Sevylor was founded in France in 1948 and emerged as a pioneer in the construction of PVC inflatables; its boats and beach toys arrived in North America in 1959. The company was a product of World War II innovation, especially advances in polymer plastics—which trickled down into recreational watercraft and other inflatable products ranging from sleeping mattresses for camping to beach balls.
Sevylor’s products were popular for their portability and durability, and remain so today. The brand merged with the Zodiac label of inflatable powerboats in 1981 and finally joined forces with American outdoor giant Coleman/Stearns in the early 2000s. The company still has a large paddling presence in Europe, with North American Sevylor inflatable kayaks limited to big box stores such as Walmart and online at Amazon.
Given its cheap price-point and distribution in big box department stores and online retailers, Sevylor kayaks primarily appeal to beginners, casual paddlers and those with both limited storage space and budget. The best Sevylor inflatable kayaks are geared for general recreation, rather than serious paddling. They’re great for family use at the beach or cottage but not meant for open water or exposed conditions.
It’s important to remember that when it comes to performance in a kayak, you get what you pay for: Sevylor kayaks offer a cheap introduction to kayaking. Sevylor kayaks won’t break the bank and they don’t require a garage or fancy roof rack for transportation, but as a rule they’re slow and sluggish on the water.
Consider buying a Sevylor inflatable kayak if you’re an occasional paddler looking for a fun, stable toy to take to the beach or cottage on sunny summer days.
Top picks: Best Sevylor kayaks for 2024
Best Sevylor Kayaks
Shop Sevylor kayaks
Our Paddling Buyer’s Guide features every Sevylor inflatable kayak on the market. You can choose to filter Sevylor kayaks by type and application, such as recreation or whitewater, or by the number of paddlers (one-person, two-person or three-person). Then, click on specific models to see specs, prices, reviews and where to buy (we’ve also narrowed down the best Sevylor inflatable kayaks on Amazon).
You won’t find a better kayak buyer’s guide on the web.
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Shopping for a used Sevylor kayak?
You may come across a used Sevylor kayak on buy-and-sell websites like Craigslist, Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace. Sevylor inflatable kayaks are a good choice as a beginner kayak for family fun and kayak fishing. They don’t require a large space for storage and are easy to transport, even in a small car (or crowded minivan).
Several options are available to choose from. Your first step in making a good investment is to research the specific attributes of the Sevylor kayak model you are considering. Our Paddling Buyer’s Guide is the ideal place to start. Once you’ve found a contender, consider the following advice to make a good used purchase:
- Sevylor kayaks are cheap, and therefore more impacted by wear and tear compared to more expensive and well-built kayaks—especially in areas like the inflation valves and hull. Start by examining the overall condition of the Sevylor kayak. Open up the package and inflate it. In the process, listen for air leaks in the valves and tubes and watch for any stains and mold, which may reveal the kayak was stored wet.Is there any fading in the Sevylor kayak’s deck (top) or hull (bottom)? Fading reveals UV damage, which may compromise durability. Make sure there are no missing parts; check for seat(s) and seat back(s), deck rigging such as grab lines, skeg (a removable fin that slides into the hull) and pump, if included.
- Most Sevylor kayaks feature minimal outfitting. Take a close look at comfort features like the seat (is it supportive for your body type? Does it hold air?). Foot rests are critical to give you purchase on the kayak to paddle efficiently and are often absent in cheap Sevylor kayaks; if they’re present, make sure they’re functional and appropriate for your leg length.
- Outfitting is the critical interface between the paddler and kayak, including the seat, back support, thigh rests and foot rests. Often these features lack refinement in budget-priced Sevylor kayaks. They’re also usually air-filled, so be sure to check for leaks. Examine these parts individually and consider how well they work together as a whole—the easiest way to achieve this is by sitting in the boat (and ideally paddling it) to make sure it feels comfortable. Think about how long you’ll be sitting in the kayak. If it’s uncomfortable in a quick test, how will it feel after an hour? Outfitting often comes down to personal preference; there’s no one-size-fits-all. One of the drawbacks of cheaper Sevylor kayaks is substandard outfitting. Take a close look and consider investing in a more expensive kayak if you plan on more serious paddling.
- The only way to fully appreciate the comfort and performance of a kayak is to try it before committing to a purchase. Arrange a meeting place with the seller that allows you to take a few moments on the water. Bring your usual paddle and dress in what you plan to wear while paddling. Be sure to assess how easy the boat is to enter and exit.
- In general (that is, before Covid-19 put a premium on outdoor equipment) the typical starting point for a used Sevylor kayak in moderate condition was about half its retail price. All that’s changed in the wake of boat shortages brought on by the pandemic, but you can use it as a starting point in haggling a fair price.
- If you’re offered a PFD as part of a used kayak sale make sure it’s in good shape, fits properly and is Coast Guard approved for the location you’ll be paddling.
For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used kayak, read our article How To Buy A Used Kayak.
Sevylor kayak buying guide
Sevylor kayaks are available across North America at box stores and online outlets. A large variety of Sevylor inflatable kayaks are available, many of which are good choices if you’re low on storage space and looking for a casual kayak for recreational paddling on calm, sheltered water without breaking the bank. Sevylor kayaks are available for a range of needs, including recreational paddling and fishing, single and tandem, for paddlers of all sizes.
Sevylor kayaks are meant for recreational paddling, such as getting out on the water at the cottage, spending an afternoon at the beach or fishing on a lazy river or calm pond. Sevylor kayaks are categorized by activity and user. Activity, or type of paddling, includes recreational (short and stable kayaks meant for casual use); and fishing (“souped up” recreational kayaks with add-ons specific to anglers, such as rod holders and tackle storage areas).
Sevylor kayaks are available as single (one-person) kayaks; tandem (two-person) kayaks; and three-person kayaks meant for two adults and a child. Here’s a rundown of some of Sevylor’s most popular models:
The Sevylor Colorado is a good entry-level, two-person kayak that’s the best Sevylor inflatable for those looking for a general purpose kayak at a cheap price, widely available at Walmart stores. A fishing option is also available as the Sevylor Coleman Colorado. The Sevylor Colorado and the Sevylor Sirocco are the same kayak, marketed in North America and Europe, respectively.
The Sevylor Madison boasts similar specs to the Sevylor Colorado. The difference is in the outfitting, with the Madison featuring Sevylor’s clever Seatography system, which allows you to tweak the position of the seats in the kayak to adjust for different paddler weights—perfect if you plan to paddle with a youngster.
The Sevylor Waterton is very similar to the Colorado, but with Sevylor’s comfortable HighRest seats and integrated bow and stern spraydecks for enhanced seaworthiness. The maximum capacity of this two-person inflatable kayak is less than the Colorado, at 363 pounds (compared to 440 pounds).
The Sevylor Yukon is a larger two-person inflatable kayak that’s a bit faster and, with partial spraydecks in the bow and stern, a drier and more seaworthy ride than the Sevylor Colorado. Foot pegs and a larger cockpit area add greater paddling efficiency and space for overnight trips. The Yukon is also better suited to paddling in moderate whitewater (with experienced paddlers).
Better paddling performance comes with a somewhat heftier price tag, but it’s worth the investment if you want a boat that’s faster, more capable and easier to paddle.
The Sevylor Tahiti is significantly narrower than the Colorado and features kayak-style, integrated bow and stern decks, making it the best Sevylor kayak for river paddling. The Tahiti’s carrying capacity is somewhat less than the Sevylor Colorado.
Length and paddling performance are similar, with outstanding maneuverability and limited speed. The 10’7” Tahiti tips the scales at a feather-light 25 pounds.
The Sevylor Hudson is a larger kayak than the Sevylor Colorado and comes standard with a third seat, providing more paddling options. It’s a good choice for two parents with a child, or three youths (the cockpit of the Hudson is a little too cramped and the 465-pound capacity too limited for three adults).
The Hudson can also be paddled solo or tandem, making it a versatile choice. Being longer, it also glides better than the more compact Colorado.
Take a look at the Sevylor Adventure if you want an ultralight, easy-to-assemble inflatable kayak for casual use. The Adventure is slightly shorter than the Sevylor Colorado and a full seven pounds lighter. Want something bigger? The 12-foot Sevylor Adventure Plus can be arranged as a single, double or triple kayak.
Use this as a start, and remember that online research will only get you so far. The best advice we can offer is to always test paddle before buying any boat. Of course, that’s a challenge at most of the big box and online outlets where Sevylor kayaks are sold. Try to borrow a Sevylor kayak from a friend for a test paddle in real-world conditions. The more time you can spend on the water in a similar style of kayak, the better the purchasing decision you will make.
Here are answers to some of the most common online questions about Sevylor kayaks.
Are Sevylor kayaks any good?
Sevylor makes budget-friendly recreational kayaks for casual paddlers. Is Sevylor a good kayak brand? That depends on your kayaking aspirations. Sevylor is a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap inflatable boat to use at the cottage, campground, beach or other sheltered water locations.
Sevylor inflatable kayaks are also a great choice for those with limited storage space. Sevylor kayaks are stable and easy to paddle, but don’t expect high performance, safety in exposed conditions or great comfort for long days on the water.
What are Sevylor inflatables made of?
Sevylor inflatable kayaks are made of PVC plastic with welded seams. This is a durable, time-tested plastic for inflatable boats. PVC boats resist impact and abrasion. Multiple air tubes ensure that the kayak will remain floating even if one chamber is punctured. The primary point of failure is often the kayak inflation valve system, so be sure to treat these parts carefully.
Is Sevylor still in business?
Yes, Sevylor kayaks remain in business. This is a common question, however, because Sevylor kayaks have limited distribution in North America. Sales are generally restricted to Walmart locations and online retailers such as Amazon, as well as a few specialty retailers.
Where are Sevylor kayaks made?
Sevylor is a brand based in Europe, with modest distribution in North America. Its inflatable kayaks are manufactured in China.
Where to buy Sevylor kayaks
If you live in North America, you’ll find the best selection of Sevylor kayaks at Walmart and on Amazon.
Compare Sevylor kayaks
Intex vs Sevylor inflatable kayaks
Both Intex and Sevylor produce similar discount-priced inflatable kayaks for casual paddlers. The two brands cater to similar demographics: namely, beginners looking for a cheap kayak that they can store in a closet and transport in their trunk, without the need of investing in a pricey roof rack. On the whole, Sevylor has a broader range of inflatable kayaks than Intex—especially if you’re looking for a unique two- or three-person kayak.
However, Sevylor’s North American sales are limited. If you want a greater selection of inflatable kayaks, you will benefit from Intex’s broader network of North American distributors. Both brands offer similar performance characteristics and both are meant for use in sheltered, calm water and on gentle rivers with class II whitewater or less.
Sevylor kayak reviews
If you’re unable to paddle a Sevylor kayak before you make your purchase, reading a range of reviews is your next best option. The expert reviews below will give you the rundown on the boat’s performance, comfort and features, as well as where its best paddled and who it’s best paddled by.