ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame 1-Person Inflatable Kayak

Last updated date: July 19, 2022

DWYM Score

8.8

ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame 1-Person Inflatable Kayak

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We looked at the top Inflatable Kayaks and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Inflatable Kayak you should buy.

Update as July 19, 2022:
Checkout The Best Inflatable Kayaks for a detailed review of all the top inflatable kayaks.

Overall Take

You’ll get aluminum ribs with this kayak, which help shape the bow and stern and improve your control. There are three layers of material to help protect you from punctures while you’re navigating rocky waterways. Assembly is easy. You’ll just need to unfold, inflate and attach the seat, then return it to the carrying bag when you’re finished using it.


In our analysis of 24 expert reviews, the ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame 1-Person Inflatable Kayak placed 3rd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Inflatable Kayak – The Advanced Frame is a combination of the best of folding frame kayaks and inflatable kayaks. The Advanced Frame kayak’s bow slices through water like a knife and tracks just as well as any hard shell kayak. Built-in aluminum ribs help define the bow and stern and improve maneuverability greatly. The stern also acts as a skeg, further increasing the kayak’s tracking performance. The Advanced Frame IK uses 3 layers of extremely durable materials to resist the chance of puncture. The heavy-duty 30-gauge PVC main chamber is protected by a high density polyurethane-coated polyester inner cover and a tough PVC Tarpaulin with 1000 Denier Polyester outer layer. A double layer of material on the bow and stern, and welded-on landing plates increase protection when beaching the kayak. There is plenty of on-board storage room for extended trips in this kayak as well. The breathable foam mesh back support of the padded seat sets you up for all day paddling comfort. The best part is that the Advanced Frame sets up in just a few minutes and is compact enough to take along on a weekend adventure. Keep it in the trunk of your car, and paddle whenever you want. Or pack it into a remote wilderness area and paddle where no one has paddled before. Simply inflate with a pump and hit the water in minutes. The included carry duffel bag makes storing and transporting easy. With the looks and paddle-ability of a rigid hard shell kayak with the portability of an inflatable, the Advanced Frame IK has it all!

Expert Reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
277 user reviews

What experts liked

The aluminum-reinforced keel creates a V shape that tracks well and cuts through the water far better than the flat bottom of most other models.
- Outdoor Gear Lab
The aluminum ribs in the bow and stern give the boat more control and tracking in the water so it handles as close to a hard-shell kayak as you’ll find in an inflatable, which, to many, makes it worth the extra weight.
- Gear Patrol
Excellent stability thanks to the 32-inch, broad base Increased tracking performance
- Water Sports Whiz

What experts didn't like

However, this boat is challenging to put away. Unlike many others with bottom drainage ports for drying out, the AdvancedFrame does not.
- Outdoor Gear Lab
It’s hard to dry off the kayak, especially the interior
- Water Sports Whiz

An Overview On Inflatable Kayaks

As outdoor sports have grown in popularity in recent years, kayaks have become more popular than ever. Even before the pandemic boosted interest in outdoor sports, kayaking was experiencing steady growth year after year. By 2020, 4.3 percent of outdoor activities were focused on recreational kayaking.

But if you’re first learning about kayaking, it’s important to understand the various types. There is, of course, recreational kayaking, which has you simply navigating your kayak around lakes and ponds. A much smaller percentage of kayakers indulge in sea or whitewater kayaking, bringing a little more adventure to the sport. Then there are the kayakers who use it for fishing, giving them a far more affordable alternative to a fishing boat.

The big challenge when it comes to kayaking is maneuvering the boat itself. You’ll need a vehicle to transport it in unless you want to rent a kayak wherever you’re going. Some purchase a rooftop rack and tie it down. If you’re kayaking with a partner, you’ll need a way to transport more than one kayak. You’ll also have to transport the oars, which are much more lightweight but take up considerable space in a vehicle.

An inflatable kayak solves that problem easily. Simply inflate it once you get to your destination, then let the air out when you’re finished. Add a couple of collapsible aluminum oars to the mix, and you can safely transport your kayak in your trunk or the bed of your truck. The added benefit of this is that you can permanently store your kayak in your vehicle and pop it on the water anytime you have a little extra time near a waterway.

There is a downside to an inflatable kayak, though. Even more durable inflatables can be vulnerable to punctures, and if your inflatable kayak gets a leak, you could sink. Look for one built with tough PVC plastic and even a reinforced underside to help protect you while you’re on the water. You can also find inflatable kayaks with multiple air chambers that can serve as backup if you do suffer a leak.

The Inflatable Kayak Buying Guide

  • Inflatable kayaks often will offer a reduced capacity. Some can only support a couple hundred pounds. Pay close attention to this capacity, especially if you’re buying an inflatable kayak to use with someone else.
  • Some kayaks come in bright colors like yellow. This has the benefit of making your boat easy to spot on the waterway, especially in low lighting conditions.
  • You’ll need oars for navigating. If you’re choosing an inflatable kayak for its portability, it’s worth considering the portability of your oars, as well. Some expand and retract to make them easy to tote around.
  • As convenient as inflatable kayaks can be for transporting and storing, you will have to take the time to inflate it when you arrive at your destination. An electric pump can help you save your energy for boating. But you can also find inflatable kayaks with hand and foot pumps that make inflation quick and easy.
  • The seat of your kayak plays an integral role in your comfort level while you’re using it. Some seats are adjustable to help you find that perfect fit. Also pay close attention to the backrest to ensure it’s enough to support you while you’re boating.
  • How you’ll carry your inflatable kayak comes into play, too. Some come with carrying bags that will hold the kayak and all its accessories. You can even find inflatable kayaks that come with backpacks, making them especially useful for backpacking or hiking.
  • A reinforced bottom can make a big difference in a kayak’s durability. Some use tarpaulin to keep punctures to a minimum.
  • It might seem like a small detail, but a cupholder will give you a handy place for storing your bottled water or coffee while you’re on the water. This will help you ensure you stay hydrated.