Submitted: 06-08-2007 by Parker
This is a review of the 2006+ version of the AdvancedFrame, model AE1012.
I spent weeks researching inflatable kayaks here on p-net and elsewhere, and finally settled on Advanced Elements after looking at the sophistication of their products and comments from other users about their customer service record.
I was undecided about which model to buy, and after soliciting comments on the pnet message boards and having a long and very helpful conversation with AE's customer service rep, I settled on an AdvancedFrame.
I could not be happier with my choice.
Easy to set up and inflate right out of the bag (which, by the way, it actually fits back into pretty easily), it has so far provided me with quick and hassle-free days of paddling. I find it easy to carry and launch with only one person. The AF tracks very well and has amazing stability; I found it difficult to even deliberately flip it. It sits into the water like a hardshell and glides smoothly through it, and I can paddle circles around friends who borrow my old Sevylor sit-on-top.
The only bit of trouble I've had was when I was inflating it before my last outing and a few inches of stitching on the main tube cover (the AF has a waterproof nylon canvas cover on its two main inflation chambers inside the hull) popped, causing it to rapidly unzip. I deflated the chambers, re-zipped the cover, reinflated them (cautiously using less pressure), and was still able to enjoy a day of paddling without further trouble. I emailed AE about the problem and they responded in a matter of hours. Admittedly, the problem could just as easily have been my fault as it could have been weak stitching. I didn't think I'd over-inflated, but it's a difficult thing to eyeball without a gauge-equipped pump. AE gave me the benefit of the doubt and volunteered to send a replacement tube cover at no cost.
I would consider Advanced Elements to be the top of the inflatables industry not only because of innovative design, but also because of amazing customer service. They really take care of their people. I'd encourage all prospective customers to do their research here on p-net and on AE's website, and then contact them directly with your questions.