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.
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.
Well 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 really 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 so that you can 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) has 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 230KG.
- Repair kit, dry bag, and carry bag included.
The Sevylor Hudson comes in a box. Inside you get the inflatable canoe, which is in a large sturdy carry case.
You also get a pressure valve (more on that 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 are planning on getting wet (such as whitewater), or leave 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 of the water). Water is actually 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 you are preparing the boat as it will be difficult to do when in the water.
For such a big inflatable canoe, inflation is actually really easy.
There are three valves at the back of the boat: one in the floor, which you inflate first, and then one in each side, which are the large boston valves for quick inflation and deflation.
It is recommended that you do not use a motorised pump to inflate the Sevylor Hudson, as this increase 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 as well as inflate, and has a large enough volume of 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 mBar). 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, just pull the pressure gauge out of the valves slightly to release some air and measure it again.
If you’re planning any sort of 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, which as anchor points to clip it to the boat to avoid it getting lost.
I sit at the back and found this useful for carrying items such as phone, waterproof, etc.
At the front of the boat over the spray-deck are a set of bungees, which can be tightened. Here we put a big dry bag with items such as fleeces, emergency kit, and of course our 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. A number of other dry bags are available to keep your kit dry.
In addition to the great 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 of choice.
You can use traditional single canoe paddles, but I have found that the Hudson is thin enough to use a kayak double paddle.
We have both, and incidentally both Sevylor Paddles.
Keeping with the ‘minimum space’ theme of an inflatable boat, our paddles dismantle to take up less space.
The Sevylor convertible paddle set is the most versatile. You can either assemble it as a single kayak double paddle or as two canoe style paddles.
We’ve used this Sevylor Kayak paddle for years now. It separates into two so fits neatly into car boot or roof box.
There’s always a concern that inflatable canoes are like paddling a bathtub, and certainly, the inflatable boat that we also have can certainly feel like that.
Some other types of inflatable canoes that have a more attractive price are nothing more than inflatable lie lows. I would imagine they don’t perform on the water (and wouldn’t have the extra re-enforced 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.
In fact, we were heading upriver when going past some other canoeists who had stopped at a beach to have some lunch. They were in traditional solid Canadian canoes and warned us that the river’s current was very strong around the bend and would find it hard to carry on. We carried on for well over a mile up-stream 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 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. From that position you can comfortably paddle single-handed, providing both the 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 are paddling you will need to co-ordinate 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 spraydeck does not enclose the occupants, so no worries about being able to get out of an inverted canoe here.
Being inflatable it is very easy to lift into and out of the water.
When getting from the car or area that the canoe is inflated/deflated, I carry the canoe on my back like a large turtle shell. It does also have grab handles on the sides, front, and aft, so with a team effort it is easily carried to and from the water.
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, no splashes, no rain, just drops from paddles will build up.
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 just 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 have to let your tent dry out when you get home, you should do the same with the Hudson.
If you do 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 we made 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.
- A rugged inflatable
- Multiple air chambers for added safety
- Great for 2 adults and a child
- Paddle storage
- Storage mesh
- None, although don't expect an inflatable to handle as good as a rigid kayak.
7 reviews for Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Kayak – Great for Families
Price Guide: Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Kayak – Great for Families