The Innova Orinoco Inflatable Kayak: A Pricy River Canoe

The tandem Innova Orinoco inflatable kayak is a Class IV whitewater runner that is often categorized with canoes rather than kayaks. And with good reason: it’s built wide, robust, and carries the largest capacity payload at 770 pounds of any Innova kayak.

A Look at the Kayak

The $1,999 Innova Orinoco features a 1200-denier Nitrylon (polyester/rubber laminate) hull, no-slip bench seats, quick release thigh straps, handgrips on the bow and stern, adjustable self-bailing drain valve, adjustable rigid thwarts, deluxe drybag/backpack, and repair kit.

Features on the Innova Orinoco inflatable kayak :

Innova Orinoco Inflatable Kayak

  • Dimensions: 13'3"x41"
  • Capacity: 2 adults (770 lbs)
  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • River rating: Class IV
  • Material: Nitrylon™; 1200-denier polyester
  • Packed dimensions: 30"x18"x16"
  • 2-year warranty

Note: Paddles not included.

Innova Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes - Factory Direct

Ideal for River Trekking

The Innova Orinoco inflates to 3.7psi in its high-performance tubes. The seat arrangement is adjustable and it can be paddled comfortably while kneeling (and using thigh straps going down faster water) or sitting upright on the benches for good sighting over the water.

Like its sibling canoe, the Innova Vagabond, this is more of a big hauling canoe design, but unlike a canoe, it is sporty and quick – and self-bailing! – like a kayak. It is a much heavier inflatable at 55 lbs to portage in the backcountry, but that weight still beats a hard-sided canoe for carrying through the woods; the Innova Orinoco inflatable kayak packs down into a 30"x 18"x 16" backpack.

Where to Use It

Innova rates the Orinoco as unsuitable for sea kayaking and surfing, and only “possible” for lakes and shorelines. One look at the Orinoco and you have to agree with Innova why this inflatable isn’t good for flat water: the upturned bow and stern are fine for rolling through the rapids, but the design catches the wind – noticeably – in open water. Another problem is that it has no backrests, so paddling for hours will likely cause back pain for the paddlers.

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The best use for the Orinoco is moving rivers of most any speed including very difficult whitewater; that is, Class IV rapids that require expert skills.

What’s the Catch?

Reviewers find the Innova Orinoco to be impressive on the water, agile, roomy, and maneuverable. That’s all fine, but the deal breaker is the cost. That $2,000 price tag is too much for an inflatable canoe/raft/kayak that doesn’t have gear tie-down points and doesn’t come in a package deal with paddles and a pump. You can get the SeaEagle 420x Explorer with accessories for $899, and the Sea Eagle can carry 100 pounds more than the Innova Orinoco inflatable kayak

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