Posted by: airkayaks . | October 28, 2013

Sneak Preview: Columbia Tandem HB Inflatable Kayak from Aquaglide

As previously mentioned, Aquaglide, Inc of White Salmon, Washington is introducing a new line of inflatable kayaks for 2014. The Aquaglide product line consists of 12 models with MSRP pricing from $199.95 to $1099.95.

AirKayaks note: We now have a detailed Product Review on the current production version of the Columbia Tandem.

We recently obtained a prototype for the Columbia Two HB – a 15 foot long inflatable kayak designed for one or two paddlers, with extra space for gear, child or pet.

Columbia Tandem HP for 2+ paddlers

Designed for recreational touring and all-around use, the Columbia HB flagship series is constructed from a commercial grade Duratex hull material blended with a rugged 600 denier polyester.

Please note: this is a prototype version and some features may be updated for the production run.

First Look at the Columbia Tandem HB

This is a sleekly-designed kayak that feels rugged and remarkably firm. And despite its 15 foot length, is pretty lightweight – we weighed it in at 42 lbs.

The kayak features a 6+ PSI high-presssure “hard bottom (HB)” floor which – when coupled with the 3 PSI side chambers – provides rigidity and stability. A removable tracking fin and sculpted hull keeps the kayak on course.

Plenty of seat storage.

Front and rear spray guards are positioned to keep paddlers dry, each with ample bungee deck lacing for attaching gear.

The adjustable Pro-Formance seats feature an inflatable base and high backrest for paddling comfort. The back of each seat offers plenty of storage – mesh pockets, integrated fishing rod holders and removable beverage holder.

For the Columbia Tandem HB, a third removable “jumper seat” is provided for transporting kids.

Other nifty details include extra-long neoprene knuckle guards, military inflation valves, quick-release tracking fin system, molded handles, front foot rests and velcro paddle holders. Each kayak will come with an over-sized carrying bag with backstraps.

On the Water

My husband and I took out the Columbia Tandem HB for a short jaunt – the kayak paddles extremely well, tracks straight, feels solid and is ROOMY. The ability to easily move the foot braces is a plus. The velcro strip paddle holders are long enough to hold the paddles, and the seat allows you to sit high enough that knuckle-rub was not an issue.

Columbia Tandem HP paddled solo.

Each of us took the kayak out solo and once again, the kayak handled beautifully.

The kayak has enough interior space that I could easily see two adults and a child – or even child and small dog, or two small children – particularly with the weight capacity of 600 lbs.

Last of all – and not least – the kayak is very easy to fold up, and actually rolls up to a much smaller package than one would imagine possible.

Columbia Tandem HP Inflatable Kayak

All in all, the Columbia Tandem HB is a great inflatable kayak choice for those wanting good performance, stability, flexibility and lots of carrying capacity/storage space. MSRP is $1099.

There are two other sizes, and we look forward to seeing them. Further details can be seen in our original Columbia Inflatable Kayaks Sneak Preview.

The Columbia One HB is the 10.5 foot single version, weighing in at 36 lbs with a capacity of 300 lbs. MSRP $799

The Columbia Two HB is the 13.5 foot single or tandem version, weighing in at 43 lbs with a capacity of 400 lbs. MSRP $999.

Other Aquaglide models include the Deschutes – a high pressure all-purpose recreational design, in three sizes; the Klickitat – a high-pressure, whitewater self-bailer for for solo or tandem kayaking and the Chinook – an economically-priced, low-pressure recreational model in two sizes. The lineup is rounded out with two entry level inflatables – the Rogue diving/fishing model and the price-conscious Yakima. Aquaglide also offers the Cascade line – three inflatable SUPs ranging in size from 10 to 12.5 feet.

Stay tuned. We look forward to seeing the production runs, and will have details on each of the new inflatable kayak models as they arrive, which can be seen on the AirKayaks.com website – scheduled for January.

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