REVIEW: Scout365 Inflatable Boat

Posted In: Blog, Boating, Camping Gear, National Parks, Product Review, Video

So, Scout Inflatables sent us an inflatable boat to review: the Scout365.

Boats and RVs go together like peas and carrots… peanut butter and jelly… political campaigns and allegations of sexual impropriety. (Err, you get the idea.) Go to any RV campground and you’ll find a vast array of portable boats.

For many years, my wife has been wanting a boat. Carrying a boat along to national parks and other scenic locales is a wonderful concept – in theory. With a boat you can see these areas from a completely different perspective. It’s an alternative to hiking, with the added bonus that few bear attacks have ever happened in deep water.

But the reality of Airstream and RV ownership is one of limited storage space. Heck, I don’t buy a pair of socks without carefully considering the storage issues. So I always wondered where exactly we’d store a boat if we got one. The usual solution, of course, is the roof of the tow vehicle. While there’s nothing wrong with rooftop storage, it certainly seems like a bit of a hassle. We often unhitch our truck and jaunt about town. Forgive me for saying so, but I’d rather not haul a couple of huge kayaks through the typical drive-thru.

And frankly, aesthetically it’s not the greatest look. I like our Airstream and truck to have a somewhat consistent and clean visual appearance in our YouTube videos. Strapping boats to the roof would just throw everything off visually.

Enter the Scout365. The natural tagline for this thing is “boat in a bag!” Yes, the Scout365 is an inflatable boat that rolls up and squeezes into a canvas storage bag. You can fit the entire kit-and-kaboodle in the bag – or at least the boat, its floor, the aluminum seats, the soft seat cover, and even the oars! Said bag easily fits in the bed of our pickup truck SEEMORE. This is a neat trick. At last we have a boat that I don’t mind hauling around.

But what about the quality? The word “inflatable” may bring to mind cheap and flimsy rafts, floaties, and rainbow colored unicorns that are commonly sold in drugstores and supermarkets. Rest assured that “inflatables” have come a long way, baby. The Scout365 is a new breed of inflatable – the fabric is an extremely tough PVC. The floor uses drop stitch technology that inflates to a consistency so rigid you can stand on it. The boat is made of the same thick stuff used in saltwater dingys and whitewater rafts. Once properly inflated, its solid feel inspires confidence. It has a 500 pound carrying capacity and comes with a 2-year warranty.

The Scout365 includes a number of thoughtful touches in the design. Its got built in carry handles, D-rings, and safety ropes. Tough rubber strakes protect the underside of the boat. The inflation valves are a high quality industry standard part (the same robust valve is used all over the world in such products). Seams are hand glued, which is apparently the best way of handling such things.

The setup and inflation process takes us about 10-15 minutes. We get a little faster every time we inflate the boat.

The setup and inflation process takes us about 10-15 minutes. Scout Inflatables claims that it’s possible to setup the boat in less than 10 minutes. I don’t doubt this claim. We get a little faster every time we inflate the boat. The first times we inflated the boat, it took us about an hour. But our most recent attempt took only 15 minutes. Like everything else in life, with experience we’ll be able to accomplish the task faster. (Insert crude sexual joke here.)

Breakdown typically goes faster than setup. It’s an easy job to deflate and take apart the boat. The tricky step is cramming everything into the included storage bag. Once you perfect your technique, you really can fit everything into the bag.

The boat itself weighs around 70 pounds in the bag. I would compare the boat weight to that of a 2000W generator. While you probably don’t want to carry it on a three mile hike, it’s not unreasonable to lift and carry short distances.

Overall we really like the Scout365. Personally I’m pleased that we can have these experiences with a high quality boat that easily fits into our available storage space. My wife is happy too, because she finally has a boat.

Stay tuned for future videos and posts about the Scout365. Who knows, maybe we’ll put a motor on this thing and see what happens. 🙂

CLICK HERE to see the Scout365.

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Scout365 – Our Inflatable Boat!
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