Hi, this is Emily at Oz Inflatable Kayaks, comparing the AdvancedFrame Kayaks – the AdvancedFrame Kayak, the AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak, and the AdvancedFrame Ultralite inflatable kayak.
Now these three kayaks kind of look very similar. I mean, they’re obviously different colours, but they’re the same length, they’re the same width, and the design looks pretty well the same.
So why did the Advanced Elements create three different kayaks?
Well, I’m going to show you the differences between the three. It’s not that one’s better than the others, it’s more a case of pros and cons, and what’s important to you as an individual.
So, the first really obvious point is the weight.
The AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak, which is the original model, weighs 16 kilograms. Now, that’s not too bad. So, I’m a pretty small person and I had an AdvancedFrame for many years, before it was stolen by some loser out of my garage. Damn them. So, I had one for many years, and I was quite easily able to pick this up and take it down to the water, so 16 kilos is not too bad.
But, if you want something really nice and easy, the AdvancedFrame Sport inflatable kayak is around about 11.5 kilograms. So that becomes really nice and easy to pick up and carry down to the water.
But, if you’re really strapped for space and or weight, and you just really want something lightweight, you don’t want to lifting something heavy, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite inflatable kayak is only 8 kilograms! So it is half the weight of the AdvancedFrame, even though it’s about the same size. So that’s the first huge difference between the three.
If you know straightaway that you want something lightweight, then this feature alone will get you most of the way there in deciding which inflatable kayak is right for you.
And also, just to help you understand the weight difference, this is Jeff.
Jeff was well into his seventies when he got this kayak and he had no problem lifting the AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak. So when we say it’s 16 kilos, it’s one of the heavier ones, but it’s certainly not unachievable. And he loved that one.
And that’s me. Like I said, I’m a pretty small person but I was able to pick this kayak up, no problem. I had one for many years, before it got stolen. A little bit bitter about that still.
Kayak Carrying Capacity and Packed Size
Now, what’s also different is the carrying capacity of the three. So, in terms of what weight can they handle, and also how small they pack up.
The regular AdvancedFrame can handle a whopping 136 kilograms. Now, that is either a large person, or a large person plus a bunch of gear. So there are customers that take this kayak on multi day expeditions, because it’s got 136 kilograms for weight capacity. And you can see the bungee on the deck here, and there’s D-rings on the back, so you can load up with gear. It’s great for that option. The pack dimension, 76 x 43 x 25 cm. Sort of hard to imagine but that’s the size of a medium sized suitcase, if that helps.
Next we have the AdvancedFrame Sport. So the Sport’s capacity goes down a little bit, and that’s simply because it’s got a single main air chamber instead of a double main air chamber, and I’ll show you a little more about that later. So, it can take a little bit less than the AdvancedFrame, however, for most people it’s still totally fine. You know, most people that I’m selling to are well under that 113 kilo limit. Sometimes people add a dog into that mix with this one, because it’s got a nice wide open cockpit and sometimes they add a bit of gear, but usually, 113kg is totally fine. In terms of the dimensions, 76 is the same as the AdvancedFrame, 43 is the same as the AdvancedFrame, but the 20 is a bit smaller, so it folds a bit flatter than the AdvancedFrame.
Then we have the AdvancedFrame Ultralite inflatable kayak. So this one comes down to 102 kilograms. Still fine for most people I sell to. If I had a big guy with a dog, I’d be getting a bit worried here, but 90% of people I’m selling to, if they’re not going on a multi-day expedition, 102 kilos is still fine. But in terms of the dimensions, it’s actually slightly longer this kayak. 79 x 46, so slightly wider as well, but then it’s only 15 cm deep. And the reason they’ve been able to do that is it’s quite a different material. This is made from polyurethane tarpaulin in the hull, instead of PVC. So what you get is a much more packable fabric. It’s less stiff, if that makes sense. More flexible and it packs down a bit flatter.
Kayaking in Open Ocean and Cold Climates
One of the main things that’s gonna help you to decide is whether you need the coaming. So, as you can see, the AdvancedFrame has this inflatable coaming and it has a narrower cockpit.
If we look at the three kayaks, you can kind of see, they are all the same length remember, and the same width, but the AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak looks a bit longer. It’s really because it has a smaller cockpit with that coaming.
The inflatable coaming allows you to attach a spray skirt.
See, he’s wearing a spray skirt there. That means the AdvancedFrame kayak is classed for open ocean. The other two are not. The other two don’t have inflatable coaming, they’ve just got little foam areas around the cockpit. So they have some coaming, and it will protect you against some splash, but you couldn’t put a spray skirt on it if you needed to.
If you know you’re going to be exploring some cold climates, maybe down in Tasmania. I get a lot of customers who go paddling down in Tasmania, for example. Or you just want to go out in winter and stay warm. Or you know you’re going to be doing a bit of open ocean and you want the option to get a skirt later, if that’s something that you wanted to explore. Then the AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak is going to be a good choice for you.
Number of Chambers and Set-up Time
One of the reasons the AdvancedFrame is heavier is it actually has two main chambers.
There’s a wall, where the red and blue meet there, that goes all the way down the main inner tube. And so you have two main chambers keeping your air.
Now that adds weight, but it also improves the rigidity of the kayak and improves the weight capacity. So that’s why you have 136 kilos on the AdvancedFrame and you don’t have that on the AdvancedFrame Sport.
The AdvancedFrame Sport has an inner tube – it’s one circular tube, and it has one main chamber there to setup. Now that means this is the quickest one to setup. So, the AdvancedFrame Sport is fantastic for quick setup – 4 minutes and 10 seconds is all it takes from in the bag to on the water. I timed myself doing it once, it’s excellent.
The AdvancedFrame Ultralite‘s actually quite a different design. It has two side chambers. This was purely all about trying to get that weight down. It’s not necessarily better or worse, because it’s got the two chambers instead of one. But you wouldn’t know by looking at it, would you?
Okay, so bit of a different design, as I mentioned. In terms of setup time, The AdvancedFrame Sport‘s the quickest. Probably the AdvancedFrame is the next quickest, and then the AdvancedFrame Ultralite is the third quickest, and part of the reason is, it has a different setup, like I said. You’ve got two chambers here, so you’ve got two main chambers to setup.
Award-Winning AdvancedFrame Design
They all have the aluminium rib frame design, so they’ve all got a piece of aluminium in the bow and the stern, it’s sort of “U” shaped. And it really cuts through the water. This is a patented award-winning design from Advanced Elements, and all their inflatable kayaks that have this design have “AdvancedFrame” in the title.
So the rib in the bow cuts through the chop and the one at the stern acts like a bit of a skeg and draws the water behind.
Kayak Performance on the Water
In terms of the weight and the performance, the AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak is the best in the water. Advanced Elements designed this one first and it is still the best!
And what I mean by that is it’s a question of momentum and maneuverability.
So, the weight, although it’s heavier to carry, it lets the kayak sit a little bit lower in the water, and therefore, the bow and stern ribs have a better opportunity to work effectively. So you get really straight tracking with the AdvancedFrame, although it takes a little bit more to get that momentum. And when you stop paddling, it glides a bit further.
The AdvancedFrame Sport and the AdvancedFrame Ultralite – because you’re getting lighter, you get a slightly less momentum out of them, and a little bit more waggle, because these, the bow and stern ribs are not as deep in the water, if that makes sense. But they’re still excellent inflatable kayaks, so don’t be feeling like they’re going to be terrible, you know, you’re going to be missing out on something. They’re still really great kayaks. Amazing performance, especially at that light weight.
Comfort and Back Support
Looking at the AdvancedFrame Ultralite, you see how there’s a foot brace in there. Well, that’s actually a huge bonus to this one. You know you want a foot brace, you know you want some back support. You can buy a foot brace for the AdvancedFrame and the AdvancedFrame Sport, but with the AdvancedFrame Ultralite, it’s great, because it comes with the foot brace. Thanks, Advanced Elements!
And then you’ve got a deck lift to insert. So you can see, there’s a little pole end there, and that pole goes down here and there’s an aluminium riser there, that you need to sort of slot into the chamber. So the others don’t have that. They just have inflatable deck lifts, but the PVC is weight. So to reduce the weight here they’ve gone for a very simple design, very effective, and it just raises that deck up.
The other thing you’ll notice is the floor and I’ve got a picture here of the difference.
So, this floor is black, and it’s actually a piece of foam that you roll out inside the kayak. Very lightweight foam, but foam nevertheless. The AdvancedFrame Sport floor is like a little PVC airbed. You can actually take it out, like you can with the foam floor here, and it’s a lovely cushion under your bum. Of course it’s got weight to it, which is why with this one they’ve gone to the foam floor.
So the AdvancedFrame Sport is comfortable – this seat is just a pad here, and then you’ve got the really soft PVC floor under your bum.
With the AdvancedFrame Ultralite, you’ve got a foam pad in your seat. So it’s sort of about 4-5cm high. Gives you that lift that the floor gives you here, and it gives you a bit of cushioning, but it’s not as soft as the AdvancedFrame Sport.
They both have, however, I’ll just point out, they both have the really nice high back seat that clips in high in the inner tube. The AdvancedFrame (the red one), it’s like the Sport. It’s got the soft floor and just a little pad on the seat.
So in terms of comfort, I think these ones, the AdvancedFrame Sport and the regular AdvancedFrame are slightly better because they have that cushy floor, whereas the AdvancedFrame Ultralite, it’s still very supportive in the back, and you’ve got the foot brace, so in terms of back support it’s still excellent, but it’s a little bit harder under your bum.
Now, I also mentioned that this kayak has different material. The AdvancedFrame Ultralite kayak hull is polyurethane tarpaulin, instead of a PVC tarpaulin hull. Both extremely durable, the reason I’m mentioning that is that that’s what makes this kayak a little bit more expensive. So that’s the final factor to consider.
The AdvancedFrame Ultralite is the most expensive, purely because of the materials involved in manufacturing. That polyurethane is a bit more expensive than the PVC tarpaulin. The regular AdvancedFrame, the red one, is next, and then the AdvancedFrame Sport is the cheapest. Now the reasons that there’s a price differential between the Sport and the AdvancedFrame is purely the quantity of materials. Because the AdvancedFrame has a smaller cockpit with coaming around it, and an extra wall in the inner tube, it’s simply more material. So the price differential isn’t very much, it’s only I think about $80 currently, whereas this one, is more like $150 more, because of that material.
So, which is the right inflatable kayak for you?
When you are comparing the AdvancedFrame kayaks for your needs, you have to sit there and weigh up. You have to ask, “How much is weight and packing size important to me? How much is performance on the water important to me? How much is being able to go in open ocean and cold climates important to me? And what am I prepared to pay?”
Weigh up all those factors, and make a decision. But I can tell you, you won’t go wrong. They’re all excellent kayaks from Advanced Elements. They’re an absolute delight to paddle and they’re really simple to setup.
Everything in the AdvancedFrame line is ingeniously simple to setup, and they’re extremely durable. All of them are extremely durable kayaks. Absolute delight to paddle. You won’t go wrong.
Any questions, however, please feel free to get in touch with me.
I can help you decide by giving you a personalised kayak recommendation:Click HERE to get your personalised kayak recommendation
About Oz Inflatable Kayaks
Hi, my name is Emily and over a decade ago I thought to myself “gee, I would really love to go kayaking … if only I had a big strong butler to help me get a kayak on and off roof racks. Oh, and several thousand dollars for the kayak and the roof racks (not to mention the cost of the butler)”.
To find a way to go paddling without a heavy hard-shell kayak, I started looking into inflatable kayaks. But I did NOT want a pool toy.
The Advanced Elements range of inflatable kayaks really blew me away (excuse the terrible pun).
I realised that the quality was not just about durability, it also meant that the kayaks were comfortable and easy to paddle straight and fast.
It just so happens that I was also looking for a business opportunity at the same time…
Nowadays I specialise (and delight) in selling Advanced Elements inflatables to all kinds of people in Australia.
I know the range so well that I do personalised recommendation videos to help people choose the right kayak.
It’s a no-obligation service that I enjoy doing AND it helps me in the long run because my customers that get a recommendation get the right kayak, first time. They are HAPPY customers!Click HERE to get your FREE personalised kayak recommendation