Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Review

Good kayaks cost money. The Perception Triumph is a good kayak.

Best deal the Hughes Brothers have found yet brings this boat in at about $550, this hit for a boat lacking bells and yakking whistles of any sort. If fundamentally good throughout, stem to stern, is good enough for you, then let’s talk further about the Triump 13,0.

Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Features

Perhaps the shortest list of kayak features the Hughes Brothers have ever written.

Here we go.

· Comfort seating system

· Molded-in foot wells

· Bow and center hatches

There we go.

Product Dimensions: 161 x 29.5 x 15.8 inches ; 58 pounds

Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Design

Still, as we say, fundamentally sound in both construction and design.

Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Review by
Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Review by

Right from the start of your consideration of the Triumph, you can forget the traditional, perhaps clichéd, (If we might borrow the manufacturer’s name for a moment) perception that in no way might a sit-on-top kayak ever be considered high-performance – that elusive combination of speed, stability, and tracking, for which heretofore at least one of these three virtues must be compromised in a sit-on-top boat.

The hull design begins the performance.

Borrowed from touring boats, the Triumph’s hull.

A needful aside on the principle characteristics of a touring kayak.

The touring boats distinguish themselves as yaks more suited to intermediate or advanced paddlers, ready to boat off into big lakes, bays, rivers moving at a swift clip and, to a limited extend, the ocean itself. Unless you’re at least an intermediate paddler with considerable fast-stream experience or a natural athlete with strength and splendid hand-eye coordination – as two or three of the Hughes Brothers used to be – the Triumph is probably not the boat for you.

If, however, you’ve paid some kayaking dues, we give you simplicity, its perfect self.

The brevity of the features list above should in no way diminish the Triumph’s value, your understanding of its worth. Here we go again. This time we’re talking the advantages the boat will bring along, its benefits to experienced yakkers such as you.

· A smooth, smooth glide

· Easy paddling

· Daylong comfort, thanks to Perception’s Comfort Seat System, about which we have heard but one complaint accompanied by an immediate rectification: bared-boned John Howard Hughes found the seat turning hard and harder still at mid-afternoon. A cushion, JHH. A cushion of your own devising. As we say, simplicity itself.

Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Additional Features

Okay, hold it right there. We’ve found some more features.

Here we go.

· A molded-in kid’s seat

· Foot braces

· Soft-touch handles that make toting the sixty pounds of the Triumph’s heft not bad, not bad at all

· Good gosh, a cup holder

· More than adequate storage in a stern well, large but dampish, on a bad day deluged

· Lastly, a drain plug – not a bad place to stop in a splendid boat made to do simple things oh, so especially well

Your friend, the aftermarket

Given the skill levels recommended for the Triumph, the tracking will please, the turns will come true and good.


But, but.

Perception Triumph 13.0 Kayak Review and Rating

Your Triumph will arrive rudder-ready. That is, with the necessary tubing. You will need to locate mounting hardware, cables, pedals, and the rudder itself.

Metal deck loops and the Triumph’s bungee system will facilitate your addition of accessories. Fisherfolk, you will find no rod holders hereabouts.

The brand. The brand. The brand.

Never lose sight of the boat’s manufacturer: venerable, venerable Perception For over 40 years now, Perception has built more boats – the Triumph and her sisters notwithstanding – introducing people to the joys of kayaking on a scale, at very least equal, to any other manufacturer.

Perception pioneered the plastic kayak. And again, in that simplicity, there comes the happiest, the most carefree days of a true kayaker’s life.

Paddle on, Perception pilgrim.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Perception Kayak Triumph 13

Aire Lynx Inflatable Kayak Review

Kayaking in Kansas: since the good old days.

The Hughes Brothers admit that a review from the heartland of a boat able to handle Class 4/5 rapids does not immediately convey any stream-specific cachet. Yes, Kansas is often flat and, yes our rivers would in some cases be considered creeks in other states. That said, we remind you that the Kansas Canoe and Kayak Association celebrates its forty-third anniversary in April, 2018.

And so in a look at a boat about twelve years old, our friends in the Kansas paddling community know plenty about the Aire Lynx.

Aire Lynx Inflatable Kayak Features

First, the manufacturer’s notion of principal features of the Lynk IK.

· Aircell System 2-layer construction, 24 ounce/1100 denier outer PVC tubes, 27 ounce/1100 denier outer PVC floor, 14 mm inner urethane bladders with double-zipper access, welded seams

· Continuous curve rocker, 3 air chambers w/ Leafield B7 valves

· Adjustable Cheetah seat w/ storage pocket, adjustable bow/stern float bags

· Two sets of drain holes, twelve sets of cargo loops, bow/stern carry handles

Aire Lynx Inflatable Kayak.The reasons for a ducky. And what the hell is a ducky anyway?

Here be duckies : inflatable yaks of one or two seats, designed for whitewater, able to be deflated and reduced to fitting in a travel bag, perfect for any adventure anywhere.


Back to the Lynx.

Aire Lynx Inflatable Kayak Review by
Aire Lynx Inflatable Kayak Review by

Much like a sit-on-top kayak, the Lynx lifts its paddlers up and out from water-level, leading to much more maneuverability, much straighter tracking, more stability on the drops of a Class V. That on-high positioning, of course, leads to easy escape in the event of a roll in rough water; the momentarily unfortunate event involves nothing more than a drop from the Lynx, and off you go, standing up in shallow water, swimming safely to shore in bit deeper water. This safe, safe rough-water performance becomes even better, more effective with your purchase of after-market thigh braces and foot pegs.

Why this particular ducky?

The Lynx is durable, and durable some more, able to take hard hits season after season. And, should the unthinkable happen – a rock too sharp, too inevitable – a comprehensive, a complete, and very generous warranty waits to serve the unlucky Lynx owner. Here ‘tis: ten-year no-fault manufacturer warranty with a repair kit shipped with the boat, ready to make on-river fixes before heading home to fill out the warranty papers.

Track. Track. And track some more.

The Hughes Bros always, always stand for careful scouting of the big rivers, the especially fast runs well, well beforehand. Most especially in a fast inflatable such as the Lynx.


Watch the river. Pick your lines. And then take full confidence in your boat. Please, always have secondary lines in mind so that you can find a fast and easy way out of the boil and the froth. Once underway, trust your instincts. Immediately. Completely. And bail onto the safer route through it all. No one must ever, ever use the word “chicken” in the context of fast, fast water. Once underway, the Lynx takes on the big rivers and its holes. It turns just right now, just right where you want it to go. Just waiting to deliver you to the secondary line, all your gear tight and dry, an extra paddle waiting to weigh in should the need arise.

Aire Lynx Inflatable Kayak Review and Rating

Some bitsy concerns. Just some real small concerns.

A few owners have asked for a relief valve on the Lynx’s main tubes. They worried too about the boat’s response to extremes of temperature. Blowing large to Independence Day heat. Deflation in the sudden entry of the Lynx into very cold water.

Buy with confidence. Here’s a boat for the next umpteen years of your yakking life.

We mean it, we Hughes Brothers. In the general context of the Lynx, please consult our blog article on the overall rationale for a ducky.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: AIRE Lynx II Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Review

Amazon just loves the Intex Explorer.

The Intex Explorer is, some days, far and away the best-selling kayak on Amazon. More than fifteen hundred people have written reviews on this boat. And so the Hughes Brothers admit that, once again, we’re late to the party. That said, we have something to say.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Quality

Let’s say you have a hundred bucks lying around, and you want a kayak.

First of all, please understand that at this price point one word applies: inflatable.

Any yak worth your consideration for a C-note or less, you’ll be inflating. But good, safe fun can happen after sufficient air has been blown.

As long as you remain forever mindful of the boat’s very real limitations.

Know the hoots to have.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Where to use it.

The Intex Explorer belongs only on small, tame, well-known bodies of water. A favorite pond with largemouth there in the cat-tails on the far edge. A largish creek, a smallish river. A stream you’ve known since childhood maybe.

Because safety, safety, safety is the first and last consideration here.

Puncture-resistant, not puncture-proof.

The construction of these inflatable, hyper-popular yaks involves – by and large – vinyl. Heavy-duty vinyl that will compress and bounce back with aerobic integrity to the obstacles endemic in even the most familiar of waters. Vinyl that has no business . . . none! . . . near rapids or, perish the thought, the ocean.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak. The Boston Valves

What in the world are Boston valves?

A BV is a one-way valve with two caps. The removal of the top cap enables the yak to be filled with air. Essentially, air comes in no; no air escapes in the process.

Boston valves demand a different sort of pump – not of the sort used to blow up a bike tire, a beach ball. A dual-action hand pump with a special Boston-valve adaptor is called for here. The adaptor will be about the size of a dime. (The Hughes Brothers offer our recommendations on other pages of this already historic website.)

After a happy day on the pond, the removal of both caps of the Boston valve will accommodate easy deflation.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Features

Please be seated.

The Intex Explorer K2 may in many ways be representative of its colleagues in this price range, this sort of construction. In the K2’s case an inflatable I-beam adds rigidity to the boat’s floor. A floor on which an inflatable seat, with backrest, can be added, removed, and adjusted.

Some features to look for on the K2 and its sister yaks in this very carefully, very necessarily defined category of kayak.

Look for grab lines at both ends of the boat.

Count the air chambers, those separate and potentially life-saving set-aparts that preserve flotation in the event of puncture to one chamber or another.

 Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Review by
Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Review by

Demand a repair kit. These boats will in time be damaged. You need to be able fix your yak yourself. In the field. Just off the water.

The K2 brings along a removable skeg, a neat little add-on that mellows directional stability in a sometimes unwieldy set of circumstances.

Choose government-employee yellow rather than camo. In the event of trouble that will likely some day come your way, be seen. Be seen well. Bright colors become your best friends on that lonesome day.

Choose a self-bailing boat if you can. Better seats in this case raise your hard-paddling self up and out of the water, the yak’s nose upturned and disinclined to allow water to splash aboard.

A few diddles. And we’re done.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Review and Rating

Current K2 owners wish for longer, larger paddles. Some hard cases even expect the Explorer to proceed as smoothly or as quickly as a hard plastic boat. A couple of people complain about the strength required to remove the skag.

But hold on. The Hughes Brothers will be back. Soon.

Yep. We’ll be aboard soonest to talk in general about your choices in this large, extremely popular kayak category: inflatable, inexpensive, recreational use only.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Sun Dolphin Boss Sit-On/Stand-On Top Angler Kayak Review

Not a review yet. Just a heads-up.

Here in late January, the Hughes Brothers have gathered for green chili at John Howard’s house, where we have now discussed Sun Dolphin’s next entry into the very competitive market for fishing kayaks. So here’s what we know now – before the boat’s February introduction.

Key hyphenated word above: “stand-on.”

Sun Dolphin Boss Sit-On/Stand-On Top Angler Kayak Review by
Sun Dolphin Boss Sit-On/Stand-On Top Angler Kayak Review by

Sun Dolphin is promising us a catamaran hull with what the manufacturer deems “a flat stable platform.” Also non-slip pads and a stand-up strap will facilitate a double-haul on a favorite rod. Stand-on, truly stand-on – damn, the Hughes Brothers do hope so.

Sun Dolphin Boss Sit-On/Stand-On Top Angler Kayak Specs:

Sun Dolphin’s list of features for the Boss.

Front/rear storage wells large enough for a milk crate or bucket
One swivel and four flush mount rod holders
Below deck storage
Dual-position fold-down seat
Universal mounting plates
Adjustable foot braces
Carry handles and paddle holders
Beverage holder
Multiple finish colors available
The specs.

Length: 12’3″ / 375cm

Width: 32 1/2″ / 82.6cm

Height: 14 1/2″ / 36.8cm

Weight: 70 lbs. / 32kg

Capacity: 500 lbs. / 227kg

Please stand by.

We have a neighbor seriously considering a purchase of the Boss. He’s watching the price, hoping for a drop from the current $600+ price-point.

We’ll do our best to be quick.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak

Review of the Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak, Two-Person

Considering the strength and durability of this yak, twenty-seven pounds is really, really light.

The Hughes Brother with the most time in the Driftsun Voyager? That would be James. Quiet, studious, painterly James. Brother James, he paddles for inspiration, for another up-creek look at the trees he paints. With some success we might add. A gallery in New York represents Jimmy’s treescapes.

Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak Review by
Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak Review by

The man needs no leaks.

Jimmy’s garage to Jimmy’s old Ford truck to Jimmy’s private place on Bachelor Creek.

Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak Specs:

As his brothers know, the man is not to be messed with when the spirit moves him. He’ll inflate his Driftsun Voyager from pre-inflated measurements in its carry bag of only 26(L) x 16(W) x 8(H) and, with five minutes on the included high-flow double-action hand pump, that puppy has blown up to 120(L) x 35(W) x 16(H). At six-foot-plus, our brother fits just very nicely, thank you.

Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak, The Tarp:

Then, the tarpaulin takes hold.

The Voyager operates with a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin bottom that rides along underneath our guy with durable, all-day, year-round protection from punctures. The double-threaded Boston valves are guaranteed not to leak. Not ever. And over it all: tough 840D-coated nylon oxford fabric will talk back to rips, just fairly well laugh at potential tears.

For an inflatable, expect – as does our brother – maximized performance.

The Voyager comes together in such splendid ways. It’s bow, pointy and then some, works with the boat’s rocker profile to give any old water-wandering painter a fine set of performance factors in seas – okay, lakes – by turns calm and choppy. Choppy as can be.

A removable deep fin delivers responsive tracking, quick movement toward a tree that has just cut old James’ eye.

Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak Comparison:

Even artists need to be practical. Much like the Driftsun Voyager.

It’s all here. For the price, just the right combination of comfort, ease of maintenance, ergonomics, the whole deal. The side tubes count for some serious volume, big-time stability and buoyancy, just what old Norman Rockwell needs while his mind and hands are preoccupied with other things.

The seats, EVA padded, adjust. To Norm’s . . . er . . . Jimmy’s mind, they adjust quick and true. And they stick around, bringing all-day, high-back support for easy cruising day to day, season to season.

The paddles are solid. Propulsionary. With ergonomic grip handles.

Bow handles, bow and stern, make the carrying easy, the way forward and true.

Storage is ample, accessible, and bungeed.

Two velcroed oar holders mount on each side for paddling to or fro.

Driftsun Voyager Inflatable Kayak Accessories:

Oh, and the accessories: the worthy young pump (already mentioned), a repair kit, and a travel bag. All there, all good, all the time.

A plug for the plug.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak – Complete with All Accessories, 2 Paddles, 2 Seats, Double Action Pump and More

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem Review

The Hughes Brothers just love packages.

Fact is, you had us at hello. The manufacturer’s name here – Vibe – rings bells all over Hughesland. These are good people making great boats.

Witness the Yellowfin.

A brand new kayak, just released from its Georgia manufacturer’s plant last October, the 130T has already made some waves. Big old waves suggesting that three fisher-people might angle in tranquility on but one boat.

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem Review by
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem Review by

A sidenote before the Hughes boys go one word further.

Brother James Hughes stumbled onto a remark in an Amazon set of commentaries, a remark to the effect that tandem kayaking will lead inevitably . . . without fail! . . . to the best of friends coming to fisticuffs. Such a sad conclusion, in the words of the reviewer, in that “it happens to everyone.”

Well, we don’t think so.

Sweet Georgia Browns.

Even though three of us Hughes brothers have never fished together from this boat, we rely on the reports of cousins, the wayward Browns from our mother’s side of the family, Georgia boys themselves, who bought the 130T, who have put in many times now on the Chattahoochee River from their homes in Anderson in the northernmost part of the Peach State.

Those boys, they’re just fine in their fishing.

As Vibe does its part.

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem Facts

• Three-person sit-on-top fishing kayak: thirteen-foot, eighty-pound multi-person kayak perfect for fishing, travel, or family recreation with a five-hundred-pound weight capacity

• Optional center paddle position for solo paddling

• Two flush mount rod holders with caps and four mounting points for Scotty, RAM, or Railblaza Rod Holders.

• Multiple storage options — two sealed hatches with bag inserts, large bungeed rear tank well and bow cargo bungee system

• Adjustable foot rests for customized comfort

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem Thoughts

A couple of thoughts on the preceding facts and features.

Firstly, the framed hero seats combine nicely with the foot braces for all-day comfort – most especially if you’re young, athletic, and in shape.

Secondly, you’ll need to shop around for a rudder. The Yellowfin 130T comes rudder-ready, but the maneuverability comes after-market.

Thirdly, the 130T will easily accommodate two adults and a child. And off you go.

Fourthly and not mentioned above — The Vibe Yellowfin 130T is covered by a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for defects on all new kayak purchases and (one year on parts attached to the kayak).

Fifthly and also not mentioned above: expect two built-in cup holders, two side bungee paddle parks, and twelve scupper holes with plugs included.

Sixthly (Mike Hughes would have trouble pronouncing the word without a large grin forming.): here come four tackle tray holders, made just right for the Plano 3600 tray.

Seventhly, the seats. The seats, the seats, the seats. Always disparate opinion about the seats. In the Yellowfin’s case, the breathable mesh seats with sturdy metal frames move about the boat, stem to stern, for configurations that make the most sense for any given fishing day. To date, we’ve heard no complaints from the cousins about the ‘Fin’s comfort.

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem Review and Rating

Wind and current, get lost.

The cousins report no problems with the Yellowfin in roughish weather. The tracking is affected, of course, but here’s where the add-on rudder comes in mighty handy. At a thousand dollars for the boat itself, the comparatively small price of a rudder makes good sense to even the tightest, most frugal of the Georgia or the Kansas family members.

Alright then, in the matter of the yak’s comfort, let’s hear it from the man who built it.

Sort of.

The Hughes Brothers say again, as we’re sure will again very soon, that Vibe just cannot be beat as a caring manufacturer, as a corporate citizen of the first rank after the sale. The best of companies listen to their customers. They listen hard. As here, from Vibe’s introductory news release for the 130T.

Josh Thomas, CEO of the company, said that the new Yellowfin 130T was ‘basically built’ by its customers. He added: “We listened and then incorporated the input from current Vibe owners and our design team. That guidance led us to build a ridiculously comfortable, capable boat that is perfect for serious kayak fishing.”

We’re with you, Mr. Thomas.


The Hughes Brothers.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13 -foot Tandem Sit On Top Kayak

Advanced Elements Double Action Hand Pump with Pressure Gauge Review

Right up front, let’s talk price.

This pump reports in right at thirty-five bucks.

Advanced Elements Double Action Hand Pump with Pressure Gauge review by
Advanced Elements Double Action Hand Pump with Pressure Gauge review by

Nonetheless, we Hugheses have read some controversy, some frugal discussion suggesting that the last-mentioned feature above, the pressure gauge, somehow pushes that minimal purchase price up into the neighborhood of the absurd.

We mean, yakkers do tend to be excitable boys (and girls) in the matter of their equipment. And its attendant costs. But, come on.

Advanced Elements Double Action Hand Pump with Pressure Gauge Review

The Hughes Brothers’ take: buy the pump.

It’s worth it.

Here’s why.

The Advanced Elements Pump is durable.

It guarantees high-flow inflation.

It will come to you with multiple adaptors, four to be exact, for essentially every inflatable you own, the details of which the Hughes Brothers just don’t want to know. Oh, sorry, don’t expect an HR (Halkey-Roberts Valve Fill) adaptor.

It will deflate your kayak as readily as it brings it to fully inflated size and shape.

And yes, it does work in conjunction with a pressure gauge.

And yes yes, yellow is your onliest option for color.

And, okay, the hose can be a little, oh, kinky. Worrisome, if not actual, in its threat to bend and break.

PSI matters.

Consider the Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak and its absolute guarantee of no leaks, ever. That guarantee necessarily, inevitably, honestly assumes proper inflation, those pounds per square inch right down to the decimal.

The pump is that important.

Forget foot bellows.

Your new Advanced Elements will leave foot bellows in their own gathering dust. Faster, easier, more precise. You name it. This pump wins out.

Mind your tips.

It can reasonably be argued that the accompanying tips on the pump may not be perfect. There is the distraction of some air leakage – dependent as the tips are on a method of attachment requiring a tight, tight fit with the hose end. Without right now, we eminently practical Hugheses have noticed, a gasket. A little after-market rubber ring just might solve this small problem so, so easily.

Advanced Elements Double Action Hand Pump with Pressure Gauge Inflation Time

Let’s talk time of inflation.

This pump’s double action generates some air, alright. So very much faster than the old, the traditional bike-tire pumps. In many ways it provides similar speeds and greater accuracies than electric pumps.

It does so with one of your feet on the base. There comes some stooping. There follows a tingle or two in the triceps. And, once past three psi, the arm motions will indeed become more in-your-face exertional.

Which brings us to the overwhelming question. Aren’t we going down to the water in a boat relying on all-too-human propulsion, the point of which is some good exercise.

Strike a yoga thought. Engage the Advanced Elements’ double-action. And get after it.

Float on, grasshopper.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Advanced Elements Double Action Pump with Pressure Gauge

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak Review

One of the best fishing kayaks in memory.

The Hughes Brothers want to tell you right up front here that this review arises from shared recollection. On a brotherly fishing trip to Gunnison, Colorado, two summers ago our kind host – a polo player/oilman/wildman – outfitted us with both of the Colorados in his stable. Such our buddy’s affection for the boat. Joel, James, and John Howard were the lucky three of us to enjoy the fishing from what – in memory – stands as some of the finest days on the water ever.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak Materials

No memory here. Just fact.

18-gauge PVC construction, rugged in the way the Hughes Brothers imagine ourselves to be1000D tarpaulin bottomand 840D nylon cover: these numbers mean protection, lots of it Multiple air chambers, another chamber to stay inflated if one should be punctured Airtight® System, Sevylor’s guarantee against leaks Berkley® Quick Set Rod Holders, adjustable to the precise, immediate demands for hands-free fishingSevylor® trolling motor fittings, with more about trolling motors in a minute Paddle holders, those precious paddles safely stowed, out of the way. Don’t forget the proper pump to inflate this monster.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak Trolling Motor

Let’s talk trolling, motored trolling.

Sevylor does indeed sell a very small motor and battery that adapt seamlessly to the mount described two bullet-points ago. The H Bros must say in good faith that the motor is probably sized a bit small for a boat that can easily accommodate almost five hundred pounds of personage and equipment. The factory motor doesn’t generate sufficient power, in our opinion, and the battery must be called “short-lived” for sure.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak Review by
Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak Review by

YouTube will show you all sorts of ways to rig a larger motor and a more reliable high-performance battery to the Coleman Colorado – riggings involving PVC pipe, wood, ties, and unions of all sorts. And soon enough you’ll have power worthy of this splendid, splendid kayak.

Off then to out of the way watery places.

With new motorized propulsion waiting for you astern, you may confidently set course toward riffles and pools that lay beyond all but the strongest, the most persistent yakkers relying on deltoids and pectorals and paddles to take them there. You may, as old Bob Seger says, pour that power on. The materials of double-walled construction on the Colorado are Afghanistan sorts of tough. And multiple air chambers bow to stern assure you of a safe return to your put-in place, even should a rock – an especially sharp and sturdy rock – puncture your boat.

Gear up Your Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak

Sevylor made the Coleman Colorado for fishing. End of song. From the Berkley Rod holders to the mesh pockets here and there to the D-rings waiting for attachment of such gear and tackle as you think necessary.

Climb aboard.

The Hughes Brothers are not what our grandmother used to call “small packages.” Access is easy nonetheless. The fishing positions are a couple of feet wide, and with John Howard at 6’3” he found a comfortable rest for his stinky feet, albeit alongside Jame’s bow-ward seat.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak Seats

Now, about these seats.

We fished all day for three days straight on our Gunnison trip, and Joel – the youngest of we three – complained not at about either the comfort or the stability of his seated fly-casting.

James and John, the more arthritic James and John, climbed loudly from the Colorado on the evening of the third day. Their bottoms had flatly had enough.

In our refresher reading in anticipation of this happiest of screeds, we encountered other Colorado owners not fully satisfied with the OEM seat.

So be it.

With aftermarket alternatives to both the stock seats and the stock trolling motor, there waits absolutely no reason why — your zeal for multiple trout meals – you can with little money and even less bother make this wonderful boat richly and fully yours.

Motor on.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Review

Another crowd favorite from Sun Dolphin.

In the straight fast tracks of the Sun Dolphin Aruba comes this sit-on-top version that, once more, attempts the perfect balance between paddling ease and maximized stability. Tracking matters too, and among the brothers who spent time in the Sun Dolphin – it belongs to Mike Hughes – Curtis, the tallest of us reported no problem whatsoever with his big old self’s access. Let’s review the Sun Dolphin Bali now.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Size:

Perhaps size does matter.

The smallest Hughes, sister Cindy of course, reported a bit of difficulty with tracking. The adjustable foot braces accommodated her shorter frame nicely, but her paddling did not come with the natural grace that she has demonstrated in other yaks. A quibble really, because the Bali SS honestly is just about perfect for the calm waters of your favorite lake or mild-mannered river. It’s both rugged and lightweight, a friendly combination of durability and portability. The Bali will easily carry close to four hundred pounds.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Portability:

Sun Dolphin likes its Portable Accessory Carrier.

Quite the versatile performer here, this P.A.C.. Use it as extra in-boat storage. Or, no fooling, strap it on as a backpack. Or again, use it as a slick little tow-behind. (Note: the Hughes Bros have encountered a bit of confusion in this last usage: we don’t believe that Sun Dolphin sends along any sort of connector (strap, rope, whatever) for the carrier as a follow-along. Mike certainly found none in his delivery package.)

The Bali’s storage compartment, decidedly non-portable, is large and very dry. A shock-cord deck rigging ensures the latter virtue.

Easy in and out, as Curtis Hughes so aptly noted.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Review by
Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Review by

As our photograph illustrate, the cockpit lies beyond open. It’s fall-in accessible, with exit almost as simple. The seat . . . no . . . the seating area is extra-large, very comfortable, and safe. Safe with protective thigh pads, a paddle holder, and Cindy’s adjustable foot braces.

About that gallon or so of water sloshing around below.

If one paddles with much less than proper form, with insufficient attention to keeping the keel perfectly flat, the scupper holes will admit some H2O. A return to straight-up, straight ahead paddling will drain the water, with no need whatsoever for concern. Oh, until this ideal form develops, you might expect a dampish bottom for a time or two on the water.

Anglers, take note, please.

In its simplicity of design, the Bali SS will not arrive in your driveway with rod holders. You’re free to place after-market holders exactly where you want. Mike reports that the simplest of placements, not a holder in sight, has resulted in some slab-sided bluegill on the supper table: he just positions his rod between his legs, extends the rod’s tip over the Bali’s bow. And off he goes. Mike belongs to a fishing club here in Kansas, and many of his fellow fishers have turned to kayaks as the boat of choice. His Bali is drawing solid reviews from the folks who have seen him in action atop it.

Of course, some nice after-market accessories will reward an investment of, say, $250 – an anchor trolley system, side handles and rod holders, if you want them.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak Rating and review:

Beginning paddlers, you’ll enjoy this boat.

On your first few outings, expect perfection neither from yourself or from your Bali SS. Naturally, the Hughes Brothers recommend a personal flotation device, initial paddling close to shore, and tethering. Better to swim to shore after an untoward inversion than any attempt – at first, just at first — to right the boat.

What’s with these delivery guys?

Admittedly, Mike’s boat arrived with a couple of dings. Certainly not Sun Dolphin’s fault. The Hughes Brothers nosed around on Amazon’s reviews. We discovered there multiple complaints about the Bali’s condition on arrival. Even on the timing of that arrival.

So there you have it: a great value at its price point, the Bali’s performance and longevity will far outweigh the peccadillos associated with it at the outset.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak

Dagger Axis 10.5 Kayak Review

A great kayak and some mighty good green chili.

Fellow paddlers, the wind-chill in Kansas tonight promises to be something like twenty below. That said, the four oldest Hughes Brothers have gathered here in Joel’s heated garage to eat some green chili guaranteed to remove the top of our collective head. And we’re discussing the Dagger Axis, a boat that more than a few of our kids and grandkids chose as their first boat.

Dagger Axis 10.5 Paddle Kayak review by
Dagger Axis 10.5 Paddle Kayak review by

Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak has it all.

The Dagger Axis: largely all things to all paddlers.

The Axis welcomes yakkers of all abilities, all sorts of experience trailing in their swirl. The Axis, first of all, is forgiving. Major reason why: a watertight bulkhead just behind the seat offers some flotation after an unplanned, upside-down entry into the water. Some tight, tight storage about the boat offers also some protection for your valuables, your equipment, your lunch in the event of a swamping.

But the worst that could happen is far from the best about this boat.

Let’s talk of drier, much warmer days when the Axis serves as just the best of all beginner boats. Junior would be wrong to expect a rudder in a kayak at this price point, and so here in windy Kansas the Axis’ drop-down skag dramatically improves tracking — far, far better than in most recreational boats. The skag retracts, of course, for excursions way, way upriver where the water shallows and the banks narrow. Chines, sharply defined chines, contribute to the Axis’ overall maneuverability in a big way. Know this much: you put down the paddle to pick up a camera or a fishing rod, and the Axis will keep right on a’trackin.

Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak Quick Review

The Axis in a hundred words. Or so.

– Contour Knee and Thigh pads, plus Dagger’s SideLock Footbrace System, for still more control, more stability, more comfort

– An adjustable, really quite comfortable seat which Dagger, big on nomenclature, has pegged as the ConTour CFS Seating System

– A stern hatch, bungeed deck rigging, plus a mesh deck cover – also bungeed – for all the gear you want to bring along for the ride

– Tough and tougher still, drag-worthy, unafraid of rocky shallows

– Not especially fast because of its beam/length ratio, a tradeoff between stability and speed

– Perfect for inland lakes, rivers, creeks, and the farm ponds where your state’s biggest-fish-ever-caught lay teasing you

Curtis Hughes — brother Curtis the quiet one but always the one of us with the most pertinent, the most cogent of comments – between largish mouthfuls of greenish, pork-flavored purgatory that the Axis is surprisingly tough given the thickness of the boat’s hull. This boat is light – but as old John Cameron Swayze used to say – “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”

Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak Specs:

The vital statistics.

Type: Recreational (Under 12ft.)

Hull Design: Sit-In

Length: 10ft. 6in.

Kayak Width: 28.5in.

Weight: 50lbs.

Material: Polyethylene

Cockpit Length: 38in.

Cockpit Width: 21in.

Number of Paddlers: 1

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak. The Seat

Sit your bad self down.

For a yak at this price point, the Axis comes along with the most comfortable seat ever. All-day comfortable. Wind and rough water comfortable. July heat comfortable with all the adjustability necessary to make the seat’s placement entirely your own. Paddle to your big heart’s content, with minimal or no fatigue to be contributed by a hard, misadjusted seat. Here in the Axis, expect a back rest that ups and downs itself to your specific lumbar situation, and a seat pad that keeps perfect up-down-right-left positioning with the angling of your legs.

Bring a spray skirt.

Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak. Where’s the drain plug?

Your Dagger will come to you minus a drain plug. So, if you anticipate any rough water at all on your weekend outside, bring a skirt. Much more fun than bailing for a half hour after a perfect day’s paddle.

Bring a friend in his/her kayak.

And compare boats. The Hughes Brothers’ money is on you, smart shopper.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Dagger Axis 10.5 Kayak 2017