I like that this kayak was designed specifically for small and or lightweight people, particularly for women, and they they give a percentage of sales to breast cancer research. More companies should do that. Its plastic. But, I was looking for a plastic to sling around Utah, the Tetons and Yellowstone, and Glacier NP, and not have to baby it. Necky does offer it in composite. My last kayak was a super skinny, 18 foot kevlar sea kayak. I miss the weight and length but appreciate not having to baby the Eliza plastic version.
I've now paddled this in high winds for hours, and I'd estimate in 6+ knot river current. Taking it out on big lakes in the coming few months so I could update this review after. This is not what I would personally use for a sea kayak, however it would be perfectly adequate for a beginner sea kayaker, and one liking paddling in sheltered bays, etc. Very good for that.
Pros: Because of the design being for a lighter paddler, the tracking is probably the best I've ever experienced in any of the many kayaks I've paddled. I was a kayak tester/reviewer for Sea Kayaker Magazine, so beside the 5 sea kayaks I've owned and the ones I've tested, there's quite a few. I really can't say enough about the excellent tracking on the Eliza. Right on, Necky. The cockpit size is great, nice and snug for the smaller paddler so I can brace in tight vs slosh around. Rudder installation was easy. All around the handling of the boat is very good.
Cons: Putting the neoprene inner hatches back on by yourself is really hard, but I read it gets better. The back hatch isn't waterproof but I've rarely seen ones that are. It's still pretty good. Barely any water in the front hatch, and water that got into the cockpit (mainly from dripping of my spray skirt when I took it off to beach) hardly escaped the bulkead to the front hatch - nice. I wish this had a harder chine, but that's just me. Heavy for me to car top and pick up alone, kind of a sufferfest but whatev.