Friday, July 4, 2014
Sevylor K5 Kayak Review
KAYAK RATING: 4 (Maybe higher; will update at the end of the season.)
This is my second inflatable kayak, purchased as an upgrade from a Challenger K1. It's still in its first season, so I can't address how it will hold up over time. There are definite pros, and a couple of cons, some of which I consider serious.
Perfect size. I'm 5'7", and this kayak gives me more than enough leg room. I haven't used the spray skirt, since I'm a bit uncomfortable with being closed in, so can't speak to that. The seat is surprisingly comfortable, given that it's actually the backpack. The width of the kayak seems perfect; not too wide, but not too narrow. Stability seems very, very good, at least on rough lake water and with significant motor boat wakes. Inflates quickly, deflates reasonable well. I love the fact that there's canvas on the outside. The skeg is permanently affixed, which is, overall, a pro. Having had removable skegs fall off other boats, it's nice not to have to drill a hole and run a line to keep from losing it.
Why, oh why, use a flimsy little valve like that for the floor? Set it back a bit and use a valve like the other two. Using the backpack as the seat is a clever idea; however, now I see why people have had issues with tears in the floor: one side of the zipper of the backpack/seat is exposed and touches the floor. You sit on it, in fact. So it only makes sense that it could abrade the floor. The problem was easily solved with a couple strips of Velcro, but it shouldn't have to be tweaked by the consumer.
Don't know if it'll ever fit back into the backpack. It hasn't been worth the time/effort to find out yet, but I don't have really high hopes. Nor do I think I'd long-term store it that way (over the winter, for example) anyway. There's the slight con, in my mind, of the affixed skeg.
Other than that, and the canvas covering being on a little crooked (yes, I'm very nit picky about things like that, although it does seem to be adjusting itself with use), and the valve on the side sitting right where it can scrape my knee if I'm not careful, it's really a great kayak.
The pros (at least so far; we'll see how that valve holds up) far, far outweigh the cons. It's definitely a purchase I'm glad I made.
REVIEW on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2QYMUEQ3UY6V3