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Review of the 2022 Red Paddle Co 12′ x 28″ Voyager inflatable paddle board

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The 2022 Red Paddle Co 12’0″ x 28″ Voyager was designed with a smaller paddler in mind. The length (12′) and thickness  (4.75″) make it an ideal board for longer adventures and lighter paddlers. The extra volume means you can easily pack all your kit on the front while you paddle. It’s a sleek board at just 28″ wide, but being designed for long glide, good speed and tracking, and for the lighter paddle, 28″ is plenty as the board maintains a lot a width towards the tail providing great stability.

The 12′ x 28″ Voyager features the revolutionary V-Hull, exclusive to Red Paddle Co, and the Speed Tail. The sculpted bottom of the board breaks the surface tension of the water increasing glide and helping the board track even better than others. The V-Hull has been scientifically proven to increase efficiency meaning you can paddle further with less effort. The V-Hull has the added benefit of creating a concave deck which provides a neat V for your forward cargo to nestle into and stay securely on board. Coupled with the speed tail water release edge and the twin fin system, this is a straight as an arrow, ultra glide touring board.

Looking for a larger, more stable touring board, try the 13’2″ x 30″ Voyager+. Looking for a larger, even more stable touring board, try the 12’6″ x 32″ Voyager.

A new board for 2022 suited to smaller paddlers who found the 12’6″ too wide or the 13’2″ too long and cumbersome to handle. The 12′ x 28″ Voyager by Red Paddle Co answers the calls of many smaller or lighter paddles who have requested an option to upgrade from Sports or Rides as they want a higher performing board, or a board that can handle gear and longer trips.

Complete with RSS battens and a thinner 4.75″ MSL Fusion drop stitch construction, will the 12′ Voyager fill the need and requests of so many lighter paddlers? Let’s dive into the full review of the 2022 Red Paddle Voyager 12′ x 28″ inflatable paddle board.

Note: This article is a review of the 12’0″ Voyager, for more info on how to set up and use the board, please see our knowledge base area.

TL;DR: New on the scene for 2022, the 12′ Voyager is already a hit. Many lighter and smaller paddlers have been waiting for a board like this. More often than not, at least so far, the lighter and smaller paddlers have been women who are seeking out this board’s specifications as they look to upgrade from a Sport or Ride model. Looking for something that tracks well and can carry equipment comfortably, but still cut and glide through the water smoothly and cleanly, the V-Hull, speed tail and twin fin system on this 12′ Voyager are a match made in heaven.

Red Paddle Co in 2022

Red Paddle Co is at the forefront of inflatable SUP technology. From boards, to pumps, bags and even the fixtures and fittings, they have always lead the way. Mainstreaming double layer boards with their first models, then introducing MSL Fusion in 2016, Red Paddle are never ones to sit still. Aside from MSL, we’ve seen Rocker Stiffening System (RSS) battens and the Forward Flex Control (FFC) rod, the double barrel Titan Pump, wheeled bag with stowable back pack straps, RAM mounts, tool-less fins and an industry leading 5 year warranty.

For 2021, Red Paddle Co introduced a few key features to many of the models. All boards now come standard with the Titan 2 Pump. Many models use a twin fin system. The deck pads are now wider and longer for superior grip and comfort.

However it is the V-Hull system, exclusive to Red Paddle Co, that grabbed the most attention when launched with the 2021 Red Paddle Co range. The sculpted bottom of the Voyager boards breaks the surface tension of the water increasing glide and helping the board track even better than before. Scientifically proven to increase efficiency meaning you can paddle further with less effort.

For 2022, the updates in the Red Paddle Co range include the new ATB Transformer bag for many models, revised flat bungee system that efficiently and easily secures items on deck and 2 new models, one of them on test here.

The ATB Transformer Bag

After travelling over 100,000 miles with boards, Red Paddle Co has an excellent idea of what was needed from the ultimate inflatable paddle board bag. Red Paddle Co’s all new ATB Transformer Bag has the most significant developments seen so far with inflatable board bags. This bag truly is the ultimate solution for travel and storage.

The complete redesign of Red Paddle Co’s bestselling inflatable SUP backpack, highly engineered adjustable ergonomic support means that the Red Paddle Co ATB Transformer Bag now offers exceptional levels of support for your shoulders and back.

Exterior straps mean that the bag can be compressed making it more comfortable and a pleasure to carry. It’s now easier to pack away your paddle with an interior paddle blade pocket and a velcro securing system so your paddle is safe and secure while on the move. A large outer zip pocket means any essentials can be packed securely away and easily accessible.

Red Paddle Co’s revolutionary bag-less carry system has been designed with all paddleboarders in mind. For the adventurers, you can now go further and access more remote waterways without the need of a heavy bulky bag. Perfect for families, it’s now easier, quicker and more convenient to pack up your kit after a long day at the beach.

The new ATB Transformer bag features include:

  • Highly engineered and adjustable ergonomic support for your shoulders and back
  • Fully customisable to your height ensures that the bag will take care of your body under load
  • Exterior compression straps to make bag more comfortable and compact
  • Interior paddle blade pocket and velcro securing system for paddle pieces
  • Front loading two-way, no-snag, anti-corrosion CoilZip zipper for easy loading and unloading
  • Multiple durable carry handles allow you to pick up the bag any way you want.
  • Lockable zippers with rubber pull tabs
  • Bag-less carry system – pump and straps can easily be taken on the water removing risk of leaving equipment
  • Larger all terrain wheels suitable for any rugged terrain
  • Address label window

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 38 x 15 x 14 inches
  • Color: Dark charcoal, blue with red accents
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Volume: 134 liters

Using the bag as a regular backpack was pretty straight forward. Much like the Classic and ATB bags before the Transformer, the backpack straps are very comfortable and offer a good range of adjustability. Adding to the comfort are the relocated wheels. They are now on the front side as opposed to the back pack strap side, meaning they don’t get in the way around your butt.

Converting the bag to the sling is a bit of a spaghetti mess, but following the video instructions carefully prove it’s quite useful and light weight. No need to stow or stash a massive board bag somewhere when going out for a paddle. It’s just as easy to take it with you for use on the other end if you’re doing an A to B style paddle trip. I used to bike to the beach and this would have been handy back then.

The pump

The Titan 2 Pump by Red Paddle Co is the world’s first purpose-built, double chamber SUP pump. It’s designed to cut the amount of time and effort it takes to inflate your board by half. Constant innovation has led to us testing the absolute boundaries of inflation technology and as such, we’re confident that there’s nothing quite like the Titan II pump on the market.

The Dual Cylinder system, combined with the Hi Flo handle means you are in complete control of the energy used to inflate your board. It puts the volume into your board faster and reduces the effort required to reach a higher pressure.

A revolution in pumping technology!

The Titan Pump has been completely re-imagined and re-engineered for 2021. Red Paddle Co have taken the already proven double chamber format and focussed on ease of use and ease of packing. They’ve also improved the fixtures and fittings to make for an even more durable pump.

The Titan 2 Pump is the world’s first purpose-built, double chamber SUP pump. It’s designed to cut the amount of time and effort it takes to inflate your board by half. Constant innovation has led to Red Paddle Co testing the absolute boundaries of inflation technology and as such, they’re confident that there’s nothing quite like the Titan 2 pump on the market. The Dual Cylinder system, combined with the Hi Flo handle means you are in complete control of the energy used to inflate your board. It puts the air into your board faster and reduces the effort required to reach a higher pressure.

The packed size is 2/3rds less than the current Titan pump, which makes rolling the board much easier and results in a tighter rolled board.

Updates and innovations on the Titan 2:

  • Folding feet and a removable quick release handle reduces the packaged size by 30% compared to the original Titan pump. This makes it much easier to roll and pack your pump and board.
  • The chamber isolation valve is now an integrated switch rather than a removable plug, which makes it easier to switch to one chamber while pumping.
  • A double-ended bayonet hose fixture (Halkey-Roberts) reduces leaks and removes damaged screw threads when attaching to the pump.
  • Our redesigned air box means the pump hose now attaches to the main body to reduce the movement of the hose when inflating.
  • An increase in volume overall makes for faster inflation.
  • An integrated pressure gauge helps reduce impact if the pump is dropped.
  • The standing position has shifted 90 degrees, so you are only astride one chamber.
  • In addition to having wider feet, the Titan II is more stable and ergonomic, especially for smaller riders/pumpers!

The Titan Pump design concept features two chambers, one larger volume cylinder (low pressure) and one lower volume cylinder (high pressure). Think of it as a combination of the regular Ezee and the Ezee HP side by side. You start with both cylinders pumping huge amounts of air into the board, then at about 10PSI, you move the integrated switch and it pumps through the high pressure side only. At first you’re pumping double the amount of air into the board than usual, and then you can finish it off to high pressure via the single cylinder.

Put simply, we don’t use electric pumps as the Titan Pump gets the board to higher pressures, faster.

Pump Specifications:

  • Pressure gauge shows to 30PSI
  • Pump dimensions: 22″ x 5″ x 7″
  • Pump hose length: 48″
  • Pump volume of 3.98l using both cylinders
  • Weight: 5 lbs

The Titan 2 pump is still the yardstick for all manual pumps. With removable handle and folding feet, it’s even easier to pack away in the bag, or roll the board around the pump for an efficient pack up. Inflating the 2022 12’0″ x 28″ Voyager Red Paddle Co Air SUP is very quick and easy with, just a little extra time to install the RSS Battens. Getting to 20 PSI with the Titan 2 Pump, it took me about 5 minutes 20 seconds of pumping, plus about a minutes break early on to install the battens. Add another minute or so to attach the two 8″ touring fins. So about 7 minutes and you’re good to go!

The board

The 12′ Voyager breaks from the standard boards in this length range as it uses a 4.75″ drop stitch MSL Fusion construction. Red Paddle Co have always used a thickness for purpose rule when designing and developing boards. The high inflation pressure and overall stiffness of the the TEC Air and MSL construction, allow Red to use drop stitch thicknesses that other manufacturers may not be able to. All other specifications being equal, a thicker inflatable SUP will be stiffer. That said though, an overly thick board does not lend itself to an authentic or natural paddling experience. This left many lighter/smaller paddlers on 6″ thick, or more, boards that meant a high center of gravity (less stability), difficulty in getting back on, handling/carrying the board and exposure to cross winds.

With the 12′ x 28″ Voyager at 4.75″ thick, Red Paddle Co uses the Rocker Stiffening System or RSS battens. The RSS battens work by inserting stiffening battens along the rails of the board. The battens then work against the downward force of the rider to produce a stiffer board by preventing flex – similar to how a stringer works on a hard board. The stiffening battens are removable for easy board rolling and can be stored in the carry bag for transportation to and from the water.

The Rocker Stiffening System (RSS), a patented innovation, is designed to increase board stiffness by 30-50%. The Rocker Stiffening System utilises two external polycarbonate struts (battens) inserted into pockets along the rails of the board. While the RSS batten has been shaped to give the best stiffness, the pocket into which it fits is also built to the highest quality. Red Paddle Co build the pocket separately before laminating it to the board to ensure the very best fit and performance. No detail is missed to ensure the RSS system works to its full potential. A revolution in inflatable board performance, Red Paddle Co’s patented RSS System comes from their focus on only building inflatable boards and their belief that riding an inflatable board should not mean you have to compromise on performance, looks or quality.

Adding the RSS battens on the 12’0″ Voyager allow Red to enhance the board’s overall stiffness. Knowing that the board won’t flex allows you to paddle with confidence and that the board can handle everything you want to load on it, without any performance trade offs.

Once again for 2022, thanks to the MSL Fusion construction, the board finish is so good it looks like a regular hard board. MSL, or Monocoque Structural Laminate Fusion, basically eliminates a lot of excess glue and human error. In previous years, the “board within a board” Red Paddle Co is famous for was primarily glued together, making a super durable board but adding extra weight and the potential for hand gluing or human errors.

This process consists of industrially fusing and machine pressing the inner layer of polymer to the high density drop stitch core at the raw material stage. Same “board with a board” construction but with material that is now structurally more sound, even more rigid, as well as lighter. More details about MSL over here. Red Paddle Co have constantly refined the MSL construction, tweaking materials, thickness and bond strength which means they’ve all but stopped batch inconsistencies and it allows them to make boards from the most advanced drop stitch available, without any unnecessary excess or errors.

Red Paddle Co have famously tested the durability and toughness of their boards over the years. Most recently you can watch a series of unbelievable durability tests performed on a poor 2017 10’6″ Ride MSL model. Also, take a look at a 2014 board taking a beating. Knowing that the Red Paddle Co MSL construction boards are this strong, should put your mind at ease!

MSL tech talk aside, what does this mean for the paddler? Well, the cosmetic finish is drastically improved over standard inflatables, the boards are about 20% lighter over the standard double layer boards, and since they are fused and machine pressed together, they are essentially one piece instead of 2 layers, and are structurally stiffer at lower pressure. Red Paddle Co recommend a pumping pressure of 18-22 PSI for most applications to make the most of these benefits and improve overall performance.

I usually stop pumping at 20 PSI on the Red Paddle Co boards, I prefer to be paddling than pumping. I find this is a good match between pumping effort and stiffness on the water. For reference, I’m 190lbs. If you’re lighter or conditions are very calm, you can get away with lower pressure, around 15-18 PSI. If you’re carrying a lot of gear/people, or are going out in rougher conditions, we suggest 22 PSI.

This Red Paddle Co Voyager board comes with a square tail and revolutionary Speed Tail water release system to aid speed on the water. Introduced in 2021 to the Sport models, it now features on the 12′ and 13’2″ Voyagers. The color matched square edge on the tail of the board promotes a clean release of water for optimal speed and glide. The sharp edge prevents water sucking up the tail which pulls the tail of the board down and creates drag. With the new Speed Tail, the water releases cleanly off the tail of the board and maximises your speed and glide.

The 12′, 12’6″ and 13’2″ Voyager boards feature a Twin Traction Fin System in two US fin boxes. This Twin Traction Fin System allows the use of shorter 8″ fins to reduce catching in shallow water, but aiding board traction and making it easier to load up on land. The twin fin system means the board will sit loaded with gear without toppling over, as it would with a single fin.

Integrated into the nose carry handle and the forward cargo area of the 2022 Red Paddle Co 12′ Voyager are two accessory mounts. These mounts use an updated M6 thread to which there are many compatible Railblaza/RAM Mount products, two of the world’s leading accessory bracket manufacturers. This mount enables you to securely attach a range of accessories, from GPS devices and cameras to fishing rods and cup holders. More info on RAM Mounts here.

Unique to Red Paddle Co is the Flat Bungee Cargo System, revised for 2022. The self-closing bungee straps are now larger, creating more tension to keep all your gear on your board! For 2022 there is a new “pocket” style main bungee which features a d-ring to make a small loop for smaller items like a water bottle or some shoes.

The deck pad is rail to rail coverage and all the way to the tail in “Red” print and the rearward 15″ are a diamond cut groove pattern for extra traction and feel when moving around the board. The rear of the deck provides 4 d-rings for an optional bungee cord when looking to carry even more equipment.

The 2022 Red Paddle Voyager 12′ weighs in at 26.5lbs, including fin and battens. Red Paddle Co are careful not to make the boards too light. Yes, there is such a thing. Obviously the weight is there for rigidity and performance reasons, but we also need some weight in the board to control it in rougher waters or wind. A board with some weight is predictable and stable making it better suited to all paddlers.

Up a little closer we can see the edges of the material are cleanly cut, the glue lines that previously wandered are all now dead straight thanks to the automated production. The tie-down d-rings are stainless steel with heavy duty bungee in the forward cargo area.

Five padded EVA carry handles cover the 12′ Voyager. One on the nose, another on the tail, and 3 in the center. The standard center carry handle positioned in the middle to carry the board easily. The Voyager also features 2 side mounted center carry handles to help left the board on and off a dock, boat or just an option to grab when climbing back on after a fall. There is also a leash d-ring integrated into the handle on the tail. This handle is is excellent for pulling the board through waves, up the beach or generally just holding on etc.

The rest

The package includes a repair kit with wrench and patches, a waterproof phone case, and a general guide book with inflation instructions, pump tips and care tips. Finally, a wrapping strap to keep the board rolled up.

On the water

Right up front, I’m a bit heavier (190lbs) than the average paddler this board was designed for, however, the technologies the Red Paddle Co employs still make it a suitable, if not quite perfect, board for me to paddle in the right conditions. The larger/longer touring style board have always employed a thicker drop stitch. Even Red Paddle Co uses 6″ on anything longer than the 11’3″ Sport, until now that is. In partnership with the RSS battens, there is almost no trade off in performance or stiffness when using the 4.75″ drop stitch. And that 4.75″ thickness suits light paddlers much better.

The V-Hull cuts through the water very cleanly, engages with the water surface rather than bouncing over the top of it with just a Sport or Ride style nose. This slicing through the water makes for a very comfortable and smooth ride. A ride that promotes good glide and straight tracking. Couple this smoothness with the maximum width of just 28″, parallel rails and wide tail, you get a very quick moving board. The narrow width also helps smaller or shorter paddlers get their paddle in the water more comfortably and straighter. Wide boards and short arms usually mean an awkward arcing stroke, or a very zig zaggy paddling path as it’s hard to reach over and get the paddle in straight and deep. The 28″ wide Voyager means it’s easier to paddle. Finally, couple all this with a wide squared off tail to maintain stability and the Speed Tail water release, you’e got a fast moving touring/adventure board for lighter and smaller paddlers.

Some have not liked the straight flat bungee but in practice, for me at least, they’ve been much easier to use. Threading a bag under one or two straps is much easier than a spider web of bungees criss-crossing the deck. The V-Hull design also gives a nice recessed front deck area to more securely load any gear you have stowed up there.

Tracking from the twin fin arrangement is exceptional. Sure, it’s a bit fiddly having to install 2 fins, but the stability on land and the tracking it provides in the water, well worth it

Vitals

  • Length: 12’0″
  • Width: 28″
  • Thickness: 120mm, 4.72 inches
  • Volume: 285 liters
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs board only, 36 lbs with backpack and pump
  • Max payload: 240 lbs/110 kg
  • Warranty: 1 year, 5 years with product registration

Likes

  • Caters to many who were stranded on larger, more cumbersome boards.
  • Top quality MSL Fusion construction with “hard-board-like” finish
  • RSS battens for improved stiffness, carrying capacity and performance
  • Quick inflation with the efficient Titan 2 Pump
  • Clever internal packaging in the carry bag for secure transportation of paddle and other accessories
  • Handy lightweight Transformer sling style bag option to carry board
  • Accessory mounts for things like GPS, camera or phone
  • Improved EVA deck pad with full coverage diamond texture for better feeling and grip
  • Large 6-point secure forward cargo area, and rear area if needed
  • Extremely stable for it’s width
  • Multiple center handles, comfortable and useful tail mounted handle and d-ring
  • Excellent glide and tracking provided by the V-Hull and twin fins
  • Five year warranty with board registration

Dislikes

  • Two fins is a bit fiddly
  • Bungee not supplied for the rear cargo area

In conclusion

A new model for 2022 and it hits the spot for many a paddler who has thus far been left to deal with thick, floaty and cumbersome boards. The 2022 12′ x 28″ Red Paddle Co Voyager answers the call for a fast, sleek, but capable touring and adventure paddle board for smaller and lighter paddlers. Couple this exceptionally built and performing board with the industry leading dual chamber high pressure Titan 2 Pump, and, the new ATB transformer board, there really is no excuse! Red  Paddle Co really has a board for everyone now. It can be carried in a bag or in a sling. It can carry loads of gear but still paddle fast and be stable. It can track and glide better than anything on the market. For some, it is the only board on the market.

If you still can’t decide between the 12′ Voyager, and other Sport or Voyager models in the Red Paddle Co range, give us a call: 1-888-252-4983.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.