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Lifetime Tioga 100 Kayak Review: A Stable and Affordable Sit-on-Top for Beginners
If you’re looking for a recreational kayak that’s easy to use, stable, and comes with everything you need to get started, the Lifetime Tioga 100 might be a good option for you.
This sit-on-top kayak is designed for flatwater paddling on lakes, rivers, and ponds. It’s also suitable for fishing, as it has plenty of storage space and stability.
I’ve been using this kayak for about eight months now, and I’m happy with my purchase. In this review, I’ll share my experience with the Lifetime Tioga 100 and its features, performance, comfort, and value.
I’ll also compare it with some alternatives and answer some frequently asked questions.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Overall Rating: 4.4/5
I would give the Lifetime Tioga 100 a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Here’s how I break down the rating:
Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of the Lifetime Tioga 100:
Design and Build Quality
The Lifetime Tioga 100 is a well-designed and well-built kayak.
It’s made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is a durable and UV-protected material that can withstand impacts and weathering.
The kayak has a flat bottom hull with tracking channels and stability chine rails, which help it glide smoothly and stay balanced on the water.
The kayak also has some nice features that enhance its functionality and convenience.
It has a comfortable seat back that can be adjusted with a quick-release system, molded footrests for different size paddlers, a paddle keeper cord to secure your paddle, front and rear t-handles for easy transport, and two water bottle holders.
The kayak also comes with a paddle, which is a nice bonus. The paddle is made of aluminum shaft and polypropylene blades, and it can be separated into two pieces for easy storage.
The kayak has two large tankwells with bungee cords for storing your gear, as well as a 6-inch rear storage hatch that leads to the hull. The hatch doesn’t have a bag or net inside, so you might want to use a dry bag or container to keep your items from sliding around.
The kayak is available in lime green color, which is bright and visible on the water.
The Lifetime Tioga 100 is a comfortable kayak for short to medium paddling sessions. The seat back provides decent lumbar support and can adjust to your preference.
However, there is no padding or cushioning on the seat, so we recommend adding your own seat pad or cushion for extra comfort.
The molded footrests are also comfortable and offer multiple positions for different size paddlers. However, they are not adjustable, so you might not find the perfect fit for your legs.
The kayak has enough room for most paddlers to sit comfortably without feeling cramped or restricted.
The cockpit is open and spacious, which makes it easy to get in and out of the kayak. The sit-on-top design also allows you to stretch your legs or dip your feet in the water if you want.
The kayak is stable and easy to maneuver on the water. It has a flat bottom hull that provides primary stability, which means it won’t tip over easily on calm water. It also has chine rails that add some secondary stability, which means it can handle some mild waves or chop without losing balance.
However, the kayak is not very fast or agile on the water. It has a wide midsection that creates more drag and resistance in the water, which slows it down. It also has a short length that limits its tracking ability, which means it doesn’t stay straight on course very well.
To improve its tracking performance, the kayak has deep tracking channels on the hull that help it glide more smoothly and stay on course. However, these channels are not enough to overcome the limitations of the hull shape and length, so you might still need to correct your direction frequently with your paddle strokes.
The Lifetime Tioga 100 has some features that make it suitable for angling, such as:
- Stability: The kayak is stable enough to allow you to cast and reel without worrying about tipping over or losing balance.
- Storage: The kayak has plenty of storage space for your fishing gear and accessories. You can use the tankwells and the hatch to store your tackle box, cooler, rod holders, fish finder, etc. You can also use the bungee cords to secure your items or attach additional accessories.
- Paddle Keeper: The kayak has a paddle keeper cord that lets you secure your paddle to the side of the kayak when you’re not using it. This way, you can free up your hands for fishing and prevent your paddle from drifting away.
However, the kayak also has some drawbacks that might limit its fishing potential, such as:
- No Rod Holders: The kayak doesn’t have any built-in rod holders or mounting points for rod holders. This means you have to either hold your rod in your hand or find a way to attach a rod holder to the kayak yourself.
- No Seat Pad: The kayak doesn’t have any seat pad or cushioning, which might make it uncomfortable for long fishing sessions. You might want to bring your own seat pad or cushion for extra comfort.
- No Anchor: The kayak doesn’t have any anchor system or trolley system to help you stay in place while fishing. You might want to bring your own anchor or drift sock to prevent drifting with the wind or current.
The Lifetime Tioga 100 is a very affordable kayak for its quality and features.
It costs around $400, which is a great value for a durable and stable sit-on-top kayak that comes with a paddle and a warranty.
You can also find this kayak in a 2-pack bundle, which costs around $700. This is an even better value if you’re looking for two kayaks for yourself and a partner or friend.
Here are the specifications of the Lifetime Tioga 100:
- Length: 10 ft (304.8 cm)
- Width: 31 in (78.7 cm)
- Weight: 50 lb (22.7 kg)
- Capacity: 275 lb (124.7 kg)
- Material: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- Color: Lime Green
- Warranty: 5-Year Limited
If you’re looking for some alternatives to the Lifetime Tioga 100, here are some options you might want to consider:
Vibe Skipjack 120T
The Vibe Skipjack 120T is a tandem sit-on-top kayak that’s designed for recreational and fishing use. It’s a stable and spacious kayak that comes with two seats, two paddles, two sealed hatches, and four rod holders. It also has bungee storage, mounting points, and cup holders.
The Skipjack 120T
The Skipjack 120T is longer and narrower than the Tioga 100, which makes it faster and more efficient on the water. It also tracks better and has more secondary stability. However, it’s also heavier and more expensive than the Tioga 100.
Lifetime Lotus Kayak (2 Pack)
The Lifetime Lotus Kayak is a compact and lightweight sit-on-top kayak that’s ideal for beginners and kids. It’s an 8-foot kayak that comes in a pack of two kayaks with two paddles. It’s easy to transport, store, and paddle on calm water.
The Lotus Kayak is shorter and slimmer than the Tioga 100, which makes it more maneuverable and portable. It also has a self-bailing scupper hole design that drains water from the cockpit. However, it’s also slower and less stable than the Tioga 100. It also has less storage space and no seat back.
Sun Dolphin Aruba
The Sun Dolphin Aruba is a sit-inside kayak that’s designed for recreational use on flatwater. It’s a 10-foot kayak that has a spacious cockpit, a padded seat back, a storage compartment, and bungee rigging. It also has a bottle holder and a paddle holder.
The Aruba is similar in length and width to the Tioga 100, but it has a different hull shape that provides more secondary stability and better tracking. It also has more comfort features, such as a padded seat back and adjustable foot braces.
However, it’s also less stable on primary stability and less suitable for fishing than the Tioga 100.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I adjust the seat back?
To adjust the seat back, you need to loosen the straps on the sides of the seat and move the seat back to your desired position. Then, tighten the straps to secure the seat back in place.
How do I access the storage hatch?
To access the storage hatch, you need to lift the lid and twist it counterclockwise to unlock it. Then, you can remove the lid and reach into the hull. To close the hatch, you need to align the lid with the opening and twist it clockwise to lock it.
How do I use the paddle keeper cord?
To use the paddle keeper cord, you need to insert one end of your paddle into the loop on the side of the kayak and pull the cord tight. Then, you can secure the other end of your paddle under the bungee cord on the front or rear tankwell.
How do I clean and maintain the kayak?
To clean and maintain the kayak, you need to rinse it with fresh water after each use and dry it with a soft cloth. You can also use mild soap and water to remove dirt and stains. You should avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that might damage the material. You should also store the kayak in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
How do I transport and store the kayak?
To transport and store the kayak, you need to use the carry handles on the front, rear, and sides of the kayak. You can also use a truck or a trailer to transport the kayak, but make sure to secure it with straps or ropes. You should store the kayak in a horizontal position, on a flat surface or on a rack. You should avoid storing it vertically or on its side, as this might cause warping or deformation.
Is this kayak suitable for fishing?
This kayak is not specifically designed for fishing, but it can be used for fishing if you want. It has plenty of storage space and stability for angling, but it doesn't have any fishing features, such as rod holders or anchor system. You might want to add some accessories or modifications to make it more fishing-friendly.
Is this kayak suitable for rough water or fast currents?
This kayak is designed for flatwater paddling, such as on lakes, rivers, and ponds. It's not suitable for rough water or fast currents, as it might lose stability or tracking in these conditions. You should avoid paddling in these situations and stick to calm water.
Is this kayak suitable for tandem paddling?
This kayak is designed for single paddling only. It's not suitable for tandem paddling, as it might exceed its weight capacity or compromise its performance. You should not attempt to paddle with another person on this kayak.
What is the warranty policy for this kayak?
It also has a 90 Day limited warranty from Lifetime. The warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, misuse, abuse, modifications, accidents, or damages caused by external factors. You must register your product online and keep proof of purchase to claim your warranty.
What is included with this kayak?
This kayak comes with a seat back, a paddle, a 6-inch rear storage hatch, front and rear tankwells with bungee cords, two water bottle holders, a paddle keeper cord, front and rear t-handles, side handles, tracking channels, stability chine rails, and a flotation device in the hull.
What are some accessories that I can add to this kayak?
Some accessories that you can add to this kayak are:
• A seat pad or cushion for extra comfort
• A rod holder or a gear mount for fishing
• An anchor or a drift sock for staying in place while fishing
• A dry bag or a container for storing your items in the hatch
• A spray skirt for keeping water out of the cockpit
• A safety equipment kit for emergencies
How do I inflate and deflate this kayak?
This is not an inflatable kayak. It's made of solid high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material that doesn't require inflation or deflation. You don't need to worry about punctures or leaks with this kayak.
How do I install a trolling motor or a fish finder on this kayak?
This kayak doesn't have a trolling motor mount or a fish finder compatibility feature. You might be able to install these devices on your own, but you need to be careful not to damage the material or void the warranty. You might also need some tools and skills to do so.
How do I paddle this kayak?
To paddle this kayak, you need to use the paddle that comes with it. You can also use your own paddle if you prefer. You need to hold the paddle with both hands, with the blades facing forward and the shaft parallel to the water. You need to insert one blade into the water near your feet and pull it back to your hip, then lift it out of the water and repeat with the other blade on the opposite side. You need to alternate your strokes on each side to move forward and steer the kayak.
How do I get in and out of this kayak?
To get in and out of this kayak, you need to use the sit-on-top design. You can either launch the kayak from a dock or a shore, or enter it from the water. You need to place one foot on the kayak and one foot on the ground or in the water, then lower yourself onto the seat. You need to keep your balance and use your paddle or your hands for support. To get out of the kayak, you need to do the reverse process.
How do I adjust the footrests?
This kayak has molded footrests that are not adjustable. They have multiple positions for different size paddlers, so you can choose the one that fits your legs best. You can also use a cushion or a pad to adjust your leg position if needed.
How do I secure my items on the kayak?
To secure your items on the kayak, you can use the front and rear tankwells with bungee cords. You can place your items under the bungee cords and tighten them to prevent them from falling out. You can also use the 6-inch rear storage hatch to store your items inside the hull. You need to use a dry bag or a container to keep your items from sliding around or getting wet.
How do I drain water from the cockpit?
This kayak has a self-bailing design that drains water from the cockpit through scupper holes on the bottom of the hull. You don't need to do anything to drain water from the cockpit, as it will flow out automatically.
How do I contact Lifetime customer service?
To contact Lifetime customer service, you can call 1-800-225-3865 or email [email protected]. You can also visit https://www.lifetime.com/customerservice/contactus for more options.
What Can You Do Now?
You’ve just read a comprehensive and honest review of the Lifetime Tioga 100 kayak, a stable and affordable sit-on-top kayak for beginners. You’ve learned about its features, performance, comfort, and value, as well as its pros and cons.
We’ve also compared it with some alternatives and answered some frequently asked questions.
If you’re convinced that the Lifetime Tioga 100 is the kayak for you, you can check the latest price and availability.
If you’re still undecided or want to explore other options, you can read our other reviews of the best kayaks on the market. We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of kayaks for different purposes, budgets, and skill levels.
We hope this review has helped you make an informed decision and find the perfect kayak for your next adventure.
Please note that the reviews and ratings are based on our personal experiences and opinions of the users. Be sure to consider your personal needs and preferences before purchasing any product.