The Tandem Innova Solar 410c inflatable kayak from Gumotex is now the standard go-to heavy duty EX model from Innova, with both the Helios II and Sunny being phased out. The retail price has dropped by more than a third, which is huge. This very high quality 20+ year lifespan kayak is now cheaper or the same as some of the clunky three layer Chinese imports, all of which weigh more and take forever to fully clean and dry compared to the Innovas. The last time we were able to sell Solars at this price range was over a decade ago.
Additionally, there is a third rear seat now included, though this position is spaced such that it is mainly for smaller kids. Beyond that, the design remains identical to what we have been selling all along.
To use the tandem Solar 410c solo, you just move the rear seat forward and either leave the front seat deflated, or un-strap and remove it. There is a little footrest you can put in place of the front seat. This rear seat also has two "normal" possible positions when in tandem use, about 8" apart, or in other words, a total of three possible placements.
At 13'5", Solars are 9" longer than the discontinued Sunny, and a full foot longer than the Innova Helios tandem had been. The extra length has several benefits.First, while the Solar is still not quite as big as the AIRE SuperLynx, it is big enough that two moderate-height people can actually do an overnighter with their camp gear. In the Sunny, it was almost impossible, and with the Helios, almost entirely out of the question. Second, adding length to the wide part of the kayak increases the payload capacity by about 40 pounds over what the Sunny could hold. The third benefit of the longer hull comes into play where the front paddler is a bit taller. With the Sunny and Helios tandems, a six-footer is pretty cramped in the front position. In fact, in the Sunny, the bow was tight even for someone 5’8”. The extra space in the Solar 410 allows that person to stretch out comfortably.
Solars come with a drybag/carry bag, a basic patch kit, a twist-in valve adapter, inflatable footrests, and a removable tracking fin. The seat (and footrest) valves are twist style kayak float bag units. These allow you to more easily inflate the seats tight compared to the old Innova hole & plug system. The seats on the Solar 410 may not be perfect, but they are as good and as tall as factory seats get, and if you don't like them you won't like any kayak seat. The problem is that many people try to inflate them using only their mouth, because the twisty valves look like that’s what you are supposed to do. Not! You should always try to get a Bravo brand pump with Innova boats. The main plastic pump hose tip on all Bravos fits over the outside of the twisty valve, and you keep pumping until your seats get really firm, then still keep pumping with the hose tip over the valve as you turn it closed. This way you lose no air, and get the seats to pretty much the same pressure as the main chambers.
The 410 weighs 36 pounds and is 32.5" wide, with 9" tubes. There is a small bungie & mesh area behind the rear seat but you cannot put much under it. We do stock grey hypalon D-rings if you need some (please call for those) for additional tie-down points. If you wish to tow this kayak, you should also plan on purchasing one large D-ring to glue on the underside of the bow. Under no circumstances should you ever try to use the small bow grommets or lift handles for this purpose.
The twist-in valve adapter mentioned three paragraphs above also works right with any Bravo foot or hand pump. It is not needed if you use something like a K-Pump, or one of our Boat People Top-Off units. However there are problems with the K-Pumps and our Top-Off's with regard to Innovas. For one thing, the small diameters of them can generate far more than the 3 p.s.i. inflation level the Innovas are rated for. And second, they won't work for the seat & footrest valves either. So better to go with a quality foot pump in most cases.
|Max. load||270 kg|
|Number of persons||2 + 1 with option|
|Side tube diameter||22 cm|
|Air chambers||3 + 2 + 2|
|54 × 39 × 24 cm|
|Max. Betriebsdruck (MPa / Bar / PSI)||MPa 0,02 / Bar 0,2 /PSI 3,0|
|Cardboard box dimensions||55 × 40 × 25 cm|
The Escape touring paddle ($99, shown at two angles) is another American made Cannon product. It's light enough for kids, though it was made for adults. These have black anodized tempered aluminum shafts, and nylon insert ferrules for a super tight, (salt water) corrosion-proof joint, and an asymetric blade design. At 2 lbs, 10 oz, it's light & has super stiff blades.
Because this is a touring paddle, we feel the aluminum is adequate strength-wise while decreasing the cost $30 to $40 from what a glass shaft equivalent would be, but if you pull really hard like we did in Kauai trying to go upstream against the current, it is possible to bend the shafts a bit. One could argue that the CBH paddles we carry are a better value, though the CBH's do not have the warranty that the American made Cannons do. Oval grips for both hands like all Cannons, stocked in 90" and 94" sizes, with other sizes by special order. The blade color is more of a dark yellow now, not the pumpkin color shown.
Note: way back this paddle used to be called the Nokomis, and now Cannon has gone back to that name again; it is the same paddle. The "Serenity" name has also been used for Cannon's narrow tour paddles. Serenity now!
We also stock a four piece fiberglass version of the Serenity/Nokomis, and sometimes we will have four-piece aluminum shaft versions of the Escape, but not every variation of every paddle is listed on our site. You are always welcome to phone us at 925-820-BOAT to see exactly what's in our current inventory.
A number of folks who buy non-self bailing touring inflatables like the Innova's need a simple way to get rid of accumulated water. A sponge simply takes too long for any sizable amount of water, but a Bilge Pump will make quick work of it. If you plan on going through a surf zone, or will paddle larger Great Lake-type bodies of water, bilge pumps are a must. You can clip one in to your boat with a carabiner through the handle. If you get rough with these, the plastic plunger shaft could snap, though we have seen surprisingly little trouble with them so far. These run $20 and come with their own little lifejacket in case you drop it.
We do also stock a slightly shorter, stainless steel (plunger) shaft model from Europe, but it's not listed on our shopping cart. They run $34, so call if you want one at 925-820-BOAT.
Our new Boat People High Back Inflatable Kayak Seat is the most comfortable accessory chair available for inflatable kayaks, or Sit On Top Kayaks as long as your boat has the proper connections. Please see our listing for the Manta seat in this section for more information.
The Bravo 8 ($42) was a model that came out late 2008 and is fairly interchangeable with the Bravo II that we used to carry, except it slips a bit less on rocky ground, and is a bit more heavy duty with more material in the bellows plates. The B-8 seems to snap back a little faster than the Bravo II as well, and it has the same 6.5 liter volume and comes with a full group of pump adapters, except for Halkey valves. Those always need to be purchased separately, unless you buy your pump from somebody like Zodiac where they have the Halkey fitting already installed. With these retrofitted pumps you usually lose the other adapters because they no longer fit if a Halkey adapter is glued into the hose.
The hoses on most Bravo foot pumps are reinforced, but even so, "reinforced" does not mean they won't ever crack. When this happens, don't throw your pump away. Just replace the yellow or black hose with a piece of old garden hose, which fits fine with the Bravo tips.
The Java Lifevest is now in stock. Ever since MTI quit making their very comfortable Discovery type III several years back, we've been searching for a semi-long open neck (where your chin doesn't bump the foam around your collar bone) pfd to replace it. One that would work well for inflatable kayakers, rather than being keyed more specifically to hard shell boaters who need a short thick vest that allows their sprayskirt to come up high on the belly. With the Java, we finally feel like we have a great replacement for the old Discovery. The Java was new toward the end of 2011, but we had not seen a sample until more recently so we are just getting started with this model. Although we are adding it to our site the last day of 2011, we will not have stock on this one for another month or two, so hold off ordering it for now until either we update this page or you phone us at 925-820-BOAT.
This jacket comes in a red/dark grey two tone, and has large open sides and enough ventilation that it's not overly warm to wear. MTI says this one is also a good choice for the stand-up paddle board crowd. So far, this is not a sport we've engaged in but there's no reason to doubt the claim looking at the design, and feeling the flexibility when we wear this one. The two front pockets stretch outward to allow larger items to be stowed, and the shoulders are adjustable - which means you can raise or lower the body of the Java plus or minus one inch. There is a zipper in the front, allowing for quick cool down if need be while letting you keep the one front buckle snapped shut. Easy side adjustment, with tough 300 and 400 denier shell fabric.
These come in three sizes: Small/Med for chests 30 to 36"; Large/XL for 36" to 46" chests, and for those above 45" or 46" there is a 2X/3X that is supposed to go all the way to 56". We must note that we do not have a sample of the 2/3X here to confirm that, and if MTI says 56" max remember that means with all your clothing on. In other words, if you are a millimeter more than 55" bare chested, it probably won't work. We have found that the Large/XL cinches down a bit lower than 36" however, so it seems to be by far the most universal size and it will be the majority of what we stock. We will be keeping only a very few of the 2X/3X sizes. Remember to call first before proceeding to the shopping cart to see if we actually have these in yet. $89
Medium See-Thru Drybag. Reinforced SeeThru Bags provide a nice way to always know what's inside each bag. The clear sides of the See-Thru's are made with a vinyl that has 1/4" spaced scrim inside the clear material. SeeThru's come in five sizes, with round bottoms. The Medium is 9.5" round and 19" tall. It runs $29. These are "lock-top" style bags where you roll the top down, and bring the male & female fastex buckles around and snap them together.