Category Archives: Advanced Elements

Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite – Disappointing Performance?

 

Just one decade ago, the Advanced Elements kayak company pioneered the world’s first hybrid inflatable kayak. It utilized a blended design with the performance of a hard shell kayak, but offering water adventurers the portability and light weight of an inflatable kayak. The Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is a sleek, lightweight kayak that delivers excellent tracking for the adventure-seeking athlete or outdoorsman:

 

Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite

If you are looking for an vessel that can get you around, with speed that is almost, if not on par with skin-on-frame kayaks, then you will want to delve deeper with us in this AirFusion Elite review to learn more.

Check out the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite on Amazon!

[Note: Check out our best list of kayaks here].

 

Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite Frame

The Advanced Elements AirFusion Elite was made to rival the speed and performance of skin-on-frame kayaks, all while simplifying the setup. It has a unique design that combines aluminium alloy poles on the frame with pressurized air tubes for a high-performance frame system.

 

At 13 feet long, with a very narrow beam, this Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite kayak maintains the status of Advanced Elements as a manufacturer of quick and fast turning kayaks that track like rigid hard-shells. In use, this kayak is surprisingly quick, perhaps due to its V-shaped hull. It tracks very well, is simple to turn, and has good primary and secondary stability.

 

Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite review

The Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite kayak frame features 2 aluminum ribs. A vertically positioned, foot-long U/V-shaped flat bar comes inserted in the stern and bow of this kayak. The aluminum ribs are tubular, allowing the pole frame to be inserted/attached. There are two molded rubber handles, also located at the stern and bow, that would be useful if you were paddling with someone else.

Check out the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite on Amazon!

The regular Advanced Elements AirFusion kayak is the most narrow in width, at 25 inches, of all of Advanced Element’s watercrafts (the rest of the fleet measures 32″ to 35″ at the beam). However, it has been upgraded on the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite to 28 inches.

This streamline design, along with the lightweight, semi-free-floating aluminum frame and high pressure chambers, allows you to paddle it like other hard-shell kayaks.

 

The kayak is constructed with very tough materials. The hull material of the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin, which is extremely puncture proof. This makes the hull very durable, showing little signs of use after years on the water.

The inflation tubes, located on the inside, are covered in a tough material and still hold their shape after years of inflating, using, deflating, and putting away.

 

Special Features of the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite

High pressure chambers located along the gunwales and chines of the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite add stability, while the aluminum poles in the front deck and keel improve tracking, hull speed and water shedding. The optional skeg addition increases performance even more.

The end result is a kayak that is surprisingly rigid in water, yet doesn’t require the complicated assembly of a folding kayak. A top kayak in its class!

 

yellow Elite in action

The Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is extremely lightweight for a high-performance kayak, at only 32 pounds, allowing you to carry the kayak easily. Its design utilizes high pressure chambers that provide rigidity, lowering the total number of parts used in the frame for a dramatically faster set-up time. It packs up into a bag, about the size of a suitcase, for easier storage and transport.

Check out the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite on Amazon!

Other features of the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite include a zippered access on the bow and stern (which aids in setup and offers access to items stored below the deck), and a rear roll-top hatch for additional storage. Molded, low-profile rubber handles ease transport to the water while the inflatable cockpit coaming offers the easy attachment of an optional spray skirt.

Also, you can add a skeg to the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite for greater control on your next trip. The skeg makes it easier to keep a straight course, even when there are waves and winds. You can deploy the skeg using the pull cord, once you add it to the kayak.

 

Enough Storage Space?

There is enough onboard storage on the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite for extended trips. With a capacity of about 230 pounds, you can load up the deck with gear if you are going for a multi-day expedition. The wide 28″ beam allows for an integrated rear storage hatch for easier access to gear while on the water.

 

Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite

In terms of setup, the AirFusion Elite is not 100% straight-forward. You will need to be a bit careful not to mix up pieces of the frame or inflate sections in the wrong order, or you could end up with bent pieces of frame. However, after a bit of training, you will be able to get in the water in less than 15 minutes.

Check out the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite on Amazon!

Pros

  • The inflatable Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is very suitable for long distance paddling and sea trips
  • The kayak offers a streamlined set up procedure with fewer poles, allowing one to get out on the water quickly
  • Rear hatch with a roll-top dry bag provides easy access to stowed items
  • Deck features bungee lacing and D-ring tie-downs for more options
  • Welded seams ensure long life
  • Its narrow beam and 13′ frame cuts easily through the water
  • The Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is built with excellent materials and constructed almost perfectly
  • Portable and packable
  • A good recreational kayak on flat water or up to Class 2 whitewater
  • Excellent customer service and warranty

Check out the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite on Amazon!

Cons

  • Because of low weight and no rudder, the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite’s nose tends to get blown around in winds over 10 mph
  • The internal storage space on the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is quite tiny
  • It should be mentioned in this AirFusion Elite review that this model is best for people who are over 5′ tall, but not over 6’5″
  • It will take a bit longer to set-up than a regular inflatable kayak, but many may consider the performance to be worth it

 

AirFusion Elite Review Conclusion

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the feeling of floating on a cloud beneath the clouds, then the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is what you’ve been looking for all this time. This great kayak pairs style and performance that will see you zipping through the water as if you were in a hard shell kayak, only without the added bulk and inconvenience.

 

It’s quite light weight for a hybrid model and is easily carried by one person. Better still, the price of the Advanced Elements Air Fusion Elite is reasonable when compared to other kayaks in its class.

Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Inflatable Kayak Review

Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Inflatable Kayak Features

InflatableYes
Inflation Time15 Mins
NMMA Certified?
# of Seats2
Maximum Weight Capacity500 lbs
Size15 x 15 x 20 inches

 

Advanced Elements StraitEdge Two-Person Inflatable Kayak Overview

The Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 is an inflatable tandem addition to the Advanced Elements line of kayaks. This versatile kayak takes less than 10 minutes to be fully inflated and lasts an entire day. It holds 3 people at most but is designed for solo rides with simple adjustments. It hold a maximum of 227 kilograms which is relatively heavy.

When inflated the StraitEdge is 35 inches by 13 feet and is available in two colours; yellow or green.

AE StraitEdge 2 inflatable 2 person kayak

 

Features of the Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Is the Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Kayak Designed Well?

The AE StraitEdge Two-Person Inflatable Kayak has been built with an aluminum bow and stern frame which serves to improve tracking in open water. It has an inbuilt valve which allows it to shed water in high seas and open waves. The valve can also be closed in calm water for a more quiet sail.

The kayak can either be used as a tandem or a solo sit-on convertible kayak.

This is made possible by the adjustable seats which can be moved to the center for more solo comfort.

The Advanced Element StraitEdge Kayak is made of two layers heavy duty PVC tarpaulin which is strong and puncture resistant. The advantage of this is that it allows you to drag your kayak along the beach without the fear of damage. Its strength also means that even if you bump on rocks during kayaking, there is no risk of water flooding the kayak.

The PVC build makes the kayak very durable. You can be assured of service that will be no less than 4 years. Check out this video:

Is the AE StraitEdge2 Kayak Comfortable?

The kayak is made of breathable foam mesh which is very comfortable. The seats are made with padded mesh to allow for a full day kayaking activity without spinal strain.

What’s Any Kayak Without Stability & Maneuverability?!

This kayak is fairly stable and may be used on level 3 whitewaters. This makes it an attractive kayak for professional kayaks and for individuals engaging in kayaking as a social sport.

The kayak also has thigh straps to ensure you are able to sail in a straight line.

It is stable enough to allow a wine glass to settle on it without toppling over. This stability feature is especially attractive for amateurs who might be afraid of the experience. It helps to build confidence.

How Would You Store the StraitEdge2 Person Kayak?

The kayak comes with a waterproof duffel bag addition. This allows you to deflate it and comfortably store it in your trunk or garage. This also allows you to be able to carry it along for camping trips in the wild. It can also be checked in as luggage when flying.

Summary of Unique Features!

  • The kayak has rod holders on the side. This means you can double up your outdoor water experience with fishing.it also reduces the weight that would come with adding an additional rod crate.
  • It comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.

The additional items that come with this kayak include:

  • Folding seats
  • A repair kit
  • Manufacturers own manual

Pros

Cons

  • When first used, it tends to steer off in the opposite direction. This will need a while to get used to.
  • Relatively slower compared to other kayaks of the same weight and length.

 

How Much Does the Advanced Edge StraitEdge2 Inflatable Kayak Cost?

There are many different offers for this kayak and it depends on where you buy it. For a very sturdy two person kayak (also known as a tandem kayak), it falls in the typical range.  However, Advanced Elements is not new to the game and makes some of the best inflatable kayaks available on the market!

Do People Like the StraitEdge2?

Most customers that have bought the StraitEdge tandem kayak have voiced their appreciation of its stability and versatile nature. The durability of the kayak makes it a once in a lifetime decision that you will definitely not regret.

Is the Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Worth It?

With all, that’s been said above it’s quite clear that the Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 is a versatile and handy kayak for anyone who loves kayaking and canoeing. Its convertible nature coupled with the stability are a pull factor for family kayaking and group adventures.

Advanced Elements is a sturdy name in the inflatable kayak industry, making the AE StraitEdge 2 another hit.

Need More Information?

Well, buying a kayak can be challenging if it’s your first time. Sometimes pictures and videos help, so check out the following video to see how easy it is to set up the Advanced Elements StraitEdge2:

Even better, the next video goes into details about the parts of the Advanced Elements StraightEdge 2 and its build, plus more:

Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak – Best AE Option?

Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Features

InflatableYes
Inflation Time10-15 Mins
NMMA Certified?
# of Seats1
Maximum Weight Capacity250 lbs
Size7’10"

The Advanced Elements FireFly inflatable kayak is designed for recreational family use catering for all shapes and sizes who want to spend some fun hours on the water. It arrives in a backpack, inflates easily with the help of a pump, is lightweight to handle and is ready to hit the water in no time.

advanced elements firefly

Of durable materials, the FireFly inflatable kayak is well designed and produced by the renowned company Advanced Elements, made of durable materials. Whether you want to paddle around lakes or drift down calm rivers this little kayak will give you hours of pleasure performing well in its class. Essentially it is an easily transportable compact lightweight recreational kayak and it has a number of features that make it perfect for the job.

Is the Advanced Elements Firefly Portable?

As the name suggests, the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is extremely portable. You won’t have to think about fitting a roof rack to your car as it stows easily in any car boot and there are no storage complications as the FireFly will store away in a garage or even a closet at home. As a traveler myself, I love anything that comes in a bag, in this case a nifty breathable fabric duffle bag to ensure your Firefly kayak dries out properly after use. Also included are a repair kit and owner’s manual. It goes without saying – read it.

Does The Advanced Elements FireFly Inflate Easily?

It is easy to inflate although but you do need to use a pump if to make the job practical. Fitted with twistlok valves as well as high flow spring valves, the Advanced Elements FireFly inflatable kayak is super swift to blow up.

Getting the inflation pressure correct is important as, if the Firefly is overinflated, the cockpit space will be significantly reduced and the kayak performance will be greatly affected. This is also the case if underinflated. It is possible to set the correct psi levels without a gauge because of visual markers however use of a gauge is recommended. Deflation is also easy, which can be important at the end of a long enjoyable day when you don’t want to be struggling to deflate your kayak.

At 16 lbs weight it is light so almost anyone can handle it at any stage, especially for those petite independent women or small teenagers. Also attached are molded rubber grip handles that facilitate moving the FireFly inflatable kayak around with ease.

As for durability despite it being an inflatable, the Advanced Elements FireFly, offers a high level of durability with its PVC tarpaulin hull, welded perimeter seam, 600 D polyester cover, as well as heavy-duty PVC main chamber. It has good water clearance too so those who do find themselves over rocks can navigate with some confidence and it is durable enough to survive a few bounces against all but the roughest rocks.

Is The Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Stable and Able?

AE firefly inflatable kayakOnce on the water the Advanced Elements FireFly inflatable kayak has a few features that are important as an entry level or recreational kayak. It is relatively wide so that gives it extra stability for inexperienced or nervous paddlers who only have to concentrate on staying centered.

Despite the fact inflatables usually do not track well in the water, Advanced Elements have dealt with this problem by utilizing fixed rigid forms that help the FireFly kayak to cut through waves and stay on course. In-built into the cover are rigid bow and stern forms, plus a landing plate and tracking fin also to aid the kayak’s performance. Speed is limited compared to rigid models however the Advanced Elements FireFly inflatable kayak is designed for relaxing recreation.

The following video shows how easy it is to set up the Advanced Elements Firefly:

Paddling and maneuvering the FireFly is easy because of the features added by Advanced Elements that ensure FireFly is responsive and sensitive as any inflatable in the water. The lightweight cover material means it is very maneuverable compared to heavier inflatables.

Note though: because of the extra width it is probably best to purchase a longer paddle than one would normally use to make sure you have enough to reach over the sides, possibly 4-5” longer than normally recommended for your height. The FireFly is specified for paddlers up to 250 lbs so it can take a fair pounding for its size.

Planning on the side of safety, Advanced Elements have made the FireFly from bright yellow material to ensure you are seen on the water by passing craft. On the same note, because the FireFly is so stable in the water, if you do fall out for any reason, it is easy enough to clamber back in regardless of how inelegant your efforts.

Advanced Elements take their products very seriously and offer great customer service on top of warranties for all their products. If, for some reason you did have a problem with an Advanced Elements Inflatable FireFly, you can be assured they are interested in it.

How Hard Is It To Fold Up the Advanced Elements Firefly?

After a fun but long day kayaking, the last thing you want to do is take forever to put everything away, especially your kayak… especially an inflatable kayak.  Thankfully, this video shows you just that.  Putting these babies away in the proper manner can be a bit of a hassle but that comes with the territory. However, watch this video and determine if the Firefly kayak is the one for you:

Missing Features of the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak

Worthy of note, there are a few features that the FireFly Inflatable Kayak does have. The FireFly does not have a designated seat fitted with back support so may make paddling for longer periods more tiresome. Having said that, being an inflatable kayak, it is relatively soft and comfortable.

It also does not have much storage space anywhere so other than a packed lunch, you will not fit much in. You might consider also purchasing a sealing dry bag or box to keep valuables safe and dry. For best pricing options (& customer reviews!), click here.

Pros

  • Super compact and easy to transport or store
  • Durable lightweight materials
  • Simple and easy to inflate and deflate
  • Stable in the water for inexperienced paddlers
  • Has sufficient maneuverability for its purpose
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • No specified seat
  • Limited storage space
  • Suitable only for calm conditions, mostly Class 1, some Class 2

 

Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Review Summary!

The Advanced Elements FireFly is a great small inflatable kayak for either entry level paddlers as well as those more experienced relaxed paddlers who value convenience. It is extremely portable, whether inflated or deflated so can be handled by people of all ages and sizes. It promotes a carefree relaxed feeling so is perfect for its job. I believe it perfectly fits the job it was designed for.

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