Sea Eagle FastTrack (385 FT) Review

Kayak Overview

Sea Eagle 385 FastTrack Inflatable KayakThe Sea Eagle FastTrack is one of the best tandem inflatable kayaks from Sea Eagle. This is quite the step up from their cheaper models like the 370 and 330. It’s faster, sleeker and lighter than ever before. The sleek, curved touring shape combined with their new “NeedleKnife keel” makes this a true high performing inflatable kayak. Most importantly of all however, is the fact that the 385 is designed to be safe and stable.

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It weighs 32 pounds and is capable of taking up to two full grown adults. The total carrying capacity of the 385 is 635 pounds, so even with two adults on board there is still about 400 pounds left of carrying capacity, perfect for a dog or some bags.

It’s made from a reinforced, 1000 denier material with wide overlapping seams for extra safety. The material is also completely resistant to saltwater and UV rays from the sun, meaning it will not deteriorate if you were to leave it outside for longer periods of time. There are 4 air chambers, which is another sign of Sea Eagle prioritizing safety.

The Sea Eagle FastTrack can handle lakes, ponds and ocean bay area with ease. As for rivers, the 385 is safe to paddle in rivers up to a class 2 rating, anything beyond that will push its limits.

The innovative inflatable keel combined with the rear skeg makes for really good tracking (hence the name FastTrack). It will paddle true and straight in almost any kind of condition, whether you’re paddling in a bay area, up streams or on a windy and choppy lake.

Features:

  •         Inflatable needlenose keel provides excellent tracking
  •         Designed to be extremely safe
  •         Lightweight considered it’s a tandem kayak
  •         High pressure dropstitch floor for extra rigidity

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 150 inches in length (12.6 ft) , 36 inches (3 ft)  in
  • Capacity: 635 pounds
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Material: 1,000 Denier Reinforced Fabric

Our Review

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Sea Eagle has done it once again, this time it’s better than ever before. Let’s just say that this inflatable kayak deserves the name “FastTrack”.

There’s A Reason Why They Call It The FastTrack

Let’s start with the most interesting feature, a feature that makes this boat better from the rest. We’re of course talking about the inflatable keel at the bow. It’s designed to keep the kayak going straight no matter what, even if you’re paddling your heart out at a choppy ocean. In the later versions of the Fast Track, Sea Eagle streamlined and point the keel a little bit more in the front. This new keel design is what they call the “NeedleKnife” keel, it cuts through the water with a lot less resistance, reducing drag and making you go faster. Unfortunately (depending on how you see it) we didn’t get to see how the tracking was in rougher water. But from the testing we did on the lakes and rivers we have close by, we can safely say that the tracking is truly unique, we dare to say it’s on par with Advanced Elements, if not better.

We love the high pressure drop stitch floor, feels like a solid floor

Another interesting aspect of the Fast Track is its unique dropstitch floor. It’s a separate air chamber and thanks to the drop stitching it can be inflated to a very high air pressure, making it very rigid and hard.The floor is actually so rigid that you can stand up and still be very stable. Just for giggles, we tried if we could paddle it like a stand up board, and it actually worked quite OK. Not as efficient as sitting down but definitely possible, it’s important to mention that we have paddle stand up boards like two times before, so we’re ultra beginners.

You can run it over with a jeep without causing any damage

For someone that doesn’t know a lot about materials, the words “1,000 Reinforced Fabric” might not say much. What it basically means is that it’s made with a thick and very durable material. It’s actually so thick you can hit it with a hammer (with both the flat and clawed part), drop a cinderblock on it or run it over with a Jeep. The material makes launching the kayak on paved surfaces a worry of the past, you can scrape it against the pavement all you want, it’s not going to tear or puncture. The reinforced fabric made us feel safe enough to try it on the shallower areas of our river, we did scrape against some objects but in the end all we found was just scratch marks, we couldn’t find any signs of damage.

Set up is so easy even a kid could do it

Setting up the Sea Eagle FastTrack was really easy, so easy that a kid could do it without any problems. Inflation takes about 7 minutes when using the included foot pump, will take more or less the same if you use a double action hand pump. Because it has 4 chambers you’ll have to inflate all of these separately, takes longer but it’s a lot safer. Installing the seats is as easy as tightening a couple of buckles. Even though setting it up is very straight forward, Sea Eagle has created a video on how to inflate and set it up properly.

Several packages to choose from, all with different features to suit your needs

If you’re familiar with Sea Eagle products, you know that they always let you choose from several different packages, usually ranging from Deluxe to Pro. The Sea Eagle FastTrack is a little different however, as you have a total of 5 packages to choose from. We recommend the Pro Tandem Package, as you’ll get the good seats and good paddles. Here’s a quick overview what each package gets you:

  • Solo Package: This is the least expensive one and will give you the most basic features. It comes with only one seat and one paddle, it’s still the same size but you’ll have to buy additional paddles and seats if you want to go tandem.
  • Tandem Package: The tandem package is available in both the Deluxe and Pro format. We recommend getting the Pro version as you’ll get high back seats, better paddles and a waterproof bag.
  • Fishing Package: The fishing version of the 385 comes with a high swivel chair instead, making it ideal for anglers who want to fish from any direction they want.
  • Pro Carbon Package: This package comes with high end carbon fiber paddles and two high back seats.
  • QuickSail Package: If you don’t fancy paddling, you can let the wind drive you forward. The QuickSail package comes with a 14 square foot sail that can be installed onto your Fast Track in less than a minute.

Pros

  • Very stable and rigid
  • Built to last, the strong materials will withstand abuse for years
  • Plenty of packages to choose from
  • One of the safest inflatable kayaks

Cons

  • High price

Conclusion:

The Sea Eagle FastTrack is a high end inflatable kayak, one of the best you can buy at the moment. It does its name justice, as it’s one of the best tracking kayaks we’ve tried so far (and we have tried a lot of them). Not only does it track straight as an arrow, it’s fast as well. With no side to side movement when paddling, all of your power and momentum is used efficiently. Sea eagle had the goal of making the Fast Track an extremely safe kayak and they executed that task perfectly. It’s super stable, rigid, durable and has multiple air chambers.

A little bit more pricey than most of the kayaks we’ve reviewed, but the price is justified. It’s hard to find a kayak that is this good for a lower price, we dare to say that it’s impossible.  If you’re looking for an inflatable kayak that will handle calm waters with perfection, you can be sure you’re getting your moneys worth with the 385.

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