Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103
Often the more affordable fishing kayaks on the market are compromised, either lacking in features, comfort or control. However, the Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103 has managed to maximise on all of these without bumping up the price tag to match. This may not be a boat for professional kayak anglers, but as a first boat for those looking to dip their toes in the sport, the Tamarack Pro is a perfect and affordable choice.
|Price history for Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103 Sit-On-Top Kayak, Lightning Fusion, 10 ft. 3 in.|
- Affordable price point
- Stable and comfortable
- Lots of features
- Little standing room
- Limited capacity
Size, weight, capacity
The Tamarack Pro 103 has some relatively middle of the road specs, which is perfect for it to fit a broad range of paddlers and their gear.
At 10 ft. 3 in. (312 cm) long and 2 ft. 7 in. (79 cm) wide, it’s not likely to be the fastest, nor the most stable kayak on the market, but what it does well is to find a balance between these things and being maneuverable and easy to paddle.
For a sit-on-top kayak with all the added extras, 57.5 lbs. (26 kg) isn’t especially heavy, but you still may need assistance to lift it on and off your vehicle.
For a relatively small boat, the Tamarack had a decent capacity of 300 lbs. (136 kg). Keep in mind, however, that for best paddling performance, it is recommended to stay within about 70% of the maximum capacity, including all the gear you want to take with you on the water that day. This leaves you with around 210 lbs (95.2 kg), which is not that much.
Comfort is usually the first place that companies scrimp to save a few dollars. It’s great to see that Lifetime have included a comfortable and highly adjustable seat that will fully support you all day long. There are also adjustable footrests to keep you upright without straining your back.
In terms of fishing, there’s a surprising amount of features to look at. There are three rod holders, two molded-in and one adjustable, as well as two 12-inch sections of universal track, so you can customise your ride with all sorts of gadgets.
Under the seat there’s space for a tackle box, while in the centre of the boat is a hatch with a bucket for keeping smaller items dry on the water. At the front and rear of the kayak there are large recesses, perfect for boxes and buckets which can be secured in place with bungee.
There are also a few extras thrown in, like a water bottle holder, a molded 24-inch ruler and paddle parks so you can go hands free.
At the front and rear, as well as the sides, there are molded handles to make carrying this bulk easy, even when you’ve got a lot of gear on it.
The hull itself has a sharp v-shape at the bow to make it track effectively through the water, while the rest of the boat has deep channels running along it to maximise stability and a clean run through the water. These give way to railed chines which make this boat really stable.
This boat sits more towards the beginner end of the spectrum, and as such has the right mix of balance, maneuverability and easiness. The weight range is good but not enormous, however the Tamarack Pro is stable enough that even larger paddlers rarely struggle with the balance. That said, the jury is undecided on standing up in this boat, there’s not a load of space for it anyway.
In terms of fishing capabilities, this boat has a lot to offer. There are loads of ‘extras’ which make fishing easier. Some of them, like the tackle box under the seat, aren’t the most accessible or best built, but this is hardly surprising for a boat which comes in at such a reasonable price.
The seat itself gets a good amount of plaudits and is obviously as comfortable and supportive as Lifetime suggests. This is one of the key advantages the Tamarack has over other boats in its price range.
As a beginner kayak for someone looking to explore recreationally and get into a bit of fishing, this is a great choice. However, if you have aspirations of serious angling, it might be worth getting a slightly more refined model with a higher capacity.
Specification: Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103