66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
so I am writing this review after the maiden voyage with my kayak. the kayak itself is great - it's a nice length, it was comfortable, it inflated pretty easily, and I really love that every part of the 'backpack' becomes part of the kayak when assembled. the accessories, however, are another story. I like that this kayak came with the inflatable hand pump - one less thing for me to purchase. however, the pump comes with several attaments to fit in differently sized valve holes. on this kayak, there are 3 valves - two with large openings, and one with a regular sized opening. one attachment on the pump fits the valve with the regular sized opening perfectly well, no problem. the attachment that is sized to fit in the large valves however, is just a tad bit too small so it goes into the opening, but does not stay in place while you are pumping (so you would literally need to have someone hold it in place). to me, the whole point of an inflatable kayak is that it is an item you can use alone, without needing any help to set it on your car, carrying it, etc. for a quick fix, I took a couple strips of duct tape, and wrapped it around the valve attachment and it did the trick - it fits snuggly in the valve now.
I figured that would be the biggest problem with this purchase, and that would have been fine with me. that was, however, until I was halfway across the bay I was kayaking in, and the paddle that this set came with BROKE IN HALF. one half of the paddle literally sank, and so I was stuck kayaking back to the launch point with only one half of a kayak paddle. not exactly ideal. luckily, I have a good sense of humor, so I laughed about the whole thing, but if you buy this set, take my advice and buy your own paddle and throw the junk that comes with this away. it is not like any other kayak paddle I've seen; instead of coming in two pieces that snap together with a locking button, it came in three segments with 6 couplings to attach the pieces together. that was a problem for a couple reasons - first is that you can't break the paddle down into two symmetrical pieces, so it is harder to tote along in the car. also, the couplings are made of really cheap plastic, so they definitely did not hold up to heavy paddling. the coupling on one end broke mid-stroke, and that end of the paddle fell off and floated away (before sinking). definitely not worth the money they spent to produce it. I don't know why Sevylor didn't just include a normal paddle or none at all, because the one they included was such a waste. I had heard bad things about their paddles, but I wanted to try it out (since again, I figured why spend more money if I didn't have to). if you're intent on trying the paddle out, make sure you use it on a short trip where you have someone standing by for rescue haha.
conclusion is that the kayak is pretty awesome, the pump is mediocre, and the paddle is a piece of junk. all-in-all, still recommended, even though I paid $50 more than it's listed for now!
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First-off, I would like to mention that this review may be lengthy, as I just want to cover all the bases and since there are so few reviews for this product, hopefully aid in your decision to purchase it. I recently purchased this kayak for about $226 out the door, and am extremely happy I did. It fits my needs perfectly (I am a college student with an apartment, so storage is limited) and I love that I am able to take it out on the river without the need for a roof-rack or friend to help me carry it and load it. Since I have received the kayak, I have taken it out on the river once for about 3 hours, and it tracked a lot better than I had anticipated. Gentle and controlled paddling will ensure that the vessel will maintain a straight course, and I had no trouble paddling against the current or in the wake of passing boats. This is an inflatable boat, so keep that in mind. But even taking into consideration that it is inflatable, I only experienced a small amount of more sway than I have with hardshells, and it wasn't problematic in the least bit. I even let my friends and family try it out, and they were able to control the kayak with relative ease (considering none of them had kayaked before).
Stability is another area where this kayak shines. This vessel is rather stable, and I rocked pretty hard back and forth while I had it out on the river by my apartment, and found it difficult to even get the edge close to the water level. Additionally, I attempted a reentry into the kayak in open water (be sure to wear a PFD if attempting this), and succeeded with relative ease. The boat rocked minimally as I used my arms to lift myself up, and I was back in and paddling in 15 seconds.
Assembly and breakdown is pretty quick and painless. I had timed myself setting up the kayak and packing packing it away, and I had it from pack to sitting in the seat in 12 minutes, and back into the backpack in 8. I was consciously taking my time to get an accurate time, and was pleasantly surprised to see it took such little time to set up and put away. One gripe I did have, however, was with the directions. They were unclear about how to fold the kayak so it fits properly in the backpack. I have found that folding one side into the middle lengthwise, and then the other side over the first so it covers it works the best. Then just fold up the rear so the skeg is exposed in two folds, and then fold front twice to cover the rear skeg. It should fit perfectly then.
As other users have mentioned before me, the accessories leave much to be desired. The paddle itself seems cheap, and while I understand the three piece design increases portability, I will be purchasing a better paddle this week. The pump's nozzle does not fit very securely while inflating, and while some have used duct tape to solve this problem, I have been able to secure it by sliding one of the notches of the piece of plastic that secures the cap into the nozzle of the pump.
The material on the bottom of the kayak is very heavy-duty, and I had no worries with dragging it to shore over pebbles and rocks. There is more storage than I had anticipated, with a rear well that will hold the pump and some other items. There are plenty of bungees for deck storage as well, and D-Rings for the placement of deck bags if you wish (on my purchase list). Be sure to note that while the rear well will keep most of the water out, it is not completely waterproof. I tested it by dumping a large amount of water on the cover, and a portion of it seeped in. So if you plan on taking this down some whitewater, be sure to keep your cell phone in a drybag or container, along with anything else you wish to keep dry. Please note that there is little-to-no room inside the kayak for storage. Behind the seat is occupied by inflatable space, and the legroom is comfortable but snug (I am about 5'10", 150lbs). If you plan on taking this on an overnight or multiday trip, you will need a set of deckbags for gear storage.
Overall, this kayak is a must-buy and a keeper for me. The small amount of storage space required, phenomenal portability, and excellent handling and stability have made me extremely happy with my purchase. As I mentioned, the accessories leave much to be desired, but a decent paddle can be purchased on Amazon for ~40 dollars. All in all, this boat is versatile and portable, two great qualities to have in a kayak, and at the price, it can't be beat.