Bonafide Kayak Review


Understandably, all kayakers and anglers are looking for that perfect kayak to optimize their trips and empower them to enjoy their journeys to the maximum!

Bonafide was able to offer numerous kayakers what they needed precisely, as the manufacturers are previous kayakers and anglers who know what kayaking is all about. However, in the past few years, Bonafide introduced many high-quality models that kept people wondering which model they should choose.

For that exact reason, we’ve developed this article providing a Bonafide Kayak Review to help you determine your essential needs and accordingly, help you make your final decision by narrowing down your final options.

Let’s delve into it!

Comparison Table:

ModelLengthWidthWeightStorage 
Bonafide RS117 353 cm85 cm75 lbs425 lbs
Bonafide EX123373 cm75 cm52 lbs375 lbs
Bonafide SS127383 cm85 cm94  lbs475 lbs
Bonafide SS107322 cm87 cm75 lbs425 lbs

The 4 Best Bonafide Kayaks Reviewed  

As mentioned earlier, Bonafide has been bringing a lot of upgrades when it comes to the world of kayaks. Choosing among the various options can be overwhelming, especially that most of them have a specific edge among the others! 

To help you with this confusion, continue reading to find a mini Bonafide kayak review on the top-selling kayaks that will certainly aid your final decision.

1. Bonafide RS117 – Best Overall

Bonafide RS117 kayak

Bonafide RS117 is a mixture of splendid qualities put together in one kayak to make anglers enjoy fishing more. What’s more, you get to enjoy these qualities at less than $1000.

For starters, the kayak is lightweight with ergonomic handles to comfortably carry your vessel from your vehicle to the water. Additionally, the kayak’s bottom is shielded with two skid plates, protecting it from any possible scratches that could happen while pulling it into the water.

As an angler, you would always seek comfortable seats from which you can perform accurate casts. Bonafide is aware of just that, which is why the RS117 has adjustable seats to give you full control over your casts and, furthermore, arrange the storage capacity as you please.

On that note, the 425-lbs storage capacity is an ideal space for extended fishing trips and offers you the perfect chance to go after trophies.

In addition, the RS117 can suit beginners too, not only experienced anglers, due to its hybrid catamaran hull, which achieves maximum kayak stability and eliminates any chance of falling off the kayak.

Lastly, if you’d like to take a quick break, you don’t need to worry about dropping your paddles; the kayak has a mesh paddle holder that you could use to keep your paddle by your side at all times.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Hybrid catamaran hull
  • Great value for money
  • Well-equipped for fishing

Cons:

  • The storage must be equally distributed

Bottom Line

If you like fishing for long days and catching trophies, you should opt for the RS117. Not only will it offer you maximum comfort, but also excellent leverage over your casts.


2. Bonafide EX123 – Runner Up

Bonafide EX123 kayak

Bonafide EX123 is one of the most exceptional kayaks in 2020. The “EX” stands for expedition, meaning that the EX123 is an excellent pick for kayakers who appreciate long trips or even short ones.

An essential factor that affects your comfort on long trips is the kayak’s seat, of course. The EX123’s seat is elevated, not as high as a sit-on-top kayak, yet attaining the simplicity of getting into a sit-on-top kayak.

Also, the 50-lbs kayak has a stern handle and a fat grip bow, allowing you to have a firm grip while carrying around the kayak, preventing the kayak from possible slippage. 

Plus, the hybrid catamaran hull will add more stability to the vessel without decreasing the kayak’s speed.

Moreover, its foam-padded, spacious cockpit contributes to your trip’s success, because if you aren’t comfortable in your seats, you may turn and go back home. Similarly, the foam-padded floors allow you to stand up freely, helping in fixing your footing when you stand. 

The EX123 is full of fishing-friendly features like a small waterproof box to keep your phone dry yet within reach. There’s also a cupholder where you can put a glass of water to stay hydrated.

Since the kayak is 373-cm long, you can’t expect the turning process to be very smooth, so you may need to train a bit on turning techniques. Also, it doesn’t come with a paddle holder, and that’s an extra feature that you should consider buying.

Pros:

  • Foam-padded, spacious cockpit
  • Fishing-friendly features
  • Supports stand-fishing
  • Elevates sit-in seat
  • Lightest Bonafide

Cons:

  • Hard to turn around
  • Not occupied with a paddle holder

Bottom Line

If you like traveling light, yet appreciate high-quality, fast kayaking, it’d be best to consider the EX123, as it can offer you comfiness and speed.


3. Bonafide SS127 – Most Expensive

Bonafide SS127

The SS127 is the first-ever kayak introduced by Bonafide in 2016. For a company’s first launching product, the kayak was extremely likable because of its high maneuverability and exclusively added features.

The stability of the kayak stood out, as it offered both primary and secondary stability, which wasn’t a common feature back in that year. Such stability could narrow down any chances of a kayaker falling off their vessel.

The kayak has a couple of wide, stern handles that allow a firm grip. However, it’d have been better if the kayak had extra handles, as it weighs about 75 lbs, which is quite heavy, and kayakers may need extra help to carry it from a place to another.

Moreover, the SS127 has front and back hatches for storage; both are within reach from the cockpit so that you can lean forward or backward to get whatever you need. As a result, most kayakers use front hatchers for storing paddles and rods.

Another fishing-friendly feature is a tackle drawer under the seat that could be easily opened. The drawer can store lure and tackle, keeping the gear within a grabbing distance from the kayaker.

Most people go through the dilemma of buying a sit-in or a sit-on-top kayak, but Bonafide SS127 presented a solution; this one has an adjustable seat that could be elevated or brought down when needed.

Some may say that stability must be affected when the seat is elevated. Surprisingly, both positions were equally stable. However, sit-on-top kayakers noticed that the kayak’s speed noticeably dropped.

Furthermore, if you like having your seat up, you should consider improving the kayak’s drainage system by adding extra scuppers to bail out excess water.

Pros:

  • Outstanding primary and secondary stability
  • Could be used on windy days
  • Within-reach tackle drawer
  • Front and back hatches
  • EVA-padding of cockpit’s center
  • Adjustable seating positions

Cons:

  • Speed changes according to the seat’s position
  • Needs extra handles
  • Relatively expensive

Bottom Line

The SS127 comes with a vast range of options like adjustable seatings and excellent storage capacity that you’ll undoubtedly admire. The kayak might be a bit pricey, but you won’t regret spending your money on such a high-end vessel.


4. Bonafide SS107 – Best for Fishing

Bonafide SS107

The SS107 is basically a smaller version of the SS127, yet offers the same quality and stability and at a lower price.

Thanks to its smaller size, fishers loved taking the SS107 on their fishing trips. The kayak’s stability allows you to stand while fishing and gives you a magnificent sight about what lies ahead of you.

It also allows you to win a lot of fish-fights with trophies without flipping the kayak. It even possesses a tackle drawer to keep everything you need within a grabbing distance from the cockpit.

Also, the SS107 has a HiRise seating system. The seat is comfy and adjustable, and can be fixed to an elevated position, keeping your knees bent and your back comfortable. If you would like to go faster with your kayak, you can lower your seat and paddle with maximum speed until you reach your destination. 

Some may wonder if they’ll be able to switch seating positions while kayaking; the answer is yes. You may need to try changing the seating position while still on the shore, so you can know the technique by heart when you’re in the middle of the water.

Another quite important feature is the well-structured drainage system. The kayak has a DryPod, which bails out excess water along with a couple of scuppers.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Awesome Stability
  • HiRise seating

Cons:

  • Only one DryPod

Bottom Line

If you loved the SS127, but you need a more compact, cheaper option, the Bonafide SS107 is the one for you. It offers the same specs with few additions to match a smaller-sized kayak.


Final Words

As previously mentioned, Bonafide kayaks are one of a kind, and they’re best known for their stability and convenience for fishing. 

A good quality kayak doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to splurge your money. The RS117 and EX123 are living proof of that fact. 

With less than $1000, you can enjoy a successful fishing experience and catch trophies without the fear of losing any fish fights.

If you want a kayak that can get you through a windy day with the most fruitful outcome, the SS127 is the kayak for you. Just remember to set your seat to a lower position to enjoy maximum stability.

Categories Kayaks