The Gumotex Rush 2 (Innova Rush 2 for the American market) is the latest inflatable kayak with drop-stitch technology from the czech manufacturer. It is an open kayak that can be optionally equipped with a cockpit for 1 or 2 persons. In 2019 the kayak won an award for “Product of the Year” in the category Leisure and Recreation at the PADDLE EXPO. Reasons were, among others, the environmentally friendly production, the unique construction and the versatile applications. Since the beginning of 2020 the new inflatable kayak has been available. In the following article you will find our first impressions of the boat and see how it performs on lakes and rivers.
420 cm | 13’8”
81 cm | 2’7”
195 kg | 430 lbs
69 x 48 x 28 cm |
2’3” x 1’6” x 9”
15.5 kg | 34.2 lbs
0.25 bar | 3.6 PSI (side chambers),
0,5 bar | 7.25 PSI (floor)
Which model has been reviewed?
Gumotex / Innova Rush 2 from 2020
How did we organize the review?
The Gumotex Rush 2 was provided to us on a rental basis by Arts-Outdoors, a store and online shop for outdoor gear. Our review is independent of the manufacturer or store and reflects our own opinion of the boat.
How intensively has the product been tested?
2 bars = min. 1 day/ 2 half-day tours
3 bars = min. 4 tours
4 bars = min. 8 tours
5 bars = min. 12 tours (very intense)
Where have we tested the product?
Assembly and first impressions
The inflatable kayak comes in a waterproof 100 l transport backpack, which is comfortable to carry for short distances to the water. Compared to last year’s backpacks from Gumotex, the shoulder straps have been widened, which increases the carrying comfort. The boat itself is in an additional transport bag.
In the included backpack even the 2-person cockpit, including the cross braces, fits inside. The inflatable kayak itself weighs 15.5 kg / 34.2 lbs and the cockpit with its cross braces and coaming rings almost 3.5 kg / 7.7 lbs.
The complete paddling equipment (2 life jackets, 2 double-bladed paddles and an air pump) does not fit into the backpack. Here you will need a larger Gumotex backpack (135 L) or the Ortlieb X-Tremer (150 L). Alternatively, you can transport the accessories in an additional backpack or carrying bag.
The seats and inflatable footrests are placed inside before the boat is inflated. Both elements look very well made. Typically the footrests from Gumotex have a strap in the middle for fastening. However, the footrests of the Rush have two straps on each side and so they cannot slip away to the left or right.
The seats are made of a hard foam material that makes a rather rigid impression. The seat cushion is attached to the kayak floor with a strap. The exact position can be adjusted as desired using the strap. In addition, the backrest has two straps for fastening to the side walls, which also allows the backrest to be adjusted individually.
Also included is a fin for an improved directional stability, which can be attached to the bottom of the boat before inflating the floor chamber. The attachment of the seats, footrests and the fin was pretty straight foward.
Gumotex is actually known for its boats with bright colours. The Rush is designed in a simple grey and black. Once unfolded the kayak reminds us of the Gumotex Seawave, only that it is a little shorter. Nevertheless, we tink the length of 420 cm / 13’8” and width of 81 cm / 2’7” are really good values for a for a 2-person inflatable kayak, which also attracts demanding solo touring paddlers who wants to paddle this kayak alone.
The kayak is inflated within some minutes. It is best to use at least a 2×2 L double action pump so that you pump air into the chamber with each stroke. The boat has a total of three separate air chambers, which are all inflated via push-push valves. In comparison to many other Gumotex boats, Gumotex inflatable kayaks with drop-stitch bottom do not have a pressure relief valve that, for example, protects the bottom from overpressure during inflation.
What is Drop-Stitch?
With the Drop-Stitch technology, the upper and lower inner walls of the air chamber are additionally interwoven with textile threads. Only this allows a significantly higher air pressure than in air chambers without the interwoven threads. The air chamber thus achieves a very high level of dimensional stability and rigidity. The Drop-Stitch technology is very common for SUP boards (Stand Paddling Boards) and is used more and more for inflatable kayaks. Drop-Stitch has been used by American manufacturers of inflatable boats for years (e.g. Advanced Elements or Sea Eagle). Learn more about this technology in our Drop-Stitch kayak guide.
The Drop-Stitch floor must be inflated up to 0.5 bar / 7.25 PSI and the side walls up to 0.25 bar / 3.6 PSI. To check the correct air pressure, we recommend an air pump with pressure gauge or a separate pressure gauge for push-push valves.
Capacity and space
With a maximum load limit of 195 kg / 430 lbs, the Rush has the lowest load capacity compared to other Gumotex inflatable kayaks with similar dimensions. Two heavier paddlers with luggage will very quickly reach the limits of the boat. A Gumotex Solar with similar dimensions has a load limit of 270 kg / 595 lbs.
There are three different seating positions in the kayak, so the kayak can be paddled as a 1- or 2-person kayak. There is enough legroom in both configurations. With a body height of 6’2″ cm we also have enough space in the back, and there was still plenty of space behind the back seat. Here you can place a small backpack or dry bag and fasten it with a string. If you are paddling the Rush alone, there is plenty of room to carry luggage.
With the design of the hull Gumotex has made a considerable step forward. Through the intelligent use of drop-stitch elements the manufacturer has managed to create a well shaped hull in a pure inflatable kayak (without stiffening elements by means of a frame or rods). Gumotex speaks of a hydrodynamic boat shape, which means that it should glide through the water with less resistance. It comes very close to the hull of a classic fixed hull kayak. Due to the air buoyancy, however, one cannot speak of identical handling characteristics. But for a pure inflatable kayak the hull design promises better handling characteristics on the water. In addition to the fin, there is also a front keel, which is intended to have a directional stabilising effect.
In the area of the bottom valve a small bubble can appear in the drop-stitch bottom. We had noticed this when we first inflated it (see photo below). The small round bulge can look different with every inflation or even not exist at all. The second time we inflated the kayak, the spot had completely disappeared.
The reason for the bulge is that due to the construction of the valve, no threads can be attached between the upper and lower inner wall of the air chamber. This is not a manufacturing fault or quality defect, but is quite common in drop-stitch constructions.
The boat is made of nitrilon, which is a polyester fabric coated on both sides with rubber. We have had very good experience with this material over the last few years. We did not have to repair a single spot on our Gumotex kayaks after several uses, although our boats have had to endure quite a lot. In the end, we have certainly been lucky in one or the other situation. Nevertheless, the material cannot be compared with that of cheap inflatable kayaks, such as from Intex or Sevylor. Apart from the material used, the workmanship is also convincing, as the side and bottom chambers are glued together very cleanly.
In addition, the Rush is equipped with two carrying handles at the bow and stern and a drain hole at the stern. The drain hole is practical when more water came into the boat during a white water paddling tour. It is much easier to drain the water out of the boat through the hole. Gumotex states a white water suitability of up to level 2 for the Rush. Furthermore, the Rush can be equipped with a rudder, which is especially interesting for touring paddlers.
The optional cockpit
Gumotex offers two different cockpits as accessories for the Rush 2, which is equipped with either one or two seat hatches. Both cockpits are only available in red/black. The green/black cockpit is currently only available for the Gumotex Rush 1. Additional metal reinforcements help to hold the shape and increase the stiffness both of the cockpit and the boat itself. You have to mount these metal reinforcements before inflating the boat. After inflating the boat, attach the cockpit. Before attaching the cockpit, you have to loosen the Velcro covers on the side tubes, which is a bit force-intensive. The installation of the cockpit itself is then very easy and fits perfectly. The cockpit is placed on the Velcro strips and covered again with the Velcro covers. Thus the cockpit is fastened on both sides with Velcro. It sits very firmly on the side tubes and even in larger waves or in white water, the Velcro cover ensures that even less water gets inside the boat. A further positive side effect is that the velcro cover remains in place even when the cockpit is not in use. It also protects the velcro from dirt. The cockpit for 2 and 1 person is pretty expensive and we cannot really understand this pricing.
Gumotex has finally improved the coaming. If you paddle in wilder waters or in the colder season with a spray skirt, you will benefit a lot from the improvement. It’s a real improvement compared to coaming from the Framura, Swing or Seawave. With the previous kayaks, the coaming ring often did not hold together, the spray skirt could only be attached with difficulty and often came off again. This works much better with the Rush, because the coaming is sewn differently and the ends of the coaming ring are connected with an angle-like coupling element. Despite the improvement it cannot be compared to the coaming of a fixed hull kayak with a neoprene skirt.
Another advantage of the cockpit is that it significantly increases the storage possibilities for luggage. Gumotex has used every space on the cockpit to attach cargo nets. The fine-meshed cargo nets are ideal for stowing small things of all kinds, backpacks or dry bags. At the back of the bow there is another large cargo net where you can attach a large piece of luggage. Apart from the price, the cockpit is a great accessory for the kayak.
Review of the Gumotex Rush 2 on the water
Gumotex follows the same principle with the Rush as with the Seawave. You can paddle the kayak either open or closed. The entry is very easy. Thanks to the Drop-Stitch floor, the kayak remains very stable while getting in. Thanks to the Drop-Stitch floor the kayak reminds only a little bit of a classic inflatable boat with an I-Beam floor chamber. Even with a cockpit, the seat hatches are large enough so that you don’t have to strain yourself when entering. Personally, we like a Drop-Stitch floor in the inflatable kayak very much, just because of the higher quality impression of a very firm and even kayak floor.
Gumotex Rush 2 as 1-person kayak
An additional carrying handle on the side chambers would have been practical for a boat with a length of 4.2 m / 13’8″ so that it would be easier for one person to lift the kayak and put into the water. Due to the stiff floor chamber the trim of the boat on the water is very good even with one person. The speed as a 1-person kayak is good, but not outstanding. In our opinion, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite, nortik scubi 1 XL or Itiwit x500 have better gliding characteristics.
Gumotex writes of a maximum seating comfort. The legroom is really good. The footrest and seat also give a good support when paddling. The seating comfort is good, but we cannot speak of maximum seating comfort.
With other kayaks from Gumotex with a floor of 0.2 bar, we have often noticed during cooler seasons that the floor becomes softer after a short time. This is completely normal for inflatable boats. Compared to the side chambers, the floor has the greatest contact with the cold water, so that the air inside the chamber “contracts” and the pressure drops. This makes the chamber softer. Some people put the boat into the water and pump a few more strokes after a few minutes. The Rush does not have this problem because of the high operating pressure. Here too, the air pressure drops slightly below 0.5 bar, but this is not noticeable.
Gumotex Rush 2 as 2-person kayak
When paddling the Gumotex Rush 2 together with another person, we still had enough space and legroom (with and without cockpit). In twos we reached a speed of up to 6 kmh / 3.7 mph while paddling comfortably. Up to 5mph can be reached if both of us hit the paddles fully. Then, however, a proper bow wave forms with the hydrodynamic hull.
The Rush 2 offers enough space for two tall people (each over 1.80 m / 5’9″). As we are quite tall and make almost full use of the boat interior, the footrests are not absolutely necessary in the 2-person configuration.
While paddling, the directional stability with fin is good for an inflatable kayak. Especially as a paddler in a boat you have the feeling that the kayak is running pretty straight. However, as an outsider in another kayak you can see that the boat swings a little to the left or right with every stroke of the paddle. This is probably due to the flat drop-stitch bottom. Here Guomtex has helped with the construction by placing a longitudinal keel on the bottom. We find the directional stability very similar to a Gumotex Solar.
When we stopped paddling, the boat drifted slightly. We had a light wind and could feel how the boat was also slightly pushed to the side. So here the Gumotex Rush behaves like other inflatable kayaks because of its air buoyancy.
On previous tours with the Gumotex Rush 2, the cargo nets of the cockpit have proven to be very practical. The middle cargo net can even hold a 40 l backpack. Due to the metal reinforcements of the cockpit the luggage does not sag, so that it could disturb the rear paddler. An additional plus point: the luggage is always accessible on the water. The fine-meshed nets (stern and middle) are ideal not only for backpacks or dry bags, but also for shoes, drinks bottles, you name it.
Dismantling the Gumotex Rush 2
For dismantling, the valve caps are unscrewed and the valve spring (red button) is pushed in. This allows most of the air to escape. We then pump out the remaining air, so that it can be folded compactly again. Of course you can also press out the remaining air when folding it.
The boat skin can be wiped dry quickly with a microfibre cloth. We have removed the metal reinforcements and left the cockpit on the boat. The kayak with the canopy fits into the transport backpack without any problems. There is also enough space for the metal reinforcements and the plastic collar reinforcement for the coaming.
When folding you put the side tubes into each other so that the boat is narrower. Then fold the boat from the tips (bow and stern) to the middle and lay the two pieces on top of each other.
Strengths and weaknesses of the Gumotex Rush 2
The Rush’s greatest strength is its versatility. The Rush 2 is both a great 1-person and a 2-person kayak. You can paddle it open or optionally with a cokcpit closed. The hull is designed and dimensioned to give it good directional stability at a reasonable speed and manoeuvrability. We see the Rush as an ideal boat for lake and river tours and paddling along quiet coastal waters. We will certainly do an extensive river tour with the Rush and report about our experiences here. Gumotex has done many things right with the Rush. It is difficult to find any weaknesses on the boat worth mentioning.
+ attractive design + robust material + plenty of space inside + versatile + improved footrests and coaming compared to other Gumotex inflatable kayaks + high stability due to stiff kayak floor + 2 years warranty + spare parts can be re-ordered
– expensive accessories (e.g. cockpit) – little splash protection without cockpit – no possibility to fix a 3rd seat (for child)
Conclusion on the Gumotex Rush 2
The Gumotex Rush is one of the most interesting new products among the portable boats on the market. In our opinion, an established manufacturer of inflatable kayaks is bringing out with the Rush exactly the boat that many paddlers wanted. We have always called the Swing 2 an all-rounder, with a clear focus on river paddling. The Rush 2 represents the role of the all-rounder even better. The weight of 15.5 kg is still within the frame and the pack size is really compact for a 2-person air kayak. The Rush 2 has almost the same dimensions as the Gumotex Solar. Many touring paddlers have missed the option of a cockpit and rudder with the Solar. With the Gumotex Rush 2, the manufacturer now satifies these expectations.
In addition, the handling characteristics and stability have improved thanks to the new hull shape. The Rush is aimed primarily at demanding paddlers who want to paddle different waters and a lot of distance. The Rush 2 has good handling characteristics among the inflatable kayaks. However, with the gliding characteristics of a folding and fixed hull kayak it logically does not come close. Due to the lack of the possibility of a 3rd seat, the Rush clearly distinguishes itself from the Thaya. The Thaya is the kayak for families and the Rush for touring paddlers among the Gumotex boats with high pressure floor, not to forget that the Rush 2 is the most expensive Gumotex inflatable kayak (probably due to the more complex construction). We think the price for the boat is justified, but not for the cockpit.
Alternatives to Gumotex Rush
Finally, we would like to present two alternatives to the Gumotex Rush 2. We have paddled both inflatable kayaks ourselves countless times.
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
If the weight and drying time of an inflatable kayak is not most important to you, we recommend the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite. We find the gliding characteristics of the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite even better and it would be our first choice for long tours on large lakes and rivers. Furthermore, the kayak is modular. The drop-stitch floor is additionally protected by the outer boat skin. In case of a defect, the Drop-Stitch chamber can be easily replaced.
Gumotex Swing 2
If you are looking for a cheaper inflatable kayak with an integrated cockpit and want to paddle mainly rivers or small lakes, you should take a closer look at the Gumotex Swing 2. The Swing 2 already has an integrated cockpit and is, compared to the Rush 2 with cockpit, considerably lighter and almost half the price. It has a wider hull, so it is more agile but also a little slower. The material of the boat skin is identical to that of the Gumotex Rush 2.