This is a review of the Sea Eagle 380x
Getting a great deal on any purchase means you’re paying for exactly what you need without any extra bells and whistles that you might never use. When you purchase the 380x Explorer model from Sea Eagle, you’re getting just that – a great deal.
The 380x Explorer is one of the best boats in what is arguably one of the most versatile kayak series in the world of inflatables. The 380x not only lends itself well to a variety of kayakers, but it has a super responsive paddling performance that is hard to ignore.
In our review of the 380x Explorer, we are going to take a look at why so many kayakers have rated this a great inflatable watercraft to invest in. We’ll look at the top features and benefits of the 380x. Plus, we will touch on the different packages available for this model in order to help you decide whether this boat is a good fit for you.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Sea Eagle 380x Pros and Cons
- The 380x is extremely versatile. You can transition from calm river trips to intense adventures on white rapids all with the release of a bailing drain valve.
- The unique high-pressure drop stitch floor gives you a stable boat that feels and performs like a traditional kayak.
- 16 self bailing drain valves allow you to efficiently get rid of excess water while you are out kayaking.
- There are different package options to choose from which can be overwhelming. However, when you understand the different packages, you’ll be able to pick the kayak that most meets your needs.
Who should buy the Sea Eagle 380x?
There are four different models in the Explorer kayak series. However, the 380x is best suited for individuals who like to do a variety of activities while on the water.
The 380x model is a great inflatable kayak for singletons, couples, and even small families. The versatility offered is ideal for those who enjoy different types of kayaking. You can do everything from flatwater paddling on slow-moving rivers, to long paddling trips, to white water rafting.
There are seven different packages available for the 380x. The most favored include the Deluxe Package, the Deluxe Solo Package and the Pro Motor Package, each with different types of accessories, lending themselves well to kayakers who like doing different types of activities on the water.
The Pro Carbon Package and the Pro Kayak Package are great for competitive and adventurous kayakers. There is also the Quick Sail Package and the Quick Row Package that is preferred by kayakers who enjoy those specialties.
Features of the Sea Eagle 380x
The features of Sea Eagle are perhaps what makes this boat one of the best inflatable kayaks to invest in. The versatility offered in this inflatable kayak is due to all the features of the boat and its overall price range. When compared to other inflatables in its class, the 380x Explorer really does give you the best bang for your buck.
Let’s take a look at some of the specific features that highlight the versatility offered by the 380x.
Drop Stitch Flooring
Older models of this Sea Eagle were constructed out of a standard inflatable floorboard. While the old model was still a great boat, its weak floor construction didn’t always make for a comfortable ride. Especially when riders were out on intense excursions like white water rafting.
The new design of the 380x uses a high-pressure drop stitch flooring that sits on top of the base of the kayak. This separate drop stitch floor provides riders with a better experience because the boat feels tighter around you. It also gives you greater control and overall better performance, especially in extreme white water rafting.
Along with better performance, the drop stitch floor is what allows your kayak to take a good beating. While riding white waters, this durable base can withstand bumps from crashing waves and scrapes when bumping into rocks.
The durable flooring also comes in handy when you are drifting over calm waters too. One great benefit of the high-pressure drop stitch floor is that it gives you better tracking and a better glide. This enhanced performance feels nice and smooth the way a traditional kayak does.
Lastly, perhaps the best part of this drop stitch flooring is that it can be removed. If you go on an intense excursion, you will be able to easily clean out any dirt that gets into the crack of your boat. Plus, the removable base makes for easy drying when you are ready to store your boat.
Self Bailing Drains
With this Sea Eagle Explorer, there are 16 self bailing drain valves, eight on each side. These self bailing drains give you the flexibility to choose how you want to experience your kayaking adventure. This is a great feature that many inflatable boats don’t offer.
If you are out on choppy water, you can keep the valves open so that water that enters your kayak can easily drain out. If you plan on doing calmer kayaking over flat water, then it’s best to close these drains. Leaving them open will leave you with a wet floor.
The self bailing drain valves are straightforward and easy to use and are one of the best features offered by this inflatable kayak. It’s these drain valves that allow you to transition from flat water to choppy water with ease. It’s one of the marks that make this Sea Eagle Explorer kayak such a versatile inflatable kayak to invest in.
Be aware that these drain valves are hidden along the edges of the boat’s base, so be sure to have them closed up before you get into the water.
Recess Inflate Valves
There are three recessed inflate valves on the Sea Eagle 380x. There is one on the floor and two on the side chambers. Inflation is straightforward and simple to do. Each boat comes with an A41 foot pump that effectively gets your boat inflated in under 10 minutes.
While some users find the foot pump to be a nuance, especially if you’re inflating several boats, there is an easy fix. You can swap out the included foot pump for an electric pump and it will work just fine as an alternative.
Inflation and unpacking is super easy. Simply unroll the pack and inflate it up. To store the back together, all you need to do is dry it up, lay it flat, and roll it back up into its kayak carry bag. It packs in minutes and can be stored in your trunk without much effort.
The durability of the 380x is another standout feature that is hard to ignore. In fact, Sea Eagle has put its money where its mouth is – through their “torture test.”
Through this test, Sea Eagle kayaks show their toughness and ability to handle a beating! The brand even showcased a Jeep Wrangler driving over the boat. The only damage left behind was a dirt imprint of the Wrangler’s tire.
The durability of the 380x is showcased via its durable construction. The boat is made out of a durable 1000 dernier reinforced material that is strong for added resistance against tearing and breaking.
Plus, it’s easy to fold up, and light enough that one person can carry the boat around without much strain.
When it comes to capacity, this inflatable boat doesn’t disappoint. It has the ability to seat up to three people or 750 lbs. There are 7 sets of D-ring attachments for different seating arrangement options.
While there certainly is space to attach three seats, you might not always want to do so. For extreme activities like white water rafting, you’ll have the best experience going solo or with a partner.
While going out into the water with three people on board can get a little bit cramped, riders in the front and the back do have the option to stretch out. They can easily throw their feet overboard for a little bit more comfort. After all, if you’re going on a leisurely glide across the water, kicking your feet out usually is one of the best ways to go out on a kayaking adventure.
Rated for Class IV Whitewater Rafting
One of the bigger draws of this kayak is that it can handle all types of water conditions. One of its most impressive features being that it is rated for Class IV whitewater rafting. Whether you want to go on a tandem excursion, relax over flat water, or crush some waves in white water rafting, you can do it all with the 380x.
Because this boat can do it all, it’s a great option to go with if you are someone who enjoys different types of water activities. It’s especially a great investment for someone who is looking to get started in the water and wants a boat that will grow with them.
The base of the boat features a large removable slide-in skeg. This removable skeg allows you to adapt your boat for the type of kayaking you plan to do with it. Plus, it allows your boat to have greater control, something that is often a downfall with inflatable boats.
When riding rough waves, the slide in skeg slides right out so that it is not an obstruction. When you are drifting over calmer waters, it will allow you to have better tracking and reduce any yawning that may occur if there are bursts of wind.
By allowing you to stay on course and reduce drifting, kayakers will find that they can be more efficient in their paddling. This is especially helpful for someone who is just getting started out in the water.
Inflatable boats, especially kayaks are typically lacking in comfort. This is especially true when they are made out of weaker materials. Fortunately, that is not the case with the 380x. Its durability, drop stitch flooring, and large pontoons allow you to have the best possible experience while out on the water.
There are seven pairs of D-ring attachments for you to choose from when setting up the seats. And depending on the package you choose, you will have your choice between an inflatable seat or Tall Back Seats. The inflatable seats are great for solo paddlers who like to drift on the water and the Tall Back Seats are better for riding rough waves.
While some kayakers have explained that the high-pressure flooring can make the boat feel a little tighter, there is an upside. This “tight” construction is what gives riders a greater sense of control and performance when they are out on the water.
The large pontoons on either side of the boat are especially comfortable if you are someone who enjoys swinging your feet over the side of the boat. This gives you a great opportunity to stretch out your legs.
Lastly, if you are bringing gear along with you the bungee cords can be very handy. The bungee cords on either end of the boat will securely house your belongings without them getting in your way or throwing off your boat’s weight.
Some of the favored accessories include the attachable motor engine, the quick sail attachment for downwind sailing, and the carbon fiber paddles. There are also different seating options like the ones offered through the pro kayak package.
All these attachments can be tailored for your kayaking needs so that you can customize your boat the way you best see fit.
What Others Are Saying about the Sea Eagle 380x
As an owner of an inflatable boat, I was curious to see what users of the 380x make of the boat. After scouring the internet and reading hundreds of reviews, it’s clear to see why the 380x is the most popular of the Sea Eagles Explorer lineup. One Reddit user laments not purchasing the 380x over another one of the brand’s other boats. Kurtzislost explains,
Another user Buzbee124 shares how she’s impressed with the durability of the boat. The user explains that while she is not an experienced kayaker, she was impressed with how the kayak feels. She described it as being a lot more stable than other inflatable boats she has ridden on.
User TommyHale also praised the 380x’s durability, especially during high rapids. After going on a white water raft down the James River, this user highlights how the boat was able to withstand rough rocks. He was also impressed with how efficiently the self bailing valves kept water from collecting in the boat.
Sea Eagle 380x Alternatives
a. Sea Eagle Explorer 380x vs 420x
If you really enjoy all the features offered by the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer, but need a little more wiggle room (literally), no worries. Bump a step up in the Explorer lineup to the 420x.
If you value more space, then the Sea Eagle Explorer 420x might be a better alternative for you. The 420x has all the great features of the 380x, but it offers a bit more floor space and a larger carrying capacity.
The 420x measures a foot and a half longer than the 380x. While the 380x can seat three people, the 420x can sit 3 riders or 855lbs with ease. The interior measurements are slightly a bit larger at 13’ 4” x 15”
You will still have the great features of the 380x including three easy-to-inflate chambers, 16 self-bailing valves, and a durable removable high-pressure drop stitch flooring. But you will also have the capability of strapping on your fishing gear, camping gear, and whatever else you need for an extended day out on the water.
However – this all comes at a cost. The 420x is, understandably, a more expensive boat, so if you want to watch your budget and don’t mind sacrificing a little space, then stick with the 380x.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Our review of the Intex Challenger Kayak series.
Overall, the 380x is one of the best Sea Eagle Explorer kayaks if you are looking for something versatile, high quality and great for white water kayaking.
While all Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks are known for their compact design, ease of use, and durability – the 380x takes the cake. All in all, it is consistently viewed by users of all backgrounds as being an ideal inflatable boat.
Because this boat can travel compactly, is extremely versatile – and easy to set up as an inflatable. Individuals or couples who like to get out on the water will certainly have a fun time with it. Ready to take the plunge? Click here to get your hands on the Sea Eagle 380x today.