Tag Archives: lightweight kayaks

Rugged New Kokopelli XPD Inflatable Packraft

One of the exciting new models we’ve seen for 2020 is Kokopelli Packraft’s rugged XPD Packraft, featuring a beefed up hull which can be inflated to higher pressures of 2 to 3 PSI.

This week, Kokopelli launched a Kickstarter Campaign to boost awareness of the XPD, which is expected to arrive later this spring.

What’s so special? While the XPD packraft is based on the Kokopelli Rogue-Lite profile, the XPD features a more beefed-up construction for rigorous use on flat water and lakes through Class II. The hull is constructed from a reinforced 0.9mm (1000 denier) PVC, yet still packs down to the size of a large sleeping bag, roughly 22 x 12 x 8 inches in size. The XPD sports GRI push-push military valves, rather than the Leafield D4 valves found on the previous packrafts. Dimensions are the same as the popular Rogue Lite at 85 by 37 inches, but weighs in at 13 lbs with a payload of 300 lbs.
We were able to see an initial model last fall, when Kokopelli’s Sales Manager – Andrew Duran – flew a prototype out to California for us to test out.

Our first take on the XPD? It fills a niche for recreational flatwater paddling that is portable and fun. It’s rugged, very simple to set up, easy to get into, lightweight and zippy. As someone once said, “It turns on a dime and gives you back change.”
The open design is perfect for those who have physical disabilities or dislike being enclosed. It is easily paddled by large and small (my 6’2″ husband in the XPD above) older and younger, and it’s rugged enought to hand over to the kids or to take a furry companion.

And it’s just heavy enough to seat itself in the water, yet – at 13 lbs – light enough to toss around. Check out the following video:

The XPD will be available in two colors – red and green – both with and without tizip. MSRP is $749 and $899 respectively.
See the Kokopelli Packraft XPD Kickstarter Campaign, and also check out our wordpress blog on the Kokopelli Packraft 2020 Product Line.

We also have a limited amount of past season 2019 Kokopelli Packraft models at 15% off, with prices as low as $699 with a free paddle.
The XPDs are expected to be available at AirKayaks.com in late spring. Need more info? Feel free to Contact Us or give us a call at 707-998-0135.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Kokopelli Packraft Summer Sale – 15% to 20% off thru May 31st

With sizzling summer days just around the corner, now is a great time to pick up a Kokopelli Packraft during AirKayaks’ Summer Kickoff Sale. All in-stock Kokopelli Packrafts are 15% to 20% off through May 31st.
Photo by Colin Arisman
Now starting at $699, the Kokopelli product line consists of eight models for whitewater, lakes, rivers and ocean, ranging in size from 7’1″ to 10’2″ with a weight range of 4.6 lbs to 18 lbs.
Photo credit: Birch Block
The Adventure Series consists of two models – Rogue and Rogue-Lite – geared towards extremely packable “adventures.” As a “Gear of the Year” selection winner from Men’s Health magazine, both feature a thinner hull material with beefed-up Kevlar reinforcement which packs down smaller and is lighter, making it more desirable for carrying long distances.

New for this year is the bomb-proof 18-lb. Kokopelli Recon, a beefy packraft built to “take a licking and keep on ticking.” The Recon joins the classic Kokopelli Nirvana Self Bailer and Nirvana Spraydeck, perfect for rushing rivers through Class III.

Those interested in calmer paddling experiences will find the Castaway XL or Twain Tandem perfect for exploring remote lakes and fishing holes.

Need help making a decision? Read about the 2019 Kokopelli Product Line, or peruse through our Guide to Choosing Your Kokopelli Packraft. You can also give us a call at 707-998-0135.
Free shipping in the lower 48 states, and NO TAX, so shop early for best selection!

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

2019 Innova by Gumotex Inflatable Kayak Line Update

We recently obtained details on the upcoming 2019 inflatable kayak and canoe product line for Innova Kayaks by Gumotex.
Gumotex is well-known in Europe as a manufacturer of high-quality inflatable kayaks and canoes which are environmentally friendly as they use minimal PVC. Each can be inflated up to 3-PSI, making them more rigid for better performance. Additionally, the manufacturing process and materials produce kayaks that are quite compact, making them a great choice for travel.

In 2016, Gumotex acquired the company and assets for Innova, Gumotex’s US-based dealership, and began importing more of the Gumotex product line to the US under the name Innova Kayaks by Gumotex.
For 2019, the Innova product line has been redesigned with product tweaks, material upgrades, price changes and the introduction of one new model featuring high-pressure, drop-stitch material.

On the entry-level side, Innova has redesigned the popular 8’6″ Twist 1 and 11’10” Twist 2. Both kayaks are now constructed from Nitrilon, the rugged material used in the original Sunny and Helios models and currently used on the Solar and Safari models; the 2018 models were produced using Light Nitrylon, a less rugged and lighter material. Nitrilon (also called Nitrylon) consists of a synthetic rubber coating over polyester on the inside and outside of the tube; it is stronger, more abrasion and puncture-resistant than PVC as well as being greener – there is minimal out-gassing.
While the kayak silhouettes remain virtually unchanged, the added material thickness increases the kayak weights from 16 and 24 lbs, to 20 and 29 lbs respectively. With the material upgrade comes price increases. The Twist 1 pricing will rise from $399 to $449, while the Twist 2 increases from $519 to $599. The Twist 2 interior has been redesigned slightly to include additional d-rings, providing an easy conversion from a tandem to a solo kayak, thus more versatile for larger paddlers, or those needing more space for extra gear.

The 13’5″ Solar 410C has been redesigned as the Solar 2019 and can be considered for 1-2+ paddlers. While material construction remains the same, the interior has undergone some updates with seating placement, splash guards and added bungee deck lacing. The kayak comes with two seats, but there is the option to purchase a third inflatable seat, allowing two adults and a small child. The Solar comes with the upgraded 80L backpack similar to the one included with the Sunny and Helios. Prices remain the same at $759.

The decked Swing series – consisting of the 10’4″ Swing 1 and the 13’2″ Swing II – have also undergone changes. While the upper deck still features a polyester (PES) fabric with polyurethane (PUR) coating, the kayak hulls have transitioned to Nitrilon, matching the construction of the current 13’6″ Swing

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 >>

New 2018 Kokopelli Inflatable Packraft Product Line

We recently received news on the new 2018 Kokopelli lineup of inflatable packrafts.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as a an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally.
Last year’s Kokopelli line-up consisted of four whitewater models – the Nirvana and Nirvana XL in self-bailing and spray deck versions – joined by three touring series: the Castaway, Castaway XL and a two-person version named the Twain. The two longer touring series models featured packrafts with removable tracking fins, making them better suited for calm water paddling. Also in 2017, the packrafts were reengineered with upgraded Leafield D7 military valves, replacing the original Boston valves. The D7 valve seal was designed to be self-cleaning, reducing leakage risks due to dirt contamination.

For 2018, Kokopelli adds two new models and continues to streamline, re-organize and upgrade the product line – which also resulted in price increases.
A new bottom hull construction makes the packrafts more rigid. By repositioning where the hull bottom attaches to the side chambers, the paddler sits a bit higher, and doesn’t sag down in the boat. This in turn improves the backband support (it is now positioned lower on the back), as well as making it easier to paddle over the side chambers. Together, the improvements eliminated the need for an inflatable floor, saving on weight.
The packraft sterns were redesigned with 30% more volume, providing greater buoyancy and a slightly lower waterline, eliminating water pooling issues as well as allowing more gear to be stored in the tizip versions.
All backbands and inflatable seats feature a beefed up construction with an easier attachment system.
Last season’s new French Gray color (more of a desaturated Army gray-green for those seeking less visiblity) returns for 2018. The color has been expanded to the Twain series.
The 2018 Whitewater series now consists of two models – the Nirvana Spraydeck and the Nirvana Self Bailer – each with tizip options. While there has been no change to the dimensional specifications or weights, the Nirvana Self Bailer is the only packraft with an inflatable floor (elevating the paddler above any water) which now boasts an integrated seat base and separate backband.
The Nirvana XL self-bailing whitewater series has been eliminated as the longer packrafts tend to wrap on rocks and get caught in holes. Instead, the Nirvana XL deck-version has been moved into the touring series as the Castaway XL with spray deck.

The Touring series – consisting of the Castaway, Castaway XL and Twain 2 – remain virtually unchanged as open models, except for the addition of the Castaway XL

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Sneak Preview: New 17.5 lb AdvancedFrame Ultralite Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

At this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, Advanced Elements unveiled their 2018 inflatable kayak product line with announcement of the new AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite – a redesigned version of the AdvancedFrame Sport, weighing in at a minimalist 17.5 lbs.
The AdvancedFrame Ultralite joins the AE1042 AirFusion EVO as one of two new models for next season.

Roughly 15 years ago, Advanced Elements launched the AdvancedFrame line, beginning with the original 10′ 5″ AdvancedFrame (then called the AirFrame) followed by the Convertible, Expedition and Sport. Each iteration saw both major and subtle improvements, culminating in a seasoned line known for quality and performance.
Key to the line is the aluminum rib frame found in the bow and stern, allowing the kayaks to easily slice through the water.

At 10 feet 5 inches in length, the new AdvancdFrame Ultralite has the same footprint and larger cockpit-opening as the longstanding AE1017 Sport. As with the Sport, the AF Ultralite comes with the more rigid high-backed seat, integrated fin and front bungee deck lacing.
What sets it apart is a series of redesigns and tweaks.
To begin with, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite hull is constructed from a lighter-weight ripstop material upper with a polyurethane tarpauline underside. Left and right bladders are also made of a lightweight – yet rugged – polyurethane rather than PVC. Both bladder covers on the AdvancedFrame Ultralite feature open ends without a zipper, allowing the bladders to be pulled out for cleaning or replacement.
Instead of the traditional low-pressure PVC floor, the AF Ultralite sports a foam floor similar to that found in the Lagoon series. To compensate, the high-backed seat features a 1.5 inch EVA closed cell foam seat base.
The switch to open bladder cover, foam floor, polyurethane bladders and polyurethane tarpaulin hull provide most of the weight savings, making the AdvancedFrame Ultralite roughly 10 lbs lighter than the Sport, and nearly half the weight of the AdvancedFrame.
Other features include a thin aluminum bar riser (as found on the Expedition Elite) and cross bar (as found on the AirFusion) which together provide a pitched deck, allowing water to run off. A second set of bungee deck lacing is found on the rear deck upper.
According to Ryan Pugh, designer at Advanced Elements, the AF Ultralite provides a more portable option that still features the performance of the AdvancedFrame series. “The kayak feels just as stable as the AdvancedFrame and paddles just as well as the Sport.”

With that focus on portability, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite also comes with Advanced Elements new backpack/duffel bag with removable back straps as currently included with the Expedition Elite.
While the AdvancedFrame Ultralite can utilize many of the optional Advanced Elements accessories, it can not be used with the spray skirts, dropstitch floor or backbone.
The AdvancedFrame Ultralite

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

New 2017 Kokopelli Inflatable Packraft Lineup

We recently received news on the new 2017 Kokopelli lineup of inflatable packrafts.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as a an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally.
The 2016 Kokopelli line-up consisted of four whitewater models – the Nirvana and Nirvana XL in self-bailing and spray deck versions – joined by three new Touring series: the Castaway, Castaway XL and Twain two-person version. The Touring Series features packrafts with removable tracking fins, making them better suited for calm water paddling.

While Kokopelli’s main product lineup is not changing in 2017, several new features come into play. Foremost, all Kokopelli packrafts will come with upgraded Leafield D7 military valves, rather than the current Boston valves. The D7 valve has a shorter internal profile than other valves making it ideal for smaller diameter tubes such as inflatable kayak floors. The seal was also designed to be self-cleaning, reducing leakage risks due to dirt contamination.
All models with Tizip now have a 19 inch opening (up from 16 inches) making it easier to access stored gear.

The Nirvana Whitewater series also sports a number of changes, beginning with an added color to round out the selection. The new French Gray (more of a desaturated Army gray-green) is for those opting for less visibility. All Nirvana models now will come with a back band, rather than inflatable seat rest, which provides more coverage and lower back support when traversing rapids. Four d-rings have also been added on the inner tube, allowing paddlers to attach optional thigh straps for more responsive handling.
The Nirvana Self-Bailing models have been slightly redesigned with more volume in the stern. This provides more buoyancy and a slightly lower waterline, eliminating water pooling issues. While the majority of Kokopelli packrafts features two main chambers, the Nirvana Self-Bailing with Tizip now has one main chamber, thus increasing the storage area.
The Touring series – consisting of the Castaway, Castaway XL and Twain 2 – will remain virtually unchanged, except for TiZip increases and the new Leafield D7 military valves.

Weights range from 7.3 to 13.8 lbs. All models come with an inflation “bag” weighing a mere 4 ounces, though they also can be pumped up using a traditional hand or foot pump. Prices range from $725 to $1099 dependent upon the model and options.
The 2017 models are in-transit, and expected to be available in late February. For more details or to order, visit the Kokopelli Packraft product pages at www.AirKayaks.com.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Video: Innova Twist 1 LN Inflatable Kayak for Solo Paddling

Watch our latest video on the Innova Twist 1 LN inflatable kayak, updated for 2017!
The Innova Twist 1 LN is a PVC-free, environmentally-friendly option for solo paddling. And at a mere 18 lbs, it folds into a small package making it a perfectly portable kayaking option – great for RV’s, camping, backpacking and vacation travel. The 8.5 foot length is great for small and medium-sized paddlers, still leaving plenty of room for gear.
And now featuring a lower price-point of $399!

Need more info? Read our Detailed Product Review on the Innova Twist 1 LN, outlining product setup, features, specifications and performance.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New Innova Twist LN Inflatable Kayak – only 18 lbs.

As mentioned in prior posts, we received our first shipment of the newly-updated Innova Twist and Swing inflatable kayaks for 2016.
Made in the Czech Republic, the Twist and Swing models are now constructed from Light Nitrilon (LN), a lighterweight version of the rugged material used in the traditional Innova Sunny, Helios and Safari models. Light Nitrilon is known for making the kayaks more rigid as well as water and abrasion resistant, without substantially increasing weight. It’s also PVC-free, thus environmentally friendly.

New features also include improved seating and beefed up foot brace. The new seating arrangement is removable and inflatable, making it easier to reposition the paddling location, optimizing paddling performance and comfort.
This week we had the first opportunity to take out the  revamped Innova Twist LN, an 8 foot 6-inch inflatable weighing a mere 18 lbs (including seat and foot brace) with a selling price of $449.
Please note: Some of this information will be repeated from prior write-ups.
Innova Twist: Getting Started
The box as received measures 22 x 16 x 10 inches, weighing in at 20 lbs.

Inside is the Twist LN body, cinch strap, multiple instruction sheets, tracking fin, foot rest, repair kit, seat, bilge sponge and valve adaptor. The Twist LN body with seat and brace weighs 18 lbs with a folded size of 20 x 15 x 78. AirKayaks note: While the instructions say the Twist LN comes with a drawstring carrying sack, these were not included in the first shipments. The bags are currently being shipped over and will be added to the boxes.
Innova Twist Setup/Inflatation
We read through the included instruction manuals. As with all the Innova manuals to date, the instructions are quite detailed – there is one instruction sheet for fin installation, one for utilizing the valves, and another on the kayak in general. Most include IKEA-style graphics which are occasionally just short of a brain twister, and while some steps are dauntingly detailed, some are not mentioned.  As the kayaks are made in Europe, many of the details are based around European specs and regulations.

First step, unpack and unfold the kayak body. What is immediately noticeable is how FLAT the kayak is when deflated.

Install the tracking fin before inflating the kayak. The Twist LN utilizes a single fin with double slots. 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 slot.

While the first time can be a struggle to get the back side into position, after a couple of rounds it becomes quite easy. Pull up on the fin to ensure you have a good fit.
Attach the foot brace (this

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

New Ultralite 13.6 lb Twain Inflatable Tandem Kayak from Kokopelli Raft Co.

Last July, AirKayaks had the opportunity to test out a prototype version of Kokopelli Raft Company’s new Twain – an inflatable kayak/packraft for one or two paddlers, weighing in at a mere 13.6 lbs.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as a an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally.

Three years ago, Kokopelli entered the steadily-growing packraft market, introducing the Hornet and Renegade whitewater and flatwater rafts and winning Gear Junkies “Best In Show Top Gear for 2016” at last summer’s Outdoor Retailer.

For 2016, the Kokopelli line-up consists of four whitewater models – the 91″ Nirvana and 104″ Nirvana XL – in self-bailing or integrated spray deck versions weighing in at 8.4 to 10.2 lbs. These are joined by the new touring series featuring the 91″ Castaway and 104″ Castaway XL solo models and the new 122″ Twain two-person version. Weights range from 7.3 to 13.8 lbs, with the Castaway XL and Twain sporting removable tracking fins and removable floors. All models come with an inflation “bag” weighing a mere 4 ounces, as well as an inflatable seat, though they also can be pumped up using a traditional hand or foot pump. Each of the models also includes a TiZip variation, which offers internal storage in the main tubes. Prices range from $875 to $999 dependent upon the model and options.

We were duly impressed with the prototype Twain – it was lightweight, easy to assemble and featured two inflation chambers for added safety. The kayak was easily paddled by one – making it a great choice for those with lots of gear. While some of the ultra-lightweight and shorter kayaks can bob around, the longer silhouette and added tracking fin allows the the Twain to be better seated in the water, and paddle straighter. The addition of an inflatable 4-inch 840 denier floor with side wells provides extra buoyancy and rigidity, allowing the paddler(s) to sit higher, keeping out of the water, yet could be removed for those interested in conserving weight. The open design also offers easy entry and exit as well as a higher paddling position to allow deeper and more efficient paddle strokes.

Eleven-inch diameter tubes constructed from a 210 denier, double-coated nylon, ensure stability on the water as well as providing some protection from swells. One-inch seam welds with reinforced tape ensure durability and the highest-quality, air-holding properties, capable of holding 650 lbs.

The new Kokopelli inflatable rafts are in transit, expected to be here approximately May 10th; Kokopelli completely sold out of their first production run earlier this year, with

Original Source: AirKayaks >>