Rainbow Kayaks are a subsidy of the Italian thermoplastic company Euro-Tank Nord Sr, are the first Italian kayak company and have been in production for 20+ years. While most Americans are probably unfamiliar with the brand, they have a steady following and are especially popular as rental kayaks, thanks to their durability and stability.
One Thing I Love About The Oasis: Stability
The Rainbow Oasis is about 14’5” and 25” wide. As such, it is an incredibly stable kayak, best suited to beginners. They are decent all around sea kayaks, best suited for sheltered water, but can handle windy days if they have to. As far as for fit goes, just about anyone can sit comfortably in these kayaks. They are spacious and have decent legroom, although larger paddlers and taller paddlers may struggle. However there are several larger models available, though I would advise any rental companies to perhaps just spring the money to buy Wilderness Systems Tsunamis instead, you would get bigger boats that offer more bang for the buck.
The Oasis is a rigid thermoplastic kayak, which is why it is so popular with rental companies. You would be very hard pressed to damage these boats. While the Oasis has no adjustable foot pedals, they do have different placements for your feet so that most people will find a comfortable way to sit. However an experienced paddler would find this probably pretty terrible. The seat is molded plastic with a padded backrest, it isn’t terrible….but it is a far cry from a Wilderness System’s boat. In addition, the Oasis has no skeg to adjust. Yet surprisingly, the Oasis tracks reasonably well and is actually quite fast in calm water. Still, for an experienced paddler, this would be most likely considered a fault against the model. At only around 44 lbs, this is a pretty light kayak and is easy for just about anyone to haul. As such, it would be a great starter boat for young people, or even just something to keep at the lake house for messing around in.
Storage Space On The Rainbow Oasis
The Oasis has decent storage, with stern and bow bulkheads. You could probably store a couple days gear in it, but definitely not more than that. I would never consider this to be a touring kayak, but then again, it doesn’t pretend to be. It is best suited for day trips and quick paddles around.
I would honestly have a tough time comparing the Rainbow Oasis to another boat that I have used, but I guess just about any paddler who has used a basic rental kayak would probably be reminded of the experience. I would only recommend this kayak to beginner paddlers and businesses that want a durable, stable and cheap option for primary rentals. These are not kayaks for experienced paddlers and anyone who wants to improve or practice will be very bored, very fast. They really are not bad boats by any standard; they are just very, very, basic. Anyone who is serious about paddling or just wants to have a bit more fun in the waves or playing in rocks should absolutely get something else. Although at an MSRP of only around $750 they can be an awesome entry level kayak.
I work as a professional Kayak Guide in Finland, we typically rented Rainbow Oasis kayaks to just about every customer that walked through our door, although we would tend to steer the more advanced paddlers to more advanced kayaks. These are safe and easy kayaks to paddle, we have used them in everything from very calm waters to very windy days. While they are a crucible to paddle in big surf and wind, they remain super stable. I am a qualified Sea Kayak Instructor and an EPP3 in Sea Kayak.