Sea Eagle 473rl RazorLite Review

paddling the Sea Eagle 473rl RazorLite

The solo 393rl kayak has quickly become my absolute favorite inflatable kayak and I paddle it now all the time.

I was excited to try out the new tandem version, the 473rl to see how it compared.

As expected it was equally as strong and rigid. It paddled straight and glided nicely.

It is quite a bit heavier than the solo 393rl… a full ten pounds heavier. However it provides lots of room for paddling with a partner or for loading up with gear.

It can hold up to 750 lbs. so it can be loaded right up and still paddle well.

I preferred my 393rl when paddling solo but the fact that the 473rl can be paddled tandem or converted for solo use is a great feature.

Best Uses: Lakes, ocean bays, calm rivers

Brand: Sea Eagle

Number of Paddlers: 1 – 2

Specs: Length 15.5’, Width 30”, Weight 38 lbs., Load Capacity 750 lbs.

Accessories Included: Removable rear fin, 2 adjustable footrests, 2 tall back seats with comfort seat pad, 2 paddles, high-pressure pump with pressure gauge, repair kit, backpack carry bag

Kayak Material: 1100 Decitex Reinforced, all drop stitch material

Standard Features: 3 one-way air valves, 14 D-rings. 2 footrests, 2 open and close drain valves, fully constructed with drop stitch technology, NMMA Certified, front and rear spray skirts, padded carry handles

Pros: Long and lean, glides nicely, fast, great tracking, very comfortable seat, stable, can hold a ton of weight, super fast setup, extremely durable, can be inflated to a high air pressure creating a very rigid kayak, can be converted from tandem to solo

Cons: A little heavy, harder to turn if paddling solo

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More In-Depth Info On The 473rl

Sea Eagle tandem 473 RazorLite inflatable kayak

The 473rl RazorLite is really the ultimate 2-person flat-water inflatable kayak.

It is sleek and long giving it an edge performance wise over most other inflatable kayaks that have wider pontoon sides.

Plus the fact that it is constructed with all drop-stitch material means that it can be inflated up to 10 PSI… higher than any other IK I’ve tried.

The high air pressure creates an extremely rigid kayak and when I am out paddling people consistently are surprised to find out my kayak is an inflatable.

We took both the 393rl and the 473rl out together to get some comparison pictures and to get a feel for both, to see how they were different or similar.

I noticed right off the bat that the 473rl was a bit wider (2” wider). The sides kind of stuck out a bit more than they do on the 393rl.

It is still a narrow IK but the 30” width provides a good amount of stability and room when paddling with another person.

The length provides tons of legroom and overall I found it to be quite comfortable.

473 RazorLite Setup and Weight

backpack for 473rl RazorLite kayak

Compared to the solo model I definitely noticed the extra weight of the 473. It is almost 3’ longer and a couple inches wider and consequently 10 lbs. heavier.

I personally wouldn’t want to have to lug it too far in the backpack. I got my boyfriend to carry it to and from the water for me.

When inflated it is easily carried by two people. The carry handles at either end of the kayak are padded and we carried it quite a distance and even up a good sized hill when inflated with no trouble.

By yourself it would be a little trickier. An EZ cart would really help if you are out by yourself so you could pull it on wheels instead of trying to carry it alone.

From bag to water in under ten minutes.

Overall setup was fast and easy. Take the kayak out of the backpack – note how it is rolled up the first time you take it out as this will help you when you are trying to fit it back into the backpack after using it.

473rl package

There are three main air chambers. There is one for the floor and one for each side.

Inflate the floor chamber first and then the two side chambers. The Sea Eagle website states that setup takes roughly 8 minutes.

inflating floor chamber of SE 473rl

inflating side chambers of 473 RazorLite

I would say that is correct. I think it took me a maximum of 8 minutes to get the board out of the bag, inflate it, attach the fin and the seats and get on the water.

It might take a few extra minutes the first time out but once you know what you are doing it is super fast.

I did notice that it took slightly longer to inflate it than the solo model. I expected that however since it is quite a bit longer.

Seats

Once inflated you can attach the seats and the footrests to the D-rings. There are 14 D-rings on this kayak! There are lots to choose from so you can place the seats where you are most comfortable.

If paddling solo simply attach one seat around the center of the kayak.

I find the seats to be extremely comfortable.  They have a nice padded bottom and a high back that curves around and fits snugly against your back.

The seats are ideal for touring and comfort.  There is also a zippered pouch for small gear or snacks attached to the back of the seats.

RazorLite kayak padded high back seat

Pump and Fin

It is worth noting that the pump that comes with this package works great. It has a pressure gauge so you can watch your progress and I find this pump easier to use than most other hand pumps I’ve tried.

The fin has a nice curve to it and really helps with the tracking. It is easy to slide and clip into place. Once attached it is secure and strong.

RazorLite kayak tracking fin

If you are paddling in really shallow water keep the fin off. Tracking won’t be as good but it will allow you to maneuver through extremely shallow areas.

Sea Eagle 473 RazorLite tandem high pressure inflatable kayak

473rl Performance

The first time I took the 473rl out it was super windy. I paddled it tandem with a friend and we had to work in the choppy water.

I found we got moving quickly and we covered some real distance in a short period of time even in the wind.

paddling the 473rl in wind

I am more of a solo paddler so paddling tandem is always an adjustment for me.

However I found the 473rl comfortable and overall quite easy to paddle with two people. We both had lots of legroom and we reached our destination in no time.

After paddling it tandem I wanted to try a solo paddle. We docked on the beach, removed one seat and moved the solo seat to the center of the kayak.

paddling the 473 Razorlite solo

When paddling solo there is tons of room in this kayak. If you are tall you will appreciate the abundance of legroom.

It felt heavier to paddle solo and took more effort to get moving. Once moving however it still glided nicely.

I found it much harder to turn by myself, especially in the wind, but totally doable.

I was working hard through the wind to get to my destination. However once the wind thankfully died down, it was lovely.

With no wind I didn’t have to struggle so much and it became a real pleasure to paddle.

I definitely prefer paddling my 393rl if I’m going out solo.  However for a larger, stronger person I am sure they would be quite happy paddling the 473rl by themselves.

If you want a super portable performance tandem kayak that has the option of being paddled solo, this one is awesome.

Footrest

I like the footrest that comes with this package. It is basically just a plastic tube with an adjustable strap that attaches to the D-rings.

I find it really helps to press my feet against it. It helps to create more resistance and power in my stroke. I also find it helpful for my back.

My friend however preferred not using them and when we were paddling the 473rl together she removed hers and found she had more legroom and was more comfortable that way.

I like them and find they are quite useful and appreciate that they are included in the package deal. So it is just personal preference if you choose to use them or not.

kayak footrest

Stability of the 473 RazorLite

The stability is very similar to the 393rl. It is a lean performance kayak and consequently is less stable than many other inflatable kayaks that have wider pontoon-like sides.

However I didn’t find stability to be an issue.  We had no problems in the wind or choppy water at all.

Although it has a more ‘tippy’ feeling than many other IK’s, it is still nearly impossible to capsize. Inflatables in general are awesome in that sense. You have to really work at it to go over.

Plus take a look at my dog Seth in most of these pictures.  He’s a little nuts and has decided he prefers riding on the tip of the nose as opposed to inside the kayak.  Even in wind he was able to keep his balance up there and secure his spot as navigator.

Although he does tend to have excellent balance and he is quite small, I don’t think he would be able to stay up there without falling in if this kayak wasn’t stable.

Paddling solo I still felt very comfortable stability wise.  I don’t think anyone would have any issues.

Paddling the Sea Eagle RL

Rigid and Fast

The RazorLite kayaks are all one piece. The sides of the kayak are made with 3” drop-stitch material and the floor is made with 4” drop-stitch material.

It is very well made and when inflated up to 10 PSI it is extremely rigid. I’ve actually inflated mine up to 12 PSI… it seems to be able to hold the extra air pressure with no trouble. However it is rated for 10 PSI.

These are the most rigid inflatable kayaks on the market and they are totally unique.

Once inflated the rigidity is impressive. I am constantly getting comments from other people at the beach who watch us inflate them and can’t believe how great they are and how quickly they set up.

On the water they glide beautifully. I paddle my RazorLite alongside hard-shell kayaks all the time and it keeps up really well. In fact I would say it excels.

Attached Floor

This kayak has an attached floor, which I find makes it very easy to dry off and pack away.

There are a couple areas at the front and end of the kayak where water can pool if you get any water in there.

I find that I usually will tip my kayak right upside down once docked to rid it of any excess water.

Once you’ve done that it is very easy to dry up and pack away. It only takes a couple minutes.

There are two drain valves if you are in choppier water and want to drain water from the kayak while paddling. I rarely use them but they are handy to have.

473rl Package Options

Right now there are three different packages to choose from.

1. Pro Package – Includes the kayak, the rear removable fin, 2 padded tall back seats, 2 AB40 4-part paddles, 2 foot rests, backpack, high-pressure pump with pressure gauge and repair kit.

2. Pro Carbon Package – Includes everything from the first package but instead of the AB40 paddles it includes two lighter 2-piece AB50 carbon fiber paddles (half a pound lighter).

3. Adventure Package – Includes everything from the first package except it swaps the paddles for two AB60 paddles. These paddles are adjustable and have an ergonomic carbon blend shaft.

More Pictures of the 473rl

473rl

back end of the razorlite ik

front end of 473rl

paddling the 473 razorlite solo with Seth

473rl Beside The 393rl

473rl compared to the 393rl

393rl beside the 473rl

Final Thoughts

For solo paddling I prefer my Sea Eagle 393rl. I find it easier to paddle and turn and carry.

However for tandem paddling and for those who want a convertible kayak that can be paddled tandem or solo, the 473rl is awesome.

A little on the heavy side but overall a fantastic addition to the inflatable kayak world.

Looks great, paddles well, glides smoothly, goes fast and is still very portable.

I am a big fan of the RazorLite, it is definitely my kayak of choice for flat water paddling.

The 473rl comes with the great Sea Eagle 3-year warranty and 180-day satisfaction guarantee.

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

Where To Buy

Buying directly from the manufacturer means you get their package deal pricing as well as their 3-year warranty and 180-day risk free trial.

Sea Eagle often has some great package sales available.

Click Here For The Best Deal On The 473rl RazorLite Inflatable Kayak From The Official Sea Eagle Website.

Comments

  1. Timothy Berkey says:

    Nice review. About what I expected from Sea Eagle. I could see where a person who is carrying a lot of gear would get this over the 393, even if they are going solo.

    I will vouch for you on the part about leaving the skeg off, in certain situations. Found myself climbing out of my boat in the middle of the reservoir north of Atlanta, simply because the ground got just a little too shallow between the islands! Not what I had in mind, to say the least. If I had been a little further south, I might still be in my boat, as opposed to battling with whatever is in that water!!!

    • I agree Tim… The 473 is ideal for the person who wants to carry a lot of gear, even if paddling solo.

      I have to laugh because I had the same thing happen to me the other day where I had to get out of my kayak because I got stuck in super shallow water. I was paddling down a moving river having a great time when the water suddenly got way too shallow and I got stuck in the rocks/mud… I had to climb out too. I definitely should have removed my fin. However nothing scary in the water I was in thankfully 🙂

  2. I already set my mind on the FT385, then this one appears! Back to more research.
    Does the RazorLite sails as well as the FT?

    • I haven’t tried sailing it. I think the RL would be less stable sailing but probably move faster. I’ll be getting the QuikSail soon so I’ll try it out on both and see how they compare. I know that the Quiksail is advertised to work well on both.

  3. Just curious but where were these photos taken? I ask because I live in Seattle and am looking for an inflatable tandem that I can take out solo or with my daughter. Most of our paddling would be in the Puget Sound. Usually it’s pretty calm but it can get choppy and you can also get some waist high waves when freighters pass by. Not exactly a lake but also not proper open ocean paddling. I mostly do SUP but my daughter and I have also taken out hard shell kayaks.

    • Hi Chris, these photos were taken on a big lake in BC. It tends to get fairly windy on this particular lake causing some decent chop however nothing like the ocean. I live in the Vancouver area and have had the 473rl out ocean paddling several times. I think the conditions would be fairly similar to the Puget Sound. It handles well in ocean waves. I take the big waves head on if there are any. You may take on a bit of water if the waves are particularly high but I’ve never had an issue or a situation where I feel uncomfortable. I usually bring a manual bilge pump with me when ocean paddling just to be safe but I have rarely used it.

  4. Bryan Corbin says:

    Thank you so much for this excellent review! I really appreciate it. Until I read your review I was heavily leaning towards purchasing Gumotex’s Seawave IK. By chance, have you used this kayak with spray skirts? If so, how did you like them? Thank you in advance for your response.

    • Thanks Bryan I am so glad you found the review helpful! Not sure if you meant have I used the spray skirts on the Seawave or on the Sea Eagle 473rl. I have not used them on the Seawave but have used them on other IK’s. They tend to be just fine, they definitely offer some protection. They can sometimes take a bit of time to attach but otherwise they are usually quite functional. I personally really like the open feel of most IK’s such as with the 473rl. This kayak has spray skirts at the front and back but nothing covering the main middle portion. I have never had any issue with excessive water entering the kayak even when paddling in larger ocean swells.

  5. Thank you for your reviews, which helped me in deciding to buy the 473rl. I have taken it out several times now and I second that it is a great kayak. For solo use, I would avoid carrying it around weirs etc (there are many here in Switzerland), as you also mention in your final thoughts. What is your experience with the 393rl, can you carry it by yourself when it’s inflated? Furthermore, for me as a public-transport user, there is potential for SE when it comes to the backpack. I find the straps too short, the clips made of low-quality plastic and I miss handles at the side for carrying it into a bus or train. It is great though that the kayak comes with a backpack at all and my overall experience with the 473rl is very positive.

    • Hi Rogier, Glad to hear you are happy with your 473rl! I can carry the 393rl by myself but it is not easy. I prefer to have help and if paddling with friends I normally ask one of them to help me carry it to the water. If I am paddling by myself I inflate it as close to the water as I can so I don’t have far to carry it by myself. Good points on the backpack. It’s great to hear your thoughts and hear ideas on how it could be more functional. Happy paddling!

  6. Paul Cassar says:

    Hello Alison
    Thank you for a great review and based on it I have purchased one. I’m a little concerned that when I inflate it there is a bulge on the bottom, immediately below the bottom inflation hole.
    Sea Eagle say that this is normal, but when I looked closely at their video, there is a hollow rather than a bulge.
    Sure would appreciate your advice.
    Regards
    Paul

    • That’s awesome Paul! I hope you love it, it’s a great kayak. The bulge beneath the inflation hole is definitely normal. It’s common on many inflatable kayaks and shouldn’t cause you any trouble. If you notice anything weird with it then contact Sea Eagle again but it should be just fine. Happy paddling!

  7. Marcel Fok says:

    Hi Allison,
    I have just purchased the 473RL and am wondering if it’s easy to get back in the boat without it tipping over (it’s always fun going for a swim when it gets hot!)? I ask because it has been mentioned that it is narrower at 30 inches and therefore less stable? I look forward to hearing from you.
    Cheers, Marcel

    • Hi Marcel, You know what I actually haven’t tried to enter the Razorlite from the water yet. I will have to do that soon once the water warms up a bit more here so I can answer this question better. The 473rl is narrower and consequently I think it would be more difficult to get back in it from the water than many other IK’s. However it is still a decent size and I am sure it is very doable. I think it would be similar to re-entering a sleeker hard-shell kayak. There are a ton of youtube videos on this subject that can give some tips. It might take a little trial and error to figure out the best way back in without tipping it… so practice somewhere safe first. Good luck! 🙂

  8. Hi Alison,
    Really appreciate your blog and reviews, such a great source! Currently looking for a tandem inflatable for family activities (I personally prefer SUP) – something which would cover a day on a lake and a few day trip through lakes/rivers in Ontario parks. Having difficulty to choose between 385ft and 473rl – really like the speed of the latter, but not sure about its ability to transport 2 ppl and all the gear/water/food/etc, especially if weather decide not to cooperate. Any suggestions you might think of? Thanks!

    • Hi Dmitry, The 473rl actually has more interior room for cargo. It’s not as super stable as the FastTrack but I don’t think you’d have any issues. The tandem Razorlite is a good size and I find it much more stable than the solo Razorlite. They are both good kayaks, you can’t really go wrong. I’d personally go for the 473rl. The performance is better and you’ll have enough room for two people plus gear.