One of the most important steps of researching any significant purchase is researching their pros and cons and seeing how they weigh out when set against one another. There is no such thing as a perfect product, so calculating out those plusses and minuses can be key to seeing if they add up to a buy from you.
Case in point, inflatable kayaks. There are plenty of pros and cons to each, especially when it comes to a larger two-seater convertible kayak such as the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible AE1007. So, how do the different elements of this model shake out, and is it on balance right for you?
What to Look For In a Kayak
The pros and cons of the inflatable kayak are pretty well established by this point, or so you might think. Inflatable kayaks have come a long way over the years, and things such as vulnerable points and how they track while out on the water have changed a lot as the technology has gotten better.
Advantages of Inflatable Kayaks
- Lightweight Build: This is probably the most obvious benefit which comes to mind when you think of inflatable kayaks. A hard-shelled kayak is typically heavier and harder to carry. By contrast, inflatable kayaks can be incredibly light, with some even weighing less than 10 pounds, whereas many hard-shelled ones can easily top 50 to 60 pounds.
- Compact and Easy to Carry Design: When you’ve just finished a long day of rowing and fishing, your arms will probably be aching with exhaustion and the rest of your body won’t be far behind. Inflatable kayaks deliver a one-two knockout punch to both of those problems by being easily deflated and thus compact enough to carry with ease, often helped along by carrying handles.
- Multiple Chambers: Not only has the material from which inflatable kayaks are made improved, but so too has the technology that keeps models such as the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible ae1007 It uses multiple chambers, making these kayaks hard to sink.
- Price: Always a nice perk, inflatable kayaks are, on average, often cheaper than traditional hard-shelled ones. That’s definitely the case with the Advanced Elements Advancedframe Convertible ae1007, which is easily more affordable than the average hard-shelled kayak.
- Comfort: Instead of a hard bottom, inflatable kayaks are a lot more comfortable, and the best strike enough of a balance between firmness and flexibility to allow you to sit or even do yoga poses on them without feeling discomfort.
Disadvantages of Inflatable Kayaks
- Tracking and Performance: Hard-shelled kayaks still track much better on the open water than inflatable ones, thanks to their firmer, inflexible shape that can cut through the water works better. Modern inflatable kayaks have attempted to work around that by including different firm spine-like beams and other features to give some added firmness to the hull or bottom of the kayak without sacrificing its overall flexibility.
- Foot Pumps and Launch Time: With a hard-shelled kayak, you obviously don’t have to take the time to inflate or deflate it. Simply set it in the water and let it go. With an inflatable kayak, however, you need to take the time to inflate and deflate it with care, so you’ll want to check how long these processes take for any model to accomplish this.
- Vulnerability to Weather: Hard-shelled kayaks are better able to withstand rougher winds and waves. The tradeoff of inflatable kayaks being comparably lightweight is that they have a harder time doing so. Newer models are better at this than older ones, and it may not matter if you’re just looking to head out on a usually peaceful body of water; however, if you’re headed into rougher waters, it could be more difficult to do so with an inflatable kayak.
Now, a good inflatable kayak will maximize the pros and minimize the cons, so how does the Advanced Elements ae1007 do that?
Features of AdvancedFrame Convertible AE1007 Kayak
Among the most notable features of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible ae1007 are:
- 13 feet x 32 inches
- 42 pounds
- Two-seat design
- 450-pound weight capacity
- Suggested maximum paddler height of 6 feet 8 inches
- Nine-chamber design
- D-rings for tying things down
- Advanced Elements spring valve
- Pressure relief valve
- Spray shield
- Bungee lacing
- Molded rubber handles
- Reinforced bow and stern
- Storage compartment
- Welded seams
- Neoprene paddle guards
- Padded seats and back support
- Skeg tracking fin
- Drop-stitched flooring
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the Advanced Elements Spring Valve. This is a special plunger that makes it inflating it much easier than in other models. Remarkably, the air won’t escape from the valve if the hose is detached, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally deflating it if you bump up against the hose. A spring-loaded core keeps it in place, while pressing and twisting it allows you to deflate the kayak. The Pressure Relief Valve, meanwhile, makes sure that you don’t accidentally over-inflate the kayak. Both of these valves taken together make it much easier to inflate this kayak, thus cutting down on inflation and launch time.
Here you can check a video overview of AE1007 kayak:
Durability and Hull
The reinforced bow, stern, welded seams, and drop-stitching, meanwhile, all combine to help this kayak mimic a hard-shelled exterior. While it obviously isn’t as hard as a real hard-shelled kayak, it is nevertheless firmer than many others, which in turn lets it cut across the water much better. This also means this kayak is a lot more durable than other inflatable options and can thus take a bit more punishment without popping.
The welded seams, in particular, are more durable than seams that have simply been glued together. Glue in these seams can sometimes start to degrade with too much use or UV exposure. The skeg tracking fin, along with the sturdier hull, allows this kayak to track on the water much better than many other inflatable kayaks. In particular, it helps this model track straighter, making turns more accurate.
The neoprene, meanwhile, can help protect your hands-on long paddling trips. The adjustable back support and padding also combine to make this model quite comfortable for not just one but two paddlers, which is a nice touch if you are learning to kayak and need help from an instructor or simply want to head out onto the water with a friend.
What Do Owners Have To Share?
One of the aspects to which users have responded most warmly for this model is the setup time. As mentioned, inflatable kayaks can all too often take a longer time to set up due to inflation and deflation time. However, with the Advanced Elements ae1007, it only takes about 15 minutes to fully unpack the model the first time and then another 10 to 15 minutes to inflate and deflate it. It may take a bit longer the first time as you’re getting used to the valve placement, but on the whole, this model is a lot faster and easier to use in terms of setup and launch time than other options out there.
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On the other hand, users have also found while the fabric for this model is quite durable, it does not dry as quickly as other models’ fabric. That’s especially true if you choose to roll it up rather than lay everything out.
Some users have found that the seat can also be a bit harder than with other models. On the other hand, this model is still quite comfortable and the padding is nice and soft yet firm. You may have to battle with the backrest a bit, but once you get it in place, it’s a comfy ride.
Thankfully, users have really responded well to the skeg-sturdy hull combo and how well it tracks. If you are looking for an inflatable kayak to take out in slightly rougher waters, this may be it.
Pros and Cons
Some of the biggest pros to this model include:
- Boasts sturdy build
- Tracks quite well for an inflatable kayak
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Reasonably portable
- Quite comfortable
Some cons to keep in mind with this kayak are:
- It can take a while to dry out if you roll it up
- The backrest can be hard to get in place
Is AdvancedFrame Convertible AE1007 Worth It?
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
There is a lot to like about the Advanced Elements ae1007. It does everything an inflatable kayak is supposed to do, being quite light and portable and thus easier to take with you on trips. In fact, this may be a great choice for travel purposes because of its sturdy hull. You can take it on a lot of kayaking trips which previously would’ve mainly been the domain of hard-shelled kayaks alone.
You do need to be aware of the fact it can take a while to dry out, and that the seat rests can take some getting used to, but both of these are minor setbacks and can be sorted out in short order.
As such, this model does exactly what any product must: minimize the downsides, maximize the upsides, and establish itself as a great option on balance. As long as you take the time to set this model up properly, it could be a great long-term option.