All posts by airkayaks

Product Review: Aquaglide Backwoods Expedition 85 Inflatable Packable Kayak

Earlier this year, AquaGlide unveiled their updated inflatable kayak lineup for 2021, which included a new category of packable kayaks – the Backwoods Series. The Backwoods consists of three models weighing from 7 to 12 lbs, making them prime choices for remote travel.

Our first review on AquaGlide’s new Backwoods Series for 2021 focuses on the Expedition 85, an 8′ 6″ long, ultralite inflatable kayak designed for backpacking and solo paddling. (Please note: some of the information will be repeated from other writeups.)
Getting Started with the Aquaglide Backwoods Expedition 85 Packable Inflatable Kayak
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak/packraft body, carrying case (which doubles as an inflation bag), instructions, repair kit (no glue), tracking fin, seat, foot pump and two mesh bags.
Initial measurements showed the kayak body weighs approximately 12 lbs, with a folded size of 22 x 13 x 11 inches. The kayak with seat, fin and pump – all in the backpack – weighs roughly 15 lbs. All boxed up, the dimensions are 23 x 15 x 14 inches with a shipping weight of 20 lbs.
(AirKayaks Side note #1: When initially removing the kayak from the carrying case, take a good look at how the kayak is folded. This is probably the most overlooked step and it is VERY helpful when trying to get the kayak back into the bag.)
We started off by reading the instructions. While Aquaglide’s manuals were somewhat sketchy in the past, the included instructions were detailed and easy to use (all languages are now in their own section).

Set up is straight-forward and simple – unpack, unfold, inflate.

There are two Boston valves (side and the floor) with two more small chambers utilizing a twistlock valve for the seat. Boston valves are two-part, screw-on valves. The bottom portion is threaded onto the kayak, the top valve is screwed open for inflation and then tightened shut after inflation. Air is easily released by unscrewing the base connector. How does it work? A flap inside the valve opens when air is pumped into the kayak, and falls shut when not pumped so that air will not rush back out.
(AirKayaks Side note #2: The Boston valves have a tether that keeps the valve attached to the kayak, ensuring that the valves don’t get lost after deflating. Make sure that the tether does not get in the way when screwing on the valve base,and the valve is not cross-threaded, or you may have some air leakage.)

The Expedition 85 comes with two methods of inflation – a small, lightweight foot pump and an inflator bag (which also doubles as the carrying case). How does the inflator bag work? The premise is to shake the inflator bag to

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Backwoods Angler 75 Packable Kayak – Preview Video

Our keywords for the Aquaglide Backwoods Angler 75 are: fun, quick, and easy!

Check out our preview video and our full review will be coming soon!

Available at Airkayaks.com for $549.
The post Backwoods Angler 75 Packable Kayak – Preview Video appeared first on GO AIRKAYAKS.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Blackfoot Angler 11 iSUP by Aquaglide – Product Review

We have recently focused on the new AquaGlide models for 2021 as they’ve arrived over the past few months. A division of Connelly Skis, the Aquaglide brand has grown steadily over the past 15 years, now encompassing inflatable kayaks and standup paddle boards. Priced at $999, the Blackfoot Angler 11 iSUP is at the top end of Aquaglide’s range, yet still packs features and value to punch above its weight in the category.

2021 Aquaglide SUPs carried at Airkayaks

To-date, product reviews have included the new Chelan 120 and the Cascade 11’0″ inflatable paddle board.

We were so excited to try out the new Blackfoot Angler 11 inflatable SUP that we used it 4+ times before getting around to the review. It remains the only fishing-specific model in the AquaGlide  standup paddle board line.

Getting Started

The double-boxed board as-arrived is 43l x 18w x 16h (in) weighing in at 54 lbs.

Inside is the Blackfoot Angler 11 body, backpack, repair kit, high pressure pump with gauge and removable fins. The instructions are included and the board is wrapped nicely!

Airkayaks Pro Tip #1

TAKE A PICTURE of your board as you take it out of the box so that you know how to pack it back up again. Here is a nice one of the Blackfoot Angler 11. Note – this is the way we have found it easiest to repack after 4+ uses. Detailed instructions at the end of the review.

The board itself weighs 29 lbs, or 40 lbs inside the backpack with pump – these all easily fit in the back of a small car. Folded up in the bag, the dimensions are 42 x 15 x 12 inches with a bunch of room at the top. We are storing our sup belt and a few extras in the pack.

For your first set up unroll the SUP body. Lay it out face up so that you can access the Halkey-Roberts (HR) valve.

The Blackfoot Angler 11′ iSUP utilizes one spring-loaded HR valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). Use your finger to gently push on the plunger, it moves to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

The Blackfoot paddle board we received included the standard AquaGlide double-action pump with gauge.

First, attach the gauge to the hose, then the hose to the pump handle.

Then screw it onto the board valve and firmly lock it into position. You’re ready to pump!

AirKayaks Pro Tip #2

The first time may be difficult to attach the adaptor due to the

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

TAHE Sport Beach LP1 – an Airkayaks Preview

For 2021 Airkayaks added the TAHE Sport line of inflatable kayaks (including the Tahe Sport Beach LP1) and SUPs to our catalog to provide more choices for our customers in the $500-$700 range.

TAHE Sport Beach LP1, LP2, and LP3 Inflatable Kayaks

We tested out the TAHE Sport SUPs on GoAirkayaks, and we are huge fans of the value they deliver. The SUPs immediately became best sellers on Airkayaks.com. We jumped at the opportunity to preview a pre-production TAHE Sport Beach LP1 inflatable kayak.

Better known in the US under the BIC Sport name, the TAHE brand is a union of BIC Sport and Tahe Outdoors.

Established in 1979, BIC Sport pioneered the windsurf industry, expanding into surfing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding, while the European-based Tahe is one of the largest and fastest growing European manufacturers of paddle sport and kite surfing equipment.

Two years ago, the BIC Sport water line was acquired by Tahe resulting in a brand focused on water fun, featuring environmentally-friendly production processes and quality products at an affordable price. Check our guide to the TAHE Sport inflatable SUP and kayak line for 2021.

Our keywords for the TAHE Sport Beach LP1 are easy, light, and fun.

The Beach LP1 is TAHE Sport’s entry point inflatable kayak, priced at $539 “ready for the water”.

A pump, paddle, and comfortable carrying backpack are included, you just need to get to the nearest lake and you’re kayaking!

Box dimensions are – TBD – since this was a preproduction unit – we did not receive the actual box. From experience, Tahe SUP-YAK boxes are 45x19x23 and usually weigh 45 lbs. We expect this one to be a little lighter.

Getting started

Inside the box is the kayak, backpack, high-pressure dual action pump with gauge, cinch belt, quick-start instructions, repair kit, three shallow water fins, and four piece 230 cm breakdown paddle. Once rolled up, the kayak, pump, paddle and leash fit in the bag and on the bag easily, although there will not be much room for extra gear. The backpack’s compact size was impressive, being half the size of the TAHE SUP bags. Weight is 22 lbs for the kayak, 2 lbs for the bag, 2.375 lbs for the pump/gauge, 0.6 lbs each for the fin, 1.7 lbs for the seat and 2.7 lbs for the paddle. Everything in the bag weighs 33 lbs. and all easily fit in the back of a small car.

Unpacking the Tahe Beach LP1 Inflatable Kayak

First step, unpack and unroll the kayak, laying it top up so you access the three valves. Tahe has used Boston Valves which are easy to use with the included pump friction fitting.

AirKayak’s Pro –

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Cascade 11 SUP from Aquaglide – Product Review

We received our new 2021 of Aquaglide inflatable paddle boards consisting of four models ranging in size from 10 to 12’6 feet. Our first review will focus on Aquaglide’s new Cascade 11 SUP – a 14-18 PSI inflatable SUP with a capacity load of 230 lbs.

2021 Aquaglide SUPs carried at Airkayaks

TEAser: Airkayaks was so impressed with this board when used as a Kayak/SUP Combo, we created a category of similar boards, and are including a bonus kayak seat and paddle with purchase. Check out our blog post – Intro to Kayak / SUP Combos.

Back to the review –

For 2021, Aquaglide has redesigned the Cascade board range with a new printed graphic color scheme, updated pump and included paddles.  These boards provide excellent value by maintaining low price points and bundling premium accessories. New for this year, the Cascade 11 SUP now includes a Wayfinder Carbon Paddle, which retails at $149 when sold separately. The Cascade 10’0″, 11’0″ and Roam 12’6″ are $699, and $899 respectively, making them great options for those getting into the sport, yet not ready to make a major commitment. All three Cascades are now 6 inches thick.

Aquaglide Cascade 11 SUP – Getting Started

The double-boxed board as-arrived is 39 x 17 x 15 inches weighing in at 44 lbs.

Unpacking the Cascade

Getting Started – Aquaglide 11 SUP Unboxed

Inside is the Cascade 11 SUP body, Wayfinder Paddle, River Crossing backpack, manual, repair kit, high pressure pump with gauge, removable fin.

AG Cascade 11 first open

Once rolled up, the SUP board, breakdown paddle and pump fit into the backpack, though the backpack is set up to also attach paddles to the outside. The board itself weighs 21 lbs, or 32 lbs inside the backpack with pump – these all easily fit in the back of a small car.

Unrolling the SUP body

For your first set up, uncinch the strap and unroll the SUP body and lay it out face up so that you can access the military valve.

AG Cascade 11 Valve

Opening and closing the military valve

The Cascade 11 SUP utilizes one spring-loaded Harkey Roberts valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

AG Cascade 11 Pump

New Double Action High Pressure Pump

The 2021 Cascade paddle board systems includes a high-pressure, dual-action pump with a gauge. Simply screw on the

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

What is a Kayak/SUP Combo – an Airkayaks Introduction

Never heard of a Kayak/SUP Combo, or a SUP-YAK? If you are new to stand up paddling or if you have spent a long day on the water, you might find it to be easier to spend some time sitting down on your board.

These hybrid Stand Up Paddleboards are relatively new to the market and they pack double the value into a SUP Board. They all will include a kayak seat and kayak paddle with purchase. Many will also include a foot rest to make them very capable for recreational lake and river paddling.

Tahe 10-6 SUP-YAK in Kayak Kit version and SUP Only version

These boards are almost always 11′ or longer, and they are also very stable. All that we have tested this year are 6″ thick and did not put is in the water using the manufacturer provided board.

They are a great way to share some time on the board with a little one, or a furry friend. The Tahe 11’6 SUP-YAK Kayak/SUP Combo is suited for 2 adult paddlers.

Tahe 11-6 SUP-YAK in Kyak Kit version

You might wonder if the “kayak version” of these boards will meet your needs when used as a kayak only for a while. During the season, we will be testing them out in a variety of paddling situations. On the lake, in a river, on the beach, touring, and more. We will be posting updates on this blog.

We can cosign them for recreational lake use. Read about our experience AG Cascade 11 SUP.

Airkayaks offers a curated selection priced from the $500 range up to over $1000 for Kayak/SUP Combo boards.

$1129 – AG Blackfoot Angler 11 Kayak/SUP Combo Kit$899 – AG Cascade 11 SUP with Bonus Kayak/SUP Combo Kit$639 – Tahe 10-6 SUP-YAK Kayak Kit$739 – Tahe 11-6 SUP-YAK Kayak KIt

The post What is a Kayak/SUP Combo – an Airkayaks Introduction appeared first on GO AIRKAYAKS.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Aquaglide Chelan 120 Inflatable Hi-Pressure Kayak

Last year, AquaGlide unveiled their updated inflatable kayak lineup for 2020, which included a series of new models – Deschutes, McKenzies and Navarros – with revamps to the Chinook model. For 2021, Aquaglide completed the line by redesigned two remaining models – the Chelans and the Blackfoots.
With inventory rapidly becoming as scarce as the 2020 paddling season, we decided to snag a few of the new models for inflation and review, initially focusing on the AquaGlide Chelans.

Our first review on AquaGlide’s revised products for 2021 focuses on the Chelan 120, an 11′ 4″ long, high-pressure, inflatable kayak designed for solo paddling. (Please note: some of the information will be repeated from other writeups.)
Getting Started with the Aquaglide Chelan 120:
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak, backpack, instructions, repair kit with bag of miscellaneous items, foot brace, tracking fin, seat, valve adaptor and two plastic splash guards. First thing to note – the kayak is nicely packaged with bubble wrap protecting valves, handles, etc. Also to note – the repair kit features generous-sized repair patches, a valve wrench and glue.

Initial measurements showed the kayak body weighs approximately 27 lbs, with a folded size of 27 x 8 x 21 inches. The kayak with seat, fin and brace – all in the backpack – weighs 38 lbs with a backpack size of roughly 39 x 17 x 18 inches. All boxed up, the dimensions are 30 x 22 x 14 inches with a shipping weight of 46 lbs. We were able to get everything – plus a pump and paddle – into the pack.
(AirKayaks Side note #1: When initially removing the kayak from the carrying case, take a good look at how the kayak is folded. This is probably the most overlooked step and it is VERY helpful when trying to get the kayak back into the bag.)
We started off by reading the instructions. While Aquaglide’s manuals were somewhat sketchy in the past, the included instructions were detailed and easy to use (all languages are now in their own section). Additionally, a QR Code tag is now attached to the kayak; a quick scan with your cell phone allows you to access the instructions online.

Set up is straight-forward and simple – unpack, unfold, inflate.

There are three military valves (both sides and the floor) with one more small chamber utilizing a twistlock valve for the seat base. The military-style plunger valve is simple to use – with your finger, twist the plunger slightly to the “up” position to inflate (air goes in but doesn’t come back out) and “down” to deflate (air comes out).
The instructions say to pump up the side chambers to 3 PSI, first.

The Chelan 120

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Kokopelli Moki-Lite Inflatable High Pressure Kayak

Last year we posted our Sneak Preview on the new series of Moki inflatable kayaks from Kokopelli Packraft – two exciting new models introduced in 2020. What’s so special? The new Moki  Series expanded the Kokopelli product line from just packrafts to inflatable kayaks, providing a traditional paddling experience.

In 2020, the Moki-Lites sold out before we could snag one, so one of our 2021 goals was to grab a Moki Lite for review. Misson accomplished, thus our current write-up on the Kokopelli Moki Lite, a lightweight 10’2″ model with open deck.
Getting Started with the Kokopelli Moki-Lite Inflatable Kayak

We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak body with high pressure floor, EVA seat, foot brace, pump with gauge, repair kit, mesh carrying case, fin, repair kit and instructions. AirKayaks note: This was a 2021 model that we received earlier this year.  All current Moki Lites now include the Alpine 4pc fiberglass breakdown paddle with ivory blades. The photos below show the Advanced Elements Axis fiberglass paddle with orange blades.
Boxed up, the dimensions are 36 x 25 x 12 inches with a shipping weight of 44 lbs. The kayak weighs 25 lbs with the seat, floor, brace and fin. All packed up in the bag with pump and paddle, everything weighs 32 lbs. The folded kayak size is 30 x 19 x 6 inches.
The generic instructions for Kokopelli’s inflatable kayak series include inflation and deflation techniques, deck, seat and skirt installation, but lack details on actual set up; we will outline the steps we took, below. In general, set up is straight-forward – unpack, unfold, inflate.

The first step is to unfold the kayak.

The Kokopelli Moki-Lite utilizes three main GRI push-push valves for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

Next, set up the pump – this is not mentioned in the instructions. The Moki-Lite comes with a very nifty, collapsible, dual-action Nano pump and built-in pressure gauge. Fold down the feet and attach the hose to the side that says Inflate (there is also a Deflate side). There are two pieces of plastic tubes in the plastic packaging – these are screw on handles. Unfortunately, there is no place to attach/store the handles when removed so you may want to buy a mesh laundry bag

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Tahe Sport 10’6 Beach SUP-YAK Inflatable Paddle Board

We recently received news on the upcoming TAHE Sport inflatable SUP and kayak line for 2021.
Better known in the US under the BIC Sport name, the TAHE brand is a union of BIC Sport and Tahe Outdoors.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Sneak Preview: Pau Hana 10’10” SOLO Backcountry Inflatable Backpacking SUP

Earlier this year we received news of an innovative new inflatable paddle board from Pau Hana Surf Co. – the 10’10” Solo Backcountry. The Solo SUP is a “hikeable” air SUP that fits inside a small backpack weighing in at 23 lbs for the complete package.

Based out of California, since 2006 Pau Hana Surf Supply has been a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative stand up paddle boards. The Hawaiian phrase “Pau Hana” means “the time after work” and for Pau Hana’s founder and designer, Todd Caranto, it’s all about the spirit of play on the water.
While Pau Hana manufactures both hard shells and air sups, the eight inflatable models range in size from 9’6″ to 15’0″, spanning water activities of yoga, surfing, party paddling, racing and fishing – and now backpacking and bike packing.

Pau Hana’s dream was to break down the access barriers to paddling in remote locations by designing an entire paddle board kit – board, paddle, pump, leash, fins and backpack/drybag – which could easily be hiked/biked into the back country.

The result of the redesign created a package that is truly an example of the “whole is the sum of the parts.” Enter the Pau Hana 10’10’ Solo Backcountry – a portable, full-length air SUP replete with gear, that fits into a dry bag/backpack measuring 22 x 12 x 13 inches and weighing in at 23 lbs. The Pau Hana 10’10” SOLO Backcountry now joins the ranks of the popular inflatable packrafts with a paddling alternative – the pack sup.

What’s so special? Beginning with the board, the Solo 10-10 is constructed from an ultra-light dropstitch material. What is dropstitch? An inner core consists of two pieces of fabric held together with thousands of threads, creating an inflatable with the structure and rigidity to be pumped up to 15 PSI.

While one can easily save weight by removing features, the SOLO doesn’t skimp on whiz-bangs, with enough features to enhance the paddling experience.

Two 6″ quick snap-in fins easily connect to the board to provide tracking. The fin boxes are placed on both sides of the board, allowing one to fold the board in half for smaller storage.

There is one military valve for inflation.

Bungee deck lacing on the nose and tail provide numerous places to attach gear

A soft neoprene handle provides a comfortable grip while carrying the board.

The SOLO mini pump features feet and handles that can be unscrewed to create a smaller package.

The new, patented SOLO “soft” paddle may be a game changer. Driven by the challenge to reduce bulk, the paddle is a lightweight fiberglass shaft with a “rollable” soft PVC blade and consists of an adjustable handle, 3 shaft pieces and 2 connectors.  The paddle has been

Original Source: AirKayaks >>