The Heritage Kayaks Featherlite 9.5 Angler Review
The Heritage Kayaks Featherlite 9.5 Angler Review fishing kayak is one of the lightest and user-friendly sit-on-top kayaks available.
The length of the kayak makes it great for those who prefer manoeuvrability over speed and will appeal to novices and experienced anglers alike.
You can personalise your kayak by adjusting the foot braces, which is a very handy feature of this kayak, especially for larger anglers.
With a comfortable seat and good protection from the elements, we can see anglers who enjoy a slower pace of fishing sending many happy afternoons on the lake with this kayak.
What to Consider when Buying a Fishing Kayak
Buying a kayak is not an inexpensive endeavour no matter how you twist or turn it so you want to make sure that you choose a kayak that meets every need. There are several things that you need to consider to ensure that you choose the right kayak to fit your needs. Consideration of the following criteria will help you to choose a kayak that you will be very happy with:
- Skill level
- Sit-on-top vs. Sit-in kayaks
- Type of construction
- Stability vs. Speed
- Intended use
|Type||Sit on top|
|Rigged for fishing||Yes|
- Due to the short 9’ 6” length this kayak is one of the most the Heritage maneuverable fishing kayak available
- Reasonably faster than some other short kayaks
- Spray skirt to protect you from bad weather
- Extremely light weight
- Comfortable seating
- Adjustable foot braces
- Good dry storage
- Very slow compared to most kayaks, although it has more speed than some other shorter models
- Limited amount of standing room
The Featherlite 9.5 is a great kayak for small or petite anglers who are looking for a lightweight model that is easy to transport and launch. This kayak will never reach high speeds but it is very reliable and it is reasonably durable despite its weight.
If comfort, stability and maneuverability are the key features that you look for in a kayak, we think that you are going to like this model from Heritage.
If you have been contemplating buying this model, read our review to see exactly what we like about it and what you may want to consider before taking the plunge.
Size and Weight
The Featherlite kayak has an overall capacity of 300 pounds and is great for anglers who are small to average or who are carrying an average amount of equipment.
The designers have been really clever in developing a shorter length kayak that comes in at just and 6 inches and thus offers great stability and maneuverability. Heritage have been making good kayaks for a long time now and this offering adds diversity to the market and will appeal to those who are struggling to find a truly stable kayak.
Coming in just 39 pounds it is extremely light compared to most other fishing kayaks, so those who are not very strong should not struggle to manage the kayak. We would say that you may need help moving the kayak any significant distance or when tying to your roof, but generally you should be ok, even if you are on the small side.
At just 39 pounds, this Heritage kayak it is one of the most lightweight fishing kayaks available. The size of the kayak makes it ideal for petite anglers or younger anglers who are just starting out in the sport.
Storage at home is not an issue with this kayak, if you do not have a garage, as it can easily be taken upstairs or stored at a height. For smaller anglers who struggle to find s suitable kayak, this is a very welcome addition to the market.
The sit-inside kayak gives anglers protection from the elements and is also great on sunny days, to keep the hot sun off you. The dreaded paddle drip will be kept at bay, unlike when you are in a sit-on-top kayak.
A lot of nature enthusiasts and photographers like this kayak as it protects equipment and it is very stable when moving about and bending over to get good shots of the wildlife. Anglers like this kayak for getting close to the action and feeling secure when struggling to get a big catch reeled in.
Without doubt, the highlight of this kayak is the very comfortable seating system that has been creatively designed. The seating is very durable and is made mostly out of aluminum.
You can adjust the seat to suit your fishing needs and can change it back to the standard seating position when paddling. This is one of the comfiest seats that we have ever tried and the great back support means that you can paddle for hours without becoming uncomfortable.
The fact that you can adjust the poor braces is also a massive tick in the box for larger anglers who become frustrated by standard braces and seats.
The Heritage Kayaks Featherlite 9.5
If you need to travel a long way to fish, this will take you a longer time to get there, making it better for shorter angling trips. That said, this kayak is good at getting through breakers and is good in rough waters. The slow speed and good maneuverability make this a good kayak for new starters, who will be able to build up their confidence in this kayak.
To be honest, most people who will like this kayak will not be attracted to rough waters and it is more suited to ponds, lakes and esturies for ultimate performance.
The kayak is designed to be flatter than standard kayaks, so to allow for plenty of room to stand up. The flat bottomed kayak is, however, full of protrusions that get in the way when standing.This is one of the very few downsides of this kayak and it is such a shame that they did not get it spot on.
Kayaks that look nice are great but of course that should not be where the story ends. Some features that you may not consider important can actually turn out to be very important like adjustable foot pegs that can give an angler a little extra leg room. Having the ability to get some extra space can be a very big deal when you are taller so don’t discount it.
The deck of the kayak is mounted with a rod holder mounted onto the apex of the cockpit rim. There is also 2 flush mounted holders that can be fond on either side aft of the pit. This is a great little addition to the kayak as you rod is a hand whenever you need it, so there is no scrambling around.
If you do not manage to fit all of your equipment into the holders it is not too much of a problem due to the stability of the kayak you are unlikely to lose any equipment, unless you are unlucky.
The stern is watertight and can be accessed via a hatch, where you will find good dry storage. One feature that we really like on this kayak is the electronic console that allows for dry storage and battery storage, if you are using fish finders.
The cockpit is reasonably large compared to standard kayaks and has foot pegs that can be customised to suit your needs. The foot pegs have use padding to increase comfort levels and you should not feel any pressure even after long periods of gliding through the water.
The clever rudders are a good design feature that enables anglers to move them from the cockpit whilst still maintaining power. You ca also get into tight spaces with this kayak, despite its size.
Just because the kayak is sparse does not mean it is no good, we do like a lot of things about this kayak and at such a reasonable price, it does not really matter that it is not all that in terms of features.
Overall, the Heritage kayak is better than some of the other brands of kayak on the market in the same price bracket and there are only a few niggling issues that we have with it, in terms, of the standing area and speed. The smaller issues, such as no anchor box, are easily glossed over and forgotten about.
Personally, this is not a kayak we would buy as it is more suited to those who like a slow kayak for use on lakes and esturies, rather than speedy kayaks that you can use on a variety of waters. That is not to say that we do not like this kayak, indeed it has some heat features such as the seating and the good maneuverability.
If you like a slower pace of life and feel more confident in a more stable kayak, this will be a better choice for you. If you are caught in two minds, the very attractive price tag may just sway you as it is does offer very good value for the money that you will pay out.