Stearns Spree Inflatable Kayaks - Relaxing Flat Water Paddling
Looking for an easy kayak with minimal prep time? Stearns Spree inflatable kayaks are lightweight and quick to inflate — it’s only about 10 minutes time from your car trunk to putting this comfortable craft in the water.
A Look at the Kayaks
The teardrop-shaped Stearns Spree inflatable kayaks come in two sizes, 1-person, or 2-person, in red or yellow. The kayaks feature front and rear fins for improved tracking, neoprene side panels to protect your knuckles on the down-stroke, zippered splash guard cover, bungee cord deck rigging, front and rear D-rings to tether gear, rubber-molded carry handles, mesh pockets, and a vinyl map pocket.
Specifications of the Stearns Spree models:
- Dimensions: 11' 7" x 35" (2 person)
- Capacity: 1-2 adults
- Weight: 23 lbs (1 person), 31 lbs (2 person)
- Coated 840-denier nylon
- 1000-denier tarpaulin on bottom
- Boston Valves
- 3 air chambers
- 2 inflatable seats w/back support
- Includes heavy-duty carry bag
- Inflation time: about 10 minutes
NOTE: Paddle and air pump are sold separately.
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How They Rate with Owners
The Stearns Spree is one of the easiest kayaks to inflate and put in the water. Owners writing in inflatable kayak reviews give it thumbs up for great stability and being easy to paddle. The carrying bag (19-1/2 x 8-3/4 x 24 inches) is actually large enough to store the deflated kayak – something that has always been a niggling annoyance to many inflatable kayak owners. The short fins are a bit flimsy, but the hull is rugged enough to be dragged over rocks and beaches.
What We Say
The Stearns Spree 1 can feel cramped so we would recommend the Spree 2 for solo kayakers, especially tall guys. The longer tandem model will give you more room in the cockpit for long legs and extra gear, even though the kayak rides a bit low at the stern with one person back there. (Best to keep ballast stored at the bow.)
Overall, the Stearns Spree kayaks are good for gentle water and will last for years, but if there were a drawback, it would be the overall value right now. With the recent price increase approaching the $500 mark, you want a tandem touring kayak that offers more versatility, i.e., one that can handle open water and whitewater. You might also want one that comes equipped with safety valves to prevent over-inflation (like Saturn models do), or at least includes a package deal with a decent paddle and air pump (like Sea Eagle kayaks). If you are looking for an inexpensive yak to use only occasionally to putz around in, check out the Sevylor Tahiti ($100 bucks), or if you like the color and style of the Sprees, look at Advanced Elements’ AdvancedFrame or Expedition models for better value than the Stearns Spree inflatable kayaks.
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