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Airkayaks Guide to Inflatable Kayak Pumps (updated for 2022)

We field questions almost daily on inflatable kayak pumps, types of pumps, whether or not to use a pressure gauge and valve adaptors. Here is a short guide, answering some of the most asked questions, but feel free to ask any others!

Note: this article is an update from our article on the subject in 2011.

Types of Inflatable Kayak Pumps

There are a number of pumps available to inflate your kayak, both manual and electric. Here are some types:

Airkayaks Universal Inflatable Kayak Hand Pump – Gauge Close Up – Inflatable Kayak Pumps

Dual Action Hand Pump 

A barrel-type cylindrical pump that has two options – by turning a knob, one can go from double action mode (quickly pump up an inflatable) to single action mode (more easily pump to higher pressures).

Airkayaks.com Recommends: Best dual action pump

Airkayaks has released the Airkayaks Universal Hand Pump. It is lightweight at 1.7 lbs, compact, and provides single or double-action pumping with a built-in gauge to 15 psi, an aluminum shaft, and folding feet that’s ideal for all Inflatable Kayaks. The feet fold, and the handles are removable to save space in your kayak bag or backpack, and there are not a ton of extra valves that you will wind up not using.

The reason why we chose to have this pump with a 15 PSI Gauge is so that you can also use it to pump up your inflatable SUP. It includes a 4 ft. (1.25 m) hose, and Halkey-Roberts, Boston, and stem fittings. If the HR valve is not fitting perfectly, we’ve put both sizes of common O-Rings on the pump as well.

Note: For Advanced Elements Kayaks with an AE Spring Valve, simply friction fit the spring valve adapter included with your AE kayak on top of the boston valve. (or use the AE2011 Hand Pump).

Double Action Hand Pump 

This is a barrel-type cylindrical pump that pushes air in on the up and the down stroke. Tougher than a foot pump, but also larger. Typically has an inflate and deflate position on the pump handle. These are great for lower pressure inflatables, up to about 4PSI. Can be used on higher pressure inflatables, but you will earn every muscle getting it up there. Will pump up an inflatable faster than the single action pump or bellows foot pump.

For Advanced Elements Kayaks, we recommend the AE2011 as it includes the Advanced Elements Spring Valve Adapter. Dont have the AE2011 pump and have an AE kayak? Put the AE Fitting on top of a Boston Valve. It will “friction fit” – note this is a tight feeling and it will

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Airkayaks Guide to selecting a Kayak Paddle for your inflatable kayak (updated for 2022)

So you’ve made the decision on an inflatable kayak. You’ve researched yourself to death, and have finally narrowed it down to the one that’s perfect for you. A sigh of relief – the hard part is over – until you find there are just as many choices, styles and terminologies for a kayak paddle.

If you want to skip the article, head to the bottom for our Comparison Chart with every paddle Airkayaks.com carries.

Note: this article is an update from our previous post on the subject in 2014.

First of all, what is a breakdown kayak paddle?

Unlike a canoe paddle, which has one blade, shaft and handle grip, a kayak paddle features two blade heads (left hand and right hand) and a shaft.

The paddler grips the shaft with both hands, and dips one blade into the water and pulls, then dips the other side into the water and pulls. This is a more efficient method of paddling when sitting lower in the water.

While there are 2-pc breakdown paddles on the market, the most portable paddles are the 4-pc breakdown paddles consisting of two shaft lengths that connect into one, and two blades – a left hand and right hand – that attach onto the shaft. Airkayaks.com only carries 4-pc breakdown paddles. 4-pc breakdown paddles for inflatables typically have a longest shaft length of 25 to 30 inches in length, making them easily storable, often in the kayak carrying case.

What length kayak paddle should I look for?

Since inflatable kayaks are typically wider than hardshell kayaks, a 230 or 240cm paddle is considered a good length. For those confused with the measurement system, a 230cm paddle is 90.55 inches in length while a 240cm paddle is 94.5 inches in length (2.54 cm per inch).

The choice of either is a personal preference, but you should consider your height, paddling style and typical paddling conditions. In general, 230cm is good for persons under 6 feet, high-angle paddlers, and those in fast moving paddling conditions. Paddlers over 6 feet, low-angle paddlers and those in calmer touring conditions may be more comfortable with a 240cm, though our largest-selling paddle for inflatable kayaks is the 230cm size.

As a rule of thumb, all Advanced Elements (AE1012, AE1017, AE1009, AE1007, AE1044), Aquagide Navarro and McKenzie Series, and Aire Tomcat Series, 230cm will fit 99% of paddlers. Aquaglide Chelan, and Advanced Elements AirVolution series and Fishing kayaks, may want to consider 240cm paddles.

What kayak paddles does Airkayaks.com include in the Basic Bundle?

If you are new to Airkayaks.com, for kayaks that do not come with a pump and or paddle(s), we offer a basic bundle which is everything you need to get paddling. The basic bundle includes: the kayak and everything

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Airkayaks Guide to selecting a tandem inflatable kayak (13 to 16 foot options)

At Airkayaks, we get asked all the time – what two (2) person (tandem) inflatable kayak should we buy?

In this guide, we are going to segment the 2 person (tandem) inflatables to those that are 13 – 16 feet in length. The kayaks under this range will be discussed in another guide.  The reason why is that most kayaks in the smaller size range are entry level oriented. There are less differences between models.

Don’t want to read the article? Check out our FIND YOUR KAYAK Quiz where we suggest relevant options to you based on our years of experience.


In the 13 to 16 foot size range, the first thing to discuss is price. Most of these kayaks will be $899 to $1699 in price. We know that is a big range, and we will be detailing the differences for what you can expect at each end of the price spectrum.


In this range, there is a certain table-stakes level of features that you can expect, yet there are still a couple value options available. One thing you can expect: All of these kayaks will work great for a day at the lake, or a slow moving river.

Most models will offer these features

Dropstitch floor on top of a standard I-Beam Low Pressure Floor

Dropstitch (high pressure) floorupgraded seatsMultiple sets of carry handlesEnhanced tracking such as a removable fin / skeg, or like the AE models, a hydrodynamic hull design. (AdvancedFrame & StraitEdge models)

Look at these features to differentiate models in this range:

Carrying Capacity (AE1007E, Chelan, Blackfoot, and Deschutes SeriesQuick Dry Time (AirVolution, StraitEdge2, Chelan, Blackfoot, and Deschutes Series)Extra mounts (Chelan, Blackfoot)High Tech Construction (AirVolution)Ability to handle coastal and ocean paddling (AE1007E)Capability for 2+ paddlers, and on the other end excellent 1 person seating options. (Blackfoot 160 & Chelan 155 – 2+), (AirVolution, Chelan 140 & AE3027 StraitEdge2 – 1 person Conversions)


13-14 foot models will typically offer 40-50″ of room for the rear paddler. In most cases these are comfortable for two paddlers up to 6′ each, and if one paddler is shorter to 6′, then the other can be larger than 6′. These kayaks are excellent one paddler choices when the seat is set to the center position. See the Chelan 140 or AE3027 Straitedge2 Pro.

15-16 foot models are usually great 2 & 2 + paddler kayaks, with seating for 2 adults and a furry friend, or 2 adults and a youngster. We’ve even seen the Blackfoot 160 set up for 2 adults and 2 children.

Kelsey and Kyle Walter paddling near the north end of Lake Chelan, WA.

Take a shortcut to the end of the guide for a Comparison Chart with all models.

Lightest Weight Tandem Kayak

Deschutes 145. This kayak features a

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Airkayaks Best Inflatable Kayaks of 2021 & Predictions for 2022

2021 was a huge success for the kayak industry. Paddlesports in general are more popular than ever, due to increased interest in the outdoors. Anyone that looked for a specific model last year was lucky to find it. At Airkayaks.com, we were no exception, with over 150 models of inflatable kayaks and stand up paddleboards in stock (normally), we got down to only 30 in stock at one point.

We shipped out over 130 tons of kayaks to our customers in the last 6 months of the year alone, and we wanted to point out the top trends of 2021 and predict the top kayaks of 2022. Airkayaks.com is a full year, multi-brand (9) inflatable kayak supplier, plus, we actually test and review all brands of inflatable kayaks and SUPs on the market on goairkayaks.com. Needless to say, we have a dataset on our hands to determine what people bought, were searching for, which kayaks held up, which had warrantee issues, and what people were the most happy with for 2021. We hope this guide is helpful in your search for a new inflatable kayak in 2022.

We’re going to highlight 2021’s top tandem inflatable kayaks, best fishing inflatable kayaks, top solo inflatable kayaks, best whitewater inflatable kayak, top packable / travel inflatables, and most searched inflatable kayaks.

Stay tuned for Airkayaks predictions on: the top inflatable kayak for 2022, new kayaks for 2022, trends in the market, and what has changed with top kayak manufacturers for 2022.

Note: This article mentions pricing which is correct as of January 11, 2022. We do our best to maintain articles, but for up to date pricing please check Airkayaks.com.

Want to fast forward to the list? Click here.

Airkayaks Top Tandem Inflatable Kayaks for 2021

1. Advanced Elements Convertible Elite – AE1007E ($1099)+ AE1007DS (Limited Edition Blue Color – $949)

Photo Cred: Airkayaks Customer Kyle K.

By the numbers, there is no other kayak more popular than the Advanced Elements Convertible series kayaks. These kayaks are made with multiple options (seats, floor, bag, etc) and in multiple colors (Red, Green, DS Blue

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

2022 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP Boards – What’s New

2022 Red Paddle Co Range Highlights:2 New Boards – 12′ Compact, and 12′ Voyager – Redesigned Compact Line – Upgraded Carry Bag on most models – New Paddle Designs – Upgraded Bungee system on most boardsKyle McKinney – Airkayaks.com

We recently received details on the 2022 Red Paddle Co’s inflatable SUP lineup. Red Paddle Company inflatable boards are well-known throughout the world for their ruggedness, innovation and performance – each Red board is the result of rigorous quality assurance during the 72 hours of build time. Red Paddle Co’s private board facility is touted to be completely waste free with all materials being reused or recycled.

2022 Red Paddle Co Range Highlights

2 New Boards – 12′ Compact, and 12′ VoyagerRedesigned Compact LineUpgraded Carry Bag on all models*New Paddle DesignsUpgraded Bungee system on all applicable boards

About Red Paddle Co

Throughout the past 14 years, Red Paddle Co has been the industry leader, racking up numerous awards throughout the product line, including Gear of the Year from Outside, Men’s Journal and Backpacker magazines. Innovative features include the game-changing Titan dual action pump, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion material technology, Rocker Side Stiffening (RSS) system, the Forward Flex Control (FFC) nose rod on the racing boards and the Compact low-profile boards.

Red Paddle’s philosophy? If you plan on taking to the water on an inflatable board then you need a super durable board that is up for the challenge. And if you haven’t seen them, the Red Paddle endurance videos – pitting Red Paddle boards against teens, dogs, tractors, big rigs, martial arts and more – are definitely a testament to durability.

Predictions for 2022 Hit Features

In each year, Red always seems to surprise with a homerun new feature or board in every year, In 2020, Red Paddle Company raised the bar by offering an unheard-of 5 year warranty on all Red Paddle boards (with product registration), the result of the Red Paddle TEC quality assurance program. For 2021, they redesigned the Titan pump into the best in class Titan 2 pump (easily the best included pump offered with any SUP on market). This model year – 2022, we expect the hit to be the redesigned ATB (All Terrain Bag) Transformer Bag.

2022 Red Paddle Co ATB Transformer Board Bag

Brand-new for 2022 and exclusively available with 2022 boards is the ATB Transformer Bag. Its not just a highly engineered adjustable and ergonomic paddle board bag but also a revolutionary bag-less carry system that has been designed with all paddle boarders in mind.

For adventurers, you can now go further and access more remote waterways without the need of a heavy bulky bag. Inflating your board at more remote waterways (previously inaccessible with an inflated or rigid board) is now a real possibility.Equally as perfect for families, it’s now easier, quicker and more convenient to pack up your kit

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Airkayaks Guide to outfitting your Blackfoot Angler 130 Inflatable Kayak for Fishing

One of the most common questions we get about the Blackfoot 130 Inflatable kayak is: How do I outfit it for fishing? As one of the most fully featured gear haulers around, we put the Blackfoot to the test and will provide tips and tricks to get everything possible out of the Blackfoot 130 from Aquaglide.

First – where do you put your paddles when fishing?

To do this we recommend paddle holders from the brand Yakattack. These are available almost anywhere and the street price is about $15 each.

Installation of Yakattack Rotogrip Paddle Holder on the Blackfoot 130

When installing the Yakattack Rotogrip Paddle Holder on to the Blackfoot 130 inflatable kayak you need to make sure you have the correct baseplate and be aware of correct bolt sizing.

YakAttack product requires a YakAttack baseplate.  A Scotty base will not work.  There are a few different YakAttack bases on the market and it may not be obvious which one to choose. 

The correct base is the Mighty Mount Switch.  This base is for what YakAttack describes as old school deck mounts.  Note this mount comes with 1-inch stainless steel bolts. 

 The one-inch bolts are too long for the kayak mounting pad.  The kayak requires 7/8-inch bolts.  To allow the 1-inch bolts to work in this application put the washers that come with the bolt before inserting to the bases.  The washer prevents the bolt from going down into the recessed hole. 

Alternatively, you could locate 7/8-inch bolts and washer that fit inside the recessed holes.

Next, where do I put my beverage?

We recommend the Aquaglide Cupholder for this. Available at Airkayaks and it has a street price of $19.95. The cupholder is unique from the Yakattack or Railblaza mounts because it can fit in either the side molle strips or the universal baseplate. We can verify that your favorite hot and cold beverages will fit great!

Next – Mounting Rod Holders on the Blackfoot 130

The Blackfoot 130 comes with a nice cooler with 4 integrated rod holders, which is best used when it FILLED up with ice or something solid. The cooler will be a bit flimsy without this. With 9 universal mounts, you can really go crazy with rod holders. Railblaza, Yakattack, Ram Mounts, and Scotty brand all offer a variety of mounts, priced between $20 and $30 typically. If you are buying the rod holder, make sure it comes with a base plate as each brand requires a unique base plate.

Make sure to get it on Camera

Weve tested tons of mounts and found that the best Cell Phone mount comes from the brand Railblaza, with a street price of $35. There are many GoPro / action cam mounts

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Van Life Inflatable Kayaks Guide: How to “Van Life” with your kayak from Airkayaks

Crystal is a full time Van Lifer, Full-time adventurers and with her husband Brian, they share van life hacks, travel tips, adventure ideas, and inspiration for how you can live on the road. We sent Crystal and Brian the Tahe Beach LP2 Inflatable Kayak and they put it to the test on a trip to Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. This Guide offers tips, tricks, and why its worth fitting an inflatable kayak into your own Van life or RV lifestyle. You will hear Crystal’s Top 5 reasons to choose the Tahe Beach LP2 Inflatable Kayak for your Van Life Adventures. To the interview.

First – tell us about why you started Van Life?

Crystal – travel coordinator & wellness-on-the-road affiecienado

I’m a serial entrepreneur and long-time vegan. My health was a disaster for about 20 years before I found a healer that introduced me to food as medicine. I went from being a chronic dieter with multiple eating disorders along with a long list of health issues to reversing all my conditions naturally and starting an online health-based business showing others how they could do the same.  My goal while I was ‘sick’ was to travel around the world and experience as much of life as possible while here on Earth. So that is exactly what I’m doing now. 

Brian. – chief video editor & van driver

I’ve been a traveling audio engineer, tour, and production manager for about 20 years. After the tour industry went downhill in 2020 it gave me the opportunity to think about how I could put all my skills together and find new ways to make money. When we realized I wouldn’t be touring again anytime soon, Crystal and I decided we’d just “make me a job”.  And that’s exactly what we did.

We believe in the power every single person has to create a life of adventure and live life outside the box.

Vanhalla Adventures (website & youtube channel) is here to help you get into van life. Now to the inflatable kayaking interview…

Where do you put the kayak to store it?

The Tahe Beach LP2 Inflatable Kayak is the perfect size to fit under bed “in the garage”. It could also fit in Thule storage up top.

Crystal and Brian’s Vanlife “Garage” Under the Bed

How long did the Inflatable Kayak take to pump up?

About 3 minutes

Brian Pumping the Tahe Beach LP2 Inflatable Kayak with the included double action hand pump.

Would you take it on a hike?

With this inflatable kayak, we would attempt a 1-2 mile hike but only with the destination being to a lake. We wouldnt pack anything else. We wouldn’t take this one on an overnight camping trip. I’m excited

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Airkayaks.com Offers Free Shipping to Canada!

Huge announcement from Airkayaks.com – we are now offering Free Shipping to Canada!

Simply place any kayak over $625 Canadian into cart and you will be offered free shipping via Fedex Ground!

Customers will be responsible for import fees/taxes billed by 3rd parties.

Our goal is to make enjoying paddlesports easy for all and this includes our customers north of the border.

Call 833-743-0199 for questions.
The post Airkayaks.com Offers Free Shipping to Canada! appeared first on GO AIRKAYAKS.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Yoga SUP Board Guide from Airkayaks.com

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a wonderful workout. Just getting out on the water works your core, your legs and improves balance and focus. Adding Yoga SUP to the mix dials the workout up to 11 (or 15 in my case – newb yogi alert). To some, getting into the sport is a daunting task, even without the added layer of selecting the right hardware. This guide is meant to make it easy to pick your board and strike your first pose! To the review. We call out the Best Yoga SUP boards for a variety of paddling situations and budgets below.

Hala Asana 10Tahe SUP YAK 10-6Aquaglide Kush 11Red Activ 10-8Advanced Elements Lotus 10Pau Hana Moon Mist 10

The TOP Yoga Boards

Lets talk about our curated board selection. Airkayaks only carries boards that we THOURUGHLY vet for quality and durability. These boards range in price from $529 to $1399.

Advanced Elements Lotus YSUPHala AsanaPau Hana Surf Supply Moon MistRed Activ

And two boards not specifically branded for Yoga:

Aquaglide KushTahe 10-6 SUP-YAK

Typical Features of all Yoga Boards

Stability – all Yoga SUP boards are designed to be stable.

Rigidity – all Yoga SUP boards are designed to be rigid on the water

Width – Yoga SUP boards are typically wider than their all around counterparts with most measuring 32-34″ in width. Also the boards are typically “square” meaning the width runs the majority of the board where an all around board will have an oval profile.

Comparison Table

Best Yoga SUP Value – Advanced Elements Lotus YSUP

At $699, the Advanced Elements Lotus YSUP packs tremendous value into its 10′ size.

Package: To start, the package now includes a paddle and a pump, so its straight from the box to the water. The carrying backpack is more slim than some of the other boards in this review so it will not fit much extra gear.

Design: Advanced Elements has a 3/4 length traction pad, so the majority of the board is usable, and has a nice shoulder strap (which keeps the grip handle out of the center). The colorway is a nice, white / grey / green with a lotus flower near the top.

Stability: This board offers average stability for a 10′ x 32″ board. To get better stability, you would need to size up your board (either width or length).

Alternate Use: 3 removable tracking fins make the board track well when used as an all around, and this board would also be great as a versatile kids board.

Rated at 4/5 stars as a Yoga SUP, this board is a great option for all.

Top 3 Yoga SUP Board – Hala Asana

Stability: At 10′ and 34″ wide, the Hala Asana is an incredibly stable yoga board.

Design: Known

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Chelan 155 and Blackfoot 160 kayaks available at Airkayaks.com

For the 2nd time of the year, we have open to buy inventory of the Chelan 155 and Blackfoot 160 inflatable kayaks from Aquaglide!

Last time we had the Blackfoot 160s they sold out in 6 minutes. This batch is currently en route to Airkayaks.com, and expected to ship before the end of August.

As they say, here for now, but not for long!

The post Chelan 155 and Blackfoot 160 kayaks available at Airkayaks.com appeared first on GO AIRKAYAKS.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>