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Coleman break new ground
  |  First Published: June 2010



If you’re into camping and the outdoors there is little doubt you would be familiar with the Coleman range of products. Coleman has everything from toilet roll holders through to house-like canvas tents, but what you may not know is that Coleman is also the distributor of Esky products and, from January this year, the range of Sevylor aquatic sports products.

In early March Coleman had a new product release day in Sydney that I was lucky enough to attend. The range of new and exciting products is comprehensive, so I’d like to run you through some of the more interesting products that I saw. These products are expected to be available from August this year, so you will have time to investigate the products further and know what you want when they arrive. I know I’ll be a bit lighter in the hip pocket come September!

Sevylor

Sevylor is a worldwide aquatic sports brand that Coleman has added to its list of brands. They do everything from stand up paddleboards through to inflatable kayaks and towable water sports products. I really liked the range of inflatable kayaks, especially the 2 person inflatable kayak, so let’s take a look at this impressive craft, the SVX200DS.

The first thing to notice about this kayak is its construction. Sevylor has developed a way to make the floor of this inflatable almost rigid. In fact, the floor is so strong that you can stand in the middle of the kayak while the ends are supported without folding the kayak in half – now that’s impressive. We actually did this in the office with a 94kg staff member and while the kayak bent a little in no way did it collapse in on itself – very impressive! This is achieved by the use of a high-pressure, drop stitch floor that uses thousands of PE fibres that connect the top and bottom sheets allowing the floor to be inflated to an incredible 10psi. Having said that, Sevylor recommend the floor only be inflated to 7psi, which we did during our test. This inflation pressure requires a special pump, and thankfully Sevylor has included that in the package when you purchase the kayak. Sevylor also includes a pressure gauge so you can be sure that the floor pressure is right every time. The side pressure is a comfortable 3psi, and again the pressure gauge is a very useful tool for judging this pressure.

The advantages of the almost rigid floor include the ability to design a craft that is self bailing, the ability to run this craft through serious rapids (please note that experience is absolutely necessary to do this), and the rigid floor allows correct placement and alignment of tracking fins so paddling and directing these kayaks is simple, even for a novice.

I liked the 2 person kayak simply because I like fishing with friends. It’s also easier on the paddling with two on board and allows the second person to control the craft while the first person fishes or lands a fish.

Other inclusions are 2 seats and 2 foot rests that are somewhat adjustable. When these two accessories are attached to the craft it becomes a very comfortable rig.

It’s a very nice craft that is worth some serious thought if you want an inflatable kayak. The retail pricing will be somewhere around $700. Expect a full review of this kayak in a few months after we have field tested the SVX200DS we borrowed from Coleman. I’m already looking forward to running it through its paces.

Coleman

The additions to the Coleman product range are numerous and just about every new product we looked at had some appeal to the camping angler. But more than this, Coleman has actively introduced a range of products that not only serve the purpose of campers, but can be equally useful around the house. These are some of the products I found interesting because of their wider use appeal.

I’ve just moved to a coastal area where midges and mozzies are a constant evening threat. In fact they are so bad some nights that you must eat indoors, taking away most of the reason for living near the water. To stop this problem, Coleman has entered into the shelter and gazebo market with a range that will suit businesses, home owners, stall holders, campers and all lovers of the outdoors. My favourite was the Hexagonal Screen House that is fully enclosed and measures 457cm x 396cm x 213cm high. This shelter is large enough to fit a heap of people inside with chairs and a table and keep those annoying biting insects at bay. The mesh is also fire retardant meaning that even if a stray ember lands on the mesh it will not shoot up in a ball of flame endangering users, making this a very safe unit.

While all this good, the best part of this shelter, and most of those in the range, is the ease of set up and take down. Coleman has thought ahead in design and made sure these shelters are easy to use. Coleman has designed the shelters in a way that means you do not need a science or engineering degree to set them up and take them down. The Hexagonal Screen House actually folds in on itself and comes together in a neat packed that easily fits into the supplied bag – a bag that has carry handles and trolley wheels to make transportation of this 12kg package easy. And for under $200, I reckon that’s great value whether you are a serious camper, a day-tripper or, like me, just looking for some solution to the biting insect problem at home.

The other most interesting product line I saw was a new, rechargeable system of lighting that will turn heads when it’s released and turn heads again when the full developmental circle comes around.

The XPS system is a rechargeable/battery system that simply slips into a preformed slot in a variety of Coleman lighting product. The system works very much like a rechargeable drill and I am staggered it’s taken till now for the technology to transfer over and credit must go to Coleman for bringing it to life.

The XPS units are all cordless and allow the user to change out battery packs across multiple products. This means that you can be using the XPS High Tech LED Lantern (under $100) inside your tent, then drop out the recharge pack, slip it into the XPS Duo Lantern (under $120) and take that walking with you to the toilet, shower or to check the yabby pots. It’s a brilliant system that will roll out into all sorts of interesting products such as air pumps, a huge range of lights and spotlights and more. I can’t wait to see where this system goes in the coming months and I am certain it will be well accepted by users.

The initial range of XPS compatible units includes the XPS Rugged LED lantern, XPS High Tech LED Lantern, XPS Duo Lantern and the 4D XPS Portable Energy Pack for powering mobile phones, hand held games and similar. This really is one system to look out for at your local retailer.

Overall

Coleman had a massive range of new products set to hit our streets in the coming months. They now do three brands that everyone will likely know of including Coleman, Sevylor and Esky. There is everything from the Paul Junior (from American Chopper fame) designed Road Trip Grill to comfortable and functional chairs. There are new Esky products through to new inflatable beds with a range of features you’ll find amazing. There is even a new toilet roll protector for camping and a bunch of Sevylor towable water products that includes the gut churning Orbit that spins while being towed!

Most of these products will not hit the stores until August this year, so keep it in mind and look them up when you want some new toys for camping, fishing or using around the home. Coleman certainly has something for everyone in their vast product range. Log onto www.colemanaustralia.com.au for the latest news and product releases.

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