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Bote Deus Aero 11' Review

A stylish convertible option with plenty of space for leisure paddling but lacking the details for serious missions
Bote Deus Aero 11'
Credit: BOTE
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Price:  $1,300 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Multiple uses, plenty of space on board, great pump included, durable construction
Cons:  Poor tracking, SUP configuration has sidewalls, very heavy, high cost, paddles not included
Manufacturer:   BOTE
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 18, 2022
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 17
  • Handling - 25% 6.5
  • Comfort - 25% 7.5
  • Ease of Set Up - 20% 8.0
  • Portability - 20% 6.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Bote Deus Aero converts between a sit-on-top kayak and a SUP for two types of paddling. It has tall, sturdy sides on the front that keep the bow storage area drier than average, while water easily drains out the back of the boat. A removable fin helps this extremely buoyant boat track like your average SUP. Though it doesn't come with either paddle you'll need, it includes a quality hand pump with dual action for faster filling, deflation capacity for easier take down, and a PSI gauge to know when your Deus is full. Though we love the multi-use concept, we're not totally sold that this watercraft does a great job in either mode. But if you want options for a leisurely day on the lake, you may just love the throne-like feel of the Deus.

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Bote Deus Aero 11'
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Bote Deus Aero 11'
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
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$519.93 at REI
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$699.00 at Amazon
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$350 List
$249.99 at Amazon
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Pros Multiple uses, plenty of space on board, great pump included, durable constructionNo inflation required, lightweight, very durable, stable, fast, tracks well, easy set up and clean upHandles well, high durability, fast, stable, fabric is water resistantHandles and tracks well, very durable, helpful features, option for single or tandem paddlingAll-inclusive package, adjustable seating, can paddle tandem or solo, comfortable seats
Cons Poor tracking, SUP configuration has sidewalls, very heavy, high cost, paddles not includedExpensive, seat cushion thin, rigid pack makes for an awkward carryHeavy, floor difficult to inflate, hard to drainHeavy, no paddles or pump included, expensiveAwkward bulky bag, foot pump is small, wobbly paddles
Bottom Line A stylish convertible option with plenty of space for leisure paddling but lacking the details for serious missionsThis lightweight and foldable kayak has performance closer to that of a hardshell and is a joy to paddleWith excellent handling, a long lifespan, and great comfort, this kayak will go the distanceRather heavy but a great performance for a two-person model that can also be used soloAn inexpensive and more comfortable way to get out on the water with your friends or by yourself
Rating Categories Bote Deus Aero 11' Oru Beach LT Advanced Elements A... Advanced Elements A... Sea Eagle 370 Pro
Handling (25%)
6.5
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.5
Comfort (25%)
7.5
9.0
8.5
8.0
6.5
Ease of Set Up (20%)
8.0
9.0
5.5
6.0
6.5
Portability (20%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
4.5
6.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
5.5
Specs Bote Deus Aero 11' Oru Beach LT Advanced Elements A... Advanced Elements A... Sea Eagle 370 Pro
Measured Weight (boat and storage bag only) 55.4 lbs 26.1 lbs 33.25 lbs 55.2 lbs 42.8 lbs
Capacity Single; 300 lbs Single; 300 lbs Single; 300 lbs Tandem; 550 lbs Tandem; 650 lbs
Kayak Size (length x width) 11' x 2' 9" 12' 3" x 2' 6" 10' 3" x 2' 9" 15' x 2' 8" 12' 6" x 2' 10"
Packed Size (length x width x height) 36" x 21" x 15" 32" x 28.5" x 11" 33" x 16" x 15" 35" x 21" x 12" 36" x 20" x 8"
Included Accessories Pump, repair kit Repair pieces Repair kit Repair kit Foot pump, repair kit, paddles
Material/Construction "Military-grade" PVC double-layered polypropylene, 10-year UV treatment Aluminum ribs in bow & stern, PVC-coated polyester Aluminum ribs in bow & stern, PVC tarpaulin, 3 layers rip-stop material 38 mil PVC
Features Adjustable foot brace, front bungees, carry handles, repair kit, converts to SUP (with sides) Adjustable foot brace and backrest, bulkheads, carry handles Adjustable backrest, bungees, pressure relief valve in floor, skeg Paddle keepers, seatback pockets, bungee straps, D-ring attachment points, converts to solo boat Seatback pockets, bow & stern grablines, drainage hole, adjustable seats, two small tracking fins, converts to solo boat

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bote Deus Aero 11' is a convertible sit-on-top kayak turned SUP-with-sides and a 300-pound capacity. It's made of thick "military grade" PVC with foam toppers and comes with a rolling bag, removable fin, repair kit, and its own PSI-measuring, dual action hand pump. It features a removable seat, bungee cords, and a host of optional accessories for additional purchase.

Performance Comparison


Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - the bote deus looks like a sit-on-top kayak and handles like a sup.
The Bote Deus looks like a sit-on-top kayak and handles like a SUP.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Handling


Unlike all the other inflatable kayaks we've tested, this conversion craft handles much more like a SUP than a kayak. That is, it floats on top of the water, rather than in it. Though it's 11 feet long, the only piece cutting through the water is the removable fin on the bottom, leaving you to steer it with your paddle instead of relying on the boat's shape to track in a straight line. If you're down with the handling and feel of a SUP, you may love the Bote Deus, though it differs because of its non-removable sides. On flat waters, they keep the bow of your boat dry; perfect for a bag of snacks or a four-legged friend. But in even moderate waves or on breezy days, the waves and wind hit those sides like a sail, causing instability and making it more challenging to steer.

Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - the sides of this boat do not come off. so while it tracks like...
The sides of this boat do not come off. So while it tracks like you're paddling a SUP, the waves and wind hit you like you're paddling a high profile kayak.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Comfort


Sitting in the removable seat made us feel like we were paddling from a supported and comfortable throne. Finding ourselves higher out of the water, we did need to use a longer kayak paddle than normal to get a more comfortable stroke. Getting on and off this board is rather easy, as its width renders it quite stable. For features, it has just a single section of bungee across the front. However, the Bote website offers dozens of optional add-ons, from magnetic tumblers and slide-in cup holders to matching bucket coolers and waterproof speakers.

Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - sitting atop this convertible kayak had us feeling like we were...
Sitting atop this convertible kayak had us feeling like we were sitting atop a fancy throne - bougie and decadent.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Ease of Set Up


As a kayak, the Deus has five chambers to fill, two of which are seat components. Clearly printed instructions on the watercraft make it easy to fill and know when your boat is ready to launch. The included hand pump is simple to use, though inflating to 15 PSI will never be as easy as most kayaks that require around 1-2 PSI. Our bigger struggles came when putting the Deus away. Because the sides are so thick, we quickly learned that using the deflation side of the pump is a must for getting it to fit back into its bag. Though it has plenty of straps to condense and hold it in place, we found it challenging to fit the boat, the seat, and the pump back into the bag and zip it closed — with no extra room for a paddle.

Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - the removable seat secures solidly in place and is simple to remove.
The removable seat secures solidly in place and is simple to remove.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Portability


The Deus weighs a whopping 55 pounds, putting it on par with the heavy-duty tandem models we tested. However, it's also made of far thicker materials than many of our other boats and is larger than most single kayaks in our lineup. We appreciate the wheels and thickly padded handles on the case, though we found they are nearly worthless in the sand and not much better on dirt trails. The Deus is also quite large when packed away, taking up more space in the garage than most of the other boats in our fleet.

Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - paddling the deus is far more fun than rolling its 55 pound case...
Paddling the Deus is far more fun than rolling its 55 pound case (not including the paddles) down a wooded path and across a sandy beach.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Durability


We're not sure what "military grade PVC" actually means, but it is impressively thick and filled us with confidence about this boat's ability to withstand bumps along the way. We had no issues or worries dragging the Deus across beaches, in shallow waters, or over minor submerged obstructions. Even the case is made of thick material with beefy zippers that tower over most of the competition's case durability.

Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - the materials used to make this convertible craft are thick and...
The materials used to make this convertible craft are thick and sturdy. Even the add-ons, like this bottom skeg are solid and easy to use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Bote Deus Aero 11'?


This is where the Deus falters. It's a very expensive boat that still needs two paddles (one for kayaking and one for SUPing) and a PFD to be a complete package. It also doesn't track well as a kayak and the sides catching wind and waves make us question it as a SUP. Like most hybrids, it tries to do a lot and doesn't do any one thing perfectly. However, it's a wonderfully comfortable leisure paddle craft that looks great and can be fully outfitted with matching accessories for a truly bougie boat. If you have the money to blow and access to calm waters, we know you'll still have a lot of fun using this unique craft.

What Other Inflatable Kayaks Should You Consider?


If the Bote Deus caught your eye as a "two boats in one" option, that's fair. If what you want out of your kayaking and SUPing experience is feeling like you're on your own leisure cruise and you like outfitting your gear with all the coolest matching accessories, you'll probably enjoy the Deus. Otherwise, consider looking at our inflatable SUP review for that piece and keep your boat just a boat. You can save some money on that side by considering the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame or the Aquaglide Navarro 110. If you're not convinced by the whole inflatable thing but love innovation, the origami-inspired Oru Beach LT is our favorite, followed by the segmented Pakayak Bluefin 142. Both handle like a dream and are highly durable.

Bote Deus Aero 11' inflatable kayak - though its performance as a kayak and a sup aren't blowing us away...
Though its performance as a kayak and a SUP aren't blowing us away, we do enjoy lounging all day in and on this interesting watercraft.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Maggie Nichols
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