Sevylor/Coleman Quikpak K5 opinion
The Quikpak K5 is a recreational kayak that is unique among inflatable kayaks in this price range. It effectively transforms from a backpack to a 1-person sit-inside kayak in 5 minutes. The backpack design enhances its portability, so you can take it with you on short excursions. The material is durable, setup is easy, and the package includes a pump and a paddle. There are a few negatives though, read my detailed review to find out what they are.
The Sevylor Quikpak K5 is a recreational, sit-inside, 1-person kayak, that is ultra-portable thanks to its integrated backpack design.
I had a chance to use the kayak for a day, and let me tell you, there were good parts and not so good parts to it.
My Sevylor Quikpak K5 review article will detail everything you need to know about the kayak, so if you’re thinking about getting it, read on.
Features of the Sevylor Quikpak K5
The main selling point of the Quikpak K5 is that it can be transformed from its portable backpack state into a single-paddler inflatable kayak in just a few minutes.
It’s not a lie either. You can set the kayak up in just a few minutes.
But at 25 pounds and being relatively large in its “bag” state, I wouldn’t want to go on long hikes with this kayak. Packrafts are usually around 10-15 pounds, and you can break them down into a smaller shape. But of course, they cost 3x more and are meant for a different crowd.
So with that said, I think the Quikpak K5 is portable enough for most people. Its backpack system (that also fits the paddle and pump) offers a way to get on the water in minutes.
Build quality and durability
The Sevylor Quikpak K5 is a rugged recreational kayak with three air chambers:
- I-beam floor.
The primary tubes feature 24-gauge PVC construction, covered with heavy-duty 900 D polyester fabric. The cover makes the kayak resistant to punctures. You can safely take a dog on the deck of the Sevylor Quikpak K5, as the polyester fabric will protect the air chambers from dog nails.
The cover is removable, which is helpful when:
- you need to patch the PVC air bladders,
- dry the cover separately of the tubes.
The seams are electronically welded for a permanent bond, not glued. This increases its reliability since welded seams do not separate.
The hull (bottom) is covered by a 1000 D tarpaulin, so dragging it or hitting underwater rocks/branches in shallow water will not cause any problems.
The air valves are OK, but not great. Sevylor uses its patented Double Lock valve system, which lets you push the valve in after inflation to close the valve and not allow any air out. I prefer Halkey-Roberts valves or Boston Valves, but these worked just fine as well.
The fact that the Quikpak K5 is NMMA Certified for safety/construction standards is a testament to the quality of the kayak.
The Quikpak K5 integrates a lot of useful features as well:
- ergonomic carry handles
- laced bungee storage at 2 areas of the deck
- multiple D-rings
- 2 drain plugs
- zippered, removable deck cover (Sevylor calls it a spray skirt, but it’s more like a big splash guard to keep out water)
As you can see, the kayak has a lot of features.
I really liked the removable deck cover; you can unzip it and lay back, hanging your legs off the side of the kayak. The kayak is super stable, so you can lay around and enjoy the sun without worry.
One thing I missed was that there is no paddle holder attachment. You can’t glue one onto the fabric, but you could add a paddle leash and hook it to a D-ring. Or just slip the paddle into the rear bungee, as I did.
Performance and handling
After inflating the Quikpak K5, it looks somewhat mediocre because the polyester fabric sort of sags on the deck.
But once you put it on the water, and considering its price point, you’re in for a nice surprise.
My impressions were:
- The Quikpak K5 is very stable. Even when waves rocked the boat, I never felt it would tip.
- The seat has back support, but it is not as comfortable as a proper inflatable kayak seat. This is because the backpack itself converts into the seat, so it’s not padded as a standard one would be. This is not a dealbreaker since being a recreational kayak, it’s as good as you can expect it to be.
- Sitting in the cockpit was comfortable; I am 6′ (185 cm) tall with an average build. It did not feel small or cramped.
- The zippered “spray skirt” makes getting in and out easy since you can unzip it.
- Once you are in the cockpit and zip the spray skirt closed, the opening is pretty small, and the skirt does an excellent job of keeping water from small waves out.
- As with all inflatable kayaks in this range, you sit high on the water (instead of lower like a hard-shell kayak). You get a good view, but it is suboptimal in terms of maneuverability.
- Tracking is not great, but in this category, it’s OK. The Quikpak K5 has 1 removable skeg in the front, and 1 fixed smaller tracking fin in the rear to help with going straight. It will wobble a bit unless you have perfect paddling form.
As you already know, one of the main selling points of the Sevylor Quikpak K5 is its easy-to-carry backpack system.
The shoulder straps of the backpack are padded, so they do not cut into your shoulders. This is important if you want to take it on long walks or hiking.
This integrated backpack storage system makes the kayak extremely portable. It’s not as light as a packraft, but doesn’t cost $1000 either. The whole set weighs around 25 lbs, so I would be comfortable going on short hikes with it.
The entire backpack is used for various parts of the kayak, which is incredible from a design perspective. If you were to go on a hike to a secluded lake, the only thing left out without integrating into the finished kayak would be the pump, but you can store it in the bungees on the deck.
How to Set Up the Quikpak K5
For those familiar with inflatable kayaks, the setup of the Sevylor Quikpak K5 isn’t a challenge at all. You can inflate the numbered valves using the included hand pump in just a few minutes.
The order of chambers is the following:
- Outside main chamber
- Inside chamber
- Floor chamber
Even though the kit includes a pump that will get the job done, upgrading to a better pump will make inflation quicker.
You do not need an electric pump for this kayak, this reliable manual pump will be great.
Here is an informative video of the setup process and the kayak in general.
Breaking down the Quikpak K5
All inflatable kayakers know that taking the kayak apart after a day of paddling is not much fun and usually takes longer than the setup process did.
Unfortunately, the same goes for the Quikpak K5.
The hull’s fabric cover is not water repellant, which means it retains water and is hard to dry.
You can remove the cover and dry it separately, which saves some time. But if you’re on a hike and need to pack up and go, that’s not really an option. Packing the kayak away is more difficult while the polyester cover is wet and will be heavier in its “backpack” state.
You can fix this by treating the fabric with a good waterproofing spray like the 303 Fabric Guard, making packing the kayak away much easier.
There are 2 scupper holes in the kayak to drain water from the cockpit. They are not self-bailing, though. You need to plug/unplug them from below the hull. They can get caught in the shallows and open, which would let water into the cockpit. I would glue some velcro over them to keep them from opening inadvertently.
The kit comes with everything you need to start paddling in 5 minutes:
- 3-piece paddle
- dual-action hand pump
- repair kit
The pump included with the kayak does not have a PSI gauge, even though the instructions state a specific PSI to which you should inflate the kayak. You can get by without it though, just check the air bladder and make sure it’s hard enough.
The included paddle is of a cheaper variety, so you should probably look into getting a better kayak paddle.
Here is my guide on how to choose a kayak paddle.
Sevylor/Coleman Quikpak K5 specifications
|Capacity||1 person – 250 lbs (113 kg)|
|Dimensions||10′ x 2’10” (305 cm x 86 cm)|
|Weight||25.5 lbs (11.5 kg)|
|Vinyl||24 gauge PVC with polyester cover and tarpaulin bottom|
Is the Sevylor Quikpak K5 worth the money?
After using it for a day, I think the Quikpak K5 presents good value in its category and is worth its price at around $300-$350. (Sometimes it goes out of stock and dealers try to sell it for $400+ on Amazon. I would just wait a few weeks until it’s back in stock at regular price, it’s not worth that much.)
In fact, I included it on my list of the best inflatable kayaks of 2021.
It is aimed at beginner recreational paddlers who want to enjoy a day on the lake or even float down rivers.
The fact that it is ultra-portable, thanks to the backpack design, and also that it comes with everything you need to get on the water sweetens the deal.
What other Quikpak K5 users say
I was curious and read up on what other users of the kayak had to say on Amazon. Here are a few of the recurring themes:
- It takes most people little more than 5 minutes to set up, but no more than 10 minutes. Inflation and setting up the kayak is easy.
- The kayak is sturdy. Some have scrapped the bottom on barnacles, rocks, cliffs, but the fabric did not tear.
- Many people end up ordering a better paddle.
- It is very stable but not very fast on the water.
- The cover fabric is difficult to dry.
- Some people use the kayak in light rapids.
All in all, the Quikpak K5 has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon (checked in April, 2021), which is pretty good.
The manufacturer – Sevylor
Sevylor was founded in 1948, and is part of the Coleman company. It manufactures waters sport and recreation products, selling them globally.
The company is at the forefront of PVC innovation and has been for decades. Their boats are positioned in the low-mid range, presenting an affordable alternative to other brands.
Opinion of the Quikpak K5
I like the Quikpak K5 for what it is: a sturdy, ultra-portable recreational kayak.
It takes 5 minutes to set up, and the package includes everything you need to start paddling on a lake or slow rivers.
The hull material is strong enough to stand up to rocks and barnacles, and the deck cover protects from punctures up on top as well.
The D-rings and bungee lacing provide ample storage for your gear on short trips.
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