Submitted: 06-17-2012 by amac
I have been paddling inflatables for several years. I started off with the Sea Eagle 380X and eventually moved on to the 385 FastTrack. I have had the opportunity to paddle in several different types of IK's so am able to do a fairly good comparison.
There are several things I like best about the 385 FT.
The large skeg that comes with it is needed to get the good tracking. The only time you wouldn't want to use the skeg is if on a moving river. I got the tall back seats which are really comfortable for my back although not much padding on the actually seat.
- It is lightweight - I can carry it by myself if I am paddling solo and it is great to travel with.
- I can adjust the seats around to suit my needs.
- It tracks well and can get some pretty good speed.
This kayak is stable, easy to paddle and extremely comfortable. I took my Dad out kayaking for the first time in it and within 20 minutes he was out in it solo paddling like a pro - or at least like he knew what he was doing... The open deck is nice if you want to load it with gear or bring along your dog. If you are used to paddling a closed deck kayak it can take some time to get used to the different feel but personally for lake and bay kayaking I love it.
I think you get a lot for your money with the 385 FT and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a portable kayak that is easy to transport and store. I would not recommend it for long distance ocean kayaking - unless you plan to stick to the shoreline. Otherwise it's a great kayak.