Old Town Vapor 10 Angler
Late 2013 I replaced my old Eco Daintree with an Old Town Vapor 10 Angler. I thought it might be a good time to write a review of the kayak now that I have used it for a full season.
Here are the advertisers features and specifications;
“Featuring a roomy cockpit, a stable, efficient hull, anchor trolley and more. The Vapor 10 Angler will help you access hard to reach places and navigate quietly through the water so you can sneak up on your catch.
• Adjustable Comfort Flex seat
• Molded-in cockpit dash board
• Cup holder
• Thigh pads
• Stern day well
• Deck bungee
• Adjustable foot braces
• Molded-in paddle rest
• Built in carry handles
• Two flush mounted rod holders
• Anchor trolley system
• Drain Plug
• Capacity 147 kg
• Cockpit 49.5 x 121.9 cm
• Length 3 m
• Weight 20 kg
• Width 72.4 cm”
Review (My opinion)
Having not tried other SIK’s I can only really compare to my old Eco Daintree so I can’t really compare to other brands and models. Also remember I am a fisherman floating in a kayak and not a kayaker trying out a bit of fishing so I am really giving what I call a “Mugs perspective”
The good things about this kayak are that it is light and has a great weight capacity at 147kg. My Eco Daintree had a weight capacity of about 110 to 115kg which is very light when you weigh 95kg. With all the gear I carry which in truth is quite minimal compared to other forms of kayak fishing plus the water I drag in after each portage I would imagine I was exceeding this weight capacity at times in the Daintree. Now although this did not cause the kayak to instantly sink it did affect its stability. Mostly because it would sit lower in the water and leaning over the kayak to the left or right would put the cockpit in serious jeopardy of breaching the water line and filling with water. Those who have tried this in a SIK realise how quickly the kayak will fill and if you haven’t tried it you should!
The extra weight capacity of the Vapor 10 means that even with the water that enters with each portage event the kayak is super stable and does not have the same issues as the Daintree.
The Eco Daintree also was a very cheap kayak and was made from a much lower density PE. As a result it would scratch and scuff easily resulting in some sever wear on the back keel in particular. Eventually realising how thin the PE became in the Daintree I would reverse the kayak and drag it from the rear to distribute the wear a little more evenly. Eventually the rear of the Daintree wore though after 2 years and I am hoping the better quality PE of the Vapor 10 will mean it will wear slower. Only time will tell but I am pretty rough with my kayaks so I am hoping it will!
One of the features I truly like is the larger cock pit of the Vapor 10. It makes entry and exit at each portage much easier for a tall bloke (6’3”) which is my preference. The disadvantage is that the molded dash is not quite within easy reach unlike other SIK’s. Luckily I have longer arms so it is not too bad but maybe for a shorter bloke it would be a concern.
The molded seat although handy as you don’t need to worry about fitting a seat or remembering to bring it as well as the kayak is a little weak for my opinion. I accidentally sat on it when it was folded down and the cord that runs along the back broke the hole in the plastic it was running through. It is fairly comfortable and often my fishing adventures can exceed 10+ hours and I don’t feel too bad, however I’m guessing that may all be perspective and I haven’t tried true comfort yet! I know it has much less padding than the detachable seats so maybe my backside is a little more padded than most.
The advertised thigh pads are not really thigh pads and to be honest cushion very little. More like strips of material attached to the kayak to make it sound like a selling feature but really does not provide the cushioning it supposedly intends. not that you really need it!
Another drawback is the placement of the drain plug which should be at the stern but as there is a carry handle there they decided to place it between the rear well and rod holder. This means you cannot fully drain the kayak successfully and often need to sponge it out which is a pain.
The Vapor 10 also tracks perfectly straight and is not easily blown around with a bit of wind however this in itself is also a disadvantage. The Daintree had quite poor tracking however it was able to turn on itself easily which was great for its manoeuvrability but not so good in the wind. The Vapor 10 has a V shaped keel front and back with a flat middle which does make it turn like a truck at times. It holds an awesome straight line as a result but it’s turning circle is quite poor.
It cost me $699 (I think) at Anaconda when they had a sale and although I was after the Camo version I decided to pick up the sand coloured version at this much reduced price.
I haven’t modified much with a rear bungee added to the stern day well to carry my gear more securely. I have also added a 1” and 2” ball to the molded dash for my camera and rod holder. I have made a camera mount for the GoPro from PVC that fits snuggly in one of the flush rod holders also.
So it serves its purpose for me which is an object to float around in while fishing and I have no major complaints, but then again I am no kayak connoisseur! Anyway I hope someone may find this useful!