Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
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- 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
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The Advanced frame convertible kayak is a fifteen foot kayak that can be paddled solo or tandem. With an open deck design, you can easily enter and exit the boat or utilize the optional single or double decks to convert your Advanced frame convertible from an open deck to a closed deck kayak in a matter of seconds. The design of this kayak combines our rigid bow and stern rib-frame design with the versatility of tandem or solo seating positions and interchangeable decks. Advanced frame convertible conversion decks - improved design: attach either optional conversion decks to make your Advanced frame convertible a closed deck solo or tandem kayak in a matter of seconds! newly re-designed, the single deck sports a series of d-rings with bungee deck lacing, arched deck riser aluminum stays, and a rear cargo hatch while the double deck has d-rings and a mesh pocket for enhanced gear stowage. Folded size is 35" x 21" x 12".
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However, taking a whitewater kayak in a lake is pretty much good for only two things: 1) An extremely good workout - since the kayaks simply do not want to go straight and 2) Practicing your skills in a safe environment without having to worry about hazards and currents.
My wife had been wanting to go on the water with me for a while now so I finally buckled down and bought this kayak (of course after researching the hell out of inflatable kayaks.) Friend kayakers had told me that Inflatable kayaks are in general stable and this kayak just delivers on the mark. I bought it with the double action pump and it worked pretty well. The kayak is pretty heavy - 56 lbs. I consider myself strong but trying to carry it in the case to the water was a bit of struggle. The reason is not that the weight. Rather, the carrying case is is like an oversize shopping bag - of course, zippered, so it is completely enclosed. 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 setup. One thing I had been dreading was pumping the kayak up. Surprisingly, the kayak barely requires 1-2 psi pressure when fully inflated, so the pump really pumps it up very quickly.
I did a water launch of the kayak i.e. take it in about calf deep water and then place your butt in the kayak. Then raise your legs and bring them in. My wife is not a kayaker and does not know swimming, so I was quite concerned with stability of the kayak. I suited her up in the life vest and had her sit in first in the rear seat. Boy, it was stable! She sat down with not an issue. I got in without any issues as well. I tried to rock the kayak, it does not rock much. Both Primary and Secondary stability of the kayak are excellent. Primary stability means when the kayak is sitting on water and you try to rock it a bit, does it become tippy whereas secondary stability means when the kayak is almost on its side, does it become tippy or tips over. Happy to say, I did not feel any tippiness at all.
Tracking: Tracking means when that when you are paddling, how well does the kayak move in a straight line. Coming from a white water world, I am really well versed with keeping a kayak straight (remember how I earlier said that white water kayaks DO NOT want to go straight and require skill to keep them moving in a particular direction). I was simply amazed at the tracking ability of this kayak. I mean after I paddled it for a few strokes and just let it go, it would go in exactly the direction that I left it at. No turning, no twisting whatsoever. Coming from the whitewater world, this just seems like magic. The fact that the kayak has a welded keel at the bottom and a plastic weldged spine at the bottom must be contributing to that as well. I tested the tracking in flat, calm water and it performed superb. Of course, if you try it in a windy place or otherwise moving water, it would affect the tracking.
I noticed while setting the kayak up that there is an aluminum backbone in both the tips of the kayak which keeps the tips sharp and help it cut through the water. It was not much work to make it travel through the water.
The seats are pretty OK. 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. As someone else mentioned, 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. Of course, this is a bit of nitpick. Any kayak, no matter whether hardshell or inflatable requires fiddling around with the seat to make it work best for you.
NOTE: I had read a few comments on how the instructions on how exactly to inflate the kayak are a bit unclear. I concur with those comments. So, the pump connects with the spring loaded air valves. What the instruction booklet does not make clear is that the central portion within the spring loaded air valves can be pushed with a finger and that you can actually turn it with a finger without grabbing it. No seriously, just push the central portion of the valve down and then just using pressure and friction, try to turn it left or right. It will turn. So, this central position has two positions, down and up. When the valve is up, you can pump air in and when you detach the pump, the kayak will hold air. If the valve is in down position, you can pump air, but as soon as you remove the pump, it immediately starts losing air. So lesson: when filling it up, keep the value in the up position and when you want to deflate, push the valve down and twist it with your fingertip till it gets stuck in the down position and it will let the air out.
NOTE: 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. Not sure if that helps, but that is the way I do it.
Now for the Cons:
- When the broadside is facing wind, the kayak feels a teeny bit tippy. I have heard that this is more common with inflatable kayaks. Even hardshells have it, but inflatables have it a bit more
- No footrest. Coming from whitewater, this was a bit of a shocker. In white water kayaking, your lower body is completely locked win the kayak. You are pressing a footrest with your foot and your knees are under extended portion of the kayak that covers your knees. Effectively, the point is to make sure that your lower body and the kayak behave as one unit, so you can control the kayak with purely your lower body. This kayak has no footrest. In fact there is quite a bit of space in front of your legs. I guess for flat water, it felt just fine, although if I want to take this in moving water, I would probably stuff something in front of my feet to have something to push on. There are no knee braces, but I guess if you buy the extra shell, you might have something like it.
- Water - Some water got in while paddling. Probably less than a cup or two but it did. This is not the kayak's fault. The kayak is open top so of course some water will splash in. I used the white water paddle with my kayak (they are a bit shorter and have wider blades) and no water splashed onto my wife. I read another reviewer's comment saying that it splashed water on the person in the rear, but I did not experience any such thing.
- Drying - Now, this was a chore. With my hardshells, I just lift them on my shoulder and twist and turn till I let all the water out and then I just have them sit in the garage while they dry out. The fabric at the top, although nylong, is a woven nylon fabric which gives it great strength but also makes it retain some water. So after I brought it home, I had to use a sponge to take out all excess water. The fabric at the top and around the tubing was wet, so I let a pedstal fan blow on it all night and it was dry in the morning. I have seen comments saying that they leave it outside for a while in the sun and it dries up. I leave in Pacific Northwest and this is not really an option for me most of the year. I guess this is the cost I will have to pay to get the flexibility of an inflatable.
I MUST really really complain about the carrying case again (by the way, the fabric of the case seems waterproof and is pretty solid). The issue is not just with this kayak but pretty much anything that comes with a case. The manufacturers try to save on the material to the degree that both taking the kayak out of the bag and putting it back in is a frikkin pain in the butt. I work up a small amount of sweat pushing it back in into the carrying case. I mean SERIOUSLY! I just paid $650+Tax for a kayak. If they would have taken care of making a case that was a few inches longer, I could actually have put the kayak back in easily. As is, it is like wrestling with a gator. It takes me and my wife both about 2-3 minutes pushing and shoving and pulling the case up to get it in.
Final observation: I am a big complainer when I don't like something, so please don't read the above comments as if I am trying to dissuade you from purchasing the kayak. This is an absolutely fantastic kayak. I love it and would not trade it for anything. The construction is rock solid. The fabric used is both aesthetically pleasing as as pretty strong. The canvas at the bottom inspires confidence. The fact that they thought over and have two tubes with separate valves that by themselves can keep the kayak afloat - so that in case one of the tubes fails, you can still get back is a testament to the marvelous engineering the folks at Advanced Elements did.
Overall, buy without hesitation but be ready to struggle with the wretched case.
This is a great looking kayak and tracks well. We will use it for sightseeing and fishing. Perfect for rivers, lakes and bays. I have no intention of using it in too severe conditions but would feel comfortable if those conditions arise.
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.
I really don't feel there are any negatives on this kayak. Some complain that it is heavy (53lbs) but that is a sign of its quality. I know my 14' Old Town canoe weighs in at 75 lbs. It may not be a speed demon, but it is not designed to be.
DURABILITY: I was most worried about durability questions when I first started my search. Inflatable kayaks are a little more durable than most people give them credit for. The second time I took this to the Texas coast I drifted over an oyster reef.... then I did it again:) To my amazement, the razor-sharp shells did not instantly pop my yak! There was not even a scratch on the hull.
PERFORMANCE: Alright. If your fishing, you will be ok. Advanced Elements offers different attachments that promise to upgrade the performance. I just bought the backbone attachment and I can't wait to try it!!
PUMPING IT UP: I hate being the dorky guy working a hand pump. If I'm being honest that is still probably the worst part of this rig. Get yourself a car adapted mattress pump. Blow up the main chambers. Then... just be confident in yourself as a man... and pump up the rest with the hand pump as fast as humanly possible. Then laugh to yourself as you paddle off to fish heaven, and think of all the poor souls straining their backs to manipulate their hardshells.
I had to return a 13ft., 100lbs., hardshell fishing kayak in February. It was a great kayak, but the mobility, or lack ther of, lead to my decision. I hurt my back, scratched my SUV, broke my roof rack, and simply did not have a pleasant experience. That lead me to inflatable kayaks. I've owned one inflatable kayak, but it looked like a pool toy. I was worried all inflatable kayaks looked and functioned that way. However, I started into higher quality inflatable kayaks and settled in on this specific kayak. I could not be happier. I love the length, control, speed, and look. I've taken this kayak on several trips to the coast, and have not been disappointed.
I will forever leave hardshell kayaks behind.
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Che dire, è stata una rivelazione.
Già maneggiandolo si vede la differenza abissale con gli altri, i materiali sono di un altro livello.
Si monta e si smonta in un attimo, i manuali sono in italiano ed è scritto TUTTO quel che c'è da sapere.
La chiglia rigida grazie ai profili di alluminio frontale e posteriore fanno si che tagli l'acqua in modo spettacolare, è incredibile quanto veloce possa andare pagaiando senza troppo sforzo.
E' davvero una lippa...va velocissimo!
Ci siamo divertiti davvero....non è il solito canotto travestito da Kayak!
Il trasporto senza carrello è possibile con facilità in 2 persone, l'anno prossimo compro il carrellino ed anche questa è risolta!
Se poi gli mettete il backbone si irrigidisce a tal punto che sembra davvero un kayak RIGIDO!
Secondo me un accessorio che val la pena è il doppio ponte che chiude sulle cerniere il kayak, per 2 motivi: il primo è che si "eliminano" le cerniere che servono x fissarlo a questo che se non si sta attenti possono graffiare, il secondo è che lo irrigidiscono lateralmente nel senso che non tende più in alcun modo ad aprirsi di lato quando si sale, non che sia Molto avvertibile ma c'è il problema, tanto è vero che il cuscino che è fissato con 2 "strappi" laterali tende ad uscire specie quando non è ben a pressione!
Cmq rimane un prodotto pazzesco, vale quel che costa.
Infatti ho potuto notare che anche con mare mosso NON si è MAI cappottato..peraltro impegnandoci per fare questa prova, non siamo riusciti in alcun modo a farlo girare....dunque è stabile, MOLTO STABILE!
L'unica cosa a cui dovete stare MOLTO attenti è la "pinna" di deriva posteriore che è in gomma dura e che inevitabilmente quando il kayak non è in acqua ma è poggiato sul duro tende a piegarsi a destra o a sinistra a seconda che il kayak sia riverso verso dx o sx.....perfettamente al centro non rimane....bisogna solo prestarci attenzione.....
Ecco se la pinna fosse estraibile sarebbe davvero MOLTO MEGLIO! Ma è così!
Okkio perchè è in gomma e tende a deformarsi.
Basta farci l'kkio quando lo si poggia sul duro.
Un consiglio, prendete anche la sua pompa con il manometro perchè è troppo pratico ed occhio alla conversione ATM e PSI del manometro....OKKIO che 1 ATM del manuale sono circa 2 PSI del manometro....
La pompa ha gli attacchi proprietari del kayak ed inoltre consente di gonfiarlo esattamente come è richiesto dal manuale nè più nè meno, molto importante visto che se esagerate si deforma....IRREPARABILMENTE
Dunque o avete un manometro o, come me, fate lo sforzo di tenere un altro gonfiatore....
Ultima nota, per lavarlo si smonta totalmente nelle sue 3 parti e lo potete lavare bene comodamente anche in una vasca...
Io vi consiglio COMUNQUE di smontarlo e lavarlo bene perchè dopo una sacco di tempo con la pompa dell'acqua, ho notato che c'era ancora sale tra la camera vera e propria e la prima protezione, quella con la cerniera
Questo è MOLTO importante se lo userete come me in mare e pensate di usarlo anche l'anno successivo....
Al lago credo sia una figata assurda visto che non c'è manco questo problema ed io lo trasporto comodamente con la sua sacca completo di TUTTO....questa sarà una prossima prova.
bought the backbone and it does add rigidity and better tracking
.sin duda es la mejor hinchable del mercado a mi me va de maravilla buenísima calidad un 10
It is easy to completely disassemble for drying and the seats make it more than comfortable.
I would easily recommend this kayak to anyone needing something for 2 people, and our Lab, but can't store a large kayak or canoe.
La qualità dei materiali alla vista e al tatto danno la netta sensazione di prodotti di alta qualità, se il materiale manterrà le iniziali premesse nel tempo è tutto da verificare.
La linea del kayak, perché di kayak trattasi, gli conferisce l'assoluta stabilità. Utilizzato con mare sensibilmente mosso , con forti correnti incontrate a diverse miglia dalla costa non si è riscontrato alcun problema permanendo la rassicurante sensazione di stabilità trasmessa dall'imbarcazione.
L' advanced palesa tutta la sua praticità quando consente ai canoisti, amanti di tuffi nel blu, di risalire agevolmente in canoa senza compire
Ovviamente gli accessori migliorano le performance del kayak. Indispensabile il punta piedi, necessaria la cover, suppongo utile il backbone, che mi accingo a comprare.
La miglioria che andrebbe portata, a mio modestissimo parere, è una più efficiente impermeabilizzazione del ponte di prua.
Un acquisto più che valido per coloro che amano vivere in un modo meno convenzionale mare ,lago e fiume.
Avendolo da poco tempo non ho ancora avuto modo di provarlo in tutte le situazioni ma per ora anche in mare agitato si è comportato molto bene.
Ad oggi soddisfatto dell'acquisto!!
Ottimo per l'escursione lacustre e marina (sottocosta, s'intende), è molto maneggevole, grazie anche alla profilatura affilata della prua dovuta al profilato di alluminio inserito internamente.
Il vantaggio di questo tipo di kayak rispetto a quelli rigidi è che te lo puoi portare dovunque, perché sta comodamente nel suo borsone e quindi in quasi qualsiasi bagagliaio.