Sevylor Hudson Review

Kayak Overview

(Sevylor have partnered up with Coleman in the USA and release their products under both names)

Sevylor Hudson Inflatable Tandem KayakThe Sevylor Hudson is a tandem inflatable kayak that’s proven to be an affordable yet high quality product. With its tough nylon and PVC exterior, it’s made to take all kinds of adventures.

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The Hudson is a 12 feet long inflatable kayak. It will hold up to 463 pounds of weight, or two adults and one kid (or dog). It weighs 33 pounds making it relatively lightweight compared to other inflatable tandem kayaks on the market.

The top of the kayak is covered with a tough nylon fabric while the bottom is covered with a heavy duty PVC, making it both puncture and abrasion resistant. The nylon and PVC are connected to each other, forming a sort of sheet around the inflatable bladders of the kayak. This kind of design makes it much harder for rocks, sharp sticks, dorsal fins and any other danger to harm your kayak.

It comes with three adjustable high back seats, these seats can be placed anywhere you want on the kayak thanks to the velcro straps, found on both the bottom of the seats and on the inflatable floor. Thanks to the removable seats this kayak can easily be transformed into a solo kayak.

You’ll find spray skirts on both the bow and stern of the Hudson, making it convenient for protecting your gear from water. Other notable features are bungee cords, carry handles, removable rear skeg and welded directional strakes for added handling and steering.

There are three air chambers, one for the floor and one for each side tube. It uses the common boston valve type, which are very safe and known to be leak free. The three air chambers improves the safety even further on Hudson, if you were to get a puncture on either side or the floor, you still have two chambers left making it easy for you get back to shore.

Features

  • 3x Adjustable & removable high back seats
  • An optional rear skeg for better tracking
  • Three air chamber design for added safety

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 143 inches long (12 ft) 35 inches wide (3 ft)
  • Capacity: 4630 pounds
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Material:  Heavy duty PVC bottom, tough nylon top

Our Review

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It was a long time since we tested a more budget orientated inflatable kayak. We got plenty of tips from you guys telling us to try the Sevylor Hudson, a kayak that’s supposedly way better than what its price suggests. We just have to say that you were right, we expected to get a lot less from the Hudson for this price.

Hard to get it back into carry bag

A thing that bothered us, and is very common with all kinds of inflatable boats, was the carrybag. When we first opened up the package, the Hudson was neatly placed inside it’s PVC carry bag. It was easy to take out the kayak from the bag when we first opened it. Turns out it was quite the opposite when trying to get back in. When you’ve inflated it once it’s almost impossible to get back inside the carry bag. We did finally manage to get it back in, but we couldn’t really get it shut. We highly recommend getting a bigger bag for the Hudson unless you want to have to fight every time you want to pack it away.

Setup and inflation is very easy and quick

Setting everything up and inflating it was a simple process. Took around 5 minutes to inflate all three chambers to their recommended PSI. Strangely enough, Sevylor included adapters for all kinds of valves, boston valves, military valves, Leafield and some more. We found it odd because the Hudson only use boston valves. So don’t panic if you used a random valve adapter and noticed it didn’t inflate properly, chances are you’re using the wrong kind of valve.

Longer paddles are recommended to avoid scraping against the sides

We quickly noticed that using short paddles on the Hudson would result in some bruised knuckles, as it’s pretty wide. Using paddles near the 280 length is recommended, using anything shorter will scratch your knuckles.

It’s by no means a kayak made for speed

The Hudson is not exactly a speed machine, don’t expect to reach ultrasonic speeds in it. A contributing factor to this is the outer hull, unlike other models the hull on the Hudson isn’t stretched over the bladders, causing a “loose-skin” effect. It increases the drag, making you go slower.

Temperatures affect the air pressure inside the bladders, inflate accordingly

We thought that the outer PVC and nylon hull would protect the bladders from temperature changes but quickly found out that’s not the case. We inflated it to the max PSI but after 20 minutes or so we noticed there was a loss of air. We paddled to a nearby shore and topped it off, it held the air for the rest of the day just fine.

Tip: With some handyman skills you can install a trolling motor

Not something we personally did, but installing a small electric trolling motor seems to be quite common among Hudson owners. So if you’re a little bit of a handyman and have a trolling motor lying around, you might want to give it a shot! Also be sure to check out MikeSeddons Flickr where he has shared some close-ups of his motor mount.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gT47OdcVoE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdneFg9UDu8

Very stable on the water

While on the water the Hudson is really stable. I’d say it’s so stable that standing up and paddling wouldn’t be a problem. It’s really easy to get in and out off, and never did it wobble or make us feel unsafe when paddling.

Tracks pretty straight, nothing amazing but not bad either

When it comes to tracking it does a pretty good job, when the skeg is installed of course. If you want to avoid the hassle of do correcting strokes all the time, installing the skeg is a must in our opinion. When installed, it really does make a difference and I think me and my wife wouldn’t had such a good time if it weren’t for the skeg. We were paddling on our local lake which was very calm that day, no waves, chop or wind. It did drift a little bit, but to be honest this was nothing that affected us, even hard shells tend to drift a little bit. And for the price, you can’t really complain!

Long drying times bore us to death

The biggest drawback to the Hudson is the drying time in our opinion. Mostly it’s due to the outer hull, which ads protections but also increases drying time. We recommend to read our guide on how to properly dry your inflatable boat before storing it away.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to configure the seats to your liking, solo or tandem
  • Really stable

Cons

  • Takes a while to dry
  • “loose skin” on the outer hull increases drag
  • Carry bag is too small

Conclusion

Other than that, we don’t have much more to say. It’s a really solid product for the amount of money you’re paying. You can get it pretty cheap in some stores, depending on which time of the year you get it. It might not be the most feature-filled kayak, but it sure does deliver a solid experience. Tracking is good, it will hold a lot of gear, it’s very stable, outer hull is durable, what’s there not to like about it? If you’re looking for a great entry-level inflatable kayak, the Hudson from Sevylor will make you a happy camper.

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