In Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald sets about mocking a character whose incredibly narrow specialization of studies makes their great claim to fame being able to say they “know more about the brain of an armadillo than any one.” This metaphor for the absurdity of overspecialization remains relevant today, especially when it comes to niche products, kayaks included.
Far too often, products and consumers look to fill ever-shrinking niches, with ever-diminishing results, and that’s exactly what happens with kayaks that try to be “The Best Kayak for X.”
But what if you don’t want a niche specialty kayak, but instead want a kayak that can handle any waters anywhere? The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition AE1009 can fit all kinds of kayaking conditions, is suitable for beginners and advanced kayakers alike, and is thus one of the best all-around choices out there.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite and see why it may be the torchbearer for that much sought after good-all-around kayak.
Features of Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition AE1009
Taking a quick look at the specs for the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite, we see that it’s:
- 13 feet long
- 32 inches
- 42 pounds
- Weight capacity of 400 lbs
- Nine chambers
- Foot pedal system
- Floor fashioned from drop stitching
- PVC hull material with polyester fabric between layers of vinyl
Among the most defining features of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite include:
- Aluminum rib
- High back seat for lumbar support
- Repair kit
- Duffel bag with detachable shoulder straps
- Adjustable foot pegs
- Spot for attaching rudder for hands-free steering
Materials & Hull
From this list of features, we can begin to see why this is such a strong candidate for a strong all-around kayak. It is sturdily built, given its PVC material, but also includes more lightweight polyester and vinyl, while the floor features strong drop stitching. It is on the longer side at 13 ft, yet isn’t too heavy at just 42 lbs. With a carrying capacity of 400 lbs (and a bit more for things like fishing gear), you have more than enough weight allotted to support a couple of old fishing buddies, an instructor teaching a new kayaker, a couple ready to row together, and countless other combinations.
The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition AE1009 also has a long, slender hull, which helps it cut through the water while still having enough space for multiple people.
Comfort & Tracking
That’s due in part to the inclusion of adjustable foot pegs, which are a nice touch to allow you to move things around to achieve the most comfortable fit for you. Speaking of comfort, the cushioned high seat with lumbar support does a great job of ensuring that you’ll be able to enjoy maximum comfort while kayaking in it.
The repair kit is also a nice touch, ensuring that a minor scratch or crack doesn’t leave you high and dry. Nine chambers also make it hard to sink with a single blow.
The aluminum rib does a great job of imbuing this kayak with more speed and a sleeker shape than you might originally think. As a result, this kayak tracks a lot better on the water than it might have without that all-important aluminum rib, which in turn makes it much more versatile and able to take on different kayaking challenges. This, along with a fixed skeg on the bottom, makes this kayak track much better on the water than other kayaks of similar builds.
Finally, with a spot to attach a rudder, you can take this out on the water hands-free, allowing you to fish or engage in other water-going activities that much more freely.
What Do Users Say?
Most users have been impressed with the all-around capacity of this kayak, starting with the fact that it tracks well and is stable on the water. While it may not be the fastest kayak on the water, it is by no means slow, thanks to its improved tracking due to the aluminum rib. Some users have even noted being impressed with how fast it is. Others have noted how stable it is, which in turn results in greater maneuverability.
You can check out how it tracks on water in this cool video by Dale Mr. D Simmons:
This may hint at why so many users feel it’s good for beginners and advanced kayakers alike, as all that added stability makes it that much easier to steer. Given that learning to steer or having the strength to do so is one of the hardest things for newcomers to kayaking, users have found this an easy kayak to learn on, a fact helped by the carrying capacity of 400 lbs allowing an instructor to sit alongside the beginner while teaching them.
Owners have found the kayak to be quite durable and comfortable. Riders who are 6 ft tall and more than 250 lbs have reported riding with ease and comfort. Part of that is due to the adjustable pegs, and part of it’s due to the high back lumbar seat.
One thing some users were less enthusiastic about, however, was how hard it was to refold. In addition, others have been a bit miffed that, although it comes with so many different features, it lacks its own pump which, as an inflatable kayak, is obviously pretty important.
Pros and Cons
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
The big thing to know about the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition ae1009 is that it gets most of the little things right. Lack of an included pump aside, it is reasonably fast, maneuverable, tracks well, is stable, durable, easy to use for beginners and advanced users, and ticks pretty much all the boxes you’d want for a kayak.
If you’re tired of kayaks with strong plusses and minuses trying to fill niches and instead simply want one that’s good for all kinds of things in all kinds of conditions, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition AE1009 may be a good choice to consider.