Itiwit x100+ 3 person
Kayak Review

The Itiwit x100+ is an inflatable kayak with a drop-stitch floor from Decathlon, which is aimed at beginners and occasional paddlers for paddling short tours on the water and leisurely half-day trips. It is not the only inflatable kayak from Decathlon. We’ve already had the chance to test the Itiwit Touring 2/1-seater, the Itiwit x100+ 2-seater, and the sporty Itiwit x500. Compared to the popular Itiwit Touring series, the x100+ is a significant development. It costs more, but offers clear advantages from our point of view. Find out more details about the kayak and how we liked the x100+ 3-seater as a 1-, 2- and 3-person kayak on the water in this review.

Technical Specification of the Itiwit X100+ 3 seater

Nr. of persons:
Length:
Width:
Weight:
Pack size:

1-3
410 cm
102 cm
18 kg
72 x 45 x 37 cm

Max. load:
Pressure:

Material:

240 kg
0,2 bar (sides),
0,34 bar (floor)
PVC

What is Drop-Stitch?

With the Drop-Stitch technology, the upper and lower inner walls of the air chamber are additionally interwoven with nylon threads. Only this allows a significantly higher air pressure than in air chambers without the interwoven nylon 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).

Assembly and first impressions

The boat weighs 18 kg and can be transported comfortably over short distances to the water or train station with the included backpack. The backpack has wide shoulder straps and two side pockets where the paddles can be inserted. In addition, the lower part of the backpack is waterproof, so a wet boat in the backpack does not soak the backpack.

itiwit x100 3 seater backpack
The boat is quite heavy, but can be carried comfortably in a backpack over short distances
itiwit x100 dimensions
The backpack has a large opening
itiwit kayak bag
Additional quick manual

As with all transport backpacks for kayaks from Itiwit, we like the large all-around zipper opening, which makes packing and unpacking the boat much easier. Included are repair materials, patches (for short term and quick repair of holes), a compression strap, three fins for better straight running characteristics, a valve wrench for retightening the valves and an inflation connector for the air pump.

An air pump and double paddles are not included, which is completely understandable for the price. Double paddles in a cheap complete set (e.g. Intex Challenger K2, Intex Excursion Pro, Bestway Hydro-Force Ventura or Sevylor Adventure Plus) have never been able to convince us so far. Both paddles and an air pump can be purchased at Decathlon or elsewhere.

The assembly of the kayak is very simple. On the inside of the backpack there is even a short picture instruction for the assembly, which is very helpful if you sometimes do not have the instructions with you or want to quickly check a step. The boat is first rolled out completely. The inflatable kayak has two side chambers and a separated drop-stitch floor, each inflatable via its own valve. The valves are high quality spring valves that are easy to operate. On the valves there is a label to which maximum air pressure the air chamber may be inflated and which one should be inflated first, second and so on.

The gray Drop-Stitch floor is inflated to 0.35 bar. 0.35 bar is not much for Drop-Stitch, but it is enough to get a sufficiently firm kayak floor. The inflated floor is placed in the boat. In the front and in the back of the boat there is a strap, so that the Drop-Stitch floor is firmly fixed to the boat and cannot slip.

itiwit x100 3 seater assembly
Unfolding the kayak
itiwit kayak drop stitch floor
Boat and separated drop-stitch floor
itiwit x100 pockets
Attaching the drop-stitch floor

The side chambers are inflated up to 0.2 bar. Considering the price, this pressure is a really good value for air chambers without drop-stitch technology. Thus, the kayak not only has a solid bottom due to the drop-stitch floor but also an overall form-stable hull, which makes a much higher quality impression compared to Intex or Sevylor boats.

Lately, we have been using the Quechua electric pump for inflating inflatable boats, which is powered by a rechargeable battery. The boat’s included valve connector fits the electric pump perfectly. The electric pump manages to fill most of the air chamber with air. We then create the final air pressure with a double-action pump. This means 2/3 to 3/4 fewer strokes are needed with the double stroke pump. This is a very pleasant comfort, especially on hot summer days.

itiwit electric pump kayak
Inflating with an electric pump
air pump itiwit kayak
The kayak has three air chambers
assembly itiwit x100 3 seater
Inflating the kayak with a double-action pump from Itiwit

After the kayak is fully inflated, mount the 3 small fins on the bottom of the kayak. Each of the fins is inserted into its fin tray and secured with a cotter pin. Fins are common on inflatable kayaks to improve straight-line stability. This is because, compared to rigid kayaks, inflatable kayaks float on the water rather than in it due to their high air buoyancy.

Due to the small size of the individual fins, the Itiwit x100 has a shallow draught even with fins. This has the advantage that you can already enter the boat in shallow water and groundings are reduced in general.

itiwit kayak skeg
Mounting the fins

When looking at the bottom of the inflatable kayak you easily see that it’s is designed for maximum stability. The bottom is very flat, almost like a board. In addition, the side tubes are mounted very low, so that the kayak has a maximum width on the water surface. This is good for tipping stability but disadvantageous for the performance on the water.

In addition, there are two drain openings in the center right and left. These can be opened from the inside to drain water standing in the boat during a break on the shore. In the stern and bow there is also a drain opening, which are intended for draining the boat before dismantling.

itiwit x100 3 persons kayak hull
Drain valves at the bow, stern and in the middle of the kayak.

The seat cushions of the seats are inflated via a small Boston valve with an air pump or inflated with your mouth. So you can decide the hardness of the seat cushion yourself. As with the other Itiwit kayaks, the seat has a good height. On the one hand, it makes sitting in the boat much more comfortable and on the other hand, you do not sit immediately in the wet, if water comes into the boat.

itiwit x100 seat
Inflating the seat cushion
itiwit x100 manual how to
Placing the seat in the kayak
itiwit kayak seat adjustment
Attaching the backrest

A 20-30 liter dry bag can be attached on the stern with the bungee cord. There is also room for a larger backpack behind the third seat. This is then no longer completely on the stern, but hangs partly then inside the boat.

itiwit kayak space for luggage
Thanks to the bungee cord on the stern you can easily store a dry bag

Review on the water of the Itiwit x100+ 3 seater

The Itiwit x100+ is a 3-person kayak that can also be reconfigured as a 2- or 1-person kayak. We tested all three configurations on the water. The side and front and rear carry handles make the inflatable kayak easy to carry alone or with someone else to the water.

On the water, the kayak has a very high tipping stability in all 3 configurations, making it ideal for paddling beginners. Due to the firm drop-stitch floor the entry and exit is very easy, because the floor hardly gives way compared to traditional inflatable kayaks without drop-stitch floor.

itiwit x100 3 seater kayak
Iitiw tx100+ 3 seater as 3 person kayak
itiwit kayak 2 or 3
... as 2 person kayak
inflatable kayak itiwit solo paddling
as 1 person kayak

The Itiwit X100+ 3 seater as 1 person kayak

In the 1-person configuration, the rocker of the kayak (the curved part in the bottom of the kayak hull that connects the bow with the stern.) is the biggest, so the waterline is much smaller than the actual length of the kayak. The water position of the boat is significantly worse compared to the 2 and 3-person configuration, as you can see for yourself in the photos below.

Also, like the Itiwit Touring 2-seater or Itiwit x100+ 2-seater, it lacks a footrest if you seriously want to paddle the kayak alone for a longer distance. On rivers, where you want to float down for the most part, paddling from time to time a bit and otherwise just correcting the direction, it may still work. On standing water, we recommend the Itiwit x100+ 3-seater as a 1-person kayak only if you occasionally want to go on a small leisurely paddling tour, i.e. where staying and relaxing on the water is the focus.

itiwit x100 3 seater inflatable kayak
If you want to paddle the kayak mainly alone, you are better off with another inflatable kayak

The Gumotex Solar (2+1 person kayak with the same boat length) works much better as a 1-person kayak. You can paddle it solo without any problems and reach a good speed.

The Itiwit x100+ in the 1-person configuration feels quite bulky and unwieldy on the water. The paddle stroke should not be too strong, so that the tracking while paddling still remains in an acceptable range.

The Itiwit X100+ 3 seater as 2 person kayak

With 2 people, the kayak can be paddled much better. However, we have the feeling that you sit quite far from each other, ie the front paddler sits quite far forward and the rear paddler quite far back. This puts weight on the stern and bow, so the kayak lies better in the water and creates a longer waterline.

Nonetheless, we would have liked longer seat side straps and a continuous Velcro strip on the bottom so you can place the seats more variably in the boat. The Velcro strip for attaching the seat cushions to the floor would do the job. This is because the person behind has a lot of legroom, which he cannot use in most cases, and the person in front still has enough legroom, but much less.

When paddling with another person, the straight running characteristic is alright. However, if you stop paddling, the boat drifts quickly. A speed of 4.8 to 5.5 km/h (3 – 3,4 mph) is possible on average, depending of course on your own paddle stroke, the double paddles themselves, the weight distribution and the weather conditions.

itiwit inflatable kayak review
It can be well paddled by two people

The Itiwit X100+ 3 seater as 3 person kayak

Although the kayak is quite short for a 3-person kayak with a length of 410 cm, paddling with 3 people works quite well. We (189 cm / 76 kg, 186 cm / 74 kg, 174 cm / 82 kg) did not have enough space to stretch out our legs slightly bent. 

Still, the interior of the kayak is wide enough so that you can sit well in a slight cross-legged position. Since the seat cushion is high enough, sitting or paddling cross-legged for several hours is not uncomfortable. Alternatively, you sit in the boat with your legs strongly bent. Regardless of the seating position, we and friends of ours see the Itiwit x100 as a kayak to use for a short and relaxing afternoon trip (2-3 hours).

3 person inflatable kayak
Paddling the Itiwit x100+ 3 seater close to the max. load

When paddling with three people, it is quite possible for the rear paddler to steer the boat alone. On a lake or very calm river, at least two people should paddle to make reasonable progress. However, on rivers with noticeable current, it is also sufficient for the rear paddler to do some paddling and steer with good foresight, meanwhile the front people mostly relax and enjoy their time on the water. This was much more relaxing for the rear paddler in that case than if all three people were paddling.

When all three people are paddling, the paddlers need to be well synchronized. Otherwise, the rear paddler must not only steer but also constantly compensate for the uneven paddle strokes of the front paddlers. Due to the short boat length for a 3-man kayak, paddlers with their double-bladed paddles will quickly get in each other’s way if they are not paddling in sync. Three paddlers can reach 5.6 km/h (3,5 mph), up to a maximum of 6.1 km/h (3,8 mph). Please consider these values only as rough reference values.

itiwit x100 kayak river
Paddling the kayak with three people

The side cutouts in the middle of the drop stitch floor (where the drain holes are) have proven to be very practical. If a little more water comes into the boat, the water mainly accumulates there and the bottom remains free of water. In addition, the seat cushions are nice and high, so in most cases the seat remains dry.

Also super handy are the pockets on the bow and on the backrests. This gives every paddler the opportunity to store a snack and a drinks bottle within easy reach.

Itiwit x100+ 2 seater vs 3 seater

Itiwit x100+ is available in 3-seater and 2-seater versions. The two kayaks differ in price, weight, dimensions, load capacity and color. Otherwise, the two kayaks are identical in terms of tipping stability, material, air pressure and features.

itiwit x100 review 2 vs 3 seater
The Itiwit x100+ is available as a 2 seater (yellow) and 3 seater (blue)

If you are looking for a 3-person kayak, the decision between the two models is already made. But how does it look if you want to paddle the kayak only alone or with another person? Should you buy the 2-seater or better the 3-seater?

The 3-seater has a 50 kg higher load capacity (i.e. 245 kg instead of 195 kg), which means that the paddlers can weigh more and at the same time still carry some extra stuff. There is also significantly more room to stretch your legs in the 45 cm longer 3-seater, especially for the rear paddler. In addition, you have the possibility to place one or two large bags in the middle without disturbing the paddling. For two, the 3-seater is about 0.5 km/h (0,3 mph) faster and drifts less when you stop paddling.

Only because of the slightly better driving characteristics, however, we would not advise the 3-seater. If you really want to have noticeably better driving characteristics, you should rather buy another kayak like the Gumotex Solar (same boat length), which can be paddled very well both alone and with another paddler.

The Itiwit x100+ 3-seater is recommended if you really want to use it as a 3-person kayak, or at least have that option. Also, the 3-seater is recommended if you need a higher load capacity. Then the slightly better driving characteristics are a nice side effect. In the end, from our point of view, both are inflatable kayaks for paddling beginners who are looking for an inflatable kayak with a robust boat skin and high tipping stability.

Dismantling the Itiwit x100+

The big advantage with the Itiwit x100+ over an Itiwit Touring 3-seater is that it is much faster to dismantle. The seats and the drop-stitch floor are removed from the boat. If there is water in the kayak, you can drain it through the screw-on drain holes. Afterwards, the inflatable kayak can be easily wiped dry with a towel. Since the boat is designed very open, you can reach everywhere with the towel.

itiwit kayak quality
The kayak has a high rocker
drain valve itiwit kayak
Drain opening at the stern
inflatable kayak itiwit decathlon
Dismantled kayak

During dry wiping, we again took a closer look at the bondings. Here we had to find processing problems last year with the Itiwit x100+ 2-seater. The bottom was not cleanly glued to the side tubes. This did not affect the functionality of the kayak, but is still not nice for a new product.

It’s a real pity that we found workmanship issues in this area on this one as well. It’s a pity because the bottom is sometimes the most heavily used area and otherwise the boat is cleanly finished overall. When wiping dry the crevices between the floor and the side tubes, which were still filled with air, it sounded like Velcro was coming loose. Most likely it was the bonding. In the following photos you can see this place where the bonding came loose.

Previous
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The next time we dismantle, we will let the air out completely and then wipe it dry. This puts less stress on the bonding. A stable bonding should still put it away without problems. When asked at Decathlon, the manufacturer told us that such a thing is not normal and can not assure us whether it has an impact on the durability. On the next tour, it had no effect on the functionality and the adhesions did not loosen further. Nevertheless, we advise you to check the adhesions when buying the boat.

Strengths and weaknesses of Itiwit x100+

The Itiwit x100+ is one of the most tip stable inflatable kayaks we have paddled and offers a high level of features for the price (3rd seat included, good seating comfort, drop stitch floor). Overall, the kayak has a good finish. Only the gluing between the floor and the side tubes have small defects. We had the same defect last year when testing the Itiwit x100+ 2-seater.

The material is robust and if the bonding on the inside of the bottom was clean, we could not complain. Nevertheless, the kayak does not come close to the high quality of a Gumotex or Advanced Elements kayak. In the entry-level segment (eg Sevylor, Intex, …), however, the Itiwit x100 offers much more in terms of workmanship and robustness.

+ very easy assembly and dismantling + spacious interior + very high tipping stability + robust boat skin + high air pressure and thus very good stiffness for a boat in this price range + safe entry and exit through drop-stitch floor + Third seat already included + high seat cushion and good seating comfort + replaceable drop-stitch floor + high recreational value (paddling with family or friends) + useful features (paddle holder, side carrying handles, bungee cord on the bow to store luggage, bag on the backrest, …) + transport backpack included + suitable as a bathing boat (due to the high tipping stability entry out of the water is possible) + spare parts can be ordered separately

– wider and flatter hull and therefore slower – the bottom with the side tubes was not sufficiently or improperly glued for our model (so far no effect on the functionality of the kayak) – moderate driving characteristics – least suitable as a 1-person kayak – in 2-person configuration, the two seats can only be variably placed in the boat to a limited extent

Final notes on the Itiwit x100+ 3 seater

From our point of view, Decathlon has done a lot right with the Itiwit x100+ and developed an inflatable kayak that clearly stands out from the inexpensive inflatable kayaks from Intex, Sevylor and Bestway and, with the drop-stitch floor, offers real added value in this price range.

The x100+ is significantly more dimensionally stable due to the drop-stitch floor and the higher air pressure of the side tubes, it has a significantly more robust boat skin (which can also be repaired if damaged), it has a higher seating comfort due to the high seat cushions and stable backrests, it is more tilt-resistant and it can be easily wiped dry after the tour. In terms of driving characteristics (especially speed, tracking stability, gliding characteristics), the x100+ offers no significant advantages over the boats from Intex, Sevylor and Co.

If you are looking for a kayak with great driving characteristics, which can be used for long day trips (> 20 km), regardless of whether alone, with another paddler or two other paddlers, should take a closer look at other inflatable kayaks from manufacturers like Advanced Elements or Gumotex.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. how is it compare to the iywit 3 that is a lot cheaper?

    1. Hi,

      I assume that you mean the Itiwit Touring 3, which is indeed cheaper. The price difference between the x100 and the Touring is justified. The x100 comes with a more robust and thicker boat skin and doesn’t need a nylon cover like the Touring. Consequently, the x100 is much easier to dry. In addition to that the pressure of the x100 is higher and gives the boat a better rigidity, which improves paddling performance. The drop-stitch floor is another aspect, which gives the kayak a nice finish and a clean interior. You can check the review of the Itiwit Touring 2, which is on our website as well and you see the differences in detail between the two models. 🙂

      Best regards
      Christian

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