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Inflatable Kayak Review: Infinity Odyssey 295

Summer is here and people are shopping for new kayaks to enjoy out on the water. I was one of those shoppers and recently found a kayak which is the perfect mix of comfort, style, price and convenience for beginner to expert paddlers.

The kayak I purchased to review is the Infinity Odyssey 295.

infinity Odyssey 295 Recreational Inflatable Kayak

Here’s a little background story: on why I chose to purchase this kayak

I recently moved to a city with a lot of natural waterways and rivers so naturally I wanted to buy a kayak to get out and explore them. I researched all kinds of kayaks – Sit-in, sit-on-top, fiberglass, wood, foldable and inflatable – there are lots and I quickly realized my new kayak would be 10-12 feet in length, which is quite big! The issue I was now faced with was transporting the kayak. I found inexpensive fiberglass kayaks for under $300, which was in my budget, however I would then need to buy a roof rack to strap the kayak to my roof. The price of a decent roof rack is around $400 so that now put my cost at $800. Throw in a $100 paddle and a $18 life jacket and I am getting close to $1000 – almost double my original budget! There was only one logical choice left: buy an Inflatable Kayak.

I spent a few hours on Google researching every brand and style of inflatable kayak available for sale right now. There are lots of pro models which can easily cost $1000+ but since I was looking for an under-$500 recreational kayak my options were more limited. There are some really cheap models which looked more like pool toys for kids and then there were some that were military grade but the one I chose was right in the middle and a perfect mix of price, quality construction and functionality.

I chose the Odyssey 295 by Infinity which technically a 2-person kayak but can also be used solo – best of both worlds!

Features:

  • Seats 1-2 people
  • Tough Nylon outer shell
  • Welded inflatable bladders
  • Spray visors fore and aft
  • Adjustable seats with backrest
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Grab handles and paddle park
  • Drain plug
  • Ideal for fresh water lakes, slow moving rivers, streams and springs. Not recommended for swift rivers or open ocean use.
Specs:

  • Materials: 840D Nylon, Tri-laminated 500D PVC Tarpaulin
  • Length: 9.75 ft
  • Width: 3 ft
  • Rolled Size: 37 x 20 x 11 in
  • Paddler Skill: beginner to advanced
  • Weight: 40 lb
  • Warranty: 1 year

I ordered my kayak online since the price was 50% cheaper than in my local sporting goods store. I did view the kayak in a store in person before ordering which I highly recommend doing this before purchasing any higher priced items online. Then, about one week later, a large box arrived at my door containing my Infinity Odyssey 295 Inflatable Kayak - I couldn’t wait to unpack and pump it up!

The box that my Infinity Inflatable Kayak arrived in

Main box for the Infinity Odyssey 295 Inflatable Kayak

The entire kayak folds up into this backpack!The kayak arrived in a large box weighing 40 pounds. The coolest part about this kayak is that everything, including the seats, pump and my life jackets (purchased separately), folds up and fits easily into it’s own backpack for easy transportation. Included in the box was the kayak, 2 inflatable seats, one double-action pump, an adjustable footrest, a repair kit, manuals and a skeg which needs to be attached before inflating the kayak.

Inflating the kayak is fast and easy thanks to the double-action pump. There are three separate air chambers – one for each side and one for the floor. The manual recommends inflating each chamber half way and then increasing the air in each chamber gradually to fill all chambers evenly and accurately. The two seats also need to be inflated but this takes less than 5 seconds and can be done with your mouth as they do not require much air. The seats have Velcro on their bottoms so that you can place adjust their placement depending on the size of occupants. Or, if you are kayaking solo you can remove one seat and place the other in the center for a very comfortable paddle. The seats have straps on the sides to adjust back position if you chose to sit upright or lay back and chill when you paddle.

The fully inflated Infinity Odyssey 295 kayak in my living room

The first thing I noticed once my kayak was inflated and setup was the strong construction and how fantastic it looks. The kayak has thick rubber air chambers which are covered by a 2-layer tough nylon shell with neoprene padding for comfort. The sides are firm when inflated properly and it feels very safe. Seating is comfortable and at 3 feet wide there is plenty of room for adults of any size. There are also grab handles for easy transporting and lots of places to attach ropes, clips and hooks for your accessories which come in handy on longer trips. A week after I got the kayak, my wife and I took it down to a local river to test out. Lots of people inquired about the boat as we were setting it up and we received lots of complements on how good it looked when out on the water. Getting in and out of the kayak at a dock is very easy since it is an open design. Once inside it feels extremely stable – more so than any canoe or traditional fiberglass kayak that I have been in, thanks to the amount of air it is inflated with. This kayak would be impossible to sink and very difficult to flip in regular water conditions. My wife, who is not a big fan of small boats, mentioned how safe she felt in the inflatable kayak. We both had plenty of leg room with room left over at the front and back of the kayak for water bottles, a towel and snacks. Life jackets can also be stored in the back of the kayak if you wish however I suggest wearing them at all times as it is nearly impossible to put one on once you are in the water. We both found that the seats were more comfortable when only half-inflated and it is quick easy to let out air until you are perfectly comfortable.

Paddling and navigating the Infinity Odyssey 295 is a breeze. The boat is just under 10 feet but stays straight and glides smoothly yet is short enough to navigate tight turns easily. Due to the shorter length of the kayak, we chose to use only one paddle however you can use 2 paddles if your paddling is in-sync. The only downside of this kayak is packing it back up once you are finished with it. If you simply fold it up and throw it in the back of a truck then there is no problem, but if you are like me and have a clean car then you will want to pack it back up into its backpack for easy transporting. The air deflates in seconds thanks by unscrewing the 3 large air valves and then you will need to drain any water that made its way inside the boat. Tip: open the drain plug at the rear of the boat before you deflate and stand the boat upright to easy drain the water that has gotten inside. You can then dry it off with towels before deflating and packing up the kayak. I would not recommend packing the boat until it is fully dry as it could create mildew or unwanted smells.

Whats more beautiful - the inflatable kayak or the river?

In conclusion, if you are looking for a kayak that is extremely portable, stores easily, well-made, low-priced and which looks great then you want to buy the Odyssey 295 by Infinity!There are very few cons to this kayak and so many pros, I know that you love it.I recommend buying the Infinity Odyssey 295 Inflatable Kayak online from Amazon.com where you pay No Sales Tax (in most states) and get Free Shipping. Happy Paddling!

PADDLES

Before you go kayaking you will need 1-2 paddles. The length of the paddle you purchase is determined by your height and the style of paddling you are doing.

  • Taller people and/or those with wide boats: 94″ or more.
  • Average-size people: 90″ to 92“.
  • Recreational paddlers and shorter individuals: 86″ to 89″.

kayak_paddleSince I am 6′ tall and only do casual recreational kayaking I chose a 89″ paddle which fits the Infinity Odyssey 295 perfectly. Kayak paddles range in price from about $30-200+ but what makes a paddle more expensive is general less weight and the materials it is made with. If you are traveling or camping/hiking with your kayak then you definitely want to go for a lighter paddle but if you are like me and just park your truck next to the water and jump in then you can get away with a medium priced paddle. Stay away from the $20 paddles as they are made with cheap plastic blades which can crack easily (ever heard the expression “up a creek with no paddle?” Well, you do not want to be that guy). Most $40+ paddles will be made with strong materials, will carry better warranties and weigh about 2-3 lbs. However, if you want to go high-end then you can buy the Aquabound Manta Ray Carbon Posi-Lok Kayak Paddle which weighs 1.8 lbs. and will set you back about $190. The best paddle I could find for the price and quality is the Pelican Poseidon (pictured above in yellow/black). At a little over $50 it has served me well on many trips so far. It comes apart in 2 pieces for easy transport and storage and looks great!

Here are the specs:

  • Impact resistant copolymer paddle reinforced with 30% fiberglass
  • Two-piece aluminum anodized paddle
  • Quick release button
  • Tear drop shaped and drip ring
  • Length: 89 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs

Again, I highly recommend buying the paddle online on Amazon.com to get Free Shipping and to pay No Sales Tax.

There a few more things I recommend you buy to prepare for your first kayaking trip and I have added them to the widget banner on the right side of this page. Things like a life jacket, rope for tying your kayak to a tree or dock, a whistle and of course a dry case for your cell phone and car keys.

 

 

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One Response to “Inflatable Kayak Review: Infinity Odyssey 295”

  1. […] and doesn’t cost nearly as much to get started. As with any new sport I get into though (such as kayaking) I do a lot of research about what products I need to buy and which are the best. I’ll share my […]

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