NRS Kayak Reviews: STAR Kayak Lineups

Are you looking to buy an NRS kayak? Well, you came to the right place! Before we dive into the main section, reviewing some of the top STAR products offered by NRS, Let’s get into some background and history regarding the manufacturer. 

Bill Parks was an avid river runner and wanted to help others enjoy water sports. So he established NRS decades ago only to shift into an employee-owned company in 2014. The 100 employees at NRS commit to helping people ignite their passion on the water.

Their work values are very high, working together to accomplish goals and ensuring the highest quality service with integrity. Infact, Before Parks retired he transferred company ownership to his employees!

NRS for years has stand for rugged, reliable equipment that meets the standards of the toughest customers, whether they’re outfitters or nature guides. Their equipment is professional-grade, purpose-driven, and user-focused. Everything they sell is versatile and creates value in whatever hobby you pursue. 

NRS aims to help preserve access to water recreation by collaborating with national organizations and local groups. Customers RAVE about their kayaks being sturdy, light, and easy to handle. Lets get into these NRS Kayak Reviews!

NRS Star Kayak Reviews

Keep reading to discover more about each kayak’s features, and which one is best suited for your needs. You can also compare the core quality of NRS’s kayaks with other Kayak Brands here. 

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Star Raven I 9’10” X 38”37 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Raven I Pro9’10” X 38”39 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Raven II12’2” X 38”44 Lbs400 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Outlaw I9’10” X 38”30 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$
Star Outlaw II12’2” X 38”40 Lbs400 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$
Star Viper9’6” X 36”33 Lbs200 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$$
Star Viper XL10’2” X 37”39.5 Lbs275 LbsRivers/ WhiteWater$$$$$
Star Paragon10’11” X 36”40 Lbs275 LbsRecreation/ Touring/ Rivers$$$$
Star Paragon XL13’6” X 36”48 Lbs 350 LbsRecreation/ Touring/ Rivers$$$$$
Star Paragon Tandem15’ X 36”58.5 Lbs400 LbsRecreation/ Touring/ Rivers$$$$$
Star Challenger10’8” X 38”27 Lbs275 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$
Star Rival12’6” X 38”30 Lbs300 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$
Star Rival Fish12’6” X 38”31 Lbs300 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$
Star Pike12’8” X 38”48 Lbs375 LbsFishing/ Recreation$$$$$

Star Raven Kayak Series Review

Kayaks in Series

The Star Raven Kayak Series includes three options:

Who Are They For

The Star Raven I and II are highly versatile, perfect for lazy river cruising or more challenging waves. Their carrying capacity and comfort are optimal for another person or additional gear when tackling a multi-day journey across the water. 

They’re easy to handle and to get in and out from the water. So if you’re searching for a whitewater adventure and tackling class IV rivers or simply wish to relax, the Star Ravens I and II are ample boats to choose.

Additionally, these boats have color options, coming in either blue or green. The first model can support up to 275 pounds, while the second can go up to 400. So multi-day river trips can definitely be on the cards. 

The Star Raven Pro takes the original Star Raven and ups it a notch. This option can come in red and gives a playful approach to river running. It can challenge whitewater with some of the best white water kayaks and is for one person, simply with a bit more bulk to it.

On Water Performance

The Star Raven I and II have a polyvinyl chloride floor. This feature improves self-bailing while remaining rigid and upright. Despite the continuous paddling movement, they’re stable rides, with hooks and loops to keep the comfortable, supportive seat solidly in place. 

You have the option to rearrange elements that give you control of the deck space and weight distribution. Overall, both are straightforward models to paddle with enjoyment. 

The Pro’s pronounced rocker makes it easy to go over waves and white water. Foot braces and thigh straps ensure your strapped in while this kayak does its thing. It slides effortlessly over rocks, and with a solid floor, you don’t have to worry about it ripping any time soon.

Kayak Features and Design

The Star Raven I and II come with extra fasteners and pressure relief valves that make the kayak ensure its at the right PSI, even on those hot days. The advanced PVC material prevents wear and tear from sunlight. Their seam welding technology limits abrasion and increases longevity. 

The Pro has the same PVC material and a slimmer width. In the end, any of the Star Raven options are good to choose from since they share qualities while being different enough for buyers to choose what features they want or don’t want.

What Customers Think

The Star Raven kayak scores a 4.5 out of 5 stars on NRS’ official website. The majority stated that these boats are quick and maneuverable, handling well and being stable. It’s great value for a safe boat that’s easy to carry, and another perk is that this package includes the pump.

On the flip side, there were complaints about the floor being too thin and not supporting more than 150 pounds. In the end, the positives outweigh the negatives; the Star Raven ticks all the boxes for storage and ease. 


  • Quick inflation
  • Very maneuverable
  • Pro has thigh braces
  • Well-packaged when delivered
  • Plenty of space for gear


  • Self-draining holes may not work well
  • The seat is too big and clunky, retains water
  • Lacks tracking ability in flat water
  • Needs more D-rings

Star Outlaw Kayak Series Review

Kayaks in Series

The Star Outlaw has two options: 

Who Are They For

These durable boats withstand consistent use, so if you enjoy cruising on the open water every weekend, then consider one of the Outlaws. Despite that, its design is usable and approachable for all paddler levels.

It’s stable, forgiving, and beginners don’t have to worry about losing balance when first getting into the boat.

The Outlaw I comes in blue, yellow, or gray, measuring the same as the Star Raven I. The second variation, nonetheless, is larger, able to sport two seats as opposed to one. Its maximum capacity is 400 pounds.

On Water Performance

Because of the Outlaw’s maneuverability and solid tracking, they are great for first-timers out on the water. The drop stitch PVC floor allows the rider to feel lke they are on a stable surface while the sidewalls plant the kayak firmly in the water.

Outfitters, campers, or rental programs are often buyers because of the Outlaw’s sporty design and longevity. Overall, it’s a sturdy and comfortable ride.

Kayak Features and Design

Since the Outlaw variations are so alike, here we’ll point out some of the key features they both have. The Outlaw gets praise for its curve on the tubes, making it resistant to damage and they remain airtight, regardless of what kind of water you face. 

They’re stable boats, staying together and rigid through the hardcore welding, thus increasing the kayak’s lifespan and redefining the kayak style. The boats COME WITH REPAIR KITS for convenience, and you’ll have fun on the water when paddling one of these boats.

What Customers Think

The Outlaw kayaks rank highly, varying between 4.6 and 5 stars, depending on what model. In the end, they perform great and are easy to assemble. They can handle up to class III rapids because of their light responsiveness. Its design allows you to handle the boat solo, with a friend, or with a pet. 


  • Durable and can withstand long trips
  • Comes with 3 year warranty
  • Drop stitch floor adds atbility
  • Not too spacey
  • Various customizations 


  • No front D-rings
  • No back support unless you sit on the floor

Star Viper Kayak Series Review

Kayaks in Series

The Star Viper has two options:

Who Are They For

The Star Viper has solid on-water performance and rigid construction. These kayaks are ideal for those who want the features of a hard-shell white water kayak. This is because the Viper can handle challenging whitewater well. The Viper is a great pick for adventurers who wish to tackle extreme waters. It has a high stern, which results in better control with smooth turns and maneuverability. 

The Star Viper can support 200 pounds maximum, whereas the XL version can support 275. Additionally, the Viper comes in multiple colors, including thigh straps, and an increased thickness to prepare for anything coming your way on the river. 

On Water Performance

The Viper can cut through rapids, and its design can turn, fly over waves, and ferry like no other kayak on this list

The displacement air bladders on both ends improve buoyancy and encourage a strong resurface. You’re able to battle against waves and reach an optimal speed with less effort. Moreover, these multiple air chambers increase your safety by limiting the risk of capsizing.  

It has a self-bailing, drop-stitched floor to keep excess water out of the raft, and its fabric makes it a strong competitor against the constant impact on higher-level class rivers. In the end, the Viper is easy to handle with a secure and comfortable cockpit.

Kayak Features and Design

The multiple flotation devices act as backrests; a set pad increases your stability as you paddle. Like the majority of Star products, the Viper has fast inflation and is convenient to set up.

Furthermore, the Viper includes a top-deck profile, back band, and bulkhead. These all contribute to giving you a hard-shell performance in an inflatable vessel. Its flotation is unparalleled compared to the former boats and can roll (if you have the skills!). The XL version has an aggressive rocker design and eight more inches, making it ideal for bigger paddlers. 

What Customers Think

The Star Viper ranks highly on NRS’ official website and Google, varying from 4.9 to 5 stars. Customers agree that this kayak is solid, well-built, and handles like a hard-side. The performance is ideal for whitewater, and the inclusion of straps is a plus.

A few other notes include that the Viper isn’t stitched, it’s seamed, JUST LIKE A BASEBALL, which in turn will make it endure longer than its competition. It’s affordable, convenient, and a great pick for beginners who can experiment with a durable and supportive kayak.  


  • Nimble and handles well
  • Good pick for aggressive responsive white water kayaking
  • Great quality to fit various needs
  • Easy to access valves 


  • Front and rear flotation chambers can affect performance
  • Cheap nylon strap to hold the floor in
  • Doesn’t haul gear well 

Star Paragon Kayak Series Review

Kayaks in Series

Similarly to the previous kayak, the Star Paragon has two selections to choose from:

Who Are They For

The Star Paragon kayaks are suitable for touring or light fishing on flatwater, due to the floor that is not self-bailing. However, its rigidness ensures that you will be able to stay upright and comfortable throughout your trip. 

Its high-back seat offers support and is adjustable for comfort. Its tracking and stability are perfect for calm waters, so any solo rider can enjoy paddling with a boat that’s adjustable for your comfort level and the amount of gear you have

The original Paragon comes in blue or green, reaching a maximum capacity of 275; the XL offers a choice of red or blue and a capacity of 350 pounds, yet is still only fit for one person.

On Water Performance

The Paragon’s performance will have you believe you’re navigating a hard-shell kayak. Unlike the first few kayaks in this review the Paragon is made for flat water conditions.

After assembly, the boat’s texture remains solid, giving you a stable stance. In turn, this helps you gain speed. 

This kayak is also equipped with front and back splash guards which keep your gear dry if you encounter more choppy waters. Its hauling capacity and storage make the Paragon able to handle extended flatwater tours and long excursions. 

Kayak Features and Design

A very cool feature about the Paragon is the fin inserts in the front and back, which allows you to have full control of the drag. You can change them to optimize tracking or add additional accessories or rigs. These fins are explicitly made for the Paragon, giving you suitable movement and capability during a trip.

On the flip side, the XL gives the paddler 16 more inches of length, while keeping the previous design. You’ll get the same boat, but with more space. The Paragon inflates and deflates quickly, and the steg is removable. Ultimately, you have a lot of options with the Paragon and can adapt it to your paddling style.

What Customers Think

The regular Paragon received a 4-star rating because of its quick and easy assembly. Despite that, the Paragon has lots of stability and tracks well, handling strong winds and long trips.

The majority said the Paragon was comfortable and had functioning components that held up well. Many said that the skeg was a great addition and used this boat while fishing.

A minor issue included wearing where they folded the boat, but ANYBODY CAN FIX IT with patchwork. All in all, if you’re looking for a versatile kayak, consider the Paragon for its design and longevity.


  • Comes with a large bag to hold everything
  • Can handle pets
  • Solid pick for lake cruises
  • Easy attachment


  • Paddle length may not be long enough
  • No self-bailing
  • Seat straps gave out within a couple of uses for some

Star Challenger Review


  • Length: 10’8”
  • Width: 38”
  • Height: 9”
  • Material: Made of PVC 
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Maximum Capacity: 275 pounds

Who It Is For

For those who are looking to catch fish, the Challenger gives anglers a stable platform to sit, stand, and cast. People who need to be mobile, standing up and moving around while they fish, should look into the Challenger. 

Its elevated design allows the rider more visibility which makes it great for sighting fish. The Challenger is a less expensive option for those wanting a high-quality fishing kayak and comes in a gray color option. It’s great for beginner and intermediate paddlers and fits an average adult in its one-person cockpit.   

On Water Performance

On the water, the Challenger has a self-bailing deck and outstanding stability due to the thickness of its side tubes. It has efficient tracking, and the folding seat is not too high that it limits basic functions, such as paddling. Additionally, the Challenger has a removable tacking stern and two different-sized skegs that make gliding across the water comfortable

Kayak Features and Design

The Challenger comes with five accessory mounts and bungee rigging for securing coolers, bags, and other equipment. The open cockpit allows you to have the flexibility of rigging various options, and its design makes storing and transporting simple. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but the Challenger is a reliable kayak designed with fishers in mind. 

What Customers Think

The Challenger has five stars on the NRS’ official website due to its stability and easy setup. One review raved that it was perfect for their fishing hobbies.

However, the Google reviews landed the Challenger with four stars. Some said the tracking is sloppy, while others said the minimal loops in the front posed a challenge when wanting to haul items. Overall, the Challenger is a prime choice if you’re considering staying on the lake for hours to catch some trout


  • Fast and controllable
  • Turns easily and is lightweight
  • Stable platform
  • Well made
  • Can sight-fish on it.


  • The seat bottom is too long
  • The skeg is too large, can get caught in the rocks
  • Needs more storage pockets and mounting options

Star Rival Kayak Series Review

Kayaks in Series

Who Are They For

These kayaks are for the adventurous type. Similar to the Challenger, the Star Rivals have enough stability for standing and sighting fish. Both are for one person, weighing an average of about 30 pounds, and able to handle 300 pounds as the maximum.

With the Star Rival, you’ll be able to sit on top in a comfortable seat and on a stable platform with plenty of deck space. Ideal for beginners due to its self-draining floor, you’re able to transport days’ worth of gear for whatever journey you’re on.   

On Water Performance

The Star Rival is the largest inflatable sit-on-top fishing kayak and mimics many features like the Challenger. As opposed to other bulkier kayaks, the Rival is convenient and adjustable. Its collapsible seat is comfortable to sit on while you fish and remains stable even on rougher water. The Rival can handle up to class II rapids and tracks well

A screened drain port eliminates standing water, and interchangeable fins ensure that you will get a reliable ride that’s appropriate for whatever adventure you go on.

Kayak Features and Design

Both of these boats have the same capabilities with a few differences. The first, being color. The first comes in lime or gray, while the second comes in blue and red. Some innovative features of the Rival include several rigging options and its anchor locks

Surface mounts allow you to attach rod holders, fish finders, and whatever else you may need to catch your prize. There is more than enough room for a cooler and tackle boxes. 

Its construction remains rigid, and its mesh seat elevates via an aluminum frame that allows you to sit comfortably for hours. Both kayaks share the same length, measuring a little under 13 feet total, making for a reasonably sized boat for your fishing trips that are easy to paddle.

What Customers Think

Overall, the Rival kayaks rank between 4.7 and 4.8 stars on NRS’ official website and Google. Customers marvel at the boat’s ability to handle class I and II rapids, in addition to lakes and gentle streams. Its versatility to use on any water and its lightweight portability earned the Rival these high scores. 

The Rival handles well and is fun to use. It’s easy to pack with straps to carry it from one location to the next. Additionally, you can use it in multiple variations, i.e. single, tandem, or SUP


  • Easy storage
  • Quality pump and high-pressure switch
  • Fits in small spaces for storage


  • Weight limitations while traveling

Star Pike Review


  • Length: 12’8”
  • Width: 38”
  • Height: 10.5”
  • Material: Made of PVC 
  • Weight: 48 pounds
  • Maximum Capacity: 375 pounds

Who It Is For

The Star Pike is easy to transport with an innovative design that excels in superior tracking. Very alike to the previous boats, the Star Pike allows a stable performance and is the ultimate adventure angling craft for avid fishermen/women

With good tracking and rigidness, you can stand and expect it to properly support you while fishing.

On Water Performance

The Star Pike has undergone several transformations over the past couple of years. Regardless, its top-notch quality makes the Pike a great boat for water paddling and small waves

It’s easy to stand in for clearer visibility when on the water. Finally, the Pike paddles well and doesn’t get pushed when encountering strong winds. 

Kayak Features and Design

The Star Pike is available in gray or green. Its design makes fishing in remote places more approachable, and it has plenty of rigging attachments and mounts for further accessibility. Furthermore, it has rigid keel inserts in the bow and stern, whose compartment can fit a tackle bag or other fishing supplies. 

What Customers Think

The Star Pike has a 3.5-star average, with four stars on Google. Customers mostly complain that the kayak is difficult to fold once deflated, and the package doesn’t come with any instructions regarding this process. Otherwise, the mounting points and D-rings score points in strength

Many pointed out that NRS’ customer service was great and they helped fix any flaws. We’ll discuss more of their services below. The Star Pike is a solid fishing boat that you can stand in without toppling knowing that you’re secure throughout your fishing adventure.


  • Comfortable chair
  • Skeg gives more stability
  • Tracking is good on this inflatable kayak
  • Scotty mount bases support add-ons


  • Cannot handle class II whitewater
  • 2021 model does not have a self-bailing feature
  • The bag is too small

NRS Add-On Accessories

The majority of them come with add-ons, but you might have to replace them after heavy use or if you simply wish to customize your boat more

Some of the most popular accessories sold by NRS include:

  • Inflatable Kayak Thigh Straps: a vital part of paddling gear, maintains control of inflatable kayak in whitewater conditions
  • Maverik Kayak Foot Braces: 9” adjustable footpegs for inflatable kayaks, increases stability and balance
  • Boat Bags for Rafts, IKs, and Cats: protect your boats from sunlight that ages the material, keeping dirt and debris off your boat while in storage or traveling. Created from durable material with nylon webbing; mesh allows drying. 
  • NRS Standard Kayak Float Bag: one single bag fills the stern compartment. They come in three different sizes, from large to small. Made from 10-gauge Urethane, which doesn’t leak.

On Top of selling these add ons for their inflatable kayaks, NRS are also known for selling high quality paddle sports gear like PFD’s, paddling gloves, hydroskin gear, drysuits, dry bags and tons more options. 

Almost anything you need for paddling gear is on NRS which is convenient in its own right. 

In this article we don’t dive too deep in accessories but we have an accessories section on our site that features a lot of NRS’s products. 

NRS Customer Service

NRS earned a 4.4-star rating on Facebook reviews, based on the opinion of over 200 people. 

Their website offers multiple ways of contacting them, either via phone, chat, or email. They enunciate that they want their customers to choose a convenient method of getting in touch. 

Their NRS customer service reps are available weekdays from 6 am to 6 pm (PT), with some holiday hours and days off. They will get back to you as soon as they can to answer any questions or concerns. 

NRS Warranty and Returns Info

NRS returns are hassle-free. They commit to their customers’ satisfaction and want their buyers to be happy with what they purchased. They stand behind all their products. But, if you find an issue, you can return it with a warranty assessment.

Remember the following key points:

  • If they damaged your order or was incorrect, contact NRS immediately
  • No charge or hidden fees, send it back without worry
  • Service is only valid for US addresses
  • Cannot return specific items, such as if they are flammable
  • All returned items must be cleaned and dry
  • Some locations may take up to 2-4 weeks

Their warranty extends between 2-3 years, depending on the product. They additionally have a 120-day return policy on new products, and 30 days for used products.

Where to Buy NRS Star Inflatable Kayaks

The NRS official site is the obvious go-to. However, Outdoorplay has a selection of Star Inflatable Kayaks. A quick note is that the majority of these kayaks are available on, yet have limited reviews.

 Air Kayaks and LeisurePro are additional stores where you can find these products. 

Similar Inflatable Kayak Manufacturers

Below are a couple of competeing kayak manufcturers to NRS.

Sea Eagle

Sea Eagle 420x Explorer
Sea Eagle 420x Explorer

Established in 1968, Sea Eagle sells inflatable kayaks and canoes, fishing boats, boards, and gear. Their goal is to introduce new models and expand their advertising efforts to make their inflatable boats available to everyone at a reasonable price.  Sea Eagle boats come in many different shapes and sizes that NRS does. Like the 420x Explorer or the 38ft Fast Track Explorer.


See Tributary Reviews

Tributary is a subsidiary of AIRE rafts, a U.S.-based company, and they manufacture their kayaks based on the standards created by water sports enthusiasts, including their team. They have multiple models available for purchase on their website, ranging in price and features. Interestingly enough Tributary kayaks are also made available on NRS’s website as well.