I did a lot of research before purchasing this kayak.
What became apparent early on, is that you must evaluate your own personnel needs and usage before you decide which yak is best for you.
For me: Kayak weight was a top priority. Because I paddle alone most of the time & portaging to off the beaten path creeks and rivers is a big part of it, I drew the line at 50 lbs.
But I also wanted a 12ft. Boat for improved tracking and extra weight carrying & cargo space.
I looked for boats that had high ratings on seat comfort and the journey answered.
The paddle that came with it is fine for my use as I just need a durable big dip paddle.
I like the removable waterproof hold in the stern. It is fairly large & it's convenient to just remove the whole unit for packing and transport.
I'm 6'1" @ 190lbs. Legroom is good, with the adjustable foot pegs all the way forward.
I have found that getting in and out is best done with a feet wet approach. Meaning I prefer to pull up on the bank straddle, then sit/rise. Rather than enter/exit from a dock. Once your in, you sit low enough that the yak feels very stable.. But with a 29" width, getting in and out is less so.
However, the narrower width allows for great tracking, maneuverability and reduced the overall weight. Overall, for me, the compromise in stability is worth it. The Journey is durable. I throw it in the back of the truck, have been through brushy creeks, rocky bottoms, and have drug it hundreds of yds down gravelly paths, with nothing to show more than expected scratches.
I like the looks of this yak, the high prow does a good job with light chop, but doesn't seem to catch wind.
The rod holders are adequate, though I did replace the Scotty with a better model.
I keep a small waterproof tackle box forward, which is fine for me, as I am not a real serious fisherman.(no fish finder , trolling motor, anchor trolley, etc.) Drawbacks of the journey:
I think the biggest drawback is no access between the hulls.
Therefore it makes it more difficult to modify(you can't just reach your hand inside and tighten a fastener. You have to use a Molly or a bolt anchor, etc.)
Also you don't have access to all that storage space. There is a small waterproof hold forward, but it's only about the size of a cup holder. No scuppers: this wasn't that big a deal for me as I don't use this yak on the coast, but it does mean a wetter seat.(I think most sit on tops get you wet, mainly from paddle drip). I use a two inch waterproof pad to sit on, (waterproof pants in cool weather) & carry big sponge. No side handles, so I rigged a sling & take the weight on my shoulders, though it is another step.
I do think it worthwhile as it is a lot easier to carry. All in all this is great kayak for me.
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