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christos nicolaou

Christos Nicolaou
Divemaster and Writer
Christos is a passionate divemaster with a love for preserving the underwater world.

PRODUCT REVIEW

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Tandem Inflatable Kayak

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame tandem inflatable kayak is a popular choice for kayakers who are looking for an innovative and portable touring kayak for day trips or expeditions with a friend or alone. This kayak is made of high quality PVC tarpaulin and is compatible with the BackBone flooring accessory and Drop-stitched flooring upgrade for rigid high pressure floors.

The Advanced Element tandem inflatable kayak is portable, comfortable and provides kayakers with a reliable level of stability and maneuverability when out kayaking.

Overall, the Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak is an excellent choice for kayakers of any level looking for a portable touring kayak that offers a passable–but enjoyable–kayaking experience.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Reasons to buy

  • Converts from single to tandem
  • Great for flatwater and lakes
  • Can deal well with formidable weather conditions
  • Very durable and tracks very well in the water
  • Has paddle holders at the sides

Reasons NOT to buy

  • Not suitable for heavier kayakers
  • Takes a long time to dry
  • Will take on water if underinflated
  • DiveIn Score: 4/5
  • Construction: 3.8/5
  • Stability: 3.8/5
  • Maneuverability: 4.2/5
  • Portability: 4/5
  • Price/Quality: 4.2/5

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame tandem inflatable kayak is an ergonomic, comfortable, and innovatively constructed kayak. It comes with convertible conversion decks in order to transform the kayak from single to tandem or vice versa. This inflatable kayak is made from PVC tarpaulin to create an extremely robust vessel that provides a buoyant and stable touring kayaking experience.

Setting up the AdvancedFrame is not easy in the beginning. It helps to look at videos of the process available on youtube, for example. There are 6 chambers and it’ll take a couple of sessions before realizing the optimum order of inflating. Remember to ensure that the PVC kayak is encased by the waterproof covering before blowing up.

The plastic plates that help keep the bow and stern rigid are easy to slide in, as are the inflatable seat cushions, which attach to the sides of the kayak. When in tandem mode, only the rear paddler has a footrest–the forward seat cushion, which is a clear drawback.

The width of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame makes it stable enough for easy going paddling in mild to moderately windy weather. Getting out and in isn’t a problem for the same reason.

There is enough space for relatively big adults in the cockpit, plus gear and a dog–and still room to maneuver and paddle just fine. Velcro paddle holders also make a lunch or coffee pause less complicated.

Additionally, the kayak has exceptional tracking and cuts through waves thanks to the aluminum rib-frame technology in the bow and stern of the kayak. The kayak makes use of a series of D-rings and has lots of storage, including a rear cargo hatch and a mesh pocket for enhanced gear storage. Furthermore, the kayak folds up into an easy to transport duffle bag for maximum portability.

A difficulty kayakers face with this specific kayak is that it takes a long time to dry. The kayak PVC is covered in a fabric that will get slimy if not washed and dried correctly. For more information read the owner’s manual for the correct maintenance required for this kayak.

For kayakers looking for enhanced performance, the “Elite” version of this model, features drop stitching technology on the flooring for maximum rigidness. This model is more ideal for canine companions joining the crew.

Advanced Elements also offers the Backbone accessory for the default model, however, it needs to be removed and reinstalled each time it is used making it inconvenient and time-consuming to use. Each accessory offers its own advantages, however, Advanced Elements claim they both work to further enhance the rigidity and tracking performance of the kayak.

That said, after testing them we determined that it wasn’t worth the effort or expense as there was little to no improvement on the tracking and speed. There was however more rigidity and buoyancy to the kayak, increasing stability and making entering and exiting more convenient.

See the complete list of the best Tandem Kayaks here!

Features

  • 3 Layers of PVC tarpaulin for extreme puncture resistance.
  • Aluminum Rib Frame Technology in the bow and stern increases paddling and tracking performance.
  • 6 air chambers provide maximum buoyancy.
  • 2 High-back seats with inflatable lumbar support
  • Conveniently molded low-profile rubber handles for easy transportation
  • Lots of D-rings for gear and equipment
  • Large deck lacing system for quick access to attached gear.
  • Paddle holders on the rail of the kayak for equipping your paddles.
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Top View

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Tandem Inflatable Kayak: Key Specifications

  • Best Suited For: Beginners/Day touring/Expedition touring
  • Material: PVC tarpaulin
  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Capacity: 550 lbs (249 kg)
  • Dimensions: 15’ x 32”
  • Weight: 52 pounds (23.5 kg)

Where to Buy:

Accessories

The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak package includes a carrying duffle bag, 2 folding seats, and an owner’s manual.

  • Carrying duffle bag: The Advanced Elements duffel bag is perfect if you want to take this inflatable kayak with you on holiday. It is made of high-quality materials and is very comfortable to carry. It is very spacious, has pockets, and fits your folded inflatable kayak and all your valuables provided in the package.
  • Folding seats: The two included folding seats are extremely comfortable and are easy to set up once the inflatable kayak is inflated and ready to hit the water.
  • Owner’s manual: The owner’s manual is actually quite useful. It gives explicit instructions for setting up the kayak as well as invaluable information about the kayak’s construction and maintenance

Stability

The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak is extremely stable and provides an exceptional buoyancy level on the water when inflated to the recommended pressure. This model does a great job of distributing the kayaker’s weight in both single and tandem mode.

Although the kayak isn’t as rigid as soft hard shell kayaks, the kayak model does a great job of keeping the floor tight and sturdy, especially given the fact it is an inflatable kayak. Additionally, the AdvancedFrame construction allows this inflatable kayak to perform well in harsh conditions and can deal with choppy waves and moderately windy conditions.

Maneuverability

This inflatable kayak has a high level of maneuverability compared to most other inflatable kayaks. Thanks to the aluminum rib frame technology used in the kayak’s construction, this kayak model features increased paddling and tracking capabilities. The bow can slice through the water and the stern acts as a skeg providing a decent level of trackability.

Turning is, in fact, easier with inflatable kayaks, the vessel floats above the water more. This also means that the AdvancedFrame won’t track as well as hard-bodies kayaks, but this model is still one of the most impressive performing ones available.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Maneuverablilty

Portability

The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak is one of the most portable inflatable kayaks on the market and folds up effortlessly into the travel bag provided. The inflatable kayak folds up to 35” in length, 21” wide, and 12” thick. As well as folding up to be very compact, this tandem inflatable kayak weighs 52 lbs, making it easy to transport.

That being said, if portaging or hiking to a waterway, some kind of beach wagon might be advised to save your strength for the actual kayaking. And because the length of the kayak, at 15 feet, is slightly challenging for a solo yakker, dragging it over terrain isn’t the easiest task. Thankfully, the bottom seems robust and able to withstand the abrasiveness, but more than one person has definitely wished for a kayak trailer here (a fact that the inflatable profile would otherwise seem to mitigate).

But storing the AdvancedFrame is the biggest advantage and as a tandem kayak, this is one of the best, if not the best two-person kayak.

Price/Quality Ratio

The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak has a truly impressive design and construction and performs exceptionally well for an inflatable kayak. This kayak is guaranteed to provide you with a premium paddling experience for a fair price. That said, it would be ideal if Advanced Elements provided consumers with a pump as well as paddles as part of the package.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Tandem Kayaking

Summary

We recommend the Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak for kayakers with any level of experience who want a portable inflatable kayak perfect for touring with. Overall, this is an epic inflatable kayak offering and would be an excellent buy for any kayaker.

Storage is easy and transport in any kind of car a cinch too. In calm waters like rivers and small lakes, the AdvancedFrame excels. It’s spacious and sturdy enough to provide comfort for longer paddling. The stern paddler will have more comfort on account of being able to use the seat in front as a footrest, but there are DIY solutions to remedy this.

Figuring out how to dry the kayak, both inside, in between the fabric and the chambers remains a bit of a mystery, but at least the inflatable parts are protected from UV rays, prolonging the AdvancedFrame’s lifespan.

Going forward, we would like to see Advanced Elements include a pump and paddles with the kayak package. But get this tandem kayak and the only regret will be not getting to use it enough.

Optional Accessories from Advanced Elements
  • Advanced Elements double action hand pump
  • Advanced Elements 12V electric pump
  • Advanced Elements paddle
  • Advanced Elements kayak anchor
  • Advanced Elements rapid sail
  • Advanced Elements inflatable kayak bag

See the complete list of the best Tandem Kayaks here!

What We Like

  • Converts from single to tandem
  • Great for flatwater and lakes
  • Can deal well with formidable weather conditions
  • Very durable and tracks very well in the water
  • Has paddle holders at the sides

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for heavier kayakers
  • Takes a long time to dry
  • Will take on water if underinflated

Where to Buy:

Where to Buy:

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How long does it take to inflate the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak?

    The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak can be inflated in 5 minutes with an electric pump or 12 minutes with the included high-pressure hand pump.

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    What pressure can the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak be inflated to?

    The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak needs to have each chamber inflated to 1 psi.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What does the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak come with?

    The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak comes a carrying duffle bag, 2 folding seats and an owners manual

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What weight can the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak hold?

    The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak can support a weight of up to 550 pounds.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What maintenance does the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak need?

    The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak needs to be left to dry by unzipping all the layers. Although it can take a substantial amount of time to dry, it’s important that the kayak is thoroughly dried before being folded and placed into the duffle carrying bag otherwise the materials will become damaged.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Is the Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak covered by warranty?

    The Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak has a 30-day return policy.

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