Sea Eagle 380X Review

Sea Eagle 380X explorer kayak

Best Uses: Whitewater – up to class IV, Lakes, Ocean, Day or Overnight Paddling Trips, Camping

Brand: Sea Eagle

Available At:

Number of Paddlers: 2 adults & possibly 1 – 2 small children

Stats:

  • Length: Exterior 12’ 3”, Interior 11’ 7”
  • Width: Exterior 40″, Interior 15″
  • Weight: 37.5 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 750 lbs.

Accessories Included: Large slide-on skeg, 2 removable seats, Separate high pressure drop stitch floor (very rigid), 2 double-ended paddles, 2 velcro paddle holders, Inflation pump, Convenient carry bag, Repair kit, Full instructions (printed and on DVD)

Optional Accessories: High back seats, Longer fiberglass paddles, Bow and stern storage bags, QuickSail

Special Features: NMMA Certified, 16 High capacity self-bailing drain valves, front & rear spray skirts with carry handles and bungee cords for tying down gear, 6 D-rings to secure seat for one or two people, 3 easy to use one-way valves on main chambers

Kayak Material: 1000 Denier Reinforced, electronic welded seams

Pros: Stable, rugged, easy to lift – great new lightweight design, very comfortable, great maneuverability, compact, easy entry and exit, great for families and dogs as well as overnight trips, excellent for camping trips, versatile as it can paddle well in many different types of water

Cons: Not real speedy, needs the skeg for better tracking

More Detailed Info

The Sea Eagle 380x was my first inflatable kayak and is still a favorite of mine today. The great thing about this kayak is that it is totally stable and great for beginners to advanced paddlers alike.

It is very versatile as it can paddle well in whitewater in up to class IV rapids as well as hold its own on a flat water lake.

The new slide-on skeg has improved the tracking and although it is still not the fastest model out there, it is ideal for those who want a tough, stable and fun kayak that will get them anywhere they want to go. I originally chose this model for a few important reasons:

  • Versatility – The Sea Eagle 380X offered more versatility than any other inflatable kayak that I researched. Besides being able to handle just about any water condition, it also has the option of adjusting the seats to paddle solo or tandem. I like to paddle solo a lot but it is nice to be able to bring a friend or family member with me if they don’t have their own kayak as well.

  • Load Capacity– The 380X can hold a lot of gear! The limit 750 lbs. of cargo capacity is far more than I am sure I would ever need but it is nice to have that option. Although I have never packed it to the maximum capacity I am told that this kayak will not give in the middle or get sluggish from lots of weight.
  • Great Design and Construction – The model I now own is an older version of the 380X. It has since been improved upon and the design and construction has changed ever so slightly. Still constructed with very rigid and solid material, the 380X now weighs about 10 pounds lighter than when I bought it… that is a mega weight difference!! I love the new lightweight design which makes it far easier to carry, travel with and paddle.
  • Decent Price Point – For the quality, good warranty and overall versatility of this inflatable kayak the price is excellent. The Sea Eagle prices do not just include the kayak but also includes the paddles, the seats, the pump and the repair kit.
  • Good Warranty – Unless you go for the much higher priced models, many inflatable kayaks will only come with a one year warranty. Sea Eagle offers a great 3 year warranty on all of their kayaks as well as a 180 day guarantee.

For what I wanted to use it for, it was the perfect length. However for larger families, those with extra gear and for overnight excursions there is a longer version of this model available called the Sea Eagle 420X. It is virtually identical in every respect except that it is almost a foot longer and weighs almost 5 pounds more.

Rigid Drop Stitch Floor

When I purchased my 380X several years ago the floor was ribbed and soft compared to what is offered today with the newer models. The new drop stitch floor that is now included with the Explorer kayaks is super rigid.

The reason this is a good thing is the rigidity helps the kayak to get better tracking and eliminates any flex that there could be. The other advantage to such a rigid floor is that if you wanted to you could stand in your kayak and use it kind of like a stand-up paddle board.

Recommendations for Sea Eagle Explorer Kayaks

I would highly recommend that if you decide to purchase one of the Explorer kayaks that you go for the pro kayak package that comes with the super comfy high-back seats and the longer fiberglass paddles.

One common complaint for most people while kayaking is a sore back. Kayak seats do not always offer the best support and back tension and aches can be exhausting.

The Sea Eagle high back seats offer excellent back support and will literally help your paddling experience to be a hundred times more enjoyable (at least that has been my experience). As of 2014 the high back seats now have more cushioning on the seat portion providing an even more comfort.

The AB40 paddles that come with the pro package are a little longer and quite ideal for the explorer kayaks as with their wide pontoon sides.

The AB40 paddles will help with increased power and reduced fatigue. Well worth the little extra money. Also if you plan on paddling on lakes or in open water use the large slide-on skeg that comes with the kayak.

The skeg will great improve your tracking in open water and make paddling as well as steering a lot easier. For whitewater paddling just remove the skeg and have fun.

Please note that my pictures are of the older model. The new models are blue in color, have a new more rigid floor, more padding on the seats and weigh 10 pounds less (all excellent improvements!).

Package Options

The Sea Eagle 380X as well as the larger 420X have the option of a few different packages to choose from.

1. The Deluxe Package – The Deluxe package is the cheapest option and comes with 2 inflatable seats (they are quite comfortable), 2 AB30 7′ 10″ aluminum paddles that break down to 4 pieces for easy traveling, foot pump, carry bag and repair kit.

2. The Pro Package – The Pro package is the one I went for. It includes 2 high back adjustable seats, 2 AB40 8′ fiberglass paddles that break down to 4 pieces, 2 small kayak storage bags for the bow and stern, foot pump, carry bag and repair kit.

3. The Pro Carbon Package – This package cost an extra $100 over the Pro Package and gives you a set of upgraded great quality carbon-fiber paddles. This package was not available when I purchased my 380X but I think it is well worth the money. The carbon-fiber paddles are really nice to use.

4. The QuickSail Package – The QuickSail package is a newer option that includes Sea Eagle’s fantastic universal kayak sail. It is ideal for anyone who likes to sail and wants the advantage of sailing their kayak in strong winds. Besides the QuickSail this package also includes 2 adjustable tall back seats, 2 AB40 8′ fiberglass paddles that break down to 4 pieces, 2 small kayak storage bags for the bow and stern, foot pump, carry bag and repair kit.

5. The Pro Motor Package – This package is very well priced if you would like the option of using a little motor on your kayak. It comes with 2 comfortable high back seats, 2 8′ AB40 paddles, a Watersnake ASP T24 electric motor, a motormount, the slide-in skeg, the kayak carry bag, a repair kit and the A41 foot pump.

Final Thoughts

The Sea Eagle 380x is a powerful, stable, rugged (it is very difficult to puncture this kayak), comfortable and versatile inflatable kayak. I would recommend it for anyone, old or young.

It is not the fastest kayak on the market but it will however get you anywhere you want to go safely and easily. Now that it weighs so much less (the new models weigh 10 pounds less than they used to) you can take it traveling or anywhere you want to go.

I have always considered this kayak like a jack of all trades but a master at none. It can handle many types of water fairly well but will not excel in one area. It offers really good quality for an affordable price and with a little care will likely last a lifetime.

Where To Buy

This is one of the few brands that you are able to buy directly from the manufacturer. There are three benefits to this:

  1. They are able to offer excellent prices and Sea Eagle often has great sales.
  2. You get to take advantage of their 3-year warranty.
  3. You also get to take advantage of their 180-day risk free trial… which basically means that if you are not satisfied with your purchase you can return it for a full refund within 180-day period (as long as the kayak is in good condition).

Click Here For The Best Deal On The 380X Explorer Inflatable Kayak From The Official Sea Eagle Website.

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Comments

  1. laura grsy says:

    What is the price of the 380x please

    • Depending on the package you choose the price for the 380X can range from around $950 to just over $1500. Click on the Sea Eagle links on this page to see the full package and price details.

  2. I enjoyed your review of the Sea Eagle 380x and will likely buy one myself. Like in about 15 more minutes. I have seen other videos as eell as other reviews. Oh, I forgot to mention that while in the Key West area we kayaked eith a couple who had thr 380x. We dillidled around in the mangroves and then I saw the eoman dtand up in the Sea Eagle and paddle that way. At that point I was nearly sold.. ill be purchasing via Sea Eagle Web site since there is sick good guarantee and warranty. I think I’ll max out with the sail package.

    • It’s really a great kayak and even more so today than when I bought it several years ago. Hope you enjoy!… the sail package is awesome.

      • Hi Allison,

        I am thinking of getting the single explorer 300x… are you going to review that as well, maybe point out the difference between the single and the tandem? The material and constructions on either both are the same, right?

        p.s. I really enjoy your reviews, very informative…

        • Hi Ed, Yes I do plan to eventually do an updated review of the 300X and I think comparisons between it and the tandem version is a great idea. The construction and material are exactly the same as the 380X, it is just a shorter version. So it will be just as tough and stable. The shorter length makes it a little slower in flat water but easier to turn and maneuver, which is great for rivers or surf. It will be more responsive than the tandem 380X and take very little effort to get moving. Plus it is highly portable.

          • Hi Allison,

            I went with the 380x because I figured since my Innova Sunny has some years on it, get another tandem (so the wife can still paddle with me) when it finally goes. In the meantime, my wife tried it two weeks ago, while I went back on the innova. She said it’s slower than the innova because it’s wider. I on the other hand, miss the stability of the 380x. Next time, she’ll be on the innova, me on the 380x, yay!! I am thinking of bringing it to the beach this year to see how it fares on open water.

            The 380x is one tough IK! On a few occasions on the banks of the lakes that I had gone to, hit some rocks and branches just slightly below surface and it just bounced off or slid past these obstacles. I was worried at first hearing the the rubber rub against them, but after checking the bottom at the boat ramp at the end of the day, some very minor scrapes, but nothing that affects the boat to speak of. Heck, they ran it over with a Jeep, hit it with the hammer, head and claw, then dropped a cinder block on it. “Keeps on ticking!”

            Lastly, thanks very much for educating a kayak (knows-nothing) enthusiast like me! I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews on various IK, please don’t stop.

          • Thank-you Ed! So glad it has worked out for you. The Sunny is faster but the 380X more stable, exactly as you said. Glad you are both happy with the two kayaks. I agree the 380X is one tough kayak. I’ve had mine for years and it has very little wear and tear on it. It’ll do great in open water… I find it feels very secure. Enjoy and happy paddling!!

  3. I have noticed that with the drain plugs open that I am sitting an inch or so of water – it’s especially noticeable when on flat water. Have you experienced the same? Are there other WW IKs that don’t have this issue?

    • It’s a fairly common complaint with inflatable kayaks unfortunately. The only IK’s I know of that are a little better as far as the drain plugs are concerned are the Aire kayaks.

  4. I have a 55 sq ft sail kit that will fit on either Sea Eagle boat, I also have the stabilizers. Would the 380 be a better sailor than the Fast track? Would the smaller tubes let in more water?
    Thanks

    • It’s hard to say Wayne. The FastTrack goest faster and tracks better and I would think would sail better with the sail kit. The 380X however has had some major improvements done to it since I bought it years ago and it’s a great kayak. The sides are slightly higher which would keep a little more water out and it feels very secure in ocean surf. I still really like the FastTrack personally but the 380X might be the winner in mild to low surf.

  5. Also I live by the ocean and would like to use this kayak in mild to low surf.
    thanks

  6. Chris Adams says:

    Does the new high pressure floor fit into the old 380x?

    • Hey Chris, I think so but I’m not 100% sure.. I don’t know anyone who’s tried that. You’ll have to contact Sea Eagle directly on that one.

  7. Hi Allison,i had the 380x (older model) for 7 years.I am now getting problems(leaks) with it.Was very happy with performance of the seagle.Would like to hear if this is a normal lifetime for kayak used between 20-30 times..as the glue/welding in the seams give way.Am not sure if to replace with the new 380x or try find something more durable…in my case at least

    • Hi Jeff, I’m not really sure. It doesn’t sound like it was used that many times but it could depend on other factors such as weather, storage, etc. Leaks can happen of course although I have personally always found the Sea Eagle products to be quite durable. I have an older 380X as well (7 or 8 years) and it’s still kicking. You might want to contact Sea Eagle and get their opinion on it before deciding which way to go. Sorry I couldn’t help you more.

  8. Hi Allison,
    I am considering getting my boyfriend an inflatable kayak for his birthday coming up later this month. He is a beginner so I’ve been looking at the Sea Eagle 370 model, however I did come across a pretty good deal on a 380x model so now I’m wondering if I should spend a little more and go for that or stick with the 370. He’s a rather large guy at 6’5 so comfort is a big factor and it will mainly be used on the lake and maybe our local rivers, there are no rapids in south Louisiana so it will probably never see those! Thanks for any input or other options to look at.

    • Hi Lindsay, There’s a little extra room in the 380X but it’s not a huge difference from the 370. When used as a solo kayak he should be good with either. The 380X is a definite step up from the 370. The material is more durable, the valves are better and it tracks straighter. However the 370 is good for the price and is super easy to paddle, it’s always a good one for a beginner. You can’t really go wrong either way, good luck!