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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 donít 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.
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