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How to Pick a Quality Inflatable Kayak

quality inflatable kayak advanced elements


Don’t get stranded!

You’re pretty vulnerable out on the water – better to get a quality inflatable kayak that won’t burst, puncture or go in circles!

It can be difficult to know what you are getting when you go with an unknown brand, but when you buy an Advanced Elements inflatable kayak, you know you are getting a quality inflatable kayak that will give you years of great paddling.

But what is quality? And how do you recognise quality in an inflatable kayak?

Quality Design

  • A quality inflatable kayak will have a hull that is designed to glide through the water. This makes it fast and easy to paddle. All of the Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks have been designed to be a pleasure to paddle. This sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how badly some kayaks perform on the water!
  • Their performance out of the water is just as important. A quality inflatable kayak will have been designed to be quick and easy to inflate and to fold up and pack away (so you can get it back in the bag). With the AdvancedFrame Sport, for example, you can be out on the water in about 4 minutes.
  • A quality inflatable kayak must be durable – it must be able to withstand rocks and hidden branches, for example. A common misconception is that durability is just about the materials and the manufacturing process, but that’s just one part of it. The biggest factor affecting an inflatable kayak’s durability is its design. The Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks are designed not to overload the seams with unreasonable pressure. They also have several layers of material between the air chambers and any sharp obstacles. They are designed to take a beating and give you years of fun!
  • Safety is critical when you are out on the water. For this reason alone, I wouldn’t consider a no-name brand. The last thing you want when you are out paddling is to be stranded because your cheap inflatable kayak has failed. Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks meet the safety standards set by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the American Boat and Yacht Council.
  • And perhaps the most important part of getting a great quality inflatable kayak is testing and continuous improvement. The team at Advanced Elements love going kayaking on their fleet. Every year they come up with amazing new ideas. As they say themselves, “We see inflatable kayak and SUP design as a craft and pride ourselves in our consistent innovation, refinement, and evolution of our well thought-out designs.”

Quality Manufacturing

  • Believe it or not, PVC is not all the same! Advanced Elements use much thicker materials than most inflatable kayak manufacturers. The thickness adds to the weight of the kayak, but it pays off with increased durability and rigidity.
  • The seams on the inner tubes are the most vulnerable part of an inflatable kayak. With a quality inflatable kayak, you are paying extra to get reliable seams that won’t burst. The RF welding technology Advanced Elements use for their seams is much cleaner than glue. It is also more consistent, which means they have a very low defect rate.
  • Knowing the quality control standards at the factory will help you to know if you are looking at a quality inflatable kayak. In the Advanced Elements factory, for example, each and every kayak is inflated and checked. They are left inflated for 48 hours to ensure there are no leaks, then deflated and packed away.

You can understand why Advanced Elements are confident enough to offer a full 12 month warranty on all their products!

If you want a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience, a quality inflatable kayak is DEFINITELY worth paying for, but it’s actually not the only reason we stock the Advanced Elements range of inflatable kayaks