Although we hate to admit it, it’s officially time to start thinking about kayak storage. With temperatures dropping and in many places, snowfall becoming more and more frequent, kayaks take a back seat to cozying up indoors and spending a little quality time next to the fireplace. With that said, we have a few storage tips and product recommendations to make your transition from fall to winter a breeze.
Step 1: Prepping Your Boat for Storage
Cleaning your boat and ensuring everything is secure and ready for Spring is an important step to take before storing your kayak for the winter. It will make spring feel that much sweeter when you finally take your kayak out for the first time and everything is ready to go! Continue reading Winter is Coming: Kayak Storage Solutions
Wilderness Systems upgraded their kayak seating in a big way with the newest addition to their Ride kayak series. They recently launched their brand new Ride MAX series featuring the Phase 3® AirPro MAX high/low seating system. In their recent press release Wilderness Systems says “The AirPro MAX preserves the popular innovations found in most Phase 3 seats- adjustability, comfort features and high-quality materials- yet it is a true advancement in design.”
“Made in the USA, with years of design and innovation and extensive testing, the Ride 115 MAX, Ride 115X MAX and Ride 135 MAX all featuring the Phase 3® AirPro MAX Seat are game changing for anglers of all skill levels. Wilderness Systems’ Pro Staff anglers were an integral part of the Phase 3® AirPro MAX design process (…) The contributions and feedback from the Pro Staff are reflected in every aspect of the seat, from the easy adjustability and installation to the premium durable materials used to build it.”
A few features of the Phase 3® AirPro Seat that really make it stand out include the option of three different seating positions: high, low, and recline, its height, which improves the ability to change from sitting to standing and back, the breathable mesh fabric that stays cool, dries quickly and is UV resistant and the easy to adjust seat positions giving you the ability to adjust your seat without having to un-clip or loosen straps. Continue reading Wilderness Systems AirPro MAX Seat
The 2014 ICAST Trade Show showcased a plethora of brand new kayaks that are a true advancement in the industry. Between Hobie’s Pro Angler 17T, Old Town’s Predator XL and Wilderness System’s Thresher 140, the innovation at this years ICAST was at an all time high. For your convenience we have broken down the soon-to-be newest additions to our kayak lineup and provided links to reviews as well as added the ability to pre-order.
Hobie Pro Angler 17 Tandem Kayak
Hobie introduced their brand new, ever-so-stylish, fully equipped, beast of a tandem kayak today at the ICAST. The PA 17T is set to be one of the hottest tandem kayaks on the market with some exciting new features that makes it stand far out and above the crowd.
Fully Rigged Weight: 230lbs
Available: Late September- Early October 2014
The Pro Angler 17 T, although large in size, can be paddled tandem or solo and incorporates three steering controls allowing for the ultimate control you want in a kayak of this size. A drop-skeg has been added to improve tracking and steering. Another highlight of this model is the new Vantage XT Seating that is 5 inches taller than the previous Vantage seating. The Vantage XT can face forward or flip around so that paddlers are seated face-to-face while still being able to use the Mirage Drive. To create the ultimate kayak fishing experience, Hobie added their new H-Rail accessory attachment system. The 12-sided rail runs along both sides of the kayak, clamp accessories on the side, and can slide the length of the rail while being able to adjust at 30 degrees per pivot. Another fishing feature includes a built-in transducer mount making it Lowrance Ready and ample vertical and horizontal rod storage space. This all adds up to space for up to 12 fishing rods and the capability to install an anchor trolley, anchor, drift chute, or stake out pole.
Want more information or to pre-order the Hobie Pro Angler 14T? Click here.
Old Town Predator XL
Old Town rolled out their latest and greatest Predator, the Predator XL- a true upgrade to the rest of the family. It incorporates all the innovative Predator features while adding an industry changing Modular Console System designed for electronics, storage and power customization.
Weight (Without Consoles): 92 lbs
Capacity: 600 lbs
Available: Late October 2014
The Preadtor XL with Modular Console System is the latest adaptation of the Predator and has morphed into a fully evolved hybrid. The performance crafted tri-hull delivers incredible durability and strength while the hull itself is designed to offer superior stability and tracking. The Minn-Kota Console offers complete hands-free navigation and trolling with 45 lbs of variable thrust making it easy to coast across any kind of water mother nature throws at you. The slip resistant exo-ridge deck ensures that you and your gear will stay dry and secure during your entire ride- no matter the weather. The storage on the Predator XL is also first in its class. The large bow hatch with click seal cover and side-mount paddle storage provide enough room for everything you’d need to create the ultimate kayaking experience. For the fishermen out there, it also comes equipped with six removable high-strength mounting plates making it easy for you to customize to your hearts content with fish finders, slide tracks, GPS, or rod holders. The rod tip holders, rod retainer bungees, dual tackle holders, and molded paddle rest also make for an ideal camp for your fishing gear. To top it off, the Predator XL comes equipped with eight scupper holes to drain away any water that may get into your kayak and a stand up assist strap for added leverage when standing.
Want more information or to pre-order a Predator XL? Click here.
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
The Thresher 140 is Wildy’s first off-shore kayak with an all-new bow to stern look while vastly improving its removable sonar pod
and announcing its biggest secret yet- the innovative Flex Pod OS.
Length: 14′ 3″
Weight: 75 lbs
Capacity: 400 lbs
The Wilderness Systems Thresher 140 and 155 both come equipped with a vast amount of features that separate this model from the pack. The Flex Pod OS, a larger version of the drop-in self-contained sonar console that debuted with the Ride 115x, is the biggest upgrade to the kayak and is sure to impress as a single master unit holding a battery, transducer, and sonar display. It plugs in directly and securely to the hull to prevent noise- “a silent menace”. With its increased size, offshore fishermen will enjoy the strength and comfort this kayak provides and its ability to carry heavy gear and fish load while still providing incredible stability. Another new feature to the Thresher is the large rectangular console hatches hinged at the front for a better seal. A seal so strong in fact, that when put through a submerged leak test for 15 hours it didn’t let a single drop inside. Perfect for storing your important items while on extended paddling tours or kayak fishing treks. Not to be missed, the Thresher also features Wildy standards such as SlideTrax accessory rails around the cockpit and stern tankwell gunwales, accessory storage bins and rod stages for the center hatch, and a paddle park. Ultimately, the Wilderness Systems Thresher is an upgraded Wildy classic with all the features and specs a paddler could need.
Want more information or to pre-order a Thresh 140? Click here.
Have more questions or feel like we are missing something? Feel free to comment below!
Looking to try your hand at kayak fishing but don’t know where to start? With all of the gear and kayaks available we understand that it can be somewhat overwhelming. No need to fret! We have created a 3 step guide to kayak fishing that will walk you through the before, during and after of your adventure. Included is the gear you’ll need and some fun facts about the rise of kayak fishing. Once you decide what you need, check out ACK.com for all your kayak fishing needs!
Think we missed something? Comment below and let us know!
Hunting is one of those outdoor activities you wouldn’t expect to require a lot of gear. You have your hunting rifle, a bag, and a way to travel discreetly (we prefer a kayak). However, this is not the case. Hunting effectively requires an arsenal of gear that make it not only easier to hunt but also more comfortable. This is where Avery Outdoors hunting gear comes into play. When you buy an Avery Outdoors product, you can rest assured you are purchasing a quality product that will assist in making your hunting trip the most comfortable it can be. Do you prefer to stand, crouch, and kneel the entire time? Or does a comfortable and discreet stool sound a little bit more pleasing? Do you travel to your favorite spot via kayak or canoe? These are all things to consider when gearing up for your next hunt.
To help you better navigate ACK’s selection of Avery Outdoors hunting products we have compiled a list of a few of our favorite items for you to consider. If you know what your favorites are feel free to check out our entire line here.
Avery Outdoors Folding Floating Shotgun Case
The floating shotgun case is a necessary bag if you like to hunt on the water. The buoyant closed-cell foam walls will keep your gun afloat if it slips out of your kayak and the water resistant exterior will not budge keeping your prized possession safe. The case also comes in a variety of patterns to suit any environment you plan on hunting in. Overall, this attractive case is not only effective and protective but also discreet, compact, and affordable.
Avery Outdoors Floating Blind Bag
Avery’s flagship bag has been a fan favorite for years. This floating bag has nine compartments to maximize organization and storage as well as a seam-sealed inner compartment to keep your important items safe. The amount of space allows you to easily carry your shells, gloves, camera, choke tubes, phone and your other favorite hunting items while the quick access port and multiple pockets lets you grab them at a moments notice. If you are looking for a smaller bag that will ensure that your items are protected from the elements look no further, the Avery Outdoors Floating Blind Bag has you covered.
Avery Outdoors Trac-Loc Push Pole
The Avery Outdoors Trac-Loc Push Pole is a kayak hunters dream. This push pole is a must have for navigating waterways while hunting and fishing due to its 3 length options, rust-proof aluminum design, and DuraGrip handles. It gives you the ability to handle different depths of water with ease with its original 51″, second extension at 76″ or full extension at 115″ while being sturdy enough to seamlessly push off logs, soft ground, hard ground or any other condition you encounter while on the water. The Trac-Loc push pole is easily stored and transported and was made to work with the Avery Outdoors 3-in-1 Paddle Attachment and Avery Outdoors Marsh Foot Attachment (both sold separately). These attachments assist in navigating shallow waters and overcoming barriers with little effort. If you are a Diablo Kayak fan, the paddle attachment is great when you choose to switch to stand up paddling!
Avery Outdoors Marsh Seat
The Avery Outdoors Marsh Seat provides a comfortable perch that is easily transported while on the move. With its sink proof retractable marsh foot and adjustable height you can feel good knowing that you don’t run the risk of falling too deep in the muck or peeking too far out out of cover. Our Austin store manager, Justin Fees, is an avid hunter and swears by his marsh seat. He explains, “When I was in college kneeling down and crouching in awkward positions for hours didn’t bother me. Now, 10-15 years later, comfort is key and this marsh seat provides just that.” The seat adjusts between 27″ and 37″ in height and comes complete with a DuraMax covered padded seat for optimal comfort and customization. If you are looking to optimize your comfort while hunting then the Avery Outdoors Marsh Seat is the accessory for you.
Want to watch a product feature video on the above products? Click here.
Ultimately, when choosing your hunting accessories you have to keep in mind comfort, safety, and utility. All of Avery Outdoors hunting products have something different to offer and provide different comforts while out in the wild. Check out the other Avery Outdoor products we have here to fully outfit your next hunting adventure. Happy hunting!
Getting a good nights sleep in the back country can be a daunting prospect, fortunately it doesn’t have to be. Keep reading for a detailed look at all the camping sleep platforms available at ACK.com and to figure out which one is right for you.
First thing to consider when picking a solid sleep platform should be how you like to sleep and camp. Do you prefer firm surfaces? Elevated and cushioned? Will it fit in your tent? These are all things one should consider before making their purchase. Another important consideration is how you will be traveling. If you are backpacking a lighter, more portable platform would be ideal whereas campers taking a car to their destination would do well with virtually any option.
There are a few basic things that you should understand when shopping for your sleep platform. One being that camping sleep systems consist of two basic parts: a sleep platform and sleeping bag. While the other is that camping sleep platforms are the lesser known half of the camping sleep systems and come in various styles: cots, air mattresses, sleeping pads and hammocks. Here’s a look at each:
Cots come in two styles today, ultralight and standard. Ultralight cots sit just off the ground and use a folding pole frame with a special fabric spread across via tension. Cots were previously a platform that tended to be a bit clunky however, manufacturers are continually tweaking their designs to make these ultralight cots more appealing to campers who are backpacking or do not want to carry a lot of weight around.
Standards cots, on the other hand, are intended for car campers. Generally, they are very easy to setup and are similar in height to a bed. Also like a bed, standard cots offer under bed storage that makes organization easier.
Cots are some of the most comfortable sleep platforms and are most practical during the hotter months as they lack insulation between you and the air circulating around you. However, when used in tandem with a pad or blanket between their cot and sleeping bag, a cot can be a cozy and warm sleep platform during the winter as well.
The Air beds appeal is in its similarity to your bed at home. Its comfort and convenience has made the air bed a fan favorite among campers for good reason- its endless options, ease of set up, and the “home-like” familiarity it provides in an otherwise rugged and unfamiliar camp site.
Most air mattresses come equipped with a foot or electric pump to inflate in a relatively short amount of time. Although these beds have been heavy in the past, many manufactures are creating beds that are lighter in weight so that backpackers and car campers alike can rest in comfort during their trips. If you are looking for something that will ease you into a camping lifestyle an air mattress would be the easiest transition from home to tent.
The standard in camping sleep platforms today is the sleeping pad. They come in a variety of styles but in general, sleeping pads represent the lightest and most pack-able option around making it a great options for backpackers as well as car travelers. They provide on average about an inch of padding and insulation, which, while it might not sound like a lot, is a huge improvement over nothing at all. The two most common styles are inflatable and self-inflating, both of which utilize air for cushioning.
Inflatable pads are inflated easily with or without a pump and roll into a very compact size for easy travel. Self-inflating pads on the other hand use special foam that decompresses and fills the air gaps when you unseal the valve and unroll the pad. Resealing the valve traps air within the foam cells and boosts insulation and comfort. However, self-inflating pads are a bit larger when rolled up than air only pads.
Light, inexpensive and nearly indestructible, foam sleeping pads are a popular option for campers and those who just want a little something beneath them while they sleep. These pads use a closed cell foam that is particularly effective at insulating when sleeping on cold ground or on rough surfaces that could puncture an air filled pad.
Much different than any of the other camping sleeping platforms available to back country campers, hammocks offer an intriguing option that many have come to love. Hammocks require minimal set up and are extremely packable and lightweight making them a viable option for campers who tend to pack light. They also offer a unique experience of not sleeping on a flat surface, which for many is an acquired taste.
Hammocks initially offer no insulation, so unless paired with a sleeping pad, they are more suited for warmer weather. That being said, a wide variety of hammock accessories exist to help you setup and sleep in you hammock comfortably anywhere and anytime.
Ultimately, when choosing your next sleep platform, you need to consider what makes you feel the most comfortable as well as how you tend to go camping. Are you a light packer versus a heavy packer? A backpacker versus a car traveler? Consider the weight you are willing to carry and the environment you will be in. Once these are taken into consideration check out ACK.com with this handy guide and choose your new portable bed!
Stand up paddling (SUP) has been popular for many years now but it’s still a new and exciting concept for many paddlers. One of the greatest things about SUP is that it requires minimal gear and can take on just about any body of water (though having the right board for the job certainly helps).
Another reason for the rise in popularity of SUP is that it delivers a full body workout and in a very unique environment. Wouldn’t your prefer to fill your next cross-training activity with waterway wildlife and unique coastal views?
Keep reading for an overview of basic SUP gear and some other common accessories to get you started.
SUP Gear – The Basics
One of the highlights of SUP is the simplicity. A few pieces of basic gear and you’re all set to enjoy some time on the water.
Stand Up Paddleboard: From inflatables to fiberglass racing boards, SUPs come in all shapes in sizes these days. As you might expect, your board will be the most important (and expensive) investment towards getting started paddle-boarding. At ACK we offer a wide range of boards to choose from and encourage you to begin your selection by reading our Choosing a SUP article.
Personal Flotation Device: In 2012, a survey by the American Canoe Association cited that 35% of stand up paddlers never wear a life jacket on the water. We get it, SUP seems like a harmless activity and sometimes the whole idea of it is to keep things simple. Nevertheless, the best way to be safe is just to wear it. If you want to avoid something bulky, try using an inflatable PFD or a low profile one like the NRS Ninja.
Paddle: SUP paddles are made up of a shaft and blade with an angle to maximize efficiency. When picking out your paddle, go for one that’s rougly 6″ to 8″ taller than you are. To learn more about picking out the best paddle, refer to our How To Choose article.
SUP Gear – Other Accessories
A wide range of SUP accessories exist to help you make the most of your time on the water. Depending on your intended use of your board, some of these items should be considered a necessity.
SUP Specific Apparel: No, In the recent years, manufacturers like Level Six have begun to develop SUP specific apparel to help you maximize your comfort on the water. Like all paddling apparel, you’ll want synthetic clothing (avoid cotton!) that handles water well.
Ankle Leash: Wearing an ankle leash is a good idea in any water conditions as it will keep you connected to your SUP no matter what happens. If you plan on playing in the surf or taking your board onto rough water, a leash should be considered a requirement. If you fall off in rough water without a leash, getting separated from your board is a real possibility.
Protective Bags: These exist to protect your investment from damage minor dings and heat damage. Find a bag sized to fit your board or your paddle and make a long lasting product even longer lasting.
Storage Systems: Whether you have one board or three, storage racks and slings exist to help you store your SUP safely.
Transportation Accessories: One of the best things about SUPs is that they’re lightweight and easy to transport. The best way to do it is by using pads or a specialized SUP carrier.
A wide range of accessories exist for stand up paddling, remember to check out your options and see if there are any that can improve your experience on the water. You can find all of our SUP Accessories here.
An extended adventure vacation can be a life changing event, so don’t let disorganization bring you down! Packing smart for adventure travel really means packing light, taking less and keeping things organized. Below are some useful packing tips to help you do just that.
Choose The Right Travel Bag
Whether it’s a rolling suitcase, big duffle or travel backpack, you need the right bag for your trip. Consider the length of your trip, mode of transportation and what all you will be bringing.
When choosing the right bag, start by thinking about your destination and how you’ll need to transport your travel bag. Will you need to carry it around on your back because of the terrain or will you be able to roll it along flat surfaces? Thinking about your destination will help you narrow down your ideal travel bag from the three main options: a backpack, duffle bag, or bag on wheels (such as a rolling upright).
How long will you be there?
If you’re planning a short trip, then obviously you won’t need a very large bag. In fact, you’ll thank yourself for packing light. But if you’re going on vacation or planning a long excursion then you’ll need a larger bag that can fit several changes of clothes and other everyday essentials.
What will you need while you’re away?
Considering what you need to pack is helpful not only for choosing the size of your bag, but also selecting special features that offer packing efficiency and easy. For example, if you’re packing electronic gear, the bag should have waterproofing and extra compartments to secure your items within the bag (like Thule’s Crossover 38 Liter Rolling Upright).
Or you could just do it all with one bag…
Before you start searching for the bag that’s perfect to your specific trip, check out Kelty’s newest luggage system, the Ascender. The Ascender is unique in that it is a modular system that includes an exterior chassis with various bag options including the expanding Ascender 22 which expands to 3 different bag sizes (40-liter carry on, 55 liter and 70 liter), the Ascender Trunk which is 78 liters and chock full of internal organizers, and finally the Ascender Duffle which is a tough, water resistant duffle. Each bag can be worn as a backpack or attached to the external chassis to becoming a rolling upright.
Bring Along An Everyday Bag
You don’t want to have to lug around everything when you don’t need to. On longer trips when your travel bag is past the point of being comfortable to tote around daily, and you have the ability to leave it somewhere safely, bringing along an everyday bag keep things flexible. A good everyday bag will function as your airport carry-on and allow you to take along whatever you need on your daily adventures. Just like your travel bag, you should on the style of everyday bag that most fits your needs, as they come in a range of styles including lightweight backpacks, slings, lumbar packs and more.
Keep Things Organized
An organized traveler is a happy one. When you’re on the road, there’s no better feeling than opening up your bag and knowing exactly where to find your favorite shirt or that specific power cord. Some travel bags come equipped with integrated organizers and pockets, however the most effective way to keep organized is by travel accessories made to do just that. Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes, Kelty’s Cache Boxes (intended for electronic storage), and Outdoor Research Ditty Sacks are all great items to prevent specific items from becoming one in your pack. One of my personal favorite travel accessories is the North Face Base Camp Flat Dopp Kit which makes a perfect toiletry kit.
Whether you’re escaping for a long weekend away or taking a month long excursion, it’s good to use a checklist. Create a list considering the following categories: travel documents, packs/luggage, clothing, footwear, travel gear, toiletries and other personal items.
Our friends at Eagle Creek have a very easy to use packing checklist builder that takes into account your specific type of trip and destination. Give it a try!
This is the challenge that nearly every type of traveler faces, whether planning for a quick overnight trip or an extended getaway. You’ve got clothes, toiletries, laptops, phones, digital cameras, itineraries, jackets, guide books and so much more.
So, how do you manage to fit it all into your bags before you depart?
Well, you can cram it all in, like most people do, but this will ultimately make your travel a lot more cumbersome than it needs to be.
Stuffing your bags to the brim will wrinkle your clothes, crush important documents and potentially damage your electronics too.
Not only that, you’ll be stuck with a giant, disorganized mess, making it difficult to find what you need upon arrival, and slowing you down at the worst possible time.
There’s a better way to pack and avoid these headaches – with the revolutionary Pack-It System from Eagle Creek.
What is the Eagle Creek Pack-It System?
Our Pack-It™ System is changing the way people travel and has been since.
It’s a simple system that eliminates several of the most common packing challenges, from organizational issues to limited packing space. With smartly designed packs, cubes and folders that divide your stuff into cleanly arranged sections within your larger luggage bags, the system makes it easier for you to find what you need, when you need it, and eliminate the clutter.
If you travel often, then you know that a little bit of organization goes a long way. Losing any item – whether it’s a favorite t-shirt or your passport – can cause an undue amount of stress during your travels. Did you leave it at home? Did it fall out of your bag? Did someone steal it?
Our packing system helps relieve these worries by organizing clean clothes and dirty laundry while making the most of your packing space, so you can put more in your bags.
Beyond solving the organizational and packing challenges, the system also addresses a number of other common packing issues, including:
Protecting your gear from moisture
Keeping your clothes from getting wrinkled
Let’s take a look at some examples of optional system components and how they can make your life a lot easier when you’re traveling.
How to Pack It All – the Right Way
ACK carries a range of products from our Pack-It collection including Cubes, Folders, and Compression Sacs. Remember, you can always place a special order by contacting their customer service team if you want something from the collection not listed on their website.
Our packing Cubes are perfect for clothes: tees, shorts, pajamas and much more. They come in a variety of sizes and options, including 2-sided versions that allow you to separate clean clothes from dirty clothes, as well as expandable cubes that let you fit even more when you need to. Like most of our bags and packs, our cubes are also water-resistant and designed to minimize wrinkles.
- The Specter Folder 18
Our packing folder 18 will fit up 12 shirts, pants, or other clothing items, keeping them compressed, neat and organized within your luggage while also providing wrinkle resistance.
- Caddies, Organizes, Pouches & More
Eagle Creek offers a wide range of additional packs to fit virtually everything you need for your trip. ACK carries our popular line of Pack-It Sacs, great for organizing small items like electronics, liquids, and more, as well as a wide range of other travel accessories.
Shop now to see how easy it is to pack and organize all your gear with the Eagle Creek Pack-It System.
As many of you have seen/heard, we will now be adding Viking Kayak to our lineup. These boats are imported from over in New Zealand and we’re very excited to be the first US retailer to offer them.
We plan on carrying 2 of the Viking Kayak models: the Profish Reload and the Profish 400 with 2 color choices per model. The Reload will come in a Yellow/Black combination called Yellow Mist as well as a Gray/Black combination called Shades of Gray. The Profish 400 on the other hand will come in Green/Black called Lime Mist and also Orange/Black called Sunrise Mist.
The Profish Reload measures a hair over 14.5 feet, is 29.5″ wide and weighs in a 63 pounds. This kayak is ideal for tackling large bodies of water, but drafts shallow enough to handle the flats with ease. The center console, called the Tackle Pod, comes with the boat and provides an enclosed area for on-board tackle management. The pod also allows for the easy mounting of a fish finder. A recess on the bottom of the pod provides a safe tucked away location for the transducer to ride up in too. A replacement center console can be purchased to replace the Tackle Pod, and it provides a flat deck space with an included child seating area.
The Profish 400 measures just under 13.5 feet, is 31″ wide and weighs in 53 pounds. Unlike the Reload, the 400 has a molded in well in the center of the boat that can be used for gear storage or even as a live bait well. Due to its wider stance, the 400 is relatively easy to stand in and provides a great sight casting platform.
We will also be selling various Viking Kayak accessories that go with the new boats. The Chill Pod is a very easy to open ice box for kayak anglers looking to keep their catch cold. Both the 400 and the Reload’s rear tankwell will accept this cool product. A rudder kit is available for either boat, but it is a little different than what we are used to here in the US. This particular rudder does not extend down past the bottom of the boat, but in no way does that detract from its performance. These boats will turn very quickly due to the surface area of the rudder blade. Other accessories we will carry will be a Viking branded hatch bucket with screw on lid, additional flush mount rod holders, and a clear center pod lid for the Profish 400.
We are very excited to have Viking on board and hope you are too! These are now available for pre-order and will actually start shipping near the end of April. Let us know what you think by commenting below.