Sea Eagle 393rl RazorLite Review

Sea Eagle Razorlite review

Best Uses: Lakes, ocean bays, calm rivers

Brand: Sea Eagle

Number of Paddlers 1

Specs: Length: 12’9”, Width 28” (25″ at waterline), Weight 28 lbs., Load Capacity 500 lbs.

Accessories Included: Small removable rear fin, adjustable footrest, tall back seat with comfort seat pad, either the AB40 4-piece kayak paddle or the AB50 2-piece carbon paddle, high-pressure pump with pressure gauge, repair kit, and convenient backpack carry bag for transport

Kayak Material: 1100 Decitex Reinforced, all drop-stitch material

Standard Features: 3-one-way air valves, 6 D-rings to secure seat, footrest, 2 open and close drain valves, fully constructed with drop stitch technology, NMMA Certified, front and rear spray skirts with padded carry handles, printed instructions, QR code on kayak that you can scan with your smart phone for video instructions

Pros: Lean, strong , fast, great tracking, very comfortable seat, compact, light weight, very responsive and easy paddle, can hold a lot of weight, very fast set-up.

Cons: The narrow width makes this kayak more ‘tippy’ and a little less stable

Available At:

More In-Depth Info On The RazorLite Kayak

Sea Eagle 393rl Razorlite with padded seat

The Sea Eagle 393 RazorLite is new for 2015 and to date it is the most unique inflatable kayak I have tried.

It has some nice features that really make it stand out. However the one main reason I found it to be so unique is that it is far narrower than any other inflatable kayak I have seen or paddled.

Most IK’s are between 30” and 40” wide. They are known for their wider pontoon-like sides that make them extremely stable.

The RazorLite is only 28” wide and only 25″ wide at the waterline. The lean width makes it feel much more like a sleek hard-shell kayak when you are paddling.

It is an interesting design and feels completely different from paddling any other inflatable kayak.

Sea Eagle states that this is the world’s first and only kayak made entirely of drop stitch material.

Basically what that means is that it is able to be inflated to a much higher air pressure.

In fact it can be inflated up to 10 PSI… which is unheard of for an IK. Most IK’s can only be inflated up to 3-4 PSI. There are a few that can be inflated up to 6 PSI but I’ve never seen as high as 10.

I imagine with the narrower sides, the higher PSI is necessary to keep it strong and rigid…. And it is very strong and super rigid when inflated anywhere from 7-10 PSI.

The extra rigidity allows this kayak to move smoothly through the water with very little effort.  It cuts through chop and waves and moves quickly (Sea Eagle says it can reach paddling speeds up to 6 mph).

paddling the Razorlite kayak in Golden Ears

RazorLite Setup and Weight

carrying the Sea Eagle Razorlite kayak in backpack

Sea Eagle backpack carry bag

The RazorLite is all one piece and setup is really easy. Take it out of the bag, unroll and inflate, clip in the seat, the footrest and the skeg and you’re good to go.

unrolling the 393rl inflatable kayak

There are three main air chambers, one on the floor and one on each side.

Inflate the floor first then each side. The sides are so narrow that I found it much faster to inflate than other models.

The pump that comes with the package is awesome. It is capable of inflating up to 20 PSI and inflates the Razorlite up to 10 PSI really fast.  The inline pressure gauge is easy to read and works great.

I found that the Razorlite inflated extremely fast.  The hand pump worked great and I had the floor then each side inflated in six minutes… and that included taking two quick breathers in between pumping.

I found pumping the kayak up to around 7 PSI was really easy then the pumping action got a little harder.  However the last few PSI inflated really fast.  Before I knew it I had passed the 10 PSI mark and ended up at around 11 PSI.  It is by far the fastest and easiest inflatable kayak I’ve ever manually inflated.

sea eagle hand pump with inline pressure gauge

inflating the 393 razorlite kayak

sea eagle razorlite valve inflation

pumping up the 393 razorlite

Sea Eagle states that this kayak is ultra light. I have to say that I didn’t actually find it to be ultra light and there are many solo IK’s that are much lighter.

However it is fairly light (28 lbs.) if you consider that this kayak is almost 13’ long . With two people it is super easy to carry. By myself it took more effort but still possible.

Sea Eagle sells an EZ Cart wheel system that is ideal if you are by yourself and need to transport your kayak any distance to the water.  This would be my choice to use if I was out paddling solo.

Sea Eagle razorlite kayak without the seat

393rl Performance

The performance is excellent. Paddling the RazorLite feels totally different from paddling any other inflatable kayak.

The narrow width makes it super responsive and glide extremely well through the water.

The narrow sides also make it feel a lot less stable than the other Sea Eagle kayaks like the FastTrack or the Explorer.

This is not a negative, it simply feels different and takes some getting used to if you have previous experience with other IK’s.

To me the RazorLite felt much more like paddling a sleek hardshell kayak. It took me 5 minutes to get fully comfortable in it and in the groove.

It tracks in a straight line and it cuts through the water beautifully.

The wind picked up pretty good while I was out my first time in it, making me work hard on my way back to shore.

I noticed that the RazorLite kept tracking well and handled the chop and wind with no problems at all.

testing out the 393 Razorlite performance

paddling the SE 393rl with Seth

Use The Footrest

This kayak comes with a white plastic footrest that you attach to the D-rings with the included black strap.

I found the footrest necessary to paddle well. With the thinner width I found that I really needed to brace my feet on the footrest to keep proper control and to paddle efficiently.  I also found that bracing my knees on the sides of the kayak helped as well.

It takes a bit of fiddling with the footrest to figure out how to attach it properly so that it provides the right amount of tension (at least it took me a few tries).

Once attached, it works well. I’m not super fond of any of the footrests I’ve tried with any inflatable kayak up to this point.

It can sometimes be equally as effective or even more effective to just roll a towel up into a dry bag and wedge it between the sides of the kayak on the floor so it stays put.

However this footrest does the trick and it weighs almost nothing so it’s easy to pack in the backpack and take with you anywhere.

SE Razorlite package with paddle, pump and backpack

Stability of the RazorLite

As mentioned the stability is different than other IK’s. The thinner side walls will make it rock back and forth far more than with the pontoon-like sides of other IK’s.

If more stability is what you need then consider their other models, the FastTrack or the Explorer.

I found that getting into this kayak from the shore was quite easy although it’s a little more wobbly than I’m used to. Mounting from a dock will take a little more strength to keep the kayak steady.  No big deal however, especially if you’ve paddled hard-shell kayaks before.

I don’t want to overdo talking about the rockiness of this kayak. It is not that it is totally unstable… it is just a different feel from the other models.

The design of the RazorLite and the narrower sides however are what make this kayak perform so well…. And it really does paddle well.

Sea Eagle states that it can reach speeds up to 6 mph. I haven’t tested that, but it is impressive and it is a lot of fun to paddle.

Sea Eagle Razorlite kayak stability and performance

paddling the Sea Eagle Razorlite inflatable kayak

Drop Stitch Technology

This is the only IK out there that is fully constructed with Drop Stitch Technology.

The kayak is all one piece, the floor included. The kayak itself uses 3” Drop Stitch material and the floor uses 4” Drop Stitch material.

What that means is that it can be inflated up to 10 PSI. No other IK on the market is able to be inflated to that high of an air pressure.

This makes for a super rigid kayak that performs extra well.

I have to admit I’m pretty psyched about the extra high air-pressure level.

I also paddle inflatable SUP boards and they are able to be inflated up to 15 PSI, so I know how rigid that air pressure is and what a difference it can make for performance.

To see an inflatable kayak that is finally able to hold a much higher air pressure is exciting.

Attached Floor

Some IK’s have a separate floor and that is usually a good thing because a separate floor typically means it can be inflated to a higher air pressure than the rest of the kayak, improving the stability and performance.

The all drop-stitch design of this model however means the floor is attached and I love this feature.

The attached floor material is thicker than the rest of the kayak material and it along with the rest of the kayak can be inflated up to 10 PSI.

The nice thing about an attached floor is that it is easy to dry off after use. You don’t have to worry about lifting the floor up to dry up the water that usually will get underneath it.

I found that it saved a lot of time when drying it off after use and putting it away.

RazorLite Design Features

You might notice from the pictures that the RazorLite has a very straight hull.

It is quite sleek looking, far more so than I was expecting. The straight hull and the narrow width make this kayak paddle straight with maximum efficiency.

The length to width ratio makes it really stand out.  It also has a hard edge bow and stern with tapered sidewalls. This is another unique design feature that allows for extra speed while paddling.

I am not great with the technical talk so I’ll provide a quote from Sea Eagle to help explain the benefit of the tapered sidewalls on the bow and stern.

The RazorLite™ Kayak’s rigid bow and stern molds create the worlds very first speed entry system that leads into a double concave and then opens into a flat planing surface. The double concave design at bow allows pockets of air to enter in between the hull and the water creating lift while reducing friction and drag. The double concave at stern creates a super clean exit. The Tapered Drop Stitch Side Walls provide a rigid chine at the waterline and secondary buoyancy and stability. These features combine to enable the RazorLite™ to glide quickly and effortlessly through the water!

Razorlite hard nose stern

One thing to note about the bow and stern is that it may be optimal for performance but it is not ideal for rolling the kayak up when deflated and storing in the backpack.

Take note of how it is folded when you first get the RazorLite. Otherwise you’ll try several times over before figuring out how to fold it back up properly to fit it back in the bag… which is exactly what I did.

I wouldn’t say the kayak package is tiny but it does fit in the backpack and can be easily taken anywhere or stored in a small space.

Front and Rear Skirts

The blue front and rear skirts that you see in the pictures work well for keeping water from spraying inside the front and back of the kayak.

The only water that got inside while I was out was a few drips from my paddles.

The spray skirts are solid and fairly strong. I don’t think I would load them up with gear but to they work well for protecting anything stored underneath.

Additional Features

A few additional features to be aware of are:

  • 2 open and close drain valves – I mistakenly paddled out with one of my drain valves part way open one day and I didn’t notice until I returned to shore.  The drain valves are a little lower than the actual floor so any water that gets in when they are open does not water-log the kayak.  They work fairly well.  I never even noticed they were open until I docked at the end.

inflatable kayak drain valves

  • Small removable skeg. The skeg is smaller than I expected but works really well. The smaller size means it won’t get caught up in any weeds or debris in the water. It also allows you to paddle in very shallow areas.

393rl skeg

  • 6 D-rings – There are a total of 6 D-Rings that you can use to attach your seat as well as the foot rest. They can also be used to tie down gear. Extra D-Rings can always be purchased and glued on if needed.
  • Carry Handles – The carry handles at the bow and stern are padded and comfortable to use. No issues with these at all.
  • Comfortable Seat – Sea Eagle upgraded their tall back seat for all their kayaks. The new seat is padded and extra comfortable. I absolutely love it. It provides decent back support and the extra padding keeps your bum from getting sore.  This new seat is a great improvement over previous models.

Razorlite padded high back seat

padded kayak seat

393rl RazorLite Package Options

At the moment there are three package options to choose from.

1. The Pro Package – Includes the kayak, the removable rear skeg, the tall back padded seat, the AB40 four-part paddle, the adjustable foot rest, the backpack carry bag, the high-pressure pump with inline pressure gauge and the repair kit.

2. The Pro Carbon Package – This package includes everything in the Pro Pacakage except it has an upgraded 2-piece AB50 carbon fiber paddle that is half a pound lighter than the AB40 paddle.

The paddles are decent. I wouldn’t say they are exceptional but they will do the trick. If you get serious about your paddling and the amount of time you spend on the water you may want to invest in a better paddle down the road.

3.  The Adventure Package – This package includes everything in the Pro Package but the paddle is upgraded with the adjustable AB60 ergonomic paddle.  The carbon blend ergonomic shaft on this paddle has been specifically designed by a sport physiologist to keep your wrists, forearms and elbows properly aligned while you are paddling.

I just upgraded my paddle to one with an ergonomic shaft.  It is different than the one offered here (this package wasn’t available when I got my RazorLite) however it is just as awesome.  I absolutely love paddling with it and I do find it makes a big difference comfort wise.  I also notice less fatigue while paddling and my power stroke has improved and I really feel I am more efficient.

An ergonomic shaft is not critical.  It took me years before I got one.  However if you have the extra cash, it’s a really nice option!

Paddling The 393rl With A Dog

Seth the pup who loves to kayak

I find inflatable kayaks in general to be absolutely ideal for bringing your dog along for the ride.  They tend to be very stable and comfortable for the dog and for you.

You might notice my little dog Seth in most of my pictures.  He is my constant paddling companion and he tests out most of the kayaks that I review.

I noticed with the Razorlite that he was a little wobbly and uncomfortable when he first hopped into the kayak on the water.  The narrow width of this kayak makes it far more wobbly when first entering and when you first start paddling.

However within a minute he was fully comfortable sitting inside the kayak, hanging off the edge and standing with front paws on the side wall.  There is enough room up front to put a towel down for your dog and for him to sit comfortably.

Seth of course is quite small (only 13 lbs.) so he doesn’t take up much room.  However there is enough room for a larger dog to sit and still not be in the way of your legs/feet.

I think with a larger dog it would be extra important to teach them to sit still in one place so as not to affect the balance of the kayak.  With Seth he is so small that it doesn’t make much difference in the overall stability if he moves around.  However it would with a larger dog.

There is also extra room behind the seat in the back if you have two dogs you want to bring along.

paddling the 393rl inflatable kayak with my dog Seth

inflatable kayaking with my dog Seth

RazorLite or FastTrack

For those who are trying to make a decision between the new RazorLite and the popular FastTrack I wrote a comparison article based on my experience with the two of them that might help.

I find they are quite unique from each other and serve their own purposes, both with their own pros and cons.  You can get a good idea of the different design features from the pictures.

RazorLite and FastTrack comparison

Our RazorLite Video

We did a quick video so you could see the RazorLite in action. It didn’t turn out as good as we’d hoped so we’re planning to do another soon. However for now you can at least get an idea of how it paddles…

More Pictures Of The Sea Eagle RazorLite

top view of Sea Eagle Razorlite kayak

side view of SE 393rl kayak

393RL stern

paddling the 393 Razorlite at Alouette Lake

Seth and D paddling the Razorlite

Final Thoughts

Overall I love the 393 RazorLite inflatable kayak. It is so unique and super fun to paddle.

As a solo kayak, this is a fantastic option for anyone who wants the convenience of an inflatable but doesn’t want to sacrifice the performance that one normally gets with a good hard-shell kayak.

I would still use my FastTrack for tandem paddling and even for solo paddling when I wanted a little extra stability.

I think for activities such as fishing, photography, paddling with kids, etc. the FastTrack is the way to go.

However for solo paddling, exercise, racing, and exhilarating fun, the RazorLite is super cool!

It is not as solid feeling as the Sea Eagle FastTrack or the Sea Eagle Explorer but that has nothing to do with the quality or strength of it.

It is simply because there is less to this kayak… Thinner sidewalls, a narrower width and an overall sleeker design. So even though it is super strong and is able to be inflated to a more rigid air pressure, it takes a bit to get used to the sleeker feel that you don’t normally get with an IK.

It can be paddled on rivers, lakes and ocean bays and it comes with Sea Eagle’s standard 180-day risk free trial and 3-year warranty.

If you are not happy with it at any point within 180 days of purchase you can return it for a full refund as long as it is in good condition.

Where To Buy

When you buy directly from the manufacturer you are able to take advantage of their 3-year warranty and 180-day risk free trial.

Sea Eagle often has some excellent package sales.

Click Here For The Best Deal On The 393rl RazorLite Inflatable Kayak From The Official Sea Eagle Website.

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Comments

  1. Timothy Berkey says:

    Awesome review, Allison! This is exactly what I wanted to hear. We are looking to buy for mostly solo, recreational paddling, but we will also be attempting a kayathlon this summer and it looks like this will fit the bill for that, as well.

    Thanks for all you do to help us novices!

    • Wonderful, thank Tim! I am so excited for your kayathlon. If you get some good pics, I’d love to see them or feel free to post a pic to our Facebook Page. Happy Paddling!

      • Timothy Berkey says:

        Will do! We are going to wait a month or two, since the weather in Michigan won’t be conducive to good kayaking until then. Hopefully, Sea Eagle runs a special by then!

  2. richard N. says:

    Hi Allison:
    Thank you for your objective detailed review. I finally launched my 393 last Wednesday, after waiting for good weather. Unfortunately my experience was not as good as yours. I believe this kayak is going to be all that I expected, especially after reading your review. But upon launch I started taking on water, being a bit nervous and inexperienced on this kayak I didn’t figure out the problem right away. It turned out that the two drain valves in the bottom of the kayak became detached, and I didn’t notice it until I reached my destination and got out of the kayak.. I paddled approximately six miles with water depth at about four inches, but never felt like it would become dangerous.On the plus side it did, even under those circumstances handle well, after I got adjusted to the tippiness that I didn’t expect to be so dramatic. It seemed fast and did track well, even carrying all that excess water.
    On the plus side, I contacted SeaEagle and they were friendly and cooperative, having me send the kayak back via UPS ground, (which they say they will reimburse me for) I requested a new boat as I also noticed a mold distortion where the keel slides into the grooves, which made it harder to insert the keel.
    I am waiting to hear from them after they receive the kayak, and I get to try it again. I will anxiously do my second maiden voyage. It is a nice looking craft, sleek and like you say glides through the water and paddles easily and I thought easier than the sit-on’s I’ve used.
    Can you comment on the use of the keel, I noticed when launching that I needed deeper water to clear shore, and if I didn’t use the keel on fairly calm rivers how much of a difference would it make?
    Again thanks for the review.
    Richard

    • Thanks for the comment Richard. I hope everything works out with your new kayak once you receive it. I had it out again today and it really does paddle well. It is definitely one of the best inflatable kayaks I’ve paddled performance wise. I haven’t actually tried it without using the skeg. Just based on experience with other IK’s in the past, I find the skeg is quite necessary when paddling straight on flat water. The skeg on the RazorLite is not that long so you can launch on fairly shallow water. I still have to step into the water a bit to get in but that’s standard with any kayak that uses a skeg. I am sure you could paddle okay without it on a calm river but I think you’re going to much prefer paddling with it.

  3. Excellent review Allison. My wife and I have a 2013 Fasttrack 385, but I often go out by myself and have been looking to purchase another inflatable that is faster than the Fasttrack.

    In your experience with other inflatables, is the RazoLite the fastest of the pack?

    I primarily kayak on bays and lakes and go out a couple of times a week. I’m a senior citizen.

    • Thanks Oscar! Yes no question, the Razorlite is the best performing IK I’ve ever tried. I haven’t actually tested speeds compared to the FastTrack but just going on feel, it feels like it moves with less drag and the design is really more suited to faster paddling. I’m just finishing up an article comparing the Razorlite and the FastTrack and I’ve included a lot of pics… it’ll be posted today. Take a look if you have a chance as it really shows the differences between the two.

  4. Hi Allison,
    I’m with Sea Eagle’s Tech Support Dept. Richard sent his RazorLite back to us for warranty evaluation. The bases for the drains were not installed correctly from the factory so I glued them in and they held water fine. This is a permanent repair and should not present problems in the future. The skeg base was a little bent from being folded. We heated the base with a hair dryer and it returned to it’s original shape. Each kayak is hand made and I told Richard that his appeared to be a good one and encouraged him to take it back, which he agreed to. I am sorry that he did not have a good first experience but I think we are back on track.
    He’s going to go touring with some hard shell kayaks and will let me know how he does. The guide has already told him he will not be able to keep up in an inflatable. Because the RazorLite is so rigid and the entire length of the boat is in the water, I think he’ll have performance very close to hard shells of the same length. I hope he enjoys his boat and uses it every day. If not, he’s under his 180 day on the water trial period and can return it for any reason. I like Richard and hope we continue to have a good relationship. He speaks highly of you too. BYW, my photo is on your site. I’m in an Explorer with a yellow hat on and Sara is in the front.
    Jerry

    • Hi Jerry, Thanks for the update, that’s great news. I’m really glad to hear everything was taken care of. I totally agree, I feel the RazorLite gives the closest performance to a hard shell kayak out of any inflatable I’ve tried. I hope it all works out. p.s. Nice to put a name to the faces on that picture… All my personal pics of the Explorer kayak are of the older model.

  5. Thanks for getting back to me Allison. Your blog has great info. I stumbled across it when I was first shopping around for an inflatable. It led me to the SeaEagle.

    Jerry Allen – It’s great that SeaEagle has such wonderful customer service. I’ve had a couple of minor issues with my 385 Fasttrack but SeaEagle has always dealt with them quickly.

    Suggestion: For the RazorLite, you should consider developing a simple outrigger attachment that can help with the tippiness, for those that are concerned about going over the side, like me and my wife (both seniors).

    • Hi Oscar,
      I’m reasonably sure we will not develop outriggers for the 393RL, but if you decide to purchase one, let me know and I will help you outfit your boat with something. It might have been you that called not too long ago with the same suggestion and I said no, not outriggers!
      I’ve been looking at the pics of Allison paddling, maybe we could attach a crossbar with floats to the D-rings behind the seat that would pick up the load from a wobble but not touch the water unless needed. Outriggers in the water kill speed with their drag.
      And thank you Oscar for your kind words.

  6. Hi,
    Thanks for the review! What is the true width of this kayak? I see it anywhere from 25” to 28” from different web sites. Also I read that the drop-stitch floor is attached permanently to the hull. Does that make it hard to clean and dry the space between the drop-stitch floor and hull?

    • Hi Jackson, The exterior width is 28″ but it tapers down and is only 25″ at the waterline. The interior width is 17″. Good question, I updated my info on the review to be more specific. As far as the attached floor goes, I actually found it far easier to dry than with a detached floor. The water doesn’t get underneath the floor at all so I find I simply have to towel dry along the seams… where the floor attaches to the side walls. I do get a small amount of water gathered along the edge of the seams (mostly from drips falling off my paddles) but I found it really simple and quick to dry… much faster than having to lift the floor up and dry all underneath for sure.

  7. richard N. says:

    Hi again Allison:
    Went out yesterday for another maiden voyage, this time it was much better. The boat was returned to me in great shape. Went in among hard shell kayaks, some more experienced than others. Still a little tipsy initially, but getting better. It tracked very well, got compliments from the tour guide on its tracking and speed, in fact received quite a few questions about it, some didn’t think it was an inflatable, all were impressed and no detractors. Over all very satisfying ride. Started on a docile canal, then went into a busy river which included pontoon and pleasure craft with lots of wakes, the boat handled them all wonderfully, no water in the boat. An experienced kayaker that was on the tour and I discussed the boat and his impressions were that this is the best looking, sleekest inflatable he has seen, and he was even more impressed with its tracking ability and speed. (we sort of raced for a hundred yards or so, he was faster but not by much, and he commented on that again saying he is going to rethink his opinion on inflatables.
    My on con was I need a better, I guess softer seat, after an hour or so it’s very uncomfortable, and also a comment about needing a shorter paddle, I am only 5-4 , and it does make sense to me. But overall a good boat and am looking forward to my next trip.
    Richard

    • Awesome Richard, thanks so much for the update. I’m really happy things worked out for you. Also fun to hear the impressions of the hard-shell kayakers you ran into to. I love that the RazorLite leaves a good impression even on those who might not have ever considered an inflatable before. All the best to you!

  8. Thanks for the review. I know this kayak is not designed for two people, but the interior space is very similar to the FastTrack, weight capacity is more than enough as well. The only things missing are 2/4 additional D-rings, it seems. Would you be able to try how it feels with two people inside (moving the seat further ahead)? Without a proper seat at the rear I guess it could be a little uncomfortable for a long time, but how would it handle it? Maybe with just one person paddling? Does it become too unstable? A picture would be excellent as well, if it’s not too much to ask. Thanks!

    • Hi Paolo, According to Sea Eagle the 393 RazorLite is only rated for one person so they don’t recommend it for two. However great news as they are apparently coming out with a two-person version called the 473RL this summer!

  9. Timothy Berkey says:

    Hi, again, Allison.

    Regarding the paddles, did you get a chance to use both of their options? I’m just wondering if you thought the carbon paddle was worth the price of the upgrade. It appears that (the way Sea Eagle prices their packages) it makes no sense to buy just the kayak alone, so it becomes a decision about the upgraded paddle.

    Thoughts?

    • I have tried both and yes I do like the carbon paddle better. The lighter weight makes a big difference in my opinion. If you are paddling a lot you may end up wanting to upgrade your paddle down the road (even if you go for the carbon one). I feel a really nice paddle makes a big difference in comfort, efficiency and the overall experience. A good carbon paddle can be pricey so I feel the SE one is a good deal for what you get.

  10. Allison,
    Your review of 393 RL has my full attention. My is question is about onboard set-up. I have a small trawler with a 7’X8′ cockpit. I’m concerned as to the placement of the air valves. Since i would be inflating kayak in the small cockpit, do you think I would be able to inflate the three chambers in sequence – allowing forward inflated portion to protrude over gunnel as I then moved to second and third air valve. Sorry for the complicated question. The 393 RL sounds ideal for my purposes, but an unwieldy or impossible onboard set-up would be a deal-breaker.
    Thank you,
    Tio

    • Hi Trio, I had to read your question a couple times to get the picture straight in my head. I think I understand what you are saying. It sounds tricky but doable. The 3 air valves are all close together at the front of the kayak – so in theory you should be able to inflate the floor and then inflate each side with the back end leaning over the gunnel as you mentioned. Then you just have to attach the seat. I’ve never tried inflating it from an angle like that but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  11. Timothy Berkey says:

    Well, I can say this: Sea Eagle seems to be on top of their customer service, so far. As I mentioned on your FB page, my hull cracked while folding up the 393rl. Sea Eagle immediately dispatched UPS to pick up my boat so they could inspect it. Unfortunately, there was a mix-up as to the pickup point, and UPS left a shipping label. Within the hour, Donna from Sea Eagle called my phone, as she had noticed the package was not picked up! (They will come and get it tomorrow.)

    Hopefully, they’ll be able to repair/replace my boat as quickly, as the weather is turning really nice and we want to get back out there!!!

    • Fingers crossed you get your replacement kayak soon! I have been out paddling the 393rl several times over the last several weeks with a kayaking club I am part of. The club members all have hard-shell kayaks except for three of us with inflatables. I have been so happy with the RL paddling amongst all the hardshells. It continues to impress me. I hope you get to enjoy it soon!

      • Timothy Berkey says:

        I hope so, too. We were SO disappointed that we couldn’t go out this weekend, but then the weather turned quite a bit worse than they had called for, so we didn’t lose out, after all! The kayak will arrive at Sea Eagle tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll know soon.

        It was kinda funny: the one time we had it out, two people with regular inflatables walked by and said, “Whoa…those are inflatables???” Seems to be a fairly common occurrence, so far! We were really concerned about it being an open cockpit, but now, we can’t imagine going back inside. It was so much more comfortable and nice to have the sun and fresh air on your legs.

        • I totally agree, I’ve gotten so used to an open cockpit, it’s hard to imagine going back to a closed-in one. Plus I keep getting the same comments from people… I think this is the only inflatable kayak I’ve reviewed where people are surprised it’s an inflatable.

          • I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s posts and I’m looking forward to ordering a razorlite. I have a SeaEagle Fasttrack 385 right now. I’m waiting for the two-place version of the Razorlite to be released so I can compare the two models and decide which one to go with. I really like my FT385 but sometimes I feel the need for speed. SeaEagle support is excellent! I live in San Diego. California, just 1/3 of a mile from Mission Bay so I am able to kayak year round.

          • I can’t wait for the tandem RL to come out as well. I keep checking to see, hopefully soon!!

    • How can you crack an inflatable canoe? was it cold?

      • Tim Berkey says:

        No, it was actually INDOORS, where it was 70 degrees! I’m not a boater, so forgive me if I use the wrong terminology, but the hull of the boat is made of a very high-strength plastic. It gives you great confidence that a sharp rock or stick is not going to tear through you as you crash into it.

        The crack actually happened when we were practicing folding up the kayak an putting it into it’s large backpack, which does take some practice to master. I was having issues with it and actually contacted the company. Their response was that I was probably being too careful with it, so don’t be scared to use a little more oomph to pack it in there. Obviously, a little too much, but I can attest that I am not a big strong guy; it just didn’t want to fold correctly. I know this because we both had ZERO problems putting my wife’s kayak into her backpack. Either way, Sea Eagle was awesome to deal with. They paid for it to be shipped back for inspection, then they sent a brand new one out within a week.

  12. Michael Fish says:

    I have been reading your reviews. The new tandem RL seems like what I have been looking for. I will probably be out solo most of the time but maybe my wife will go too. We have a home on a large lake in NE Oklahoma so I will encounter some waves with the wind and wake from big boats. I have been contemplating between the tandem RL and the Puffin Saranac. Do you have any experience with the Puffin Saranac? If not hope you will try it and review it. Seems the match to the tandem RL but I wonder about the comfort in ithe Puffin. Seats do not look as comfortable. But I have no experience.
    I am to be 69 soon and looking for recreational and exercise capabilities. I will take some classes so I will know how to handle the tippiness since I am totally new to paddling and have no bad habits to break. Thanks for your reviews and looking to the tandem RL review especially as it works as a solo

    • I haven’t tried the Puffin Saranac but I have tried the Puffin Saco. The folding kayaks are great but take much longer to put together. This might not be an issue if you are leaving your kayak assembled/inflated for the season. With the Saco I was really excited about it but it took me forever to get it assembled and was actually extremely frustrating. I almost went nuts trying to assemble the Saco, some parts didn’t seem to fit properly… it is possible mine had a few issues with it. However I do agree the Saranac looks like a really nice kayak. The ease and convenience of the RazorLite however would definitely win me over a folding kayak any day. Classes are a great idea. Don’t worry too much about the tippiness though, I find you get comfortable in the RL really fast. I’ve had mine out now in some pretty heavy chop and I felt very comfortable. I am hoping to review the tandem RL soon, so stay tuned 🙂

  13. Timothy Berkey says:

    Just got an email from Donna. They are replacing my RazorLite! Hopefully, it will get out this week, so I can use it over Memorial Day weekend.

    • Awesome!!

      • Timothy Berkey says:

        It shipped Friday night, so it will be in my hands on Tuesday! I have to admit, they have taken care of the problem about as well as I can possibly ask a company to. Hopefully, kayak #2 will be the one that lasts.

  14. I was browsing the SeaEagle website and it looks like the two place Razorlite will be available on May 25th!
    It’s called a 473RL

  15. Hi!

    First of all, thank you very much the super informative review, Allison. Also the rest of the comments have been very useful.

    I am a newbie to the kayaks and I have decided to get an inflatable one. The only concern is the legroom. I am 6ft2 with a 34″ inseam. Based on the pictures the legroom might be too tight in the Sea Eagle 393rl RazorLite. What’s your opinion on this, Allison?

    I am primarily interested in buying a tandem IK. There are contradictory opinion in the Internet regarding the legroom of the IKs for tall people. How would you compare the legroom in the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame 2 Convertible, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge 2, the Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 and the Sea Eagle SE 420X?

    • I find that the open kayaks are more comfortable for taller people than a closed-in kayak such as the AE Convertible. With the open kayaks, there is more room to bend the knees. I have had someone who was 6’4″ out paddling my 385 FastTrack with me… he sat at the front, I was at the back. I remember his knees were bent but overall he was fairly comfortable. I think there is a similar amount of leg room in the StraitEdge 2, the 385FT and the 420X… probably a little more with the 420x. Are you planning to paddle then tandem kayak solo or with another person? You will definitely be more comfortable going out solo I think. Once you remove one of the seats and move the solo seat to the center of the kayak it provides quite a bit more room up front. Another option is the new 473 RazorLite. It is 15.5′ long and you can remove the back seat and adjust the solo seat to the middle, which would provide tons of room for you. I think this one would even be just fine paddling tandem. Tell you what… I am taking my 393rl out on Wednesday, I’ll measure the leg room inside from the seat to the front and get back to you with the exact measurements. It will be similar in length to the other models you mentioned, although leaner width-wise. I also have a 473rl on the way that I will be reviewing so if you’re not in a rush I could measure that one most likely by next week.

      • Hi!

        Thanks for the reply. A couple of hours ago I went to a test ride at a local kayak rental shop. They only had the hard-shell kayaks there. I could fit my legs in the cockpit but I didn’t feel comfortable due to the tight space.

        Allison, I am mainly into paddling solo but at times also with a pillion. Thus a tandem kayak is on my primary list. I would be really grateful if you could take the measurements of the 393RL and the 473RL, please.

        • Will do Vesa. I’ll get back to you soon!

        • Vesa I finally have the measurements for you! Sorry I’m so late… Much to my frustration I kept forgetting the tape measure every time I went kayaking. Not sure if it is too late but here they are…
          I measured from the back of the seat to the front of the kayak – The front tip of the kayak gets quite pointy so I only measured to where I thought your feet would be comfortable.
          393RL: 64″
          473RL: 53″ from the front seat (when paddling this kayak as a tandem) / 89″ from middle seat (when paddling this kayak solo)

          • Thanks for the information, Allison.

            I did end up buying the FT385 yet I still have not had a chance to try it. The paddles were lost during the transportation to Finland. I will finally get them tomorrow.

            By the way, do you think the foot rests are compulsory in the FT385? Obviously if I had them, the leg room would be much less.

          • That’s great Vesa, hope the paddles arrived safely. The footrests are definitely not compulsory, I often don’t use them.

          • Hi Vesa.
            My wife and I have a FT385. When properly placed, the footrests do not take up any of your legroom. The footrests do make it easier to push against something if you are doing a torso stroke (much stronger and efficient than just using your arms) but we sometimes do not use them. My wife found that a yoga cylinder works even better and is the perfect size to slip into the kayak at the front end, where she sits. I place an inflatable footrest behind her seat.

            When I go out in the FT385, by myself, I don’t use the footrest and even sit cross legged from time to time. It’s very comfortable paddling that way.

            The smartest change we’ve made after getting our FT385 was to purchase two carbon graphite paddles from Aqua-Bound. That made a HUGE difference in how long we can paddle without getting tired. The lower weight of the carbon graphite paddles makes a huge difference in endurance. Have fun!

          • Anna Baas says:

            Thank you Vesa for asking this question, and Allison for answering in such detail!

            I have a follow-up question from the vertically privileged crowd… my husband and I have 36″ and 39″ inseams. It seams like we could both comfortably use the 1-person RL, and either of us would just about fit in the front seat of the tandem. But is the back seat of the tandem as roomy as the front? In other words, would we fit in it together?

            We’re on the fence between starting out with a tandem and later adding a single, or just going for two singles. The tandem would be fun for day trips and/or bringing a guest sometimes, but of course, not so much fun if you can’t stretch your legs from time to time 🙂

          • Hey Anna, You would both be fine in the tandem for sure. The back seat can actually be moved quite a ways back… even further than I have it in my pictures. So there is the possibility of lots of leg room from the back seat and of course also from the front seat. It is certainly a nice option to have the tandem so you could use it to bring friends out if you wanted. However I find that most couples, including myself, who start off with a tandem, end up wanting two singles and eventually go that route. Paddling a tandem kayak is convenient and can be fun but I think power struggles are inevitable haha. I’ve got both the tandem and the single and our preference is to both paddle a solo kayak but there are times that we head out in the tandem and it is lots of fun… Plus you can really get moving with two people paddling. I have to admit the tandem is handy to have. We always go back to solo paddling after though 🙂

    • Timothy Berkey says:

      Vesa,

      With the adjustable seats (with the straps that allow you to shorten or lengthen as needed), I can’t see you having any issues. Although I am only 5’6″, with a 30″ inseam, there seems to be plenty of room for expansion on both the seat and the foot rest.

      We were concerned about the open-cockpit, as we are newbies as well, and the only ones we had used were hard-shell that had your legs completely covered. Now that we have been in these, we can’t imagine going back to the fully-enclosed style!

      The true beauty of Sea Eagle is, if you don’t like it, you’ve got six months to say so! You cannot beat that.

      Good luck with whatever you purchase.

  16. Hi Timothy!

    It’s great to hear you have found the open kayaks more comfy.

    I read somewhere people have had issues with the Sea Eagle’s adjustable seat straps stripping off from the stitching. It might be, of course, that the newer models have been upgraded with sturdier stitching.

  17. I see that Sea Eagle has a 2 person Razorlite. However, based on specifications it seems that the 1 person can easily take two. I wonder if you are willing to test the single person Razorlite with two sitting in there. I have seen reviews where the larger Fasttrack took four persons with now problem. We tried one with four adult and it indeed worked well as long as one used non-inflatable seats that took out less floor space.

    So if you are willing to test 2 people in the 1 person Razorlite, it would be interesting. No pressure of course…:)

    Thanks.
    Cathy

    • Hi Cathy, the 393 RazorLite is only rated for one person so I know that SE doesn’t recommend two people in it. Might be possible though, I’ll give it a shot one day.

  18. Hi!

    Have you been able to use the inflatable footrest in the FT385 and the Razorlite without any problems? Sea Eagle states that the lightweight strap with the roll is the correct footrest insead of the inflatable one.

    • Yes I haven’t had any issues with them. I use the inflatable footrest in my FT385 as I have the older model and the roll with the strap in my RazorLite. I prefer the roll with the strap to the inflatable one.

  19. Timothy Berkey says:

    A couple of updates, now that we area a couple of months in. First, I put mine in the pool, so I could practice re-entries. I was amazed at how hard I had to work at getting the thing to capsize! For as “tippy” (as you called it) as it seems, it really is very stable. It was also very easy to right and to re-enter the kayak.

    Second, we are in the midst of our southern vacation and actually got to bring them along with us. An awesome person who goes by “Kayak Guy Atlanta” told us a great place to go for our first trip down south. This would have NEVER happened with hard-shell kayaks.

    So very glad we discovered the Razorlite series.

  20. Sue Drouillard says:

    Hi Allison, I am wondering about the strength of the material compared to others that are made from PVC and 100 denier polyester. I paddle where there are rocks and logs and branches in the water that can rip the kayak. What is the strongest material out there that will resist ripping the best?
    I have read the reviews of the RazorLite and the FastTrack but I am unsure about the stability of getting in and out of the RaorLite. I have an old plastic kayak and was wondering about the difference of stability between the RazorLite and my old plastic one. Would it be about the same? One review said to use a small bilge pump to get rid of excess water. Do the drain valves in the RazorLite and FastTrack mean you do not need a Bilge pump? Thanks.

    • Hi Sue,The RazorLite is made with PVC and is very durable and strong. Bumping up against rocks, logs or branches is not an issue. I am always conscious about any inflatable kayak I paddle not to overly scrape the bottom or sides, but in general they are very durable and the RazorLite is solid. PVC and Hypalon are the two most common materials used for inflatable kayaks. I’ve always found the PVC to be very durable. I’ve yet to have a tear in any of my inflatable kayaks and they get used a lot. As far as stability I do find the FastTrack to be more stable than the RazorLite but getting in and out of the RazorLite is easy enough. If you are used to paddling hard-shells you may not find the RazorLite ‘tippy’ at all, it’s just compared to the FastTrack and other wider inflatable kayaks, I notice less stability. It’s hard for me to compare the stability to your old plastic kayak as they can all differ so much depending on the shape.

      I carry a bilge pump with me when I am in choppier water, on longer paddling trips or when ocean kayaking to be safe… But I’ve never had to use it. The drain valves are good to a certain degree if you are in whitewater or ocean swells. However, although they do let the water out they will also let some water in. I think the bilge pump is still nice to have if you feel you will be kayaking in conditions where water will get in your kayak and you really want to stay dry.

    • Timothy Berkey says:

      If I can give you a layman’s perspective, Sue: I’ll leave the first part to Allison, as she is the expert on all things inflatable. As for the stability in entering/exiting, my wife and I are in our 50’s, and while we are both quite athletic, we are also total novices when it comes to kayaking. We have never had an issue whatsoever in entering or exiting our kayak. They rock a little, which makes you FEEL like they will tip easily, but that is not the case. I actually put mine in my swimming pool, so I could practice, and I had to really work hard to get it to capsize!

      As for the drains, they are NOT self-bailing. They are simply holes in the floor, with screw-down covers on them. They are only to be used when on dry land. Personally, I never even use them, as it is just as easy to flip the thing over and lift each end of the kayak to get rid of 99% of the water. I then use an old beach towel to dry up whatever is left, which isn’t much.

      Hope this helps. Happy paddling!