The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition is a 13 foot hybrid of a folding frame kayak and an inflatable kayak. There is plenty of on-board storage room for extended trips. It sets up in just a few minutes and is compact enough to take along on a weekend adventure. The increased length adds to the tracking performance and the improved shape increases the hull speed.
|Length:||13 ft / 3.96 m|
|Width:||32 in / 81.28 cm|
|Weight:||42 lb / 19.05 kg|
|Capacity:||450 lb / 204.12 kg|
|Number of Paddlers:||1 - Single/Solo|
With the Backbone, this kayak keeps pace with (and weighs the same as) hardshells in the same price range. It won't match expensive boats, but a typical 12' plastic sit-inside kayak feels very, very similar. The real pros & cons: Setup time with the backbone is a little under 10min with practice, tear-down is more like 5 - a little annoying, but you get used to it. Transport is incredibly convenient, especially if you DON'T use the bag. The interior doesn't have the same side legroom as hardshells due to the tubes, the footrest is so-so, and the seat is pretty good. A typical 230 paddle feels a bit short, but workable. The bladders have quite a bit of protection, so I think it would take a direct hit on something very pointy to actually cause trouble - but I wouldn't try it on purpose. The only real issue I have had is, when paddling hard, water can pool on the deck and run to the end of the zipper where it drips into the cockpit and then goes to the lowest spot in the boat: my b*tt. AE has added a riser in the Limited Edition Expedition to make the water run to the sides, and there are some DIY solutions I will be trying (the simplest being to prop a water bottle under the end of the zip). I'm happy with the performance (with the backbone) without the cost of a roof rack, and don't plan to upgrade until I hit the lottery and can blow a lot more cash.
We are sailboat owners and novice kayakers. Wanted kayaks which were easy to use and easy to transport by land and by boat. This kayak really fits the bill. Can be easily hauled in the car and fits nicely up in the v berth when not inflated. It is also super stable and tracks well. We use our kayaks on both rivers and inland ocean waters.