Lifetime Spitfire 9
Designed for recreational kayakers that want to upgrade their boating set-up, the Lifetime Spitfire 9 is a sit-on-top kayak that’s designed to provide both performance and value in one package. It offers the same great stability that most Lifetime kayaks are known for plus extra features, such as gear storage, for added functionality.
|Price history for Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak, Orange, 9'|
- Very stable hull design
- Highly maneuverable
- 2 tankwells and 1 hatch for gear storage
- Fairly portable
- Padded CRS+ UltraLite Seat
- Self-bailing scupper holes
- Limited tracking ability
- Not great in choppy conditions
Size and Weight
The Lifetime Spitfire 9 officially measures at 9’ (274cm) long, which puts it squarely in the realm of a recreational kayak. While this somewhat shorter length does detract slightly from its overall tracking ability, it also makes it easier to transport and store.
When it comes to width, the Spitfire 9’s 31” (78.7cm) midsection is fairly wide for a boat this size. Ultimately, this means more stability and extra room to relax in the kayak.
Finally, the boat weighs in at 45 lbs (20 kg), which, although a bit on the heavy end for a 9’ kayak, is well within reason for most paddlers. It’s light enough for one person to transport on their own, but the front and rear carry handles also make moving the Spitfire 9 a breeze when you have a friend to help.
With its 350 lb (159 kg) weight capacity, the Spitfire 9 will easily accommodate most paddlers. Even if we take into account that a kayak shouldn’t be loaded past 80% of its maximum capacity, this boat is still able to support paddlers and their gear who weigh up to 280 lbs (127 kg).
Therefore, the Spitfire 9 is appropriate for most paddlers, especially on short day trips. For trips that require a lot of gear, such as an overnight camping trip, this boat is best suited for smaller kayakers.
When designing the Spitfire 9, Lifetime wanted to give this boat a bit of an upgrade from what’s found on many of their more budget-friendly models.
Although Lifetime still managed to make this boat affordable, they also included some comfort-focused features, like a padded CRS + UltraLite Seat. This seat is built into the boat and features a seat pad for added comfort during long days on the water, which is a feature that’s less commonly found among the company’s recreational sit-on-top offerings.
Additionally, with this boat, Lifetime focused on adding gear storage space. They included a large rear tankwell with bungee lacing for added versatility. There’s also a small forward tankwell for gear you need quick access to as well as a cockpit hatch for below-deck storage.
The boat features self-bailing scupper holes to prevent water from building up in the cockpit and tankwells. There is also a molded-in paddle keeper for added convenience during those quick breaks on the water.
Expectedly, the Spitfire’s shorter length limits its speed and tracking ability. If you plan to go on long trips, you probably need a longer kayak.
That said, its width and rounded hull give it great primary stability and make it beginner-friendly, especially in calm conditions.
Lifetime designed the Spitfire 9 with a slight amount of rocker. When combined with the boat’s flat hull, soft chine, and wide midsection, it makes for a highly maneuverable boat that’s fun to play around with on the water. Plus, the kayak’s molded-in Freedom Footwells help paddlers gain more control over the boat for increased precision during turns.
With that in mind, it’s important to note that the Spitfire 9 offers little in the way of secondary stability. Thus, this kayak is best used in calm, protected waters for a fun day of paddling on your local lake or river.
Specification: Lifetime Spitfire 9