New guy here and wanted to get some advice on kayaks. Because of my space and vehicles I am currently looking at buying an inflatable for my first kayak. I live in north Louisiana so I will be on calm lakes and bayous. I am seriously looking at the “Sevylor K5 Quikpak 1-Person Inflatable Kayak” because of the price. Has anyone had any experience with this one? I really like the advanced elements but the price is a little high. My main question on inflatables, do these things start to lose air at the seams over time? After about maybe a few years of use do they start to leak?
There is an article that can be read online from California Kayaker Magazine on kayaking and small living spaces that you may want to read. http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html. Issue #9/Spring 2012.
On your question - generally they do not leak air significantly in the amount of time that you use them (a day). But if you leave inflated, they likely would lose air.
I personally look at Seylvor as a pool toy brand, so not something I’d want to paddle. YMMV.
I’m afraid I have to agree you are looking at a craft that is less a kayak than a pool toy/raft. These things are slow a, track poorly and tend to get blown around on lakes. They don’t hold up well in rocky shallow streams either. Inflatables that actually paddle like a kayak are quite a bit more expensive, like $700 to $1200 and up.
Out of your price range but this a better boat.
more on inlatables
Inflatables don’t leak through the seams, more often it is the valves that fail. Yes, they can get punctured or have areas that rupture due to abrasion on the bottoms, but they can be patched. You do need to be able to spread them out to dry them off after paddling – if you store them wet they will get funky smelling.
If that is all you can afford, a cheap inflatable will get you out on the water, and that model you are looking at is OK for short day trips on small ponds and shallow, slow moving streams. But it will perform more like a raft, in other words be rather slow and tend to waver from side to side as you paddle.
As was already mentioned, the Sea Eagle products are a little better than Sevylor. Inflatables are often available used on Craigslist for a better price. Many people start out with them due to low cost and then quickly realize that they want something that handles better and is faster.
If you can afford a little more, the Innova Twist is not bad, another inflatable solo, which has a tracking skeg. Either this or the Advanced Elements models would be more enjoyable to use:
sevylor is kinda of hard to figure out
as they are known for cheap pool toys but occasionally make some decent products- their latest venture is inflatable sups costing over $1,000. So not everything they make is cheap.
not the kind of duck your looking for (ww), but the sk 1oo ds (of which I have two) is a real bargain if you can find it- they don't seem to be currently sold in the us. A drop stitch floor, servicable pump for less than 300.00. My DS boats have actually held up way better than my Tomcat (Aire tributary series).
Perhaps Sevylor didn't want the product liability for a ww boat in the US.
However, I think there are better options out there (different companies)for what you are wanting to do- tracking in flatwater.
So heed the others advice.
just say no to inflatables
I’ve only ever see people struggle in those advanced elements and other other inflatables. Any bit of wind or chop and they are a bear to paddle straight. Dead calm, along the shore they would be ok but I’ve seen way more people struggling than enjoying them.
Maybe a modular kayak would work for you? Most people don’t know they exist from what I can tell. I didn’t until right before I bought mine, which is a Point 65 North Mercury.
Modular boats aren’t for everyone either. In fact, mine is for sale because I DO have space and transport for single-piece boats. I can’t compare it directly with inflatables – because my only experience with them has been towing in a couple people who got so frustrated they gave up – but it paddles just fine and everyone I’ve loaned it to has really liked it.
I don’t particularly care for some of Point 65N’s business practices ( like advertising that their 14’ boat will “fit in a trunk” which it decidedly does not ), and their quality control could be better, but they make a useful boat for a certain niche.
Didn’t know they made them in poly, they’ve been available in glass as three piece kayaks for a long time.
Have a friend that has a 15’ SOF (made it in one of my classes) and keeps it in his second floor condo, lifts it up over the balcony. Something you could do with a SOF, not likely unless you were very strong with a poly boat.
I HATE INFLATABLES. I was out on the bay near San Francisco, all was fine, the wind was not bad, BUT we hit a piece of floating debris which nobody saw and within minutes were sinking. The other issue I have with them is the wind, ANY wind can push you off course. Storing a regular kayak is easier than most people think, they can be strapped to a ceiling of a garage, patio or carport or even put on top of book cases. I have two which site behind my recliners in my living room.
The best kayaks for apartment dwellers are folding kayaks like the Orukayak, Folbot Citibot, Feathercraft Kurrent and Pakboat Puffin. I’ve owned several folders including the 12’ Pakboat Puffin which can be set up in about 20 minutes, fits in a duffel bag and weighs less than 24 lbs. You can sometimes find used ones. like I did, for around $500.
also had a Pakboat Puffin 12’ and it was a darn fine kayak for travel and for anyone living in a apt. without storage or hauling capabilities.
My latest and favorite is the Saturn Ocean Pro 14’ which is built every bit as well as the Aire Sawtooth (which I found to be a slug to paddle). The Saturn has a raised drop stitch high pressure floor that mostly rides above the water and paddles the best of any inflatable I’ve tried, including the Advanced Elements Yukon 13’, and Sea Eagle Fasttrack. The Saturn uses high quality Halkey valves, taken on our Class II/III and just skuffs, no tears as it’s strong, and will hold firm air for days. Heck of a kayak, especially at $600.
I’ve got the ww version of that Saturn
in a tandem and looks like the same boat as listed in the ad (on mine you have othe option of making the floor self bailing)- works just fine although I’m not paddling extended stretches of flat water in it. Saturn boats are glued rather welded and are heavier than some of their counterparts but its hard to argue with the price. So far so good but time will tell.