Bonafide RS117 Kayak Review

Bonafide RS117 Kayak Review

As an avid kayaker and passionate watersport enthusiast in Connecticut, I understand the significance of a reliable kayak in ensuring an unforgettable experience on the water. In the world of kayaking, choosing the right vessel can significantly impact your water adventures.

In this comprehensive Bonafide RS117 kayak review, we discuss the importance of finding a reliable kayak that suits your needs. The Bonafide RS117 kayak has garnered attention, and our aim is to provide you with a detailed analysis to aid your decision-making process. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker seeking an upgrade or a newcomer looking for your first kayak, understanding what sets the RS117 apart and how it can enhance your experiences is essential. We’ll delve into its design, construction, performance on the water, as well as its pros and cons to offer a comprehensive perspective that matches your intent—making your kayaking adventures unforgettable.

With kayaking gaining popularity in the scenic waterways of Connecticut, having a kayak that combines innovation, durability, and comfort is crucial. Join me as we explore the Bonafide RS117’s potential to elevate your kayaking adventures.

Bonafide RS117 Specs:

  • Length: 11 feet 7 inches (approximately 3.53 meters)
  • Width: 33 inches (approximately 83.8 centimeters)
  • Weight: 75 pounds (approximately 34 kilograms)
  • Weight Capacity: 425 pounds (approximately 192.8 kilograms)
  • Cockpit Size: 20.5 inches x 47 inches (approximately 52.1 centimeters x 119.4 centimeters)
  • Material: High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Primary Use: Recreational kayaking, fishing
  • Hull Design: Hybrid catamaran-style hull
  • Seat: Adjustable framed seat
  • Footrests: Customizable footrests
  • UV Resistance: Yes
  • Impact Resistance: Yes

Key Features of the Bonafide RS117 Kayak:

Bonafide RS117 Kayak Review

Design and Construction:

The Bonafide RS117 kayak is meticulously crafted to cater to the needs of watersport enthusiasts seeking a blend of convenience and performance. Here’s what makes its design and construction truly exceptional:

  • Compact and Lightweight: The RS117’s compact dimensions make transportation a breeze. Its lightweight build ensures easy lifting and loading onto vehicles, even for solo adventurers.
  • Hybrid Catamaran-Style Hull: The standout feature of the RS117’s design is its hybrid catamaran-style hull. This revolutionary design enhances the kayak’s stability by creating a wider base. This stability is a game-changer for beginners and seasoned kayakers alike, instilling confidence in various water conditions. Furthermore, the hull’s design enhances tracking, allowing for precise maneuvering and reduced effort during paddling.
  • Durable Materials: Crafted from high-quality materials, the RS117 is built to withstand the rigors of watersport activities. Its UV-resistant and impact-resistant properties ensure that the kayak maintains its integrity even after prolonged exposure to the elements and occasional bumps.
  • Robust Construction: The RS117 is engineered with durability in mind. Its construction involves high-quality materials that can endure the demands of various water conditions, including rocky shores and mild rapids. This robust build provides kayakers with peace of mind, knowing that their kayak can handle whatever adventure lies ahead.
  • UV-Resistant Finish: Connecticut’s sunny days can be unforgiving to kayaks. The RS117’s UV-resistant finish not only maintains the kayak’s appearance over time but also protects it from the fading and weakening effects of prolonged sun exposure.
  • Impact-Resistance: Accidental collisions with underwater obstacles or rocky surfaces are not uncommon in kayaking. The RS117’s impact-resistant design minimizes the risk of damage, allowing you to focus on your paddling experience without constant worry.
  • Longevity: The combination of durable materials, UV resistance, and impact resistance contributes to the kayak’s longevity. This ensures that your investment continues to deliver outstanding performance and enjoyment for years to come.
  • Adjustable Framed Seat: The RS117 features an adjustable framed seat that provides exceptional comfort and support. This seat design allows you to find the perfect position for your body, reducing fatigue during long hours of paddling.
  • Customizable Footrests: Everyone’s body is unique, and the RS117 acknowledges this by offering customizable footrests. You can easily adjust the footrests to match your leg length, promoting proper posture and reducing discomfort.
  • Ample Legroom: The kayak’s design includes ample legroom, catering to paddlers of various heights. This ensures that you can stretch out your legs comfortably, preventing cramped muscles and enhancing your overall kayaking experience.
  • Ergonomic Seating Position: The RS117’s seat is designed to maintain an ergonomic seating position. This promotes proper spinal alignment and reduces strain on your back, allowing you to paddle with ease and efficiency.
  • Storage and Organization: Efficient storage solutions are essential for a successful kayaking adventure, and the Bonafide RS117 kayak excels in this aspect. Let’s delve into the well-thought-out storage features that enhance your convenience:
  • Front Hatch: The RS117 is equipped with a spacious front hatch, allowing you to store essential gear and equipment securely. Whether it’s snacks, a dry bag, or fishing tackle, you’ll have easy access to your belongings without compromising your paddling experience.
  • Rear Tankwell: The kayak’s rear tankwell offers additional storage space for larger items like a cooler or a backpack. This area is perfect for stowing items that you may want to access while on the water, making it ideal for day trips and picnics.
  • Under-Seat Storage: The RS117’s ingenuity extends to under-seat storage. This compartment is strategically placed to provide a discreet and easily accessible space for personal items, ensuring that they stay dry and within arm’s reach.
  • Integrated Gear Tracks: Enhance your kayaking experience by attaching accessories to the integrated gear tracks. Whether it’s a fishing rod holder, camera mount, or GPS device, these tracks provide flexibility in customizing your kayak to suit your specific needs.
  • Performance on the Water: The true test of any kayak lies in its performance on the water, and the Bonafide RS117 kayak rises to the occasion with its exceptional capabilities. Let’s dive into how the RS117 enhances your kayaking adventures:
  • Superb Tracking: The hybrid catamaran-style hull of the RS117 contributes to its exceptional tracking abilities. This means that the kayak maintains a straight and steady course even in the presence of currents or winds, reducing the effort you need to exert during your paddling journey.
  • Outstanding Stability: The RS117’s wide base and innovative hull design create remarkable stability. This feature is especially beneficial for beginners, as it provides a stable platform that boosts confidence and minimizes the risk of tipping over. Even seasoned kayakers will appreciate the stability, as it enables them to focus on their surroundings and activities.
  • Responsive Maneuverability: Despite its stability, the RS117 doesn’t compromise on maneuverability. The kayak responds promptly to your steering, allowing you to navigate through tight spaces, around obstacles, and along winding waterways with ease.
  • Versatile Water Conditions: From calm lakes to mild rivers, the RS117 adapts seamlessly to various water conditions. Whether you’re exploring serene waters or engaging in a bit of light whitewater, the kayak’s performance remains consistent and reliable.

Pros & Cons of the Bonafide RS117 Kayak

Pros of the Bonafide RS117 Kayak:

The Bonafide RS117 kayak offers a plethora of advantages that cater to both seasoned kayakers and beginners alike. Here are some key pros that highlight why the RS117 stands out in the world of kayaking:

  • Innovative Hull Design: The hybrid catamaran-style hull design provides an exceptional balance of stability and tracking, ensuring a confident and smooth paddling experience.
  • Durability and Longevity: Built with high-quality materials and UV-resistant finishes, the RS117 is designed to withstand the challenges of the water and maintain its performance over time.
  • Customizable Comfort: The adjustable framed seat, customizable footrests, and ample legroom contribute to a comfortable and ergonomic seating arrangement, enhancing comfort during long journeys.
  • Storage Solutions: The RS117’s well-designed storage options, including the front hatch, rear tankwell, and under-seat compartment, enable efficient organization and accessibility for all your gear.
  • Adaptability: The kayak’s remarkable stability and maneuverability make it suitable for various water conditions, from tranquil lakes to gentle rivers, ensuring versatility in your kayaking adventures.

Cons of the Bonafide RS117 Kayak:

While the Bonafide RS117 kayak offers a range of impressive features, it’s important to consider potential drawbacks before making a purchase decision. Here’s a balanced overview of some cons associated with the RS117:

  • Limited Storage Capacity: While the RS117 provides ample storage options for day trips and short excursions, its storage capacity might be limiting for longer expeditions requiring more gear and supplies.
  • Single Seating: The RS117 is designed as a single-seater kayak, which means it might not be the best choice for those who prefer kayaking in pairs or groups.
  • Smaller Size: While its compact size is advantageous for transportation and maneuverability, taller individuals might find the cockpit’s dimensions slightly restricting during extended paddling sessions.

Comparison with Competing Kayaks:


To offer you a more comprehensive perspective on the Bonafide RS117 kayak, we’ll now compare it with some similar models available in the market. This comparison will highlight both the advantages and potential drawbacks of the RS117, allowing you to make a more informed decision.

Bonafide RS117 Kayak

Bonafide RS117 vs. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120:

  • Bonafide RS117 Advantages:
    • Enhanced stability due to the hybrid catamaran-style hull.
    • Compact and lightweight design for easy transport.
    • Exceptional tracking capabilities.
    • Durable construction with UV and impact resistance.
  • Potential Drawbacks of RS117:
    • Limited storage capacity for longer expeditions.
    • Single-seater design may not suit those who prefer tandem kayaking.
    • Cockpit size might be restrictive for taller individuals during extended paddling sessions.
  • Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Advantages:
    • Spacious cockpit and comfortable seating.
    • Excellent maneuverability and versatility.
    • Well-suited for recreational use and fishing.
  • Potential Drawbacks of Pungo 120:
    • Less stability compared to the RS117, especially in challenging conditions.
    • Heavier and less compact for transport.

Bonafide RS117 vs. Perception Pescador Pro 10:

  • Bonafide RS117 Advantages:
    • Superior stability and tracking due to the catamaran-style hull.
    • Lightweight and easy to transport.
    • Robust and durable construction.
  • Potential Drawbacks of RS117:
    • Limited storage space for extended trips.
    • Single-seater design may not accommodate tandem kayaking.
    • May feel restrictive for taller users.
  • Perception Pescador Pro 10 Advantages:
    • Ample storage space, suitable for anglers.
    • Comfortable seating for longer outings.
    • Good stability for fishing activities.
  • Potential Drawbacks of Pescador Pro 10:
    • Reduced tracking compared to the RS117.
    • Less stability in rough waters.
    • Heavier and less portable.

Bonafide RS117 vs. Old Town Topwater 120:

  • Bonafide RS117 Advantages:
    • Excellent stability and tracking with the hybrid hull.
    • Lightweight and easy to transport.
    • Durable materials with UV and impact resistance.
  • Potential Drawbacks of RS117:
    • Limited storage capacity for extended journeys.
    • Designed for solo kayaking.
    • May not accommodate taller users comfortably.
  • Old Town Topwater 120 Advantages:
    • Enhanced stability for fishing.
    • Multiple mounting options for accessories.
    • Comfortable seating and ample legroom.
  • Potential Drawbacks of Topwater 120:
    • Inferior tracking compared to the RS117.
    • Heavier and less convenient for transport.
    • May not perform as well in faster-moving water.

While the Bonafide RS117 kayak offers a range of impressive features and performance capabilities, it’s important to acknowledge its limitations, such as limited storage for longer trips and the single-seater design. To further enhance this review, consider providing more detailed insights into user experiences, especially regarding the kayak’s performance in various conditions. Additionally, addressing potential improvements or modifications that could mitigate its drawbacks would be beneficial for readers seeking a well-rounded evaluation of this kayak.

User Reviews and Testimonials:

Don’t just take my word for it – here are snippets from real users who have experienced the Bonafide RS117 kayak firsthand:

  1. User A: “The stability of the RS117 is incredible! I was nervous about tipping over, but this kayak gave me the confidence to paddle in various conditions. It’s become my go-to choice for weekend adventures.”
  2. User B: “I love the storage options on the RS117. The front hatch and rear tankwell easily accommodate all my gear, and the under-seat storage is a game-changer. Plus, the kayak’s performance on the water is exceptional.”
  3. User C: “As a taller kayaker, I was concerned about comfort, but the RS117 surprised me. The adjustable seat and footrests make a huge difference, and the maneuverability in tight spots is impressive.”
  4. User D: “I’ve taken the RS117 on calm lakes and mild rivers, and it handles beautifully in both settings. The stability is top-notch, and the ease of tracking really lets me focus on enjoying the scenery.”

These testimonials highlight the versatility, stability, and comfort that the Bonafide RS117 kayak brings to watersport enthusiasts.


In the vibrant world of kayaking and watersports, the Bonafide RS117 kayak stands as a remarkable choice for enthusiasts seeking an unparalleled experience. With its innovative hybrid catamaran-style hull, durable construction, and thoughtful design, the RS117 emerges as a reliable companion for both beginners and experienced paddlers. From the tranquil lakes to the gentle rivers of Connecticut, this kayak’s exceptional stability, tracking, and maneuverability ensure that every journey is a memorable one.

The RS117’s commitment to comfort, evidenced through its adjustable framed seat, customizable footrests, and ample legroom, ensures that you can paddle for hours without discomfort. The well-designed storage solutions, including the front hatch, rear tankwell, and under-seat compartment, add convenience to your adventures by providing easy access to your essentials.

User testimonials further validate the RS117’s exceptional performance and its ability to cater to various preferences and needs. Whether you’re exploring new waters or embarking on a familiar route, the RS117’s versatility shines through.

In the heart of Connecticut’s waterways, the Bonafide RS117 kayak beckons, promising unparalleled performance, durability, and comfort that elevate your watersport experience to new heights.

Join the community of watersport enthusiasts who have embraced the RS117’s exceptional performance and discover the joy of paddling in a kayak designed to enhance every aspect of your experience.

Have questions or want to share your own RS117 experiences? Feel free to leave a comment below and let’s continue the conversation!

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