Elkton Outdoors is one of the leading outdoor sporting gear manufacturers in the nation. Even though it is not the oldest or best known brand at this time, it produces quality sports gear for hunting, fishing and camping. Their 10’ Inflatable Kayak proves the point. And, when it comes to an inflatable yak, product quality equates with your personal safety.
Why Product Features Are Important
Weigh Capacity: Weight capacity is one of the essential elements in selecting the right yak for your needs – especially when that is an inflatable. It will determine how much stuff you can take out on the water. It will also affect how heavy the second person you plan on taking with you is allowed to weigh!
If you go out alone and weigh about 250-pounds, this yak lets you load up another 200-pounds before you start sinking below the surface. So, unless you plan on landing a real whopper, you should be able to carry lunch, dinner, snacks, beverages, extra clothes, towels and plenty of tackle.
If you’re a little on the wider side, you really need to make sure that the kayak you choose to purchase has enough room for you to sit comfortably, be able to stash a bottle of water (or whatever) next to you, reach forward and drag your catch up without worry of tipping over. Even if you’re on the skinny side, having more room to relax while you fish is important.
Additionally, the interior dimensions will dictate the exterior dimensions. The width of a kayak is important to maintaining the yak in the upright position when swells, waves or wind are coming at you sideways.
Any experienced yakker who owns an inflatable will tell you that the very best are made with a rubber tubing system. However, those inflatable yaks are as expensive (and almost as heavy) as a hard-sided kayak.
Elkton Outdoors has taken the next best route for a solution: using a rip-resistant fabric reinforced with PVC threads plus a tarp covering to give the yak better protection.
Using real fabric instead of just a heavy-duty plastic protects this yak from the punctures from the usual culprits when you’re out fishing. The 3 tubes – or pontoons/bladders – are covered with a zippered cover for easier adjustment, by the way.
Seating would seem to be a no-brainer issue but you’d be surprised how many people ignore the importance of seats in a fishing kayak. Keep in mind, a fishing kayak and sporting kayak have two different purposes. A sporting kayak’s seats are less important because you only go out on the water for a couple of hours at a time, whereas, in a fishing kayak, you’re likely to be sitting out on the water for 5-hours or more every time you paddle out.
It’s important to consider upgrading to a better quality seat if the option is available. You’ll need your back supported as well as your rear-end. It needs to be made of the same high-quality fabrication as the yak so that as you’re bouncing around inside, it doesn’t gradually deflate. The seat also needs to be adjustable so that you can place it wherever you need it so that there is sufficient leg room.
Rod holders are either part of the product or they are not. With inflatable, it’s just not that easy to ‘install’ them after you get it home. It’s not impossible and there are ways to do so but you do need to use special kits that are made for this purpose.
Paddles are usually included only with higher-priced kayaks, regardless of fabrication. Of all the inflatable yaks that we surveyed, this Elkton Outdoor 10’ model is the only one that we located at a price-point that is affordable for most buyers. These paddles unscrew and break down so that they fit into the bag with the kayak when stored away.
Pump and Repair Kits are a necessary item no matter how expensive your inflatable kayak may be. You need the pump to inflate your ride at shoreline and re-inflate it when it starts to weaken after hours of use. You can count on needing to use a repair kit at least once a year – maybe more if you take it into areas where boulders, sharp spiked branches are hiding beneath grassy waters or in rivers where hungry gators think it looks like lunch. (A repair kit will be the least of your problems if it’s a gator nibble!)
What Real Users Like:
What Real Users Complain About:
There was really only one complaint: poor instructions! But, the company does send you a welcome note and includes better instructions with it. Once you’ve done it, it’s really easy and you don’t need the instructions again, they say.
Is This Fishing Kayak for You?
The Elkton Outdoors Inflatable 10’ Fishing Kayak is a great yak for beginners as well as regular fishermen who want an easy to transport kayak during camping and weekend fishing trips all season long. It is set-up for use by one or two passengers so taking a friend, spouse or child with you is easily accomplished.
As with the majority of inflatable kayaks, this one by Elkton Outdoors is made for lakes, ponds, streams, slower moving rivers but not for racing the rapids or taking out to an ocean or the Great Lakes where the waves frequently exceed 6-feet.
When you consider how much it would cost to buy a foot pump, repair kit, paddles, D-ring kit and rod holders to any other inflatable, this kayak is worth more than what you pay for it!