This past month, Advanced Elements of Benicia, California, released information on their new two-person inflatable kayak model, the 13-ft AdvancedFrame 2.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame 2 inflatable kayak

Available in limited quantities, the AdvancedFrame 2 combines features from several current models. The kayak is a lightweight and compact version of the popular Convertible kayak, yet features more open seating and a higher 450 lb weight capacity than the Lagoon 2. A large cockpit opening similar to that found on the Advanced Elements Sport, allows for easy entry and exit.

The AdvancedFrame 2 contains the same aluminum rib inserts, deck-lacing, d-rings, paddle holders, materials and construction as the other models in the AdvancedFrame series, yet combines some features from the Lagoon 2 – such as a closed cell foam floor and inflatable seat bases – and integrated PVC fishing rod holders as found on the StraitEdge kayaks.


  • Dimensions: 13 ft long by 32 inches wide
  • Carrying Capacity:450 lbs
  • Weight: Approximately 40 lbs.
  • Two military valves and four twistlok valves

The AE1009-A2 AdvancedFrame 2 is a great choice for lakes and mild rivers, to bays and estuaries. The kayak comes with two seats, instructions, repair kit, double action pump, fishing rod holders and carrying case.

The kayak can also be purchased as the AdvancedFrame 2 DS with a high pressure 4-6 PSI floor, for better paddling and greater rigidity.

The new 13 ft AE1009-A2 AdvancedFrame2 tandem inflatable kayak is in transit and scheduled to be available October 15th.

Street price is $599 for the standard version or $785 for the high-pressure DS version; both come with the AE2009 compact double action hand pump. For more details or to purchase, visit the AdvancedFrame 2 or AdvancedFrame 2 DS product pages at You can also contact us at 707-998-0135, or ask to get on the Notification List.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 10, 2017

Closeout Sale on 2017 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Boards

AirKayaks is pleased to announce a special purchase of remaining 2017 Red Paddle Co inflatable standup paddle boards, now 10 to 15% off.

Considered the number one inflatable paddle board, Red Paddle’s SUPS are known for their ruggedness, featuring quadruple rail construction, double layering, thick traction pads and fins. Each board comes with the Red Paddle Titan pump, allowing one to inflate a paddle board to 18 PSI in less than 10 minutes.

In 2017, Red Paddle SUPs racked up a number of accolades including Gear of the Year from both Backpacker Magazine and Men’s Journal. The newly-introduced Sport 11’3 was named Outside Magazine’s 2017 Board of the Year and the Digital Trends “2017 Best Recreation Gear of the Year” award went to Red Paddle’s Ride 10-6 inflatable SUP.

2017 Red Paddle Co Product Lineup

The 2017 line featured 22 models with the addition of five new boards in the U.S. – the 10’7″ Windsurf, the Sport 11’3, the Race 14′ and the multi-paddler Ride L and Dragon.

In anticipation of the new product line for 2018 – expected to hit the market in late November – AirKayaks is clearing out the inventory. Now is your chance to get one of the best inflatable SUPs on the market, with prices ranging from $939 to $1529. The incredibly popular Ride 10-6 is now $1169, the Sport 11 is now $1299, while the Elite 12-6 is at an all-time low of $1389.

If that isn’t enough, AirKayaks is throwing in a free adjustable, breakdown SUP paddle – a $63.95 to $199 value. Check out the remaining available inventory on the Red Paddle Co product pages on – but don’t hesitate. When they’re gone …. they’re gone.

Each board comes with the rugged Titan hand pump, cell phone case, repair kit, instructions and wheeled roller backpack. Not sure which one is right for you? See our 2017 Guide to Choosing Your Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board.  Or, give us a call at 707-998-0135, email or visit the website at

Up to 15% off, free paddle, free shipping in the continental US and no US tax – what are you waiting for!


At this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, Advanced Elements unveiled their 2018 inflatable kayak product line with announcement of the new AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite – a redesigned version of the AdvancedFrame Sport, weighing in at a minimalist 17.5 lbs.

The AdvancedFrame Ultralite joins the AE1042 AirFusion EVO as one of two new models for next season.

Advanced Elements AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite

Roughly 15 years ago, Advanced Elements launched the AdvancedFrame line, beginning with the original 10′ 5″ AdvancedFrame (then called the AirFrame) followed by the Convertible, Expedition and Sport. Each iteration saw both major and subtle improvements, culminating in a seasoned line known for quality and performance.

Key to the line is the aluminum rib frame found in the bow and stern, allowing the kayaks to easily slice through the water.

Advanced Elements AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite - top view

At 10 feet 5 inches in length, the new AdvancdFrame Ultralite has the same footprint and larger cockpit-opening as the longstanding AE1017 Sport. As with the Sport, the AF Ultralite comes with the more rigid high-backed seat, integrated fin and front bungee deck lacing.

What sets it apart is a series of redesigns and tweaks.

To begin with, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite hull is constructed from a lighter-weight ripstop material upper with a polyurethane tarpauline underside. Left and right bladders are also made of a lightweight – yet rugged – polyurethane rather than PVC. Both bladder covers on the AdvancedFrame Ultralite feature open ends without a zipper, allowing the bladders to be pulled out for cleaning or replacement.

Instead of the traditional low-pressure PVC floor, the AF Ultralite sports a foam floor similar to that found in the Lagoon series. To compensate, the high-backed seat features a 1.5 inch EVA closed cell foam seat base.

The switch to open bladder cover, foam floor, polyurethane bladders and polyurethane tarpaulin hull provide most of the weight savings, making the AdvancedFrame Ultralite roughly 10 lbs lighter than the Sport, and nearly half the weight of the AdvancedFrame.

Other features include a thin aluminum bar riser (as found on the Expedition Elite) and cross bar (as found on the AirFusion) which together provide a pitched deck, allowing water to run off. A second set of bungee deck lacing is found on the rear deck upper.

According to Ryan Pugh, designer at Advanced Elements, the AF Ultralite provides a more portable option that still features the performance of the AdvancedFrame series. “The kayak feels just as stable as the AdvancedFrame and paddles just as well as the Sport.”

Backpack carrying case.

With that focus on portability, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite also comes with Advanced Elements new backpack/duffel bag with removable back straps as currently included with the Expedition Elite.

While the AdvancedFrame Ultralite can utilize many of the optional Advanced Elements accessories, it can not be used with the spray skirts, dropstitch floor or backbone.

The AdvancedFrame Ultralite will appeal to adventurous souls looking for a performance-oriented kayak with a more back-packable design as well as paddlers with physical disabilities requiring lighter-weight options and easier entry.

Advanced Elements AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite


  • Dimensions: 10’5″ length, 32 inches width
    Weight: 17.5 lbs kayak
    Payload: 225 lbs

The AE3022-G AdvancedFrame Ultralite has an MSRP of $649, and will be available in Spring, 2018. For more details, watch our website at, or contact us to get on the Notification list.

At the recent 2017 Outdoor Retailers Show in Utah, Advanced Elements debuted one of their cutting edge new models for 2018 – the high-pressure AirFusion EVO inflatable kayak with dropstitch bladders.

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO Inflatable Kayak

Nearly six years ago, Advanced Elements debuted the original AirFusion kayak – an inflatable hybrid designed to rival the handling and speed of skin-on-frame kayaks. The AirFusion was unique in that it featured a blended design of aluminum alloy frame poles and pressurized air tubes, resulting in a high performance rigid frame system.

The original design was followed three years later by the AE1041 AirFusion Elite. The Elite featured a streamlined set up procedure with fewer poles, a wider beam of 28″ and an integrated rear storage hatch.

The new, patented AE1042 AirFusion EVO design kicks that up a notch, with high-pressure, left and right drop-stitch side chambers which can be inflated from 6 to 10 PSI. Drop-stitch (DS) material is the same used in the inflatable paddle board market, where thousands of threads string the top and bottom panels together, allowing it to be pumped up to higher pressures, thus making it more rigid.

According to Ryan Pugh, designer at Advanced Elements, the leading factor in developing the EVO was to keep improving on the AirFusion design, maximizing performance and simplifying setup. The EVO features 6 inflation chambers (two side chambers, booster seat, two thwarts and the coaming tube) versus four side chambers in the previous model.  The DS tubes are removable, allowing one to replace just a part – rather than the entire kayak shell – if ever needed.

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO Inflatable Kayak - Cross Section

As the DS chambers are more rigid, the kayak is less finicky to set up – originally, one had to air up the kayak slowly, reposition chambers and then top it off. According to Ryan, the EVO is much simpler – just install the poles, air up and go.

In the case of the AirFusion EVO, the DS material on the side chambers also creates a narrower profile without decreasing the interior width. The EVO as currently designed is 24 inches wide.

Additionally, an extra “DS booster” chamber on the seat base, keeps one off the floor.

The outer shell is now constructed from a polyurethane tarpaulin, which – in conjunction with the DS side chambers – gives a smoother finish, increased rigidity and a more hydrodynamic outline.

The EVO still features three aluminum ribs on the floor and under the hull, providing a sculpted look as well as a v-shaped keel, which aids in slicing through the water.

Other features incorporated from the prior models include a foam floor, integrated storage hatch, bungee deck lacing, coaming tube for attaching a skirt, two landing plates, lower seat back and the ability to use an optional tracking fin.

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO Inflatable Kayak

How does it handle on the water? According to Ryan, “It paddles great. I took out a sample earlier this spring and it handles nicely, glides through the water. I didn’t notice any change in stability with the width reduction. In fact, I felt it only improved the way the kayak paddles.”


  • Length – 13 feet
  • Width – 24 inches
  • Weight – 32 lbs.
  • Carrying capacity – 235 lbs
  • Folded size – 35 x 21 x 9 inches
  • Inflation Chambers – 6 including the seat base.

Price: $1199, availability Spring 2018.

For more details, stay tuned to the website at You can also Contact Us to get on the Notification List.

During July’s 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Show, Red Paddle Co unveiled their super 2018 inflatable SUP product line, once again showing what makes the company stand out from the pack.

One new model for 2018 is the Voyager Tandem 15’0.” Billed as a multi-person touring and long-distance exploring workhorse, the Voyager Tandem is an ultra-sleek beast capable of carrying 2 to 3 paddlers. With a whopping 8-inch (200mm) thickness and a 34 inch beam, the Voyager 2 logically fills the gap between solo paddling and “party barges” such as the 17-foot Red Paddle Co Ride XL for up to 8 paddlers.

Two “deck pads” with side handles allow paddlers to position themselves on the board for optimum paddling, while two sets of bungee-deck lacing with d-rings provide ample storage space for camping gear. Three more carry handles – fore, aft and center for a total of seven – provide numerous carrying configurations and more spots to attach gear.

The new Voyager Tandem features the high-level of construction and materials that paddlers have come to expect from Red Paddle Co – advanced Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion technology, heat-treated seams, layered rail tape and premium inflation valves. The MSL technology creates a highly durable board – both lighter weight and rigid – capable of being pumped up to high pressures. For ease in setup, two military valves allow two people to pump up the board at the same time.

The Voyager Tandem offers a myriad of paddling stances for those that like to travel together – from “both standup paddling” to both sitting/kneeling or one paddling and the other “along for the voyage.” The board is capable of carrying a ton of camping equipment, or remove one cargo section and bring along a small child or canine companion.

The Voyager Tandem comes in a slightly enlarged Red Paddle Original All-Terrain Backpack replete with two pumps – a Titan dual barrel pump as well as an HP pump – repair kit, removable US Box fin and bonus cell-phone case.

MSRP is $1999, making it a more economical choice for those who enjoy paddling together, rather than buying two individual boards.

The Voyager Tandem 15’0″ will be available in late 2017. Stay tuned for more info, or email AirKayaks to get on the notification list.


At last summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, Advanced Elements unveiled the next generation in the Expedition series – the Expedition Elite. As long-time fans of the original yellow model – and the subsequent blue Limited Edition – we were impressed with the Elite’s feature enhancements.

Advanced Elements Expedition Elite high pressure kayak

Earlier this spring the Elite hit the West Coast, and we managed to grab one before our first shipment sold out – not to worry, we have more. Here are details on the Expedition Elite AE1009XE, a 13 foot inflatable weighing in at roughly 42 lbs.

Getting Started with the Expedition Elite Inflatable Kayak

The box as received measures 34 x 21 x 11 inches with a weight of 57 lbs.

What's in the box.

Inside is a new, backpack-style carrying case measuring 36 x 16 x 11 inches which contains the kayak body, high-backed lumbar seat, aluminum deck riser, rear thwart, repair kit, foot brace and instructions (these are located in a pocket inside the carrying case) . The repair kit, screw-on adaptor and floor adaptor are located in the mesh pocket behind the seat. The kayak with seat weighs 44.5 lbs, or 48 lbs in the pack.

The kayak folded size is approximately 31 x 16 x 10 inches, leaving just enough room to store a pump and breakdown paddle (not included) if folded properly.

Unfold the kayak.

First step, unfold the kayak. As with all the AdvancedFrame models, the Expedition Elite features an “inner rib” in the bow and stern, which is basically a u-shaped aluminum rib, about one foot long and one-half inch wide.

This comes “pre-assembled” meaning it arrives already inserted into two sleeves inside the kayak cover. Unless you remove the inner bladder, they remain in position. When the kayak is pumped up, the inner bladder with rib presses against the kayak cover – that, in conjunction with two bow and stern plastic sheets, give the kayak a sharp silhouette which aids in slicing through the water.

The Expedition Elite kayak features 11 inflation chambers – three military valves (main chambers and floor) and 8 smaller twist-loks (4 deck lifts, 2 coaming tubes, thwart and seat).

Adaptors for Boston valve, screw-on military, and high pressure floor.

Each Expedition Elite comes with a screw-on adaptor (center image, found in the repair kit in the mesh pocket behind the seat) which locks onto many pumps with pin/slot hose fittings. Additionally, a standard Boston valve adaptor (left image) will friction fit directly into the valve opening. A separate adaptor is also included for the high pressure floor (right image).

Twit valve plunger to inflate position

First step, turn the military valve to the inflate position. The military-style plunger valves are simple to use – twist one way to inflate (UP position) and the other to deflate (DOWN position).

Attach the hose to the valve

Attach the screw-on adaptor to your pump and then couple it to the first main chamber, located on the rear hull. While there is not a pressure gauge included with the kayak, the adaptor features a “lip” that pushes open the spring plunger, allowing a pump gauge to read the back-pressure; if using the Boston valve adaptor, most gauges will only register as you are inflating (needle will go up and down).

Pumping up the first chamber.

Pump up the first chamber until it begins to fill out. Unlike many other brands, the AdvancedFrame series of kayaks features an inner and outer chamber, with a floating “interior wall.” By pumping up the first chamber partly, you “center” the inner wall – this took about 40 full strokes with a double action hand pump.

Check the side tubes to make sure they are even within the cover, and check the floor to see if it is still centered. Then pump up the second chamber, located inside the kayak behind the seat, until firm to touch (2 PSI), once again centering everything as needed – this took another 30 to 35 pumps. Screw on the black wing nut caps so the plungers aren’t accidentally twisted open later.

Pumping up the second chamber

Next, pump up the floor from 4 to 6 PSI, using the high-pressure floor adaptor, which friction fits onto the Boston valve adaptor located on most pumps (slightly conical nozzle about 1/2 inch in diameter); it may be easier to open the back hatch to access the floor valve. It took about 35 strokes to hit nearly 6 PSI. Replace the valve cap. At this point, make sure to tether your extra adaptors to your pump, so they aren’t lost. In a pinch, you can duct tape the Boston valve adaptor to the floor valve, creating enough vacuum to pump it up.

At this time we want to point out that there are two velcro strips inside the kayak cover which hold the main tubes in place. Occasionally, the tubes shift initially, making the kayak appear lopsided. If this happens, deflate the kayak, then take two sheets of paper and insert between the velcro and tube. Pump up the kayak slowly, repositioning the tubes until even. Once everything is centered, remove the sheets of paper and let the velcro “fall where it may.”

Locating the decklift pockets

Next install the aluminum deck riser. Open up the front zipper slightly (pull back the velcro zipper lips to do this), and you will find two webbed pockets on each side tube – you may need to disconnect the “quick clips” on the bungee.

Here we veer slightly from the instructions. Now is the best time to attach the foot brace, as the deck is open and it is easier to access. This consists of a series of six loops and buckles which can be varied to accommodate your paddling style and height. The photo above shows the same foot brace, but in an earlier model. At first you may want to guess at the appropriate position and after your first test paddle, you can adjust accordingly. Clip both sides around the loops.

Installing the decklift

Now the deck bar. Locate the two sleeves (positioned roughly under the cover near the top of the neoprene knuckleguards and by the cover seam). Pull the cover nearly closed, and find the sleeves again “by feel.” Insert each side of the bar into the sleeves, curved side facing up. Then pull the zipper fully shut carefully (never exert forceful pressure), close the zipper lips and reclip, also reclipping any bungee clips opened.

Pumping up the deck lifts.

Now, move onto the two coaming areas that run around the cockpit and the four deck lifts inside the kayak “shoulders.” The coaming tubes and deck lifts “sculpt” the body so that water has a tendency to run off – and not into – the kayak. The coaming tubes also allow one to attach an optional spray skirt.

Using the twistlock valve.

Each of these should be inflated to 1 PSI – basically one or two full strokes each chamber are enough. Using the same Boston valve adaptor, fit it OVER the twistlok valve on the coaming tube. Pump this up until fairly firm (1 PSI) but there should be slight give when depressed. You can also use your mouth to blow these smaller chambers up, if easier.

Inflating the thwart

We now come to the thwart – while it is not mentioned in the instruction manual, the directions are printed on the hang tag attached to the rear kayak handle.

Installing the thwart

Pump up the twistlok valve until firm and then stuff the thwart between the two side chambers, under the kayak cover behind the seat position.

Inflating the seat

Inflate the final twist lock valve on the seat, for lumbar support. The valve tube is extra long, allowing one to inflate or deflate while paddling.

Attaching the seat

Then attach the seat by clipping the two straps into the appropriate side clips.

Installing the plastic sleeves

Next, insert the two plastic sheets into the bow and stern sleeves.

Sling over one's shoulder to carry.

That’s it – less than 10 minutes and you’re done!

About Drop Stitch Floor Technology

The term “drop stitch” is a method of construction which allows for much higher inflation and pressures than a standard PVC floor.

PVC floor chamber vs. drop stitch floor

In a standard PVC floor (as shown above), long “I-Beams” run the length of the floor, connecting the floor ceiling to bottom. This allows the floor to maintain a fairly uniform thickness, but if one of the I-Beams pops (due to over-inflation) the floor will become more like a blob.

Rigidity of drop stitch floor versus standard Convertible PVC floor

With drop stitch construction (shown above on the Convertible drop stitch floor), thousands of tiny threads connect both the top and bottom layers, creating a stronger link that can withstand much higher pressures. Higher pressures make for a more rigid floor, which can enhance paddling performance. This is the technology used in inflatable SUP paddle boards. The image below is from an Airis Inflatable Sport Kayak showing the interior drop stitching.

Airis Inflatable Sport window showing the drop stitch threads

Features and Specifications of the AE1009XE Expedition Elite

The AE1009XE Expedition Elite consists of three layers. Inflatable PVC bladders are housed in a zippering fabric cover, allowing the bladders to be replaced if necessary. The covered bladders sit inside the kayak outer shell.

Rugged nylon ripstop material

The kayak upper is comprised of 600 denier polyester/PVC laminate.

The hull is a rugged, puncture-resistant PVC tarpaulin with electronically welded seams, reinforced nose, integrated 2.5 x 7.5 inch tracking fin and 16-inch landing plate.

Molded rubber handle

There are two molded rubber carrying handles (bow and stern), but it is fairly simple to carry by hooking the side of the kayak over your shoulder.

Two plastic sheets in the bow and stern – in conjunction with the interior aluminum ribs – provide added structure and rigidity.

Bungee decklacing

Bungee deck lacing in the bow (measuring 16 inches deep and tapering from 18 to 9 inches wide) includes 4 d-rings (two each side and now with larger openings for easier handling) and quick release clips, allowing one to add on various dry packs and gear – or to attach a nifty Rapidup downwind sail! The d-rings are located 16 by 12 to 20 inches deep. Both the d-rings and deck lacing system begins 42 inches from the bow.

The foot brace consists of a foam-covered bar with side straps and clips. There are a series of 6 loops on each side of the kayak main chamber – by passing each brace side strap through the loop and clipping shut, the bar allows you to “brace” your feet, aiding in paddling power. With the seat moved all the way back, the brace can be set from 26 to 41 inches (in increments of 3 inches) from the seat back. The straps can also be loosened another 3 inches – so, lots of flexibility for paddler sizes!

Rear coaming

The 33 x 15 inch cockpit area features two inflatable coaming tubes to keep water from running in.

Locating the deck lift pockets

A front center zipper can open up an additional 40 inches for easier entry or for those interested in a more open feeling. Velcro “zipper lips” and clip ensure the front zipper remains closed, so water doesn’t drip in. The coaming area has a perimeter of roughly 92 inches.

Velcro knuckleguard and paddle holder

Neoprene padded knuckle guards (measuring 27 x 6.5 inches) cover both sides, preventing knuckle abrasion when paddling.

Velcro paddleholder

There are two sets of velcro paddleholders, one set on each side, allowing one to fasten the paddle along a side, or across the bow. The paddle holders are located 57 and 97 inches from the snout.

The high-backed padded lumbar seat features adjustable side straps which quickly clip into position while rear stiffening rods create a comfortable option for those needing a bit extra back support than the standard seat offers. The seat back has an inflatable bladder with an extra long 36 inch TwistLok hose, allowing you to change the support level from 1-5 inches while kayaking! In addition, a side zipper allows you to open and move the bladder up or down until you “hit the right spot.”

A gusseted, mesh pocket is located on the seat back; this houses the repair kit, screw-on adaptor and floor adaptor. The seat can be adjusted about 10 inches in location. Seat back dimensions are 17 inches tall, with a seat base 18 inches wide and 14 inches deep.

Interior thwart

An inflatable thwart measuring 16 x 9 x 7 inches aids in spreading the side chambers apart, as well as providing some “deck lift” to aid in water run off. This can be removed if more storage space is needed.

Integrated storage hatch

Approximately 5 inches behing the seating well is an integrated storage hatch with velcro hatch cover and handle; the opening measures 9 x 15 inches.

Integrated storage hatch

Gear can be stored inside, then simply roll the “neck” down 2 or 3 times, clip shut and velcro-seal the cover. (AirKayaks note: The well behind the seat is not sealed, thus if water gets into the kayak, your gear can still get wet. Put valuables into dry sacks or ziplocks if concerned.)

Rear d-rings

Four more d-rings can be found on the rear deck, spaced 11-15 inches by 10 inches deep, and beginning 21 inches from the seat back.

Backpack carrying case.

The traditional Advanced Elements carrying case has been updated, now coming with two adjustable shoulder straps, allowing one to use it as a backpack. There are also two top carrying handles. Bag size is a generous 36 x 16 x 11 inches and looks like it will house a pump and paddle. This comes standard with the Expedition Elite and the new Angler Pro.

The Expedition Elite comes with a rear rudder cap, allowing one to install the optional AdvancedTrak Rudder System.

Expedition Elite

We took measurements. The kayak inflated is approximately 156 inches long (13 feet) and 32 inches wide. The side bladders are roughly 8 inches in diameter, making a well about 7.5 inches deep with the deck lifts; this increases to 9″ with the deck bar. Interior dimensions are approximately 96 inches long by 17 inches wide.

When the seat is positioned roughly 6 inches from the back of the coaming area, there is approximately 64 inches from the seat back to the inner tip. With the thwart installed, storage area behind the seat is about 6 inches, creating a rear storage well of 21 inches deep by 14 inches wide (tapering down) and 7 inches high. By removing the thwart, one gains another 9 inches of depth.

On the kayak upper, there is approximately 66 inches from the bow to the cockpit opening, and 54 inches from the back of the seating well to the stern. In this position, there is 33 inches for the paddler to reach the deck lacing, approximately 15 inches to the storage hatch, and 29 inches to reach the rear d-rings.

The seat can be moved up about 7 inches and back 5 inches.

Weight limitations are 450 lbs for one person and gear.

Advanced Elements Expedition Elite on the Water

Having previously owned the standard Expedition (and now the happy owner of an AE1044 AdvancedFrameDS XL), I was quite familiar with the kayak’s capabilities as well as the high pressure floor – the Expedition Elite handles beautifully and is rugged and stable.

Expedition Elite on the water.

For my height (5’4”) the kayak is very comfortable and fairly easy to carry solo (as long as the wind is down!)

Rigid enough to stand up.

While the high pressure floor can be slightly hard to sit on after a while, it does provide added stability, rigidity and paddling performance – I was even able to stand-up, albeit shortly. (AirKayaks tip: adding a kneeling pad or foam seat under the seat will soften the ride.)

Easy to access rear compartment

The positioning of the integrated storage hatch – located just behind the seat – makes it much easier to access gear, as one no longer has to take down the seat to reach the rear storage area, while the added thwart does help prevent water from pooling behind the seat.

Expedition Elite on the water.

At 6’ 2”, my husband finds the Expedition to be infinitely more comfortable than the 10.5 foot AE1012 AdvancedFrame.  As a rule of thumb, taller and long-legged paddlers over 6 feet will probably be happiest in longer kayaks such as the AE1044DS AdvancedFrame DS XL or Expedition Elite. The deck riser – in conjunction with the foot brace- gives some extra foot room for larger paddlers and makes the kayak feel more spacious. That said, my husband did mention that his feet would sometimes hit the kayak cover, so suggested thin water shoes.

Over the years, I’ve taken out many of the AdvancedFrame series in all types of weather, from calm water to swells. They have battled the elements, been dragged on rocky beaches, scraped through shallow water and hauled around in a pickup truck. I’ve been out in short jaunts and 10-12 mile treks. In fact our friend Lee Johnson has put over 5000 miles of paddling on his vintage Expedition.

Bottom Line on the Advanced Elements AE1009XE Expedition Elite:

The Expedition Elite AE1009XE is a great all-around kayak.

Introduced in 2007 as the “big sibling” to the popular AE1012 AdvancedFrame (image of standard Expedition, above), over the past 9 years Advanced Elements has tweaked the design, resulting in a high-quality inflatable kayak that is comfortable, paddles well, looks good and is quite stable. It is able to handle lakes, Class I to II rapids, inlets, bays and coastal ocean. Numerous optional accessories – such as spray skirts, rapidup sail, rudder system – can enhance the paddling experience and performance.

The introduction of the Limited Edition Expedition in 2016 featured another jump in added features with the new deck riser, integrated storage hatch, paddleholders, slightly widened silhouette and high pressure floor.

Expedition Elite on the water.

The new Expedition Elite completes the evolution with the inclusion of the dropstitch floor, which truly enhances the performance, stability and rigidity without the complexities of the backbone. It’s a winner.

Expedition Elite on the water.

The Expedition Elite is a great multi-purpose kayak for people of many ages and experience levels. Novices and first-time users will be on the water in no time, while experienced paddlers will find the portability and paddling performance enticing. The longer length provides more real estate for taller paddlers, while extensive storage capacity makes it a great choice for multi-day trips.

Fits in the trunk of a car.

Headed off on vacation? The updated backpack/carrying case is rugged enough to check as baggage, and is also easier to haul down to the launch site, or for other travel. The compact size can easily fit in a car trunk or RV.

Street price: $779. For more information, or to purchase, see the Expedition Elite Product Page on or watch our YouTube video, below, on the original AE1009 Expedition. We’ll be coming out with the Expedition Elite AE1009XE video shortly.

Posted by: airkayaks | June 26, 2017

Sale! 20% Off AquaGlide Kayaks, Paddle Boards & Gear

AquaGlide’s Super Labor Day 20% Off Sale starts September 1st.

AquaGlide Chelan HB Tandem XL Inflatable Kayak paddled solo

Get 20% off all in-stock AquaGlide inflatable kayaks, paddle boards and gear during the Super Labor Day Sale from September 1st through September 8th.

Blackfoot Angler SUP on the water

Shop early for the best selection, with kayaks priced at $183.95 to $103.95 and paddle boards as low as $559. 95. No tax and free US shipping via UPS ground on orders over $398.

AquaGlide Panther inflatable kayak

Visit the AquaGlide product pages at for details or to purchase.


Posted by: airkayaks | June 23, 2017

Free Carbon Breakdown Paddle with 2017 Red Paddle Co SUPS

Check out AirKayaks’ Super Summer Sales over the next couple of weeks!

For a limited time, purchase a 2017 Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle board and get a FREE Accent MAX Carbon adjustable breakdown paddle ($199 value).  With the longest shaft length of 36 inches, the paddle easily fits in the Red Paddle Co wheeled backpack.

Add in the included Titan dual action handpump, the roller backpack and included cell phone case, and you’re ready to take your Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP anywhere you want to go.

AirKayaks also has some remaining 2016 inventory at 25% to 30% off , including the Sport 11, Sport 12’6, Explorer 12’6 and Explorer 13’2 from $999 to $1239.

See the Red Paddle Co product pages at for details or to purchase.



The increased popularity of high-pressure inflatables – and the increased pressure needed for inflatable paddle boards – has launched a quest for easy inflation. Almost daily, we field calls from people who want easier and quicker pump options, so they can spend less time on the beach, and more on the water.

A while ago, we published our popular Guide to High Pressure Inflatable Pumps. Since then, more options have become available.

AquaGLide Turbo HP Pump

Recently we received our first shipment of Aquaglide’s 12-Volt 2-Stage Turbo HP Pumps, which bills itself as capable of inflating from 1 to 20 PSI. The Turbo HP is a fairly diminutive size, measuring 12 x 5 x 6 inches and weighing in at 3 lbs 5 oz. The pump includes a 4 foot long, rugged, non-kink hose with two adaptors – an HR-style military adaptor and a screw-on adaptor.

As most of our inflatable kayaks run 1 to 6 PSI, and our inflatable paddle boards run 12 to 18 PSI, this seemed a good option. Best of all, it works off a car power point-cigarette lighter, but also includes alligator clips for direct connection to car or boat battery.

Using the AquaGlide 12V Turbo HP Pump

As our previous tests were done with a Red Paddle 18-PSI Surfer 10’0″, we opted for a Red Paddle Ride 9-8 which we had in our boat building – a pretty similar size and volume of 196 liters.

AquaGlide 12V Turbo HP Electric Pump

Instructions are pretty basic. First, connect the HR-adaptor to the hose end, and screw the hose onto the pump. Initially, it was tough to couple as the o-ring material is stiff. We pushed hard and were able to make the connection. Turn on the car battery (not the motor) and plug the connector into the car power point. Dial in the desired PSI – in this case we opted for 18 PSI, and hit the on button.

The initial (first) stage was fairly quiet. By one minute, the board was totally unfurled, then it jumped to Turbo mode (2nd stage) and became louder. We timed the inflation. At 3 minutes the board was at 5 PSI, 4 minutes to 7 PSI, 6 minutes to 11 PSI, 8 minutes to 14 PSI, 9 minutes to 15 PSI. At 10 minutes, 29 seconds, the motor shut off after reaching 18 PSI.

Timing the inflation

We tried to carefully twist off the hose, and it nearly blew us off. We managed to re-make the connection, and re-pumped it to 15 PSI. Through trial and error, we found that slowly twisting off the hose would lose air. If we quickly pulled off the hose – by pushing/twisting and popping off – it came off easily. So practice a little first. We did use a K-Pump quick check valve. We inflated the board to 11 PSI, lost a little air twisting it off, and read 10 PSI with the Kwik-Chek – so running fairly close.

We re-read our initial review on the Ride 9-8, and found it took us just over 200 pumps and roughly 5 minutes to manually reach 15 PSI with a hand pump.  All-in-all, not bad!

HR and Boston valve adaptors

The military valve adaptor couples with Halkey-Roberts valves, which are utilized by many board and kayak manufacturers. This will fit on Red Paddle Boards, C4-Waterman, Mistral, JP Australia, Advanced Elements boards, Airis and of course, AquaGlide. Since the end of the hose uses a pin system, you can use other proprietary adaptors, as long as your fitting will slip onto the pump hose end. Innova kayaks come with an adaptor that friction fits onto a Boston valve adaptor. This comes standard on many of the hand/foot pumps. As long as you can attach the Boston valve (BV) adaptor to the hose end with the pin/slot system, you can use any adaptor that friction fits onto a BV adaptor.

The screw-on adaptor is also pretty nifty. It works with all the Advanced Elements screw-on military valves, as well as the AquaGlide kayaks utilizing Boston valves – by opening the top cap, the adaptor screws onto the Boston valve base.

Attachment for direct battery contact

For those without power points, or who wish to use a marine battery, the pump comes with a fitting that slides over the power point connector. The other end has alligator clips for connecting directly to a battery.

The instructions state that the pump should not be used for more than 20 minutes continuously with a rest period of 10 minutes inbetween for cool-down.

We decided to give the AquaGlide Turbo HP the acid test.

This past week, we received our first shipment of AquaGlide’s new Blackfoot Angler Tandem – a near 15-foot behemoth with 36+ inches of width, a 6-inch thickness and nearly 300 liters.. We had manually pumped up the prototype version last year – and to only 10 PSI – and were not looking forward to the workout as the current temperature was in the 90’s F.

As the Blackfoot Angler Tandem is rated at 15 PSI, we dialed in the pump, plugged in the cord and let her rip. Then we sat down in the shade.

By 2 minutes 37 seconds, the  2nd stage kicked in. At 6.5 minutes we were at 5 PSI, at 9 minutes it had climbed to 7.5 PSI. At 12.5 minutes we were at 10 PSI, 14 minutes to 12 PSI, 17 minutes to 13.5 PSI. At 19 minutes and 25 seconds, the motor shut off – it had reached 15 PSI. We did hear some leakage from the pump/hose side of the connection (possibly it had loosened up a little) but the adaptor came off easily.

Bottom line on the AquaGlide 12V Electric Turbo HP pump:

This is now my “when I’m in a hurry or feeling lazy” go-to pump. It’s simple, pretty lightweight and has a fairly small footprint. Additionally, it is MUCH simpler to plug into a cigarette lighter/power point, than connecting directly to the car battery. And it’s slightly less noisy. This is a great option – particularly for those with both inflatable kayaks and boards – who need to reach a wide range of pressures (1 to 20 PSI) and who want it to be easy and fairly quick. It’s also a great choice for paddlers who may have physical disabilities and are unable to manually pump for long periods of time. And at a street value of $139, it is less expensive – and more reliable – than some other 12V pumps on the market.

To see more info or to purchase, visit the AquaGlide 12V 2-Stage Turbo HP pump product page on our website at

Posted by: airkayaks | May 17, 2017

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AquaGlide’s 2017 Super Summer 20% Off Sale starts May 18th.

AquaGlide Chelan HB Tandem XL Inflatable Kayak paddled solo

Get 20% off all in-stock AquaGlide inflatable kayaks, paddle boards and gear during the Super Summer Sale from May 18th through June 1st.

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