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on May 26, 2016
The purpose of this purchase was to get the best kayak that would fit inside my car, a 2010 Honda Insight hatchback. I was working at a remote site on a lake and didn't want to leave the kayak on a roof rack where it could be easily stolen during the work-day. I tried a number of kayaks that friends and co-workers had, and selected the Emotion Spitfire 8 based on my comparative testing.

I read most of the reviews on Amazon, and thought I had something worthwhile to add:

1. The kayak was delivered in a plastic bag, no box, but it was in good shape when I got it. There are three plastic screw out plugs on the aft-top section of the kayak. They were all there when I got the kayak. There are self draining holes in the bottom of the kayak below the seat at up where your feet go. They are meant to be open and drain water from the sitting area on top of the kayak during use. I suspect that's what some of the comments are referring to regarding unplugged drain holes. All plugs needed came with the kayak.

2. The Spitfire 8 tracks just fine. Use a proper paddling technique and keep your butt centered in the seat and it handles like a dream. It also turns very easily when you want to which makes it really nice in small, tight rivers and creeks.

3. It's fairly comfortable for a sit on top. It's no LaZeeboy, but it's not bad. I use it for two to three hours at a time and have no problems with comfort. The back rest is supportive and adjustable.

4. The other 8-foot kayaks have either a squared-off stern (slows you down), crappy tracking/handling characteristics, or were uncomfortable. The Spitfire 8 was the best of the "little" kayaks, not the best kayak I've used by a long shot.

5. The weight ratings are conservative. I stand 5'10" and weigh 170 lbs, my son is 6' tall and 220 lbs. We both use the kayak comfortably, and have no problem with how the boat sets in the water or handles.

6. This is not a kayak for people who are thinking about "serious" kayaking like a three day trip through the boundary waters. There are much better kayaks for exploring or going fast or fishing or "whatever". This is a sort of multi-purpose kayak whose primary advantage is that it's small enough to fit inside even a little car so that transport is very easy and secure.
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on May 24, 2015
I like how light and small these kayaks are. I'm a small female and can load myself. I bought 2 and both fit in the back of my Subaru easily.
Beware they are wider than they look at about 32", so your paddle needs to be longer to accommodate.
Unfortunately these kayaks are a bit too flat on the bottom so we will need to add a skeg to the bottom for better tracking.
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on October 13, 2016
Love the shape and the weight of this kayak. I specifically purchased for the cup holder pictured; however, the actual unit received has a horizontal dip mold instead.
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on July 9, 2015
Our defective kayak (small hole) was covered by a very cumbersome Lifetime Products Warranty. No returning/exchanging for new kayak. They did not offer to send a patch or repair kit. Instead they wanted us to send a picture of our kayak cut in two (Lots of polyethylene put needlessly into a landfill) and only then would they send a new kayak. A friend ordered the same kayak from this company and it too arrived damaged. Beware of this company. It seems they save their defective products to fufill online orders and hope you will give up. We couldn't bear all that plastic thrown away, so sucked it up and repaired it. Maddening when we paid full price for a product that should have been perfect....not a kayak that might eventually sink. Shameful. Wish there were a way to give a "minus" rating.
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on September 9, 2015
Took long to arrive, but works as advertised. (no leaks!)
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on May 27, 2016
Well -- got slightly wrecked in transport in the stern, but still functions perfectly. Definitely NOT a surf kayak -- you will regret that unless it's a calm day as waves will topple it big time. Good for the river, but it takes some work to keep it straight. For the price it was a good first kayak, although you can get these locally for around the same if you look at the discount and sporting stores.
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on August 27, 2013
For me this Spitfire kayak has been the best...Ok it is my one and only so far. On my 60th Birthday I bought this Kayak had read the reviews so was prepared for what they said. I walked into REI and said if you can fit that in my Toyota Matrix I am leaving with it! They did not even wince put it in my car and it has been the most amazing journey ever since. This Spitfire Kayak has taken me into Morro Bay into the back bay salt marshes and along the Monterey Coast. I am a science teacher so know how to watch the tides and be safe. It goes in and out of my car very easily. I put down a tarp and rubber mats so it doesnt slide. I have a cushion so I can be out all day and I pull my life preserver down behind my back so I can sit upright. NO back problems with a Spitifre sit on top. I have scraped it on occasion so far no leaks. My dog goes with me. I have a safety lite on my vest and I carry my cell phone in aplastice bag. Have emergency supplies. Do to my back I cannot lift kayaks on my car even with racks. This kayak has giving me the freedom of the sea. Have had a Dolphin visit me and a sea otter try to jump in the boat. You scoot them away with your paddle. I f u havnt guessed I am med hght so also got a Kids paddle this is great for those of moderate weight and height. I love my kayak and have gotten new and old friends into kayaking some have even bought there own. One friend couldnt swim and now has her own kayak. Kayaking is the best. I bought this 4 years ago. Enjoy! I port over short sandy distances and can lift this my myself. I put a rope on the front and back and have not had anything come off it. Seat is comfy.
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on March 12, 2016
Easy and quick return
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on August 20, 2013
I got 2 of these for what else, getting on the water. I was skeptical about them because other reviewers say it is poor tracking. I don't know that that noise is about...perhaps the problem is the person operating it. I find that these are highly maneuverable, therefore wicked fun in rapids and surf. I can paddle hard in a straight line all Hawaii 5-0 style and it tracks fine...I can build up a wake and hammer this thing and it stays straight...so I really do not understand the reviews. Do you know you need to look far ahead and modulate the power strokes correctly left and right ? Have you only been using long kayaks with rudders which compensate for poor paddling technique ? perhaps... If you have sloppy technique the Spitfire 8 will reveal it. Yes for sure as soon as you stop paddling it will start to turn, but this means it turns on a dime and ...fun in rapids and surf.

anyhow, really happy with these little 8 footers, they are easy to haul around and drop in any water, and very easy to navigate up into tight coves and underbrush and they turn easily...probably the ultimate 'adventure and poke around the shoreline' kayak going...
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