Last updated on March 11th, 2018 at 10:52 pm
The Sea Eagle SE330 is a versatile kayak that offers a great compromise between performance, stability, and durability. At its entry-level price, it’s also friendly on your wallet.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another inflatable kayak at this price point that offers the same value and all-around performance.
Review Summary: Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Kayak
- Good value for your money
- Rugged material and well-built
- Very stable
- Convertible for both solo and tandem paddling
- Includes two paddles and foot pump
- Seats have good back support
- Not ideal for windy conditions
(price updated as of 2018-11-29 at 23:31 – Details)
- Portability & ease of storage – Despite measuring in at over 11 feet long, the Sea Eagle 330 packs down to a compact 24″ x 16″ x 7″ – roughly the dimensions of a small suitcase. It’ll easily fit in the trunk of your car with room to spare for your other gear. It’s also small enough to stash away in a closet when it’s not being used.
- Stable – The SE330 has a fairly wide hull and large air chambers, which help make it very stable on the water.
- Rugged construction – Sea Eagle uses 33 mil PolyKrylar in the construction of the SE330. It’s a rugged material and makes the SE330 significantly more durable than some of the cheaper inflatable kayaks on the market. It’s also reinforced with extra material along the bow and stern, which helps protect it from impacts with obstacles.
- Curved bow & stern – Having an upward curve along its bow and stern helps it punch through light chop and waves.
- Removable skegs – The SE330 has two removable skegs that help improve speed and tracking through the water and helps prevent the kayak swerving side-to-side while paddling.
- Convertible – The seats of the SE330 are not only removable, they can also be repositioned so it can be used for both solo and tandem paddling.
|Weight Capacity||500 pounds|
|Number of Passengers||2|
Inflation and Deflation Demonstration:
The SE330, like most inflatable kayaks, isn’t going to be able to compete with hard-shell kayaks in terms of performance. It sacrifices some of the performance of a rigid kayak for the portability, stability, and convenience of being an inflatable.
Typically, the wider a kayak’s hull is, the more stable it will be. But a wider hull also creates additional drag, which slows the kayak down. With a hull width of 34 inches, the SE330 is about average for an inflatable kayak and strikes a nice balance between speed and stability.
The two removable skegs help give the SE330 improved tracking in the water and help you keep moving in a straight line. This is a nice plus if you plan on doing some longer trips as zigzagging through the water becomes very inefficient over long distances and can really slow you down.
The SE330 does have a fairly high profile in the water, which is great for giving you a bit of protection from the wind and splashing water. On the other hand, it does mean that the SE330 does tend to get pushed around a bit more by the wind, especially if there’s a decent crosswind going.
Most inflatable kayaks have a harder time dealing with the wind, so this isn’t really unique to the SE330 – just something to be aware of.
The curved bow and stern of the SE330 are a nice touch that help it ‘climb over’ light waves and chop.
The SE330’s large air chambers and 34-inch wide hull give it excellent stability on the water, which can make it a solid choice for paddlers that are concerned tipping their kayak. Having a stable kayak is also a good idea if you’re planning on carrying a lot of gear or will be paddling with kids.
It’s excellent stability also makes the SE330 a great platform for swimming and diving. Unstable kayaks can be difficult to scramble back into once you’re in the water. The built-in drain plug also gives you an easy way to drain out water that gets inside the kayak.
The SE330 is well made and is built from a 33 mil PolyKrylar, which is a surprisingly durable material. In fact, the SE330 is rated for up to class III rapids, which should give you an idea of how tough it is.
But even the best inflatable kayaks aren’t as puncture resistant as a hard-shell kayak. That probably isn’t a surprise, though.
The good news is that if you do manage to puncture it – despite its heavy-duty construction – the SE330 is easy to repair with its included repair kit. This is one of the nice perks of owning an inflatable kayak. Many hard-shell kayaks can be difficult to repair if they get punctured.
The SE330 doesn’t require any special tools to fix a puncture and it’s definitely something you can do yourself without going to a specialist.
Finally, to show how confident they are in the quality of their boats, Sea Eagle offers a 3-year warranty that covers manufacturers defects. Their warranty is one of the best in the industry – it even beats out the warranties offered by many of the high-end manufacturers.
The Sea Eagle SE330 is a solid all-around and versatile inflatable kayak. It offers a great compromise between performance, stability, durability, and price. While you can certainly find cheaper inflatable kayaks, you’ll struggle to find one that offers the same utility as the SE330.
One aspect of the SE330 that can really add a lot of value is the fact that it’s a convertible kayak; the seats are removable and can be repositioned depending on how you’re using it, which makes the SE330 very versatile. Here are a few examples of where this comes in handy:
- A mixture of solo and tandem paddling
- Accommodating paddlers of different heights
- Changing the weight distribution for better performance
- Adjusting for additional storage space
The ability to do a mix of solo and tandem paddling is particularly useful as it’ll save you the cost of having to buy a second kayak to accommodate another paddler.
Sea Eagle also includes two paddles and a foot pump with the SE330, which can easily add an extra hundred dollars if you have to purchase them separately.
On top of that, its quality construction means it should provide you with many years of trouble-free paddling.
Sea Eagle SE330 Package Options
Sea Eagle offers a variety of packages for the SE330. The only difference between the packages are the included accessories – the kayak itself is the same regardless of the package.
Pro Package – This package comes with two upgraded seats that have durable covers to prevent punctures. The seats also have adjustable straps that offer some good back support, which can really help improve your comfort and extend your time out on the water.
Deluxe Package – This package will save you a bit of money and is a step down from the Pro Package. The included seats don’t have a protective cover and also don’t offer any real back support. Not a big deal for short trips but a bit of a drag if you’re out on the water for more than an hour at a time.
Pro Solo Package – This package offers the same upgraded seat as the Pro package but only includes one seat and one paddle. It’ll save you a few bucks but you might be better off with the standard Pro package for the added flexibility.
Sea Eagle SE330 Alternatives
The SE330 is a versatile, all-around package, but it’s no perfect for everybody. Here are a few alternatives to consider if you’re not sure it’s a good fit for you.
Intex Explorer K2
If you want to get into kayak while spending as little cash as possible, the Intex Explorer K2 could be a good alternative.
It’s definitely not as durable as the SE330, but it’s significantly easier on your wallet. The Explorer is also a bit wider than the SE330, making it a bit slower in the water.
It’s also worth noting that while the Explorer’s seats are removable, there isn’t much room for adjustment, so it might not be the best option if you plan to do a lot of solo paddling,
Sea Eagle SE370
The SE370 is like the SE330’s big brother. It’s a bit longer and made out of a slightly thicker material, giving it some added durability.
It also has a higher weight capacity of 650 pounds and can hold up to 3 passengers – though, you’ll still be more comfortable with 2.
The extra weight capacity and legroom can come in handy if you plan to do any camping or paddle with a lot of gear. The SE370 is also convertible, but its additional length makes it a little harder to handle as a solo paddler.
For a better idea how they compare, read the Sea Eagle 330 vs 370 review.
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1007-R
While the SE330 can certainly handle coastal waters on nice days, it’s not really optimally designed to handle the unpredictable conditions found in open water.
If you plan to do a lot of coastal paddling, the AdvancedFrame AE1007-R might be a better fit for you.
It has a built-in aluminum rib that greatly improves its performance and helps it cut through chop. Its low profile also means it’s not as susceptible as the SE330 to getting pushed around by the wind.
It’s one of the few inflatable kayaks that will rival the performance of a hard-shell. Its only real downside is its price – it’s definitely near the upper end of the spectrum for inflatables.