We continue with our series on the new AquaGlide line of inflatable kayaks, specifically the fishing models. We previously reviewed the new high pressure Blackfoot HB Angler SL single-person inflatable kayak followed by the 11-0 Blackfoot Angler Inflatable Paddle Board. We now turn to the Blackfoot HB Angler XL – an elongated 13-foot version which can be set up as the ultimate one-person fishing machine, but can easily switch to a two-person model by adding an optional seat.
Please note, some of this will be repeated from other reviews.
Getting Started with the AquaGlide Blackfoot HB Angler XL:
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak, backpack, instructions, repair kit, foot brace, tracking fin, visor lift, booster seat, adaptor, fishing cooler with rod holders and Core seat.
Initial measurements showed the kayak body with bolster weighs 31.75 lbs while the kayak with seat, fin and brace in the backpack (everything but the cooler) weighs 37.4 lbs. Backpack size (filled) is roughly 27 x 20 x 14 inches. The fishing cooler weighs an additional 3.25 lbs and flattens to 20 x 13 x 3 inches; we did manage to fit it into the backpack. Boxed up, the entire package dimensions are 24 x 20 x 14 inches with a shipping weight of 48 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.)
The included instructions are adequate and include diagrams with inflation details.
Set up is straight-forward and simple – unpack, unfold, inflate.
There are three inflation chambers utilizing high-pressure military valves – the two side chambers and the floor. The floor is pumped up first.
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 Blackfoot HB XL valves require a military valve adaptor, which does not come with most standard pumps. The adaptor was located inside the repair kit. Friction fit the military valve adaptor onto the Boston valve adaptor (slightly conical-shaped nozzle), then lock onto the military valve with a slight twist. Since the chambers are inflated from 3 to 12 PSI, it is helpful to use a pump with pressure gauge to ensure the kayak is inflated appropriately.
Here we had our first issue – we could not get the adaptor to couple to the valve. From past experience, we found this could be two things. One, the o-ring can be very stiff initially or two, there is such