The Driftsun Rover 120 is a one-person inflatable kayak with everything you need for whitewater adventures. It goes from a compact, 22-pound package to a full-size kayak in less than 5 minutes, with all the features you need to face even Class III and Class IV rapids. It’s a rugged, comfortable, high-performance kayak with incredible simplicity and portability.
Let’s take an in-depth look at why this inflatable whitewater kayak is so popular with beginners and experienced paddlers alike in our Driftsun Rover 120 review.
Overview of the Driftsun Rover 120
The Driftsun Rover 120 is a compact, lightweight inflatable kayak specifically designed with the rugged materials, quality construction, and durable details that make it suitable for white water. It can handle Class III and Class IV rapids with ease, with five self-bailing ports, corrosion-resistant hardware, layered PVC tubes, and sleek profile designed for choppy waters.
It comes in a complete kit, with a removable skeg, ergonomic paddle, and deluxe air pump that all packs into the included travel bag. It can go from the bag to the water in just about 5 minutes, with fast and easy setup. It’s everything you need to make the most of your outdoor adventures on the water.
- Inflated size – 8 feet 5 inches x 36 inches x 13 inches
- Deflated size – 26 inches x 16 inches x 8 inches
- Weight – 22 pounds
- Weight capacity – 1 person/300 pounds
- Whitewater rating – Suitable up to Class III and IV rapids
What did we like about how it’s made?
- Made from strong materials – 1000D reinforced layered PVC side tubes provide two layers of protection from side impacts and abrasions.
- Heavy-duty bottom – The heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin bottom protects the floor from punctures
- Rigid floor – The rigid, high-pressure drop stitch floor provides better rigidity for speed and tracking, and also protects the kayak from dog claws and other abrasions.
- High pressure valves – The high pressure valves are durable and leak-free.
- Corrosion-resistant hardware – The hardware and fittings are durable
- 3 air chambers – Multiple air chambers provide greater buoyancy in the event of a leak or puncture.
What we like about the design
- Removable skeg – The included flat water tracking fin provides better speed and tracking in deeper waters, but can be removed in shallow or rough water conditions.
- Sleek design – The rocker profile and pointed nose entry improves performance in both calm and choppy waters
- Drainage – The 5 self-bailing ports are perfect for white water
- Storage options – The Driftsun Rover 120 has many tie down points for gear and storage, as well as front and rear bungee compartments.
- Camera mount – The built-in front action camera mount makes it easy to capture and share all your adventures.
- Comfortable seating – The high-quality EVA padded seat has excellent back support for hours of comfortable cruising
- Paddle straps – Onboard paddle straps make drifting and cruising easier.
- Splash guard – The durable splash guard protects you from choppy water.
- Rugged handles – The Driftsun Rover 120 has four comfortably ergonomic handles for easy transportation
- Foot rest – The foot rest is adjustable and removable for increased comfort.
- Fast setup – The Driftsun Rover 120 inflates in just 6 minutes with the included pump.
What accessories are included?
- Paddle – It comes with an adjustable 2-piece anodized aluminum kayak paddle with an ergonomic grip and drip guards
- Pump – It also comes with a deluxe high flow double action pump
- Travel bag – The entire kayak kit packs down into the included rugged travel bag.
How to use the Driftsun Rover 120
If you’ve never used an inflatable kayak on white water, it can take some getting used to. The Driftsun Rover 120 has two separate layers of PVC that allows it to impact rocks, logs, and other obstacles without leaking or puncturing. However, unlike a hardshell kayak, when an inflatable kayak has side impacts, it tends to bounce back rather than deflect and drag. This bouncing factor can take some getting used to, for people who are accustomed to a traditional kayak.
But this can be a good thing as it can make rapids even more fun and playful. But the slightly unusual handling and bouncing in an inflatable means that even experienced hardshell whitewater kayakers should give themselves time to get used to maneuvering the Driftsun Rover 120 in rapids.
Let’s look at the pros
Lightweight and compact
At just 22 pounds, this full-sized kayak is ultra-portable and easy to take, store, and use almost anywhere.
Rugged and durable
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 120 perfect for up to Class IV rapids.
Front camera mount
The front camera mount is perfect for a solo kayaker to capture and share their adventures.
Generous space and weight capacity
With plenty of leg room for one person, and a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds, the Driftsun Rover 120 is friendly to anybody.
Comfortable seating and adjustable foot rest
The EVA seat and adjustable foot rest provide lasting comfort.
Complete kit in one package
Because it comes with the pump, paddle, and carrying bag, there’s nothing more to buy in order to enjoy this kayak. We might just suggest getting a PFD for safety.
And some of the cons
Although the Driftsun Rover 120 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 the Driftsun Rover 120 can carry up to 300 pounds, it would be difficult to store 100 pounds worth of gear on the kayak without throwing it off balance.
Not very fast in flat water
Most inflatable kayaks aren’t built for speed, and the Driftsun Rover 120 is one of them. It’s designed for negotiating rapids so sits very high in the water. This means that it ins’t great for speed and tracking.
Even though the Driftsun Rover 120 is a complete, all-in-one inflatable kayak kit, you should still consider purchasing and carrying a repair kit with the kayak, particularly if you are taking it on white water. Driftsun doesn’t make their own repair kits, but Sea Eagle does.
The Sea Eagle repair kit for inflatable reinforced 1000D PVC boats is a must-have accessory for the Driftsun Rover 120. While the color doesn’t match, this compact, waterproof, simple repair kit is tiny and easy to store with any of your kayak gear. Given how durable the Driftsun Rover 120 is, you may never have to use the repair kit, but it’s a great thing to have just in case.
Driftsun is based in Northern California, born from a passion for the outdoors and a love of nature. For over five years, the team at Driftsun have sought to inspire adventure and support the outdoor lifestyle they love. Their products are designed with creativity and innovation, and tested for the highest standards of quality.
Driftsun lives the outdoor lifestyle enjoyed by their customers, sharing adventures on the local waterways, taking group lake trips and enjoying Aloha Fridays. This experience and lifestyle keeps the company connected to their customer and focused on their needs, and they pride themselves on their service.
The company also abides by a strong code of ethics, complying with local and global standards to ensure that their entire supply chain is held to the highest code of conduct. They comply with California Proposition 65 and avoid the use of conflict minerals, and comply with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 to prevent trafficking in their supply chain. They monitor and support ethical standards and transparency with all their suppliers.
Conclusion of the Driftsun Rover 120
- Durable & Lightweight - Fully inflates to a full sized kayak in less than 5 minutes and weighs a manageable 22 Lbs. 1000D...
- Stable & Maneuverable - Rigid High Pressure Drop Stitch Floor, Removable Flat Water Tracking Fin, and ample rocker profile deliver...
- Adventure Ready - Whitewater Rating: Suitable up to class III and IV rapids, 5 Self Bailing Ports, Plentiful Tie Down Points for...
Not many inflatable kayaks are built for white water, and have the rugged construction and high-quality materials that can actually take the pressure or a river rapids. The Driftsun Rover 120, however, can handle Class III and Class IV rapids with ease, and has an onboard camera mount so you can capture and share all your water adventures. This kayak is made to the highest standards, with high quality materials and design throughout, so it can stand up to tough challenges year after year.