Advanced Elements Expedition Elite opinion
This is a well-made hybrid kayak combining the best of foldable kayaks with inflatables. It tracks better and is faster than most other inflatable kayaks. The kayak is great for beginners to advanced paddlers looking for a good inflatable touring kayak.
The fact that this kayak only has a 1-year warranty is odd, but the manufacturer’s USA-based support center is very responsive.
Are you searching for a reliable touring kayak? How about an inflatable one?
The Advanced Elements Expedition AE1009-XE, which I am going to highlight in this review is one of the best touring kayaks money can buy, inflatable or hard shell. I will go into the features below and also what others have to say about it.
Features of the AE1009-XE
I have to admit, the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite is one of a kind. There are so many things that Advanced Elements got right with this kayak, that you have to look very close and be super strict to find anything wrong. Don’t worry, I’ll list those as well.
This kayak is a hybrid of an inflatable kayak and a folding frame kayak. It is unique in many respects among inflatable kayaks, as you’ll see below.
9 air chamber design
One of the features of this kayak, which I have mixed feelings about, is that it consists of 9 different air chambers. There are numerous advantages of 9 air chambers being present. These include:
- The multiple air chambers certainly make the kayak safe and provide more buoyancy.
- They give the kayak a unique shape, giving it rigidity.
It is probably no coincidence that the AE1009-XE consists of 9 different air chambers. It has been carefully designed to increase the safety of the kayak and also its efficiency.
My only complaint was that it seemed like overkill, having to pump up so many chambers with as little as 1 pump of air. Granted, it is a quick process, since all of the valves are easily accessible.
Actually, the setup of this kayak is easy. It comes with twistlok valves and spring valves, both of these ensure that the setup time is pretty quick. It means that you need not have to wait on the shore for an hour or so to set it up. You can set it up and get going into the water without having to wait for a long time.
Comfortable sitting position
One complaint which consumers often have from inflatable kayaks is that the seating is not comfortable. However, you will not face this problem with this kayak.
It consists of a raised deck. It means that first of all, you would have excellent visibility. In addition to that, with the help of a lumbar support seat, it will be easy to sit comfortably in the kayak for long hours.
Another advantage is that the seat is adjustable, so you can find the position that is best for you. The adjustable footrest is icing on the cake.
Whichever factor you judge it on, you will realize that it is one of the most comfortable seating fixtures available. I personally always pay a lot of attention to the comfort of the kayaks before buying them. That is why this feature certainly helps it stand out.
Paddling and maneuverability
The Expedition has a removable tracking fin. Combined with the sturdy design and hard-shell kayak mimicking shape, I can say that it tracks as well as you can expect from an inflatable kayak. Its pointy bow allows it to cut through water nicely.
Keep in mind that inflatables are a bit more sluggish than hard-shell kayaks, but this is hardly an issue with the AE 1009XE.
Wondering about its durability?
The kayak consists of a built-in aluminum rib frame. The aluminum frame ensures that the boat stays rigid when inflated. At the same time, it does not add much to the weight of the kayak as well. It means that moving it around or paddling it is not going to be a problem.
With the help of drop stitch technology in the floor, you can be sure that the kayak will stay rigid.
The body and deck are raised by inflatable beams, which help it achieve its final shape.
When you look at these factors, it is not difficult to know why it is such a reliable and durable option.
Oh wait, did I mention the rudder mount? The kayak comes with a rudder mount, to which you can attach a rudder (which you need to buy separately). The mount just means that installing a rudder is not going to be a difficult task. The ruder will help you control the direction of the kayak with the help of foot pedals inside the cockpit.
High weight capacity
When buying any water kayak, it is essential to look at its weight handling capacity. It will help you determine whether it is suitable for the things you want to use it for.
The Advanced Elements Expedition has a weight capacity of 450 lbs. This means that if you want to carry a backpack with you or some gear, it can handle the weight comfortably. It has a massive behind-the-seat storage area.
The high weight carrying capacity is a clear testament to the construction quality of this inflatable kayak.
To be honest, this is rather short, as other premium brands offer at least 2 years.
Accessories included with the AE-1009XE
The two accessories which come along with the kayak include:
- Repair kit – The kayak comes with a repair kit; you can easily tackle any minor wear and tear with it, so there will be no disruption to your outdoor excursion.
- Duffel bag – Have you ever wondered about carrying this kayak to the destination? Worry not! It comes along with a duffel bag. The duffel bag has removable shoulder straps as well. It means that in the deflated state, all you need to do is to put the kayak into the duffel bag and can carry it around easily.
For some reason, Advanced Elements did not include a pump with the kayak. If you don’t have a pump yet, you need to buy it separately for around $40 here.
You also need to get a paddle, here is how to choose one.
|Capacity||1 person – 450 lbs|
|Dimensions (folded size)||13′ x 32″ (31″ x 16″ x 10″)|
|Vinyl||Polyester/PVC tarpaulin/aluminum/drop-stitch PVC|
|Whitewater rating||Class III rapids|
Who is the boat best for?
This kayak is that it is suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers.
The Advanced Elements Expedition is a proper inflatable touring kayak intended mostly for flatwater and coastal ocean kayaking, even though it is rated for Class III rapids.
The fact that you can attach a spray skirt, along with the high-quality fabrics and manufacturing standards means that longer trips will not pose a problem You can even go winter kayaking with this boat.
What AE1009-XE users say
I’ve gone through numerous customer reviews to help you understand what others have to say about it. I will list the gist of various consumer reviews below to help you make your decision.
- The majority of customers were pretty happy due to the comfortable sitting fixture of the kayak.
- Another factor that works in favor of this kayak is portability. Consumers commented that it is one of the lightest to carry kayaks available.
- Many consumers also prefer this kayak due to the easy-to-inflate design.
As you can see, most consumers like the versatile features of this kayak. In terms of comfort and ease of use, it does not disappoint.
The manufacturer – Advanced Elements
Advanced Elements is based out of Sand Francisco, California. They manufacture their products in the Far-East, but their offices and support center are in the USA.
The company makes paddling products with cutting edge tech, and holds patents for their innovative designs.
Opinion of the AE Expedition
The Advanced Elements AE1009-XE, in my opinion, is a kayak that you simply cannot ignore. It checks all the boxes of features as well as comfort.
Moreover, the easy to inflate design means that whether you’re an experienced at kayaking or completely new, you will face no problems at all. You have to get used to it first, but it will be simple after 2-3 inflations.
All in all, if you’re looking for a reliable and easy to use solo inflatable kayak, you shouldn’t ignore this option. It is not a cheap kayak, but will last a long time and outperform most other kayaks.