There are few “vehicles” more portable and versatile than the good ol’ kayak. Whether you’re fishing, bugging out, or just looking to explore the water, a kayak can almost always get you where you need to go.
But, there have been few real innovations in the kayaking game in the last few decades. Sure, there’s folding kayaks and $3,000 ultra-lightweight models that shave a bit of weight off the overall build. But, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything that really stood out.
Which is where Florida-based The Crystal Kayak Company comes in.
The SUMMIT° Take
The company manufactures but a single boat (for now) — The Crystal Explorer Kayak — and they do it extremely well. The Crystal Explorer is hands-down the coolest clear kayak we’ve ever seen (or … not seen).
It’s actually a canoe-kayak hybrid with all the best features of both: low seats, an open cockpit with high sides, and a wide form for stability. The boat is capacious enough to seat two but can quickly and easily convert to a one-seater in less than 10 seconds. Perhaps the best part: the entire thing weighs less than 50 pounds (again, that’s for a tandem kayak), so it’s readily transportable.
The design of The Crystal Explorer features plenty of marine-grade components:
Durability & Maintenance
For survivalists or avid outdoorsmen who value durability above almost anything else, it’s worth noting the shell of the Crystal Explorer is built from Spanish Lexan. The same material used in the manufacturing of airplane windshields. The rigid frame is visible, but the actual shell of the kayak virtually disappears in the water. It’s ideal for fishing or just exploring.
Maintenance is straightforward mainly because, well, it’s a kayak. The Crystal Kayak Company claims that roughly 80% of scuffs can be fixed with a magic eraser. Nicks and scratches will be visible while the kayak is on land, but they fill with water and effectively “disappear” once in the water.
Starts at $1,499 (USD) including one Crystal Explorer Kayak, two paddles, two seats, and two float pouches. Quantity discounts are also available if you’re looking to secure more than one for you and your family.
The Bottom Line
While pricey, The Crystal Explorer is hands-down the slickest, most durable, most versatile contender in the clear kayak game.
- Seats two
- Stealth design is easy to hide
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Great for kayak fishing
- Made in America