The Sea Eagle SE 330 is a lightweight, portable kayak that is surprisingly strong and durable. Although it weighs just 26 pounds, it can hold two adults up to a maximum of 500 pounds, and is rated for Class III rapids. It may be hard to believe that something so small, lightweight, and convenient can be so rugged and durable.
In this post, we’re going to look at some of the features and benefits that lead to us putting it in the number one spot for best budget kayak in our Sea Eagle 330 review.
An Overview Of The Sea Eagle SE330 Kayak
The Sea Eagle SE330 is Sea Eagle’s most popular, portable, versatile tandem kayak. It packs down to just 26 pounds, and fits into the included carry bag with plenty of room to spare. It’s so compact and lightweight that it’s even easy to take on an airplane, let alone in the trunk of a car. And yet it inflates to a generous 11+ feet in length, and is sturdy enough to hold up to 500 lbs. of weight.
The durable K80 PVC hull material gives it great strength and durability, easily withstanding saltwater and UV rays, and the multiple air chambers and I-beam floor can even withstand whitewater rapids.
The efficient design is easy to handle for beginners and experienced kayakers, it inflates in as little as 6 minutes, and it’s backed by a 3-year warranty, making it an excellent investment in a fun, sporty kayak you can use for years of enjoyment.
- Inflated size – 11 feet 2 inches x 2 feet 10 inches
- Deflated size – 2 feet x 1 foot 4 inches x 7 inches
- Weight – 26 pounds
- Weight capacity – 2 people / 500 pounds
- Suitable for whitewater – Certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and rated suitable for up to Class III rapids
Construction and features
There are a number of great features that make the Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak so easy to use and one of our favorite inflatable kayaks. We’ll discus a few of these now along with why it’s important when choosing which inflatable kayak is best for you.
Made With Strong Durable Materials
Firstly, we love how well constructed the SE330 feels. Sea Eagle take a lot of care choosing their materials and the hull is made out of a high quality PCV material that is strong, durable and made from 33 mil polykrylar. The SE330 is also built to be used outdoors and so is sun and saltwater-resistant, adding to the durability and versatility of this tandem kayak.
Incredibly compact and lightweight
This full-size, 2 person kayak packs down to an incredibly small and light package, making it simple to take anywhere. You don’t need extra storage or a roof rack to enjoy all kinds of water activities, making it a great choice for people who live in apartments, or who take spontaneous outdoor, fishing, and camping trips.
Multiple Air Chambers
As you’d want to see on an inflatable kayak, it features multiple air chambers, three to be precise that ensure maximum buoyancy and that if you do suffer a puncture in one chamber, you won’t sink. This is an essential safety feature that we want to see in all inflatable kayaks.
Quality and Quick to Inflate Valves
When it comes to speed to set it up, the Sea Eagle 330 is really quick to get going with and will only take approximately 6 minutes from bag to the water. It features 5 deluxe one way valves to ensure that inflation and deflation is fast, simple and low effort.
The SE330 comes with detailed inflation instructions. Each inflation valve is numbered, and it’s important to inflate them in the correct order. You inflate the body of the boat first, using the included plastic gauge to measure for the correct inflation. Then you finally inflate and install the seats.
For a visual explanation, Sea Eagle has made an excellent video that shows the initial setup, use, and even deflation instructions which you can watch here:
It’s a thorough explanation of how to set up the kayak, and shows how simple it is to unpack and use it within minutes. It also shows how to deflate and store the boat, which many videos don’t include, so it’s a good reference point for beginners.
Comfortable seats with plenty of room
The Sea Eagle 330 is incredibly spacious being a large tandem inflatable kayak suitable for two adults. Not only is there lots of rooms but
Rated for rough and salt water
Unlike some inflatable kayaks, the SE330 resists salt water and is suitable for rapids, making it more versatile and allowing you to use it in a wider range of water conditions. For that reason it makes a great inflatable kayak for whitewater.
What we like about the design
- 2 bottom skegs – The SE330 has dual bottom skegs on the bottom for better tracking and speed when in the water.
- Bow and stern grab lines – The grab lines make it easy to transport, anchor, or tow the kayak.
- Lashed down inflatable spray skirts – The inflatable spray skirts improve the hull shape and rigidity for easier tracking, and help this boat manage rougher waters.
- Open and close drain valve – A built-in NMMA Certified Open and close valve helps remove excess water for faster cleanup and stowing of the SE330. Especially useful on rapids where water is very likely to get inside.
- Deluxe seats – The SE330 comes with deluxe seats that are comfortable and durable, with 5” high seating for great comfort and visibility.
Sea Eagle SE 330 Kayak Pros
- Strong and Durable – 33 mil polykrylar hull built to last
- Suitable for whitewater – Great option for those looking to paddle rapids
- Multiple air chambers – Has three air chambers for great buoyancy and safety
- Very affordable price – One of the most inexpensive options on the market
- Complete package – Includes paddles, foot pump and repair kit
- Good tracking – Comes with 2 skegs for great tracking
- 3 year warranty – Sea Eagle stand behind all their products and offer a generous 3 year warranty
Well made and Strong Material
The rugged hull of the SE330 resists punctures, abrasions, and even UV rays and salt water. It’s so durable that it comes with a 3 year warranty, making it not just safe and reliable, but also an excellent value.
Everything you need
With the SE330, you get the inflatable kayak, paddles, and foot pump all packaged into the included carry bag, so there is nothing more to buy.
Sea Eagle SE330 Kayak Cons
Sits quite high in the water
The SE330 sits a bit higher in the water than some other inflatable kayaks, with an elevated i beam construction floor and seats. This makes paddling more comfortable and improves handling, but can also make it slightly more subject to wind and affect the tracking. In most weather conditions, this may not pose a challenge at all, but may be something to keep in mind depending on where and when you plan on using it.
The Sea Eagle sport kayaks are available as a few different packages depending on what you’re looking for. We love this about Sea Eagle as there’s something for everyone, no matter what your budget is.
The SE 330 Startup
The basic kayak package is the Regular Sea Eagle SE 330. It doesn’t come with all the add ons that some of the other packages have but it’s at an incredibly affordable price and comes with two regular seats, paddles and a foot pump.
The SE 330 Deluxe
If you’ve got a bit more budget to spare we’d recommend at least getting the deluxe 2 person kayak package. The only difference is that it comes with a convenient carry case bag with shoulder strap to pack it all down into when not in use.
The SE 330 Pro Solo
Both of the models above are tandem kayaks, but if you don’t plan on bringing anyone along with you then you can check out the one person pro kayak package. In this option, you only get one paddle and seat, but it’s the Sea Eagle deluxe seat which is a lot more comfortable with better back support than the standard versions.
The SE 330 Pro Tandem
Then we have the Pro package which has all the above accessories like the bag, paddles, pump plus two of the Sea Eagle deluxe seats which have better back support and so come highly recommended from us. It’s not even that much more expensive so is a no brainer upgrade.
Sea Eagle 330 Alternatives
While the SE330 has a lot of options to choose from it might also be worth checking out some different models before you commit to purchasing. Here are a few other kayaks we like that are comparable to the SE330.
Sea Eagle 370
In the same range as the Sea Eagle 330 is another slightly better version the Sea Eagle 370. It’s very similar except it’s more durable with thicker material, got more space as it’s a bit longer, is suitable for whitewater rapids and has a larger weight capacity. It’s only a little bit more expensive too than the SE330 so we’d highly recommend getting it if your budget allows it.
Intex Challenger K2
- The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is sporty and fun with a streamlined design for easy paddling
- The bright green color and sporty graphics make the kayak highly visible in the water
- 2 86 inch aluminum paddles and an Intex high output pump for easy inflation and deflation
If you’re looking for something a lot cheaper and you’re not so worried about durability then we’d recommend taking a look at the Intex Challenger K2. While it’s not as good as the Sea Eagle 330 on pretty much every thing, it’s a lot of cheaper and so if you’re just looking for something to occupy the kids for the summer on a lake or a slow moving river then it might be worth looking at. For more information click below or check out our Intex Challenger K2 kayak review here.
Since the SE330 is so durable, it’s likely that you’ll be using it for a long time, in which case there are a few optional accessories that will help you enjoy it for longer:
- Two 4 inch x 3 inch white swatches of PVC Material
- Two Tubes of PVC Glue
- Works for repairs on Sea Eagle Sports Kayaks and Motomount Boats
All the packages above include a Sea Eagle Small Repair Kit but it’s always good to have spares. It’s designed to match the hull of the SE330, and effectively repair punctures and abrasions in an inflatable kayak. It’s conveniently packaged in a waterproof capsule that can be easily attached to the kayak, so you always have it on hand if you need it.
D-ring kit and adhesive
While the Sea Eagle 330 has convenient storage space, you may want to attach some D-rings to the hull, so that you can tie your bags, anchors, or accessories to the kayak. The MagiDeal Heavy Duty D-ring Pad Patch accessory for an inflatable kayak that doesn’t come with many attachment points.
This D-ring patch kit and bungee cords should be attached with the proper cement and will give you more options for storage, cargo, and use of the SE330.
About the Sea Eagle brand
Sea Eagle has been producing high quality, top-rated inflatables since 1968. They have sold over half-a-million inflatable boats, kayaks, and SUPs to date. A family-owned business based on Long Island, New York, the Sea Eagle staff enjoy using their own inflatables to explore and enjoy nearby historic Port Jefferson Harbor. They design and test their patented inflatable watercraft in-house, to meet the highest standards and achieve a positive customer review.
Sea Eagle stands behind their products with exceptional service to customers and an incredible 3-year warranty, making them a great company to do business with.
The Sea Eagle SE330 sport kayak gets rave 5 star reviews from professionals and amateurs alike. The SE330 packs down small and light for easy travel and storage virtually anywhere, but inflates to a generous, comfortable size that can hold 2 adults and 500 pounds.
The rugged vinyl resists wear and damage, so you can enjoy this popular inflatable kayak for years. And it sets up and is ready to hit the water in just minutes. The Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak is a fantastic choice in a high quality inflatable sport kayak that the whole family can use and enjoy in a huge range of water conditions, and will give years of use and enjoyment.