We’ve been asked a few times about our views on inflatable canoes, and in particular the open varieties like the Sevylor Colorado or the Back Country by Stearns – the ones that try to emulate a true open canoe. Well we really had to shrug our shoulders as we hadn’t actually tried any of them. So time to change that then!
We decided to start with a video trip report of the Sevylor Colorado with a canoe-camp visit to the Upper Wye. We’ve produced some photos of the Colorado in action and a video – the highlights of a great 2 day trip where we learned a lot about this craft. See the video review for how it pumps up and also how it paddles.
What were our thoughts then on the Sevylor Colorado? Well we were much more than pleasantly surprised! It was a great, fun boat to live with, tough and durable, makes no noise when paddling, easy to lift and of course folds up in the back of a car at the end of a trip. It was much quicker and easier to inflate than we expected too. On the water it handles very differently to a hard-shell canoe, and is basically slower, but more maneuverable – it’s not for speed: but the flexibility it offers of putting in anywhere, transporting easily, and even storing easily makes it a phenomenal product for the relatively low price tag. The idea of being able to just bring your canoe along in the car “just in case” you decide to Get Out on the water is a great one, and it really is a reality with this boat. I’ve heard it used from the beach in the surf and around the coats of Dorset for which I think it would be excellent. Kids are happy in it too, as the inflatable nature of it makes them feel more secure. Inflatable open canoeing now fits in our plans for the future, particularly when travelling on quick overnight camp trips and going ‘minimal’. The canoe itself makes a fantastic camp bed with just a tarp pulled over it. It doesn’t handle anything like an open canoe, although it was great fun in the little rapids we encountered, but then it’s not meant to replace a real open canoe – it’s meant to fill another need: ultimate portability on the river… and it does that perfectly.