Quality inflatable kayak, fairly easy set up, stable, pure fun!
Note that I purchased this product on Austin Kayak as it was not
only the cheapest online but had a sale for 15% off all accessories
with the Kayak. I highly recommend getting a pair of kayak PFD's.
On top of free shipping, there is no sales tax if you are out of state
- triple win. In the days where Amazon is king, its cool to see
these guys as a big contender in the kayak world. The downside is
that ACK uses FedEx and 2 our of 3 shipments from them have
been late (No issue on ACK's part who have stellar customer
service but how outright terrible Fedex is.)
First thing I wanted to talk about is how beautiful this kayak is
when inflated. It doesn't look like a cheap inflatable but a real
product engineered for serious kayaking. I love it's intense orange
color and how everything (but the kayak bag) seems so well
thought-out and designed. I definitely feel that I am enjoying a
product that took years to refine to its current iteration.
I just completed my first 1.5 hour trip with this tandem kayak on a
fairly still, large lake with a couple of other kayaks, sailboats, and
the occasional speedboat. It was overall a pretty stellar, problem-
free experience. Kayak setup was straight forward as I’ve set it up
and took it down the previous day in my garage. I bought a
double-action pump with a gauge and essentially just eyeballed the
pressure of every part (I followed the PSI pressure guide the first
time in my garage so understand generally how "stiff" all the parts
should be.) I had no issues with buoyancy or tracking in the water.
Attached are some pics from the trip!
I am a beginner kayaker (only been a few times a few years ago)
but plan on working my way up to doing some protected ocean-
side trips. I purchased the backbone component but decided not to
use it my first time just to see what its like without it. I would say
if you are just going recreationally on calm lakes and calm waters,
you will not miss out a lot by not having the backbone — you go
plenty fast and track and turn decently enough, though I'm sure
with backbone support it would be even better (will update). The
backbone does come with a lot of scary warnings to be more gentle
with landings into sharp rocks or hard surfaces that the kayak
without the backbone can do no problem.
My girlfriend was initially afraid of getting in an "inflatable kayak"
but we found the kayak so stable loading, paddling, and unloading,
that even she quickly trusted the dependability of it. Our speed was
surprisingly fast on the lake, not as fast as the expensive 20-ft
single-person kayaks we saw but way faster than my brother's
inflatable boat with three-paddlers (pictured. Then again this
product costs 4x more than his inflatable). I found I could even
make decent speed with my partner on the front, not paddling.
- Any bad reviews I ever see of this product on Amazon or ACK
seem to due to lack of proper air pressure. You cannot use an
electric pump to get you all the way, it just can't output as much
PSI as you need. The Advanced Elements Double Action Inflatable
Kayak Pump (or any other similar double action pump) will get you
there quickly and easily. 10-15 mins setup as others have stated
is about right.
- As others say, the first time you pull this kayak out of the case
remember how its folded. You want to fold it exactly the same way
for problem-free pack up. Essentially you fold it in half length-wise
(making the kayak thinner) then you fold each end a 3rd in,
followed by a third more folding to fold it all the way.
- The first time I put this kayak in its bag, like others, I had a hard
time making it fit. Packing the kayak away the second time on the
other hand was super problem free and I even had room to fit tons
of accessories. The trick is to not only release the air out of all the
inlets but 1) Use your pump to ensure ALL the air is out before
packing up (most important) 2) Close the valves once the air is out
to ensure none gets back (less important but still useful, I am still
experimenting with this)
- The bag as everyone says, is totally useable and useful but using
the same material could have been constructed into a back pack or
something else easier to carry. If you have to carry this kayak
down the road to reach a launch point it may be useful to get a
foldaway cart for the bag as you will need to make a trip back to
your car anyways to put the pump and other stuff away.
Now that I have one successful trip on this kayak I plan on getting
the "Advanced Elements Rapid Up Sail" and eventually an
"Advanced Elements Double Deck Conversion" for protected bay /
ocean paddling. Will update this review with more trip experiences!
Overall, I couldn't ask for a better portable kayak, another happy
customer. Thanks Advanced Frame. Thanks ACK!
We bought this kayak for our vacation at Lake Tahoe. I was
impressed with it's size while in the storage bag. We were able to
easily fit it in our skybox for the trip. It was very easy to pump up
and get into the water, I do suggest a good double action pump.
Everyone in the family used it over the week and had a great time.
My wife and I took it on a 2 hr paddle out in deep water and it
tracked well and was stable. I was really impressed with ACK and
their customer service! We did not think we were going to get it on
time for our trip and ACK worked to get it to us! The
communication was great with calls every couple of days to let us
Excellent, get ready in 5 mins.
We have had great fun with our AE kayaks. They solve the
transportation and storage problems. They are durable. Contrary to the
negative reviewer, the backs are quite comfortable; just adjust the
I made the mistake of purchasing one of the Advanced Elements
AdvancedFrame convertible kayaks last year. My wife and I are
experienced hard shell kayakers, typically doing 25-30 miles a
weekend during the spring, summer and fall. Honestly, the Advanced
Element kayak is one of the worst purchases I have ever made. I've
had it out 3 times now and literally have not made it over 500 feet from
the shoreline without turning back. The seat provides absolutely no
back support, even though I have invested in the firmer, stiffer seat
with the inflatable lumbar support. I find myself nearly laying
backwards while trying to row. It's like constantly doing a situp in the
kayak and it's the most uncomfortable and awkward activity. In my
opinion, this is such a terrible piece of gear and so frustrating that I'm
honestly not sure whether I want to dump it cheap on Craigslist or
enjoy the satisfaction of slicing it to shreds with a box cutter. I am glad
that I didn't start kayaking with an Advanced Elements inflatable or I
would have never known how enjoyable this sport can be.
Bought this kayak for my wife
and I, and we love
it! Took us about 30 minutes
to set everything up
the first time including
double deck and
backbone, but after a couple
more trips, weve
got this done to 20 minutes,
and I expect we will
Extremely stable boat, tracks
really well and find
it quite comfortable Im 63 and
220lb. Took a
brief paddle soloing from the
rear seat as well,
and found it very easy to
control. The double deck
conversion does a great job
reducing the amount of
water in the boat.
I purchased the Advanced
Element after extensive
research I live in a Hotel my
job my partner
lives in a condo, the kayak
lives in the trunk of
her car with the paddles life
jackets pump etc.
We get in the car drive to a
lake or a river and
in 20 minutes we are on the
water, the stress is
all gone, last week we saw 4
bald eagles flying
over Cowan lake Cincinnati,
then an Osprey.
OK is it like a hard shell, No
its an inflatable!,
but its great for what i want
I paddle it goes in
that direction, tracking is
good speed also, but
it suits my purpose to a tee.
We beach it and 15 minutes
later its back in the
trunk and we are off , usually
to a restaurant to
eat, being outdoors sure makes
OK I know dry it out but at
the moment we Kayak
twice a week, and so far its
not been a problem. I
did get the deck, saves
getting wet it makes it a
bit tight getting in and out
but everything comes
at a cost.
Pumping it to the right
pressure is a learning
curve, but I am happy with my
purchase, trouble is
I am going to end up pimping
it out I know lol.
The rail system , waterproof
video camera, high
backed lumber seats, backbone,
oh dont forget the
cargo deck bag, foot brace,
kayak cart then the
spray skirt for the winter.
I wouldnt change it for the
world, OK a different
colour would be nice its a bit
like a kayak from a
Kayaking THIS since Summe
I have had this Kayak since
summer 2009 and i love
it. Its tough, i have hit
plenty of rocks and
rubbbed up against plenty of
and this kayak could care
less. Inflating take
about 10-15 mins if you space
off like i do. I use
a double pump to pump it up,
gives my shoulders a
nice warm up. Its heavy,
weighing in around 56
pounds i believe. It is
comfortable to ride around
for hours in this thing, it
can be converted
easily into a single user, but
here is where a
small problem starts.
Its easier to kayak with your
feet braced against
something, and if you are
sitting in the back you
got something to brace your
feet against, no
problems; but if you sit in
the front or convert
this into a single seat kayak,
you will have
problems because you will have
nothing to brace
your feet against. You will
need to buy the separate
footbrace available on this
site for $59,
trust me, I have had this
Kayak for 4 summers now.
I am 6 foot. The seats are
fine, but at times i
wish they were more
I hope i have been able to
provide what other
reviews are missing. I didnt
want to repeat
others, so this is an
alternative. Bottom line, I
love this Kayak.
Great kayak for beginners..
Very good for those who want
the convenience of packing it
up in a case and putting into
car to take on trips and not
having to worry about tying
down hard shell kayak. Easy
to pump up, deflate and fold
up. Highly reccomend
Love this kayak! Since purchasing it a month ago, my son and I have taken it out to the lake every weekend and even gone fishing from it. It is definitely worth getting the optional backbone...tracking is noticeably better. The complaints are few. It could use a footrest in the front (but got around that by putting a dry bag there instead) and water does accumulate on rough days in the bow and stern holders where the aluminum ribs are (which requires drying it out with a towel to avoid mold problems and probably not too big a problem if you have the optional deck/skirt)....but you can't beat the portability factor as others have mentioned.