Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

A place to answer questions from newcomers.

Moderators: chrstjrn, mje, krudave

Post Reply
larryhughes

Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by larryhughes »

Hi everyone,

Would you all say it is safe to say that advanced elements have the best inflatable kayaks in 2015?

I believe they are, so my biggest concern is whether to get a tandem one or a solo one. I want to be able to take my wife out in the same kayak as me, but I also want to be able to take the kayak out by myself as well. Could anyone could confirm whether or not a tandem would work sell being solo.

More specifically, here are the two that that i am deciding between:
http://inflatablekayakreviews.org/advan ... ak-review/
http://inflatablekayakreviews.org/advan ... e-kayak-3/

They both have great support and based on everything that I have read, they seem to be built extremely well. I am looking forward to hear your responses! -thanks

User avatar
gbellware
lord high faltbotmeister
Posts: 924
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Location: atlanta, georgia

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by gbellware »

"Best" is always relative. In this case, it is relative to price.

http://shop.feathercraft.com/products/airo-double-naut/

g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

User avatar
tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1248
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Location: Anchorage Alaska

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by tsunamichuck »

larryhughes wrote:Hi everyone,

Would you all say it is safe to say that advanced elements have the best inflatable kayaks in 2015?

-thanks
No
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

mje
Site Admin
Posts: 1904
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by mje »

Most of the Advanced Element boats are relatively inexpensive boats of the sort sold in department stores and general outdoors stores. They do a have a few boats in the $800-900 range that are a step up in quality. They're good for what they are, but they're not in the same class as boats from AIRE, Feathercraft, Gumotex, Grabner, NRS, and other specialty inflatable kayak makers.

One of the big differences is in the strength (and cost) of the material used. Here's a good article that discusses the different fabrics and laminates used by the high-end inflatable makers:

https://apaddleinmypack.wordpress.com/2 ... materials/
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Jeremiah
faltbootemeister
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by Jeremiah »

Thanks Mike for providing the link discussing fabrics/laminates. It's a great read for anyone researching inflatable kayaks. Scroll down past the information on hull materials and there is info on tubeless and bladder designed boats. Go further into the page and you'll find information on various IK's, including two that have gotten some attention recently, the Feathercraft Aironaut and the Sea Eagle RazorLite.

berniem
faltbootemeister
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by berniem »

Larry
there have been good reviews on this website for the new Gumotex Seawave (http://www.boatpark.eu/search/?q=seawave), which can be used as a single or double.
Bernie
BernieM
Folbot Cooper, Pakboat Sport, Innova Sunny, Epic GPX, Oru Kayak, Wike Bicycle Trailer

kiwisailor

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by kiwisailor »

MJE, thanks for the "paddleinmypack" link.
Excellent site, most impressed with their trips.
Very thorough technical information on materials.
Professional quality Site production. Ended up spending HOURS trawling through Site.
Chris must have spent a lot of time on this.
Thanks again.
W.

User avatar
gbellware
lord high faltbotmeister
Posts: 924
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Location: atlanta, georgia

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by gbellware »

I had the good fortune of visiting Feathercraft this week and got to see how the Aironaut is made. It really is in a class by itself. It is a rigid, well-proportioned folding kayak that just so happens to be inflatable. i don't have any experience with other inflatables but this one is remarkable. Just my @.02.

g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

Jake
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 477
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Location: Coastal New Jersey

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by Jake »

Though I've been well pleased with my Kurrent 2.0, this winter may be the last where I'll have access to a rented condo with a secure garage where I can keep the boat fully assembled for the three months we spend on Florida's Gulf Coast. Without a secure place to keep the boat it'll mean assembling (and disassembling) each time I want to go out paddling for a few hours and though the Kurrent is the simplest and quickest to assemble of Feathercraft's SOF kayaks, it usually takes me about 40 minutes to get it on the water and also means finding a suitable platform, usually a picnic table, where I can get this done without having to scrabble around on the ground on hands and knees. With a prep time of less than ten minutes and a weight of just 19 pounds, I find the Aironaut a very appealing craft. It also looks like a paddler's boat with the level of performance that one doesn't usually associate with inflatable kayaks (disclaimer: I have never paddled an inflatable boat). I accept that its initial stability will be on the low end but, if I judge the hull configuration correctly, secondary stability is likely to be more than adaquate. I even find the Aironaut to have a certain esthetic panache. The open question then is that of durability. To make it amazingly light weight, Feathercraft fabricates the hull with 420 denier urethane coated nylon. My Kurrent 2.0 has a hull made of 840 denier polyurethane. When I ordered the Kurrent 2.0 rather than the more light weight original version, the deciding factor was the difference in hull durability. While I never intentionally put any boat in harm's way and always do my level best to keep the Kurrent away from sharp pointy things to the extent that I always use a paddle float to enter and exit the cockpit in knee deep water, one can't always see what might lurk just below the water's placid surface. Down in Florida it's said that there are two kinds of paddlers: those who have run up on an oyster reef and those who have not yet run up on an oyster reef. :) I consider myself fortunate to be in the latter group but a 420 denier hull might just be a bit too delicate. I'll have the winter to think it over.

User avatar
KerryOnKayaks
lord high faltbotmeister
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Perhaps you have determined that AE boats are optimal for your budget and expected use, but I'm afraid I have to join the others in refuting your "best" classification of Advanced Elements. Their models tend to be wide and have little to recommend themselves in the matter of performance. Yes, they are common and heavily marketed, but are mid-range at best in the inflatables market. Of course they have "5-star" reviews -- 99% of people who post kayak reviews are reporting on their first purchase and use of same -- kayaking is fun no matter what you are paddling and, honestly, the majority of reviewer have absolutely nothing to compare their new experience to. Take the reviews of any kayak with a grain of salt.

Advanced Elements are certainly a step up from flabby cheap craft like Sea Eagle and Sevylor, but not in the same class as higher end boats. I think most people would agree that Feathercraft makes the best sea touring models, the Java, Gemini and Aironaut. For whitewater there are a dozen companies who make pro grade models including Aire, NRS, Innova and Zoik. Even in the mid range rec boat and light touring class, I think the Aquaglide models with their stiff drop stitch floors, are probably superior in many ways to the AE models.

If I was going to buy a "Bag" boat to be used for both tandem and solo, I would invest in a Pakboat XT-16, which is a sort of hybrid skin-on-frame + inflatable that has separate spray decks for single and dual paddlers and an aluminum ladder frame with multiple inflatable side sponsons that keeps it rigid and fast. Or perhaps the Aquaglide Chelan HB Two that is designed for solo or tandem use. Yes, they are more costly, but in kayaks you really do get what you pay for.
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Curtis Lady Bug solo canoe
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

User avatar
chrstjrn
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1719
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Kansai, Japan

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by chrstjrn »

That post was 3.5 months ago, and he's never come back. Not sure whether he was a shill, or maybe something else.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig (in storage)
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previously: '04 Pakboat Puffin II, '05 Swift (prototype), '84 Hobie 16.

User avatar
KerryOnKayaks
lord high faltbotmeister
Posts: 631
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Best Inflatable Kayak in 2015

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Thanks for pointing that out. I've been busy (mostly paddling) the past few months and have not kept up with the forums much. The OP did have the whiff of a marketing shill to it.
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Curtis Lady Bug solo canoe
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

Post Reply

Return to “What boat for me?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users