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Sevylor Waterton Test

(10 customer reviews)


Average Score 7.5
Handling (for an Inflatable)

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SKU: Waterton Tags: ,
Brand: Sevylor

We test out the new Sevylor Waterton inflatable canoe and like all the improvements we see.

We’ve been using inflatable canoes for many years now.

Yes, they don’t cut through the water as well as a ‘real’ canoe, but they are a lot easier for us to store and transport.

Our biggest inflatable is the Sevylor Hudson, which can take two adults and a child. The Hudson inflatable canoe lasted well, probably due to the extra protection underneath and around the side.

Well, it now has a sister: the Sevylor Waterton.

Sevylor sent us over this updated inflatable canoe design for us to test out.

The Sevylor Waterton as it comes in the box

The Sevylor Waterton (vs The Sevylor Hudson)

Unlike our Hudson inflatable canoe, the Waterton is just a two-person canoe. But while slightly shorter, it shares some similarities to our larger inflatable as it also has protected sides and a strong underside.

However, as we found, there are some major design improvements, that makes our Hudson feel a little bit dated.


The Sevylor Waterton has three inflation points. You first inflate the floor, then you inflate each of the two sides.

There are three valves to inflate, plus the two seats.

Although the Sevylor Waterton doesn’t come with a pump, it does come with a pressure gauge.

Use the supplied pressure gauge to get the canoe firm enough, but not over-inflate it.

Our older Hudson has three inflation points, but it doesn’t have the larger valve in the floor, which makes it take longer to inflate and deflate. This was immediately a good design improvement we found with the Waterton.


The skeg slots into the bottom before you inflate the canoe

Just like the Hudson canoe, the Sevylor Waterton has a skeg that you fit before inflating.

The underside of the canoe is re-enforced with strong material.

Here’s the underside of the canoe with the protective barrier against scrapes

The Sides

The sides of the canoe are also protected, just like the Hudson.

Here is the Waterton next to our Sevylor Hudson.

There’s also a small fore and aft deck with webbing, anchor points for dry bags, carry handles at the front and back, and a strap across the middle – which might be to help it keep shape but I also found it useful for carrying it single-handed.


The seats also benefit from improved design and more comfortable, and you are sitting further out of the water, which can help avoid getting a wet backside if a lot of water gets splashed into the canoe.

Once inflated you can see that there is some generous legroom for an inflatable canoe

On the Water

Well, compared to their rigid cousins, inflatable canoes don’t cut through the water quite as good. However, we were very pleased with the performance of the Waterton.

A difference I noticed compared to our larger Sevylor Hudson, is that the Waterton’s sides are almost up and out of the water.

You can just see the difference in how they sit in the water with these next two photos.

Paddling the Sevylor Waterton canoe upstream

The Sevylor Hudson looks like it sits lower in the water than the Waterton.

This offers a big performance improvement.

The Hudson sits in the water like a barge. There’s a lot of water to displace when you are paddling.

Whereas it’s the Waterton’s underside that sits in the water. The floor is almost like an inflatable SUP, and the sides are just there if you need extra buoyancy and stability when leaning over.

I also found that this made it more manoeuvrable.

I found the Waterton handled well for an inflatable canoe. Here, I was testing an aggressive turn with a back paddle to swing the nose around, leaning back to raise the bow out of the water for a quick turn. Not a turn I would make with kids in unless an emergency. However, it was a good test, and I found no problems with stability.

The Paddles

It’s important to mention the paddles.

We were using the Sevylor 2.3 m long paddles (which come apart for easy transport).

The Sevylor Paddle is 2.3m long. The extra length helps due to the inflated sides that are wider than a normal canoe.

You still need to use the longer paddle with the Sevylor Waterton, as with most inflatable canoes, due to the thicker sides that the canoe has.

The downside with such a large paddle is that it can be a little tiring for little arms. However, it’s easy to take apart and use as a single paddle instead.

Our youngest found it easier just using half the paddle.

Drying out and Putting Away

It’s important to try and dry your inflatable canoes out before you put them away.

Our old Sevylor Hudson can take a while to dry out due to the design of the floor and the sides, which can keep water hidden away.

The design is much better in the Sevylor Waterton, and it dried out in a fraction of the time compared to the Hudson canoe.

We found the Sevylor Waterton was a lot quicker to dry out than our older Hudson canoe

Sevylor has also made big improvements in the bag, making it much easier to get the Waterton back in the bag, keep it secure in the bag, and easy to carry it in the bag.

The design of the bag makes it easy to pack the Sevylor Waterton away.


Also in the box are some repair patches. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use them.

There’s also a repair patch in the box.

Paddling it Single-Handed

You would typically sit at the back of a two-person canoe to paddle it single-handed.

I was able to do this fine, though do expect the bow of the Waterton to come out of the water.

For improved stability, remove one of the seats and position it more towards the centre, so that the cross-bracing strap is just in front of you.


We like the Sevylor Waterton and can recommend it as a good quality (see updates below) inflatable canoe to get your family on the water.

If you are thinking of getting one for your family, note that these are canoes and not inflatable dinghies. Canoes are less stable than dinghies. If you are used to canoes, then you’ll find the inflatable canoes a lot more stable than say a whitewater kayak.

Someone’s ready to take it for a spin


Waterton Wonky Inflation / Waterton Stability Issues

Some people have reported issues with their Sevylor Waterton in the reviews below. These are not issues we experienced when testing this inflatable kayak, nor issues we’ve experienced since. However, please read the reviews below.

There are also a few comments on our YouTube video.

have just bought one of these and am glad to see you’re impressed with it, was also pleased to see are taking it down the same bit of the Severn that I intend to use mine. Couldn’t have asked for a better review, thanks

Tom Emery, YouTube

Update 2 - August 2019

We took our Sevylor Waterton to a campsite by Lake Bala, and for the first time, I also got a wonky canoe after inflating it.

Lopsided inflated sides of the Waterton

Others have complained that sides were lopsided after inflation. I never had a problem with this until now.

So, on putting it in the water, I was keen to see if I had the same stability problems as others. Fortunately, I didn’t, and the Waterton still felt very stable.

After a while of paddling around in calmer waters, we headed out into the lake, where it can be very windy with some good waves that build up. I took care to make sure the waves were never beam-on, and again, no stability issues even after the sides were inflated a bit lopsided.

Both of us using the Waterton could paddle it and even get in and out of it with no stability issues.

Yes, the Waterton is not as stable as an inflatable dinghy; it’s an inflatable canoe. But it is much more stable than a sea kayak, for example.

I can only imagine that some people have received Waterton canoes with a manufacturing defect perhaps.

Update 2

See this amazon review.  Steve had purchased the Sevylor Waterton from Amazon but found it was lop-sided, leaning to left – even on the water. He returned it and the replacement was fine.

I am pleased to say the replacement was fine! The symmetry of the inflation was much better this time – You could see it easily. Just tried it out on the weekend on a local canal and what a pleasure to paddle – It sat nicely in the water and manoeuvred well.

Steve M - Amazon Customer

This does suggest there might be a manufacturing defect on some. However, I have another theory.

Reposition the air tubes?

The inflatable tubes in the sides are loose inside the fabric hull. There is a zip at the front where you can access the tubes.

I am wondering if, during transport or packing, one of the tubes inches forward so that both sides are not lined up.

Just a theory. If I ever get wonky inflation again, I’ll see if I can reposition the tube. This might simply be holding one end of the hull and giving it a good shake out before inflating.  Perhaps worth giving it a try if this happens to you.

Sevylor Waterton Detalis

Update - 2020.07.29

Fixing an Unstable Sevylor Waterton Canoe

It finally happened! I got a wonky canoe after inflating it! 🙂

Fortunately, this was easy to fix. We then went on to have a good weekend using it without any issues. Watch our video below.

An out-of-shape Sevylor Waterton

You can see how out-of-shape our Waterton is in this photo.

Canpe sides unzipped

After letting out some air pressure, I unzipped the sides of the canoe so I could reposition the air tubes.

Canoe looking better

This made a massive improvement after re-inflating.

Many thanks to Sevylor for sending us the Waterton to test out. All opinions are our own.

7.5Expert Score
We test out the new Sevylor Waterton inflatable canoe and like all the improvements we see.
Handling (for an Inflatable)
  • Easy to inflate and deflate.
  • Handles well on the water.
  • It's still an inflatable, and so won't perform as well as a rigid hull. However, it's a lot easier to store and transport.

Photos: Sevylor Waterton Test

Videos: Sevylor Waterton Test

Price Guide: Sevylor Waterton Test

Specification: Sevylor Waterton Test



Maxium Load


Number of inflatable chambers


Use Rating

ISO 6185-1 Type III, B: craft intended for beach use, short time and short distance cruising.

Weight 15.1 kg
Dimensions 310 × 88 cm

10 reviews for Sevylor Waterton Test

1.8 out of 5
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  1. Jo Allen

    I got this a couple of years ago, partly inspired by this article and also to use with my children. I also experienced the wonky bladders issue. I also worked out how to rearrange them so it didn’t look so wonky but it wasn’t a permanent fix. I get the impression this is a problem with other ‘canvas’ style canoes but seems to be much worse with the Waterton. I also get the stability issue, and would seem to be related to it being so high out of the water, though I wouldn’t describe it as un-useable. My children complain that their hands rub against the side when rowing. Which is partly due to the sides being so high.

    Having said that can’t seem to find any online retailers selling the Waterton anymore, and whilst the Sevylor site still has it listed in its range I can’t find a link to anyone who sells it. I reckon it has been discontinued!

    I also can’t seem to buy a replacement bladder for it.


    Seems to be sold out.

    If it has been discontinued makes me think that there is a design flaw with it and perhaps we are eligible for a refund?

    Have I been sold a dud? If anyone has any links or thoughts would be much appreciated.

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      Gav Grayston

      Probably just a supply issue. Stocks of various things are still low due to Covid.

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  2. Arek

    Waterton has badly fixed steer and he turn to the right side in the water. To cimplain.

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      Gav Grayston

      See our video on fixing the air tubes alignment.

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  3. Anthony

    Hi Gav thankyou for the review you provided, unfortunately I couldn’t have had more different experience with my Waterton.
    After inflation I initially noticed that the Kayak was crooked, I had seen this mentioned in some reviews but hoped it wouldn’t be the case for me. I deflated, unzipped the front sleeve & realigned the floatation tubes then re inflated.
    It looked a lot better so me & my son went to a portage point near our house for a try. As soon as I entered the kayak I felt it was incredibly unstable, literally the most unstable kayak I have ever used (I also own a Hudson & have had several intex in the past). I never even let my son get in and glad I didn’t as soon as I left the portage point I attempted to turn & capsized..
    I’m not sure what the reasons for this were but any slight movement from myself caused the Waterton to rock uncontrollably. I have returned it in exchange for a Madison which seems much more stable.
    Thanks, Anthony

    + PROS: Nice colour..
    - CONS: Incredibly unstable Unaligned floatation tubes
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      Gav Grayston

      Thanks for reporting this Anthony. So many people have had this problem. It’s clear there’s a bad batch or defect out there. I must have been very lucky with my one.

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  4. David Britton

    Hi, I’ve just ordered the sevylor Waterton to use with my 10 year old. I now worried if I’ve made the right decision after reading these reviews!! Is it seriously that dangerous as mentioned or is it just an unlucky manufacturing batch. Do you still use your Waterton and do you experience any issues? I can still cancel my order if needs be.

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      Gav Grayston

      Hi David. Yes, we still use our Waterton but not had any stability issues.

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  5. Graham Payne

    First time of using it capsized in slightest swell totally unstable. Threw us into water on numerous occasions even paddling set it rocking and flooded.

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  6. Stephen

    I was very careful how it was inflated that isn’t the issue, the shape of the tubes and the angles are wrong, as you say in your review it sits on top of the water rather than in it making it very tender and unstable, in any wind it would be uncontrollable, in your video the bow is right out of the water when you are sat in the stern, with the stern being so narrow it makes it extremely unstable, please don’t recommend this canoe any more it’s a catastrophe in the making. I have emailed Sevylor telling them of my concerns. I’m an experienced inflatable canoeist, an experienced windsurfer and rollerblader so balance is not the issue either.

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      Gav Grayston

      I have updated with the article with a note informing people to read your review (and Martin’s of course).
      WRT the bow sticking out of the water when I sat at the stern in the video, I was doing quite an aggressive back paddle turn, leaning back to get the stern out for a quick turn, while testing stability. As you know, in this manoeuvre, you want the least amount of the craft in the water.
      Were you sitting in the rear seat when it capsized? Were you on your own? Was there any other weight in the Waterton and where was it?
      If you are paddling the Waterton on your own, have you tried moving the aft seat forward so that you sit more central?
      Sorry for all the questions. Just want to know to understand where the limits are.

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      • New Faces
        Points: 10


        Hi on inflating the canoe I immediately had doubts about its stability, on the first trip I sat in the stern as you were with the seat as far forward as possible and my rucksack on the forrard seat, it was so unstable I was relieved to reach the shore, for my return trip I let the air out of the bottom which improved its stability slightly but made it very difficult to climb out as it was trying to fold up! The next morning determined to persevere I reinflated the bottom bladder, put the the forrard seat as far back as possible my rucksack on the stern seat and climbed in, it was just as unstable and on nearly reaching the shore it capsized, soaking wet with my phone ruined I deflated the bottom bladder and returned carefully to the yacht and vowed never to get in this death trap again, it is now dried and packaged ready to return to the supplier.

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  7. Stephen

    On the strength of this review I have just bought this model, it is totally dangerous and should be withdrawn, it is not fit for purpose.
    Previously I have had two Sevylor Rio’s and a Madison, all were fantastic, I use them everyday as a tender to my yacht throughout the year in all weathers. Today in flat calm the Waterton capsized it is useless and it could have been catastrophic, the geometry of it is all wrong.

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      Gav Grayston

      Hi Stephen,

      Sorry to hear that you’ve had an issue with the Waterton. Certainly, we’ve been fortunate enough not to encounter stability issue, though Martin did raise that his Waterton didn’t inflate evenly. I wonder if you had a similar issue with your Waterton? I can see how that could cause instability.

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  8. Clare Bradshaw


    i’m looking for an inflatable kayak for my husband to use with our 6 year old (mainly on gentle norfolk rivers). Having read your review on the Seyvlar waterton i think that might be the one. Seyvlar themselves recommeneded the tahiti or the riviera. Out of the three which would you recommend?

    many thanks


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      Gav Grayston

      Hi Clare,

      Personally, I prefer the Waterton as I think it has better protection with a thicker hull material.

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  9. Nick

    Hi Gav,
    How is the Waterton as single person kayak, as half the time only I would be using it?
    Thanks in advance.

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      Gav Grayston

      It’s fine. Obviously you’ll need to sit in the back seat. When I take my little lad out I’m typically paddling it solo anyway!

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      • Nick

        Excellent, thank you Gav. I was thinking more about the weight distribution, as not having anyone in the front might make it awkward to paddle (front lift)?

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          Gav Grayston

          When I have paddled it solo, I’ve found it OK. Yes, the back is lower in the water, but it has been OK on flat water.

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  10. Martin Farkas

    Hi, I bought this week the waterton kayak and I have one problem. The air chambers or what is it caled, they stand wry and the kayak looks weird after inflatation. Could you give me an advice how to inflate it correctly? Thank you very much:) Have a nice day.

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      Gav Grayston

      Hi Martin,
      I inflated ours only yesterday, and again no real problem. Though I do make sure the canoe and chambers are unfolded correctly. I suppose if you inflate one chamber and it overlaps the other, it could make it look a bit uneven.
      Have you tried it in the water with someone sitting it in? It might make the chambers fall into place.

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      Gav Grayston

      Hi Martin,

      I simply inflate the floor first, then the sides. Not had a problem with it.
      Does yours sit well in the water? Does it settle down for example when you put it in the water and sit in it?

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      Review Author

    Gav Grayston
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    Gav Grayston Contributor

    Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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