Wilderness Systems Aspire 100
Wilderness Systems Aspire 100 is a recreational sit-inside kayak which boasts a nimble yet durable design geared toward rider comfort and the perfect crossover of performance and versatility.
- Very comfortable
- Tracks well
- Bulkhead for safety and dry storage
- No paddle holder
Size and Weight
The Aspire 100 is a 10’ (305 cm) long, 27.5” (70 cm) wide recreational kayak with a 14” (35.5 cm) deck height. It weighs a solid 44 lbs (20 kg). With handles fore and aft, you can easily transport it with a friend, or solo if hoisted onto a shoulder.
While marketed as a “female or small framed rider” kayak (as opposed to its bigger cousin, the Aspire 105) this boat is much more versatile than that. With a capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg), the Aspire 100 can get you on the water while also supporting all your gear for a day trip or overnight jaunt. A person that weighs 180 pounds could easily carry 60 pounds of gear and be within 80% of the capacity of this craft (which is recommended for optimal performance).
Bow to stern, the Aspire 100 is thoughtfully equipped with all the features you need, with none of the excess frills of a more niche vessel and less bulk.
All around, the boat is crafted out of durable and dense polyethylene. It has a replaceable skid plate on the bottom that adds longevity to durability. Bow and stern, this craft has easy-grab handles for quick transport and shock-cord deck rigging any gear you might need while on the water.
Delving inside the spacious cockpit, riders will find adjustable Slidelock foot bracer systems with ample padding around the knees and thighs (which also are forgiving on the shoulder when transporting). The seat is a highly-acclaimed Phase 3 Airpro model consisting of mesh-covered molded foam that drains well, is breathable, and sets a leading standard in rider comfort. Leg raisers in the bottom cushion eliminate under-thigh gaps between you and the seat and add extra support. The backrest raises, lowers, and is adjustable forwards or backwards based on your height and preferred posture. A molded-in dashboard thoughtfully utilizes a design for a water bottle (even those hefty 32 oz. Nalgenes!) to sit upright or on its side. Interestingly, the kayak does not include built-in paddle holders, but some quick after-market additions suffice if desired.
Behind the seat, there is a bulkhead with a waterproof compartment capable of holding your camping gear, such as a sleeping bag and a single-person tent. The plastic hinges sealing the Orbix compartment hatch can be stiff and require a gentle hand. Unfortunately, the skeg housing bites into the space a bit. There is additional space behind the seat, fore of the bulkhead (not waterproof) that can accommodate a small cooler or maybe a 20L dry bag.
Last but most certainly not least, there is the TruTrak skeg system. If the wind picks up or waters become turbulent, the paddler can deploy the skeg right from the cockpit and still expect their kayak to track like an arrow.
The Aspire 100 offers top-notch maneuverability and tracking while providing comfort fit for a king. The drop-down skeg balances out wind or choppy waters and provides assistance for longer distance adventures and novice paddlers.
While not recommended for a three-day fishing trip or dodgy waters, this boat is the perfect purchase for any beginner or intermediate recreational kayaker looking for a bit of flex in their adventure.
Wilderness Systems Aspire 100
Wilderness Systems Kayaks | Aspire
Specification: Wilderness Systems Aspire 100