Tag Archives: advanced elements reviews

Product Review: New Convertible Elite High Pressure Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

 Advanced Elements of Benicia, California recently introduced one of two new kayaks for the 2019 product year. The AE1007E Convertible Elite is a package upgrade to the long-standing, popular AE1007R Advanced Elements Convertible inflatable kayak for one or two paddlers.

First launched in 2003 as the AE1004 AdvancedFrame2, the original model featured an integrated deck for double paddling. The kayak was reintroduced in 2006 as the AE1007R AdvancedFrame Convertible, sporting an open cockpit design which could be enclosed with optional single and double decks for solo or tandem paddling.
The new AE1007E Convertible Elite features the identical kayak materials and construction as the current AE1007R, but with upgraded accessories and features. The Convertible Elite now comes with a 4-6 PSI drop stitch floor, rather than the standard 1 PSI PVC floor with i-beams. The increased floor rigidity enhances the paddling experience with better tracking and glide.
The Convertible Elite arrived this past month so we took the opportunity – during a brief break in the rains – to put it through its paces. Here are details on the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite AE1007E, a 15 foot inflatable kayak with high-pressure floor weighing in at roughly 54 lbs.
Getting Started with the Convertible Elite
The box as received weighs 60 lbs, measuring 34 x 21 x 12 inches.

Inside, the rugged backpack-style carrying case houses the kayak body, floor, seats, thwart, repair kit and instructions. The kayak with backpack and parts weighs in at 52.4 lbs, while the kayak body is 44 lbs.

Please note: A quick “overview” of set up is now sewn into the inside of the carrying case – we highly recommend that you read this.
Convertible Elite Setup/Inflatation
We began by reading the updated manual. This, too, has evolved over the years and gives excellent explanations on inflation, usage, refolding, etc. And here we come to AirKayak’s Tip #1: No matter how excited you are, take a good look at how the kayak is folded before you set the kayak up, so that you can get it back into the carrying case.

First step, unfold the kayak. (Please note: We will repeat some of the details previously mentioned in other writeups.) The AdvancedFrame series of kayaks feature an “inner rib” in the bow and stern, which is basically a u-shaped aluminum rib, about a foot long and one-half inch wide.

This comes “pre-assembled” meaning it arrives already inserted into two sleeves inside the kayak cover. Unless you remove the inner bladder, they remain in position. When the kayak is pumped up, the inner bladder with rib presses against the kayak cover – that, in conjunction with two bow and stern plastic sheets, give the kayak a sharp silhouette which aids in slicing through the water. (Please note: We removed

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New AirFusion EVO Dropstitch Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

Nearly eight years ago, Advanced Elements debuted the original AirFusion kayak – an inflatable hybrid designed to rival the handling and speed of skin-on-frame kayaks. The AirFusion was unique in that it featured a blended design of aluminum alloy frame poles and pressurized air tubes, resulting in a high performance rigid frame system.

This was followed by the AirFusion Elite, which featured a streamlined set up procedure with fewer poles, a wider beam and integrated rear storage hatch.
At last summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, Advanced Elements unveiled their 2018 inflatable kayak product line with announcement of the new AE1042 AirFusion EVO a 6-8 PSI high-pressure model constructed from dropstitch material, with a Barbie-sized 24″ waistline.
Just this week the first AirFusion EVO arrived, a double cardboard box measuring 37 x 25 x 12 inches and weighing in at 47 lbs.
Getting Started with the Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO
The rugged carrying case/backpack houses the kayak body, seat, repair kit, foam floor, screw-on and Boston pin adaptors, instructions (located in the small plastic pocket inside the backpack), two thwarts, nose and stern bags, and anodized aluminum poles. The kayak folded size is approximately 34 x 17 x 8 inches. Everything in the case weighs 37 lbs, while the kayak with seat is 33 lbs. The case has just enough room to include a small pump and breakdown paddle (not included). AirKayaks note: Take a good look at how the kayak is folded BEFORE setting up, this will help during breakdown.
The manual is pretty well-written though initially a little daunting. (AirKayaks note: Some of the initial AirFusion EVO boxes contained instructions for the droptstitch floor. The AirFusion EVO does not use an inflatable floor, so you can just toss those.) After the first read-through it seemed simple enough – piece together the poles, position the floor, pump up side chambers partially, insert bottom pole through the thwarts connecting both ribs, pump up thwarts, finish pumping up side chambers, pump up bow & stern tubes, attach seat, inflate coaming tube. Done!
AirFusion EVO Setup/Inflation

Unfold the kayak body, locating the kayak bow (front) and stern (rear) – this is easy as the integrated storage hatch is located at the stern.

Next, put the foam floor into position, setting the wider end inside the center of the cockpit – this will position the small rectangular cutout over the velcro tab in the floor. Make sure you pull the velcro tab through the cutout. Tip: the foam floor only covers the area where your feet rest.

Layout the bow and stern thwarts. Each of these is tapered. The front airbag (which also acts as a foot brace) is larger than the rear airbag, while the larger side of each airbag faces the cockpit/center. Lay

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Updated AE1012 AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

We recently received our first shipments of the newly updated AE1012 Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak – a classic model blending performance, price and portability. Having paddled the AdvancedFrame through all iterations since 2002, we were interested to see some of the fine-tuned enhancements.

In 2015, Advanced Elements began a factory expansion, moving the production line to Indonesia. While plant construction was completed in the fall of 2015, the reopening took longer than anticipated, causing delays in spring 2016 production for several models. Despite stockpiling, huge customer demand caused the AdvancedFrame to be out of stock for nearly a year.
In late spring 2016, the first shipment of AdvancedFrame inflatable kayaks sailed into port, now featuring an integrated 1-PSI pressure relief valve in the floor bladder, enhanced high-backed seating, redesigned hardware and the addition of velcro paddle holders.
As our previous write-up was several years ago, we took the opportunity to also update our readers with details on the newly updated AdvancedFrame AE1012, a 10’5″ inflatable weighing in at roughly 34 to 35 lbs with an MSRP of $539. (Please note: some of this will be repeated from prior reviews.)
Getting Started with the AdvancedFrame Kayak

The box as received weighs 41 lbs, measuring 32 x 19 x 11 inches. Inside, the rugged carrying case measures 32 x 18 x 10 inches, and houses the kayak body, seat, repair kit and instructions. The kayak folded size is approximately 30 x17 x 10 inches. The case has just enough room to include a small pump and breakdown paddle (not included). AirKayaks note: Take a good look at how the kayak is folded BEFORE setting up, this will help during breakdown.
AdvancedFrame Kayak Setup/Inflation
We re-acquainted ourselves with the kayak by reading the updated manual. This, too, has evolved over the years and gives excellent explanations on inflation, usage, refolding, etc.

First step, unfold the kayak. The AdvancedFrame features an “inner rib” in the bow and stern, which is basically a u-shaped aluminum rib, about a foot long and one-half inch wide.

This comes “pre-assembled” meaning it arrives already inserted into two sleeves inside the kayak cover. Unless you remove the inner bladder, they remain in position. When the kayak is pumped up, the inner bladder with rib presses against the kayak cover – that, in conjunction with two bow and stern plastic sheets, give the kayak a sharp silhouette which aids in slicing through the water.

The kayak features 7 inflation chambers – two military valves and 5 twist-loks. The military-style plunger valves are simple to use – twist one way to inflate and the other to deflate.

The kayak comes with a screw-on adaptor (found in the repair kit in the mesh pocket behind the seat) which will fit some pumps

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

New Video: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame DS-XL Inflatable Kayak

Our most recent video on the new AE1044DS – the AdvancedFrame DS-XL from Advanced Elements. Now 5 inches longer than the standard AdvancedFrame with minimal increase in weight. The streamlined body – in conjunction with the high pressure floor – provides better tracking and increased glide.  See video details on performance, setup and features.

An AirKayaks exclusive! For more details, visit the AdvancedFrame DS-XL product page on AirKayaks.com. You can also see our Detailed Product Review on our blog.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New AE1044 AdvancedFrame DS-XL Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

We continue with our reviews on the new Advanced Elements AE1044DS™ series of kayaks.
As previously mentioned, two years ago, AirKayaks introduced the specially-packaged, high-pressure AdvancedFrame DS series™ of kayaks from Advanced Elements. Featuring the same high quality construction and materials as the standard AE1012 AdvancedFrame and AE1007 Convertible, the DS Series™ was bundled with upgraded accessories to enhance performance and comfort.

This past year, AirKayaks worked with the designers at Advanced Elements, to introduce the next generation in the DS Series – the AdvancedFrame AE1044 DS-XL™* and DS-XLC™*.
The new DS-XL series is an elongated version of the classic AE1012 AdvancedFrame. With an additional 5 inches in length and an adjustable foot peg, the kayaks are comfortable enough for both taller and smaller paddlers. The longer, streamlined body – in conjunction with the high pressure floor – provides better tracking, higher payload capacity and increased glide with minimal increase in weight.
We grabbed two from the limited supply that initially arrived. Our first review focused on the AE1044 AdvancedFrame DS-XLC (Cover). The XLC kayak features a zip-on deck with storage options, allowing paddlers the flexibility of paddling an open style design for easy entry, or a closed deck design which can take an optional spray skirt.

We now turn to the AdvancedFrame AE1044DS-XL, a 10′ 10″ inflatable with fixed deck, weighing in at 35 lbs. in the carrying case. Please note, some of this information will be repeated from previous writeups.
AdvancedFrame DS-XL Setup/Inflatation
We unpacked the boxes and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak, carrying case, instructions, repair kit, foot brace, double action pump with gauge, and high-back lumbar seat.

The kayak with seat, floor and brace weighs 35 lbs, or 39 lbs in the bag with the pump. Bag measurements are approximately 32 x 19 x 10 inches. The kayak box as arrived weighs 40 lbs, measuring 33 x 21 x 10 inches. The dropstitch (DS) floor weighs 5 lbs and comes in a second box with adaptor – the DS floor utilizes the same repair kit as included with the kayak.
(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.)
Set up is straight-forward and simple  – unpack, unfold, inflate. The DS XL Series will have two sets of instructions – one can be found in the inner side pocket of the carrying case. This details the basic kayak instructions for inflation, deflation and folding. A second set of instructions is included in the dropstitch floor repair kit package, and details the floor inflation. TIP: Attach the floor instructions

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

AdvancedFrame vs. Expedition: Choosing Your Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak

Introduced nearly a decade ago, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak series (originally called the AirFrame) has expanded over the years to include four models – the two 10.5 foot AdvancedFrame and Sport models, the 13 foot Expedition, and the 15 ft tandem Convertible.
One of the most popular questions is between the AdvancedFrame and Expedition – which one should I choose? While the lower pricepoint on the AdvancedFrame is appealing to many, the smaller size may not be as comfortable to some, or carry enough gear.

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame (photo above) is a 10.5 ft recreational and touring model while the Expedition (photo below) is an elongated 13 ft version with upgrades. Though they have many similarities, there are just as many differences. Ultimately your choice comes down to a personal preference, but here are some things to think about.

Both kayaks are made from the same materials, use the same valves and have the same 1 PSI PVC floor i-beam construction with 2 PSI side chambers. Both come with bungee deck lacing, molded rubber handles, multiple d-rings, neoprene knuckle guards, integrated tracking fin and carrying case. Both have the integrated aluminum rib/plastic inserts in the bow and stern to sculpt the shape. Both have the same size cockpit seating area with coaming tubes to attach optional spray skirts. Both models can use optional backbones and high-pressure floors for added rigidity and tracking, as well as a myriad of Advanced Elements accessories to enhance the paddling experience.

At 10.5 feet in length with a weight of 34 lbs in the pack, the AE1012 AdvancedFrame is lighterweight and shorter – easier to carry around solo in windy weather. It paddles well. This is a great choice with small or average-sized people concerned about kayak size and weight, who don’t plan on long or multiple days of touring and don’t need room for lots of gear. And it costs slightly less.
The Expedition AE1009 is 2.5 feet longer and weighs 10 lbs more (13 feet and 44 lbs). The longer waterline makes it a great choice for extended (and short) range touring. It paddles well and has great glide. Upgraded accessories – such as a foot brace and high-backed lumbar seat – come standard.

We put the AdvancedFrame and Expedition next to each other to get a better feel – in this photo shoot we had the AdvancedFrame DS (blue model with high pressure floor) available – the AFDS is identical in size to the standard red version. We set them up, mid-handle to mid-handle, and positioned each of the seats towards the back of the cockpit area.
We took measurements and then did the ultimate test – my “6’2″, 180 lb, 10.5 shoe-size” husband was asked

Original Source: AirKayaks >>