The Mission Eco Bezhig is one of the most comfortable sea kayaks around with a contoured foam seat. At 5.4m long its very fast and yet still very stable and manoeuvrable. Ticks all the boxes and more.
Fitted with a large number of storage spaces, hatches and bulkheads as well as a very large carrying capacity (200kg) this kayak is ideal for serious expeditions and is suitable for a wide variety of different sized paddlers. A great choice for larger paddlers or those who like a spacious cockpit.
A rudder as standard plus plenty of storage space, stability and speed give this kayak everything you need.
Used successfully all over the place from exmouth to antarctica including the avon descent and a successful circumnavigation of south Georgia by local paddlers to get australian geographic adventurer of the year
ECO BEZHIG 540 // The facts
Length // 540cm
Width // 59cm
Weight // 27kg
Max Load // 200kgs
Front hatch // 71L (glovebox 4L)
Rear hatch // 80L (day hatch 50L)
Features starting from the stern and heading to the bow:
• Rudder for simple control in windy conditions or ease of paddling throughout the day regardless of the changing conditions. There is a bungie at the back to keep the rudder in place during transport.
• There are moulded in grooves forming a spare paddle holder for split paddles. Crossed bungies are in a handy location to keep the blades of this split paddle well secured, and a bungie across the moulded shaft end grooves functions to hold the shaft part of the paddle in place while on the water.
• The back hatch opening is large enough to easily store large dry bags and fully allow you to utilize the 80 litres of storage in this part of the kayak – no more loading your sleeping bag and gear bags into their drybags on the shore – the entire bag with all gear inside will fit through these openings. Foam hatch cover assures no wave may put too much pressure on the waterproofing neoprene hatch cover below. The foam is the same foam that is used in the production of hockey protection gear, so it is extremely hard-wearing and well tested – it will last for countless years without showing wear and tear. The best part about the foam covers is the weight that they save. There is a lash that is moulded into the foam cover to tie off to a nearby bungie to assure it doesn’t go for a wander while at camp, and two sturdy webbing straps and buckles to assure the same while on the water.
• The next set of bungies is in a good place for a day pack dry bag, or a place to lash a deckbag for easy storage of gear.
• The circular rubber hatch cover leads to a dry compartment of a whopping 50 litres. This amount of room in a day hatch is only possible because the foam seat doubles as a bulkhead, providing room along the sides of the seat to add to this day hatch. It is possible to reach this hatch while paddling, though it is not often necessary, as there is another day hatch in front of the cockpit – thus protecting the completely dry nature of this space.
• Just behind the cockpit is one of my favourite features – a quick-lock cinch and groove paddle holder. Most sea kayaks have a place to rest your paddle to stabilize the kayak while you enter and exit the cockpit – but have you ever seen a simple to use system to secure the paddle there easily? The Eco-Bezhig has two quick-cinch lines on either side of the kayak that can be wrapped around the paddle’s shaft to hold it in place in this slot. What does this mean to regular paddling? Loads. After getting into the cockpit, it is a perfect place to store your paddle while you get your deck in place – no more balancing the paddle over the top of the very skirt you are trying to around the cockpit rim, or floating away from your paddle that is patiently waiting on the shore, or worse floating next to your kayak waiting for you to sort out your gear. This is also useful when resting, eating, fishing or anything that you may want to do when normally a paddle gets in the way. While the practical uses of this slot are wonderful, it was actually designed as a safety feature. If you ever swim (purposefully or accidentally) and need to re-enter your kayak, this feature will hold your paddle (with your paddle float attached to the extended blade) securely in place for you to use as an out-rigger to stabilize the kayak for re-entry.
• The cockpit is big enough for easy entry and exit, whether from the shore or during a wet-exit. Having the cockpit be long enough to pass most people’s knees, means it is easy to exit when required. The foam seat reduced the weight of the kayak by 4 kgs over the older plastic design, and is comfortable enough for all day paddling. Another great feature of this style of seat is the ease of cleaning the cockpit out at the end of the day. There is no place for sand and shells to get caught – spray in the water, shake it around a bit, have a friend hold the stern to protect the rudder, and lift the bow – all the water flows right out removing all debris with it.
• The next feature is a window that is designed to hold a map (in a watertight map-bag) securely without allowing the wind and elements to turn up the edges. The window has a smart bungie system that holds it up when you open it, or holds it down when shut.
• Under the window is a four litre day hatch perfect for a small camera (in a dry bag) or more commonly food. This compartment is tucked away at the top centre of the kayak utilizing space that is normally simply left unused.
• The foot area in this kayak is exceptionally long, allowing for even the tallest of people to fit inside without any worries. With my legs fully extended it is possible for people I was able to slide down into the cockpit all the way until all that was left above the top of the deck was my head, resting on the top of the seat back -(171cm tall (5’7.5″) person). When touring, the far end beyond the rudder controls is a location to store an extra drybag for those who are not so tall that this space is required for foot room. There are padded sections on either side of the cockpit to secure your knees when the weather turns rough. The front bungie lines form another area for additional storage as required.
• The front hatch cover is made of the same weight saving foam as the back cover. It also protects a neoprene hatch cover over a hatch that is very roomy for easy entry and exit of gear into the 71 litre front storage area.
• Deck lines run all along the bow of the kayak, as a safety item for grabbing hold of the kayak, or securing yourself to the kayak in the event of an emergency.
• The plastic is C4 Hexene, a high impact, high grade plastic to assure a long life for your kayak in even the toughest of conditions. The bow is rounded with very soft chines and bottom “V”. When railed, these soft chines enable the paddler to turn very quickly despite its long length (5.4 metres)
This kayak will take you as far as you want to paddle either happily taking you for a day paddle, or let it show off by packing enough gear and food for weeks of travel – this is when it handles at its very best.