Whether you’re choosing a house, horse, car, or, yes, kayak, size matters. Choose a house that’s too big and you’ll waste money on extra square footage in which you’ll rarely set foot. Buy or rent a car or horse that’s too big and powerful for you and you may wind up in a nasty accident. On the other hand, if you buy a home or car that’s too small, you risk feeling cramped and unsatisfied. Do so with a horse and you risk hurting it and being toppled from its back as it cannot support your weight.
Those guidelines hold true for kayaks as well. Too big and you might waste money on something unwieldy, too small and you risk capsizing.
The Lifetime Lotus Kayak is on the smaller side, but this doesn’t mean that it can’t do big things.
Features of Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak
This kayak measures 8 feet long and is just under 2.5 feet wide. That is way too small to accommodate two passengers so you’ll be paddling solo with this model. However, its small size isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, as mentioned above, big kayaks can be difficult for beginners. If you’re just learning how to row, the last thing you need is a massive kayak and unwieldy oars. The slim oars and overall weight of 36.5 pounds make this a great lightweight beginner kayak. This is balanced against a carrying capacity of 250 pounds, which may be enough for a child and an adult rower but otherwise reinforces this model’s status as a single-person unit.
Other features include:
- Bungee cord to secure items in storage
- Quick Release function for moving the backrest
- Carry handle
- Scupper holes for improved drainage
- Polyethylene construction
- Molded cradle for paddles
- Front and rear t-handles
- Moveable footrest
- Paddles made from a combination of aluminum and a molded polymer
What Do Users Say
By far the biggest takeaway from this model and the element which most defines users’ experience is this model’s size and build. On the one hand, there is no getting away from the fact that this kayak is not built to be used by a group. If you don’t like heading out on the water on your own, chances are you won’t like this.
On the other hand, however, there is a lot of love given to the Lifetime Lotus Kayak for its beginner-friendly nature. When you are first starting out, it can be difficult to keep a kayak balanced. You have to strike a balance between the weight you place on the paddles in order to row and move forward or backward and balancing your position in the kayak so you don’t capsize. The larger the kayak, the more unforgiving it can be to mistakes, since movements have greater weight to them. Once you get a heavy kayak moving in one direction, it can be hard to stop so one bad paddle or leaning too much in any direction can tip you over and out of the kayak. What’s more, heavier paddles mean that you need greater strength in order to row.
Good for Beginners
The Lotus sit-in-top kayak, by contrast, allows users big and small to learn paddling without such a steep learning curve and it’s among beginners and those teaching them that it has received its greatest praise. The kayak is very stable and is very hard to turn over, eliminating a huge concern for beginners and teachers alike.
This is amplified by several other features to which users have responded positively, not the least of which being those scupper holes. Frantic paddling can cause water to splash into the kayak, which at best can get you wetter and colder than you’d like and at worst can start to sink the boat. This model makes use of well-placed scupper holes to drain excess water out of the boat without sinking it.
Users have also responded positively to the backrest’s relative comfort for short trips. That said, users have been more critical for longer trips, which isn’t that big of a surprise. It can be uncomfortable to spend a longer trip anywhere on land, sea, or air in a compartment so small. Still, this model can be a bit cramped for trips that are hours long so if that’s your focus and you aren’t a beginner, you may want to consider other models.
Balancing that out somewhat are storage containers on board. In a unit so small, you might think that it would be hard to store things onboard and while that’s true to an extent, the inclusion of bungee cords helps immensely here. They keep the storage compartment shut tight, allowing you to row on without worrying that your belongings will slip free. Users have responded positively to this, especially those looking to bring a bit of fishing equipment along.
Pros and Cons
Nothing is perfect, right? Even Lotus Sit-on-top kayak has it’s downs. It’s time to summarize the information into pros and cons.
- Durable build
- Stability and difficulty of tipping over
- Ease of use for beginners
- Bungee cords that keep storage well secured
- Moveable footrests for extra comfort
- Handles for easier transport
- The cockpit can feel cramped during longer trips
- This model isn’t built for speed
- There is not as much storage space as larger kayaks
Is Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak Worth Your Money?
Our rating: 4.5 / 5
This is an intriguing model with a very clearly defined target audience. If you are new to kayaking and want to learn on a model that’s relatively light, sturdy, forgiving of mistakes, and built with beginners in mind, this may well be the model for you. Needless to say, if you’re an experienced kayaker looking for a large kayak that you can share with a group, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
The middle ground between these extremes is interesting. If you’re interested in a solo kayak, this model delivers in some areas (stability, comfort) more than others (speed) and is ambiguous on still more (storage, fishing potential). Size definitely matters when purchasing kayaks, and your own size preferences will play a huge role in what you think of this sturdy little kayak.