Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Review

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

The Sea Eagle 420x Explorer kayak offers a world of adventure for kayaking enthusiasts of all levels. Created to be paddled by up to three people and built to Sea Eagle’s usual exacting standards of design and manufacture, the 420x is superb for any kayaking conditions – whitewater, open water, and even surf.

The 420x, the largest of Sea Eagle’s Explorer range of inflatable kayaks, boasts professional handling, excellent stability, and an impressive carrying capacity. The 420x is the big brother to the smaller solo 300x Explorer and tandem 380x kayak, and it offers the same great reliability and performance in a larger package.

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Rating
  • Construction
  • Stability
  • Features
  • Versatility
  • Speed
  • Warranty
User Rating 4.8 (5 votes)

Sea Eagle 420x Kayak Overview

Sea Eagle 420x

The Sea Eagle 420x includes all the features of the popular Explorer range, resulting in a superbly engineered inflatable kayak that is durable enough to take you anywhere you want to go, but still convenient enough to pack into the trunk of your car.

The tough, three-chambered hull (exterior 14′, interior 13′ 6″) can withstand almost any impact and is proof against most damage incurred in or out of the water. The 420x features 16 self-bailing drain valves, bow and stern spray skirts with carry handles, and 26 stainless steel D-rings for securing the seats and any gear you want to bring along.

The hull material is a super tough 1100 Decitex reinforced, and the kayak features overlapped seams at all join-points. This robust material is extremely durable and resistant to piercing, making it strong enough to withstand even the hardest impacts without adding unnecessary weight. The separate high-pressure drop-stitch floor provides a rigid base that improves maneuverability and ensures a high level of stability, while the modular design lets you remove the DS floor quickly, making all parts of the 420x accessible for easy cleaning or repair.

Inflating to 3.2 psi, the floor and walls are reassuringly rigid under all conditions and provide an extremely stable kayaking platform that is both impact resistant and flexible – perfect for taking through whitewater.

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Whitewater

Although extremely light for its length (only 54 lbs.), the 420x hull can support a load of more than 880 lbs. This phenomenal carrying capacity allows you to pack as much gear as you need for a day paddle, a weekend away, or even an extended cruising trip. With enough space for up to three adults, the Sea Eagle 420x Explorer kayak is an excellent choice for small families, as well as being a firm favorite with pet-owners.

A large (9½”) removable, swept-back skeg improves the 420x’s tracking when flatwater paddling, and then slips out easily to avoid obstructions if you hit whitewater. The skeg is built to be indestructible, and it can be molded back into shape if it is ever deformed through collision impact.

420x Skeg

The 420x inflates in less than 10 minutes, then deflates just as rapidly and packs neatly away into the convenient carrybag, eliminating all the problems of transportation and stowage that characterize rigid-hull kayaking.

Like Sea Eagle’s other inflatable kayaks, the 420x Explorer is also fitted with three of the company’s improved one-way air valves. These allow for quick and efficient inflation or deflation, and then recess neatly into the hull to prevent snagging.

Wet and Dry Capabilities

The 420x has been ingeniously designed to meet the demands of both wet and dry kayaking.

For flatwater paddling, the 16 high-capacity, self-bailing drain valves can be closed to keep the water out, and the skeg fitted to improve the kayak’s tracking. Stable, dry, and with a great loading capacity, the 420x is perfect as a family cruising kayak.

420x Explorer Drain Valves

But when you want a change of pace, it only takes a couple of minutes to get the 420x ready for just about anything – from Class IV rapids to surf kayaking. Just slide the skeg out, open the drain valves, and head for the whitewater. The valves open and close independently, giving you precision drainage control to suits any conditions without sacrificing performance.

420x Packages Offered

Sea Eagle 420x Deluxe

In true Sea Eagle style, the 420x is available directly from the manufacturer in a series of convenient kits suitable for all levels of kayaking. (To get you paddling right away, the entire 420x range is supplied with the skeg, a foot pump, a repair kit, and a carrybag).

  • The Sea Eagle 420x Deluxe Package includes everything beginners need to start kayaking, and it is also great for more experienced kayakers working on a tight budget. This kit includes the 420x hull, two Deluxe Inflatable Seats, and two AB30 paddles (7’10”, 2.62 lbs., 4-part). Thanks to the instructions included in the kit, even the most inexperienced kayaker should be able have the 420x inflated and on the water in less than 15 minutes.
  • The Sea Eagle 420xPro Kayak Package is an upgrade from the Deluxe, and is recommended for more experienced kayakers. The two Tall Back Seats provide better lumbar support and let you sit closer to the water, and the AB40 paddles (8′, 2.92 lbs., 4-part) increase power and control while reducing user fatigue. The bow and stern stow bags (made from tough 440 Denier Nylon) provide convenient extra stowage for your gear.
  • For the ultimate in power and control, the Sea Eagle 420x Pro Carbon Package includes all of the Pro Kayak features, but replaces that kit’s paddles with Sea Eagle’s top-end AB50s. These 8′ carbon-fiber paddles are feather-light (weighing only 2.41 lbs.) and offer uncompromising durability and strength. Their 2-part construction means that they disassemble quickly and conveniently, and the snap button allows you to adjust for flat, left, or right feathering.
  • Add a whole new dimension of fun by turning your 420x into a downwind sailor with the Sea Eagle 420x QuikSail Package. Featuring all the benefits of the Pro Kayak, this kit allows you to raise the Quiksail in less than a minute and enjoy all the pleasures of sailing. The QuikSail weighs only 2 lbs. and stows away easily and conveniently into either the bow or the stern when not in use.
  • To turn the 420x into a powerboat, choose the Sea Eagle 420x Pro Motor Package. The Fast Track Motormount attaches easily to the hull and supports Sea Eagle’s Watersnake Asp T24 electric motor, which is suitable for both salt and fresh water. With all the features of the Pro Kayak, this package allows you to experience the best of both worlds: paddle when you want to, or power along under a steady 24 pounds of thrust.
  • The Sea Eagle 420x QuikRow Package offers a truly impressive scope for your fun, whether you are looking to paddle, row, or just sit back and fish. This kit is an upgrade of the Deluxe package, but also includes the QuikRow Kit. The QuikRow frame can be fitted to the hull in less than a minute, immediately changing the 420x into a powerful, efficient, and comfortable rowboat. The QuikRow kit includes a set of oars (7’11”, 2-part), and two Scotty universal rod holders.
  • The Sea Eagle 420x Pro Motor Fishing Rig is a must for all fishing fanatics. The kit includes two Swivel Seat Fishing Rigs, and can either be paddled (two AB40 paddles are included) or powered by Sea Eagle’s more powerful Watersnake Venom 34 electric motor, which is supplied along with the Fast Track Motormount. The Pro Motor Fishing Rig includes a multi-purpose storage box and four universal rod holders, and it is perfect for either fresh- or salt-water fishing.

Final Thoughts

Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak

It’s hard to find fault with the Sea Eagle 420x Explorer, and people who have used it tend to be unabashedly enthusiastic about this model. A quality inflatable kayak that can double as a sailboat, rowboat or motorboat, and still packs into the trunk of your car – what’s not to love? When you take Sea Eagle’s comprehensive three-year warranty and risk-free 180-day return policy into account, the 420x is a logical choice for all level of kayakers.

The most serious issue that has been raised is the 420x’s speed and handling on flat water. A high profile offers noticeable resistance if the wind picks up, and it’s definitely not the fastest boat out there, but these problems are part of the nature of inflatable kayaks, and are by no means confined to the 420x.

For what you get for your money – performance, durability, loading capacity, and a comprehensive range of upgrades – Sea Eagle’s 420x Explorer should definitely be a serious contender when you start looking around for a versatile and dependable inflatable kayak.

Click Here to Buy the Sea Eagle 420x Explorer


  1. Wayne Stoner January 18, 2020
    • Jason January 21, 2020
  2. Henry VanBreda June 20, 2020
    • Inflatable Paddler June 22, 2020

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