Hi @JKD and glad to hear that you are getting into kayaking! Let's start here with an article on how to choose a kayak. This is a great place to start, and in fact it's where I started when I really got into kayaks a few years back. The biggest decision initially is to decide whether you want a sit-in kayak like the Eddyline Sandpiper or a sit-on-top kayak like the Tarpon 120 , which is the kayak I use. I personally prefer the sit-on-top varieties because of being able to hop in and out easily. Both styles have advantages and disadvantages. As far as transportability, you have to find the sweet spot between having good kayak length so that the paddling is enjoyable without getting a kayak so large that it becomes difficult to transport. I think something in the 120 range (12ft) is a good option. I hope this helps at least a little, and if you need more help or have questions about specific models, let us know!
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@JKD Hello there! Thanks for the great question! There are lots of packs out there that might be suitable for this purpose, some specifically designed for climbing and others that might be more multipurpose. One that came to mind was the Patagonia Cragsmith . What is great about this bag is the way it opens, allowing access to all of your gear. In addition it hits some of the points you made in terms of carrying additional gear. For example, there is a stash pocket for a water bottle, it is hydration bladder compatible, and has extra gear loops and a daisy chain to attach that helmet or whatever else he might need to bring along! There was a really great review left behind that is worth a read too! Here is an example of a top loading pack. Just a different design to give some perspective. Black Diamond Crag Pack Here is a great article too about making the transition from Gym to Crag. It will provide some insight on gear that you might find helpful along with some links to other useful articles! Learning to Climb Outdoors: Gym to Crag Hope you find the perfect gift!
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