Reviews You Can Rely On

Jackson Staxx Review

An incredibly stable sit-on-top kayak that is ready for lazy river floats
Jackson Staxx
Credit: Jackson Kayak
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $700 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Pros:  Very stable, comfortable seat, ample storage
Cons:  Heavy, not agile, seat straps not designed for heavier paddlers
Manufacturer:   Jackson Kayak
By Sara James ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 9, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 11
  • Glide and Tracking - 30% 6.0
  • Maneuverability - 20% 5.0
  • Stability - 20% 9.0
  • Comfort - 10% 9.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 7.0
  • Portability - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Jackson Staxx delivers a comfortable and stable experience on gentle waters. Measuring in as the widest of all the kayaks we tested this boat is hard to tip, but if you do, the easy grab handles and self-draining design make it easy to self-rescue. The picnic seat design is comfortable but not as robust as the rest of this sturdy beast. The Staxx was one of the heaviest kayaks we tested but it also had some was also best-designed handles, easing the pain of carrying it considerably. The internal storage is conveniently located, but not as large as a craft this size could deliver. The real star feature of this kayak is the deck space, leaving room for a small dog, cooler, or tackle box. If you have additional items to carry, this craft will be among the best kayaks for you.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Jackson Staxx
This Product
Jackson Staxx
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $700 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$750 List
$749.99 at Amazon
$430 List
Check Price at REI
$600 List
$479.99 at Amazon
$320 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
66
72
70
69
65
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Very stable, comfortable seat, ample storageExtremely stable, great tracking, very durable, comfortable, stackableVery lightweight, easy to paddle, comes with paddle, inexpensive as they comeVery large cockpit, stable, easy-to-adjust seat, includes storage compartmentVery light and portable, maneuvers well, stable, inexpensive, large open cockpit
Cons Heavy, not agile, seat straps not designed for heavier paddlersHeavy to carry, no internal dry storageThin plastic, harder to drain, not enough leg room for tall paddlersSluggish, difficult to load, drink holder is far away from seat, no cover for storageNo seat cushions, hard to reach and adjust foot braces, not a lot of weight capacity
Bottom Line An incredibly stable sit-on-top kayak that is ready for lazy river floatsA super solid and stable all-around kayak great for any age or ability level at a modestly affordable priceThis highly economical package will get you on the water having fun in calm waters, without breaking your bank to buy or breaking your back to carryA comfortable and stable kayak ideal for casual days paddling on calm water that comes at a reasonable priceThis is a dependable option for beginner paddlers who aren't ready to invest in a high-performance boat
Rating Categories Jackson Staxx Ocean Kayak Malibu... Pelican Brume 100XP Old Town Vapor 10 Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Glide and Tracking (30%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Maneuverability (20%)
5.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
Stability (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort (10%)
9.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
Construction Quality (10%)
7.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
4.0
Portability (10%)
4.0
4.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Jackson Staxx Ocean Kayak Malibu... Pelican Brume 100XP Old Town Vapor 10 Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Length 10'-8" 11'-5" 10'-0" 10'-0" 10'-0"
Width 33" 32" 28" 28.5" 30"
Weight 64 lbs 59 lbs 40 lbs 47 lbs 40 lbs
Height 10.5" 12" 14" 16.8" 13"
Weight Capacity 375 lbs 360 lbs 275 lbs 325 lbs 250 lbs
Material/Construction Polyethylene Singler layer polyethylene RAM-X Premium polyethylene plastic Single Layer Polyethylene UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene
Features Fold down seat, multiple grab handles, integrated bow and stern webbing Tri-form hull with an integral keel and sponsons, AirGo molded in seat and seat pad with adjustable AirComfort backrest, molded-in foot wells and calf rest, paddle holders, side/stern/bow carrying handles, molded-in oversized bow and stern tank wells with bungees, Splash resistent QuickStash dry hatch, 2 molded in fishing rod holders, 3 water bottle holder, replaceable skid plate. 2-piece Poseidon paddle, paddle tie-down, Twin-arched multi-chine hull with drain plug, cockpit table with a bungee cord, bottle holder, Molded footrests, knee pads and an adjustable ERGOLOUNGE padded backrest with ERGOFORM seat cushion. Adjustable Comfort Flex seat, Glide Track foot brace system ,Stern day well, Molded-in cockpit tray with cup holder, Molded-in paddle rest, Built in carry handles, Thigh pads, Drain plug, Skid plate Adjustable padded backrest, rear gear compartment with bungee shock cord, adjustable foot braces, water bottle storage, carrying handles, paddle holder, padded thigh braces.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Jackson Staxx is a 10-foot, 8-inch long, and 33-inch wide sit-on-top kayak with a raised, metal framed seat. It weighs 64 pounds and has two storage compartments, one that is sealed dry and one that is open and secured with a bungee cord.

Performance Comparison


Jackson Staxx kayak - delivering superior comfort and ease of access, the jackson staxx is...
Delivering superior comfort and ease of access, the Jackson Staxx is a great option for paddlers wanting extra leg room.
Credit: Sara James

Glide and Tracking


The Staxx has an average length compared to other recreational kayaks we tested but is also among the widest out of the lineup, and it sports a relatively flat hull. This doesn't help it glide very fast.

Jackson Staxx kayak - given the shorter and wider nature of this kayak, it cuts through...
Given the shorter and wider nature of this kayak, it cuts through the water relatively well but doesn't glide as well as longer models with v-shaped hulls.
Credit: Sara James

This kayak takes a few extra strokes to get up to full speed and it will never be the fastest kayak on the water. However, the wide design delivers stable tracking and helps keep this barge moving in the right direction.

Maneuverability


The long and wide profile of the Jackson Staxx makes it a slow turner. This kayak took the longest to turn 360 degrees out of all the kayaks we tested. In addition, it also was a slow and awkward mover through our timed slalom course. The multi-chimed hull profile further lags the process.

Jackson Staxx kayak - the staxx is well suited to gently meandering rivers but wouldn't be...
The Staxx is well suited to gently meandering rivers but wouldn't be suited for more technical or rocky river sections where maneuverability is more critical.
Credit: Sara James

As you have less connectivity with the kayak in this open seat design, you also lose out on some efficiency of control. This doesn't mean that you won't be able to turn this kayak, but it may take you a few extra strokes.

If you do end up tipping over this kayak or taking on big splashes of water, the self-bailing design makes it quick to empty. In addition, the large handles make re-righting this heavy kayak slightly easier than even some of the much lighter options.

Jackson Staxx kayak - the large side handles on the staxx make it easier to re-right if...
The large side handles on the Staxx make it easier to re-right if you do manage to tip it over.
Credit: Sara James

Stability


The Jackson Staxx stood out as one of the very top performers in this important metric. Not only is this stable to sit on, but many users will find it easy to stand on this kayak, making it a good platform for casting a reel. Our (smaller) testers were literally jumping up and down on the Staxx without rocking the boat.

Jackson Staxx kayak - the jackson staxx was one of the more stable kayaks we tested thanks...
The Jackson Staxx was one of the more stable kayaks we tested thanks to its wide and stable hull design.
Credit: Sara James

The superior stability of the Staxx makes it a fun option for jumping off into the water. It's also easy to get back onto. Those that like to recreate with their dogs will also appreciate the stability and ease of access that the Staxx affords.

Comfort


The open style of this kayak design, as well as the raised seat, make this boat very comfortable to lounge in with plenty of room to stretch even the longest of legs. Tall paddlers enjoyed using this kayak more than any others. The bottom of the seat is molded into the plastic of the kayak and the back of the seat is adjustable with two buckles on either side. The high seat back was very comfortable, as long as you were wearing the right style of PFD ( thin back or high back).

Jackson Staxx kayak - the raise seat floor and high seat back, help to create a very...
The raise seat floor and high seat back, help to create a very comfortable seating system.
Credit: Sara James

Unlike many other kayaks, the molded seat is raised a few inches helping to avoid getting a wet bottom from the splashes that come through the scupper holes, or from the water that collects in the bottom of your kayak. With bountiful on-deck storage and a bit of dry in-deck storage, this kayak can comfortably carry you and your cooler down some cruisey rivers or ocean channels.

Depending on what you intend to do with your kayak, the rear storage well provides ample room for a child or a small dog. Depending on your weight with this kayak you can bring along a friend without much stress.

Construction Quality


The kayak shell is made of uncompromising plastic, and we suspect can handle far more than the actual kayak is designed for.

The Staxx has a conveniently placed internal storage hatch, which can hold a small stash (approximately 7.5 liters) of essentials. Given the large capacity of this kayak, we had hoped this would hold a bit more in these dry storage areas. Jackson advertises this compartment as semi-dry, however, we had issues keeping the lid completely sealed from wetness.

Jackson Staxx kayak - the quasi dry storage compartment is convinient to access but...
The quasi dry storage compartment is convinient to access but smaller than we had hoped.
Credit: Sara James

Our storage hatch on the Jackson Staxx seemed to expand in hot weather and then loosen in cool conditions, often resulting in the hatch lid falling off when you weren't expecting it. Without a security leash, it would also be easy to lose this important cover. Given the volume of the kayak, we were surprised how small the deck dry storage space actually was, with only enough space for small dry bags under 10 liters. The storage well at the rear of the kayak is considerably larger, however, this does not offer dry protection for your gear. Overall there is plenty of space to store things, we were just disappointed that there wasn’t more specifically dry storage on this barge of a kayak.

Jackson Staxx kayak - the non dry storage well in the rear of the kayak is quite large and...
The non dry storage well in the rear of the kayak is quite large and it is secured by a bungee cord
Credit: Sara James

We do have concerns about the weight capacity of the seat. We broke it with only a 185-pound paddler, and we know larger kayakers who would otherwise have found this kayak suitable. Replacement parts are available from the Jackson website and we have heard the replacement seat straps have stronger buckles. Hopefully, they upgrade the standard buckle to this superior quality soon, making it the standard.

The Jackson manufacturers are fond of fisherfolk with many bespoke design features to cater to their needs. With the Staxx, they have designed the geometry of this kayak to accommodate convenient fishing pole management. There is also the option to add in a Staxx-specific fishing kit which includes deck pads, rod holders, tackle pouches, and gear racks.

Portability


The Staxx is among the heaviest of all the kayaks we tested. This makes carrying it to and from the river a bit of a hassle in addition to the struggles of loading it onto your car's roof rack. It does have some of the most ergonomic handles we came across, which makes this task slightly more bearable, especially if you have two people. Those with kayak trailers will be grateful when hauling this kayak down to the beach.

Jackson Staxx kayak - the molded handles were some of our favorites to carry.
The molded handles were some of our favorites to carry.
Credit: Sara James

There is a replaceable skid plate on the rear hull of this kayak as the manufacturers clearly recognize that we may just end up dragging this beast.

Value


The Jackson Staxx is a hefty kayak and it comes in at a hefty price. That being said, its storage, versatility, and high load capacity mean that it's a great option for loading up for adventures or bringing a furry friend along, and you can’t put a price on that.

Conclusion


For those looking for a stable and comfortable float, the Jackson Staxx may be your boat. With bountiful on-deck storage and a bit of dry in-deck storage, this kayak can comfortably carry you and your cooler down some cruisey rivers or ocean channels.

Sara James
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More