Posted by: airkayaks | October 16, 2019

Kokopelli 12V Feather Pump Named “Product of the Year”

At the recent Nuremberg, Germany PADDLE Expo, Kokopelli Outdoor’s dynamite new Feather Pump won “Product of the Year” in the Accessories category.

Kokopelli Feather Pump

This palm-sized mighty mite can inflate and deflate a Kokopelli Packraft to 90% in 60 seconds.

Feather pump with adaptor installed.

Weighing in at a mere 6-ounces, the 12-volt Feather Pump recharges via USB port and features one hour of charge time. We’ve used in on a Kokopelli Rogue Lite, as well as several inflatable kayaks and paddle boards.

2019 PADDLE Expo in Germany

Don’t believe it? Read our detailed product review on the new Ultralite 12V Feather Pump from Kokopelli Packraft

In celebration, get $10 off the $39.95 Kokopelli Feather Pump now through Sunday October 20th at AirKayaks.

We recently received details on Red Paddle Co’s inflatable SUP lineup being introduced for 2020.2020 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP LineRed Paddle Company inflatable boards are well-known throughout the world for their ruggedness, innovation and performance – each Red board is the result of rigorous quality assurance during the 72 hours of build time. Red Paddle Co’s private board facility is touted to be completely waste free with all materials being reused or recycled.

2020 Red Paddle Co Ride XL Inflatable SUP

Throughout the past 12 years, Red Paddle Co has been the industry leader, racking up numerous awards throughout the product line, including Gear of the Year from Outside, Men’s Journal and Backpacker magazines. Innovative features include the game-changing Titan dual action pump, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion material technology, Rocker Side Stiffening (RSS) system and the Forward Flex Control (FFC) nose rod on the racing boards.

2020 Red PAddle Co Compact rolls into a small package

In 2019, Red Paddle Co launched the season by unveiling the Compact 9’6″ inflatable SUP package, a revolutionary new board that rolls up to half the size of a standard inflatable paddle board.

20% off Red Paddle Co at Airkayaks.com

For 2020, Red Paddle Company raises the bar by offering an unheard-of 5 year warranty on all Red Paddle boards (with product registration), the result of the Red Paddle TEC quality assurance program.

Red Paddle’s philosophy? If you plan on taking to the water on an inflatable board then you need a super durable board that is up for the challenge. And if you haven’t seen them, the Red Paddle endurance videos  – pitting Red Paddle boards against teens, dogs, tractors, big rigs, martial arts and more – are definitely a testament to durability.

The 2020 product line continues with 24 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10″ to to 22’0″. This includes the introduction of one new limited edition color scheme, revamped graphics unifying the product line appearance while keeping subtle differentiations between paddling categories, and added features on several of the models. Prices are remaining the same.

Red Paddle Co 2020 Ride Inflatable SUPs

The Red Paddle Co 2020 recreational line encompasses all-round paddling for a wide variety of paddler sizes and water conditions, beginning with the best-selling Ride “all-around use” trio – the Ride 9’8″, the Ride 10’6″ (in two color choices) and the Ride 10’8″. On the smaller side, the 9’4″ Snapper is designed for kids while the 9″6″ Compact shines for lighter-weight traveling. The big boy “party animals” the 14 foot Ride L and the 17 foot Ride XL – are for multi-paddlers. Each of these has undergone subtle graphics and color tweaks, most notably in the larger Rides, unifying the board look. All boards in this series now feature front carry handles. Prices remain the same for 2020 at $1199, $1299 and $1349 for the trio, $1049 and $1899 for the Snapper and Compact, and $2999 and $3299 for the big guys.

2020 Red Paddle Sport 11-3 Limited Edition Inflatable SUP

The “glide series” consisting of the three Sport models -the Sport 11, Sport 11’3″ and Sport 12’6– are rapidly becoming the SUP of choice for flat water paddling. No major changes are seen in the series except for the introduction of the Sport 11’3″ LE (Limited Edition) which features the same color scheme as the Ride 10’6″ LE. All Sports now feature the front carrying handle. Prices remain the same at $1449, $1499 and $1599 respectively.

2020 Red Paddle Co Voyager Inflatable SUP

The Red Paddle touring series consists of three models – the Voyager 12’6″, Voyager 13’2″ and fifteen foot Voyager Tandem. These three have undergone the most distinctive graphic and color redesigns. While most features remain status quo, the Voyager 12’6″ now touts the front carrying handle. Prices remain the same at $1599, $1649 and $1999 respectively.

Red Paddle Co 2020 Active inflatable fitness SUP

Included in the Specialty Series are five models – the Whip 8’10″ surfing model, the Wild 9’6″ downriver/whitewater board , the Activ 10’8″ yoga fitness model and the two windsurf models – the 10’7″ Wind and the 10’7″ WindSurf. The Wild and Activ feature the most notable graphic redesigns, with the others sporting subtle changes. All models retain the same pricing for 2020 with prices running $1199, $1349, $1399, $1399 and $1599 respectively.

2020 Red Paddle Co Dragon Racing inflatable board

The 2020 racing series consists of four models – the Max Race 10’6″, Elite 12’6″ in 26 and 28 inch widths, the Elite 14′ in 25 and 27 inch widths, and the multi-paddler 22-foot Dragon. All models have virtually no changes, except for the Dragon which sports redesigned graphics more in keeping with the other race boards. Prices remain at $1249 for the Max Race, $1599 for both Elite 12-6s, $1699 for the Elite 14s and $2499 for the Dragon.

Red Paddle Co All Terrrain Bags

All boards – except the two smaller and three larger boards – come with the popular Titan dual barrel pump and the All Terrain Roller Backpack. The Whip and Snapper come with the slimmer original HP EZ pump and the standard backpack, while the Ride L, RIde XL and Dragon come with four HP pumps and a carrying tarp.

The Red Paddle Co accessory line – such as the cargo net, Schraeder valve adaptor, Titan pump, coiled or flatwater leashes and standalone All Terrain and Original wheeled backpacks – remain the same. The dry bag has been replaced with a new Red Original dry bag.

2020 Red Paddle Co

The 2020 Red Paddle Co boards and accessories are in transit, with an expected availability of Oct. 29th – pre-orders are being accepted. To order or for more information, visit the Red Paddle Co product pages at AirKayaks.com. AirKayaks is also including a free adjustable, carbon breakdown paddle ($199 value) with purchase of any 2020 Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP.

Interested in saving some money? All Red Paddle 2018/2019 models are currently 20% off at AirKayaks with a free carbon paddle ($199 value). Prices now range from $959 to $2639, while supplies last.

Posted by: airkayaks | August 29, 2019

AquaGlide Inflatable Kayak and SUP Product Line for 2020

We recently received details on AquaGlide’s inflatable kayak and paddle board product line for 2020.

AquaGlide 2020 product line of inflatables

Originally a division of North Sports Inc, the Aquaglide brand has grown steadily to encompass water sports products such as commercial and residential water trampolines, tow toys, recreational water equipment and the highly popular Multisport 270 – an inflatable windsurf/sailboat/pull toy/kayak combo.

Last summer, the North Sports product line, including the AquaGlide series, was purchased by Connelly Skis of Lynwood, Washington. Established in 1965, Connelly Skis is well known for their water skis and water sports equipment.

20% off select 2019 AquaGlide Kayaks at Airkayaks.com

Now entering the seventh season, AquaGlide’s paddling line of inflatable kayaks and SUPs has dramatically expanded the options available to water enthusiasts looking for portability.

AquaGlide's 2020 Chinook 120 XL inflatable kayaks

For 2020, the AquaGlide inflatable kayak line has undergone a major redesign, with the retirement of 6 models, a facelift for 3 models, and the introduction of 7 new models. The paddle board line remains the same, except for the removal of the Cascade 11 WindSup.

Biggest news is the introduction of two new series, the Deschutes and the Navarros. The Deschutes consist of simple-to-setup, lightweight, recreational kayaks while the Navarros are high pressure models with the ability to use zip-in spray decks for enclosed solo or tandem paddling.

AquaGlide Deschutes 130

The Deschutes line features three kayak models with Aquaglide’s innovative new “feather” frame. The kayaks are constructed with Duratex fabric-reinforced PVC main chambers and a non-removable, non-inflatable EVA foam floor. Integrated, inflatable cross piece(s) provide structural stability. This results in a kayak that is very easy to inflate (two main chambers and thwart), lighter weight (no separate floor), very easy to dry and more packable. Other features include a removable tracking fin, military valves, rear storage well, Core 2.0 seat, splash guards, molded handles, bungee lacing and drain wells.

AquaGLide Deschute 110 Inflatable Kayak

The Deschutes 110 is for solo paddling, measuring 11 feet by 34 inches with a 300 lb payload and three chambers (2 side chambers and a thwart). Retail price is $599.99.

AquaGLide Deschutes 130 inflatable kayak

The Deschutes 130 is a roomier single for larger paddlers or those needing room for gear. With a 13 foot waterline, 39″ width and three chambers (2 side chambers and a thwart), the Deschutes 130 is capable of carrying 400 lbs. MSRP is $699.99

AquaGlide Deschutes 145 XL inflatable tandem kayak

The Deschutes 145 is set up for tandem paddling, with a 14.5 foot length, 40 inch width and a capacity of 600 lbs. There are four inflation chambers – two sides and two thwarts. MSRP is $799.99.

AquaGlide's new Navarro series of inflatable kayaks

AquaGlide’s Navarro series consists of three high-pressure recreational decked models. The Navarro’s feature 600 denier ripstop shells, 6 PSI floors, Boston and military valves, bungee deck lacing, integrated storage hatches, paddle holders, removable tracking fins, Core 2.0 seats, cockpit drain, molded handles and the ability to use a spray skirt.

AquaGLide Navarro 110 inflatable kayak

The Navarro 110 is for solo paddling, measuring 11’4″ by 34 inches with three inflation chambers (two main tubes and floor), an enclosed, fixed deck and a 300 lb. payload. MSRP is $599.99

AquaGlide Navarro 130 Inflatable Kayak

The Navarro 130 is also for solo paddling, featuring a longer waterline of 13′ x 39 inches and more open seating for larger paddlers or those needing more room for gear. An optional, zippering solo deck can be purchased to create more enclosed seating with the ability to add a spray skirt. MSRP is $699 while the optional deck is $79.99.

AquaGlide Navarro 145 XL Inflatable Kayak

The Navarro 145 is for solo or tandem paddling, sporting a 14’5″ length, 40″ width and 600 lb payload. The open cockpit design features optional single and double zip-in decks for more enclosed paddling, and the ability to add spray skirts. There are 5 chambers (two main bladders, high pressure floor and two deck lifts). The added length also allows one to carry more gear, or a small child/dog. MSRP is $799.99 while the optional decks are $99.99 (single) and $129.99 (double).

AquaGlide's new 2020 inflatable kayaks

The current Klickitat whitewater series is being replaced with the MacKenzie self-bailers. Each of the kayaks is built with Duratex fabric-reinforced PVC main chambers, ibeam floors, Core 2.0 seat, removable fin, four self-bailing mesh ports, molded handles, military valves, d-rings and tie down straps. The fin can be removed for whitewater conditions, or installed for flat water paddling.

AquaGlide McKenzie 105 inflatable whitewater kayak

The MacKenzie 105 is designed for solo paddling and features a 10’2 inch length, 33.5″ width, three inflation chambers (two sides and floor) and 300 lb capacity. MSRP is $749.99.

AquaGlide McKenzie 145 inflatable self-bailing kayak

The MacKenzie 125 can be used as a solo or tandem, sporting a 12’2″ length, 34.5 inch width, 3 inflation chambers (two sides and floor) and 600 lb payload. MSRP in $899.99.

AquaGlide's new Noyo inflatable kayak

Also new is the Noyo 90, an entry-level, recreational, decked model which is 9′ long with a 35″ width and 250 lb capacity. The Noyo features an enclosed deck with coaming, Core 2 seat, Boston valves, removable fin, d-rings, webbed handles, zip storage, bungee lacing, low pressure floor and paddle holders. MSRP is $379.99.

AquaGlide Chnook 100 inflatable kayak

The entry level Chinook recreational line has undergone a major facelift along with some tweaks to the design. The Chinook 90 solo remains at the current price of $349.99, while the Chinook 100 and Chinook 125 solo/tandem models have slight increases to $449.99 and $549.99 respectively.

AquaGlide Chelan 155 HB XL Inflatable Kayak

The Columbia line and Rogue 2 are being retired, while the high-pressure Chelan touring series – Chelan 110, Chelan 140 and Chelan 155 XL – and the Blackfoot angler series – Blackfoot 95 and Blackfoot 125 XL – remain unchanged.

The new models will be available on the AirKayaks website in early 2020. Stay tuned for details or you can get on our Notification List as info becomes available.

Interested in saving some money? We are currently offering 20% off the retired models – Chinooks, Rogue 2, Cascade 11WS and Klickitats – while supplies last.

Posted by: airkayaks | August 28, 2019

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

AquaGlide’s Super Labor Day 20% Off Sale starts August 28th.

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 August 28th through September 4th.

Blackfoot Angler SUP on the water

Shop early for the best selection, with kayaks starting at $239.96 and paddle boards as low as $559. 96. No tax and free US shipping via UPS ground on orders over $398.

AquaGlide Panther inflatable kayak

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

 

Posted by: airkayaks | August 15, 2019

20% Off 2019 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Boards & Gear

AirKayaks is pleased to announce a special purchase of remaining 2018/2019 Red Paddle Co inflatable standup paddle boards – now 20% off – with savings ranging from $200 to $650 including a carbon breakdown paddle.

2018/2019 Red Paddle Boards

Red Paddle Co inflatable boards are well-known throughout the world for their ruggedness, innovation and performance. Over the past 10 years, Red Paddle Co has been the industry leader, introducing the game-changing Tital dual action pump, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion material technology, Rocker Side Stiffening (RSS) system and the Forward Flex Control (FFC) nose rod on the racing boards.

Over the years, Red Paddle racked up numerous awards throughout the product line, including Gear of the Year from Outside, Men’s Journal and Backpacker magazines.

Rolling up the compact

Red Paddle Co launched the 2019 season by unveiling the Compact 9’6″ inflatable SUP package, a revolutionary new board that rolls up to half the size of a standard inflatable paddle board.

Red Paddle Co Original Gear

Also for 2019, Red Paddle Co introduced the Red Original line into the US and Canada. Available previously in Europe, the Red Original series features high-end gear and apparel designed to enhance the “Red Experience.”

2018/2019 Red Paddle Co Lineup

The 2018/2019 line featured 26 models ranging in size from the surfing Whip 8’10” model to the 22″ Dragon multi-paddler race board.

AirKayaks is  clearing out the current inventory in preparation for the new 2020 line. Now is your chance to get one of the best inflatable SUPs on the market, with prices ranging from $879 to $2639. The incredibly popular Ride 10-6 is now $1039, the Voyager 13’2 is now $1319, while the Sport 11-3 is at an all-time low of $1199.

If that isn’t enough, AirKayaks is throwing in a free adjustable, breakdown carbon SUP paddle – a $199 value with each board. Check out the remaining available inventory on the Red Paddle Co product pages on AirKayaks.com – 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 2018/2019 Guide to Choosing Your Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board.  Or, give us a call at 707-998-0135, email info@airkayaks.com or visit the website at www.AirKayaks.com.

Up to 20% off, free paddle, free shipping in the continental US and no US tax – what are you waiting for!

 

With the 2020 paddling season just around the corner, now is a great time to pick up closeout 2019 AquaGlide inflatable kayaks, SUPs and gear at great prices.

AquaGlide Columbia 145 XL Inflatable Kayak

All in-stock 2019 AquaGlide Rogues, Chinooks, Columbias and Klickitats are 20% off beginning August 15th. Shop early for the best selection, with kayaks priced from $239 to $639.95.

AquaGlide Cascade 11 Windsup

Looking for an inflatable standup paddle board that doubles as a windsurfer? The AquaGlide Cascade 11 WindSUP and sail rigs are also 20% off, as well as select AquaGlide Gear.

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

Earlier this summer we received our first shipment of Kokopelli Outdoors‘ new Feather pump. The tiny 12-volt wonder weighs just under 6 oz, and was touted to quickly inflate or deflate one single-sized packraft chamber to 90% in 60 seconds.

The Kokopelli Feather pump fits in your palm.

Seemingly too-good-to-be-true, we took the opportunity to put it to work when setting up Kokopelli’s Rogue Lite packraft. So here is our review on the Kokopelli Feather pump.

Getting Started with the Kokopelli Feather Pump

What's in the box.

The Feather pump comes in a small box with 5 adaptors, a drawstring carrying case, and a micro USB cable. The pump body weighs 5.9 oz and measures 3.25 x 2.25 x 2.5 inches – small enough to fit in your palm.

Adaptors included with the Feather pump.

The five adaptors include A) a wider, low profile, white adaptor used with vacuum storage bags; B) a Boston valve adaptor as found on some air beds and inflatable kayaks; C) a slightly-smaller, white, low profile white adaptor used with inflatable rafts (like Kokopelli); D) a flexi-adaptor used for outdoor mattresses and E) a pointed nozzle adaptor for swim toys. The flexi adaptor works in conjunction with adaptors (A) or (C). (Please note, the following was done with a D7 Leafield valve, so if using another type you may need to play around a bit.)

USB Cable

The USB charger cable is 12 inches long, weighs 0.4 oz and is used to recharge the Feather pump by hooking into anything with a USB port – computer, solar charger, etc.

Opening the valve

First step, put the valve into the open/deflate mode. At 0.27 PSI, the pump does not have enough torque to open the valve. So make sure the plunger is in the DOWN position (air goes in and and can come back out.)

The included instructions have very basic information on inflation and deflation. While the illustrations depict using the pointed nozzle adaptor (#E above), that will not work – the nozzle is too long to make any contact with the C7 or D7 Leafield valves found on Kokopelli rafts.

We took a look at the other 3 rigid adaptors and found each could work, as none actually couple to the valve, you just hold the pump over the valve.

Kokopelli Feather Pump -deflation opening

There are two openings on the Feather pump – the one on the top is the deflate mode.

Kokopelli Feather Pump - inflation opening

The one on the side is the inflate mode.

Feather pump with adaptor installed.

Put the smaller ring (C) onto the inflate opening and press the power button (opaque plastic membrane located on the side, above the USB port connection). Hold the adaptor over the valve.

Inflating a Kokopelli Rogue Lite with a Feather Pump

Within a few seconds, you will start to see the body filling out. In fact, it took a whopping 56 seconds for me to inflate the entire Rogue Lite – a 7′ 1″ packraft with a 12″ diameter tube.

Once you hear the motor give a slightly different sound, the pump has reached the extent of what it can do. As the valve plunger is in the deflate mode, quickly move the pump off the valve and then twist the plunger to the UP (closed) position – if fast enough, minimal air is lost. Then attach a pump or some inflation device to the valve, to top off the chamber. In this case, we used Kokopelli’s twistlok inflation tube. With about 6 full puffs by mouth, the packraft was pretty firm.

Deflating a Kokopelli Rogue Lite with a Feather Pump

Deflating the packraft was just as neat and just as quick. Once again, we put the valve plunger into the deflate (DOWN) position, moved the adaptor onto the pump top opening, and held it over the valve. In about the same amount of time (nearly a minute) the packraft was fully deflated and starting to fold itself up. Again, when removing the Feather pump, put the plunger into the closed (UP) position so air doesn’t creep back in.

Pretty simple!

About this time we also realized that one actually didn’t need any adaptors. The pump inflation opening is almost the same size as the valve opening, so we stopped using the adaptors as one less thing to keep track of.

While we didn’t do long-term testing of the pump, according to the manufacturer, the pump is capable of 60 minutes of inflation time (though they caution not to use for more than 20 minutes at one time) before recharging.

As a side note (not found in the instructions), the Feather pump comes with a skeleton charge that ranges from 1/3 to a 1/2 full. When you turn the pump on and the fan is initiated, a red light briefly flashes. This indicates that it is not fully charged.

Charging the Kokopelli Feather Pump

After using it several times, we did recharge it using the USB port on our computer. When plugged in, an indicator light on the pump turns on red below 80%. When it reaches 80%, that changes to green. Our recharge took roughly 5 hours to get to the green stage. Subsequently, you will know when it is under 80% as the power button will briefly flash red.

Charging the Kokopelli Feather pump

Andrew Duran of Kokopelli did some testing on two fully charged Feather pumps, and was able to get 35:41 and 41:23 minutes of usage out of each. Also to be noted is that the unit only requires 5 watts to charge.

Other specs from the manual:

Input I/O – 5.0V = 0.8A
Pressure – 1.8 KPA/0.27PSI
Flow – 265L/Min
Battery capacity – 3600mAh
Average Power – 15.5W
Certification – CE/FCC/KC
Operating temperature – 0 degrees F to 110 degrees F

We then decided to test it out on a bigger kayak – an Advanced Elements 10’5″ Sport with a 2 PSI main chamber and a 1 PSI floor. Perusing through the adaptors, we found two that would work perfectly with the Advanced Elements military valve on the main chamber, and the twistlok valve on the floor. #s A, C, and D. While a Boston valve adaptor typically can friction fit, this one didn’t.

Using the Feather pump to inflate an inflatable kayak.

We first put the plunger in the open position (down – air can go in and out). We used number C, which fit snugly over the valve opening, and let her go. Almost immediately we saw the pump filling out the kayak, and after about 1.5 minutes, we removed the pump and quickly turned the plunger into the closed (up) position. We then moved over to the floor and opened the twistlock. By putting the #D flexi adaptor into #A, we were able to couple to the pump and fit the flexi adaptor over the twistlok.

Using the Feather pump to inflate a twistlok

Once again we turned the Feather on. In about 2 minutes we had the floor pretty filled. We screwed the twistlok shut and then removed the pump. We then topped off the main chamber to 2 PSI with a double action handpump (about 15 pumps) and the floor to 1 PSI (just a couple pumps). Done! What’s even easier is topping off the main chamber while the Feather is working on the floor.

We also played around with deflation, but that is probably easiest by opening the valves, pushing the air out, and then using the handpump.

We subsequently used the Feather pump to inflate more Advanced Element products (EVO and dropstitch floors), AquaGlides and Red Paddle products. Some coupled, some didn’t, but all filled out and then required just a top-off with a hand or foot pump to get it to correct pressure. While it only took 54 seconds to fill out the Red Paddle Compact 9-6 SUP, with 15-18 PSI vessels such as paddle boards, you still need to do the hard work with a high pressure pump.

Please note, this pump is NOT waterproof, so place it in a drybag or plastic bag when travelling on the water.

Bottom line on the Kokopelli Feather Pump:

The Kokopelli Feather 12-volt pump is a fabulous and extremely useful piece of equipment. If you aren’t a total John Muir-style minimalist and have charging options, get the Feather pump! At 6.6 ozs in the carrying case with cable (no adaptors), it is twice the weight of the Kokopelli inflator bag, but you will get on the water that much quicker.

The Feather can be used on many inflatable products including kayaks and paddleboards, though you will still need a hand or foot pump to attain correct pressures.  And the deflate mode is great for getting excess air out of inflatables such as sleeping pads, allowing you to get them back into their bags.

We’ve even heard it is a must-have for starting campfires.

Kokopelli Feather Pump

The diminutive size easily fits into one’s palm, takes minimal packing space, and it’s so simple to use.

And did I mention it’s also great for drying hair – pack it for your next vacation. If you find a creative use for the Feather pump, let us know about it!

MSRP is $39.95. To purchase or for more information, see the Kokopelli Feather pump product page at AirKayaks.com.

In June we received our first shipment of the newly-updated Innova kayaks for 2019 – in particular the Twist N, Swing N and Solar 2019. Made in the Czech Republic, the Twist and Swing models are now constructed from Nitrilon (N), the same rugged material used in the traditional Innova Sunny, Helios and Safari models. Nitrilon is known for making the kayaks more rigid as well as water and abrasion resistant, without substantially increasing weight. It’s also PVC-free, thus environmentally friendly.

The Innova Twist 2N inflatable kayak

Our first selection was a review on the Twist II N. The Twist 2 interior has been redesigned slightly to include additional d-rings, providing an easy conversion from a tandem to a solo kayak, thus more versatile for larger paddlers or those needing more space for extra gear. While the kayak silhouette remains virtually unchanged, the added material thickness increased the kayak weight from 24 lbs to 29 lbs as well as a price increase.

This week we had the first opportunity to take out the revamped Innova Twist II N, an 11 foot 10-inch two-person inflatable weighing a mere 29 lbs (including seats and foot brace) with a selling price of $599.

Please note: Some of this information will be repeated from prior write-ups.

Innova Twist IIN: Getting Started

The box as received measures 23 x 16 x 10 inches, weighing in at 32 lbs.

Twist 2N package

Inside is the Twist II N body, cinch strap, multiple instruction sheets, tracking fin, foot rest, repair kit, two seats, bilge sponge, valve adaptor and a drawstring stuff-sack. The Twist II N body with seats and brace weighs 28 lbs with a folded size of 20 x 16 x 8.

Innova Twist 2 N Inflatable Kayak Setup/Inflatation

We read through the included instruction manuals. As with all the Innova manuals to date, the instructions are quite detailed – there is one instruction sheet for fin installation, one for utilizing the valves, one on refolding and another on the kayak in general. Most include IKEA-style graphics which are occasionally just short of a brain twister, and while some steps are dauntingly detailed, some are not mentioned. As the kayaks are made in Europe, many of the details are based around European specs and regulations.

Unfolding the Twist 2N

First step, unpack and unfold the kayak body.

The Innova Twist 2N is flat!

What is immediately noticeable is how FLAT the kayak is when deflated.

Installing the tracking fin.

Install the tracking fin before inflating the kayak. The Twist II N utilizes a single fin with double slots. Slip the end with the larger slot in first, making sure that the fin is pointing towards the “back” of the kayak. This enables it to slide in enough to fit in the second slot. While the first time can be a struggle to get the back side into position, after a couple of rounds it becomes quite easy. Pull up on the fin to ensure you have a good fit.

Closing the valve.

Now move to the main chambers. The Innova Twist II N features three main inflation chambers utilizing military valves – one for the floor and one for each side. The military-style plunger valve is simple to use – with your finger, twist the plunger slightly to the “up” position to inflate (air goes in but doesn’t come back out) and “down” to deflate (air comes out).

Innova adaptor

Locate the military valve adaptor in the repair kit. The Innova Twist II N does not come with a pump, but the adaptor allows one to use the Boston valve conical adaptor found on most pumps. (AirKayaks note: Before doing ANYTHING, attach the adaptor to your pump with the string.) Lock the Innova adaptor onto the military valve with a slight twist, and push the conical adaptor in to friction fit the two. Since the Innova main chambers are inflated to 3 PSI, it is helpful to use a pump with pressure gauge to ensure the kayak is inflated appropriately.

Pump up the side chambers first. If using a pressure gauge, please note that the pressure will only read while you are pumping, since most gauges work on back pressure. It took us roughly 28 strokes with a double action hand pump to reach 3 PSI.

Pumping up the Innova Twist 2N

We switched over to the other side chamber, again taking 28 strokes to 3 PSI. Screw on the valve caps to protect the plungers from sand and salt, or from accidentally being pressed. Please note – the military valve push pins can sometimes deceptively look as if they are UP while in the deflate mode. When this happens, as soon as you remove the pump adaptor all the air will swoosh out. So, make sure they are truly popped up. On the positive side, this is so easy to pump up, it’s not a big issue.

Pumping up the Innova Twist 2N

Now pump up the floor chamber. While the Twist II N up to this point looks incredibly narrow, as you start filling the floor chamber the side walls will spread out. It took us roughly 38 strokes to reach 3 PSI.

Installing the foot brace

Attach the foot brace (this comes pre-attached from the factory) by weaving the webbing through the floor connectors and back. There is only one brace, for the front paddler. Pump up the foot brace – this uses a twistlock valve.

As it sounds, twist the end of the lock to open the valve. The Boston valve adaptor will not friction fit over the twistlok so you will have to do one of three things – have a buddy hold the valve over the twistlock; carefully negotiate holding the adaptor and twistlock together with one hand while pumping with the other; or give up and blow it up with your mouth. It took us about 2 puffs to inflate it. Make sure the twistlock is facing down, so that your foot doesn’t accidentally kick it open.  AirKayaks note: Here is a nifty little home-made adaptor that works with these twistlocks.

Inflating the seat base.

Next, install and pump up the two seats – when first setting up the Twist II N, you will see they arrive in-position, with two side straps and one floor strap. While not mentioned in the instructions, the seats and brace should be inflated no more than 1 PSI.

Attaching the seats

Just like the foot brace, the two seats utilize twist lock valves. These took 5-6 puffs each. Attach the seat side straps to the side d-rings. Loop the strap (located on the rear of the seat back) up through the d-ring and then back, looping it through the seat buckle. Use the 1st and 3rd set of d-rings for tandem paddling and the 2nd for solo paddling. AirKayaks note: It is much simpler to purchase some small carabiners and attach them to the end of the strap loops. Then you can simply clip these into the d-rings without all the “reweaving.”

Tuck the sides of the seat base under the kayak side walls and smooth out.

The Innova Twist 2N is easy to carry.

You’re done! The Twist II N is remarkably easy and fast to set up – just over 5 minutes.

Innova Twist II N Inflatable Kayak Features and Specifications

Rugged Nitrilon material

The Twist line is now constructed from a 1200 denier rubber-coated laminate material called Nitrilon. Nitrilon (also called Nitrylon) is the same rugged material used in the original Sunny and Helios models and currently used on the Solar and Safari models; the 2018 models were produced using Light Nitrylon (LN), a less rugged and lighter material. Nitrilon consists of a synthetic rubber coating over pol yester on the inside and outside of the tube; it is stronger, more abrasion and puncture-resistant than PVC as well as being greener – there is minimal out-gassing.

There are three 3-PSI inflation chambers utilizing military valves (both sides and floor).

Twistlok Valve

There are three Twistloks (2 backrests and 1 foot brace.)

Pressure-relief valve.

A pressure-relief valve is located in the floor stern, which ensures that the floor is not over-inflated. If the floor is accidentally overpumped, or becomes heated in the sun, the valve releases when the pressure reaches 3 PSI.

Tracking fin and underside.

The hull has a removable tracking fin measuring 4.5 inches tall and 7 inches wide, with seven sculpted i-beam tubes creating the hull shape.

Inflatable seat

The new seating arrangement allows flexibility in repositioning the paddling position to optimize paddling performance and comfort. This consists of two seats and three sets of d-rings, allowing tandem and solo paddling. The seats measure 15 inches wide and 12 inches tall for the back rest, and 15 x 15 inches for the seat base, both inflating up to 2 inches. The seats are attached via two side straps connecting to two d-rings on the kayak side chambers, for a total of 6 side d-rings – front and rear for tandem paddling, center for solo. These are located 50, 71 and 93 inches from the nose, and could also be used to attach gear.

The seat bases are fastened via strap to a connector behind the seat on the floor.

Bungee deck lacing.

Behind the rear seat is an “open” storage compartment with bungee deck lacing, which helps prevent belongings from falling overboard. The compartment is 30 inches long by 13 inches wide, tapering to 8 inches towards the stern. The storage well is 9 inches deep, tapering to 3 inches deep at the rear.

There are two low profile rope handles located each at the bow and stern. While there are no side handles, the kayak is light enough to easily hook over your shoulder.

Foot brace.

There is one inflatable foot brace for the front paddler – this is attached via a web clipping system, with the inflatable portion measuring 12 x 5 x 3 inches deep. By extending or shortening the webbing, the brace can be located roughly 27 to 37 inches from the front seat back, giving lots of versatility. There are 30 inches from the “open bow” to the brace attachment point.

There are 5 attachment buckles on the floor, which allow one to reposition the seats and brace for double or solo paddling. These are located at 32, 48, 63, 88 and 106 inches from the nose.

A spray railing/coaming lip sits up approximately 1 inch around the cockpit perimeter in the bow and stern areas, only. This extends back 12 inches from the bow and 31 inches from the stern.

Innova Twist 2N set up as a tandem.

We did measurement tests. The Innova Twist II N inflated is roughly 142 inches long (11 feet, 10 inches) and approximately 32 inches at the widest point. Inner dimensions are roughly 16 inches wide with the seating well approximately 8 inches deep. The side tubes are roughly 8 inches in diameter.

With the two seats in the “as-received” position, there is roughly 61 inches from the front seat back to the bow, 42 inches from the rear seat back to the the front seat back, and 30 inches behind the rear seat back to the stern tip. Each of the seats has about 3 inches leeway, each way.

The Innova Twist 2N set up solo.

By removing one seat and placing the other seat in the just-rear-of-center position, one can convert the Twist II N to solo paddling. In this mode, there is roughly 80 inches from the seat back to bow, and 56 inches behind the seat – 33 to the bungee decklacing. The foot brace can be moved to any of the forward floor buckles for optimum position.

Total payload weight is 396 lbs. persons and gear.

Packing Up the Twist II N Inflatable Kayak

Deflation is just as easy. Simply turn the valves (military and twist lock) to the open position and push out the air. Remove the tracking fin, but you can leave the brace and seats in place.

Packing Up the Twist 2N

Fold the kayak in half, and then in half again the long way.

Then start to fold up from the front, pushing the air out through the valves in the back. Fasten the kayak body with the cinch belt. As a side note, while you can press out most of the air and get the kayak back into the pack, to really minimize the size/footprint, it is best to pump out the final air, using the deflate mode on your pump. Turn the valves to the inflate position so air doesn’t creep back in, and replace the wing-nut caps.

Innova Double Twist Inflatable Kayak On the Water

We tested out the Innova Twist II N over a couple of days.

Innova Twist 2N paddled tandem.

First, my husband and I took it out together for a short jaunt in fairly choppy water. The lower side walls make it easy to get in and out, and the inflatable seats are surprisingly comfortable. Despite the small waves, the Twist II N rode over them – it felt good, paddled and tracked well.

At 5’4, I was quite comfortable in the front, though might have liked my seat back a little farther. My 6’2 husband felt comfortable and not cramped.

Innova Twist 2N paddled solo.

I then repositioned the seat. The new d-ring placement helps vastly in setting the Twist up for solo paddling, but the floor strap could be longer – I had it stretched out as far as it could go, but still felt I should be up a couple more inches. I then took the Twist 2N out solo, still in wind and chop. The Twist II N handled extremely well in solo paddling mode, though I could tell I needed some weight in the front – perfect spot for a pack (or my paddling canine buddy, Woody.). As the bow is somewhat open, in wave situations the water can crash over, hence the included bilge sponge. But the inflatable base on the seats puts one up a couple inches, out of the water. Heading into the wind, the Twist II N rode over the waves pretty easily with some bounce – once again, weight in the front would help.

Speaking of Woody, I did not take him out this time, but did bring him along in the prior Twist II LitePack LP with fixed seats, shown above. At that time, the added weight of 40 lbs in the front evened out the kayak, and it paddled very smoothly. The materials in the current Twist II N are much more rugged, so I would not hesitate bringing a dog. And despite the curved hull, the Twist II N feels quite stable, not tippy at all – suitable for restless or inquisitive travelers.

As the wind had died down, we again took the Twist out in calm waters as a solo.

My husband loved it – the kayak was perfect for his height and weight, he felt the lower sides made it easier to paddle. It tracked well, was roomy and very maneuverable. He also remarked on the upgraded Nitrilon material, which felt solid yet lightweight.

Innova Twist 2N paddled solo.

I also took it out again, and felt the kayak paddled and tracked well, was nimble, and speedy. Once again, I did feel the need for some weight in front, but this is a simple fix. In fact, I felt many similarities to the original Innova Sunny, which was a great double kayak, unfortunately no longer available.

The Nitrilon has a very smooth skin, making it much easier to clean and dry off.

The are a couple of items that I wanted to point out – despite the light gray color on the interior, the material can feel hot after a while in the sun, and when paddling, the material can also be “squeaky.” The only criticism is that the included stuff sack is too small. In fact, when I removed the kayak from the bag to weigh it, despite the fact I had not unfolded it, I had a very tough time getting it back inside.

Innova Twist II N Inflatable Kayak Bottom Line:

The Innova Twist II N inflatable kayak is a great choice – a perfect travel and backpacking companion for those that need a tandem option, or a solo kayak that can hold lots of gear. It’s pretty zippy, quite nimble, tracks well and is a good major upgrade from the prior Twist II LN (Lite Nitrilon) version.

Innova Twist 2N paddled tandem.

As a tandem, it is roomy enough for two average-sized adults to paddle comfortably, yet still offers storage space in the rear well. The removable seats allow a certain amount of flexibility in the seating positions, while the ability to inflate the seat back and base provides varying levels of comfort and support.

Twist 2N as a double

Parents wanting a lightweight and simple paddling option will find this is a great choice for enjoying the water with a child.

As a solo option, there is plenty of room for a wide range of paddler heights as well as room for extended camping gear.

The newer Nitrilon material feels very rugged yet added only a couple of pounds to the weight; as a 28 lb tandem, is still light enough to be trekked into remote areas. The small folded footprint makes it a great choice for RVs, plane travel and those limited by space. It can easily be stored in the trunk of a car for spur-of-the-minute activity. Set up is extremely easy, and takes about 5 minutes. The smoother, water-resistant coating provides for easy cleaning and drying, making take-down less of a chore.

The Innova Twist 2N is easy to get into.

Those paddlers that just want to get out on the water, and have fun without a lot of fuss, will find the simplicity of the Twist II N quite appealing. The open cockpit design makes entry and exit a boon to seniors or those with physical limitations. Environmentally-conscious paddlers will find the PVC and China-free construction equally as attractive.

Innova Twist 2N paddled solo.

The Innova Twist II N is good for paddling calm waters, mild swells, slow moving rivers – and small enough to make exploration of distant waterscapes a reality.

Paddled with three people.

The Innova Twist N also comes in a smaller, 8.5 foot single version weighing in at 19 lbs. For even more space, check out the 2+ paddler Solar 2019 (photo above showing last year’s Solar).

Innova Twist 2N paddled solo.

MSRP is $599. For more information or to purchase, see the Innova Twist II N product page on AirKayaks.com, or view the other Innova inflatable kayaks. Stay tuned for more product write-ups on the new Innova Nitrilon kayaks, in particular the Solar and Swings.

As the weather heats up in the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts turn to outdoor activities and “fun-in-the-sun.” If you’ve arrived at this blog article, you’re already intrigued with the idea of paddling across a lake, down a lazy river or along a coastline, and are looking into inflatable kayaks. Maybe you have limited space, want to pack into the back country, need lighter weight options or travel in an RV.  Regardless of the motivation, there are a myriad of choices which can be daunting.

Klickitat2-action14

To help you narrow down the field, AirKayaks has put together a table comparing our inflatable kayak options – the table is located at the bottom of this article. We have listed the following details – manufacturer, model name and stock number, price range, number of paddlers, kayak lengths, widths, weights, payloads, # of chambers, inflation pressures, design style and kayak type.

We have divided our inflatable kayak list into four sections sorted by price – Under $500; $500 to $749; $750 to $999; and $1000 and up.  Within each of those four sections, we have sorted by number of paddlers – 1 paddler; 1-2 paddlers (seats can be repositioned), 2 paddlers; and 2+( extra room for gear, child or dog). This is followed by body style enclosed, open and sit-on-top. To help you get going, we describe the attributes of each style first. For further information on inflatable kayak choices, benefits and definitions, please also see our popular guide to Choosing an Inflatable Kayak – What You Should Consider.

Enclosed Design Inflatable Kayaks

AdvancedFrame DS-XL inflatable kayak

The enclosed hull design is similar to many hard shell kayaks; this is shown above in the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame DS-XL kayak.  The snugger cockpit design keeps excess water and wind from entering the kayak, and also less direct sun. Many of them have coamings (the gray tube in the photo above, encircling the cockpit) that allow you to attach a spray skirt.

 

Optional spray skirt

What is a spray skirt? This is an accessory that attaches to the kayak around the coaming, and then again to your body (shown above on an Innova Swing). The function is to keep out even more wind and water.

AirFusion EVO - Birdseye view

Many of the enclosed decks can be zipped open for easy entry or to cool off, but the benefits of the enclosed design include the ability to kayak in windier and colder climates/situations (shown above, the Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO).

A closed-design tandem can also be paddled solo, but it is not as balanced as the paddler must sit in the rear fixed cockpit, rather than the optimal position “just rear of center.” Typically, adding weight to the front will help balance out the kayak (as shown with Eddie sitting in the front cockpit of an Innova Swing 2 kayak).

Open Design Inflatable Kayaks:

The Aquaglide Columbia Tandem inflatable kayak with three paddlers.

This includes the largest number of kayaks. The open design consists of a kayak with higher walls – which keeps out some water – but a much more open design (shown above on the AquaGlide Chelan 155 HB XL for 1-3 paddlers). The benefits include the ability to adjust the seat for optimal performance and easily store additional gear.

AquaGlide Chelan HB Tandem XL Inflatable Kayak paddled solo

Open-design kayaks large enough to be paddled tandem can also quickly convert to solo usage by moving the seat without cockpit restrictions. The photo above shows the same AquaGlide Chelan 155 HB XL paddled solo by removing the other seats.

afdsb

While these designs are open, some have optional spray decks, which can be attached to make them enclosed if desired. The photo above shows an Advanced Elements Convertible DS paddled tandem in the open design as well as solo with the enclosed deck.  In the Comparison Table, these are labeled “open/enclosed” if they come with a zip-out deck, or “open (1)” if an optional spray deck is available.

Four self-bailing plugs and one rear drain plug

Some of the open design kayaks are also self-bailing, meaning they have plugs in the floor which can be opened or closed, to let out water. These are best for fast moving water such as rivers/whitewater; as the water comes in, it will also pass out.  The plugs should be closed in calmer conditions so water doesn’t come back in. The photo above shows the plugs in an AquaGlide Klickitat 95 HB self-bailing kayak.

Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayaks:

Advanced Elements StraitEdge 2 for 1-2 paddlers

The Sit-On-Top features the most open design of all. Side walls are lower or the kayak has a slightly recessed seating well. These are great for recreational situations where the weather or water is warm (unless you plan on gearing up with a dry suit), for wave-running, some whitewater, or where you want to be able to dive or jump into the water and cool off. Shown above is the Advanced Elements StraitEdge 2 inflatable kayak. Since these are simpler in design, they are often the easiest to set up and the lightest weight – though not always!

Hala Carbon Nass inflatable SUP as a sit-on-top

While we don’t go into details in our Comparison Table below, another sit-on-top option is an inflatable standup paddle board with an optional attached seat. The photo above shows a Hala Gear Carbon Nass inflatable paddle board with an optional seat attached.

High Pressure vs Low Pressure Inflatable Kayaks

At this point we want to mention high-pressure versus low pressure inflatable kayaks. To keep the kayak afloat, air chambers are inflated to a recommended PSI (air pressure per square inch). We typically consider anything under 3PSI to be low pressure. Low pressure kayaks are often less expensive to construct, and are great for recreational use, though won’t paddle quite as well as some of the more rigid (high-pressure) kayaks.

Rigidity of drop stitch floor versus standard Convertible PVC floor

In general, the longer the kayak, the more one needs high pressure so that the kayak won’t be “saggy.” The image above shows a low-pressure 1-PSI PVC floor (on the bottom) versus a 4-6 PSI drop-stitch, high pressure floor.

AquaGlide Blackfoot 125 Angler HB for 1-2 paddlers

This is further illustrated in the image above, showing an AquaGlide Blackfoot 125 HB inflatable fishing kayak which is 6 PSI for the floor and 3 PSI on the side walls.

On the following table, we list PSI as floor PSI/side chamber PSI. While some of the kayaks are all-around high pressure (such as the Advanced Elements EVO) others feature high pressure floors.

PackRaft Inflatables

koko-cast1

Last, we mention one of the lesser-known innovations, the inflatable Packraft kayak. By “definition,” Packrafts are dinghy-style inflatables light enough to carry for long distances; most weigh less than 10 lbs and can be easily backpacked into remote areas.

While originally geared towards backpacking, bikepacking and whitewater, some of the newer models are focusing on flatwater touring and come with tracking fins. Kokopelli Packraft has come out with a tandem version – the Twain. The photo above shows the 85-inch Kokopelli Rogue Lite solo kayak, which weighs in at 5.25 lbs. The Packrafts are available in both open style and enclosed style (decked).

Comparison Table Guide to Inflatable Kayaks at AirKayaks

As previously mentioned, we have divided our inflatable kayak list into four sections sorted by price – Under $500; $500 to $749; $750 to $999; and $1000 and up.  Within each of those four sections, we have sorted by number of paddlers – 1 paddler; 1-2 paddlers (seats can be repositioned), 2 paddlers; and 2+( extra room for gear, child or dog). This is followed by body style enclosed, open and sit-on-top. To help you get going, we describe the attributes of each style first.

Below is the Comparison Table, divided into the four price ranges – Under $500; $500 to $749; $750 to $999; and $1000 and up – sorted by number of paddlers and body design. We have listed the following details – manufacturer, model name and stock number, price range, number of paddlers, kayak lengths, widths, weights, payloads, # of chambers, inflation pressures, design style and kayak type. If you have trouble reading it, here is a printable PDF version. For further information on inflatable kayak choices, benefits and definitions, please also see our popular guide to Choosing an Inflatable Kayak – What You Should Consider.

To find out details on each of the models listed above, visit the website at www.AirKayaks.com. Or feel free to give us a call at 707-998-0135.

Enjoy!

Posted by: airkayaks | May 18, 2019

15% off Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPs thru May 27th

Check out AirKayaks’ Super Summer Sale on Red Paddle products taking place now through May 27th.

Red Paddle Co Original Gear Line

For a limited time, purchase a 2019 Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle board at 15% off, 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 hand pump, the roller backpack and bonus cell phone case, and you’re ready to take your Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP anywhere you want to go.

Besides the boards, all Red Paddle gear – drybags, cargo nets, paddles and the Red Original line – are also on sale.  See the Red Paddle Co product pages at AirKayaks.com for details or to purchase.   Bonus – No tax and Free Shipping via UPS ground (Alaska and Hawaii excluded).

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