Which advanced elements inflatable?

i am looking at getting an inflatable kayak once i get a job this summer. i will not be able to afford a decent car until the fall and i do not want to buy a rack for my first car that probably wont be sticking around for long. for this summer i can pull a trailer with my bike to haul the kayak, 4 piece paddle, and any other gear. i am trying to make a decision between 3 different kayaks from the same line.

the advanced elements advanced frame 10’5"


a longer version of the last one with more features. 13’0"


or the 2 person version that can be converted for 1-2. 15’0"


the 2 person would be good if i ever want to take a friend who has no boat with me.

the expedition and 2 seater would be good if i ever go camping in minnesota’s BWCA.

and the first kayak is lightest and cheapest.

i was wondering if the extra cost is worth it, and if a 56lbs 15’0" kayak would be a drag to paddle alone.

i plan to use it for exercise and recreation on lakes, slow calm rivers, and lake superior which is comparable to the ocean at times.

At minimum wage do you think that the extra cost will be a big difference?

thanks for the help.

Comfort in a Kayak
…is based on your size vs. the kayak…I own the larger single-cockpit “Expedition” model, but I am 6’5" and 220lbs…AND I need to roll down the inflatable flooring to get a comfortable fit for my feet.

Another thing is weight…bigger boat = more pounds and bigger pack size…remember, if you’re going to be biking the pack for a while you need to include weight of your PFD, paddle, safety equip, drinking water, food, dry clothes, back-up paddle, etc…(more if you’re overnighting)…these things add up.

down to 2
i do not think i will go for the 2 seater after all. i was asking about the 13’ one over the 10’5" one because i heard longer kayaks are faster and generally better for open lakes and slow rivers. the thing is it costs 150$ more than the 10’5" model so i was wondering if the extra 2’7" is worth it for performance and storage if i ever camp in the BWCA. although i probably wont be camping without my parents and their canoe for a few years.

If you want a chance at keeping pace
with a 16-18 foot canoe, go with the longer boat (you will still struggle to keep up, just a bit less). The extra length will be well worth it, even in an inflatable boat.

Also, the overall dimensions of IK’s are deceiving, because the tubes take up quite a bit of space. I believe you will be hard-pressed to get anything larger than a day pack in the shorter boat.

checkout the AE website forums
I looked at getting an Advanced Elements inflatable for a while, but decided I’d probably beat it up too much.

I’d highly recommend reading through the forums on the Advanced Elements website, just to get a good idea of other people’s experiences.

Note: I’m not suggesting anything negative here, I realize it might sound that way. I’m just saying, that when I was looking at buying one, I found reading through the AE forums was very informative. I felt that I was able to know all the in’s & out’s and pro’s & con’s from doing so.

in the future when i graduate in a year and get a car that will last a while, and a steady job then i will most likely go for a hardshell kayak and a roof rack, but until then i will have to stick to ones that can be hauled in a trailer on a bike, or inside a car safely. i would go for a folding kayak but they cost an arm and a leg, and i could get a good first car for the price of most of them. i am serious about getting into kayaking, i just have limitations currently.

Advanced Frame
Hi, I’ve paddled both the Advanced Frame (10.5) and the Expedition (13) and my favorite between the two is the Expedition. It’s very comfortable, tracks straight and can carry enough gear for a weekend of camping.

However, given your situation, especially since you plan to bike the kayak, my advice would be to go for the 10.5 advanced frame. This is still a great boat and you’ll appreciate the weight difference on your bike. It’s harder to pack enough gear into for an overnight though.

Another option that you may want to consider is to look around for a used Innova kayak, especially a Solar. This is about the lightest capable inflatable kayak going.

I have a blog on inflatable kayaks and some opinions on different boats if you’re interested


good luck

Very nice site!

kayak width
i have been told that the width of the advanced elements kayaks is too wide and a large hinderence. is it really that bad. i’m not sure because the guy considered 26" to wide.

No, it’s really not that bad. Nor is it really bad in the wind, as many people claim. The only real issues you’re going to face with starting out in an inflatable are:

Virtually no glide…you’ll get a better workout paddling an inflatable than you will a hardshell!

Speed. You won’t be able to keep up any paddlers in hardshells. You’ll probably be able to keep up with shorter rec boats.

Drying…these boats are a bit of a pain to dry out after a paddle.


folding kayaks
and would these issues be eliminated with a folding kayak? and if so, is there a way for me to get a decent folding kayak under 600$?

short answer - no. Though I have seen some used 2 person Kleppers going for $800 around here recently.

Most of these issues would be eliminated with a folder, but take into consideration you’ll be spending at least 45 minutes assembling and disassembling every time you want to take it out. The AE sets up in 10 minutes.

I think your original plan is a good one. If you want to get out on the water and build some experience, an inflatable is a good place to start. Then, when your circumstances change, get the hardshell and sell the inflatable (or keep it as a guest boat).

good idea
that sounds like a good plan. and i think if it is affordable i will go for the expedition because it is better and it only weighs 6 more pounds than the 10’5" kayak. 6 pounds is not much more weight to haul. i will be towing my kayak and gear in a bike trailer so it wont be hurting my shoulders or throwing off my center of gravity.

There are people hauling hardshell kayaks on bike trailers. If you go to the buyers guide, there is probably one on there but they are not hard to build or modify an existing trailer. Check with the school shop teacher for help.

wouldnt it be a little long?

– Last Updated: May-02-08 7:43 PM EST –

wouldnt a 13' trailer be a little large to haul behind a bike?

i just looked at the only trailer i could find and it costs 300$

is it really worth it so i can have a hardshell kayak?

i would absolutely love to have one but a kayak is expensive enough considering i need to get a car and pay insurance. at minimum wage if i get good hours i could probably afford it and still manage to get a car before the snow comes back, because even with steel studded tires, biking in the snow is not fun when it is 10 degrees out and your going 20mph. if you dress warm you bake with body heat, and if you dress light you freeze.

kayak options
what do you think of these kayaks?



is it a good brand? and can a spray skirt be attached to that shape of cockpit? i will only be buying this if i can afford the kayak and a 300$ trailer along with a paddle and anything else i need.

other options?
are there any other options that perform decently that cost 400$ or less. i want a cockpit, no open kayaks, and i would like it to have decent tracking. i do not want to buy a short whitewater kayak because i will be on lakes, slow rivers, and possibly offshore in lake superior which is basically like the ocean without the salt, but just as wavy. if there are not any then i may go with the inflatable and then upgrade to a hardshell once i buy a car, because i do not necessarily need a roof rack for 1 kayak. and once i upgrade, if i got a second paddle i would have a kayak for a friend or for travel. i can not say for sure what my budget will be until i get a job and figure out what hours i’ll have and what i’ll be payed.

Necky makes good boats. Buy the
longest you can afford.Length = speed and all us guys , or most anyway, like speed.

it looks like i will be sticking to an advanced elements inflatable. i will probably go for the shorter one unless i am making a good enough amount of money this summer. i am now trying to decide on a paddle. the shorter kayak is 34" wide!! i am 6 feet tall with a 26" torso (while seated from floor to shoulder) and my arm span is 6 feet. i am getting a kayak to get into shape, so i do not think i will be doing any top speed vigorous paddling until i am in good shape, and by then i will probably be ready to get a new paddle. i am thinking about this one http://www.rei.com/product/750879

any reccomendations of other paddles, also feel free to reccomend length, and later this month i am going to a demo and then i can give input about my paddling style because i have only paddled a canoe before.