase side chamber rigidity that plastic boats in effect do provide. For example: SOTAR urethane or AIRE PVC with bladders, and NRS Bandit urethane, Incept PVC, are quite a bit stiffer than the Innova, Grabner, and other rubber boats.
The ways of making a stiffer rubber boat are to use polyester base cloth having a tighter/heavier weave with thicker/heavier coating in addition to larger diameter chambers. The other is to add a few more pounds of air pressure if seam construction can handle it.
My biggest issue with boats of complexity like the Gumotex, Grabner, Incept is inner chamber issues creating more complexities when there is an inner chamber problem.
Heat is a big factor here!!! Whether is is vucanized Grabner (& old Metzeler) on already higher pressures, glued Innova/Gumotex, or chemically adhered even welded boats --- too hot on a small air chamber like on kayaks and canoes spells a higher potential for hemorrhaging and mis-shaped boats. Ol' Mex heat on the beach can kill your plans in my experiences with designs like this.