We recently reviewed two of the new Innova inflatable kayaks – the Solar 410C and the Seawave – which are both billed as kayaks for one to three paddlers.
Innova kayaks are manufactured in the Czech Republic under the Gumotex label. The Innova kayaks are well-known for their portability and PVC-free construction, making them a great choice for back-country trekking, plane flights, and environmentally-conscious paddlers. In the photo above, the Solar kayak is green (but also available in red), while the Seawave is red.
One of the most commonly asked questions is – which one is right for me? Below we have compiled a list of similarities and differences to help guide you in making that personal decision.
What’s the same in both kayaks?
Both kayaks are constructed from the same 1200 denier, rubber-coated laminate Nitrylon hull material. Both main chambers can be inflated to 3-PSI, and the smaller chambers to 1-1.5 PSI. Each has the same-style carrying bag, molded rubber handles, removable tracking fin, 3 main military valve chambers and four smaller twistlock chambers. They also have the same rear foot brace, seat attachments, seat straps and loop attachments.
Each comes with two seats, two braces, instructions, adaptor, repair kit and sponge. Each has the option to paddle double, solo, or add an optional third seat for a small child.
So what’s different?
While there are many items that are similar, the Innova Solar 410C (green in photo above) is a simpler, recreational kayak suitable for calmer waters. The Solar features shorter front and rear splash decks with a short length of rope line. There are four sets of tube d-rings for attaching seats and gear, five sets of floor loops/straps with four plastic d-rings, for attaching gear and braces. An integrated “numbering system” on the floor guides solo paddlers where to place the foor brace, based on their height. The front foot brace features a “double hump” system, and the seat back is two inches higher. A rear netting system with 4 clips expands the gear storage options.
At 163 inches long and 32 inches wide, the Solar 410C is shorter; the interior space of 160 in length and 14-15 inches wide is also shorter. There are no options for attaching decks or a rudder system. There is no blow hole. The weight is lighter at 38 lbs for the pack and contents. The carrying capacity is slightly higher at 591 lbs while the MSRP is lower at $749.
The Innova Seawave (red in photo above) has been set up with numerous optional enhancements, making it a better touring choice. The Seawave has longer front and rear splash decks, with rope line running the perimeter of the kayak. Integrated numbering systems on the side hull guide the paddler with seat and rib placment. There are six sets of d-rings, and 5 sets of corded loops, which can be used for attaching seats and gear. The bow is sculpted, allowing it to slice through the water. There is no integrated netting system and the seat backs are 2 inches lower.
One of the major differences is the ability to add optional gear – such as double and single decks and a rudder system – which really expand the usage possibilities. The outer kayak is longer and slightly narrower at 15 feet in length and 31 inches wide, and weighs more at 44 lbs in the pack. The carrying capacity is slightly lower at 550 lbs while the MSRP is higher at $999.
If you plan on milder kayaking activities (calm waters such as lakes, slow rivers, inland waters), prefer the ease of a lighter-weight kayak for hauling around, or are on a tighter budget, the Solar 410C will be a great choice. It’s pretty snappy, and paddles well – in short, it’s a fun, calm-water vessel. It’s a great choice for those who don’t need all the “whizbangs.” The integrated storage netting is a plus for carrying gear. And it is 25% less expensive.
If you can afford the extra money, need more flexibility in paddling conditions and weight is not an issue, go for the Seawave. It’s a great kayak, great performer and is versatile enough to use year-round in mild whitewater, lakes, coastal routes and bays – where the ability to use optional single and double decks, spray skirts as well as a rudder system might be a plus. Its added weight makes tracking a bit better. The extra decking keeps some water out and rigging allows paddlers to carry more gear.
Need more info? Both updated product reviews can be seen here: