Necky Elias

Perception Expression 11.5 Old Town Twin Heron Necky Elias best boats of 2013 summer buyers guide

Perception Expression 11.5, Old Town Twin Heron, Necky Elias     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

BEST FOR: Small-to-medium-size paddlers looking for a better-fitting touring boat.

THE TEST: It’s hard to say how many men borrowed their ladies’ bright pink Necky Eliza in the four years since that women-specific boat was introduced. The guys paddled pink for good reason: the Eliza was the lighter, more efficient cousin of Necky’s awesome Chatham-series boats. Necky eventually got the message and this year came out with the Elias, which has a slightly larger cockpit and is a bit longer than the Eliza. It’s not as fast as the Chatham, but it’s lighter, and the hull design is more efficient—and thus more fun—for smaller paddlers.

THE VERDICT: If you can squeeze inside, you’ll love this boat. 45 lbs.

STABILITY: 3.5
MANEUVERABILITY: 4

Brand: Necky $1,600

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