Inflatable dinghies, rafts and even kayaks have been around for decades. These durable and easy-to-transport boats appear on the back of sailboats and on whitewater rivers in remote corners of the world. Sea Eagle is one of the original inflatable boat manufacturers, and their kayaks are worth considering if you want a portable, light, well-performing kayak that can go just about anywhere.
The inflatable paddlesports market has grown significantly in the last few years, and advances in the construction and materials of these kayaks have made them better than ever. Sea Eagle’s pedigree of expedition-ready blow-up kayaks has positioned them to be at the forefront of this inflatable revolution.
Founded in 1968, Sea Eagle initially sold their inflatables through mail-order catalogs. Today, Sea Eagle offers a range of solo, tandem and three-person inflatable kayaks, which are widely available from outdoor stores, big-box stores and online retailers. Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks range from affordable recreational kayaks to expedition-ready, packraft-style boats for downriver pursuits.
Drop-stitching is one revolutionary construction method that has changed the inflatables game. This technology lets manufacturers make flat surfaces and sharp corners rather than the typical rounded shape that most imagine when they think of inflatables. Drop-stitching is even used to make airplane wings. Sea Eagle kayaks employ drop-stitch technology for the floors and sides of some of their kayaks to better hold the intended shape.
A common misconception about inflatable kayaks is that they aren’t very durable. In fact, with resilient PVC material, inflatables bounce off obstacles rather than bend and break like rigid kayaks. Because they are filled with air, they don’t sink either. Of course, like any consumer good, you get what you pay for, and premium Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks are significantly more durable and well-made than cheaper inflatables (which are often little more than glorified pool toys).
Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks are suitable for families who want a fun boat for the beach, river runners who want a forgiving kayak for easy whitewater, or any paddlers who prioritize portability. If this sounds like you, read on to learn more about Sea Eagle kayaks.
Below, you’ll find an overview of Sea Eagle’s product line as well as links to view specific models. We also feature advice for buying used boats and reviews detailing how the boats handle, so you can find the perfect match for your paddling aspirations.
Top picks: Best Sea Eagle kayaks for 2023
Best Sea Eagle Kayaks
Sport Kayak SE330
350FX Fishing Explorer
FastTrack Angler 385fta
Sport Kayak SE370
Shop Sea Eagle kayaks
Our Paddling Buyer’s Guide features every Sea Eagle kayak on the market. Essential information like specifications, prices and where to buy are displayed in this comprehensive guide, so you don’t need to jump from one website to another. Use the filters below to view the kayaks by type, number of paddlers or by store.
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Shopping for a used Sea Eagle kayak?
You may come across a used Sea Eagle kayak on buy-and-sell websites like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, or by searching “Craigslist Sea Eagle kayak”. Another great option is to buy used directly from Sea Eagle. Browse the used kayak inventory on Sea Eagle’s website; all used kayaks include a three-year warranty and 120-day money-back guarantee.
Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks are a good choice as a beginner kayak for family fun and easy whitewater. They don’t require a large space for storage and are simple to transport, even in a small car. Once you’ve found a contender, consider the following advice to make a good used purchase:
- There are key differences when looking at used inflatables like Sea Eagle kayaks compared to traditional rigid kayaks. Inflatable kayaks come with more assembly parts—such as seats, seat backs, foot rests, skeg (a removable fin that slides into the hull) and grab lines—so you’ll want to make sure that everything is included.If you’re buying the kayak from an independent seller, it’s crucial that you fully inflate the boat to ensure that there are no leaks, holes or other damage to the tubes and inflation valves. If you’re ordering a used kayak directly from Sea Eagle, they have a guarantee that their boats are in good working condition.
- Watch for any stains and mold, which may reveal the kayak was stored wet. Is there any fading in the Sea Eagle kayak’s deck (top) or hull (bottom)? Fading reveals UV damage, which may compromise durability.
- Outfitting is the critical interface between the paddler and kayak, including the seat, back support and foot rests. These features are usually air-filled, so be sure to check for leaks. Examine these parts individually and consider how well they work together as a whole—the easiest way to achieve this is by sitting in the boat (and ideally paddling it) to make sure it feels comfortable.Think about how long you’ll be sitting in the kayak. If it’s uncomfortable in a quick test, how will it feel after an hour? Outfitting often comes down to personal preference; there’s no one-size-fits-all.
- The only way to fully appreciate the comfort and performance of a kayak is to try it before committing to a purchase. Arrange a meeting place with the seller that allows you to take a few moments on the water. Bring your usual paddle and dress in what you plan to wear while paddling. Be sure to assess how easy the boat is to enter and exit.
For more tips on selecting a used kayak, read our article How To Buy A Used Kayak.
Sea Eagle inflatable kayak buying advice
Inflatable paddle craft, including kayaks, have come a long way in recent years. The rise of drop-stitch technology now allows companies like Sea Eagle to build boats that have rigid, high-performance shapes.
The main advantage of an inflatable kayak over a hard-shell one is portability—anyone who is tight on space will appreciate a boat that can pack into a duffel bag. Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks can be stored in a condo and transported in the trunk of a car. The additional benefits of blow-up kayaks are their inherent buoyancy, superb stability and cushy comfort. This makes inflatable kayaks good for kids and new paddlers to learn kayaking skills.
On the other hand, inflatable kayaks are more susceptible to getting blown around in the wind, and are less suitable for coastal touring than hard-shell kayaks. Inflatables are also generally slower compared to rigid kayaks.
Sea Eagle kayaks are available across North America at select dealers and online direct from the manufacturer. If you’re shopping online, you’ll save on shipping fees with an inflatable kayak. A common worry about ordering a kayak online is that you do not have a chance to try it out before buying. A 180-day guarantee backs Sea Eagle’s boats; if you realize the kayak isn’t a great match, you can send it back for a full refund.
Sea Eagle kayaks are available for a range of needs, including recreational paddling, fishing and whitewater; single, tandem and triple; for paddlers of all sizes. Sea Eagle packages typically include the kayak, pump, paddle(s), repair kit and carry bag, so you just need to add a personal flotation device and Coast Guard-approved safety kit, and you’re ready to hit the water.
Here’s a rundown of Sea Eagle’s various categories and most popular models:
Sea Eagle’s Sport Kayak line is the entry-level category. These kayaks are inexpensive (starting at around $300 USD) and easy to set up. They lack the high-pressure drop stitching of Sea Eagle’s other boats, but the rugged K80 PVC is sturdy enough to handle Class II-III rivers. For a first kayak, it’s hard to beat the price of the Sport Kayak line.
There are two models in this class, the SE 330 and SE 370. At a compact length of 11’2” (3.4 meters), one or two people can paddle the SE 330. The slightly longer SE 370 measures 12’6” (3.8 meters) with a higher load capacity for two larger paddlers.
The next price point in the Sea Eagle line is their FastTrack series. The more performance-oriented FastTrack kayaks are great for light day touring. With inflatable keels and integrated skegs (fins built into the hull for directional control), these kayaks are faster and travel in a straight line better than the Sport models. They sit slightly lower in the water for added stability when paddling, wildlife viewing or fishing.
These kayaks integrate drop stitching into their designs, where the floor has high air pressure for exceptional rigidity. There are three FastTrack kayaks available: the 385ft and 385fta (angler edition) seat one or two paddlers, while the longer 485ft can fit up to three paddlers.
The FastTrack series starts at just under $1,000 USD, but the upgrade in performance from the Sport line is significant. Sleeker than the Sport models, these boats have sharper entry lines, cutting into the water more efficiently. The 385fta angler edition is tailored to anyone who wants to fish from their kayak. Its frame seat sits higher for a better vantage point, and the kayak can support a side-mounted electric trolling motor.
Sea Eagle RazorLite performance kayaks are a step above the FastTrack series. Sea Eagle RazorLite kayaks are the closest to a “rigid” inflatable as any company has gotten. Drop stitching is used for every component of this lightweight kayak. What exactly is a drop stitch? Imagine the two opposing PVC walls of an inflated chamber, like the kayak floor. Inside this chamber are thousands of tiny fibers connecting the two walls—this is the drop stitch.
These fibers hold the shape and give it a flat surface, whereas the air would make the chamber slightly round without them. With the additional strength from the drop stitching, these chambers can be filled to a much higher pressure, up to ten times the amount of a non-drop stitch inflatable.
The RazorLite design is quicker but less forgiving stability-wise than the wider Sport or FastTrack kayaks. Intermediate and advanced paddlers will be most comfortable in these kayaks. The Sea Eagle RazorLite 393rl solo kayak and 473rl tandem are available, starting around $1,100 USD.
Sea Eagle’s Explorer kayaks are rugged, self-bailing packraft-style boats built for downriver whitewater or surf paddling. High-volume tubes make the Explorer kayaks more buoyant and stable for use in up to Class IV whitewater. These tough kayaks are built with ultra-durable materials to handle whatever you may throw at them, but they are also fine for simply cruising. Explorer kayaks have removable skegs to improve handling when paddling in open water; remove the fin for paddling in shallows or rapids.
There are four models in the Explorer category: the solo 300x, tandem 380x and three-person 420x, in addition to the solo angler-specific 350fx. Choose the appropriate size based on how many paddlers will be using the kayak. The 350fx is tailored for fishing, with a stable standing platform, rod holders, integrated accessory attachment points and a raised seat for a better vantage.
Use this as a start, and remember that online research will only get you so far. The best advice we can offer is to always test paddle before buying any boat. Still have questions? Here are answers to some of the most common online questions about Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks.
Is Sea Eagle a good brand?
Sea Eagle is a reputable, high-quality inflatable boat brand founded in 1968. Sea Eagle sells inflatable fishing boats, catamarans, canoes, dinghies, kayaks and paddleboards. Their products are built to suit a wide range of paddlers and price points, from family-friendly budget kayaks to more robust, top-of-the-line watercraft.
Are Sea Eagles good kayaks?
Sea Eagle kayaks are great options for casual paddlers who want a durable, lightweight and portable kayak for exploring sheltered waters, fishing or running class II-IV rivers.
Sea Eagle kayak material
Sea Eagle kayaks are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Sea Eagle uses different grades of PVC depending on the intended use of each kayak. The Sport series uses K80 PVC, which is affordable yet durable for casual use on sheltered waters and Class II-III rivers.
The FastTrack, RazorLite and Explorer series kayaks use more rugged polyester-reinforced PVC for added strength and rigidity. This reinforced PVC is more durable and can accommodate higher air pressures, but comes with a higher price and weight.
Sea Eagle kayak dealers
Sea Eagle continues to sell most of its boats directly to the customer via online or mail order. There are select dealers worldwide, and prospective buyers can find a full list here. If you find a dealer nearby, you can arrange a test-paddle. Some Sea Eagle kayaks are also available online from Amazon or Walmart.
Where is a Sea Eagle kayak made?
Sea Eagle kayaks are made in China.
How long will a Sea Eagle kayak last?
Sea Eagle kayaks come with a standard three-year or opt-in six-year warranty. If properly maintained and stored, the kayak should last ten years.
Compare Sea Eagle kayaks
Aquaglide kayaks vs Sea Eagle
Aquaglide produces quality inflatable kayaks comparable to Sea Eagle’s line. Like Sea Eagle, they incorporate drop-stitch floors and robust PVC construction into their performance boats for added stiffness. Both Sea Eagle and Aquaglide make angler-specific fishing kayaks, whitewater kayaks and recreational touring kayaks. However, Aquaglide does not have a match for Sea Eagle’s completely drop stitch-constructed RazorLite kayaks—if the speed of the RazorLite appeals to you, choose a Sea Eagle.
Sea Eagle vs Advanced Elements kayaks
California-based Advanced Elements builds “hybrid” inflatables, combining aluminum frames for structural support with inflatable chambers to add buoyancy and fill out the kayak without adding excessive weight. Because of the more refined shape and pronounced keel created by the aluminum frame, Advanced Elements kayaks track better (hold a straighter course while paddling) than most inflatables.
However, these hybrid kayaks require a bit more time to set up than simply pumping up a Sea Eagle. Advanced Elements’ touring kayaks are quick on the water and feel pretty close to a rigid boat in terms of fit and performance. Choose a Sea Eagle if you want a purely inflatable kayak that will go from bag to boat more quickly, but still perform well.
Sevylor vs Sea Eagle kayak
Sevylor inflatable kayaks are cheaply priced and widely available through Walmart or Amazon. Sevylor’s price is tough to beat, but these kayaks don’t stack up to Sea Eagle for performance or durability. As a beginner kayak for casual use on sheltered, warm water, Sevylor is a fine option.
But for longer paddling trips or more demanding environments like rivers, the higher performance and durable construction of Sea Eagle kayaks make them the better choice.
Sea Eagle vs Intex kayak
Intex products are some of the cheapest inflatable kayaks you’ll find anywhere, and are available at many big-box stores. These are entry-level kayaks, with the top of the Intex line—the “Pro” series Excursion models—comparable to Sea Eagle’s basic Sport Kayaks.
The Sea Eagle SE330 and SE370 Sport Kayaks are only slightly more expensive than Intex kayaks, but perform magnitudes better. If you’re just looking for a cheap boat to use casually at the beach or cottage, there’s nothing wrong with choosing an Intex. For any sort of performance kayak, Sea Eagle is the better choice.
Oru Kayak vs Sea Eagle
Oru Kayak is a California-based company that makes lightweight, portable origami-inspired folding kayaks. Their novel folding design doesn’t require any pumping and set-up time is comparable to an inflatable kayak at less than 10 minutes. Oru kayaks range from the 9’8” Inlet recreational kayak to the seaworthy 16’2” Coast touring boat, with a tandem option also available.
Like inflatables, folding kayaks are ideal for paddlers who want easy portability or don’t have the storage space at home for a rigid kayak. Oru kayaks are built with double-layer 5mm polypropylene, which resembles a burly corrugated plastic. Oru kayaks are stiffer than inflatables, so they hold their shape and cut through the water better, making them faster and more nimble than an inflatable. The downside is that these kayaks are not as buoyant, and unless flotation is added, they will sink.
Consider an Oru kayak if you don’t want to pump your kayak up before using it. Rugged Sea Eagle kayaks like the Explorer series are better suited for rougher waters or whitewater paddling.
Sea Eagle kayak reviews
Use these expert reviews to help you decide on the right boat for you. You’ll get an overview of how the boat performs on the water, what it’s like to set up, how to store it and what issues to be aware of.