Tag Archives: inflatable kayak reviews

Choosing an Inflatable Kayak – What Should You Consider

Gone are the days when inflatable kayaks were simply pool toys. With recent dramatic increases in technology, today’s inflatables have evolved into everything from family recreational fun to high-tech specialized  watercraft – some even rival the performance of hard shell kayaks.

An array of Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayaks
Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks
So why choose an inflatable? The biggest reasons are portability and storage.
Innova 100L Backpack for Innova Kayaks
The ability to travel with an inflatable – either tossed into the back of your car or RV, taking mass transit, backpacking into remote areas or flying around the world – is appealing to many.

Inflatables also solve storage problems – the bags and backpacks can easily fit in a closet  or trunk of a car, and there is no need for cumbersome and expensive roof racks.
AquaGlide Chelan 155 HB XL Kayak for 1-3 paddlers
Many of the inflatables are lightweight – making it easier to manage – and can hold one, two, sometimes three paddlers, making it great for family fun.
AquaGlide Blackfoot 155 Angler HB XL for 1-2 paddlers
Most are rugged and incredibly stable, appealing to those nervous about the water and leary of “tippy” hardshells. Many have hulls which can take scrapes, bumps and submerged sticks and logs without a blip. And in the remote chance that you do puncture your kayak, most can be easily repaired with the included maintenance kits. Simply cut a patch, put on glue, apply pressure and let sit overnight.
Inflatable Kayak Styles and Definitions
With the number of new inflatables hitting the market, there are now many styles to choose from for a wide range of water activities – from oceans to ponds, slow moving rivers to white water or wave running.
Here is an overview of some kayak styles to consider as well as some of the terms you might not be familiar with:
AquaGlide Klickitat 125 HB XL Self-Bailing Inflatable Kayak for 1-2 paddlers
Self-bailing kayaks: These are typically used in whitewater situations. Self-bailing kayaks have numerous ports – or holes – located in the bottom of the kayak. When in a fast-moving whitewater situation, this allows water to enter the kayak and pass back out, ensuring the boat doesn’t fill up. Expect a wet ride. Conversely, if you are on calm water, water will come in through the floor ports unless the kayak has plugs that can be opened or closed. Many self-bailers don’t have tracking fins, meaning they may not perform as well in flat water.
Advanced Elements StraitEdge 2 for 1-2 paddlers
Sit-on top kayak: An open design kayak. This is great for people who have difficulty getting in and out of an enclosed shell, those who tend to feel claustrophobic, and for those in warmer climates. Conversely, water will splash

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

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 >>

Visit AirKayaks Storefront for Inflatable Kayaks, SUPs and gear

Browse through the following categories:
AirKayaks Main Page Categories
Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable Kayaks for Solo Paddling
Inflatable Kayaks for Tandem Paddling
Under 30 lbs
High Pressure Kayaks
Self-Bailing Kayaks
Kayak Fishing

Inflatable Paddle Boards
Paddling Accessories
Manufacturers

Advanced Elements
Aire Tributary
AquaGlide
Hala Gear
Innova
Kokopelli Packrafts
NRS
Red Paddle Co
Star Inflatables

 
 

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New Hi-Pressure Sport DS™ Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

Earlier this spring, our first shipment of the new AdvancedFrame Sport DS arrived in port, becoming the fourth addition to the popular Advanced Elements DS series* of high pressure inflatable kayaks.
Manufactured by Advanced Elements exclusively for AirKayaks.com, the new Sport DS features the same footprint as the current low-pressure AE1017 Sport, but with high-pressure floor and upgraded accessories for added comfort and performance.

Following are details on the AdvancedFrame Sport DS AE1017DS, a 10’5″ hi-pressure inflatable weighing in at roughly 28 lbs with an MSRP of $499. (Please note: some of this will be repeated from prior reviews.)
Getting Started with the AdvancedFrame Sport DS Kayak
The box as received weighs 36 lbs, measuring 31 x 18 x 11 inches.

Inside, the rugged carrying case measures 33 x 19 x 11 inches, and houses the kayak body, high-backed lumbar seat, high pressure floor, repair kit, double action pump, gauge and instructions. The kayak and pump in the case weighs 30 lbs, while the kayak and seat alone are 28 lbs. The case has just enough room to include a 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 Sport DS Kayak Setup/Inflation
The instructions are located in a small plastic pocket inside the carrying case. The manual included is for the standard low-pressure Sport, with an additional sheet on using the high-pressure DS floor. The inflation procedure is similar for both versions of the Sport, with the one difference the floor inflation pressure of 4-6 PSI for the dropstitch floor.

Additionally, a short version of the DS inflation can be found on the tag attached to the rear carrying handle.
First step, unfold the kayak. The AdvancedFrame Sport DS – along with all AdvancedFrame models – 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 5 inflation chambers – two military valves and 3 twist-loks. The military-style plunger valves are simple to use – twist up to inflate (this is the closed position where air goes in and doesn’t come out) and down to deflate (air goes in and comes back out).

The pump comes with a screw-on adaptor for the main chamber, but a standard Boston valve adaptor will friction fit

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 >>

Video: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak

Our latest AirKayaks video on the AE1012 AdvancedFrame inflatable touring kayak from Advanced Elements, which updates our previous video from 2007.

The AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements, a classic model blending performance, price and portability. At 10 ft 5 inches, a weight of 33 lbs and a 350 lb payload, the AdvancedFrame is perfect for all ages and experience levels. It’s maneuverable, speedy, and glides through the water. Great for lakes, small rapids, rivers, bays and coastlines.
Also read our detailed writeup – Product Review: New Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak – which covers setup, features, specifications and performance.
To purchase or for more info, visit our AE1012 AdvancedFrame product page at AirKayaks.com.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Video: Expedition Elite Inflatable Touring Kayak from Advanced Elements

Our latest AirKayaks video on the new Expedition Elite inflatable touring kayak from Advanced Elements.

At 13 ft in length and a capacity of 450 lbs, the 42 lb Expedition Elite is comfortable for long paddles along the ocean yet can carry enough gear for an extended trip. The streamlined body – in conjunction with the 4-6 PSI high pressure floor – provides great tracking and glide. Great for lakes, calmer rivers, bays and coastal ocean.
Also read our detailed writeup – Product Review: New Advanced Elements Expedition Elite Hi-Pressure Inflatable Kayak – which covers setup, features, specifications and performance.
To purchase or for more info, visit our AE1009-XE Expedition Elite product page at AirKayaks.com.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New Advanced Elements Expedition Elite Hi-Pressure Inflatable Kayak

At last summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, Advanced Elements unveiled the next generation in the Expedition series – the Expedition Elite. As long-time fans of the original yellow model – and the subsequent blue Limited Edition – we were impressed with the Elite’s feature enhancements.

Earlier this spring the Elite hit the West Coast, and we managed to grab one before our first shipment sold out – not to worry, we have more. Here are details on the Expedition Elite AE1009XE, a 13 foot inflatable weighing in at roughly 42 lbs.
Getting Started with the Expedition Elite Inflatable Kayak
The box as received measures 34 x 21 x 11 inches with a weight of 57 lbs.

Inside is a new, backpack-style carrying case measuring 36 x 16 x 11 inches which contains the kayak body, high-backed lumbar seat, aluminum deck riser, rear thwart, repair kit, foot brace and instructions (these are located in a pocket inside the carrying case) . The repair kit, screw-on adaptor and floor adaptor are located in the mesh pocket behind the seat. The kayak with seat weighs 44.5 lbs, or 48 lbs in the pack.
The kayak folded size is approximately 31 x 16 x 10 inches, leaving just enough room to store a pump and breakdown paddle (not included) if folded properly.

First step, unfold the kayak. As with all the AdvancedFrame models, the Expedition Elite features an “inner rib” in the bow and stern, which is basically a u-shaped aluminum rib, about one 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 Expedition Elite kayak features 11 inflation chambers – three military valves (main chambers and floor) and 8 smaller twist-loks (4 deck lifts, 2 coaming tubes, thwart and seat).

Each Expedition Elite comes with a screw-on adaptor (center image, found in the repair kit in the mesh pocket behind the seat) which locks onto many pumps with pin/slot hose fittings. Additionally, a standard Boston valve adaptor (left image) will friction fit directly into the valve opening. A separate adaptor is also included for the high pressure floor (right image).

First step, turn the military valve to the inflate position. The military-style plunger valves are simple to use – twist one way to inflate (UP position) and the other to deflate (DOWN position).

Attach the screw-on adaptor to your pump and then couple it to the first main chamber, located on the

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New Innova Seawave Inflatable Touring Kayak for 1-3 paddlers

This past week we had the opportunity to take our first look at the Innova Seawave inflatable kayak – a two+ person kayak with a versatile design that allows one to attach optional spray decks, spray skirts and a foot rudder system.

The Innova line is unique for a number of reasons. First, all the kayaks are handmade in the Czech Republic; the factory has manufactured inflatable boats for well over 50 years. In Europe, a similar line is marketed under the name Gumotex.
We previously published our review on the new Solar 410C, Innova’s other 2+ person inflatable introduced into the US market simultaneously. So here is our write-up on the the Innova Seawave inflatable tandem kayak, which weighs 44 lbs in the pack, is 15 feet in length with a payload of 551 lbs for two+ persons and gear. (Please note: some of the information will be duplicated from other Innova reviews).
Getting Started with the Innova Seawave
The box as received weighs in at 48 lbs, measuring 27 x 18.5 x 12.5 inches.

Inside is a very nifty 100L backpack with adjustable shoulder straps, front pouch pocket and roll top closure. This contains the kayak body, tracking fin, foot rests, repair kit, instructions, cinch belt, valve adaptor, seats and sponge. Packed dimensions are 24 x 17 x 12 inches as received in the bag, with a weight of 44 lbs. The kayak with seats and foot rests is 41 lbs. (Please note: This is the actual kayak weight, NOT the 29 lbs as stated from the manufacturer’s literature.)
Innova Seawave Kayak Setup/Inflatation
We read through the included instruction manuals. Just like all the other Innova  products, the Innova Seawave manual is surprisingly detailed in some aspects, while lacking in others. As the kayaks are made in Europe, many of the details are based around European specs and regulations and can sound more complicated than it actually is. Additionally, some of the translations are a bit difficult to understand.

First step, unpack and unfold the kayak body. What is immediately noticeable is how FLAT the kayak is when deflated – of course, this makes it quite compact for travel.

Next, flip the kayak over to install the tracking fin before inflation, locating the fin “shoe” towards the stern. Slip the end with the larger slot in first, making sure that the fin is pointing towards the “back” of the kayak. This enables it to slide in enough to fit in the second side.

The instructions suggest attaching and inflating the foot braces and seats first, though these actually come pre-attached from the factory. (If they are not attached, start with the foot braces. There are five buckles on the floor – when paddling tandem, use the 1st and

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Aire Tributary Strike Solo Inflatable Kayak

We recently posted our first review on Aire’s Tributary inflatable kayak product-line. The Tributary models – which are made overseas – offer great value for those on a budget or unwilling to make a large investment; these include the Strikes, Sawtooth and Tomcat kayaks as well as several rafts.

This week we had the first opportunity to take out the Aire Tributary Strike 1, a 10 foot 3-inch one-person inflatable with a price of $799. The Strike is billed as a crossover kayak, capable of spanning calm water to rapids. Please note, some of this may be repeated from other write-ups.
Aire Tributary Strike I Inflatable Kayak: Getting Started
The box as received measures 29 x 16 x 13 inches, weighing in at 33 lbs.

Inside is the Strike body, one Cheetah seat, flip strap, instructions and repair kit with adaptor, adaptor tube, wrench and patch material (including some TearAid). The Strike does not come with a carrying case. The body alone weighs 26 lbs, or 29.5 lbs with the seat. The folded body measures roughly 28 x 15 x 12 inches.
Aire Tributary Strike Setup/Inflatation

We read through the included instruction manual. First step, unfold the kayak body. Then pump up tthe main chambers until softly filled.

The Aire Tributary Strike features three main inflation chambers utilizing Summit II military valves – one for the floor and one for each side. 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). Please note – the military valve push pins can sometimes deceptively look as if they are UP when actually in the deflate mode. When this happens, as soon as you remove the pump adaptor all the air will swoosh out. So, make sure they are truly popped up. On the positive side, this is so easy to pump up, it’s not a big issue.
Unlike many kayaks, the Aire Tributary Strike has two main inflation valves at opposite sides of the kayak – one on the upper rear right and one on the upper bow left.

Locate the military valve adaptor in the repair kit. The Strike does not come with a pump, but the adaptor allows one to use the Boston valve conical adaptor found on most pumps. To couple the Strike adaptor with the Boston valve adaptor, Aire has included a two-inch clear plastic tube. Insert the end of the Strike adaptor into one side of the clear tube, and then insert the Boston valve adaptor onto the other side via friction fit. Lock the Aire adaptor onto the military valve with a slight twist. Since the Strike

Original Source: AirKayaks >>