Brand: Old Town
Model: Predator PDL
Our take OK, so we got skunked fishing Utah’s Pineview Reservoir in the new 13’2” Predator PDL kayak. But we did catch the fever behind the growing pedal craft craze. Pedaled like a recumbent bicycle, with a 10:1 gear ratio that lets you reach speeds of 5.5 mph (compared to about 4 mph paddling), the leg propulsion keeps your hands free for binoculars and snacking. To steer, simply turn a toggle off to the side, controlling the rudder. The pedal system is also removable for conventional paddling, and retracts for shallow-water docking. While the Predator is designed primarily for fishing, it’s not a reach to stow gear via deck bungees and inside its 173-square-inch bow hatch for extended journeys. Heavy lifting: The boat’s a beast at 117 pounds, 21 of which are due to the pedal drive system.
River cred “It gets up to speed very quickly, and stays there,” says one tester who marveled at the wake he created just a few pedals from the beach in Utah’s Pineview Reservoir.