Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak Review
My wife had been wanting to go kayaking with me for a while now so I bought this kayak. Friend kayakers had told me that Inflatable kayaks are in general stable and this kayak just delivers on the mark. The kayak is pretty heavy – 56 lbs. The carrying case is like an oversize shopping bag – of course, zippered. The handles are not big enough to give you enough length to hang around your shoulders. You can put your arm in and put it on your shoulder, but it is not very comfortable. Setting it up was pretty straightforward. It takes about 10 minutes to fully set up. Surprisingly, the kayak barely requires 1-2 psi pressure when fully inflated, so the pump really pumps it up very quickly.
This is a great looking kayak and tracks well. For an inflatable kayak, I was surprised to find it stayed straight, as least as straight as a regular kayak. Tracking means when that when you are paddling, how well does the kayak move in a straight line. The fact that the kayak has a welded keel at the bottom and a plastic welded spine at the bottom must be contributing to that as well. I tested the tracking in flat, calm water and it performed superb. When the broadside is facing wind, the kayak feels a teeny bit tippy. I have heard that this is more common with inflatable kayaks.
The seats attach to the kayak with two buckle straps and I tightened mine to make it near straight back sitting. After an hour or so, it was slightly uncomfortable. You might have to play with a few adjustments, aftermarket accessories if you want to go on a long trip. The rear seat touches the back ring of the kayak, so the person in the back seat is likely getting more support and is likely more comfortable. Any kayak, no matter whether hardshell or inflatable requires fiddling around with the seat to make it work best for you.
Packing & Storing
Note the way the kayak is folded when you first take it out of the carrying case. If you don’t, you might struggle quite a bit to put the kayak back in its case. For reference, this is how I fold it: The back side of the kayak folds a small fold, then the just folded portion is folded again over itself. Next, approach the kayak from the other edge. Fold the other edge on the main body. Now take the newly folded section and fold it over the rear side.
The fabric at the top, although nylon, is a woven nylon fabric which gives it great strength but also makes it retain some water. The fabric at the top and around the tubing will get wet. If you want the ease of an inflatable, that’s the big downside as you’ll need to wait for it to dry.
Setup and take down is relatively easy. Allow 30 minutes for each. Make sure it is dry before storing. The process takes some common sense in maintaining your investment. It will last many years if taken care of properly. It’s likely no different than the maintenance you might need on a 1 person pontoon boat.
Note: The AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak appears to be designed for calmer water as there are no footrests. It also does not come with paddles or pretty much anything else.
I am a whitewater kayaker and previously only had tried whitewater kayaks. I went through the whole novice phase where trying to paddle just turns you around and around – not to mention, extremely frustrating. White water kayaks are meant to spin very easily because you want to be able to maneuver your kayak really quickly when you are in the rapids or among rocks or other hazards. Speed is much less of a concern with a white water kayak since, well, the water is already moving, so you don’t need to paddle very hard.
AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak Features
- Built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern and improve tracking
- 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance
- Preassembled at the factory. Simply unfold, inflate and attach the seats
- High support, adjustable padded seats provides comfort for hours of paddling
- 3 seat locations allow for paddling solo or tandem
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible kayak is a 15-ft kayak that can be paddled solo or tandem. It features 2, adjustable padded back supports for comfortable seating durable, double-coated fabric. A dry storage compartment and bungee deck lacing allow you to take along your gear.
Bottom line: AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak Review
So I have had this boat for a little over 2 years now and have had some great experiences. First of all, this is high-quality boat and is built really well. There is plenty of space for 2 people or even 1 person and two kids or dogs etc. It tracks really well and is a pleasure to paddle on the water.
- great amount of space if your taking multiple people – not a problem to paddle alone but there may be better options
- design with outer shell seems perfect for durability – no problems at all to report
- paddles really well and tracks well
- setup is fairly easy – after the first time setup shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes
- storage is great as it fits into a large bag
- weight – even though fairly easy to store its pretty heavy to heft around
- drying it out after use is the only reason I cannot give five stars. A certain amount of water gets into the kayak and based on the design its very difficult to dry out unless you remove the inner part and dry seperate – once you do this putting everything back together is definitely a pain.
In conclusion I can highly recommend this boat but just be aware that even though setup is a breeze that drying out and preparing for storage is a bit of a project.