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Longer length adds storage capacity for comfortable weekend touring as well as enhancing tracking performance and hull speed
Sets up quickly and is compact enough to take along for an adventure just about anywhere
Improved design eases setup and increases kayak's efficiency on the water; no assembly needed--just unfold, inflate and hit the water!
Triple-layer polyester material with double PVC coating offers superb puncture resistance; welded seams ensure long life
Nine air chambers supply superb buoyancy and exclusive kayak shape while adding stability in rough water
New easy-to-use Spring valves and Twistlok™ valves are compatible with most pumps and speed setup time
Rigid bow with aluminum frame reinforcement slices gracefully through water, rivaling the tracking of a hard-shell day-touring kayak
Aluminum frame reinforced stern acts as a skeg, increasing the tracking performance; new tracking fin further enhances tracking
Offers generous on-board storage space without decreasing legroom, making extended trips much more enjoyable; foot braces for paddling efficiency
Removable seat with adjustable, inflating back support improves comfort on the water for all-day use; neoprene paddle guards at sides protect knuckles
Bungee deck lacing and D-ring tie-downs let you stow gear; air-lifted deck sheds spray while water-resistant zippers provide hull storage access
Molded, low-profile rubber handles for easy transport to and from the water; inflatable cockpit coaming for easy attachment of optional sprayskirt
Comes with a repair kit and a heavy-duty duffel bag for transporting your kayak to your favorite destination
Do not under inflate your boat! Advanced Elements recommends inflate with a 12V electric pump, and then top off with a quality hand pump to get up to the recommended pressure
An oversize shipping charge of $35 applies to this item (plus regular shipping fees). Or ship it FREE to any REI store for pickup. Please allow up to two weeks for delivery (except for inflatable and folding boats). Important: Read more about shipping costs.
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Inflatable Kayak Specs
Padded / foam
31 x 16 x 10 inches
Number of paddlers
Weight capacity (lbs)
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Inflatable Kayak
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Rated 3.7778/5 based on 18 reviews
Rated 4out of5
by LeweisefromGreat Basic KayakThe portability of this boat makes it great for those with small cars and limited storage space. It is not the fastest boat, but it maneuvers well. It is also more comfortable to sit in than a lot of the cheaper plastic boats.
Date published: 2007-09-06
Rated 4out of5
by Weatherman3fromExcellent Recreational KayakI've used it twice on the Puget Sound in Seattle. Setup/infalation is fairly quick (15 minutes) and pretty easy. The kayak is extremely stable, tracks well, and is easy to use. I thoroughly enjoyed the two trips I've taken so far. It is slow - your hard shell buddies will need to be leisurely. If you have a long way to carry it - either get the luggage carrier or get help - you do not want to carry the bag very far since it's pretty heavy @ 42lbs.
Date published: 2008-05-08
Rated 4out of5
by McJoeDonaldfromLay-Z-yakFirst off, it came in the mail... I didn't have to buy a car rack and haul it. It folds up to about the size of my camping pack. After my first trip down the river, I've come to love it. There is plenty of room for storage, with a little tweaking the seating is comfortable, and it's much easier on your backside by the end of the day. You can un zip the deck and kick your legs out, I actually had a nice snooze while reclining in mine today. Very stable, probably the most stable kayak I've been in.
The reason for only 4 stars is that with the way the kayak sits in the water, it tends to catch wind, but not so much water current. I had a strong head wind, and even with the river pushing me, I still had a little trouble keeping it straight. As long as you keep paddling, it tracks well. I suspect it will be very fast with the wind at my back.
Otherwise, it has become my new favorite toy.
Date published: 2008-05-25
Rated 4out of5
by paddler8fromGreat kayak if you're tight on spaceLet me start off by saying a the most important things you want to know: If you are looking for a kayak but don't have a place to store one, (i.e., live in an apartment like me) this is a good bet. There are definite downsides to it, but overall when you're out on the water, you forget all things that are a pain, and remember why you wanted a kayak anyway.
This is the larger and heavier of the two inflatable Advanced Elements Kayaks. It is also roomier, more comfortable, more stable, and faster than the other (orange) one. I was given the orange one as a gift, and after using it returned it for the expedition (yellow) kayak. I have taken it out in all sorts of conditions and used it at least a dozen times. The biggest downside to this kayak is it is heavy. I bought a little portable 2 wheeled handcart to put the kayak on and transport it from my car to my apartment- it is not inconsiderable at 42 lbs, but when wet after using it weighs in the 60s. I also strap my paddle and the backbone which I purchased (ill go into later) to the bag so I can make less trips.
The kayak itself is easy to inflate, though you get tired it you do it all by hand. I recommend buying a $20 intex rechargeable electric pump which will get it most of the way there, and then top it off with the hand pump to make it firm. Once inflated, the kayak is pretty easy to enter, though its much easier to unzip the front zipper a bit to slip your feet in. There is a comfortable adjustable footrest, and the seat back has an inflatable lumbar adjustment, neither of which the orange kayak has.
In terms of speed, the kayak is not as fast as a hard body, but its almost there. It tracks very well most of the time, and is only frustrating when fighting a strong tail wind, which has the tendency to push the kayak around. The skeg on the bottom can get bent in one direction from sitting on the land, exacerbating this problem. AE recommends laying it upside in the sun and it will return to its normal shape - I have not had the opportunity to really do this yet.
I have taken the kayak out in VERY windy weather on open water with swells and white caps. If you know what you are doing, the kayak handles well facing into the headwind. Coming back is a pain as I explained. Along with the bad weather comes what I think is the other major draw back. The kayak has an inflatable comb to put an AE skirt around. Because of a design flaw (in my opinion) in both the skirt and the comb, it is extremely difficult to attach the skirt. You're not going to be rolling in this kayak, but if you have swells crashing over the boat, or tip sideways in rough water, a skirt would be nice to have. This skirt is useless. it also attaches to your body with suspenders, and if you lean forward to reach something on the deck, the back of the skirt pops off. If this happens in rough water you have to choose between not controlling your kayaking or having a skirt dangling at your waste - speaking from experience.
The only other big downside is aftercare - deflating the boat, rolling up a dirty kayak so that it fits in the duffle provided (not always an easy feat), and then when you return home, having somewhere to re-inflate it so that it can dry, or hose it off, clean it, dry it, repackage it, etc...
Now as I said at the beginning - with the downsides, and there are downsides, once I am out on the water and I know that without this kayak I wouldn't have one, I forget all about the trouble it is, and enjoy my hours on the water. I wouldn't use it on anything over a class 2 rapid, but you can use this kayak for river, lake, sound, bay - virtually an ocean worthy kayak except for the skirt issue.
When you're in the kayak, even if inflated fully, when you are going over swells or wake sometimes you can feel them through the bottom of the boat. I purchased the backbone, which adds another layer of pain in the *** to assembling it, because you have to take out the floor and then reinsert it, but for rougher water it makes a big different. It adds stability, better tracking, and eliminates the 'flexing' you feel. Some people complained they could feel a pole under their seat. I weigh 150 lbs - I cant feel it at all.
I have had one problem with the boat that let me to return my first one to REI, but I repurchased it because i like it so much. In my first boat, after a couple of trips one of the side tubes, which hold the shape of the kayak, got a kink in it and bent inwards when inflated. It totally ruined the boat. I called AE and they told me to just deflate it, unzip the baffles and manually move the tube around to get the kink out, and that this was normal. Needless to say after hours spent trying to fix it, I gave up and returned it. I've had the new boat for a year and no similar problems.
But, thats why you buy from REI - problem with the boat, or your dont like it, you can return it and someone else gets a good discount.
Overall - if you are tight on space, really want to kayak and not depend on rentals, and don't mind the tedium of taking care of this thing, I would highly recommend it.
If, on the other hand, you have room for a hard shell and are just looking for a cheaper alternative or something more portable - save up and buy a hard shell and a rack for your car. That's what I plan to do when I have a house to store one.
A word about my experience, I am not competitive, but I have been on multi-week sea kayaking trips in the great lakes and in the ocean, and have been white water kayaking about two dozen times. Take that for what its worth -
Date published: 2009-04-12
Rated 4out of5
by TravellinfromDoes What It ShouldMainly use this for river paddling both in Australia and Mexico, with some sea lake and estuary use. Mostly day use with a couple of weekend trips.
Paddles well but I have only limited experience with other boats. Acceleration is a little slower than hardshells, but not hugely. There is a slight tracking issue which I have not been able to cure yet.
Set up is now pretty quick, I only use the spine for salt water lake use. It gets a little noticable after about 5 hours of paddling.
I can keep up with my paddling partners OK but we are not speed merchants by any stretch of the imagination.
You will get a wet bum - you are sitting essentially on the floor of the boat but as I have not been in cold water is not a problem unless you forget the spare pants. For me the main source of water is from the front deck - I have yet to figure out how to get a reasonable drainage angle on it. Seems to get in after about 1.5 hours. Attention to the drip catchers on the paddle will assist. I also carry a small camping towel to mop out as I go along. This also helps with any portage sections.
The skirt is difficult to get attached properly, I only use it in wet weather which is very infrequent in my paddling locations.
The boat travels well, I have had no hassles checking in (not sure about domestic travel) and it has proved OK for Aus customs with only a few issues with getting the boat properly dry - right up in the bow and stern areas. The boat was dried with ad hoc frames for two days and still had some water drops. Maybe a hair drier is the answer.
The biggest issue for me is that drying takes time; I am lucky to have large areas I can use to dry it out after use. This could be a real issue if you do not have such space available.
Appears to be well made and I have yet to break anything.
Overall very happy with this boat, it will continue to travel with me for many years hopefully to Europe over the next 12 months.
Date published: 2010-01-18
Rated 4out of5
by TexJenfromGreat getaway vessel!Easy to get inflated & get going! Took it out the first day in high winds on a stronger current and it did well. Tracking is a challenge. It's never the same kayak twice. I think that was mentioned in an earlier review. The second time I inflated it, it wanted to steer off the other direction. I do have the backbone for it, and here is what I did to correct the "pole in the butt" sensation that everyone complains about: Buy a pool fanoodle. Those foam sticks they sell in the pool department at every store...for a few cents. Cut it into 4 segments ~ about a foot for each segment. Take two of them and rubber-band them together. Take the other two and rubber-band them together and place those on each side of the pole. Do this under the inflatable floor. I never felt a thing. In fact, I believe that cheap foam fanoodle investment was the reason I could go the distance in this kayak. I do recommend you use the backbone for stablity & tracking. Without it I could imagine how hard it would be. I am loving the freedom that comes with an inflatable. No more struggling to get a kayak up on top of my vehicle!!! Just deflate, fold and go home. It's WONDERFUL. We've decided to purchase the firefly and the tandem as well. That way my entire family can enjoy a day together exploring and seeing new things. There is plenty of storage bahind the seat and at the front. The deck unzips so you can easily retrieve things, even while you're going along. Getting in & out of this kayak was simple and easy. I never "swamped" it or had an issue with waves sloshing any water into it. I can't imagine using a spray skirt with this model. The rim of the cockpit is a soft, inflatable rim....how would you attach a spray skirt to this? That's sort of a joke I think. Or I just can't see how it's possible.
I just really enjoyed being able to float down a river and paddle around in this. It's well made, well constructed, and very stable. Even when rude boaters go wizzing by and make huge wakes, it did real well. I'm a big girl, and my greatest fear is tipping over. I had NO PROBLEMS in this kayak. I've researched other inflatables and even tried out a few different brands through rental...this Advanced Elements Expedition is a great purchase. Very happy with mine.
Date published: 2010-09-13
Rated 4out of5
by Seemore MilesfromGreat Inflatable kayakLove this kayak for day trips or one night camp/kayak trips. Handles very well. You'll get pushed around a bit on windy days on open water.....but what do ya expect with an inflatable? Enough storage for 1-2 day trips. Sets up in 10 min once you have done it a couple times. The only negative thing I can come up with is the deck takes a long time to dry but again not surprising with an inflatable. Also great for up to class 2-3 rivers. Its a bit long for anything heavier and its not self bailing.
Date published: 2012-06-01
Rated 4out of5
by wynne's dadfromGood all purpose kayakNice kayak. Much better than the regular (orange) model. It's more stable, more comfortable and much easier to paddle (both better tracking and better speed). It is, however, very heavy to carry....not something you just grab up and go, but still a good kayak. We were less than impressed with the regular kayak, and weren't fired up about the extra length and weight of this model, but it was well worth the tradeoff.
Date published: 2012-06-09
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Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Inflatable Kayak Customer Reviews