One of the most important things to consider when choosing a kayak is how you want to balance the size factor against its accessibility. On the one hand, with greater size often comes a greater ability to take on rougher waters or accommodate fishing, both of which rank among the most common kayaking activities. On the other hand, they are activities that take extra expertise to pull off while kayaking, as when you’re just starting out it can be challenging to simply keep your balance.
Kayaks such as the Lifetime Hydros 85 Angler thus present an interesting choice when it comes to calculating that balance.
Features of Lifetime Hydros 85
Among the most important features offered by the Hydros Angler are:
- One-seat design
- Measures 8 ft 5 in. by 29.5 in.
- Weighs 43 lbs
- Weight capacity 225 lbs
- An innovative pontoon design
- Flat bottom
- Adjustable footrests
- Cannot accommodate rudders
- Polyethylene construction
- Carrying handles for easy transport
Weight and Stability
The first thing that might leap out at you about Hydros Angler is that it’s a one-seater and on the lighter side for a kayak, so it is not suitable for two or more companions. That’s backed up by the lower weight capacity. As such, you have to be very careful about how you use this kayak and make sure that you’re getting it for a purpose it can actually carry out. If you’re looking for a kayak that is made for a group fishing trip, or else a beginner one where someone can help you along as you learn the basics of kayaking, you may want to consider other options.
On the other hand, however, if you are looking for a light, lithe kayak that’s perfect for zipping along the water with the benefit of a lightweight design and innovative pontoons, this may well be a good choice. Those pontoons and flat-bottomed design actually give it a good deal of stability, arguably more than you might get with other kayaks, so it’s actually not a bad choice for fishing trips at all – just expect to paddle solo. What’s more, the lightweight nature of the kayak combined with the carrying handles make it that much easier to transport this model to and from the water.
Spaciousness and Comfort
This is a slimmer kayak, so it should come as no surprise that you have to look elsewhere besides spaciousness to get the true measure of this kayak’s comfortableness. The footrests are adjustable, which is a godsend as it gives you a bit more space to spread out.
The construction of this kayak is quite strong, though if you’re looking to attach rudders to it for added motorized kayaking, you’re out of luck.
What Do Users Say?
For the most part, users have responded positively to how portable it is. As mentioned, the combination of its lightweight design and the carrying handles make it incredibly easy to pick up and take it with you wherever you want to go.
For the most part, people have been able to go kayaking in this boat without getting wet, which is a point in favor of this kayak’s scupper holes. Users have also liked the fact that it is easy to load up. While you may have a limited amount of space in which to store things, it’s at least easy to get fishing gear on and off the boat.
Maneuverability and Tracking
Most users have also been able to maneuver the boat fairly well, but there is a much bigger drop off in praise when it comes to speed and tracking. Here, users have found the kayak to be more lacking. This is likely due in part to the flat-bottomed design, since a more rigid bottom is typically associated with and responsible for faster tracking on the water.
Users were also impressed with the cost, with this kayak being seen as an affordable entry option.
It has received its best reviews when used in calm lakes and rivers, which, in fairness, is the target area for this kayak in terms of usage – it isn’t designed to be a river rapid rafter.
Storage Space and Size
The biggest point of contention may be the small size and carrying capacity. On the one hand, there are always bound to be those who want more, but on the other hand, you can hardly expect too much from this little kayak. Some users have said that there is still enough room for them to take very small children along with them and place them between their legs while they paddle, but the child in question would have to be very small and you would need to be reasonably slender for that to work.
There is also a great video review guide by FishingWithG-Man:
Pros and Cons
Among the best things about the Hydros Angler are:
- Lightweight design
- Easy to carry
- Good for single-person fishing
Some negatives about the Lifetime Hydros 85 Angler to keep in mind include:
- Cannot hold too much cargo
- Not the straightest paddling of kayaks
- Not suitable for rough waves
Our rating: 4.4 / 5
Life is all about learning our limits and how to plan around them. At first, limitations can seem, well, limiting, and more like barriers than opportunities. When viewed from another angle, however, we can see that limits really encourage us to think outside the box and think of ourselves and the tools we have at our disposal in different ways.
The Lifetime Hydros 85 Angler is a perfect example of that. If you only think of it in terms of its limitations, you might well wonder what’s so special about this option. If you think of it in terms of a one-person kayak, however, its strengths become clearer. This model does much of what a one-person kayak is supposed to, and with its affordable and accessible nature, it can open the door for new people to get interested in kayaking. It is especially well suited to solo fishing trips.
Viewed for what it is, this kayak is a perfect example of meeting and exceeding expectations. As long as you know what you’re getting, you should be able to enjoy it and have a good time.