Innova Swing I Touring Inflatable Kayak review by TBP

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    Lee Arbach TBP
    Keymaster

    The new Swing I inflatable kayak from Innova came in last year. This fully decked model has an optional sprayskirt (found both here, and in our Kayak Accessory section), but even without the skirt the cockpit combing where you sit is raised up by removable lightweight anodized aluminum arches. These insert before you inflate the side tubes, lifting the deck upward a few inches, and this does an amazingly good job of keeping water out of the boat even in wind & chop. Even including the hardware this boat is pretty light,only 22 pounds not counting the bag or fin. It is between 10’5″ long and the width is 34″. It’s recommended for paddlers up to 265 pounds, though you will probably get better performance if you stay around 220.
    Innova Swing I Inflatable Kayak

    Innova Swing I Inflatable Kayak
    Innova Swing I Inflatable Kayak New Litepack Fabric

    Swings are made of the newest version of the Gumotex Litepack fabric, which has teflon coating for improved water shedding, drying time, and abrasion resistance. That said, if you frequently feel the urge to drag your kayak over rocks this may not be the model to get. You should always take your Swing I into at least ten inches of water before stepping into it, or board from a dock where you can step into it from deeper water. Litepack is a 500 denier fabric with all the air retaining rubber on the inside, and the teflon coating is only a couple mils thick and not made for high abuse. But it is very tough, and few decked inflatables of this length weigh in anywhere near this low. Competing models, often designed with multiple layers of bladder & hull material, are not even close, nor is their drying time. The Swing I inflatable kayaks have zippers fore and aft on the decks, and opening them speeds the already good drying time.

    Tim from Innova paddled this a couple times and said it is not as quick as the tandem model (which we did get to try out ourselves), with the hull speed more in line with the solo Helios. Maybe a bit over 3 m.p.h. in calm water if you are a good paddler.
    Innova Swing I IK Chambers

    The seat is a “Crazy Creek” style chair, and there are three main chambers like most duckies. Lift handles are mounted at both ends and like most of the Innova touring models, the Swing I Inflatable Kayak comes with a removable skeg. The folded size is very compact, though in an effort to keep the price competitive, the carry bag that comes with the Sunny and Helios series is not included with this one (it would raise the retail $50, and the bag is available separately in our drybag section). The front and rear zippers mentoned above also make this much easier to clean than boats like the discontinued Innova Seaker, or many competing brands.

    Overall a definite winner and quite air travel-friendly, though we might suggest stashing the aluminum arch ribs in a different bag or suitcase from the boat. You never know when metal parts are going to raise a red flag with airport security. $569; if you live in the lower 48 and your UPS exceeds $30 we will pick up the remainder. For Alaska or Hawaii, email us with your zip code for a postage quote.
    Manufacturer’s Specifications for Innova Swing I Inflatable Kayak

    RIVER RATING: Class II
    LENGTH: 10 ft. 6 in.
    WIDTH: 33 in.
    WEIGHT: 22 lbs.
    AIR CHAMBERS: 3
    CAPACITY: 265 lbs (1 person)
    PACKED DIM: 27x15x9 in.
    MATERIAL: LitePack™ hull treated with Teflon® water repellent – No PVC!
    INCLUDES: Tracking fin, repair kit

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