Tag Archives: tandem inflatable kayaks

Product Review: New 10-12 PSI Hi-Pressure AirVolution2 Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

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

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

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 >>

Product Review: Innova Thaya Hi-Pressure Inflatable Kayak for 1 to 2+ paddlers

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to take our first look at Innova’s new Thaya inflatable kayak – a 2+ person, high-pressure, inflatable kayak  for recreational paddling.

The Innova line is unique for a number of reasons. First, the kayaks are handmade in the Czech Republic – the factory has manufactured inflatable boats for well over 50 years. Secondly, the manufacturing process produces kayaks that can become quite compact, making them a great choice for travel. And third, the kayaks are environmentally-friendly as they are mostly PVC-free.

The Thaya is the newest introduction to the US market, already garnering a gold model at the 2019 European Paddlesport sProduct of the Year Awards, based on stability, paddling performance and its environmentally-friendly footprint.
While it is not yet available in the states (due in May 2019) we received an early production line piece for review. So here is our write-up on the the Innova Thaya inflatable tandem kayak, which weighs 39 lbs, is 13 feet 5 inches in length and has a payload of 595 lbs for two persons and gear. (Please note: some of the information will be duplicated from other Innova reviews).
Getting Started with the Innova Thaya
The box as received measures 28 x 19 x 13 inches, weighing in at 44 lbs.

Inside is a very nifty and compact 80-liter backpack with adjustable shoulder straps, front pouch pocket and roll top closure. This contains the kayak body, tracking fin, 2 foot rests, repair kit, instructions, valve adaptor, cinch belt, 2 seats and sponge. Packed dimensions are 25 x 16 x 10 inches as received in the bag, with a weight of 40.75 lbs for the pack and contents.
We read through the included instruction manuals. Just like all the Innova products, the Innova Thaya 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.
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.

Install the tracking fin into the “shoe” before inflating the kayak. 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 first time we tried this, we struggled to get the second slot into position but this gets easier with use.
Next, decide which paddling mode you will be doing – solo, tandem or tandem with small being or gear. The instructions suggest attaching and inflating the foot braces

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Deschutes Two HB Inflatable Kayak from AquaGlide

We continue with our series on the new Aquaglide line of inflatable kayaks. Our first several reviews focused on the Chinook price-point line, then moved to the flagship Columbia line of high pressure inflatable touring kayaks. This was followed by the  Deschutes line of high-pressure, recreational models for 1 to 2+ paddlers.

The first Deschutes review was on the Tandem HB, a 12-foot long inflatable kayak designed for one or two paddlers, with extra space for gear, child or pet. We now follow-up with the Deschutes Two HB, (shown above) a smaller 10-foot long inflatable kayak with multiple seating locations, allowing it to be paddled by one or two persons.  (Please note: some of the information will be repeated from other writeups.)
Getting Started with the Aquaglide Deschutes HB Two:
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak, backpack, instructions, repair kit, foot braces, tracking fin and two seats.

Initial measurements showed the kayak body weighs approximately 27 lbs, with a backpack size roughly 27 x 23 x 14 inches. The kayak with seats, fin and braces – all in the backpack – weighs 38 lbs. Boxed up, the dimensions are 36 x 24 x 14 inches with a shipping weight of 49 lbs. Folded, the kayak body is 27 x 22 x 6 inches.
We were able to get everything, including an optional pump, into the backpack. Paddles can be placed in the side mesh pocket.
(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 two inflation chambers utilizing Boston valves – the two side chambers – while the high-pressure floor features a military valve. There are two more small chambers with twistlock valves, for the seat bases. 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 Deschutes Two HB floor requires a military valve adaptor, which does not come with most standard pumps. Here is where we came to our first issue – no military valve adaptor was included. We were aware of this from our previous writeups on the Columbia series, and pulled one out of our parts box. (AirKayaks note #2: As previously mentioned, we spoke with AquaGlide. The first couple of shipments did not include the adaptor, but

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Special Purchase: Maxxon Express II Inflatable Kayak System now $399.

Just arrived! Special Purchase on the Maxxon Express II, an open-design inflatable kayak system with three seating positions, allowing the kayak to be paddled solo or tandem. Originally priced at $699, the Express II package is now only $399 with paddles and pump.

The low profile, recessed seating well and built-in coaming area make it a perfect choice for slower rivers, lakes and calm waters, or for use as a diving/fishing platform. It’s also a great solo option for larger paddlers, or those wanting to take along some gear.
This kayak comes with 2 seats, 2 breakdown paddles, bellows foot pump, removable tracking fin, carrying tote, repair kit, instructions, 1-year warranty – everything you need to get on the water.
The Express II is 11 feet long, 37 inches wide and weighs 32 lbs. It is rated for a 440 lb. carrying capacity.
See our previous write-up Detailed Maxxon Express II review with photos.  For more details or to purchase, visit the Maxxon Express II product page on our website at http://www.AirKayaks.com.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>