When discussing features, the Airhead inflatable kayak has plenty to offer. Compared to other inflatable kayaks, you could say that this one is loaded with them. They give you top-level comfort, safety when riding, and make the kayak as functional as possible. When combined, you get a really well-made and enjoyable vessel. Take a quick look at everything it comes with:
- The double-walled system with air bladders inside and a PVC shell on the outside
- I-beam floor construction improves buoyancy and comfort
- Triple-laminate floor reinforcement for resistance against punctures
- Four fins reduce drag and improve tracking and maneuverability
- Boston valves with nylon covers for easy inflation and deflation
- Spray covers on the front and back for keeping you dry
- The removable inflatable seat gives you a high level of comfort
- Adjustable footrests suitable even for taller paddlers
- Neoprene elbow rests increase arm comfort
- Six D-rings for securing the kayak seat and other gear
- Bungee-corded bow storage area for tying your equipment
- Side grab handles for pulling and carrying the kayak
Length: 9 feet 9 inches
Weight: 27.7 pounds
Capacity: 300 pounds
Packed size: 26 x 18 x 8 inches
Material: Semi-rigid PVC body with 840D nylon enclosing for the air chambers
Warranty: 90-day warranty
Included accessories: Inflatable and adjustable seat, adjustable footrest, four bottom fins, user manual
Performance and Usability: Paddlers are very satisfied with how the Airhead Montana kayak handles different situations. Thanks to the hull design, it can be used in any type of water ranging from calm flat water up to class II rivers and rapids. In addition, it has four molded-in fins to improve tracking. These also significantly reduce drag, which is a big deal since drag is a big problem for many inflatables.
In addition to this, the Montana is a very stable kayak. It’s wide enough that it won’t get flipped even if you’re inexperienced or get into some larger waves. Because of this, it’s a solid choice if you’re a beginner who wants to learn how to kayak – it’s easy to paddle and quite responsive. Also, it’s stable when getting in and out of the kayak, which is important too. However, it’s not particularly fast.
Comfort: Using this kayak is pretty comfortable, as long as you adjust the seat properly. People say that you shouldn’t inflate it all the way since then it’s going to be too firm and unstable. The seat itself is easy to install and remove and has an adjustable backrest so you can get good back support. The back of the seat has a mesh pocket on it, which is convenient for a water bottle or other smaller items.
Inside this kayak, you will also find an adjustable footrest, which you can set in three different positions. There are neoprene elbow rests on the sides, and people who own the kayak say that these are very comfy and feel nice. Finally, the kayak is equipped with spray covers on the bow and stern, which repel splash and prevent excess water from getting in.
Materials and Construction: High-quality materials were used in making the Airhead inflatable kayak and it shows. It feels really firm and strong when riding in it, which has much to do with its semi-rigid PVC body. But this is only the outer layer – you also have three separate air chambers inside which have 840D nylon coating with UV protection, to guarantee there are no air leaks.
This double-layer system makes sure that even if the outer layer gets damaged, the air still stays inside. Additionally, the floor features a triple-laminate reinforcement, and paddlers say that this allows the kayak to bounce off rocks with ease. The package includes a repair kit too, so care and repair is much easier.
Storage: The Montana comes with a bungee-corded storage area at the bow, which can be convenient for securing some items like a dry bag with your valuables, or for sliding the blade of your kayak paddle underneath it so you don’t lose it. Except for this area, you don’t get any other organized storage.
However, there is some room behind your seat which you can use for other things such as a lunch cooler with snacks and drinks. You can also find a place for a fishing rod and a small tackle box if you want to try and catch some fish while on the water. Finally, there are six D-rings spread throughout the kayak which are used for attaching the seat, but can also be used for securing other gear so you don’t lose it.
Setup: Setting up this kayak is pretty straightforward. Each air chamber has a separate Boston valve, so inflating and deflating is done really quickly. However, since this kayak comes without a pump, we suggest that you get an electric pump with a proper adapter to get things done faster. Once inflated, you need to attach the kayak seat. It has four straps (on the back and bottom) which are easily connected to the D-rings and then tightened to secure the seat.
Portability: As you can see, the Montana is fairly small when deflated, and people say it easily fits in the trunk of a car or in your closet. Unfortunately, it comes without a storage bag. You can consider buying a large duffel bag or a backpack if you want to make this kayak easier to transport. In any case, this isn’t a heavy kayak, so anyone should be able to carry it.
Additionally, this one is equally easy to transport when inflated too. There are grab handles on both sides, so you can pick it up and carry the kayak on your shoulder without any trouble.
- Price: 85% – At first glance, the price of this kayak may seem a bit steep, especially when compared to other inflatables. However, there is a good reason for that – build quality. Unlike most other kayaks, this one has double walls which practically guarantee that you can use it for many years. Because of this, we think it’s worth the money, so you should look at it as a long-term investment.
- Material: 100% – Like other Airhead inflatable kayaks, the Montana has a top-level construction. We like that it uses a combination of materials for different parts of the kayak, giving it optimal strength without increasing weight or compromising performance.
- Design: 90% – The design is really nice, especially the air bladder system we already talked about. In addition to that, it’s a nice and spacious kayak that gives you plenty of adjustability and comfort throughout the day. We like that it’s very easy to control even if you don’t have much experience, and the bright orange color to increase its visibility is a good idea.
- Overall: 92% – We love that this kayak can be used in many different situations – from relaxed paddling to tackling rapids. It seems to overcome the main problem of inflatables (durability), which is a huge plus. On the other hand, it’s much more convenient to take with you compared to a hardshell, so there are plenty of reasons to think about it.
Globo Surf Overview
The Airhead Montana is a high-quality inflatable kayak with a design which is not typical for this type of kayak. It can tolerate some beating and heavy use since it’s very difficult to damage. For this reason, you can safely use it in many different water conditions without worry.
As we said earlier, it’s really stable and easy for anyone to control. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with many (any) accessories, so you’ll need to buy them on your own. However, the quality alone makes it worth considering, so give it a thought.
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- Airhead Montana, airhead.com