QUICK ANSWER: YES, the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak is well-built for the $500+ price tag.
I have been using the Sport Fisher for fishing with my boys who are ages ten and seven. If we are paddling around a lake, but not fishing, all three of us can comfortable ride. When we start fishing, it is best for just one of the boys to come along — mostly for comfort and ease of casting. Even so, the three of us get nowhere near the 500-pound capacity of the boat. LifeTime advertises that three people can can comfortably sit in it. While this is true, one of those people needs to be a child. My wife — who is 5’10″ — can comfortably stretch out to catch some rays while I paddle around the river. This was particularly impressive during a run from the Rogue Brewery to Independence on the Willamette River.
My seven-year-old daredevil loves to ride the waves from passing boats while standing on the front. We have never even come close to tipping, thanks to the tunnel hull design and 36-inch width. It is easy to stand up in and I have often coasted into landing spots while standing. When finishing up a duck hunting trip down the Willamette River, it acted nicely as a paddle board and was easily maneuvered while standing. One note: It is a struggle to keep up with kayaks that don’t have the tunnel hull, but what you give up in speed you make up in comfort and stability.
For fishing, the back seat rides pretty high on the water, which I like, making it much more comfortable and easy to cast and retrieve while seated. I’m 6′ and 200 pounds, and this kayak is the most comfortable around. If you are thinking of fishing while sitting for more than two hours, you will want to invest in a better seat. For all other kayaking, the seat rests that come with it will work.
The Sport Fisher weighs in at 60 lbs and has a length of 10 feet. I can man handle the kayak onto the roof rack of the van by myself, but it is very easy for two people to move it around. A nice (unintentional) feature is that the Sport Fisher has an upturned nose, so when you flip it onto the roof rack it ends up being really aerodynamic. I haven’t lost it yet speeding down the highway, while a couple friends of mine have lost theirs (different brands) a few times.
Some nice features:
- 4 rod holders
- 3 cup holders
- Huge dry hold (essentially the entire inside of the kayak)
- Many tie downs
- Bungee strapping on the front
- Motor mount on the back
- 2 paddles included with paddle clips (not bungee)
- Color: Olive green
- Body material: Blow-molded polyethylene (I have beat the tar out of mine with no issues)
- Draft: 6 inches
- Max capacity: 500 pounds
- Length: 10 feet
- Width: 36 inches
- Weight: 60 pounds
My 10 year old can maneuver the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak; my seven year old can safely ride in it; and I can fish and duck hunt from it all very comfortably. If you get one, you won’t regret it.