Driftsun Rover Lightweight Kayak, 8.5-Feet

Last updated date: February 10, 2022

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Driftsun Rover Lightweight Kayak, 8.5-Feet

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We looked at the top Kayaks and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Kayak you should buy.

Update as February 10, 2022:
Checkout The Best Kayak for a detailed review of all the top kayaks.

Overall Take

Not only is this inflatable kayak made using an attractive orange and gray pattern, but it's also designed for your ultimate comfort. The seats are padded, the back provides excellent support and there's plenty of room for your feet. When it comes to the paddles, they are made out of a durable aluminum and are completely adjustable, so you get the perfect fit.

In our analysis of 68 expert reviews, the Driftsun Rover Lightweight Kayak, 8.5-Feet placed 7th when we looked at the top 18 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Paddle and Conquer. The Driftsun Rover 120 Single Person Inflatable Kayak is an adventure ready kayak perfect for thrill seekers and casual paddlers alike. This versatile kayak package performs exceptionally well in both rough white water and open flat water. This package combines the highest quality materials, workmanship and top-notch accessories. Driftsun Inflatable Kayaks were born on the lakes and rivers of Northern California. Thoughtfully designed, constructed and tested by a team that lives to paddle.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

66 user reviews

What experts liked

A durable kayak and also lightweight. It stays in control in flat and rough water. Paddles are adjustable. It includes a travel bag.
- Inflatables Master
Rocker profile and design can handle Class IV whitewater. 7 self-bailing drain plugs. Removable rear tracking skeg for performance. Removable padded seats with high back support.
- Arbor Explorer
At just 28 pounds, this full-sized kayak is ultra-portable and easy to take, store, and use almost anywhere. The rugged layered PVC construction provides excellent durability and protection from impacts and abrasions. The spray skirts, drain holes, rugged hull, and rigid floor make the Driftsun Rover 220 perfect for up to Class IV rapids. The front camera mount is perfect for capturing and sharing your adventures. With plenty of leg room for two adults, and a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds, the Driftsun Rover 220 provides ample room for additional cargo.
- Sea Kayak Explorer

What experts didn't like

The high sides are not enough to inhibit paddling.
- Inflatables Master
- Arbor Explorer
Although the Driftsun Rover 220 has a lot of tie-down points, there isn’t much cargo space. This can be a problem, because securing large items with tie-downs can unbalance the kayak. While unbalanced loads may not be much of a problem in still water, in white water, or when traveling with a child or a pet, and unbalanced load can be more problematic. The Driftsun Rover 220 is on the expensive side for comparable inflatable kayaks. However most inflatables aren’t rugged enough for white water, and don’t have as heavy-duty a weight rating and high-quality materials. If you need a rugged kayak that can handle rough water, the Driftsun Rover 220 is a good investment.
- Sea Kayak Explorer

An Overview On Kayaks

Kayaking is a great all-around workout for anyone who loves spending time on the water. Since you have to stay upright and shift your body weight to make turns, kayaking can improve your balance and core strength. You’ll also get a back and arm workout from navigating with your paddles — and you’ll never have to set foot inside of a gym.

Many people think of whitewater rapids and intense trips down speeding rivers when they hear the word “kayak.” In reality, the sport is accessible to everyone, including recreational wave riders and fishermen.

There are two major categories of kayaks: sit-on-tops and sit-ins. Sit-on-tops are recreational kayaks that work well in lakes and calm rivers. They’re easy to get on, comfortable in warm weather and self-draining. Some sit-on-tops have features like rod holders for fishing.

Sit-in kayaks are quick-moving boats that you sit inside of as you paddle. Since you can shift your weight to help you steer, they’re a little more efficient and easier to control than sit-on kayaks. Sit-in kayaks will also keep you warmer during chilly weather. However, you’ll have to make sure that your sit-in kayak has a drain or built-in pump to remove water.

Many kayaks are designed for just one rider. For those times when two is better than one, some kayaks have enough room for you and a friend to explore the water. In some models, there’s even a little extra room for your favorite mutt.  

Fishing kayaks are generally narrower, making it easier to maneuver into tight spaces when you’re on the hunt for your next big catch. Some slim kayaks also come in a shades like a brown camo that’s perfect for blending in with the trees and plants around your fish. You don’t have to sacrifice storage in these sleek kayaks that usually have a front-hatch that offers easy access to bow-to-stern internal storage.

Kayaking can be a great add-on to an outdoor hiking or camping adventure, but lugging a kayak around can limit your explorations. You can carry many collapsible kayaks as a backpack with two paddle slots on each side, and then set it up in a few minutes when you find that perfect spot on the river. Kayaks with rugged construction are perfect for rigorous lakes, D-rings and bungee storage help you carry more gear for more fun.

There are still other considerations to make once you’ve decided what general type of kayak you’d like to buy. Our Tips & Advice will help you iron out the details so you can start paddling.

The Kayak Buying Guide

  • What are you going to use your kayak for? If you’re interested in casual use for a lakeside vacation home or for your kids, a sit-on-top kayak is a top choice. Kayakers who want a swift solo vessel should check out a lightweight, sit-in option. Fishing fanatics will benefit from a kayak that can store tackle boxes, bait wells and fishing rods.
  • If you plan on taking to the water every weekend, paying for a top-notch choice isn’t a big deal. However, if you’ll only use your kayak every once in a while, look for an affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality.
  • Kayaking isn’t only about your kayak. You’ll need additional safety equipment if you want to take on rivers, lakes and streams. A Coast Guard-approved life jacket, sun-shielding hats and sunscreen, neoprene footwear and swimwear are all essentials. Many beginner kayakers also choose to wear helmets.
  • You won’t get very far in your kayak if you don’t choose the right paddles. Your own height and your boat’s width will determine the length of your paddles, and paddle weight is also important. Lighter paddles made of carbon-fiber or fiberglass will reduce fatigue, but they’re pricier than plastic or nylon paddles. You can also choose from a variety of shaft shapes, and you can pick from two or four-piece shafts that break down for storage.
  • Make sure you have a safe place to store your kayak when it’s not in use. You can just roll up inflatable kayaks and store them in a cool, dry place. Hard-shell kayaks should preferably be stored indoors. However, if you have to keep your hard-shell kayak outside, find a place that limits your kayak’s exposure to sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures.
  • Keep your kayak clean for optimal performance and a fresh look whenever you hit the water. You can use special kayak soap or mild soap and water to keep the inside and outside of your boat in tip-top shape. Make sure to give your entire kayak a thorough rinse if you’ve paddled through brackish water or frequently travel through saltwater.