I recently took a trip to the UK and wanted to visit Cumbria and Wales, not only do they have some great walks with some phenomenal natural vistas to take in, but there’s also some really nice rivers and canals to kayak on.
I would be in a foreign country without a vehicle and I wanted to spend as much time on foot as I did in the water. I needed a kayak I could easily carry on long walks in the countryside and in town.
So I eventually chose the Sevylor Coleman QuikPak K5 inflatable kayak (also known as a Sevylor K5), as you can’t really walk around a Welsh village with a hard shell kayak under your arm!
I was a little bit weary about buying an inflatable kayak as it conjured up images of struggling with punctured inflatable toys on the beach as a child. However, since I would be on still water I decided to take a gamble and try out this kayak. It didn’t cost me much and thankfully it arrived very quickly and looked great. As expected it packs away into a neat little backpack which is very easy to transport but would it handle well in the waters?
I would actually say it’s even more comfortable than my much more expensive hard shell recreational kayaks.
The Many Pluses
I’m a big guy and I found it surprisingly easy to get in and out of. It’s also very easy to right it if you capsize. I did wonder if it might be harder to right an inflatable kayak because you’re fighting against the increased buoyancy of the kayak itself, but it handles just like a hard shell in this regard.
It’s also tough. The material on the bottom is very hard-wearing. It would take a very sharp object to cause a puncture.
The storage area is more than adequate for a packed lunch, mobile phone and other accessories you might want to take with you on long journeys in a dry bag.
It’s very quick to assemble and visa versa. On my first day I got out of the water and walked up to a canal side pub’s outdoor seating area and ordered a meal and a drink, by the time the barmaid came out with my drink I’d already packed it away.
The Only Negative
The paddle isn’t great, it’s needlessly fiddly and it comes as a three-piece when a two-piece would be better. In fact, that’s what I bought as a replacement. It’s also a little difficult to fit the pump on the main valve and pump at the same time without help.
I would recommend this in a heartbeat to anyone who wants to kayak while hiking. It couldn’t be any easier to use and it handles very well indeed. After a new paddle is purchased it becomes the complete package. The build quality on the Coleman QuikPak K5 kayak itself is very impressive (which is why it is a top brand to begin with), I would definitely feel absolutely comfortable taking it on white water rivers, but as of now I’ve yet to do so.
Here is a fast speed backpack to yak demonstration of the K5: