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Reviews for Equinox 12.0 T Kayak by Equinox Kayaks

Rated: 4.29/10 Based On: 17 Reviews

Equinox 12.0 T Kayak by Equinox Kayaks

Length: 12' 0" - Width: 34.00" - Starting at: $0.00
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Submitted by: Susan S. Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We love this kayak. Great stability, very comfortable and have never had flooding issues as others have reported. Lots of leg room and we are both tall. Love the compartment in the middle to keep things dry. The only reason it's 9 stars and not 10 is because it's heavy and very long. It would be better to own this if you live right on the waterfront.
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Submitted by: DanSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I thought I'd add my opinion and observations to the mix. I too have bought the kayak in question, again from Costco. My local store had it's usual end of year sell off and I picked up the package for 180. Now I think I may be less critical given the low price I paid but here are my observations:
  1. Yes, the hand hold on the stern/transom does appear to be unnecessarily low and this is obviously going to cause flooding issues in a following wind or following sea. I'm going to take my kids out on a small lake in calm weather. If I get wet then, I'll be a bit pissed (some might even accuse me of wetting myself) but I'll cope with it.
  2. Having read Pete's review [2014-06-10] I thought I'd test the water tightness of my kayak. I filled the yak with water to the point it overflowed the gunwales. Left it stood for 7 hours then emptied it, dried the surfaces and opened the hatches. Yes, indeed, I found little puddles of water...
  3. On the plus side I noticed the drain plugs in the forward position seemed to work nicely.
  4. The water ingress in the lockers could have only been through 2 routes; under the large o-ring seal between the deck and the locker, or under the stainless, self-tapping screw heads and down their threads. I unscrewed the self-tappers and removed the hatches.
  5. I noticed that as well as water in the lockers, the airspace within the hull itself also had water sloshing about inside. Not much but it was there. Given I'd filled the hull to the gunwales, I could see the only points of ingress were the locker seals, as above, and the hand hold screwed into the stern/transom. No other deck fittings were submerged.
  6. Again, the stainless self-tapping screws could be one source of ingress. Another could be the large, stainless machine screw that mounts the stern hand hold.
  7. I'm going to surmise that none of the deck fittings have any kind of sealant under the heads or on the threads, just screwed straight into the moulded hull. As someone who has owned sailing boats I know that any deck fitting exposed to the elements and screwed down is supposed to have a pliable marine sealant on the threads and under the head of the fixings, as well as on the contact surfaces between fittings and hull. Silicone alone isn't up to it as it solidifies over time and the seal then breaks, especially on a less than rigid surface. The kind of sealant I use is an ugly, mucky gunk called Arbomast BR, a butyl based gunk. Sticks like sh!t to a blanket but makes a great seal.
Now I haven't put my new yak back together yet and haven't tested it on the water (only got it last night and I have a broken collarbone so can't paddle - partly why I'm filling time doing a review) but I am hoping that once I've correctly sealed all the deck fittings with an appropriate gunk the hull will at least be watertight. As for the flooding caused by the low waterline around the stern handhold - meh: It's a kayak. I kinda expect to get a bit wet. If it becomes annoying I think a thin piece of aluminium plate could be riveted into the void and again some judicious use of Arbomast could come in handy.

So, in summary, it's a very cheap example of a kayak with a lack of attention to some basic details, but, notwithstanding the low waterline and issues others have reported with flooding, as long as the hull remains watertight and it's buoyant - even for the 350 asking price normally I don't think it's a bad deal. For 180 I'm going to struggle to complain I think.
I'll follow-up once I get it out on the water..!

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Submitted by: SpSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     My wife and I bought this kayak(our first) at Costco for a great price, and now we see why. While we do have fun out on the water, we are having the same flooding problems as a lot of you are. We initially thought that our weight difference was just too much and causing the back to dip down too much and take on water. There's a strange design for the rear carrying handle that seems to allow water to flow right in. It's as if it was purposely designed to take on water?

Anyway, the capacity says 475 pounds. I'm 200 and my wife is 125. Nowhere near the limit. We're going to try adding weigh to the front of the kayak to maybe even out the difference and hope that we don't flood again. Essentially, I sit in about 4 inches of water the whole time. Also, I'm going to try to fashion a "wall" for the rear handle gap and see if that works. I'll try to document my workflow in a "how to" sort of image sequence and let you all know if it works. Wish me luck!

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Submitted by: ajcSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I guess you can say we are all in the same boat. My kayak takes on a lot of water and was trying to find a solution. I noticed if the heavier person sits in the front, less water will end up in the boat. My kayak has also been taking on a lot of water inside. Stay close to shore!!!
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Submitted by: Steve BraySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We bought this in 2013. I used it a couple of times and was surprised by how much water it took on. NOW it is leaking into the boat itself. I have pull the drain plug and drain it every few minutes. I hope Costco will take it back!
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Submitted by: PeteSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     Here is an update to my earlier review. As I suspected the two storage compartments are neither watertight and the clear plastic, molded plug leaks, allowing water to enter the hull. I sealed the plugs with high grade silicone. no more leaks. So, my wife and I went for another trip. With the scupper holes securely inserted, with paddled upwind. No problems whatsoever. BUT then, coming home with the wind, water entered my seat area to about 4". How does it get there. The cut-out in the back where the carry handle is fastened is way too low on an already low deck height. The only solution is me riding in the front trying to keep the stern as high as possible. I say it again, a bad design all around, but I guess at the price you cannot complain. The next step is to build up (plug) that opening in the back which will raise the overall deck height at the stern.
Stay tuned...

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Submitted by: PeteSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     Bought one at Costco. After launching, it took on water immediately. Probably because I did not plug the scupper holes properly. Water then flooded the so called watertight storage compartment at the back. Then it got worse and the boat, after one hour, filled with more than 5 gallons of water when drained after back on land. The yak nearly sank. Investigating the cause, I suspect that the water got into the inside of the hull through the flooded rear storage compartment, which, by the way, is NOT watertight. 2 calls to the manufacturer were not returned nor was an email inquiry answered.

Will test this weekend and plug the storage compartment. IF this is not a solution, the boat goes back to Costco. I guess you get what you pay for.

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Submitted by: EricSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     So I bought this Kayak back in June of '13 at Costco and at first thought I was screwing something up. I only have drainage holes in the forward foot well none in the rear at all. I contacted the company to find out if it was something I was doing wrong and also questioned why there weren't more drainage holes. I have been passed around or ignored for nearly a year. I recently found out Costco will take it back, so that's what I'm going to do. Thank God for Costco standing by their products, because Equinox sure doesn't
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Submitted by: RyanSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     My wife and I wanted a tandem kayak and found this one at Costco. The price is pretty hard to beat so we picked one up. After we bought it we heard about the water problems from a friend...

We decided to take it out and see for ourselves before returning. Our kayak has two sets of drain holes - 2 in the front and 2 in the mid section located in front of the rear seat. There are none in the rear section behind the rear seat.

It also comes with 2 sets of drain plugs. Not sure if this is a new addition or not since no one else has mentioned them.

As soon as we put it in the water and paddled out the 2 drain holes in the mid area started taking on a lot of water. Those holes are not in a low spot of the kayak so once the water cames in it cant drain properly.

We turned around drained the kayak and put plugs in the two mid area drain holes. No more water after that! The front drains function normally and dont flood.

The only problem is that by plugging the two holes is the mid section water does accumulate over time from paddling and can't drain. This may or may not be an inconvience as all kayaks I have used get some water in them eventually.

All in all the drain plugs saved us from having to return the kayak. I think this a decent starter kayak and will serve casual use just fine. This is not an ocean kayak and I would not take it out on choppy water given the drain problems. I gave it a 7 only because of the design flaw that requires plugs.

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Submitted by: BJSSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just purchased this kayak from Costco recently and have had it out on the water twice. No problems or issues at all. The kayak does have scupper holes in both the front and the rear, had no issues with taking on water. Maybe Equinox fixed this issue from previous versions. This is a "sit on" kayak, perfect for harbors, lakes, etc. It sounds like some of the previous raters may have had this out in rougher waters where you would expect to take on water. My only complaint is the small size of the storage hatches, I could barely get my cell phone in there. Other than that this kayak does the job perfectly!
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Submitted by: JfSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Can't believe that Costco would sell such a sub standard product! Yes, I'm sure they will take it back, but it's large and not easy to transport. Like everyone else, we took on water soon after boarding....poor design!
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Submitted by: carlos PazSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     As everyone said the kayak got lots of water, after 20 min you will be seated in 5 inches of water...
I solve the problem drilling two holes behind the seat area, the holes are even marked on the kayak bottom. seal the hole walls with Polyethylene.
Heavy, yes, but also more stability than most kayaks. Not good if you are crazy about speed or performance

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Submitted by: RWSSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Costco should be ashamed of themselves for selling this piece of junk. It looks great and similar to many great kayaks, however; that's where the similarities end. I took this out on the bay and barely made it back alive. I was bailing water out the entire trip. I tried to drain water out of the hull through the valve and still have water inside. I sent Equinox an email and never received a response. I ended up buying a used Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL for the same price and love it. I take it out every weekend and it has become my new work out. I've tried to sell the Equinox on craigslist and practically can't give it away.
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Submitted by: RBSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I bought this kayak at Costco. First time I used it, we were swamped by water getting onto the boat by small waves. When the front rose over the wave, the back went below the surface and all this water had nowhere to drain out. DO NOT buy this kayak. The hatches leak and is very difficult to drain it out. It is a terrible kayak.
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Submitted by: CMSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I bought this newer Equinox model thinking it was similar to the one I purchased @ Costco years before. Thank goodness Costco allows you to return anything. This new model is TERRIBLE! Only 2 scupper holes (in the front) means the rear is almost 6" under water. And water had breached the hull, making the kayak have uneven ballast. I had to bail out (with my 2 kids in the ocean - glad we always wear life vests) and let the vessel float itself ashore because I couldn't maneuver. DON'T BUY this model, the price is deceiving...
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Submitted by: TKSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Purchased this at Costco in March. Used it twice and then returned it. The company has eliminated the rear scupper holes on the 2013 model. That leaves only the two up front, meaning there is no way for water that gets in the back to drain out. Before long you're sitting in a puddle that continues to grow, proving the waterproof hatch is not waterproof. All the added weight of the water makes the kayak very difficult to control, let alone the worry about having to swim for shore.

I contacted the company and they stated that they took the scupper holes out in the rear due to too many people complaining that the scupper holes let in too much water and swamping the kayak that way. Not sure about those complaints or the experience of those complaining, but either way this kayak is a lousy design. Save your money and buy one designed by someone that knows what they are doing!

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We just purchased the Equinox 12 Tandem for $449 at Costco and includes hatches, seats, paddles and a foam carrier w/straps. We took it out on the bay and in comparison to the Malibu tandem I would say that the Malibu tracks a bit better and stays a bit drier than the Equinox. The Malibu is a bit more comfortable on the lower back as they positioned the seats more upright.

However, for the price the Equinox was half as much as the Malibu and had it been just a couple hundred less, I would go with the Malibu. But for a $500 difference I would say for beginners this is sufficient for flat water kayaking. For transport, it weighs about 20 lbs. more than the Malibu so the Equinox is somewhat challenging to get up on top of the car.

In regards to racks, we initially started off with a J-rack. On our way home from picking up the Kayak the rack unlocked causing the kayak to tip over, ropes to snap off the front end of our car and the brand new kayak was suddenly hanging off the side of our CRV on the freeway! Very frightening! Apparently there was a defect to the J-rack (kayak stands upright on it's side in a cradle) and the rack's customer service dept. has expressed immediate attention to this issue. We are in the process of sending them estimates for the cost to repair our vehicle as well. After that experience we opted for a different set up with a flat mount instead. We also had loop straps installed under the hood that can be used for tie downs instead of the hooks underneath the vehicle. This worked out much better and prevented the nylon straps from rubbing against anything sharp.

We took our kayak out for the first time this weekend and had a great day! Other than everything in the kayak getting soaked, it was a fun ride! Next time we will have a few holes drilled for drainage in the seats and get some dry bags for our stuff!

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