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Reviews for Rio Canoe by Sevylor


Rated: 8.4/10 Based On: 15 Reviews

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07-18-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We own three Rios, and really like them. They are fun boats. My nieces and nephews love to play "bumper boats" in them. There's no skeg, so they're very maneuverable, and you can float in 3" of water without touching bottom. I like the material that covers the top, sides, and floor of the boat; it's very durable and sturdy. On the back of the seat there are holders for bottled water and snacks, and there is a convenient mesh holder in the area behind the seat for misc. stuff.

It's not the fastest boat out there, but that's ok. It's very stable, and is great for novice paddlers; they feel very safe in it out on the water. It does fishtail a bit when you paddle, but it gets you where you want to go.

This is a good choice if you want a decent inflatable canoe for a reasonable price and weight, good portability, and if you just want to get out on the water and have fun.

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07-11-2013
Submitted by: ANSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a update/addendum to my first review from 5/2008.
To date my Rio has done over 450 miles of river trips, miles and miles worth of paddling lakes fishing for trout and salmon. It has been dragged over rocks while loaded with 4 days of camping gear, collisions with debris in the river, fishing lures bouncing off the tubes after missed fish and a excited 55lb blue heeler jumping in and out of it just to mention a few of the paces I put this amazing little boat through. No failures. I have never dumped myself out of it in spite of getting up on my knees to fly fish from it, or trying to get something from the storage bag that clips into the rear of the boat.

I highly recommend this boat for anyone that is looking for a do it all inflatable. Durable, stable, reliable. With a little practice "fishtail" characteristics are not noteworthy. A great paddling fun craft...go get one and start enjoying the water!

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02-24-2013
Submitted by: Joel ClydeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have a Rio, and it is an outstanding boat for what it was designed for....an adventure boat. I bought it on sale at Sportsman's Warehouse, and couldn't be happier. I have two other kayaks (a Pelican Pursuit 100, and an Advanced Elements Convertible), but this is my favorite fun boat. All of the negative comments about tracking are just because they don't know the 'trick'. Just get one, or two of the skegs for the K-79 Tahiti models, and one or two chopsticks. Insert the bottom of the skeg into the trolling motor mount from underneath, place the top behind the top mount and insert the chopstick. It's super secure. if you want two skegs, just repeat for the other side. With these mounted, the Rio tracks as straight as any boat I have ever been in. To remove them, just pull out the chopstick...quick-release style.

The Rio is not as fast as touring kayak, but faster than a lot of Recreational boats out there, and quite a bit faster than a regular canoe. The nylon cover is tough, and the Rio handles fast water beautifully. I have even had it in the ocean, and have paddled as far as 3 miles off shore with no trouble at all. You can't go wrong with this boat, or it's big brother, the Colorado.

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07-01-2011
Submitted by: JorZSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought two of these boats (Rio and Colorado) for moderate whitewater. They are the same boat and only differ in length to accommodate the number of paddlers. I have now ran 20 miles of mild rivers (Class I and II) with them without any issues. My wife paddles the Rio solo and I paddle the Colorado with my daughter in the front. I am very pleased with both the engineering and material of the boats but need to use them more to see how durable they are. I chose these over the Aire Tomcats because of price and so far I think I made the right choice. I expect the Aires to be better boats but for family use these should work great. If it is needed we will upgrade later on but based on review we some care we should be able to use these for many years. These are very stable but I suspect their limit to be rapids III+ or IV.

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 weighs 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.

After kayaking:
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.

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03-16-2011
Submitted by: IMFSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Got the Rio for light weight, tough nylon skin, ease of setup and transport to water's edge, and to accommodate my 22 pound dog. All requirements fulfilled!

Get a very good paddle - splurge, and tracking, will be no problem. Of course don't expect hard shell kayak performance. Glad Sevylor keeps the Rio going, sad the Fish Master is no more. The inner bladder with nylon skin is a great way to go, several seasons for me.
Way to go!!!

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10-25-2010
Submitted by: SteveSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Really pleased with it as yacht tender, very stable, light to get on board, easy to paddle, the only downfall after six months the blue fabric has degraded and is rotting and inflatable floor has cracked, great concept but poor materials.
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09-07-2010
Submitted by: HPSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I will say the boat is very stable. However, the Rio fishtails like crazy. Having to paddle conservatively to build up speed seemed very awkward to avoid fishtailing. It's pretty much a regular inflatable. You get what you pay for. Nothing really outstanding...with all the faults of low priced inflatable. The kayak also started to twist when inflated making it crocked in the water??? Like I said you get what you pay for. Not good, but not terrible for the money.
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11-16-2009
Submitted by: R.M YAKSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Sevylor Rio all in all is my number 1 pick when going on hazardous and scary overnight fishing trips to patch reefs off of Florida's east coast. The buoyancy of the side tubes and diameter makes me feel secure and contained, and stability second to none, and I have Ocean Kayak Big Yak (a great and stable boat in its own right) and an Old Town Loon 111 sit inside. I also have a Sevylor Colorado (which i also use for night fishing and is an equal in every way to Rio), but Rio still 1st choice. They both have tough outer fabric skin, very good p v c inner chambers. I haven't had any issues with floor pinch valve and if I do I'll cut around it carefully and glue on boston valve from old Sevylor inflatable, carefully overlapping material 2 inches over cut out. But so far so good; I give it a 10
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05-20-2008
Submitted by: ASend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     This was my first inflatable, not a bad boat to start off with but it left me wanting something better.
I wanted an open canoe style inflatable that I could easily paddle with a single bladed paddle - well the boat was useless for this! The Sevylor Rio is more of a kayak - shaped like a canoe. You sit in the same position as you would in a kayak and have to use a kayak paddle. It generally tracks well (with kayak paddles). You do get a bit wet as it has no deck and the canvas style material that covers the upperside of the boat takes ages to dry out, gets dirty easily and is hard to clean! The floor valve is one of those rubbery things you find on beach balls, the cap on mine broke off and I had to be careful not to loose it.

I sold this boat after a few months and replaced it with the more traditional canoe styled Gumotex Palava - which is in a different league! If you want to paddle a traditional open canoe it is well worth spending a little extra on the Gumotex Palava, I can't fault it!

I also own a Stearns Spree 1, which I would also recommend over the Rio if you want a Kayak styled boat, it has very similar handling and speed, but is much easier to dry out and has a deck to keep you dry!

The Rio isn't a bad boat, but I think there are better models available!

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05-19-2008
Submitted by: ANSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had my Rio out around 5 times and I think it is a great boat for the money. I have found that if you paddle really hard then yes, the boat doesn't track as well as a hard shell boat. but if you kind of build up to speed, then it tracks just fine. I actually had a guy paddle up to me and ask me about my boat . He was in a hard kayak and he said he was only a little faster than me. I have fished from it as well as a few short river runs. I have found that of you are paddling into the wind it helps to have the seat a bit farther forward.
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02-27-2008
Submitted by: Ian BlowSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have read other reviews on the Sevylor Colorado and they prompted me to throw in my two cents worth.
I have the single model (the Rio),I find that the boat tracks just fine, it's all in how you paddle the boat, of course. I actually bought two of them and I was out last Sunday with a buddy of mine and it was his first time paddling and he totally enjoyed it. I had the seat in his boat set up for me, I like the seat as far back as possible because I want lots of room for my dog in the front. With it set up like that I could see that his boat was a little high in the front and he noticed the drag. I gave him the dog and... problem solved.

Even paddling into the wind as well as angling into the wind and we did not have to fight to keep the boats in control. I intend to sell both of these boats and I'm going to purchase the Colorados to replace them as I find the Rio's to be lacking in space. I would not suggest that anyone buy a Rio if they intend to carry along any gear at all. The only thing that bothers me about these boats is that they seem to take on quite a bit of water, nothing major, and I'm not even sure how the water is getting in. I'm very careful not to drip water from my paddle, so, I know that that is not how the water is getting in. The floor and seat is not getting wet from wicking, however there winds up being about a liter or more of water in the space between the floor and pontoon.

I would also agree that the vinyl inflation stems are pretty crude. It's really not easy getting them to pop out once they are depressed. I also find that the seats definitely need to be about four or five inches taller. I intend to deck my boat out for fly fishing and I'm going to install a padded rigid seat mounted to a wooden deck as well as a motor mount and an fish finder/rod holder mount.

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05-21-2007
Submitted by: L. NagleSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Since I have never paddled a boat before (sail and power only) I cannot rate the Sevylor Rio in comparison with anything else. What I have found is that it was inexpensive enough to take a chance on, light enough for me to carry, and is a good boat.
From out of bag to inflated, gear stowed and ready to set out is about five minutes. He paddles well I think in that I have no previous experience paddling, but he tracks just fine, and is easily held on course or turned. He does have a bit of weather helm and wind is an issue if it is strong. I am not very strong, but even into a light wind I can outpace hikers on the shore. Stable in roll, easy into and ont of. Seems well made. I love my new rubber ducky! I cannot rate in comparison with other boats, but give a ten because it meets or exceeds all my expectations.
PS: hardest part is getting it back into duffel!

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05-09-2007
Submitted by: dmcgraw7Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have the Sevylor Rio and I like it for fishing and short runs. I've paddled it slowly down stream on the South Platte river near Evans and in various lakes near Boulder and Loveland. I might take it down some faster water in July. The Rio likes to fishtail so I use the skeg intended for the Sevylor Tahiti. The skeg fits, but not very securely. It required a bit of engineering. The "directional strakes" on the bottom of the boat remain warped because when you fold it up, you fold the strakes as well. The nylon outer shell is heavy duty and protects the inner PVC. Overall, I'm happy with it as a stable and compact 25lb. fishing boat. I'm 5'8", 160 lbs. and the Rio fits me pretty well. I've paddled better boats, but with the skeg, the Rio isn't as bad as I was expecting. If I had the money I would have gone with an $750 Innova Sunny, but I got the Rio for only about $250. Easy math.
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02-02-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is one great boat. I got this boat and am in love with it. It inflates very fast,getting you on the river in no time. I have never had ant tracking problems. The rio goes very straight, is easy to change or correct direction, and is quite fast. I am usely a good distance in front of the group and need to eddie out or slow to the side for the group. The denier outer shell is very tough. I accidently went over acouple really nasty rocks and was fine. the bottom of the boat is really strong. I feel bad for the people who ha dproblems with this or the colorado, bacause i reccomend ths boat to everyone. My Rio has been down the Mcenzie and deushutes rivers in Oregon.
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09-18-2006
Submitted by: EMM IVSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     The inflatable kayak designed like a canoe which does not have the good qualities of either. the pros: the boat is ligts easy to transport, constructed well of good materials and take to rough water very well. I have run it over -III rapids. This yak preforms better in moving fast water better then a lake.

The cons: slow, tracks horrably was designed with fishing/hunting in mind. Needs a skeg desprately to correct the tracking problems.

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