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Roundup: Inflatable Kayaks

• Aaron Rowe via WIRED
  Testing Inflatable Kayaks? That's a Paddlin'

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Congratulations! You're going to spend the weekend kayaking down a river. One problem: The roof rack of your Mini Cooper isn't big enough to hold a tricycle, let alone a full-sized waterborne vessel. Try an inflatable model instead. These craft can easily stow away in the back of a Civic, yet pump up faster than acontestant at the Mr. Universe pageant.

Bic YakkAir HP, 2-Person Kayak

Bic has a knack for turning plastic into gold, and this two-man boat is a Grade-A example of that skill. Not only is it supremely comfortable and well-appointed with smartly situated carrying handles and a discreet zippered pouch, but pumping the thing up is nothing but aces. We got the craft inflated in a little less than 10 minutes. Once on water, the YakkAir is nimble and relatively easy to maneuver. It's spacious with enough room to stretch out for a mid-afternoon siesta and tough, too — rip-stop fabric covers the craft from bow to stern. All this roominess and ruggedness comes at a price, though: The YakkAir is extremely heavy and quickly tired out our nerdy arms when schlepping it 200 yards from car to water. But as far as inflatable watercraft go, this kayak is the one we'll pack.

WIRED Comfy — like floating down the river in an inflatable La-Z-Boy. Air valves don't leak. Zippered cargo pocket perfect for stashing your stash and keeping it dry. Durable carrying case.

TIRED Has all the portability of a sack of bowling balls. Velcro straps failed to hold paddle. Included pump hose is flimsy. Seats are a pain in the rear to adjust.


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