A recent run of social media threads had this question posed in a few different ways and I had been wanting to shoot a video of the two models. Then the other day, I had a gentleman from Idaho meet up with us and was wanting to do the exact comparison himself and so we grabbed the gear and shot a video of the process of his decision.
It’s easy to see why folks might not be certain which one is right for them when you do your internet “research”. The fun thing about my job is that all that a 1-2 hour test paddle answers the question that reading can’t. Your body just knows which it prefers. There is usually a Eureka moment. But, you have to prepare yourself to be able to get that moment. Paul from Boise had done just that! He had rented all summer long and had taken the kayak 101 course from Idaho River Sports in Boise. So, he had developed his skills and taste palette a bit and was now ready to make the comparison. I commend him on his process and investment in himself as a paddler.
What do I think are the big differences in these models?
- Stern profile: The Equinox has a more defined stern line while the Sitka LT offers the retractable skeg and thus and a bit more rocker in the stern when the skeg is not deployed. Thus, the Equinox may have a feeling of straighter tracking right out of the box while the LT will feel a bit more playful and responsive to edged turns and stern sweep strokes.
- The cockpit fit: The LT feels to have a bit higher position offering for your thighs and knees because of the shape of the keyhole cockpit and a little more depth in that region. The Equinox is going to offer a little more room for the hips and the cockpit might feel easier to enter for most because the thighbraces are smaller than what is offered with true keyhole shape like in the LT.
- DNA: When I paddle these two models I have a mental comparison to other boats in the Eddyline line. The Equinox feels like a longer Skylark as they share the similar design attributes and family background. The Sitka series really spawned from the Fathom family and you can feel those design attributes when paddling them.
Did you see the awesome sticker on the Sitka? You can pick those up here: