In the next couple of months, Aquaglide, Inc of White Salmon, Washington will introduce their new line of inflatable kayaks for 2014. The Aquaglide product line consists of 12 models with MSRP pricing from $199.95 to $1099.95.
Part of Aquaglide’s “pricepoint” series, the Chinook kayaks are economically-priced recreational models in two sizes – 10 and 13 feet.
We recently obtained a prototype for the Chinook Tandem – a 12.5 foot long inflatable kayak designed for one, two or 2+ paddlers.
Please note: this is a prototype version and some features may be updated for the production run. The prototype version was 12.5 feet, and it is not clear if the production run will be 12 or 13 feet.
AirKayaks update: We have now published our Detailed Product Review on the Chinook Tandem. Production models are in stock.
First Look at the Chinook Tandem Inflatable Kayak
This is a roomy kayak that feels rugged and remarkably firm, weighing in at 36 lbs.
The kayak floor features a 1-PSI PVC I-beam construction with a covering, offering protection from claws or fish hooks. The main body is constructed from a commercial grade Duratex hull material blended with a rugged 600 denier polyester.
A removable tracking fin keeps the kayak on course.
Front and rear splash guards help deflect water to keep paddlers dry, each with bungee deck lacing for attaching gear.
The adjustable WhiteWater seats feature a foam base and high backrest for paddling comfort. The back of each seat offers plenty of storage – mesh pocket and integrated fishing rod holders – while the velcro strips on the kayak floor provide infinite seating positions.
For the Chinook Tandem, a third removable “jumper seat” is provided for transporting kids.
Other details include screw-on Boston inflation valves, molded handles and velcro paddle holders. Each kayak will come with an over-sized carrying bag with backstraps.
Chinook Tandem Kayak On the Water
My husband and I took out the Chinook Tandem for a short jaunt – the kayak paddles well, tracks straight, feels solid with lots of room. The velcro strip paddle holders are long enough to hold the paddles, and the seat allows you to sit high enough that knuckle-rub was not an issue.
Each of us took the kayak out solo and once again, the kayak handled beautifully.
The kayak has enough interior space that I could easily see two adults and a child, dog or lots of camping gear – particularly with the weight capacity of 550 lbs.
Last of all, the kayak is very easy to fold up, and actually rolls up to a much smaller package than one would imagine possible.
Bottom line – the Chinook Tandem is a great inflatable kayak choice – particularly for price-conscious individuals wanting good performance, stability, extensive storage space/carrying capacity and the flexibility to paddle single, tandem, or tandem with child or dog. MSRP is $549.
There is one other size, and we look forward to seeing it. The Chinook Two is the 10.5 foot version for one or two paddlers, weighing in at 36 lbs with a capacity of 400 lbs. MSRP $439
Other Aquaglide models include the Deschutes – a high pressure all-purpose recreational design, in three sizes; the Klickitat – a high-pressure, whitewater self-bailer for for solo or tandem kayaking and the Columbia – a flagship, high-pressure, touring series in three sizes. The lineup is rounded out with two entry level inflatables – the Rogue diving/fishing model and the price-conscious Yakima. Aquaglide also offers the Cascade line – three inflatable SUPs ranging in size from 10 to 12.5 feet.
Stay tuned. We look forward to seeing the production runs, and will have details on the website at AirKayaks.com for each of the new inflatable kayak models as they arrive – scheduled for January, but possibly as soon as December.