Many of you may remember my review of the TRAK kayak from a couple years back. While I had very positive experience then, I was interested to learn the team had launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the latest version of their performance portable kayak. The campaign has been a massive success to date. Only half-way through and they are already more than 500% above their funding goal. Check it out here.
What I found most compelling was the fact that the reinvention was a result of tapping into the kayaking community. TRAK surveyed more than 1,600 paddlers and used the data to guide the redesign.
As hardshell kayak owners, I can appreciate the concern around the durability of a portable kayak. And this sentiment was shared among many of the respondents. TRAK founder Nolin Veillard says about the previous version “they loved its portability and ruggedness, but asked if we could make it even stronger, lighter and more portable. And we’ve delivered.”
The TRAK 2.0 kayak
The TRAK 2.0, which they are calling the Ultimate Touring Kayak, is more than 10 pounds lighter than the one I tried several years back. They’ve added more strength to the carbon fibre “ribs” and 3D-printed frame components. They’ve also reduced the bag size by 10 inches. All of these adjustments make the ease of portability that much greater.
They put the prototype to the test across the globe. Paddlers experimented with the new design in the waters from Mexico to Jamaica, Nicaragua and Spain, from France to the Inside Passage and between BC and Alaska. TRAK also compiled a team of paddlers called the 20/20 Team led by professional kayaker Jaime Sharp to critique the design and performance.
For those interested in buying, there are still two weeks left in the Kickstarter campaign. If you live in an apartment or are short on storage space, this could be a really unique option for you.
The Ultimate Touring Kayak will be manufactured this fall and delivered in early 2018. If you’re a keen kayaker who loves to paddle in new destinations, this could be just the ticket for you! Here’s the link.