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. It can be done.
    I took my Razorlite out for the first time yesterday on the Willamette River in Oregon. Broad with a moderate current. No other traffic on the river at all.
    I was a bit nervous as I had,within the last 8 months had both knees replaced, am 65 years old and, let’s say… portly. I am used to paddling a big tandem Sea Eagle Paddle Ski with my wife, dog, cooler, and other baggage – a boat that would not tip over in a tsunami. So, in looking for something that I could paddle solo and was easy to propel I did not know if the Razorlite was the right boat for me.
    It is very easy to inflate. It is actually easier to use the hand pump they provide than the electric pump I usually use. Getting in the first time was dicey, It’s easier to get in from a sandy shore, wading in up to you knees, reaching over to the opposite side to balance the boat and plop your rear end down hoping for the best.. It did not tip over. I did not fall off. (Nonetheless, I was careful to enter at a point were no one would see if I had.)
    It felt wobbly at first, but you get used to it and feel more comfortable over time. Since there was no other traffic I did not have to deal with wakes.
    It is amazingly easy to paddle. Moving upstream with little effort, but you need to be careful about moving around in the boat. At all. At this point I’d say it’s very easy to paddle especially moving upstream making an out and back trip enjoyable. It’s not a boat I’d relax in, at least not yet, especially in choppy water or encountering wakes. But I imagine that with practice I will improve to the point where my wife will let me take the dog. Glad I bought it.

    • Great comment John, thank you for sharing! I’m betting you’ll get comfortable enough to take the dog out with you soon enough 🙂 Happy paddling!

  2. Anatoliy says:

    I have just tried RazorLite 473rl
    https://youtu.be/TePTD9YI3a0

  3. Hi Allison,
    Long time sea kayaker here. I have always paddled a hard shell kayak and now with age and health issues finding it harder to manage loading and transporting my 14 foot kayak. I am also planning on getting an RV and cannot figure out how to attach my yak! I paddle a lot with my club, here in Northern California, and we go everywhere, ocean, lake and river. Every time folks have brought IKs to a paddle it has been a problem, slow to inflate and get on the water and really slow in keeping up with the group. Your review of the RL gives me hope! it appears to be the closest IK to hard shell out there. Couple of questions please.

    1. Any larger spray skirt available? It can get pretty windy and cold.
    2. Can I assume a battery or electric pump is ok to use for inflating?

    Thanks for all the great info,
    Carole

    • Hi Carole, The RL is definitely the closest IK I’ve paddled to a hard-shell. I belong to a kayaking club and I am one of two inflatable kayaks. My RL keeps up no problem. However it unfortunately does not have a spray skirt so it is quite open and exposed to the elements. In cold weather I really bundle up with layers and waterproof pants and jacket. I’ve never had an issue with it but it is different than a closed-in hard-shell with a skirt. It is however very fast to inflate even with a hand pump. You can definitely use an electric pump as well.

  4. Hi Allison, I’ve been looking at Sea Eagles for a long time and particularly the Razorlite. I was thrilled to find that they now have a tandem version of the Razorlite, the 473rl. I’m interested to know if you’ve had a chance to test it. I primarily paddle solo but have children who occasionally paddle with me so a tandem/solo option has always been appealing but am concerned about the performance and handling for solo kayaking. Any insight you have is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi Norm, Yes I have tested it and I like it a lot. I’ve had it out several times now and I find with two people paddling it is a lot of fun and really easy to get some good speed. The first time I paddled it solo it was really windy and I found it took a lot of effort to paddle and to turn in particular. However since then I’ve tried it in calmer conditions and have quite enjoyed it when paddling solo. I do prefer paddling the 393rl solo however as I find it a little easier to get going and much easier to turn. It is definitely a nice option to be able to switch the seats out and paddle it tandem or solo but for myself if I were mainly going to be paddling solo I prefer the handling and easy portability of the 393rl. I’ve done a full review of the 473rl here… http://www.inflatablekayakworld.com/inflatable-kayak-review-473/

  5. Hi Allison/All
    Really good review and reading from all. I have recently been looking at folding kayaks as I do not have anywhere to store a hardshell. I have been engrossed in research regarding speed, performance and weight and practicality. I have considered origami Oru kayak, but have been put off by price and concern that it can be folded up to 20000 time’s and then be no more. I wanted speed for open water, sea touring and lakes. I read that 16ft is faster than a smaller kayak, I enjoyed reading Richards comment about the race and how it was close. My question, you mention the two seater 473rl can be used as a one seater, does this mean it would be faster than the single 393rl if I purchased?
    Many thanks in advance, from Kev

    • In theory a longer, sleeker kayak is typically faster. I’m not sure about the tandem RazorLite. I found that it did move nicely once I hit my stride but I haven’t compared it alongside anything. When I am out with my kayaking club I always just bring my solo 393rl and I’ve been quite happy with the speed and maneuverability of it and I personally find it lighter and easier to paddle solo. I’m not personally a huge fan of the folding kayaks but I think a really good one is probably going to be a bit faster.. but as you said also cost quite a bit more. I like the inflatables, I find them much easier to setup and very durable. You might really like paddling the 473rl solo, especially if you are a little bigger and stronger than I am.

  6. Thanks a lot for the review.
    Is it possible to be more specific about the speed. I know that SeaEagle says “up to 6 knots”, but a lot of boats can be paddled at that speed for 2 exhausting minutes. What about the cruising speed over an hour? If you paddle regularly in the same place, could you test yourself over a known distance? This would be very useful.
    Thanks again.

    • Tim Berkey says:

      Jake,

      I’ll throw in my two cents, from a layman’s perspective. We bought ours this past Spring and had it out maybe a dozen times this summer. In August, we were training for a race and we went 2 miles in just about 30 minutes flat on a very rough lake on a windy day. So, in effect, we averaged 4 mph in these conditions. Now, I am 58 years old, and in excellent shape for that age group. I am also a novice paddler, as this year is my first. If a guy my age and experience (and size) can average 4 mph for 30 minutes, I have to believe a younger, stronger person can do near the 6 mph (not knots) mark that Sea Eagle says. This thing absolutely slices through waves SO well. I honestly thought the headwinds would hurt much more than they actually do. A strong wind quartering into you is probably the hardest paddling, but I am assuming that would be true no matter what kayak you were using.

      Either way, good luck with your purchasing decision. We agonized over ours, but we could not be happier. The only thing we wish it had was a different color choice, so we didn’t have two identical kayaks, but that is minor.

  7. Hi guys, I have iSUPs so interested in the razorlites – same tough material. I like longer distance paddling, usually 30 km or so in a day. Do you think either of the razorlites would suit solo longer distance trips?
    Cheers
    Craig

    • Hi Craig, The Razorlite would definitely be my choice for longer distance paddling. I find I have far less fatigue when paddling this kayak as opposed to other IK’s that I’ve tried. The tandem will offer more room for gear and extra stability. However I like the 393rl personally for solo paddling… It glides well and is quite responsive.

  8. Greetings,
    I recently found this website, so I hope you don’t mind a newbie opinion. Your demonstration pictures and video would be excellent, except for one thing: The model you hired for the photos and video is far too attractive. Her appearance tends to distract one’s attention from the subject matter. She doesn’t look at all like someone you would just see out paddling in real life. This might diminish the credibility a bit. Maybe you should consider having your demo models look more like regular, everyday people. One thing, though, she sure can paddle a kayak!
    Best regards,
    Rick
    Tampa, FL

  9. Allison,
    I am about to buy the RL 393. I own the SE 330 for 3 years, and I have paddled many hard shell kayaks.
    I like the sleek design of the 393 and also would like to use it kayak camping. Could you share your ideas about its capacity for carrying gear?
    Also while I mostly kayak on flat lakes, I did just paddle a hard shell on the CO river near Rifle. Mostly it was a easy float but we did encounter some small rapids which were quite fun but also the waves craching on the bow brought water inside the hard shell. So knowing this is more open design how does taking on water affect things? Also on these rapids in the hard shell, there was a few moments when I was sideways to the waves and felt fine (not tippy ). Any words on how the RL 393 feels in rapids, would it be inclined to tip if caught sideways? Does it have a Class I or II rating..

    Thanks for your thoughts on this..
    Leila
    Leila

    • Hi Leila, The RL393 is really a great choice, my favorite IK by far. No problem loading it up with gear. I haven’t taken it on an overnight camping trip yet but I have paddled it with two dogs, which added an extra 100 lbs. As long as they weren’t trying to walk around inside the kayak it was steady and fine to paddle. I don’t think you would have any trouble loading it right up. There is a decent amount of room up front under the spray skirt and more in the back as well for gear.

      I have actually taken it down a class II river. I know it is not necessarily designed for that type of water but it handled quite well and was super fun. The water was fairly shallow and the only thing I would have done differently was take the fin off – even though it doesn’t track as well without it. My fin hit rocks and the bottom numerous times and luckily only came out with a few scratches on it. I thought there was a good possibility of tipping as I had friends who tipped in their hard shell kayaks going down that same river. However both myself and my friend who was also paddling an inflatable kayak got through with no tips and no trouble. There were times that I was bracing my knees against the side of the kayak for added stability but it really handled just fine. We both took on some water however. Nothing that caused issues but it did weigh us down a bit more and needed to be dumped out at the end. I normally bring a bilge pump along any time I kayak so I can pump out water if necessary but I didn’t even think of using it until we finished.

      Hope that helps. It is definitely better suited for flat water but doable in moving rivers as long as you are not going down anything too crazy. Happy paddling!!

  10. Timothy Berkey says:

    Well, it only took us an extra year, but we finally got our kayatri done this summer, Allison. We were up in Petoskey, Michigan for the tri last week and the RazorLites performed quite well. There were a wide range of craft in this event, from very fast sea kayaks to SUP’s, as well as a huge range of ages in both genders, so it’s really tough to say exactly HOW well, but both of us were pleased with our RL’s. We both averaged just over 4 mph, which is really quite good considering that (a) the wind was a bit stronger than we had hoped for and was quartering, so there was quite a bit of sideways push and a bit of roll and yaw, even with our skegs in, and (b) we knew that we still had an insanely tough 12 mile bike and a tougher-than-average 3.1 run to come, so we weren’t going to leave it all out there in the first part of the race.

    At the end of the day, we are still in love with our RL kayaks. It is amazing to be able to travel everywhere with them in the back of our car, never having to worry about them being damaged or stolen in our travels. They don’t do any one thing better than others, but they do the whole package and they do it well.

    • Hi Tim, Thanks for the update, that is fantastic! I wondered if you ended up doing the race with the kayaks. I am super impressed, it sounds awesome and I’m so glad to hear it worked out well. You are inspiring me… A KayaTri is still on my bucket list. I need to check that one off soon myself! 🙂

      • Timothy Berkey says:

        You can do it! Just pick carefully…ours had a 1/4 mile barefoot run after the kayak just to reach the transition area, then the first 2/3 of a mile on the bike went up 170 feet! Wanted to jump off a cliff, right then and there, but pride fortunately took over, and we finished without stopping. 🙂

        • Haha thanks!! I will definitely choose carefully. A 1/4 mile barefoot run does not sound appealing. What a crazy experience, but I bet if felt amazing when you were done 😉

  11. Hello Allison,

    I am interested in the RL393. I have a little experience in hard shells, but have never been in an IK before.
    Some people report the 393 can feel “tipsy”. Is this any more of a “tipsy” feeling that one might get from a hard shell?

    Also, I am a big guy (240Lb/6ft with wide shoulders) … Will I be too big for the 393 even though it can handle 500Lbs? I have seen people who have picked IK that do not match their size needs. I would like to try and not be one of those people 😉

    Thanks for taking the time to answer peoples questions!

    Chris

    • Hey Chris, It depends what type of hard shells you have kayaked before. It is certainly no ‘tippier’ than a sleek hard shell. It might feel less stable than the wide recreational hard shell kayaks. I find you get used to it quickly and the slimmer width is what helps it to perform so well. For those who have experience paddling inflatable kayaks they may be used to the wide pontoon-like sides that add so much extra stability. The Razorlite is unique because it has thinner more rigid sides. It performs better but also tends to feel more ‘tippy’ compared to other wider IK’s. It excels for flat water paddling. I don’t think you would be too big for the 393rl. If you are concerned with stability especially if you will be doing a lot of ocean paddling in choppy water then I would suggest taking a look at the Sea Eagle FastTrack. It’s not as fast but still an awesome kayak. Also if you did have any issues Sea Eagle has their great 180 day return policy, which helps to add a bit of security. Hope that helps!

      • Allison,
        That helps quite a bit. Thank you. I think I am going to get the 393rl. I live in Oregon and will more than likely be using it on smaller lakes. I was looking for an IK more for exercise than leisure at this time. The 393rl sounds like it will fit my needs, just wanted to make sure I fit in it first:) Thanks for the fast reply!

        & Thanks again,
        Chris

    • Timothy Berkey says:

      Chris, we obviously come from different ends of the size spectrum, as I am 5’6″, 155 Lbs., but I can tell you, these things are REALLY difficult to turn over. When I first got one, I put it into my swimming pool, just so I could practice re-entries. I had to seriously work hard to get it to capsize. It feels a bit wobbly when you first get in, making you think that It’s very unstable. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      As Allison said, this company is wonderful to deal with. You get 180 days, no questions asked. We had an issue with one of ours in the first month and they paid to have it sent back, inspected it, then sent me a new one within a week! They even called me when there was a mixup with UPS about the pickup of the defective one, just to make sure our signals were straight. Really good company.

      If you feel the 393 is too small, you could always move into the tandem 473, which has a 750 lb capacity, but use it solo. Best of luck with your decision.

  12. Rick Clark says:

    If you want a high-performance inflatable kayak, you probably can’t do better than the RazorLite 393; especially for the price. If you’ve read many reviews, you already know how most 393RL owners feel about this kayak. Instead of echoing all the praise, I’ll just say that I recently bought a RazorLite, and I’m about to buy a second one for my companion. Even then I’ll have spent less on both than it would cost to get just one hard shell kayak of similar quality and performance. The best advice I can give anyone is to contact Sea Eagle’s “Hawaiian Dan.” He’s the fellow who does the informative instructional videos. Dan can answer any question you could possibly think of about the 393RL, or any other Sea Eagle product. He will walk you through all the details, and make sure you’re totally delighted with your new RazorLite 393. Just call Sea Eagle’s toll-free number and ask for “Hawaiian Dan,” or send him an email: dan@seaeagle.com. You’ll be glad you did.

  13. J G Fontana says:

    Sea Eagle 393 RL was on end of season sale at Keep It Reel Kayak and Tackle, Oak Bluffs, MA (Martha’s Vineyard) for $719 – all inclusive. This was as of August 24, 2016.

  14. Bought the Razorlite based largely on your review and I love it! I am so impressed with this kayak. We are surrounded by some large lakes and I love to be on the water. My experience with inflatables in the past wasn’t great so I was a bit nervous to take the leap with this one but couldn’t be happier! Hoping to get my boyfriend on board with his own Razorlite down the road as well. Considered the larger 2-seater but prefer the portability of the solo and also prefer to control my own boat 😉 Thanks for all the great info!

  15. Mathieu ALLAFORT says:

    Hi Allison,

    Great work communicating your experience and answering all the questions. Thank you very much. I will kindly seek your experience to judge SeaEagles kayak in more «extreme» conditions.
    I am about to on board on a 6 months kayak adventure in the Fiordland (New Zealand). The kayak will need to handle daily intensive use in fiords with 11c salty water (rare showers except for rain) and it would be great if it allow me to exceptionally go through coastline and/or white waters.
    I am balancing in between the FastTrack series and the RazorLite. I would be grateful if you could share your knowledge and rank this series on bellow 2 aspects.

    1 Durability:
    As you imagine, durability is my #1 preoccupation. Which of these two boats will fail first? I also care about «reparability», as I am worry that in case of failure, the 10psi of the Razorlite will make it a lot harder to patch up.

    2 Going through coastal waves
    I know, none of the «Sea»Eagles are actually made for actual Sea, but I will have to follow coastline from one fiord to another exceptionally. Which of the two designs do you believe will handle better in waives? At your best experience, to what height of waives would you trust to push them?

    I look forward to your feedback,
    Very best feelings,
    Mathieu

    • Hi Mathieu, Your 6 month kayak adventure in New Zealand sounds like an epic trip!! I’ll try and answer your questions as best I can…
      1. For durability it is hard to say. I have found both to be extremely durable personally and have not had any issues with mine even after extensive use. I really couldn’t say which would fail first however. The FastTrack has been around longer so has proven to be durable longterm. The low pressure of the FT plus the double overlap seams may help it to last longer…
      2. For going through larger waves I prefer the stability of the FT. I think the RL is easier to turn quickly in rough water but the FT definitely feels more secure and is better suited for white waters. You can take either in as big of waves as you want, all depends on your comfort and skill level. They won’t sink but you might take on some water, which will really slow you down and make the kayaks heavy to paddle. Definitely bring a bilge pump along with you. I love the RL but I do prefer paddling it on fairly calm water.

      You don’t have to worry about the salt water, it won’t impact either of these kayaks. The only thing you might find over extended use in salt water is that the clips on the seat might become difficult to slide over time, but they could be replaced with brass if necessary down the road.

      Hope that helps! Good luck and happy paddling! I would love to hear about your trip when you get back 🙂

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