Last year, AquaGlide unveiled their updated inflatable kayak lineup for 2020, which included a series of new models – Deschutes, McKenzies and Navarros – with revamps to the Chinook model. For 2021, Aquaglide completed the line by redesigned two remaining models – the Chelans and the Blackfoots.
With inventory rapidly becoming as scarce as the 2020 paddling season, we decided to snag a few of the new models for inflation and review, initially focusing on the AquaGlide Chelans.
Our first review on AquaGlide’s revised products for 2021 was on the Chelan 120, an 11′ 4″ long, high-pressure, inflatable kayak designed for solo paddling. We will now turn to the Chelan 155, a 15’6″ foot tandem that is roomy enough for 2+ paddlers, yet can still be paddled solo. (Please note: some of the information will be repeated from other writeups.)
Getting Started with the Aquaglide Chelan 155:
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak, backpack, instructions, 2 foot braces, tracking fin, 2 Pro-formance seats, one jumper seat, valve adaptor, four mesh pouches, two plastic splash guards and a repair kit. The repair kit contains glue, patch material, valve wrench, instructions, adaptor, screws for the universal mount and some repair brushes. First thing to note – the kayak is nicely packaged with bubble wrap protecting valves, handles, etc. Also to note – the repair kit features generous-sized repair patches.
Initial measurements showed the kayak body weighs approximately 38 lbs. The kayak with seats, fin and braces – all in the backpack – weighs 54 lbs with a backpack size of roughly 39 x 17 x 18 inches. All boxed up, the dimensions are 30 x 22 x 16 inches with a shipping weight of 61 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.)
We started off by reading the instructions. While Aquaglide’s manuals were somewhat sketchy in the past, the included instructions were detailed and easy to use (all languages are now in their own section). Additionally, a QR Code tag is now attached to the kayak; a quick scan with your cell phone allows you to access the instructions online.
Set up is straight-forward and simple – unpack, unfold, inflate.
There are three military valves (both sides and the floor) with three more small chambers utilizing a twistlock valve for the seat bases. 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