NRS Bandit Inflatable Kayaks – Have a Blast on a Whitewater River

The affordable and ultra-light NRS Bandit inflatable kayaks are known among paddling circles as quality budget IKs that are suitable for beginners as well as advanced intermediate whitewater enthusiasts. They aren’t recommended for flat water use, but you’ll have a blast in one on the rivers.

A Look at the Kayaks

NRS Bandit inflatable kayaks are made with PVC-free Pennel 840-denier nylon with a urethane coating, and use Leafield C-7 & pressure relief valves. A repair kit is included. Both the Bandit I solo kayak and the longer Bandit II tandem model are backed by a 3-year warranty. Colors: blue or orange.

NRS Bandit I Inflatable Kayak NRS Bandit I Inflatable Kayak

Specs of the Bandit I Solo Inflatable Kayak ($849):

  • Length: 9'7"
  • Beam Width: 36"
  • Tube Diameter: 11"
  • Kick/Rocker: 18"
  • Air Chambers: 3
  • Overall Weight: 21 lbs

Specs of the Bandit II Tandem Inflatable Kayak ($949):

NRS Inflatable Kayaks - Factory Direct

NRS Bandit II Inflatable Kayak

  • Length: 12'5"
  • Beam Width: 34"
  • Tube Diameter: 11"
  • Kick/Rocker: 18"
  • Air Chambers: 3
  • Overall Weight: 28 lbs

Built For Rivers and Wanderlust

Weighing just 21 pounds for the Bandit I, these rugged little whitewater kayaks are fully portable when you are heading into the backcountry. NRS Bandit inflatable kayaks are self-bailing with a dual I-beam welded floor, and they have a seat that can be repositioned. The urethane coated fabric allows them to slip over rocks better than other designs, although they aren’t recommended for hard bonking against boulders. In other words, these are decent little kayaks, but don’t go bombing down Class IV or V whitewater and expect them to perform like an Aire.

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On the downside, the solo and tandem Bandits don’t offer a lot of extra space in the cockpit for gear, and the weight capacity is limited. Most experts and experienced paddlers don’t recommend the NRS Bandit I inflatable kayak for lake or open water use because it is slow, and the profile makes it susceptible to getting pushed around by wind. The Bandit II is the same kayak except it is longer but it can be converted to a one-person boat if you have a lot of gear or just like the extra space. In addition, the tandem model will handle flat water better.

Fun IKs at an Affordable Price

However, the pros of the NRS Bandits will make you overlook any negatives. They are very lightweight, easy to lift, and these hypalon kayaks will fold up smaller than PVC inflatables with bladders. The Bandits have a lot of rocker too, which makes them a blast as river play boats. They are also a bit tippy – but that can be both good and bad when playing around. You have the option of adding thigh straps and the seat is interchangeable so you consider upgrading to one that better suits your comfort level. Overall, NRS Bandit inflatable kayaks are a good choice for those on a budget who want an IK that will provide fun and leisure.

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