Inflatable kayaks

I am doing a self guided trip down the Green River/ Deso-Gray Canyon.  I am renting a NRS Bandit II with the option to purchase if I like it.  No one is able to answer my question of what the Bandit II has for tie downs.  Someone else is picking up the boat from the outfitters and I would really like to know what to have for straps when I hit the put in (two hours from civilization).  Anybody out there have one?

Let me know how well you like it. My family and I went on a WW trip down the Nantahala with a group from my company (GE). We have been bitten with the WW bug big time. We’re looking for a couple of inflatable kayaks to go back as often as we can. I have looked at that kayak as well and would like to know how it handles. We’re looking for something to handle up to class 3, give or take. Thanks

asked NRS?
Have you called NRS? They have an excellent reputation for customer service.

Their web site says the Bandit II has three D-rings and no handles.

– Mark

I am looking very seriously
at the Sea Eagle Explorer 380. It is rated for class IV and less. and inflateable

sea eagle 380
Here’s a nice short review on the 380 from a fellow with an small fleet of inflatables.

speaking of inflatables…

– Last Updated: Aug-25-08 10:27 PM EST –

I see that you are looking at inflatables. I purchased an inflatable this past May. I have a Jeep and lifting anything onto the roof isn't possible. For one, I don't have a roof on my Jeep and two, I don't have the strength to do so. I looked into the Sea Eagle but wanted something that more closely resembled a classic kayak. IMO the Sea Eagle looks more like an inflatable boat then a kayak.

I purchased an Advanced Elements Advanced Frame. You can find about them at

I have to say that I've been VERY impressed with this kayak. It's affordable, easy to set up, quite lightweight and portable and best of all, it really does paddle and feel like a kayak. It can handle Class 2 rapids and I've been told that it'll do Class 3 as well.

I've taken my inflatable down all sorts of places, from narrow rivers to bays, lakes and in the ocean and it does great. It's comfortable, tracks well and I even manage to keep up with bigger, faster sea kayaks in my club. I had the leader of one club paddle compliment me on how well I kept up and another member kept commenting on "how well that little boat goes".

Advanced Element also offers an 13 foot version called the Expedition, which is a nice option if you want a longer boat. The Advanced Frame is 10.5 feet and great for day trips but doesn't have much cargo for overnight trips/camping, etc. The Expedition gives you more room. They also offer a tandem model as well.

At any rate, I highly recommend that you look into the Advanced Element kayaks. They are actually called "hybrids" because they are a combination of an inflatable and folding kayak. They have a frame and you can get an optional backbone that really improves tracking. This is one well made boat for the money.

I think it's much better than anything Sea Eagle offers and when folded in and in the bag it is very portable and only weighs about 38lbs for the smaller Advanced Frame and 42lbs for the larger Expedition. What I do is put it on the back of the cargo rack of my great!

Best of all, you won't have to wait for the price of gold to go up. These boats are half the price of the Sea Eagle. I paid $350 for my Advanced Frame and the Expedition runs about $500. I got them from a place called and can highly recommend them. Great service and the customer service from Advanced Elements is second to none as well.

There are several reveiws of the AE kayaks right here on if you are interested.

Aire has several models in various price ranges. Their Tomcat is one I have been looking at and is reasonably priced ($549 msrp single) but the Aire Force and XL are in the $1400 range but are supposed to be very close to hardshell in performance. 5 yr warranty on the Tomcat and 10 yrs on the Aire.

the Advanced frame
is a very pretty boat for sure. I would love either one but I weigh 315 pounds myself standing neked, and I want to take my boys along with me so I need the room and weight carrying capeabilities of something more stout. We also live in driving distance of the “Beast of the East” and the russell fork of the big sandy river which boasts of class IV-VI rapids, did anyone else laugh uncontroably when they heard “18 Wheels on a Big Rig” on Bob and Tom when the singer got to counting in roman numerals? Oh there’s I, II, III ,IV, V, VI, VII VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII wheels on a big rig, and theyre rollin rollin rollin rollin rollin rollin, I dont care who you are thats is dam funny!! Git er done! Thanks for the advice though.

Maytag…I have the AdvancedElements
Expedition which is their 13’ singe. It sounds like you need a tandem. If so, check out their StraitEdge II which is a darn fine product. However, Aire is an excellent all around white water kayak and may have a higher weight capacity due to larger tubes/bladders. Check around as I have seen the Aire’s on sale from time to time. NRS without question also makes a fine kayak. Have fun in that whitewater, if rocky…get a helmet, and make sure the pdf is on in case of a river baptism!

More info…
I found out the AE StraitEdge has 10" chambers (sides) and the Aire has 12" sides. The AE yak will track better due to it’s design with a V shaped bow. If strictly whitewater only…I would go with the Aire Tomcat. Hard to go wrong with either. Note: the AE kayak has the bladders enclosed and covered by heavy duty material (fully zippered) and you do need to open it up and dry it out after use or storage to prevent mold,etc. Not a big deal to wipe out with dry towel. While this outer skin gives added protection, there is a little more maintenance. Paddle each would be ideal. Good luck.