- Bombproof reinforced Hypalon construction
- Great gear-tie-down options
- Solid footpeg configuration and thigh straps
- Doesn’t exactly spin on a dime
The Hyside Stinger is beefcake mobile for getting you through big water high and dry. It’s the craft of choice if you’re heading out in big water like the Grand, and is built to last a generation. Buy it if you’re planning to IK for the long haul and want a craft that’s as tough as they come and can take whatever the river throws its way.
If you’re heading out on a big water inflatable kayak adventure—say on the Grand or Middle Fork—you won’t do much better than the Hyside Stinger.
Long a maker of craft for outfitters, the Stinger is fortified with a multi-layer, 2,520-denier Hypalon chafer on its underside for abuse-at-will performance. It’s overkill, sure, but not when you’re scraping rocks and looking for a craft you can pass on to your kids.
The same heft is found on the tubes, whose 1,680-denier Outfitter Pro Hypalon results in a beefcake hull that’s rigid and responsive. The tubes have a pronounced taper that gives it both a sleek feel and the maneuverability to tackle technical drops. Miss your line and reinforced tips on the bow and stern fend off any errant blows, while multi-layer carry handles help you Brave Sir Robin it around drops you don’t want to run.
For gear, large grab/tie-down D-rings, as well as a large rear compartment with tie-downs, secure everything from drybags to coolers. For seating, a thwart offers both backrest and torsional rigidity.
Other features that got our testers drooling are beefy thigh straps that hold you in when needed, and a great, 12-inch range footpeg configuration to accommodate everyone from Spud Web to Yao Ming. The self-bailing floor with I-beam construction drained water as quickly as it came in. “A total beefmobile,” says one vocabulary-challenged tester. “This baby oozes beefness.”
How we tested it: For this one, we headed to the continuous Class III-easy IV of the raging Elk River coursing out of the Zirkel Wilderness Area, a waterway where you want to trust what’s under butt. We swapped off, with testers not afraid to punch it through holes we avoided in other craft.
Specs: L: 15’; W: 39”
How We Tested It
For this one, we headed to the continuous Class III-easy IV of the raging Elk River coursing out of the Zirkel Wilderness Area, a waterway where you want to trust what’s under butt. We swapped off, with testers not afraid to punch it through holes we avoided in other craft.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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