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 (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.
Although the Sevylor Waterton doesn’t come with a pump, it does come with a pressure gauge.
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.
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.
The sides of the canoe are also protected, just like the 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.
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.
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.
It’s important to mention the paddles.
We were using the Sevylor 2.3 m long paddles (which come apart for easy transport).
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.
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.
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.
Also in the box are some repair patches. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use them.
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.
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, thanksTom Emery, YouTube
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many thanks to Sevylor for sending us the Waterton to test out. All opinions are our own.
- 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.
Price Guide: Sevylor Waterton Test
Specification: Sevylor Waterton Test