Posted by: airkayaks | June 18, 2020

Sneak Preview – New 12 PSI AirVolution Dropstitch Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

During one of our many trips to Advanced Elements earlier this year, we were invited to take a look at an upcoming new product.

Wow! Our first view of the AirVolution prototypes, Advanced Elements’ new 12-14 PSI high-pressure, dropstitch inflatable kayaks. The series consist of the 13′ AirVolution solo and the 14’6″ AirVolution2 tandem.

Pumping up the AirVolution

Advanced Elements subsequently send us a preproduction sample of the AirVolution single to test out.

Our first take on the AirVolution? This is a wonderful addition to the recreational flatwater paddling niche. It’s a rugged, stable, simple-to-setup kayak that paddles well – and it looks great!

The entire kayak is innovatively constructed using PVC Tarpaulin laminated to high-pressure drop-stitch material – this gives a smoother finish, increased rigidity and a sculpted outline for greater paddling performance. The v-shaped hull design in the bow and removable deep-water fin increase tracking performance, allowing the AirVolution to slice through the water.

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.

With only two chambers to inflate, the new AirVolution high-pressure inflatable kayak features a streamlined set up procedure, allowing one to get out on the water quickly. Two pressure relief valves ensure the kayak is not overinflated, releasing at roughly 18 PSI.

The open-deck design provides ease-of-entry, while a drain well with plug ensures that you stay drier.

The sculpted EVA foam seat can be ratcheted four-ways, providing maximum support, adjustability and comfort.

Front and rear bungee deck lacing provide plenty of options to attach gear, yet there are still options for storing small items under the decks

We took the AirVolution out for a maiden voyage. Both of us felt the kayak paddled and tracked well, was rugged and incredibly stable. The sculpted hull allows water to drain off, and the smooth skin is very easy to dry. Everything in the package looks great, from the graphics and sculpted silhouette to the EVA-foam molded seat and included accessories.

At 5’4″, I found that moving the seat up 12 inches from the rear well allowed me to be balanced and use the front deck as a foot brace. I also was able to easily stand up.

At 6’2″, my husband had the seat all the way to the back. While his knees were slightly bent, he actually prefers that position when paddling. Since I know we will get asked this, for reference we measured the seat back to the front deck as 45 to 46″. With “water socks” on, he was able to lay his legs down flat. So, I would feel comfortable saying the AirVolution can be paddled by customers up to 6’2″. Cockpit actual dimensions are 19 inches wide by 48 inches long.

He did note that the deep water fin provides improved tracking, but one needs to push the kayak into deeper water when launching so the fin doesn’t “hang up.”

One thing I wanted to point out – as the seat features a four-way ratchet design with 2 ladder locks per buckle, it is a little daunting at first. To set the seat up properly, you want to even the straps and get the seat back as vertical as possible, then ratchet the buckles to get curvature.

The AirVolution comes with a dual-action hand pump with gauge, deep water fin, and a roller backpack. While we did not have the production version of the pump or backpack, even the prototype samples looked good. Payload on the single kayak is 235 lbs person (300 lbs person and gear) while the double is 500 lbs persons (550 lbs persons and gear). Weights are 39 lbs and 48 lbs respectively.

Retail price on the AirVolution single is $1099 while the AirVolution2 Tandem is $1299. The AirVolutions are in transit with estimated availability date of 6/26 to 6/29 – preorders are currently being accepted and they’re moving!

AirKayaks New Product Intro Special: Get $100 off an AirVolution kayak, now through July 15th. Use coupon code AIR100 at checkout!

Stay tuned! We will publish a complete Product Review on both AirVolutions when the final production models are in stock. For more details or to purchase, visit the AirVolution and AirVolution2 product pages at AirKayaks.com. You can also watch two videos on the AirVolution.


Responses

  1. Beautiful boat but could you offer a coming and spray skirt in case it rains? I got hit once with a squall and got cold and soaked.

    • I believe those are planned to be available in 2021.

  2. is there room for a 75 pound dog companion in the single?

    • Hi George:
      It is iffy. If you take a look at the photo with my husband, he is 6’2″. Compare that to your size and then look to see if you think the dog will fit. Of course, my neighbor’s retriever used to drape itself over the front hull when paddling.

  3. Thanks for your review. 🙂 An interesting looking craft and one that I might purchase if other reviews are positive when they come out. I see you also did a review of the Kokopelli Moki 1. Can I ask which of the 2 boats, in your opinion, is a better all-rounder? I know it’s kinda like asking how long a piece of string, but perhaps you could frame it as which boat did you have more fun in? Many thanks. Alan.

    • Hi Alan: It really depends on what type of paddling you want to do, and your height and weight.

      • Hi: Thanks for the reply. Yep, how long is a piece of string 🙂 For me, the use can be very variable. I use my current boats on inland lakes and rivers (class 2), and also on coastal waters (staying within 2 miles of land). It’s quite windy most days on the sea so it can get quite choppy. I’m 5’11” and weigh about 11.5 stone. I sometimes take my dog with me (depends on the day and conditions). Like I say, a quite varied use.

      • The AirVolution is open so is more a recreational kayak. I don’t know that you would get your dog in either. With the varied conditions, the Moki has the options to be both open and enclosed.

  4. Received our two Airvolution singles last week. I am very impressed with their design, construction and quality. An easy to set up inflatable with an open cockpit is exactly what we have been waiting for. We look forward to getting them on the water while on vacation at the end of July..

    BTW: The great airkayaks customer service is appreciated!

  5. Hi there, it does look like a beautifull boat. Do you know if there is enough room under the decks to transport camping gear?

    • Hi Catherine, that is a tough question as there are all types, sizes of camping gear. If you go back into the article, at one point we mention the amount of head room under the decks – I think it is tops 4 to 5 inches, so you would need to look at what you have. You can also put gear on top.
      Thanks!
      Holly

  6. Great review, as always! Thank you. How do you think the Airvolution would do in windy conditions on a reasonably sized lake? And what about on a river section without rapids? I live near the Animas River in Durango, CO. I’ve taken my Hala Rival Playa SUP (purchased from AirKayaks.com!) on the river without any problems.

    • Thanks for the kind words! I have not gone out in the AirVolution in windy conditions, and probably wouldn’t. It is a low profile kayak so chop and waves could spill in. A river without rapids I imagine would be fine.
      Thanks!
      Holly

  7. Hey, very interested in the one person Airvolution, but can’t tell if there’s any sort of footrest, or an option to add one. That makes a huge difference to me! If there isn’t one, can you suggested a fully drop stitch model that has a comfortable seat and a footrest? Thanks!

    • Hi Gennine: There is no foot rest nor an option to add one. That said, I found by moving the seat up slightly that I could use the deck as a foot brace – worked great!

  8. What is the internal width of the cockpit? – thank you in advance

    • The cockpit size is 19 inches wide by 48 inches long.


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