Highly recommended. The Sevylor Hudson takes two adults and a child, though can be paddled by one adult easily. Lots of features, stable, and versatile. An ideal family inflatable kayak.
Our Score: 9.2/10
We've given the Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Kayak - Great for Families the Thumbs Up award.
- A rugged inflatable
- Multiple air chambers for added safety
- Great for 2 adults and a child
- Paddle storage
- Storage mesh
The not so good
- None, although don't expect an inflatable to handle as good as a rigid kayak.
This was a hands-on product review.
Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Kayak - Great for Families has a recommended retail price of £339.00.
Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Kayak - Great for Families Videos
Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Kayak - Great for Families Photos
We've been using the Sevylor Hudson for a few years and found it a great inflatable canoe, and an excellent choice for getting the family onto the water
The Sevylor Hudson is a versatile inflatable canoe for family water adventures, with seats for two adults plus a child in between.
We have enjoyed using our Hudson a lot and can really recommend this inflatable canoe.
Here's our review of the excellent Sevylor Hudson.
- Is it a kayak or canoe
- Will it sink
- What's in the box
- When and how to fit the skeg
- Inflating Sevylor Hudson
- On-board Storage
- Other useful features
- Paddling and Paddles
- What's the Sevylor Hudson like on the water
- Paddling with kids
- Getting in and out of the water
- What do others think
- Fitting a trolling motor
Technically, you are open and sitting almost like a traditional canoe, however, it does have a partial spray deck and is narrower making it possible to paddle Kayak fashion.
It doesn't matter. What you need to know: it's a great boat for getting your family onto the water.
Let's hope not!
Seriously though, this is not a cheap inflatable boat.
- Double skin to reduce the risk of punctures causing complete loss of floatation, with three inflatable chambers.
- Tough nylon-covered hull, with reinforced fabric bottom to give durability and stiffness (helping it glide through the water.
- Large Boston valves make inflation and deflation quick and easy.
- Seats are adjustable to maximise the legroom available.
- Spray covers help protect from splashes.
- If you need to take any extra equipment (such as sandwiches in a dry bag) then it has bungees so that items are securely attached to the canoe.
- Removable fin - a fin is useful if paddling in open water (lake or sea) as it helps reduce the effect the wind will have on blowing you off course.
- Paddle holders to help avoid accidents of resting your paddle down, only to see it disappear downstream moments later.
- Very versatile. The Sevylor Hudson is easy to paddle by one person.
- Built-in pressure gauge so that you can inflate to the correct level before using.
- Very stable and can take up to 230 kg.
- Repair kit, dry bag, and carry bag included.
The Sevylor Hudson comes in a box. Inside you get the inflatable canoe in a large sturdy carry case.
You also get a pressure valve (more later), a skeg, instructions and a repair kit.
The skeg (or fin) helps prevent sideways drift, which can be a big problem on windy days. However, the skeg should only be fitted when preparing to go on open water (lakes or the sea). Don't fit the skeg when using the Hudson on rivers or in the shallows, as it could cause damage to the underside of the boat (Sevylor also warn that it can hamper performance in whitewater as well).
The skeg is easy to fit.
There are two slots on the bottom of the hull, which you fit the skeg into. You fit the skeg when the boat is deflated, as you'll need to fold the hull slightly to bring the two slots together. Once the boat is inflated, the slots move apart, and the skeg is held firmly in place.
Also, on the hull, a little further aft of the skeg, is a drainage hole.
Have this open if you plan on getting wet (such as whitewater), or leave it closed if you think you'll stay dry.
The Sevylor Hudson channels water to this hole (though you'll find plenty left in the boat when you take it out). Water is designed to sit in the boat, but that doesn't mean you'll necessarily get wet as you sit on a raised inflatable platform whilst the water runs under the inflatable sides.
Open the drainage hole when preparing the boat, as it will be difficult to do in the water.
For such a big inflatable canoe, inflation is easy.
There are three valves at the back of the boat: one on the floor, which you inflate first, and then one on each side, which are the large Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation.
You should not use a motorised pump to inflate the Sevylor Hudson, as this increases the chance of over-inflation, which will damage the boat.
We use our trusty Sevylor Hand Pump, which comes with all the right attachments, can deflate and inflate, and has a large enough air to pump things up quickly. (see our review on pumps for more info)
The Sevylor Hudson is inflated to a pressure of 1.45 PSI (0,1 bar, or 100 bar). This is where the valve comes in.
It has two attachments that screw to the underside of the valve. These attachments enable you to insert the pressure gauge into the valves to take a reading (you don't need to unscrew the Boston valves). The picture shows the correct position of the pressure gauge needle.
If you have over-inflated slightly, pull the pressure gauge out of the valves slightly to release some air and measure it again.
If you're planning any trip, even if to find a shore somewhere for a picnic, you need to take stuff.
Fortunately, the Sevylor Hudson comes with some useful storage points.
At the aft of the boat, beneath the zip-up spray deck, the Hudson comes with a dry bag with anchor points to clip it to the boat to avoid getting lost.
I sit at the back and find this useful for carrying items such as phones, waterproof, etc.
A set of bungees can be tightened at the front of the boat over the spray deck. Here we put a big dry bag with items such as fleece, an emergency kit, and lunch!
The dry bag we use at the front is the "Gelert Large Kayak Bag", which we've found very reliable (nothing wet yet), and easy to do up and undo. Several other dry bags are available to keep your kit dry.
In addition to the features mentioned above, such as the included dry bag, a few other design features have been great, such as velcro loops to secure your paddle, extra storage behind the seats, and thoughts, such as a rubbing strip to avoid wear to the inflatable hull.
Paddles aren't included with the Sevylor Hudson so you can choose your paddle.
You can use traditional single canoe paddles, but I have found that the Hudson is thin enough to use a double kayak paddle.
We have both, and incidentally, both, Sevylor Paddles.
Keeping with an inflatable boat's 'minimum space' theme, our paddles dismantle to take up less space.
The Sevylor convertible paddle set is the most versatile. You can assemble it as a single kayak double paddle or two canoe-style paddles.
We've used this Sevylor Kayak paddle for years now. It separates into two so it fits neatly into a car boot or roof box.
There's always a concern that inflatable canoes are like paddling a bathtub, and certainly, our inflatable boat can feel like that.
Some other inflatable canoes with a more attractive price are nothing more than inflatable lie lows. I imagine they don't perform on the water (and wouldn't have the extra reinforced material of the Hudson).
Fortunately, we've found the Sevylor Hudson to handle very well in the water. Both on an open lake with a lot of wind and going up-stream on the river, the Hudson handled well.
We were heading upriver when we passed other canoeists who had stopped at a beach to have lunch. They were in traditional solid Canadian canoes and warned us that the river's current was strong around the bend and would be hard to continue. We carried on for well over a mile upstream before stopping for lunch. The Hudson handled the current well.
Having canoed a lot in kayaks and Canadians, I can say it doesn't glide quite as well and is certainly not as manoeuvrable as a kayak (we've not tried white water yet, though). However, the trade-off for having a space-saving inflatable hasn't impacted much on in-water performance.
I you are the sole adult on board, you should sit in the rear seat. You can comfortably paddle single-handed from that position, providing power and steering. I can manoeuvre the boat very well from that position. You can also keep an eye on the kids.
My kids have also found it easy to paddle, letting the old man have a rest ;-)
When all three paddle, you must coordinate your strokes with whoever sits in the middle seat.
The middle seat is only for children. There's not enough legroom for an adult. Put your smallest in the middle.
If you are worried about stability - don't be. This is very stable. It would be difficult to capsize, especially on flat water, and the spray deck does not enclose the occupants, so no worries about being able to get out of an inverted canoe here.
Being inflatable, lifting into and out of the water is very easy.
When getting from the car or area where the canoe is inflated/deflated, I carry the canoe on my back like a large turtle shell. It also has grab handles on the sides, front, and aft, so it is easily carried to and from the water with a team effort.
When getting it out, you will find water in the bottom of the canoe. This is supposed to happen.
Even with the drainage hole closed, splashes, rain, and water droplets from paddles will build up water inside the canoe.
The water is collected in the Hudson below the sides and out of the way of the deck, so you might not see the water.
So when getting it out, open up the drainage hole on the shore and tip it up to let the water out. It will then be a lot lighter to carry ;-)
As with anything, it is best not to pack it away wet.
Just as you must let your tent dry out when you get home, you should do the same with the Hudson.
If you pack it away wet, the water shouldn't cause any structural damage to the boat, but it could form mould, which won't look or smell very pleasant.
Here's a video on getting the Sevylor Hudson back in its bag.
Reviews are very positive of the Sevylor Hudson, and have been used by many for family boating.
Here's a video review someone has posted to YouTube, with kids enjoying themselves on the lake and at the beach.
No, but there is plenty of DIY information on the internet.
Here's it cruising along with an electric trolling motor.
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