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red paddle co. paddle board

Paddling the Red Paddle Co. Voyager with the family and the pup. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

The Inertia

Inflatable paddle boards are interesting beasts. They’re easy to store, transport, and travel with, but they take some work to set up and don’t typically perform as well as traditional hard stand up paddle boards. As someone who both paddles and travels a lot, I wanted an inflatable board in my quiver that was both easy to pack and fun to paddle. Much to my delight, the Red Paddle Co. Voyager is both – it’s stable, fast, and incredibly portable.

Pros Cons
RSS batens make it rigid and fast Narrower width makes board less stable
Nice accessories Doesn’t come with a paddle
Bag has wheels Expensive

First Impressions

Straight out of the box, the Red Paddle Co. Voyager paddle board package is something to write home about. The included carrying bag is large but also has wheels. If you’ve ever traveled with an inflatable paddle board then you know this is a game changer. Padded shoulder straps are great (which this board bag also has) but wheels make traveling with a hefty inflatable paddle board much easier.

When I got the board inflated and ready to go, I knew it was going to be a fun one. The construction is super rigid and I love the assortment of handles and straps. It has a twin fin configuration (two fins), which you don’t usually see on paddle boards, so I was curious to see how it performed.

Notable Features

red paddle co. paddle board

Available Sizes: 12′ | 12′ 6″ | 13′ 2″
Size Tested: 12′ x 28″ x 4.7″
Bag Size: 980 mm (H) x 380 mm (W) x 360 mm (D)
Bag Volume: 134 L
Weight: 27 lbs
Fin Configuration: 2 removable 8” touring fins
Complete Package Weight: 43.8 lbs

There’s so much to say about the Red Paddle Co. Voyager. As far as equipment goes, included in the package are the board, pump, backpack, and fins, so you have everything you need to get on the water (minus the paddle).

Like most iSUPS, this board takes a bit of work to get it ready to roll. To make the experience as painless as possible, Red Paddle Co. included their signature twin chamber pump for speedy inflation. I have tried a lot of inflatable paddle boards and pumps in my time as a paddler, and this is hands down one of the most efficient pumps I have ever used. That being said, it still requires some manual labor – if you’re not keen, consider purchasing an electric pump.

At 12 feet long and 28 inches wide, this is a long and narrow board, made for speed. More of a touring board than an all-around model, the V-Hull allows the board to cut through the water with ease. The board also includes front and rear D-ring tie-down hooks as well as bungee straps for securing gear, which I found super helpful for attaching dry bags and other adventure essentials.

A standout feature of this board is Red Paddle Co’s patented RSS batten system. To make the board more rigid, it comes with stiff inserts that you slide into pockets on the side rails. The result? Ann inflatable paddle board that is surprisingly stable and performs similar to a hard board.

red paddle co. paddle board

Pit stop during a paddle board adventure in Hawaii. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

Drawbacks of the Red Paddle Co. Voyager

At 28” wide, the Voyager is definitely on the narrow side. I am a very experienced paddler, so I prefer narrow boards as they are easier on my shoulders and are more hydrodynamic in general. But, if you’re a newer paddler or don’t have great balance this might not be the board for you. I did, however, have a few (fairly athletic) novice paddlers take the board out for a spin, and they didn’t have any problems. Think about your own skillset or consider renting a touring iSUP from a local shop before purchasing to see if such a design would be a good fit for you.

I have no qualms with the fins that this board came with. They are plastic, but for an inflatable board this wasn’t a problem for me. The only issue I did have was that this board is designed to specifically work with the Red Paddle Co. 8” Fin (Voyager) so replacing it requires a bit more work and money (they’re $39 a piece which seems pricey for plastic fins).

At $1,649, this board is expensive. But, you get what you pay for. This is a high-quality board that ticks all of our boxes – you’ll have to decide for yourself it that’s worth the price (for more budget-friendly options, check out our guide to the Best Inflatable Paddle Boards). All that said, and this is often a gripe with higher-end paddle boards in general, I do wish the paddle was included with the package.

Final Thoughts

I have paddled the Red Paddle Co. Voyager with my pup, with my friends/family, and by myself when I want to cover long distances quickly. Although the price is steep, it is one of the best inflatable stand up paddle boards I have ever tested thanks to its performance on the water, ease of use, and high-quality accessories. If you’re looking to go places with your paddle board, this is the board for you.

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Editor’s Note: To see how this board stacks up against the competition, check out our guide to The Best Inflatable Paddle Boards. For more options, including hardboards, here’s our overall Best Paddleboards Review. We’ve also reviewed The Best SUP Paddles, and The Best Lifejackets for Paddleboarding. Need something to wear when paddling? Here’s our guide to The Best Board Shorts, The Best Sun Hats, and The Best Rashguards. For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

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