How to Choose a Kayak?
Choosing an Inflatable Kayak | Why Sevylor?
When it comes to choosing a kayak you’ve got quite a few options, so one of the things you can do to save time from the outset is start with a reputable brand that been around for a while. We specialise in Sevylor - the market leader in inflatables. We’re believers that you needn’t look any further when it comes to Sevylor’s trusted and reputable range of models, and here’s why:
- They’ve been in the business longer than anyone else, first pioneering inflatable kayaks over 69 years ago in 1948!2
- Since then Sevylor have continued to pave the way and today are the single most reputable maker of inflatable kayaks in the world, known for their reliability and strength.
- They produce a diverse and extensive range of models to suit every need, and work in partnership with us to deliver excellent customer care with generous warranty policy.
- Sevylor kayaks rock! Most of our team have used every kayak in the Sevylor fleet, and intimately know each model. As keen enthusiasts, you can count on us to provide you with down-to-earth, honest reviews, and common sense advice!
How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak?
Start with your intentions. Do you want this for some seaside fun during the summer months? Or do you want something a little more serious, something that will last 15 to 20 years, mimic the experience of a rigid kayak and take you on amazing explorations through rivers, canals, coastal areas and even white water? If the first option suits you, go for a single skin kayak such as the Riviera, Tahiti, or Tahiti Plus, and getting paddling for as little as £99!
If the later is more alligned with your needs (usually the case), you’ll want to go for a dual skin kayak, which are more expensive, but will easily last you 20 years with good care. The nylon exterior means that you can drag your kayak up shingle beaches with no worries, and even handle scuffs from rocks.
Think about your purposes. Every Sevylor kayak fits into a suitcase so holidays are an absolute breeze, but will you be using it as single seater, double seater, or even for 3 paddlers? The Madison and Colorado models all convert perfectly between a 1-seater and 2-seater, which means you can stay perfectly balanced if you intend to paddle alone for some of the time. The Ottawa, Alameda, Hudson and Adventure Plus however, not only have room for a third paddler, but can be configured as a single or double seater too! - making them incredibly versatile. We find these models are not only popular with families, but pet owners too, or those who want to remove the middle seat to make space for a tent or picnic. The Waterton and Canyon/Adventure are dedicated 2-seaters, but perhaps not ideal for the taller paddler who requires generous legroom.
Next, consider your budget. You'll notice you get a black material on the underneath of the Ottawa, Alameda, Madison, Pointer, Hudson and Colorado models. This ‘Decitex’ material is PVC with a nylon weave running through it, and it means incredible strength, smooth and effortless paddling, and a waterproof finish. You pay a little more for these models but it’s well worth it if you in this for the long run and want effortless paddling and a bone-dry boot!
If you’re considering the Hudson or the Alameda, you can pay a little extra for the ‘Premium’ version of these kayaks – the difference being a sleek colour scheme and the all-new ‘Easy Inflation System, which enables you to inflate the whole kayak from just one valve. So if you want super-convenience, go for this option. The bladders still remain independant from each other in the unlikely event of a puncture. However, if you’re saving some budget aside for equipment, the standard version only has 2 extra values – so not a huge inconvenience!
Look at the small things. All kayaks come with easy transportation, but these differ; The Ottawa, and the Alameda come with an incredible dry bag, which is total sealed and waterproof. Having waited a while to these, we all agree they were worth the wait and certainly the best bag we've seen from Sevylor - the whole kayak fits inside and it has really good quality backpack straps for your shoulders. There's even a drainage plug on the bag, so that you can drain the kayak whilst it's in the bag. The Madison, Colorado, Colorado Premium, Tahiti and Adventure Plus all come with the Integrated Backpack System, where the kayak rolls up and becomes a small backpack itself! The 2017 models comes with a generously sized free Backpack, which can hold all of your equipment too such as paddles and pumps. All other models come with a handy nylon carry bag for dry storage – ideal for throwing in the boot of the car.
Do you require much storage space? Whist all of the kayaks will have some room inbetween your legs or at the back of the kayak for storage, you’ll notice that some have more storage space than others. If keeping things dry is a concern, look out for spray decks. Kayaks like the Ottawa, Alameda & Hudson have a huge dry deck on the front and also bungee chords for improvised storage.
Consider back support – you’ll thank yourself! Don’t forget that after a days paddling your back can start to feel it! Unsurprisingly, the cheaper, single-skin models are less supportive – so a 3/10 score for these models, but these are generally used for short periods of time, which means you're long finished paddling before you back would start to ache! The Adventure and Adventure Plus and have inflatable back rests as well as cushions that are velcro'd to the floor, which makes them comfortable and more supportive – we give these models a 6/10 for support. The Madsion & Hudson have an inflatable cushion will a very firm foam back rest that will see you supported and comfortable for hours of paddling – 8/10 rating for these models.
Will you be going fishing? If you’re planning on fishing, we recommend the Ottawa, Alameda, Madison, Colorado or Hudson. Not only is the inner flooring covered with a strong nylon skin for protection against hooks, these models have the space required for your fishing rod.
Finally there's our new, 2018 kayaks - the Ottawa and the Alameda. If it's back support you want, then these model are incredible. For the first time ever, the seats are suspended from the side walls, creating a 2 inch gap between the underneith of the seat and the flooring, which changes a few things.. Firstly you don't find yourself sitting in water at any point. Secondly, as well as the gap, the seat cushions are at-least twice as thick (5 inches) meaning more comfort and a higher, more controlled paddling position. Thirdly, since you're seat is off the flooring, so is your bum, which means you create far less drag that in the other models which change the shape of the hull of the kayak. The seats and also be configured inch-by-inch, which makes leg room adjustments a dream! It has to be 11/10.
It’s always a good idea to chat to someone who’s used them before and can advise you without guessing. We’re a cheery bunch and always take the time to educate friends on the Sevylor range.
Enjoy shopping! If we can help, get in touch.