After doing a bit of research, I decided to go with an inflatable kayak verses a plastic-type molded one mainly due to cost and storage reasons….though I really wanted one of those with the cool impulse peddle drive. So, I settled on the Sevylor 2-person Colorado Fishing kayak which I bought summer 2018. I have used it several times in different water ways and have found it to be, overall, a pretty reliable boat but not without drawbacks.
Even though there are some negatives to the Colorado I was able to find some relatively inexpensive remedies to overcome them. Here we go……. The (-) As with some of the other reviews on this kayak, I agree the fishing rod holders can get in the way of rowing and leave you with a couple of bruised arms by the end of the day if you are not paying attention to how you’re rowing. However, to alleviate myself in general from rowing, I bought the Sevylor SBM 18 Lb. thrust trolling motor with a 35 amp hour deep cycle battery, and for the most part, I really don't have to worry about this anymore. Come to find out, the Colorado actually has fittings built in specifically for this trolling motor....how cool is that! Not so! Though the motor does fit nicely in the built-in eye holes on the side of the kayak, it's a constant battle to steer when you are on the water due to the flex in the kayak. So, I jumped on YouTube and found several videos for kayak mods. As you guested, with a little on-line education and some ingenuity of my own, I made a PVC motor transom mount that secures nicely in the rear fishing rod holders, and along with this, I decided to incorporate a nice rack to hold my ice chest full of beer and other goodies. Quick note on the SBM 18 which I still recommend buying with this kayak- works nicely on lakes, inlets and calmer waters as long as it’s not too windy. I recently did have to replace the propeller due to it coming loose and falling off, somehow, the last time I used it. Sevylor unfortunately does not make or carry replacement propellers. BUT and HOWEVER......as you guessed, I did find a remedy....the Watersnake 18 Lb. thrust is the same exact motor with the same exact propeller and for $11.00 on Amazon, I bought it. BTW, I actually bought two for the reason you just guested! Last note which refers back to your guess....check your equipment before opening your first beer and departing on the lake. Also with some of the reviews I read, I too had some challenges with the kayak’s performance. When you inflate it, the bottom over time does start to go out of form with the sides. This makes for tracking and cutting through the water more difficult not to mention slowing the kayak down with what is already a not-so-fast kayak. Remedy - rather than fill each of the three bladders until full, what I found is to fill the bottom about half way first then do the same for both sides. This will allow you to adjust the bottom and sides so they all line up property to optimize the kayak's performance - prior to completing the inflation process. If you decide buy this kayak just watch for this. I think what has happen to other people over time is, if you are not properly folding and storing the kayak, the next time you inflate it the bladders tend to shift and when the boat also sits out in the sun fully inflated, it causes the material to stretch. Once this happens you might as well pitch it or use it for a pool toy. I believe this is just a “watch for” maintenance issue. Fortunately, I caught it in time. The seats that comes with the kayak have an inflatable bottom but still sit low, and when paddling, it doesn't take long before your back starts to hurt. Remedy - I bought one of those blow-up seat flotation devises along with a stadium seat to raise me up and add back support. This was an inexpensive way to effectually take care of my back situation and also, should I decide not to use the trolling motor, lifts me up high enough to where my arms no longer hit the rod holders. So you ask, based on the review so far, the boat seems slow, uncomfortable and doesn't seem to perform well. Why buy it and why rate it 4-stars.......here’s why.
Construction - even though a few of the reviews I read talk of flimsy material, I actually find this boat to be pretty rugged. I have had it in several sticky situations, including getting under hanging trees with some gnarly branches brushing up against the sides to retrieve lures. In every situation like this there were never any permanent markings on the material nor did it puncture....and I always got my lure back!
Functionality – I really like all of the rod holders, D-rings and built-in pockets to hold gear. All of these have allowed me to make this boat my own, especially with the several PVC modifications I have added.
Looks - not that this is important when fishing, but this is a very nice looking boat. Since it has a green-quasi-camouflage look to it, I kept this theme with all my mods. The all-in-one transom mount and storage rack I built on the back, I painted camo as well as a couple of other mods. Really looks cool! If I'm not catching any fish, at least I look good. Comfort – Yes, I did have to add a stadium seat and flotation devise but after this I had to be careful not to fall asleep. Comfort problem solved. There are other kayak seats you can buy but you’ll need to spend more. Fast-vs slow - inflatables in general will always be slower. I bought this kayak for fishing and leisure not for performance or exercise, hence, why I bought the trolling motor. Maintenance – you’ll need to let this kayak dry out before folding (properly) and storing so it won’t mildew. Also be sure to check all of the bladder positions every time before inflating all the way, otherwise it will just become a pool toy.
Modifications - I found it was actually fun to make this boat my own with the several modification I did. I was even able to add a sunscreen canopy structure to the transom mount/rack I built. As I continue to use this kayak I will no doubt continue to chance and modify it for the different waterways I go to. Whether out on the lake for the day or taking it kayak camping for the weekend, it has all of the functionality, comfort and room I need for a fun day or weekend. Overall – as with all kayaks, you’re never going to get everything you want in one purchase. If you are looking for a multifunctional relatively inexpensive kayak that is easy to store, I recommend this kayak for beginners to mid-level kayakers or lazy kayakers such as myself. With all of the modifications, trolling motor, battery and other add-ons, I still have less than $1,000 into this boat.
Have enjoyed my Colorado for the last 3 years. Inflation takes 5 - 10 minutes. It was great for lakes & other calm waters. Does take a bit of effort when paddling against moderate wind /waves.
Disappointing that after last trip, valve on 1 bladder has come apart. Rang Coleman & was informed they don't sell spares, so only option is the scrap heap.
Not Good Enough!
The Colorado is the tandem version of the Rio, and also comes in plain and angler versions. The angler version is far more versatile (and more expensive) than the plain model, but well worth the price in value. Multiple D-rings, grommets, and a trolling motor mount, a 470 lb. weight limit and lots of room for gear make it usable in many situations.
It has a very good quality fabric-covered 3-chambered PVC bladder construction. The seats positions are adjust-able (including height, great for vertically challenged paddlers). The fabric is pet-friendly, and shows very little wear after some pretty severe abuse.
It sets up easily, maneuvers reasonably well, and doesn't require strenuous paddling (but will never win any races). It's easy to clean, and has a drain plug for washing out any dirt and getting rid of any water.
Sevylor has discontinued it for some reason, but these are still available on the Sevylor website and (on sale) on many outfitter sites.
The valves are not boston valves anymore, they are like those from an inflatable air mattress, and this is really the worst part about the boat. If you see the amazing reviews for this boat lasting 5+ years you can be sure you will not get the same boat. The valves they use now will fail long before then. Theoretically you can replace the blatter (of which there are 3, bottom/left/right), but the manufacturer won't replace them, says they can be purchased but only if you live in the UK.
The tracking is what you would expect from a flat bottomed inflatable boat...what little assistance the bottom design gives you is negated after storing it because thematerial became permanently enamored with the right side of the boat.
So now that we got the bad out of the way...
This boat is more than capable of going a few miles or less to your favorite fishing hole. You basically can't tip this boat. It is hilariously stable. It is very comfortable, maybe a little cramped for long trips with 2, super comfortable by yourself. Have done class I/II in it without a problem. Especially in a river with a current this boat is a dream. The material is so heavy duty I ran in some pretty gnarly broken trees, thorns, and had to drag lazy ladies over sharp rocks and had no trouble whatsoever. I imagine adding a skeg to this would be a big help, I found directions online for adding one but unfortunately my valve failed before then.
I have had around 550 pounds of supplies and men in it without a problem.
I have much fondness for this boat, and probably got 200+ miles of floating out of it. Eventually that valve is going to get you though (it failed while opening it to air it up), so at the very least be very gentle with the valves. This isn't your boat for the rest of your life, but not many inflatables are, especially at this price point. If fishing is your main activity I definitely recommend.
I enjoyed using this kayak in calm - rippled sea, using it to reach inaccessible beaches with my girlfriend that is even less experienced than me... I will provisionally non give the maximum rate to this kayak as I've not used too much and I'm not sure if it really has a malfunction or not.. I would definitely re-buy it again because it's funny and handy..
This is a 2 person canoe with 3 air chambers left right and bottom, and 2 inflatable seats, this brings me to the tracking, being a 2 person canoe it needs weight to track in a straight line if you try to paddle solo the canoe will weave about so take some ballast camping gear or your dog even, this is an excellent canoe for lazy days on the river and it will carry enough equipment to stay out for a long time, it will not get awards for speed but it will do relaxed river cruising and extended camping trips it is very stable on the water and is tough as old boots.
I have had mine 7 years and my buddy Gavin has 2 that he still uses when he goes away with the wife and children and he has owned his Seveylor Colorados for almost as long as i have, and i fully expect to get another 7years or more trouble free canoeing.
Unfortunately, the top part of a valve tore off on the last trip, and support says that this can't be repaired. Not sure yet what to replace this boat with, but I'll either go for something cheaper and more disposable, or for a manufacturer who is confident enough in the quality of their products to provide a proper warranty.
Problem with English rivers is it is like being on a history tour as every bend, landing or rapid has a story. We will be in the USA in July so hope to see some National Parks that you guys look after so well. Be proud of them!
I would have easily given this a 10 out of 10 if it tracked a bit better, but if you are not in a hurry, I say go for it! The river was at the exact level that you can paddle right into a cave bordering the river and it was a cool break to go in 50+ feet into 60 degree water in a cave that the canoe could not navigate through the cave. Good stuff!
The only things to be aware of is the bladders can and will fail if over inflated or the Colorado is over loaded. There doesn't seem to be any back up service from Sevylor. If any one knows where spare bladders for the earlier Colorado's are then please let me know!
So far we have got these stuck in rocks several times (low water levels) with no visible sign of wear. The bottom of the boats is a very tough plastic and seems to be doing its job. As some other reviewers commented these are not really designed for flat water so paddling in flat water or slow moving rivers is manageable but tedious. They track reasonably well in flat water for an inflatable but if you expect hardshell kayak tracking you will be disappointed. The paddle choices depends on the number of paddlers. Two paddlers could handle the Colorado with canoe paddles but I would not want to paddle the Colorado solo or the Rio with a canoe paddle. If paddling the Colorado solo or with a child (my daughter weight 50lbs) you want to invert the seats and paddle backwards as this helps balance the boat lengthwise. It tracks much better this way. If you will only inflate one of these boat you can do with a manual pump but if you have two you definitely want to use an electric pump initially and finish the inflation with a manual pump. Inflating these to the correct pressure without a pressure gauge is extremely difficult so I recommend to invest in a pressure gauge. I bought a "Bravo" and rigged it to my Coleman dual action pump which is a great combo.
The correct kayak paddle length for paddlers irrespective of height is 240cms because of the fat and high side tubes. The problem with this was that paddles this long could not be found locally so we had to order online and wait for the delivery. If you insist in buying shorter paddles locally definitely don’t go shorter than 230cms or you will not reach the water comfortably.
My operating procedure for these boats is the following:
1) unfold, 2) inflate main chambers for volume with a 12v pump quickpump, 3) inflate main chambers for pressure with a manual pump with pressure gauge , 4) Inflate seats with the manual pump, 5) tie seats, 6) launch.
1) take out of water, 2) unplug drainage valve, 3) lift kayak to drain water, 4) dry with camp towel, 5) deflate manually, 6) deflate with pump, 7) dry again with camp towel, 8) unfasten seats, 9) fold, 10) drive home, 11) inflate for volume main chambers, 12) let dry for a day, 13) deflate with pump, 14) fold.
I use kayak paddles and no problems with tracking, with and without skeg. I had a seem split in a bladder early on, replaced FOC by shop. Have had another small hole, patched and no further problems. (Hint: use soapy water to find leaks).
Was amazed that me and girlfriend could paddle it faster than novices in hard open canoes (I'm experienced, she isn't). Replaced bag with a 120L cargo rucksack which is much better. Construction is solid and resilient on the whole, but bladders could be made better.
Good all round boat, easy to store and just chuck in the boot of your car. Kayak paddles mean that your legs get dripped on a fair bit.
Pros - Affordable, easy to set up (max 15 mins-inflating boat, seats, lashing bags on etc), tracks decently, sturdy, looks good, light, can stand up on it, packs small, nice pressure gauge and mesh bag supplied, stable, tough outer skin, both side and bottom pvc tubes can be removed totally - makes cleaning and checking/repairs easier, bottom seems pretty solid too, pretty good fun!
Cons - cheap floor valve makes me worry, would have liked two skegs or one big one for deep water, the outer skin that houses the pvc chambers is great but also retains some water making it noticeably heavier for portage and increases drying/cleaning time. Bellows foot pump feels flimsy, I'm getting a solid plastic one.
This Colorado will be used extensively for river running in our hills so another review will be added after it hits some rough water. I only give it an 8 because I haven't used it to its full potential yet so I don't have first hand experience. But from the build quality of the boat I might be changing the rating later!
All in all a great little boat and I recommend it to anyone who asks. Looking forward to a near future of a little river bashing with the Colorado!
If you are going to be using it for a couple of days camping then this is the boat for you. If however it will be used for the occasional day of evening out there are better and cheaper alternatives. Personally we have ended up very Satisfied with the Red Star Pathfinder kayaks, while not as robust as the Colorado a quick wipe after use and it is dry.
Got it in the water today on a slow river with a bit of wind. Generally very pleased with boat. Excellent quality of materials and workmanship. These boats are built to take a few knocks and I have every confidence they will hack it when the going gets a bit rough. Tracking was a bit of a worry but to be fair the skeg wasn't fitted. Next outing I will check inflation and fit skeg. Very comfortable and easy to inflate, deflate and move around.
Would highly recommend to anyone. I think it would be better if the seat position could be moved to about center so it is trimmed well for one paddler. Even so a very good product.
The only disappointment is a leak with the right side bladder, cannot seem to find it. The leak is slow enough that I can be on the water for up to 5 hours without too many worries. The only thing slower than the leak at this time is the customer service at Sevylor - I've left 2 voicemail and 2 e-mails in the past week with no response.
It seems to handle well enough in good conditions (my suspicion is that it will handle not so well in adverse wind and current situations) and best with the removable skeg attached. (I guess some Colorados have 'em and some don't).
Our biggest complaint so far is that I can find zero information on how to replace that removable skeg should it be lost. Which is inevitable. Why I give it a 9: not much support from the company...
I get a little aggravated sometimes when I see my "rigid body" friends standing around while I'm still rolling up my Colorado and I'm thinking about the cleaning and drying operation still ahead. But I feel better when I stow mine back in its little corner of the garage.
If inflatable, portable and stable is important, it would be hard to do any better than the Colorado.
The Colorado is very stable and comfortable for long floats and has enough room for coolers and other gear for two people. I rigged the boat the first time in 10 minutes or less by myself. The only thing I would improve on is the valves for the floor and seat supports. The valves are the cheap pinch type, if they were boston valves like the main tubes, they would be great.
My primary concern when buying this boat was it's tracking ability. It exceeded my expectations without using the removable skeg. The two molded strakes on the bottom of the hull help keep the boat pointed down river pretty well.
Overall, For the money and price, I am happy with the Sevylor Colorado.
Especially the canvas protection that protects the inflatable parts of the kayak are crucial in our view, as we have had not a single leak in the expedition, and man.. we haven't been too easy on the kayak..bumping into trees, sharp rocks... amazing!
One word of advice though, make sure it is properly inflated, especially in white water conditions.
For the Colorado in action, please visit: www.lemmingsontour.nl, and follow the link to the video of Borneo.
We have recommended this boat to all passers by and there are a lot of interested people out there. A friend has already bought one as well! So far it has been extremely durable, as we have had in rather shallow, but swift moving rivers. We are very pleased with our purchase.
Yes, its true, if you're a true canoe enthusiast, the tracking is a small issue. But if you want perfect tracking, go by a rigid kayak or regular canoe. My experience is that it does very well on water, and I can get from one end of the 'lake' to the other without any problems. I use the kayad paddle, and had my 6 yr old son in front. I did not get drenched, just had to find the most comfortable and efficient way of paddling.
I've been in many regular canoes, and this is as good on the water. Now, try folding up a regular canoe and taking it home. The whole point of an inflatable is the portability. Its fun, and if you want pure, straight and true tracking, get a rack/trailer for your car, a good strong back, and a roof mount for your garage and pay $650 for a 'real' canoe. I think the people who downgrade this boat shouldn't have bought an inflatable to begin with, but for what it is, it works great for us!
BTW - I probably should have given it a 10, but it could use another skeg on the front end.
I found that I could have it inflated and ready to use in about 15-20 minutes using a Sevylor large foot pump. I thought that was pretty good. Deflating and repacking has been a little harder. Maybe I'll get better at it.
I found the handling to be very responsive but manageable with two people in it. We had it loaded close to the maximum weight. I was pleased with the water performance, comfort and light weight. This is the main reason for my good review. It seems to me that this a good day trip boat for calm conditions. With the loading we had it would take on water if there was any chop. Cargo capacity is limited by the length, mostly.
Negatives: Floor and seat valves are cheap molded stem type and hard to use. Main side valves are "Boston" and better. Tend to hit motor mount and tie downs when paddling in the rear. Can learn to avoid this but design could be better.