Bote Deus Aero 11' Review
Compare to Similar Products
Bote Deus Aero 11'
$1,199 at Amazon
$1,199 at REI
$602.05 at Amazon
$587.93 at REI
$321.49 at Amazon
|Pros||Multiple uses, plenty of space on board, great pump included, durable construction||No inflation required, lightweight, very durable, stable, fast, tracks well, easy set up and clean up||Handles well, high durability, fast, stable, fabric is water resistant||Handles and tracks well, very durable, helpful features, option for single or tandem paddling||All-inclusive package, adjustable seating, can paddle tandem or solo, comfortable seats|
|Cons||Poor tracking, SUP configuration has sidewalls, very heavy, high cost, paddles not included||Expensive, seat cushion thin, rigid pack makes for an awkward carry||Heavy, floor difficult to inflate, hard to drain||Heavy, no paddles or pump included, expensive||Awkward 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 missions||This lightweight and foldable kayak has performance closer to that of a hardshell and is a joy to paddle||With excellent handling, a long lifespan, and great comfort, this kayak will go the distance||Rather heavy but a great performance for a two-person model that can also be used solo||An 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|
|Ease of Set Up (20%)|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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