Last summer I managed to pick up one of LIDL’s occasional bargains- a Crivit 2 person inflatable kayak, for the bargain price of £29.99. Thirty quid for an inflatable kayak isn’t much, having never used one before I was interested to see if it was any good, especially as it cost more to buy wetsuits and life preservers than the actual kayak!
The box contains a the kayak, a paddle, a small accessory pouch and repair kit and a stowage bag, and all in weighs around 7kg. It does not come with a pump. Once in the bag it’s easily carried by one person and fits in a car boot, so no luggage rack is required. Ideal for those of us not blessed with a 4X4.
The kayak itself consists of the main body, two inflatable seats and a bow splash guard. The rear seat can be identified easily as it is a combined seat/rear splash guard. There are a number of cords supplied and you really have to pay attention to the instructions to identify which one is which. These cords are used to secure the seats and splash guards to the main body of the kayak.
Front seat secured using cord.
Using an electric pump it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to assemble the kayak. The main kayak comprises of 5 numbered chambers, and these should be inflated in numerical order, using either the large or small inflation valves. Once the main body is inflated it’s simply a case of inflating the seats and bow guard, before attaching them with cords. There is an inflation guide supplied which you match up with a graduated scale on the main chamber to prevent over inflation. The paddle comes in three sections and fits together using a spring loaded nipple. Assemble the paddle and you are ready to go.
The front seat secured in position.
- The assembled kayak showing the inflated base chambers, cord detail and assembled paddle
I have tested the kayak a few times at Loch Lubnaig. The waters there are generally sheltered from the wind and are well used by canoeists for that reason. The kayak is designed for two people. I have tested it with myself and my daughter, or on my own. With two people it will no doubt sit lower in the water, with one and a child it can tend to sit slightly high. It can be paddled easily, and you can maintain direction without too much faff in reasonable conditions. For sheltered inshore waters it’s great. I was able to paddle across the loch, and up and down the bay with no bother. I’d certainly not want to take it out far on somewhere like Loch Awe.
Note how the front is riding slightly out of the water (I am sitting in the rear seat in this picture). A rucksack in the front would perhaps help prevent this.
To pack it away it’s a simple job of reversing the assembly process, but it can take a bit longer getting the air out than in.
More suited to two people, which will make it sit lower, making it more stable in the process
Overall he material is fairly sturdy and I was happy with how it stood up to being assembled/disassembled on stony ground. It isn’t bomb-proof and there are more abrasion resistant materials around so it’s wise to bear that in mind. I’d say this was a great beginners inflatable kayak and at that price it’s a bargain (This year the price has risen to £39.99, still great value). Keep away from sharp stones and you will have far more than thirty quids worth of use from this. A final note is to say that if you see these advertised at LIDL they usually get very limited stock. The Airdrie store got only ONE, as did most others. If you want one, get there early, or you may have to scour Ebay for one.