I have been kayaking for the last two decades and for the last five years I have been using an inflatable kayak. However the inflatable kayak that I own now is a tandem kayak and I wanted a solo inflatable kayak that I could paddle myself and use for traveling, camping and in general just outdoor fun.
I knew from past research that there were quite a few great options for inflatable kayaks but in the end my extensive research finally led me to the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak.
What to Look for When Buying an Inflatable Kayak
I knew there were a few important things to keep in mind when buying an inflatable kayak. These are:
- The weight and dimensions of the kayak
- The load capacity and cargo capacity
- The quality of the material and rigidity
- The performance
- The set-up time
Hopefully what I have learned throughout my research will help you to choose a quality solo inflatable kayak. I will explain each of the points above in relation to the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak.
Photo from advancedelements.com.
Size Does Matter!
A solo inflatable kayak is convenient specifically because it is easy to pack up and transport just about anywhere you want to go.
Therefore the size as well as the weight of your inflatable kayak will make a big difference as to how easily transportable your kayak is.
The great thing about a solo inflatable kayak such as the Advanced Elements Advance Frame is that it only weighs 36 pounds.
This is great for a couple of reasons:
- It is light enough to be transported and carried by one person
- It is light enough to be checked onto an airplane without having to pay any extra fees
- It has enough weight not to get blown around by the wind (this can be an issue with some extremely lightweight inflatable kayaks
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame is 10 feet 5 inches long and 32 inches in width. These dimensions are also great for a couple of reasons:
- It is long enough to provide comfort, tracking and speed (shorter kayaks will not track as well or be able to glide through the water)
- The width is enough to provide good stability without being too wide as to affect the speed of the kayak
How Much Weight Should the Kayak Hold?
Load capacity can really vary between inflatable kayak models. How much you need the kayak to be able to hold will depend on your needs. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame has a load capacity of 300 lbs. This is quite good for a solo kayak as the majority have a lower cargo capacity and only a few have a higher weight load limit. A 300 lb. limit means that it can easily handle an adult with a fair amount of gear and still paddle at its peak performance.
As far as cargo capacity this inflatable kayak has some room inside the kayak around your legs and feet but there is also bungee deck lacing and D-ring tie downs so that it is possible to tie down cargo on top of the kayak. The cargo space is not huge but it is decent for day trips or short expeditions.
It’s All About the Quality
The quality of the inflatable kayak material makes a big difference not only in the overall performance of the kayak but also in the strength of the kayak. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak is constructed with PVC Tarpaulin with 1000 denier polyester out fabric, a 30-gauge PVC main chamber as well as a high density polyurethane-coated polyester inner cover.
PVC is one of the most common types of materials for inflatable kayaks. It is often used because:
- It maximizes the durability as well as the portability of the kayak
- It lasts for a very long time
- It is tear resistant
- It is easy to patch
- It is able to be welded which allows for more solid construction – as opposed to simply using glue
The negative to PVC is that over time it can be damaged by UV rays. A UV protectant spray can be used to extend the life of any inflatable kayak which can be bought at most boating stores.
Performance is Key
Inflatable kayaks are not known for being top performers. However in my experience an inflatable kayak such as the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame can paddle extremely well and the performance would likely shock any avid hard-shell kayaker. The good performance is due to three main reasons. These are:
- It has built-in aluminum ribs that define the bow and stern and improves tracking
- It has a skeg tracking fin which is essential for any inflatable kayak to track straight
- It has an optional backbone which can be added for extra rigidity – this is not essential but it does help to improve the performance of this kayak
I think it is fair to say that the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame inflatable kayak may not be the fastest kayak in the water but it will track well at a decent speed, be fun to paddle, and get you where you want to go in style.
Most inflatable kayaks have a fairly quick set-up time but the Advanced Elements Advance Frame is especially quick. It is simply a matter of taking the kayak out of its carrying bag, unfolding it, and inflating the three main air chambers. Then attach the foam seat and you are set to go. All in all it takes about 6 – 8 minutes.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
The price of the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame inflatable kayak can vary on different websites however you shouldn’t be paying any more than $425. The cheapest I have seen it is on Amazon who consistently sells it for just under $400.
- A foam seat – fairly comfortable with decent back support
- A repair kit
- Molded rubber handles for easy transport
- Advanced inflation valves – makes inflating really easy
- Carrying duffel bag – can be carried by one person and transported in trunk of car
- An optional spray skirt – gets attached to the cockpit coaming and provides extra protection for ocean kayaking
- An optional backbone for extra rigidity within the kayak – helps performance
Does It Include a Warranty?
Yes the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame includes a 1 year warranty.
What Others Are Saying
This inflatable kayak has received rave reviews from most consumers on the net with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from most reviewers on Amazon. Here are some of the comments to date:
- ”Great Recreational Kayak”
- ”A Convenient Pleasure”
- ”A great product!!!”
- ”Easy and portable!”
- ”Best money I spent all summer”
- ”Exceeded my expectations”
Photo by Robert P. Lange from Amazon.com
I found very few complaints for this inflatable kayak on consumer sites around the internet. One consumer did express concern that it is difficult to dry out after kayaking. This can be rectified by bringing along a towel or two to help speed up the drying process (I always do this anyway with my inflatable kayak).
Where Can You Buy the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak?
You can buy this inflatable kayak from Amazon. At the moment they include free shipping and from what I can tell when comparing prices with other online merchants, Amazon do currently have the best deal especially with the free shipping option. Click here to view on Amazon.
Where Can You Read More Reviews for the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak?
The best place for reviews from people who actually use the product is Amazon. Click here to read more.