Advanced Elements of Benicia, California recently introduced two exciting new kayaks as precursors to the 2021 season – the AirVolutions. What makes them so special? The AirVolution solo and AirVolution2 tandem are constructed entirely from dropstitch material. With just two inflation chambers, and inflation pressures of 10 to 12 PSI, the kayaks are extremely rigid.
We initially posted a Sneak Preview on a pre-production sample of the solo AirVolution.
The Airvolution production models arrived this past week so we took the opportunity to check them out. Here are details on the Advanced Elements AirVolution2 AE3030 (Patent Pending), a 14.5 foot high-pressure inflatable kayak weighing in at roughly 52 lbs.
Getting Started with the AirVolution2
The box as received weighs 68 lbs, measuring 45 x 23 x 15 inches.
Inside, is a super-sized, backpack-style carrying case with wheels (7 lbs) , kayak body (47 lbs), 2 EVA seats (2.2 lbs each), pump with gauge (3.25 lbs), tracking fin (0.45 lbs), cinch belts, repair kit (0.8 lbs) and instructions. The kayak with backpack and parts weighs in at 62 lbs, while the kayak body with seats is 52 lbs. The folded kayak size is roughly 44 x 18 x 10 inches.
We began by reading the manual. This includes pump set-up, inflation, deflation, folding, repairs and troubleshooting. 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.
The Advanced Elements AirVolution2 utilizes two main military valves for inflation, similar to the ones found on many standup paddle boards. 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 kayak, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
Next, set up the pump. The AirVolution2 comes with a very nifty, collapsible, dual-action pump with built-in pressure gauge. First step, attach the feet.
The bottom of the pump barrel features tabs that match up to slots on the feet; if you look carefully, you will see that two of the slots are longer than the third – meaning the foot will only go on one way. Line up the tabs, push the barrel into the foot and then twist to lock into position. Attach the hose to the side that says Inflate (there is also a Deflate