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Current Designs Vision 140 Review

Posted by on August 13, 2012

The Deets:

Material: Composite Hybrid (fiberglass/aramid)

Class: Light-touring (transitional)

Length: 14’

Width: 24”

Weight: 43 lbs

Cockpit Size: 35.2” x 17.2” – Keyhole

Hull Type: Shallow “V” with soft chine

MSRP: $2,199 (with rudder add $200 +3lb.)

Image property of Current Designs

The Current Design Vision 140 complements the Vision series well. Providing an extra two-feet of waterline over its sibling, the Vision 120 SP, the 140 is crafted for coastal touring, day tripping, exploring lakes and rivers, and rivers. The Vision series is well-received in the paddling industry for its remarkable light-weight construction and affordable price points. The Vision 140 is no exception to this rule, weighing in at a mere 43 pounds and falling in at a price point just under $2,200, it provides a great alternative for those who do not want to break the bank for a light weight kayak.

The first time I gave the Vision 140 a test-run was on calm, flat water, with little wave or wind action. In these conditions, the Vision 140 paddles like a dream. It is responsive to each paddle stroke, provides an effortless glide, and maneuvers like a much shorter craft. While the 140’s primary stability may feel a bit twitchy to new paddlers at first, its overall stability is quite remarkable. Its final stability is rock solid and gives paddlers enough support for solid lean turns and sculling braces. I did not test the Vision 140 with a rudder, but from my personal experience and first impressions from the Vision 140, I do not think a rudder is a necessary option on this particular kayak.

Copyright © Robert Zaleski

On the Vision 140’s second test-run, the conditions were a lot less forgiving. With 20+ knot wind gusts and 1-2 foot ground swells, I released the Vision 140 in what would replicate more realistic conditions for a light-touring kayak. At first glance, I was impressed with how the Vision 140 handles the rougher waters. It was responsive on waves, and its shallow v-shaped hull provided a great planing surface without compromising much needed tracking.

When I entered more demanding waters (bow first into the waves) the Vision 140 penetrated through the waves, leaving the deck open and exposed to incoming waters. Not only did the deck fail to shed the waves, but they traveled right over the deck into the cockpit! Because the Vision 140’s deck is higher than the cockpit rim, an unskirted paddler has no chance of staying dry in rougher conditions. I’m not sure what the designers of the Vision 140 were thinking when they constructed the cockpit rim below the forward deck, but it creates an overly wet and exposed ride for the paddler. Due to the design of the 140s deck, I would highly recommend a neoprene sprayskirt to anyone planning on taking the 140 beyond calm, flatwater conditions. Current Designs claims that this is a beneficial design feature, stating “lower faceted decks that have minimal wind exposure making for an enjoyable in-control paddling experience,” but I would personally have to disagree.

Overall, the Vision 140 is a great transitional kayak which provides a formidable addition to the Vision product line. It tracks well, provides great primary and final stability, and moves efficiently in rougher conditions. If I were to make any design recommendations to the Current Design R&D team it would be to either lower the volume of the fore deck to bring the cockpit rim above the deck, or increase the height of the cockpit rim. For potential purchasers or paddlers, I would highly recommend the Vision 140 as a light weight, light-touring watercraft. But… make sure you invest in a sprayshirt before entering more demanding conditions.

Pros: light weight design, affordable price point, primary/final stability, spacious keyhole cockpit, sturdy foot braces, comfortable seat

Cons: cockpit rim is lower than the forward deck, does not shed water in rougher conditions, only available in two colors (yellow and red).

Demo Notes: I have test paddled the Vision 140 in a variety of conditions ranging from clam, flatwater to 20 knot winds and constant 1-2 foot swells.

-Alex

5 Responses to Current Designs Vision 140 Review

  1. John Kelly Ferguson

    Well I am fortunate for your review as I have been contemplating this very kayak for over a year now. And everything that you had commented in your “pro” relates to exactly what my desires are in a kayak. The “cons” i can certainly live with for the most part and the advice that you had mentioned earlier such as the “neoprene sprayskirt” I shall add to my order. Thanks again.

  2. Geoff Lister

    I test drove a Vision 140 today for about a half hour in calm water. It certainly accelerates quickly, turns easily and feels steady, but for me the true selling point is the comfort of the seat and the amount of foot room for someone with sized 15 feet. Most kayaks crimp big feet–this one has just enough room. The adjustable seat provides good back support for someone like me who has chronic back problems (this is the new seat, not the old one) and, because the seat back can easily be moved up and down, would allow you to re-enter the kayak from the rear if necessary. I also loved the light weight.

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