Innova Swing II Touring Inflatable Kayak review by TBP

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    Lee Arbach TBP

    The fully decked Swing kayak from Innova is a relatively new model that came in last year. It has optional sprayskirts (found on our Kayak Acccessory page), but even without them the cockpit combing where you sit is raised up by several removable lightweight anodized aluminum ribs. 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. The Czech manufacturer (Gumotex) shows this boat at 31 pounds, Innova’s scale says 26, and with the ribs and removable fin our scale read exactly in the middle at 28.5 pounds, so we’ll let you pick the number. It is definitely under 31 though.
    Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak

    Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak
    Innova Swing II Decked Double 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. 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 kayaks have zippers fore and aft on the decks, and opening them speeds the already good drying time.
    Specs for Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak Decked Double

    The tandem Swing’s specs again vary a bit depending whether you believe us, the manufacturer, or Innova. The length we and Innova measured was about 13′ on the nose; Gumotex says 13’2″. The width Innova says is 33″; the one we paddled was definitely wider by 2″ agreeing more with the Gumotex figure. The weight capacity is always a rather arbitrary figure. Innova says 396 pounds like the Helios; the Czech boys say 450. We had up to 380 with not a hint of it being overloaded. 450 is probably reasonable.

    In terms of performance, the hull speed on a day with pretty brisk wind and 6″ to 8″ chop was quite good, around the same as the very popular Innova Sunny – no slouch itself. It worked great solo even going straight into the wind and doing a bit of a wheely, though like many inflatables once you turn broadside to the wind you feel the push of the gusts. That said, the freeboard is quite low.

    There are two “Crazy Creek” style seats and three main chambers like most duckies. There are lift handles at both ends and like most of the Innova touring models, the Swing II 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.
    Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak Decked Double Traveler Friendly

    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. Note that there is also a solo Swing too on our Solo Touring IK page, though we have not paddled that one yet. $759; if you live in the lower 48 and your UPS exceeds $40 we will pick up the remainder.
    Manufacturer’s Specifications for Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak

    LENGTH: 13 ft. 0 in.
    WIDTH: 33 in.
    WEIGHT: 26 lbs.
    CAPACITY: 485 lbs (2 persons)
    PACKED DIM: 27x16x10 in.
    MATERIAL: LitePack™ hull treated with Teflon® water repellent – No PVC!
    INCLUDES: Tracking fin, repair kit

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