Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak Review

Specifications

Set-Up
90%
Portability
70%
Durability
90%

Total Rating

On- Water Performance
80%
Gear Storage
100%
Comfort
90%
4.5/5

Pros

Cons

If you’re considering a new kayak purchase, it can be nigh-on-impossible to settle on a model you really like. No matter what you select, you’re giving up something. Offering conversion between a single-paddler and tandem experience, the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible AE1007  attempts to solve this problem.

Below, we’ll touch on the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible Tandem inflatable kayak
, its features, and how well it performs on the water. Without any further ado, let’s dive in!

Overview of the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak

Founded in 2005, the Advanced Elements brand was spearheaded by two inventors seeking to make a new kind of inflatable kayak. They wanted to craft an inflatable kayak without all the drawbacks, one that was not only convenient and portable, yet performed on-par with hardshell varieties.

Their idea spawned a whole line of Advanced Elements kayaks, which incorporated rigid aluminum components with multi-chamber inflatable hulls. The Advanced Elements convertible kayak is just one of the latest iterations from this lineage.

Specifications

The Advanced Elements tandem kayak features a rigid bow and stern, in addition to a multi-chambered hull, which offers improved transportability and performance on the water. Built for up to two paddlers, the kayak can switch from tandem to solo-touring mode via the adjustable seat positions.

The kayak is best-used for flatwater kayaking, considering its PVC-coated polyester hull construction. The triple-layered polyester hull is reinforced with a thick PVC coating, which offers improved puncture- and impact-resistance.

The rigid bow is reinforced through an aluminum frame design, which clips through the water with practiced ease. Better yet, the 15′ long kayak can carry up to 550 pounds of weight, using a tracking fin to provide better motion in the water.

Packed down, the deflated hull and all components measure just 35″ x 21″ x 12″ for easy transport. At 52 pounds, the Advanced Elements kayak rivals the weight and durability of comparable polyethylene kayaks.

best kayaks, best tandem kayak

 

Benefits

What catches most paddlers’ eyes about the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible inflatable kayak is that it is, well, convertible. The two-seat tandem kayak can quickly be converted into a solo-rider touring kayak simply by changing the seat position. The deck can also be converted from a sit-on-top to a sit-in kayak with two enclosed cockpits.

Yet that’s far from its only benefit.

Though the Advanced Elements Convertible kayak is inflatable, it handles and tracks with the grace of a hardshell kayak. The PVC-coated polyester hull is quite weighty, which allows the kayak to sit a little lower in the waterline than other inflatables.

Moreover, a molded, aluminum-reinforced bow cuts more easily through the water. Though it is lighter than a standard polyethylene kayak of the same size, the Advanced Elements kayak is suitable for sea touring or somewhat choppy conditions.

The aluminum-reinforced stern helps to further improve tracking performance, as the stern acts akin to a skeg. A built-in tracking fin also improves the maneuverability of the Advancedframe Convertible.

Owing to its sturdy construction, the Advanced Elements provides better than average durability compared to other inflatable kayaks. The triple-coated polyester hull is double-coated with PVC to offer excellent impact-, puncture-, and corrosion-resistance. With proper care, the dual-welded seams offer an even longer life.

This Advanced Elements kayak offers decent storage space, too. On-board, gear can be stowed in many positions on-deck. All that extra storage comes with accessories, like extra D-rings, bungee lacing, attachable mesh pockets, conversion decks for seating adjustment, and more.

All in all, the Advanced Elements inflatable kayak is rife with benefits for both solo and tandem paddlers alike.

Drawbacks

Yes, the Advanced Elements kayak is great, but it isn’t quite perfect. Let’s touch on a few of the biggest drawbacks below.

Most noticeably, this convertible kayak is more expensive than most inflatables. While inflatable kayaks are often selected for their budget-friendly pricing, this kayak’s price is much closer to a mid-range polyethylene kayak.

All of the extra features included with the Advanced Elements don’t come without an extra cost. Think carefully about whether you want to pair the convenience of an inflatable with the durability of a hard shell.

Another common complaint is that the Advanced Elements 2 person kayak is not very easy to carry. The hull lacks molded-in carry handles, which can make the top-heavy kayak a pain to portage. Moreover, the carry case is designed to make the folded-down kayak as compact as possible – this can make it arduous to shove your kayak into the tight bag.

Buyers should also know that this kayak doesn’t come with a paddle or pump. The manufacturers recommend inflating each chamber with your own 12 Volt electric pump and then topping off with a high-quality hand pump to get the right pressure.

Finally, buyers should note that the Advanced Elements kayak can take longer to dry than a hardshell variety. After a day on the water, it’s important to let the kayak dry fully before attempting to stow it in the carry case.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing

The Advanced Elements kayak does offer many neat features, but it isn’t best-suited for all paddlers. Carefully consider your own needs and what conditions you like to kayak in before making the purchase.

Is the Convertible Kayak For You?

Convertible kayaks have only become popular within the last ten years. In fact, it was the Advanced Elements brand that popularized the notion of kayak convertibility. Just like the name suggests, convertibles allow you to either ride solo or tandem through adjustable seat positions.

We recommend convertibles for any paddler that doesn’t want to fully commit to either a solo or a tandem kayak. Convertibles provide a rare degree of flexibility depending on the outing.

Buyers should keep in mind that convertibles can affect the comfort and durability of the seats. Adjustments made without proper care can cause wear and tear where the seat meets the hull.

If you only kayak alone, we recommend investing in a dedicated solo-rider model, which offers better durability guarantees. Comfortable seating is even more tantamount for those that kayak on long, multi-day expeditions.

Is this the Advanced Elements Kayak You Want?

The Advanced Elements brand offers several high-quality kayaks for all varieties of paddlers. Don’t settle on a convertible until you’ve at least considered the other types on offer. Among the most popular are the Sport, Expedition, and Lagoon 2 models.

The sit-in, recreational Sport model is just 10’5″ long, offering lightweight performance at just 26 pounds. It’s recommended for day touring on calm lakes, rivers, and streams.

Alternatively, the Expedition model is feature-fit for touring on unpredictable waters. At 13′ long, the Expedition provides a good blend of primary- and secondary-stability while providing spacious storage options.

Still want a tandem kayaking experience? Consider the Lagoon 2 kayak, a recreational model built for two paddlers to explore lakes, rivers, bays, and streams. Unlike other Advanced Elements kayaks, the lagoon 2 is built with a mix of PVC laminate and PVC tarpaulin to provide the best performance and durability guarantees.

Almost all Advanced Elements kayaks are made using the same multi-chamber, inflatable hull combined with aluminum rib-frame technology. The biggest performance differences are determined by the shape, size, and weight of the specific model.

Additionally, most Advanced Elements kayaks come chock-full of added accessories. Rudder mounts, inflatable coamings, spray skirts, bungee deck lacing, D-ring tie-downs, and attachable foot braces are all par for the course.

Advanced Elements Convertible

Features and Benefits

Set Up

Like any inflatable kayak, the Advancedframe Convertible kayak does require some thoughtful set-up to get working. The multi-chamber watercraft needs each hull component to be hand-pumped or electric-pumped separately.

It’s important not to under-inflate the boat. Once you get some experience, it takes – on average – ten minutes to fully set up out of the bag.

Portability

The Advanced Elements kayak is highly portable and comes with a carry case for stowing away after a long day out on the water. That said, some have had gripes with the portability of the kayak.

Namely, the carry case is very tight, which can make it frustrating to fit the kayak in. The case features small straps that make it difficult to hoist the bag comfortably on your shoulders when transporting the boat.

Still, the kayak does compress quite a bit when deflated. The kayak will not require you to own a shed or a car roof rack.

Durability

Compared to other inflatable varieties, the Advanced Elements kayak is surprisingly durable. The PVC-coated, triple-layered polyester frame is extremely puncture-resistant, which makes the kayak suitable for sea touring or maneuvering around obstacles.

Each stitch is reinforced through seam welding for the best performance guarantee. Many of the most sensitive components are reinforced by aluminum-ribbed framing, which provides extra weight and durability to the entire kayak.

On-Water Performance

The Advanced Elements convertible kayak is suitable for both day touring and expedition touring, owing to its heavy-weight and durable design. The fifteen-foot kayak provides a spacious open deck and is constructed with a flat-bottomed hull.

The kayak offers decent primary- and secondary-stability, meaning that it can navigate both calm water and sharp turns without any “tippiness”. Owing to its rigid rib-frame and aluminum skeg design, the kayak is suitable for expeditions that require better speed and tracking performance.

Ultimately, the kayak’s stability and durability guarantees make it excellent for exploring both flatwater and rougher open water conditions.

That said, we wouldn’t recommend this convertible kayak for the most skill-intensive tasks, like rough coastal kayaking and open ocean expedition. In this case, you’d be best served by a hardshell, high-performance touring kayak.

Gear Storage

The kayak offers enough storage space for a day of touring the water. A rear cargo hatch and mesh pocket offer flexible storage options for expedition-focused paddlers.

That said, we wouldn’t recommend the kayak for anglers that need to tote a lot of gear in their kayak. It does not offer quite as much storage as a traditional hardshell kayak.

Comfort

With high support, the Advanced Elements kayak offers customization for better comfort during long journeys. The padded, ergonomically designed seating provides for hours of comfort in intense conditions.

What Do Buyers Think?

We made sure to thoroughly search the web for any reviews on the Advanced Elements Convertible kayak. Below, we’ve hand-picked reviews that show off the most common customer reactions to the kayak.

“I am an experienced whitewater kayaker and had previously only tried whitewater models,” one reviewer mentioned. “After much research, I finally invested in this model. Not only was setting up very straightforward, but this kayak is, on the whole, exceptionally stable and consistent in paddling action. I was simply amazed by the tracking capability of this kayak, especially considering it’s inflatable.”

“I’m always worried about durability when I’m investing in an inflatable kayak. To my shock and surprise, gliding over razor-sharp shells on the Texas coast did not instantly pop this kayak – there wasn’t even a scratch on the hull,” another Amazon reviewer mentioned.

The Air Kayaks YouTube channel spoke about the ease with which the Advanced Elements convertible cuts through the water, which makes virtually every other expedition kayak “obsolete”. She lavished praise on the aluminum rib-frame design, stating that the kayak is suitable for both experts and beginners that want a safe, stable, and easy-to-use model.

Ultimately, buyers are pleased with their purchase of the Advanced Elements Convertible kayak. Most appreciate the competent blend of great tracking capability, stability, and extensibility of this model.

Alternatives to the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak

Not convinced the convertible is the right model for you? Don’t worry, we’ll touch on some other varieties you might be interested in. Make sure to factor in your primary concerns and motivations when perusing the list.

Advanced Frame Single

  • Triple Layered Polyester topped with 2 coats of PVC
  • This is a solo model 
  • 36 lbs 
  • 10′ 5″ Length
  • Weighs noticeably less than the convertible model
  • Only accommodates a single rider
  • Suitable for whitewater rafting in addition to touring

Advanced Frame Sport

  • Lightweight Single Version of the 
  • More than half the weight of the convertible model
  • Enclosed cockpit (sit-in) design is best for braving choppy water conditions
  • Easier to pump with fewer chambers than the convertible model

Sea Eagle Razorlite

  • Narrower build compared to the Convertible
  • 3 Inflatable Chambers
  • Significantly pricier than the vast majority of inflatables on the market
  • Made with full drop-stitch construction and rigid bow and stern for best performance

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the Advanced Elements Convertible kayak offers an impressive blend of tracking, stability, maneuverability, and speed on the water. We recommend the Convertible for flatwater conditions, rivers, lakes, inlets, and somewhat choppy conditions.

The Advanced Elements inflatable line is a signifier that inflatables are becoming more competitive and feature-rich every year. With patented rigid-bow tech and multi-chamber inflation, it won’t be long until inflatables perform on-par with hard shells.

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