Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayaks Compared


Paddling / Sunday, February 14th, 2021

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Sea Eagle Boats is a family-owned and run company based in New York that has been making high-quality inflatable boats since 1968 and their line of Explorer kayaks is proof of their expertise. These boats are built to handle almost any type of water.

Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks are rugged, wet or dry boats with 16 super-fast, self-bailing drain valves that can be left open to drain the waves and spray of Class IV rapids or closed for a dry and comfortable paddle on flatwater.

A second feature that allows the Explorer inflatable kayak to smoothly transition from whitewater to flatwater is a removable, slide skeg that can be slipped in place for improved tracking on open water.

The Explorer series of Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks can handle all your adventures: Flatwater Touring, Whitewater, Exploring, Fishing, Camping, and more. It’s a great choice for all-around kayaking.

Which Sea Eagle Explorer model and package best fits your needs and boating style? Let’s compare Explorer series of inflatable kayaks, their uses, and their amenities.

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Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayaks Are Best Used For:

Not just one but all Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks including the 350fx Fishing Explorer are suited for…

  • Ocean
  • Whitewater Rivers
  • Fishing
  • Bays
  • Lakes
  • Flatwater Rivers
  • Camping

Key Features of All Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayaks

The following key features of Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks set them apart from the competition and deserve closer attention. All kayaks in the Explorer series benefit from the following key features.

Electronically Welded Seams

Electronically welded seams permanently bond without the need for toxic glues that can degrade over time and from sun exposure. This advanced construction technology provides superior durability, strength, and performance.

3 Air Chambers

Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks have three inflation chambers for durability and safety. In the unlikelihood of a leak, only one chamber would be compromised leaving the remaining chambers to keep you afloat.

Deluxe One-Way Air Valves

Sea Eagle uses Halkey-Roberts one-way inflation valves (HR valves) for the chambers of the kayak and Deluxe Boston style valves for the inflatable kayak seats.

These superior air valves reduce the chance of leaking and improve the inflation time. Being one-way, the air doesn’t leak out while inflating.

Modular, Rigid, Drop-Stitch Floor Provides Double Protection and Stability

Figure showing the Sea Eagle modular, rigid, drop stitch floor.

Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks have a unique modular design featuring an extremely rigid, high-pressure, drop-stitch floor that fits on top of an outer floor to increase structural integrity. (Note the figure above showing the Explorer kayak with and without the drop-stitch floor.)

The rigid, high-pressure, drop-stitch floor provides great rigidity yielding unparalleled responsiveness while the reinforced, outside, fabric floor provides a double layer of protection to bounce off rocks, logs, and other objects leaving the extremely durable Sea Eagle Explorer unscathed.

The creation of the drop-stitch floor involves the joining of two layers of poly-based fabric with tens of thousands of fine polyester threads. This forms the base layer of the floor to which an air-tight coating is applied. The result after inflation is a flat, rigid surface that greatly improves the stability and performance of the inflatable kayak.

The modular design also allows quick and easy removal of the drop-stitch floor for cleaning. It’s so much easier to thoroughly clean in the crevices of an inflatable kayak when the floor can be removed.

16 Rapid, Self-Bailing, Easy-To-Open & Shut Drain Valves

Sea Eagle Explorer bottom view showing its 16 rapid, self-bailing drain valves.

Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks have 16 easy-to-open and shut rapid, self-bailing, drain valves. When open, water drains out as quickly as it enters making them well suited for whitewater.

Yet, in flatwater situations, you can remain high and dry while paddling with the self-bailing drain valves closed. A very important feature when the weather or water is cold… Well, you’ll stay dry as long as you adjust your kayak paddle, drip rings properly.

Large, Removable, Rear, Center Skeg

Sea Eagle Explorer large, removable, rear, center, slide-in skeg for flatwater touring.

Another important design feature of the Sea Eagle Explorer series of inflatable kayaks is the large, removable, center skeg at the rear of the kayak which can easily be removed whether inflated or deflated to accommodate different water conditions and ease of storage.

Remove the kayak skeg for whitewater or shallow water kayaking. You don’t want to be dragging the skeg along water bottoms especially in rocky river bottoms.

For maximum paddling efficiency on flatwater, replace the skeg for reduced yawing, that annoying rotation to the left and right as you paddle. The skeg is an extremely important feature for improved tracking during long flatwater touring.

Weight Capacity

Being inflatable, Explorer kayaks offer a high weight capacity often exceeding the weight capacity of similar size hardshell kayaks. Whether you’re in a 1-person, 2-person, or 3-person model, you’ll be able to bring along extra gear.

Cargo Space

There’s no cargo hole, so you’ll have to protect gear under the bow and stern spray skirts or use dry bags. I recommend opting for dry bags to assure your gear stays dry.

There are also bungee cords on the spray skirts of all but the 350fx Fishing Explorer and all models have D-rings for securing gear.

Transport, Travel, Storage, and Security

The Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks easily deflate, fold up, and pack away into an included carry bag making the Explorer kayak convenient to transport and store.

Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks:

  • Are relatively light.
  • Don’t take up a lot of space.
  • Easily fit into the trunk of a car.
  • Don’t require expensive roof racks or other modifications to your car.
  • Don’t require a trailer.
  • Store easily till next use.

Whether you have a 1-person, 2-person, or 3-person kayak, if you ever want to travel, inflatable kayaks are the way to go. The Explorer kayak can easily be checked with baggage on a plane, train, or ship. No so with a hardshell kayak.

Want to take a road trip with your kayak? A hardshell kayak typically has to fit on top of your vehicle or on a trailer which cuts down on fuel efficiency and attracts theft. Inflatable kayaks not only store inside your car, you can take them into your hotel, tent, wherever.

Many people don’t have a great place to store a hardshell kayak. I lived in a condo where I had to walk my hardshell kayak through the security doors and down the halls to my condo where I stored it in my dining room. No need for this inconvenience with an inflatable kayak. It can be deflated and stored away in a closet.

Related Content: Inflatable Kayaks: Disassembly, Deflation & Storage

Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayak Specifications

(compare all Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks and canoes)

Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayaks Compared: 300x, 350fx, 380x, and 420x.
The Sea Eagle Explorer series of inflatable kayaks: 300x, 350fx, 380x, and 420x
Model300x350fx380x420x
Person Capacity112 *3
Hull Weight30 lbs51 lbs40 lbs44 lbs
Length9′ 10″11′ 6″12′ 6″14′
Width3′ 3″3′ 3″3′ 3″3′ 3″
Interior8′ 9″ x 16″10′ x 17″11′ 9″ x 15″13′ 4″ x 15″
Load Capacity1 Person or 395 lbs1 Person or 575 lbs2 Person or 750 lbs *3 Person or 855 lbs
D-Rings18 D-Rings14 D-Rings24 D-Rings26 D-Rings
Deflated24″ x 16″ x 6″31″ x 19″ x 10″31″ x 20″ x 9″31″ x 21″ x 10″
Chambers3 (port, starboard, floor)3 (port, starboard, floor)3 (port, starboard, floor)3 (port, starboard, floor)
Tube Diameter11.5″11.5″11.5″11.5″
Air Valves3 Recessed, One-Way Air Valves3 Recessed, One-Way Air Valves3 Recessed, One-Way Air Valves3 Recessed, One-Way Air Valves
Inflation time5 min7 min8 min9 min
SeamGlued, Quadruple OverlapGlued, Quadruple OverlapGlued, Quadruple OverlapGlued, Quadruple Overlap
Material1000 Denier Reinforced1000 Denier w/ 2000 Denier Reinforced Sections1000 Denier Reinforced1000 Denier Reinforced
FloorRemovable, High-Pressure, Drop-Stitch FloorRemovable, Double Layer, High-Pressure, Drop-Stitch Floor with non-slip EVA foam paddingRemovable, High-Pressure, Drop-Stitch FloorRemovable, High-Pressure, Drop-Stitch Floor
Drain Valves16 High-Capacity, Self-Bailing Drain Valves16 High-Capacity, Self-Bailing Drain Valves16 High-Capacity, Self-Bailing Drain Valves16 High-Capacity, Self-Bailing Drain Valves
Whitewater RatingUp to Class IVUp to Class IVUp to Class IVUp to Class IV
Inflation Pressure3.2 psi3.2 psi3.2 psi3.2 psi
Engine Capacity34 lb Thrust, Electric Motor (max engine weight 15 lbs)34 lb Thrust, Electric Motor (max engine weight 15 lbs)34 lb Thrust, Electric Motor (max engine weight 15 lbs)

* Sea Eagle promotes the 380x Explorer as a 3-person kayak. It is more suitable as a 2-person kayak. See the summary below.

Sea Eagle 300x Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Top view of a Sea Eagle 300x Explorer Inflatable Kayak.

The Sea Eagle 300x Explorer is the smallest in the Explorer series and the perfect choice for solo kayakers who want the versatility of being able to kayak whitewater and flatwater.

Smaller kayaks offer increased maneuverability and control on the water which helps tremendously in whitewater. Being smaller and lighter than the other Explorer kayaks, it easier to carry.

The 300x Explorer has a lot of advantages but if you’re planning on taking a lot of gear for a camping expedition, you could get cramped. I have long legs and would not want to put a lot of gear on the floor of the kayak in front of me. There is, however, a generous amount of room behind the seat. Way more cargo room than I need for a typical day on the river.

Sea Eagle 350fx Fishing Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Top view of a Sea Eagle 350fx Fishing Explorer Kayak.

Fishing!

The Sea Eagle 350fx Fishing Explorer inflatable kayak is an extra-rugged version of the Explorer Series designed with the avid fisherman in mind. Built of 2000 Denier reinforced protective layers, electronically welded seams, and a double floor system, the hull is nearly indestructible.

Perfect for flatwater fishing yet designed for up to Class IV whitewater, the 350fx Fishing Explorer gets you to more fishing locations. Paddle from a put-in to your favorite fishing spot or carry it deflated in the Sea Eagle All-Purpose Backpack to remote fishing spots you could only dream of reaching in a hardshell kayak.

Whether you want to sit higher, lower, or stand, different packages are available.

The 350fx Fishing Explorer has additional features not found in the other Explorer kayaks:

  • Durable reinforced sections
  • EVA foam padded non-slip floor adds extra comfort and secure footing for those who choose to stand up to fish
  • Customized front & rear spray skirts with holders for your tools, hooks, and lures
  • Fully adjustable foot brace
  • Built-in 40″ fish ruler
  • Right & left side anchor trolley attachment D-rings

Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Top view of a tandem Sea Eagle 380X Explorer Inflatable Kayak.

At 12 foot 6 inches, the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer is the medium-size model in the Explorer series of inflatable kayaks. Perfect for solo or tandem kayakers desiring versatility in adventures, the rugged design tackles whitewater, flatwater, and almost everything in-between including fishing, sailing, and rowing.

Sea Eagle promotes this kayak as a 3-person inflatable kayak. I don’t find this the case. There isn’t room for a third seat. Maybe a small child or dog could fit in the front but not another adult.

It’s perfect as a 1-person kayak or a 2-person kayak with plenty of room for gear if you’re into extended trips and kayak-camping.

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Top view of a three-person Sea Eagle 380X Explorer Inflatable Kayak.

If you’re looking for an extremely stable 2-person or 3-person inflatable kayak, the Sea Eagle 420x Explorer inflatable kayak is the best family kayak for versatility in adventures. The rugged design masters whitewater, flatwater, and almost everything in-between including fishing, sailing, and rowing.

A longer vessel is the way to go if you want more legroom, extra space for gear, a 3-person kayak, and room for the family dog.

Interested in an inflatable kayak for your family or group of friends? Check out my post on, “Best Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes for Families“.

Certifications

Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks are certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) confirming that the Explorer series of kayaks has been manufactured to meet the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards for design, construction, and safety.

Sea Eagle Limited Three Year Warranty

Sea Eagle kayaks are covered from bow to stern by a limited 3-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

They can afford to offer an all-inclusive warranty because of their vast experience in designing and selling inflatable boats. They’ve stood behind their products for over 50 years.

As a proven leader in the industry, Sea Eagle generates confidence and peace of mind in those who own their boats.

Risk-Free Trial Offer on Every Sea Eagle

Try a Sea Eagle Risk-Free… for 120 days! Or is it 180 days?

At the time of writing, the Risk-Free Return Policy and the Terms of Sale both mention a 120-day risk-free trial. But I also received an email offering a limited-time “6-Month Risk-Free Trial Offer on every Sea Eagle”.

“If you’re not totally happy with your boat, just return it in good condition for a full refund of your purchase price.”

Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayak Instructions

Instructions and Owners Manuals

Looking to buy a kayak? Checking out the Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayak instructions and owner’s manuals will give you valuable information in making a decision. It’s not often that you get to read a kayak’s manual before purchase.

Instructional Video

Are you a visual learner like me? You will appreciate this how-to video from Sea Eagle. Watch how simple it is to inflate, setup, operate, deflate, and pack up the Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayaks…

Necessary Accessories

Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Always carry a United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved PFD. PFDs are part of the boating safety basics for paddle boaters and are required by law enforcement on government waters.

Dry Bags: Sea Eagle Explorers don’t have a watertight storage compartment like many hardshell kayaks. This makes dry bags necessary for keeping gear safe and dry.

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