125 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast but heavy
I bought a Convertible last year and used it twice, once on a lake and once on a river trip. It paddles fast and tracks straight and has plenty of leg and storage room with just me in it. The back seat was a little hard to recline in during lazy stretches of river but I got fairly comfortable. My chief complaints are the weight, around 60lbs, and the need to pull the...
Published on May 21, 2007 by Ron PA
39 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would be a good kayak, but tube not symmetrical
When I first received and unpacked this boat I was quite impressed with the design and quality. However, once I inflated it I noticed that there was a lot of slack in the fabric deck on the right side. Looking closer and per the manufacturers advice, I removed the tube to see what was going on. Measuring it, I found that the circumference of the tube on the right side was...
Published on May 18, 2010 by F. Atkinson
Most Helpful First | Newest First
125 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast but heavy,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)I bought a Convertible last year and used it twice, once on a lake and once on a river trip. It paddles fast and tracks straight and has plenty of leg and storage room with just me in it. The back seat was a little hard to recline in during lazy stretches of river but I got fairly comfortable. My chief complaints are the weight, around 60lbs, and the need to pull the floor out and the shell off to get it dried properly and then put it back together and deflate and fold it. But it's obviously a serious, heavy duty piece of equipment that should prove very durable and enjoyable if I don't throw out my back lugging it down to the water.
Edit--Two years and a dozen trips later and I'm still happy with this kayak. It's comfort and stability compared to canoes I float with make river trips doubly enjoyable as I fish out the gear floating downstream and ask how cold the water is while people right their canoes.
My Milwaukee V28 battery shop-vac makes inflating much faster, though I still need the pump to top off the pressure.
On a sandy shore I once removed the spreader bag and seats and put my sleeping bag inside for a cozy, though coffin-like, airbed.
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Both Worlds,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)This kayak is the best of both worlds- storable and usable. Yes, it is a bit heavy at 56lbs, but tracks well, is faster than you expect, and is a really good boat. Spent a week on Frenchman's bay in Maine in it and it handles wind, chop, and tides, and tracks very well. Not as knife cutting as a hardshell, but unless you're on a weeklong, open water, island hopping paddle, you won't notice. Extremely durable. Landed on beaches of mussel shells and rock weed and not a scratch.
Everyone came up to it skeptical and to a person walked away, if not impressed, then accepting that it is an actual kayak, not a pool toy. A few asked me if it was a Klepper until they got right up to it.
If you can't store a hardshell or want an extra kayak that you can throw in the trunk for friends, this is a great boat. For the extra fee you can also check it as luggage if you want to paddle in far off locales.
Time to inflate: 35 minutes the first time, 20 every time thereafter.
Time to deflate and pack (not including drying): 25 minutes.
What fits in the bag: Kayak, deck cover, seats, and paddles (4 section).
Must haves: The deck covers which tighten the line a bit and make it a really comfortable paddle.
This spring I caught a really sharp rock on a Virginia river. When we took the kayak out of the water I noticed a gash in the first layer of the bow of the kayak. No damage deeper, just the protective outer cover. I contacted AE to inquire about a solution. They immediately sent me a patch kit for free! Unbelievable customer service and still an amazing boat. If you're on the fence, jump. This boat rocks.
P.S. We took this with friends and it took the same amount of time for us to inflate as it did to unload and set up their kayak with their family gear.
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tandem kayak + accessories,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)We just purchased this kayak plus accessories and went on several paddles (river, large lakes, small lakes) in the Eastern Sierra. Here's a little review of each part we got (minus PFDs and paddles):
*The boat is great -- comfortable, sturdy, handled well, pretty easy to set up. It was a pain to clean at the end of our trip mostly because it's hard to dry it out well without fully disassembling it more than you otherwise ever have to. It would be more convenient to have a solid kayak for ease of getting going, but this one fits in the back of our subaru, in our garage, etc. It seems more versatile than other more raft-like inflatable kayaks which seem more appropriate to rivers (but I don't really know).
*The pump -- we got the Advanced Elements hand pump with gauge. The gauge was very useful for determining how much air to put in since it's not always intuitive. The dual-action hand pump is pretty fast and effective. We ended up replacing it because after a hot day in the car the air in the pump pushed the handle out, which was then pushed on by something else in our car, and it melted in an immovable position. Fortunately the brand-free knockoff at the local Rite-Aid was the exact same pump down to nearly matching packaging. So you could save some money by just starting with that.
*The optional zip-on deck: we used this sometimes, not with spray skirts but as a splash deck. Without it the person in back gets a lot of spray from the front person's paddle, and has no sun coverage on the legs. It makes almost no difference for the person in front.
*The stiffening bar: we used this on about half of our trips. It improves tracking, but we didn't have much trouble without it either. Probably most useful for travel on rivers with current or large lakes. The one pain is that it goes under the floor so you have to pull out the seats and floor to put it in and take it out each time you use it. Without it in you can just deflate the kayak, fold the whole thing in half or thirds and stuff it in the back of the car.
*Other: we did not use the bilge pump or kayak sponge we got because you float so high in an inflatable you don't really swamp with water (and you're at no risk of submerging even if you take on some water). But I suppose it's good to have these things. A tiny clip-on dry bag is a nice addition to this boat since the seat-back zipper compartments are pretty useless.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is it. Buy it and go. Take it and stow.,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)Ordered the Advanced Elements AirFrame Convertible. Ordered the drop stitch floor, just cuz, and the spray deck for two. Ordered several other accessories and such. Lots of money invested. Were we nervous? Yes. We ordered all that based on others reviews. A little risky. Were also interested in the Sea Eagle 385 but no reviews whatsoever from consumers. ?. Who needs that? Let me tell you we shopped this to DEATH. This is the best there is considering wt., capacity, width (do you really think you'll be comfortable paddling a 38" kayak), and price. Although don't be misled. If you get all the goodies not included with the boat (like pump and paddles for starters, $250.00 right there), you'll go by $1000.00 at a dead run.
Took it out on a lake. Had a lovely time. Came back nice and dry. Tracks well, doesn't blow around. Nice. Got a compliment on it. So we're one for one.
I would like to tell you a few things I wish I knew going in:
Airkayak is the outlet for Advanced Element products as far as we know. they're customer service is unbelievable.
Here in Central Florida it is next to impossible to find an air gauge for an inflatable kayak. Order it on the pump from Advanced Elements.During inflation make sure you are reading the gauge right. The black lines are usually Bars and it is the pink inner lines which are PSI.
There are two tubes they call the main chambers that go all the way around the kayak. These are the biggest to pump up and are no problem at all. About Thirty five pumps in each with a double action hand pump. You have to be careful because the two tubes share the same pocket and have to be pumped up equally. The valves are a breeze. Don't worry about that. No need for a car 12V pump. After the main chambers you have the floor which is much easier and then all the little stuff to pump up which is just a few pumps each. The whole process is very quick.
The spray decks zip on from the rear.
We received no manual with our boat, the drop stitch floor needs a separate adapter and no literature or repair kit came with it. So we had to print a manual online at AE and find out the PSI of the floor which is 7.
It is a little heavy, but like someone else said in a review, that's a good thing. You don't want a light weight. We bought a Coleman Canoe/Kayak transporter to take it down to the lake or river. Works great. Hard shells are heavier by the way.
Carlisle Rodeo paddles from Dick's Sporting Goods work great. 230cm. Fiberglass, light, larger paddle on the end. Two piece though.
Ordered the second foot rest for the front seat. My wife says it's great.
Like that little anchor AE sells. If you see a turtle swimming or something you want to watch, just drop anchor and pull yourself back to observe.
After you take it out of the water, just prop it up a little, wipe down the outside with a towel, remove the spray deck and seats, deflate (use your pump to aid in deflation), fold and stow. When folding make sure you keep the straight line straight. Folds real nice that way.
That's all I got for now. Remember, with gas prices on the rise, and renting a kayak at $20.00 a pop at least (and you have to be back at a certain time which ruins the whole experience), your saving a lot of money. The best things in life are free or at least the price of an AE Kayak.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)I looked at a lot of kayaks before buying this one and am very happy with my purchase. I had some experience in a hard shell kayak, but they were all out of my price range (especially the tandems). I wanted a kayak that would allow me to paddle solo or with a another person, I wanted a kayak that tracked well, and I wanted something that would break down in fit in the back of my car. This kayak is all those things.
Obviously the biggest drawback to this kayak is having to assemble and disassemble after every use (and every time you clean it). It only takes 5-10 minutes to inflate (even with a cheap hand pump) and even less to deflate. Taking it apart and cleaning it after every use has been the only downside. I mainly kayak in the ocean and also live in the Pacific Northwest, so I need to make sure everything is clean and dry when I pack it up.
It is important to fully inflate all chambers for ideal performance, but you dont want to over inflate or you might damage the kayak. This is why I ordered the Advanced Frame Dual Action Pump with Pressure Gauge, however, cheaper pumps work too. When I've gone solo in this kayak I noticed it sags a bit in the center (to be expected for an inflatable) and the sides of the fabric bow out and can start to collect water. I'm sure with the addition of a spray deck and the backbone this wont be an issue anymore.
I noticed a lot of people complaining about how heavy this kayak is and it is heavy (around 55 pounds) but it is just as heavy as a most hard shell kayaks. Another thing people said in reviews is that they were unable to get the kayak back in the duffel bag. I got mine back in just fine, all you have to do is make sure you get all the air out first.
To sum things up, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertable Kayak is an awesome kayak. It is ideal for people who dont want to spend the big bucks on a hard shell kayak and want something that they can fold up and stick in a duffel bag, while still getting the performance you would expect from a hard shell kayak.
Great price for a convertible kayak
Can easily fit in the backseat of your car
Made from high quality materials
Great tracking, cuts right through the water
Very stable on the water, even in choppy and windy conditions.
Inflating, deflating, and cleanup can be a chore
Spray decks and backbone needed for best performance (but not required)
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)a very nice kayak. Tracks straight and paddles fast. Tried it with my wife and 2 40lbs daughters - lots of fun. However, I also bought the backbone for extra rigidity.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)We purchased this kayak two weeks ago and just got back from our trip where we had our maiden voyage. First off, we are weekend RVers who are beginner kayakers. Our criteria was to find something that provides us with a solid kayak experience similar to a hardshell but with the added convenience of quick setup, tear down, and stowage in the belly of our class A.
The AE Kayak seems to fit nearly all of our criteria as our first run was a very pleasing first trip. The kayak is very durable and we felt very safe in it. Further, it is clear this kayak is capable of so much more than we plan to put it through and that is a comfort in itself. It is much lighter than a hard shell and required less effort to keep even with our friends who were working hard in their "plastic yellow banana"l. The kayak did have a little "side to side" movement but overall tracked very well. Even though it folds up into a bag the size of a large suitcase, the total weight of the kayak could be an issue if you plan to walk any decent distance without the assistance of a dolly. Set up is a breeze (probably 10minutes) but putting the kayak away is a bit more involved. As you'd expect, water collects in the bottom and it takes a little extra time to empty out, dry off, clean up, fold, and put away. The extra steps, by no fault of the kayak, had us still working on our kayak as our friends had stowed their hard shell and were watching with interest as we finished up. Despite that, having the ability to store the thing in the motorhome is a huge plus and more than makes up for the extra time spent packing up.
We chose the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak sight unseen and solely off of internet reviews. The online community did not let us down. We are pleased with the purchase and would do it again.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome . . . but turned me into an ounce-counter.,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)First off, I just want to say I was extremely skeptical before pulling the trigger and ordering this. I'd never owned a kayak, albeit had rented a few hardshells, and the thought of spending close to $600 on what could turn out to really just be an over-hyped pool toy was something I was a bit leery of. So, as you very likely will, I took the plunge, and honestly, it would be hard for me to be much happier with it. Having the ability to convert from a solo kayak to a double is really what appealed to me. Because if you're anything like I was, your friends were equally (if not more skeptical) that this really was just a pool toy, and this gives them an opportunity to test it out.
As for the review of the kayak itself, here's what I have to say: it's just about perfect for what it is, with a few minor caveats. Quality of materials is actually pretty decent, I've never really worried about gutting the bottom of this thing or having the deck punctured by a low-laying branch and wouldn't think twice about taking it out on the open ocean. Also, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, frankly I think it actually looks pretty good and apparently other people do too as I've actually gotten compliments on it. Solo, it's fast, which one would expect from a 15 foot kayak. Set up for tandem, it moves at an okay speed but from what I remember that tends to be the case will most tandem kayaks. You may have noticed, but the weight capacity on this thing is 550 lbs (although all the websites seem to say 500 lb for some reason.) As a result of this, solo or tandem, this thing can carry a large amount of gear. But speaking of weight, that's where we run into the primary issue I have with this thing.
To make an analogy in car terms, if the smaller kayaks Advanced Elements sells are lighter sports cars like a Mazda Miata, this thing's a Dodge Charger: big, fast, heavy. While quite quick in the water, the AdvancedFrame Convertible weighs in a 56 lbs. Of course, you know this already because you read it in the item's description above. What should also be considered is that if you buy the backbone (you should) and add it to the bag, the thing comes in at 62 lbs. Adding the decklid? Paddles? Air pump? Water for the trip? The pounds get quite a bit higher. A buddy of mine lives in a building with a doorman so I had it delivered to his place to make sure it didn't wander off my doorstoop, which meant I had to lug this thing back on the El train (Chicago.) Just bringing it home left me with a sore back for about a week. To put this in context, I'm a six foot tall male in his late 20's that weighs in at about 180 lbs. If you want to buy this thing strictly for solo use, I wouldn't really recommend it unless you're about 6'4" and around 240+. Of course, one also must put into context why it weighs so much: quality materials and the fact that this is 15 feet long and really intended for two people.
For the price, it's hard to get something of this high of quality while being any lighter. The price when I got it was $589 and it looks like they raised it to the above $629 at the beginning of 2012. For someone who was taking a chance on something that's quality was relatively unknown, that could have been a deal breaker. Plus when you factor in another $100 for the backbone, $150 total for the breakdown paddles, $120 total for both deck lids, and $80 for the Advanced Elements backback (which while you might not need for the smaller AE kayaks, I would highly recommend getting for this one) and you're nearing $1,100 without breaking a sweat. Also, if you buy this kayak and have to carry it several blocks, I would strongly recommend getting a cart for it, be it the one AE sells or something cheaper like the Magna Carte Elite 2. Just make sure whatever you buy the wheels are big enough you won't have to worry about it sinking into the mud and that it's compact enough that you can still strap it to the deck.
So in summary, this is great for what it is: a high quality, heavy duty convertible kayak that can be easily thrown into the trunk of a car and driven to the lake/river/ocean. If you are like me, live in and about a fairly high-density city and need to carry this thing a half mile to a mile from public transportation, this will definitely fit your needs however unless you are of herculean proportions, its heavy weight may make for an awkward trip to the water and you will probably need to get a cart to move it. However, if you are considering taking this hiking or simply know that under no circumstances you will need to fit a second person in the boat, I might suggest a smaller (read lighter) kayak.
But if you're on the fence, don't let the latter half of this review scare you off. To be truthfully honest? Thus far I'm more satisfied with this thing than my road bike.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic product,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)If you need a kayak that you can pack up in a suitcase and take it with you, then this is the one! The craftsmanship and material are excellent. I bought the backbone and have never used the kayak without it. I would recommend you get the backbone even though it probably adds several minutes to setup time. This kayak is ultra-stable. It would be very hard to turn it over in calm water. This was my first kayak and in about two hours I'll be exploring the Willamette Narrows in it. My wife and I use it in tandem mode. I will be purchasing the deck tops in the future, but the open double cockpit make it easy to learn how to enter a kayak for 60+ people. I was fortunate to get it from Amazon at the amazing price of $418.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use lots of fun!,
This review is from: Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak (Sports)OK - so I was a hardside kayaker for many years. I used to laugh at the "rubber duckies" (inflatable boats) out on the water. Then it hit me... no, literally, it hit me, my fiberglass kayak hit me in the head and knocked me out while loading it on my roof after a great day at the lake... Suddenly a harmless rubber raft looked really good.
I spent a lot of time researching before I bought the advanced elements tandem kayak. I wanted the sleek, aerodynamic design that this kayak offers but I also wanted something that lasts and is worth the investment. After trying a couple of different models I loved the advanced elements tandem and bought one. It handles beautifully, I added a skeg just to make sure it wouldn't track but I have never had a problem.
I love to blow peoples mind when I blow up a fabulous kayak with a foot pump in less than 10 minutes. Even better, I love the Rapid Up Sail... now that is kayaking! If you get an Advanced Elements Kayak, you need to get the Rapid Up Sail - it is like kayaking but 10x's as fun! I use my Advanced Elements Kayak all of the time, it is easy to load (no more head injuries), easy to dry out, easy to manuever and easy to enjoy. I bought a couple of different brands just to compare but Advanced Elements is the easiest to blow up, it is made of the best products, it is the most comfortable and it is the inflatable kayak that handles the best. The design of the bow and sidewales is far superior to any other kayak in this price range and will make all of the difference on the water.
The best part is that this kayak is so easy to pack and use that I literally kayak about twice as much as I used to - it so much easier now. Lets face it, gas prices aren't what they used to be and adding a couple of hardside kayaks to the roof on the SUV dragged my gas mileage into the $50-$75 a trip range ust to my local lakes, and about three times that to a special destination. Since I got the inflatable, I just throw it in the trunk and I am off- not even worried about gas mileage, no heavy lifting, no wrestling match to load and unload. I LOVE IT!
I fish from mine, I have taken it on lower level rapids, I have camped on it, we even did a wilderness campout by kayaking our gear in (I put that 400lbs limit to the test on that one!)
If you are reading this you are wasting precious time -go buy one and stop wasting time reading and start enjoying life~!!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak by ADVANCED ELEMENTS