Innova Vagabond Inflatable Kayak: Packing Heavy for Multi-Day Trekking

A good description of the Innova Vagabond inflatable kayak would be as a river expedition canoe. This non self-bailing cargo carrier can haul a lot of weight — up to 528 pounds — into the wild.

A Look at the Kayak

The Innova Vagabond inflatable kayak can be paddled solo or by two people using either single canoe paddles or double-bladed kayak paddles. The air chambers are made with Innova’s patented Nitrylon™ synthetic rubber and natural rubber laminated over a 1,200-denier polyester fabric, for outstanding abrasion and puncture resistance protection.

Features on the Innova Vagabond:

Innova Vagabond Inflatable Kayak

  • Dimensions: 12'5"x38"
  • Capacity: 2 adults (528 lbs)
  • Weight: 38 lbs
  • River rating: Class III
  • Material: Nitrylon™; 1200-denier polyester
  • Packed dimensions: 22"x16"x10"
  • Drybag/backpack
  • Repair kit
  • 2-year warranty

Note: Paddles not included.

Accessories available: Spray deck ($199)

Innova Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes - Factory Direct

Rugged River Runner

At 38 pounds the Innova Vagabond inflatable kayak is light enough for portaging, and it packs into its own deluxe drybag, ready for any adventure anywhere in the world. The bench seats are up off the floor so you have two options for paddling: seated on the bench, or kneeling on the floor with your butt resting against the bench. Most Vagabond owners choose the latter. Without a backrest, though, it’s tough to find a comfort zone on this inflatable as you will be upright for all paddling. You won’t be able to sit back and cruise like you would on other kayak models.

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Slow Hull Speed

Ideally, this kayak canoe works best in whitewater (up to Class III), and performs well on recreational touring and river camping trips. Its width of 38" makes the Innova Vagabond a very stable craft, easy to re-enter from the water, yet not so broad-beamed that paddling is uncomfortable in rivers. The downside is that because of the width and profile, this inflatable kayak is slow. Reviewers strongly recommend you use it on rivers with moving water; otherwise, you’ll get quite a workout trying to paddle across a lake or other flat water.

We Say: Pricey for a Canoe

The Innova Vagabond is a rugged and roomy inflatable kayak with a big cargo capacity, and it presents a low profile to crosswinds so it is not going to be pushed around a lot in gusts. It can handle up to Class III water, but the big issue is the lack of comfort. This is quite a different design from a sit-on-top kayak or a sit-in canoe. Since you will be kneeling as the preferred paddling position, your back is bound to get sore after a few hours. For $1,249, plus $200 for the spray deck for protection from the elements, you may want to compare the Innova Vagabond inflatable kayak closely to other touring kayaks to make sure it is the one you want.

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