The Solar is a real classic among the inflatable kayaks from the manufacturer Gumotex. It is an open inflatable kayak that can be paddled alone or as two person kayak. A third seat can even be added as an option so that a child can also come along. We have already paddled the Solar on several tours and would like to share our impressions with you here and draw comparisons with other Gumotex inflatable kayaks. In our test, we will look at how the Gumotex can be paddled alone and with two people.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Gumotex Solar
The greatest strength of the Gumotex Solar is that it can be paddled very well by two people as well as alone. In both configurations, there are no compromises in terms of handling characteristics or space for the paddlers. Although it is a 2-person kayak, we would also recommend the Solar to those looking for a 1-person kayak only.
This also works with the Gumotex Thaya (up to 2+1 people), Rush 2 (up to 2 people) or Seawave (up to 2+1 people), but these also cost a few hundred euros more. If you can do without an optional spraydeck, a steering system or a drop-stitch floor, the Gumotex Solar will save you a lot of money.
Due to the lack of splash protection, the Solar is more suitable for paddling in warmer temperatures, unless you use suitable paddling clothing. Although the Solar has a high load capacity, the interior can be too cramped for heavy people.
+ good rigidity + very solid workmanship + simple and durable construction without a lot of frills + stable on the water + good directional stability + can also be paddled very well alone + quick assembly and disassembly + plenty of legroom + very comfortable seating (high backrest, seat cushion and backrest can be inflated separately) + can be used as a single, double or triple kayak + Solar 019 has become lighter + high weight load capacity of 270 kg + 2-year guarantee + spare parts can be reordered
+ produced in Europe
– somewhat cramped interior – reduced spray protection on the bow from Solar 019 (the person in front can quickly get wet in small waves) – no option to retrofit a spraydeck (but with a small splash guard for the front which is overpriced) – as a 2-person kayak only suitable for multi-day trips to a limited extent (little space and fastening options for luggage. A kayak with a spraydeck offers more options here) – Overpriced splash guard for the bow
Conclusion to the Gumotex Solar
We really liked the Gumotex Solar. It is a high-quality and simple kayak. The robust material, the solid workmanship and the simple, no-frills design ensure that you can enjoy the boat for a long time, even with intensive use. The boat’s length and skeg give it good directional stability.
The increased operating pressure of 0.2 bar (cheap inflatable boats have only half or even a third of the air pressure) gives the boat good rigidity. The air chambers (especially the side chambers) feel nice and firm and stable as a result. At first glance, the air kayak seems expensive, but you get a lot for your money. It can be used as a single, double and triple kayak. It comes with an 80L waterproof transport backpack, which you can use to store the boat and transport it conveniently by public transport or by car in the trunk. The quick assembly and disassembly also make the Gumotex Solar a spontaneous companion and a kayak for after-work trips on the water.
It is by no means a boat exclusively for the lake, but a fully-fledged kayak with which you can go on long tours on nice days. The Gumotex Solar really comes into its own on lakes and calm rivers. The kayak is mainly intended for paddling in warm temperatures, as it has no splash guard and can therefore get a lot of water in the boat.
Although the price of the Solar has risen in recent years, as with other inflatable kayaks, we believe that the Solar still offers very good value for money.