Posted by: airkayaks | June 26, 2011

Infinity’s Highly Versatile Odyssey 375 Inflatable 2+ Person Kayak

This is the third review in our series on three new inflatable kayaks from Confluence Watersports. The new Harmony line consists of the Orbit 245 solo, the Odyssey 295 tandem and the Odyssey 345 for 2+ adults.

This particular writeup features the Odyssey 375, a 12′ 4” 2+ person inflatable kayak weighing in at 49 lbs. Much of the setup/inflation portion will be repeated from the Odyssey 295 review, as the Odyssey 375 is very similar, but should be considered the “stretch limo” version.

Getting Started

The box arrived, weighing in at 58 lbs and measuring 29 x 24 x 15 inches. We opened it up and pulled out the kayak backpack, which houses everything – kayak, pressure gauge, double action hand pump, tracking fin, 2 inflatable seats, child’s seat, instructions and maintenance kit. The kayak folded size is 28 x 22.5 x 13 inches. Everything in the pack weighs 49 lbs, and it all fits in the bag.

Setup/Inflation

We read through the instruction manual and began to set the kayak up. The original instruction manuals weren’t adequate for this model, but the manufacturer has changed the instructions, which will be in subsequent shipments. The new instructions – which are a huge improvement – can be found on the AirKayaks website at http://www.airkayaks.info/

We unfolded the kayak. First off, we noticed the kayak is actually labeled Front and Back. While this may seem odd, it is sometimes extremely difficult to initially figure out which end is what. Bonus point #1.

Locate the tracking fin and install it on the kayak – you must do this first, as it is just about impossible to get the fin on when inflated. By pinching the two “knobs” together, installation is easy, then pull the knobs apart to lock the fin into position. Make sure it is pointing in the right direction, towards the rear.

Next, pump the kayak up. There are three inflation chambers (right side, left side and floor) utilizing Boston valves. Make sure the valve openings are centered in the fabric opening. If the valves are not attached to the kayak, place the little retaining ring around the lip at the base of the valve on the kayak – this ensures that you don’t lose the valve down the road. Screw the bottom half of the valve onto the kayak – the top half opens and this is where you will fill with air. (Air Kayaks note: Please make sure that none of the fabric is interfering with the valve placement or the base valve will not screw on correctly, and you will lose air.)

As mentioned in our other two reviews, our first problem was trying to couple the valve adaptor to the valve. While the instruction manual directs you to use the screw-on adaptor, there was not enough “lip” for it to grab. We then tried using the Boston valve attachment (conical nozzle about ½ inch in diameter). This particular pump adaptor worked well; on some of the previous attempts using a different pump, the adaptor material was so glossy it would not friction fit and kept blowing off the valve. We managed to solve this with a small rock – simply by rubbing it over the surface of the adaptor on the pump, we roughed up the surface enough for it to grab.

Partially inflate the floor chamber, then partially inflate each side chamber, making sure the valves remain centered in the valve openings. Then go back and top off the three chambers until they feel firm (1.5 PSI) and wrinkles on the main chamber are smoothed out. The floor has a fabric covering, which has a bit more give.

Next, pump up the seat bases. As before, our second problem appeared at this point, as none of the included adaptors would work with this twistlok valve. The instructions suggest holding the adaptor onto the valve, but it’s a true contortion problem trying to pump at the same time. We ended up inflating via mouth – not a big deal as they are small chambers and several puffs does the trick. Then position the seat over the velcro strips on the floor, and attach each side seat strap to the d-rings.

The Odyssey 375 comes with an additional half-seat which can be used by a child. This “half seat” has two chambers utilizing a twistlok valve and a pinch valve. The pinch valve uses the longest slim nozzle to push open the inner flap, allowing air to get in.

Finally, get inside the kayak and figure out where the front foot brace position will work best (it only comes with one), attach it to the Velcro – this is easily repositioned when out paddling. Done! You’re ready to hit the water.

Features and Specifications

The Odyssey 375 features 8 (yes eight!) padded grab handles – front, rear, two on each exterior side and one on each interior side. Two sculpted rigid spray visors (bow and stern) help deflect water that may come up over the kayak sides. The kayak comes with a nifty padded foot brace which can be easily adjusted by repositioning over the Velcro. Four velcro “paddle parks” allow one to attach a paddle on either side when not in use. Neoprene padded knuckle guards cover both sides, preventing knuckle abrasion.

The two adult seats are very padded, comfortable and look good. The seat back measures 27 inches wide and 13 inches tall while the seat base is 16 x 16 inches, inflating up to 5 inches. Each seat has two side straps with quick connect clips that attach to side d-rings. The back of each seat has two d-rings, allowing for some type of optional pack to be attached. Since the bases are inflatable, one has the option to pump it up to their own comfort level, whether that be hard or cushiony. (AirKayaks note: Make sure to tuck the twistlok tube on the seat base into the side of the kayak, so that you don’t accidentally twist it open while paddling.)

The Odyssey 375 features three seating positions, allowing one to paddle the Odyssey as a tandem or as a solo – for solo paddling, remove one of the seats and reposition the remaining seat in the middle of the kayak. It can even be used as a triage with an additional seat utilizing the child booster seat or an additional third aftermarket seat.

The kayak has an 840 denier nylon shell, trilaminated 500D PVC tarpaulin with HF welded bladders. The floor bladder has a fabric cover, providing added protection to abrasion, fish hooks or “sharp doggie nails.” The kayak chambers have zippers, allowing the bladders to be replaced if necessary.

A rear mesh “gear guard” allows one to stuff small items – such as a lunch or other paraphernalia – under the rear spray visor but in easy reach. The floor is “sculpted” allowing any water entering the kayak to fall down into the well, keeping the paddlers drier – a rear drain plug can be opened to pour out accumulated water.

The backpack is great – someone obviously paid attention to detail. A zipper runs across three sides, making it simple to get kayak and gear in and out. Padded shoulder straps, side cinches, top and bottom grab handles make transporting the kayak simple. Gusseted side mesh pockets with drawstring closures allow you to carry some extra gear. Backpack measurements are 28 x 22 x 15 inches with 15 inch deep side mesh pockets and everything fits inside!

We did measurement tests. The kayak inflated is 12 feet 5” long and 35-36 inches wide, just as advertised. The side bladders are roughly 10 inches in diameter, making a well about 8 inches deep. Interior dimensions are 140 inches long x 18 inches at the widest point. Two parallel velcro strips run nearly the entire length of the kayak floor which – in conjunction with adjustable seat straps and 10 D-rings – allow for infinite seating positions.

With two paddlers, there is a generous 48 inches from the back of the rear seat to the front paddler. As a threesome, there is roughly 2 feet of legroom between seats.

On the Water

Initially, my husband and I took Eddie (our canine companion) out for a quick paddle. Right off the bat, the kayak feels good and handles well. Seats were comfortable, it tracked well, and it was roomy – in fact luxurious. While only out for 15 minutes on a large lake, I didn’t notice water getting in – some of this is prevented by the molded spray shield on the bow. The kayak is open – so easy to get into – and very stable. The side grab handles are positioned low enough that they don’t interfere with paddling. This is a perfect kayak for parents or grandparents wishing to take a child out for a spin.

Second time out, we repositioned the seats slightly and went out as a tandem. Once again, comfortable, tracks well, paddles easily and was roomy – in fact luxurious – and we still had room to put gear.

The third test, my 6’2” husband took the kayak out solo in some swells. He felt the kayak paddled well, was quite roomy, and the seats very comfortable.

Finally, I took the kayak out in the solo position with Eddie in the front. Even with my smaller 5′ 4” size, it handled great, tracked well and felt good.

Days later I managed to corral two friends, Massey and Kieran, to help me try it out as a threesome. Once we got into the groove (past clashing paddles) it was great fun, fast, and tracked beautifully.

Bottom Line:

The Odyssey 375 is a winner – it’s a wonderful kayak that paddles well, looks good and is quite stable. It’s a great choice for lakes, slow-moving rivers, inlets and bays. But best of all, it can be used in a true multitude of paddling configurations, making it highly versatile.

The kayak profile is clean and streamlined, and it is obvious the designers have paid attention to detail. The included backpack is a great asset and easily fits in the trunk of a car, a closet or on a shelf. Weighing in at 49 lbs with kayak and accessories, I would not want to be packing it into the backcountry, but it is large enough to hold all the included gear.

Paddling options are enormous – 1) two adults, 2) one adult with child or dog, 3) one adult 4) two adults with child or dog and 5) three smaller adults with the purchase of an aftermarket kayak seat.

This is a great two person kayak, with a max payload of 497 lbs. It has enough legroom and rear space to carry a fair amount of gear, perfect for long paddling trips.

It is also performs well with one person paddling, whether it be solo or with a child or a dog companion. This is an excellent choice for a larger solo paddler, or someone who wants to bring gear for a camping expedition. The open cockpit design is easy to get in and out of, making it a great choice as a tender. Anglers will also find it rugged and roomy enough to carry an array of fishing gear.

Our conclusions on the Infinity lineup – in comparing the two Odyssey kayaks, I would call the Odyssey 295 an excellent one person kayak that can be paddled by two people, while the Odyssey 375 is an excellent 2 person kayak that can handle up to three.

Watch our YouTube video on the Odyssey 375.


Bottom line, Infinity inflatables is a kayak line to watch. For more info on the Odyssey 375, visit http://www.airkayaks.com/products/Infinity-Odyssey-375-Inflatable-1%252d3-Person-Kayak-%252d-%233361.html

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