Colorado XT Pontoon Boat Review
The Classic Accessories Colorado XT is an inflatable pontoon designed for fishing that offers a sturdy build and some interesting features.
What Is it
Classic Accessories offers a handful of fishing pontoons and their Colorado XT fits nicely between their Colorado model and their Colorado XTS model. It’s a mid-range inflatable in terms of price, leaning towards the higher end and features lots of storage and some versatility for those who want to get out and do some fishing without breaking the bank on a traditional boat. It can be inflated quickly and easily and can be transported in a family sedan as easily as a truck, no trailer required.
The XT inflatable offers some solid features to improve any fishing trip. Here are a few of the notable ones.
- Features a 2-year limited warranty
- Powder-coated steel tube frames
- Cold and heat resistant bladders
- Durable nylon top
- 20 storage pockets for a huge storage capacity
- Side pockets can be removed and combined to form a gear bag
- 2 insulated drink holders
- Bronze oar locks with three locking positions
- Abrasion-resistant PVC bottom
- Two detachable foam fly patches
- Removable stripping basket
- Aluminum oars come in two pieces
- Two position trolling motor mount
- Anchor system features a fillable mesh bag and can be mounted left or right
- Rod mount can be moved to three different positions
- Rear storage and battery platform
- Transport wheel that can be easily stowed when not in use
- Foot rests are easily adjustable to fit your leg length
- Quick inflation/deflation values
- Seat is padded and folds down when not in use
- Sage and gray or pumpkin and gray color scheme
- Made in America
- Class 1 river rating which means “easy” or rivers with few obstacles and waves.
- High profile above the water for increased visibility
- 108″ long
- 56” wide across the center
- 28″ high to the top of the fold down plastic seat
- 77 lbs
- 400 lb weight capacity
- This boat is built tough and strong. I’m not the smallest guy and I’ve seen guys bigger than me get on this with a hundred pounds of gear/battery and hit the water no problem. It handles well even when fully loaded and you don’t feel like you’re pushing the limits of what it can hold at all.
- Putting this pontoon together is surprisingly easy and pretty quick as well. There’s always a bit of trepidation when you get something you need to assemble yourself, that’s why everyone makes fun of IKEA, right? But this is easy and straightforward.
- Plenty of storage and other features that really make a fishing trip easy and fun. The removable gear bags are really helpful and bigger than you might think
- Assembly is really easy and transporting it is a cinch as well. Depending on what you drive, not only can you get this in the back of a pick up truck, you can take it down and probably get it in a car trunk as well, so no need to worry about trailering.
- This is a great looking pontoon. That doesn’t mean a lot for how well it handles or performs, but it counts for something. Not only are you going to like it, so will other people. If you’re a boater or angler who doesn’t mind a little attention, pop this out in front of other people and you’ll probably get a few questions about it.
- Adjustable, non-slip foot rests mean you have plenty of room even if you’re a long-legged guy. Some folks have definitely had issues with other boats in the past making them feel cramped, but this design seems ideal for taller people.
- The seat is not mounted nearly as well as it should be. The result is that it’s not going to be as secure as you want it to be and you’ll likely find yourself wobbling a little until you adjust the wing nuts that hold it in place, which can take a few minutes to get right.
- Since we’re on the seat, the lack of a swivel seat is a bit of a downer as well. It’s not a deal breaker, but a swivel is a nice feature and it would have been good to have here.
- The high profile design is a pro sometimes, but it’s also a potential con when things get rough. You’ll see this has a River Rating of 1 which means this is not designed for rough water or rapids at all. If and when you find yourself in rougher waters either by currents or the wind, you are going to feel it. The fact this pontoon boat rides high makes this like a ride at a fair grounds if it gets bad enough. If you don’t have a trolling motor and you hit the wind you are going to curse this boat – it’s a real chore to paddle this thing against the wind.
- Speaking of, if you choose to just use oars, they handle okay but aren’t always easy to use thanks to the bulk and awkwardness. When paddling you may find yourself going heavy in one direction and then the other as a result. I’d recommend a trolling motor for convenience and added stability especially when working against the wind. If you find oars too heavy otherwise, you can always swap in a lightweight kayak paddle.
- The wheel can be a hassle to use for transporting this thing a distance to the water. The weight doesn’t lend itself to the single wheel well at all, plus it’s kind of a pain to attach in the first place.
- Balance is sometimes an issue with a heavier motor and battery in the wire rear storage area. You can mod it to put the engine in front to fix this but you may need to look up how to do it.
You can find the Colorado XT online for about $1,200. That makes it considerably cheaper than your average pontoon with aluminum pontoons and fiberglass bodies, of course. That said, this is definitely a higher end inflatable.
What You Need to Know About the Classic Accessories Colorado XT Pontoon Boat
The Colorado XT inflatable pontoon is surprisingly sturdy and, on calm waters, won’t make you feel like you’re in any danger of losing control at all. It takes about 15 minutes to inflate which isn’t super slow but may still be frustrating for some more impatient boaters and anglers.
The large number of pockets, the stripping basket and the rod holder which you can move around to the perfect position are all great features which should make any angler pretty happy. You can definitely lose yourself on the water over the course of a few hours in this pontoon which is pretty great.
The construction is sturdy leaning towards the heavy side of things, but the materials are durable and I haven’t seen a lot of evidence that they’re not well made. For the price, you’re getting a great looking boat that does its job pretty well with just one or two hiccups.
When you get to the nuts and bolts of fishing, make use of that anchor, especially if there’s any breeze. As you retrieve, you’ll be pulling the boat more than the fish as you go along if you don’t have yourself anchored in place.
The stability is a great feature of this over something like a fishing kayak. If you have mobility issues or balance issues but still want to be on the water, you’re going to find that this boat offers a really secure platform, especially compared to a lot of other inflatables. Likewise, if you have an older angler in your life who can’t manage or doesn’t want the responsibility of a larger boat these days, this could be a great compromise.
It’s that accessibility that makes this boat a stand out – anyone can use it and anyone can transport it as well, and you can’t say that about a lot of other boats out there. That’s one of the biggest selling points of inflatables in general, but this is a great example of that in practice.
What People Are Saying
In general, most owners seem to really like this pontoon for a handful of reasons. The fact you don’t need a trailer, racks or even a truck to transport it is actually a great feature. That opens up who can use this a lot. Most boaters have a truck almost by default, but if you’re a casual angler you can still make use of this and pack it into a family car pretty easily.
The layout and features are designed with fishing in mind and while this is no sport fishing boat, it’s not trying to be either. It’s straight to the point and does its job well. Most owners love the storage space and layout.
Complaints from owners really zero in on the things we have mentioned already. I would say the biggest concern is how this boat handles wind, insofar as it doesn’t. I see what they were going for with the higher profile so you’re up out of the water more and have a better lay of the land as a result. And that works well in calm waters, but we all know you can’t control the weather and wind is going to happen. It’s surprising just how difficult this boat can be to control without a trolling motor mounted in wind that’s just 10 mph or so. Trust that you’ll get a workout trying to paddle against it. In this case, you may really want to use a lightweight kayak paddle instead of the provided oars. The size of them won’t do you any favors when you’re struggling and you may find progress against the wind easier with a simpler paddle.
The boat weighs about 77 lbs and this could have been reduced by swapping steel for aluminum in the design. As well, the rust wouldn’t be an issue. Not sure why they opted to ho the way they did but some owners have complained that the steel adds weight which makes that wheel a little harder to use when transporting the boat. Arguably it was probably just a dollars and cents decision, but aluminum might have been a smarter choice.
If you’re parking right next to the water, then the weight and transporting it shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, if you assemble it on a tarp you can probably drag it to the water and ignore the wheel entirely if you’re only a few yards away. But if you’re traveling a good distance from your car or campsite, then the weight will really become noticeable. Some owners recommend modding the boat to add a second wheel so it’s easier and less stress on your back.
Do We Recommend It?
At the end of the day the benefits of this boat outweigh the drawbacks if you are prepared for what might be a problem ahead of time, so I’d recommend the Colorado XT inflatable pontoon provided you know what you’re getting into. You really need to use this with a trolling motor, it’s just too hard to control in the wind if you don’t have one. So provided you have that squared away, any other issues with the boat are easy enough to overlook or deal with.
For me, the lack of a swivel chair was not ideal but not a deal breaker, either. Likewise, the use of steel in the frame rather than aluminum is inconvenient but not the end of the world. It would have been nicer to have aluminum both for reducing overall weight and reducing the issues with corrosion. But aluminum would have raised the price as well and we’d have to debate whether the end product is worth the increased cost.
This boat looks great, floats well and handles well on calm waters. It has a lot of benefits not just for avid fisherman like the portable gear bag but those who are much more casual as well as those who may have mobility or other issues that have prevented them from enjoying fishing on boats in the past.
It has a good layout and design, plenty of storage, and makes a fishing trip both easier and fun so for those reasons, I’d definitely recommend the Colorado XT inflatable fishing boat. Just remember, if it doesn’t have a trolling motor, it can go from ideal to a real problem pretty quickly.