This week we received our first shipment of the Island Voyage 2 inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements. New in 2015, the Island Voyage 2 is a recreational model with an open-design – allowing one to easily switch from single to tandem paddling – yet economically-priced at $399.
Following is our writeup on the Island Voyage 2, an 11 ft 2 inch kayak. Please note, some of this will be repeated from prior write-ups.
Getting Started with the Island Voyage 2
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak, drawstring duffel bag, instructions, repair kit, tracking fin and two seats.
Initial measurements showed the kayak body weighs 25 lbs while the kayak with seats in the duffle is 30 lbs. The drawstring case is roughly 37 x 28 inches. Boxed up, the dimensions are 25 x 19 x 14 inches inches with a shipping weight of 35 lbs.
(AirKayaks Side note #1: When initially removing the kayak from the carrying case, take a good look at how the kayak is folded This is probably the most overlooked step and it is VERY helpful when trying to get the kayak back into the bag.)
Island Voyage 2 Inflatation and Setup
The included instructions appear adequate and include diagrams with inflation details.
Set up is straight-forward and simple – unpack, unfold, inflate.
The first step is to attach the removable tracking fin, which enhances paddling/tracking in deeper water. Make sure the fin is pointing towards the rear of the kayak, then insert the front of the fin, pushing down and back, to lock the front end. Then move the fin back until the holes line up, and replace the retaining pin. At this point, pull up on the fin to make sure you have it locked in position. AirKayaks side note #2: You may want to bring along a towel, as the fin and bottom hull of the kayak are black, and become quite burning in the sun.
There are three inflation chambers utilizing Boston valves – the floor and two side chambers. Boston valves are two-part, screw-on valves. The bottom portion is threaded onto the kayak, the top valve is screwed open for inflation and then tightened shut after inflation. Air is easily released by unscrewing the base connector. How does it work? A flap inside the valve opens when air is pumped into the kayak, and falls shut when not pumped so that air will not rush back out.
(AirKayaks Side note #3: The Boston valves have a tether that keeps the valve attached to the kayak, ensuring that the valves don’t get lost after deflating. Make sure this does not get in the way when screwing on the valve base, and the valve is not cross-threaded, or you may have some air leakage.)
The Island Voyage features a left and right bladder, unlike many of the other Advanced Elements kayaks which have an inner and outer bladder. We pumped up each of the side chambers until firm, using a double action hand pump – this took about 40-45 pumps each side to reach 2 PSI.
We then pumped up the floor until firm (1.0 psi with slight give) – this took about 25 to 27 pumps. Screw on the valve caps to ensure that the valves are protected and there is no air leakage. (AirKayaks side note #4: If using a pressure gauge, please note that – since the gauges work on back pressure – the gauge will only register as you are pushing in air, and will drop to zero when you stop.)
Next attach the seat(s) – these stay in position utilizing velcro floor strips and adjustable side straps. While the instructions neglect to mention the seats, installation is pretty apparent. Zip the seats up; if paddling tandem, the two seats are placed over the front and back velcro strips. If paddling solo, place one seat over the center velcro strips.
Attach the front seat quick-connect clips to the first set of inner d-rings, and the rear seat clips to the third set of inner d-rings; once you get into the kayak, you can tighten up the side straps until you reach the support level that is comfortable for you. For solo paddling, use the middle set of inner d-rings.
That’s it! You’re ready to paddle.
Features and Specifications for the Island Voyage 2
The Island Voyage II is constructed with four padded cloth carrying handles (bow, stern and both sides), but it is fairly simple to carry by hooking the side of the kayak over your shoulder.
Two spray decks with a one-inch coaming lip – front and rear – help prevent water from splashing in. Each has a bungee deck-lacing system for attaching gear – the front deck extends 24 inches with deck lacing 6 inches deep by 15 tapering to 11 inches wide.
The rear deck extends 24 inches with deck lacing 6 inches deep by 14 tapering to 10.5 inches wide.
There are two sets of velcro paddle holders, one set for each side.
There are three sets of side d-rings for attaching the seats, and an additional 3 sets just above, for securing gear. The upper sets are located 38, 66 and 93 inches from the bow.
Three Boston valves with retaining rings are used on the inflation chambers.
The padded seats feature two, adjustable, side straps which quickly clip into position; the straps can be adjusted up to 15 inches. The 1-inch thick seat bases are 15 inches wide by 15 inches deep, and the backs are 14 inches tall encircling 31-inches wide.
Each of the seats comes equipped with a velcro pocket with two side mesh pockets for drinks and small items.
The 106-inch long inflatable floor is designed as “raised seating”, creating a front and rear well that will collect any water that splashes inside – each of these wells is about 10-12 inches in length. A rear drain plug (not to be confused with self-bailing) can be opened to let water out.
Three sets of velcro strips on the floor are used position the seats.
The kayak consists of three layers. Two inflatable PVC bladders (both sides) are housed in a zippering fabric cover, allowing the bladders to be replaced if necessary.
The hull is a rugged, puncture-resistant material with removable tracking fin and landing plate. The tracking fin is hefty, measuring 6 inches deep with locking pin. The kayak floor features a 1-PSI PVC i-beam construction with a covering, offering protection from claws or fish hooks as well as integrating the floor with the walls, providing a slightly stiffer construction.
We did measurement tests. The kayak inflated is 11 feet 2 inches long and almost 38 inches wide. The side bladders are roughly 10 inches in diameter, making the sides 9 inches above the seating area. Interior dimensions are approximately 128 inches long by approximately 17 inches at the widest point (when solo paddling) or 14 to 15 inches wide if used as a tandem.
When set up as a tandem – with the rear seat back as far as it can go, and the front seat centered over the velcro – there is 46 inches from the back of the front seat to the end of the bow seating well, 41 inches from rear seat back to front seat back, and roughly 16 inches behind the rear seat (10 inches covered) to the end of the seating well. Each seat can be moved forward about 10 inches.
When set up for solo paddling, there is 39 inches behind the paddler (10 inches covered), and about 67 inches from seat back to interior bow, with 10 inches covered.
Weight limitations are 400 lbs for persons and gear.
Island Voyage 2 On the Water
We took the kayak out as a tandem on a calm day.
With our combined heights of 6’2″ and 5’4″, the room was perfectly adequate, but might be a problem for two larger/taller paddlers. While the Island Voyage 2 is a wider kayak, as we were both seated closer to the bow and stern, we were able to easily paddle and clear the sides of the kayak. When paddling tandem, the kayak tracks well and travels smoothly.
I then took out the Island Voyage 2 solo paddling. While the kayak paddled smoothly, there was some wagging in the nose – this would be helped with some weight in the front. The kayak felt very roomy, very stable, and the seats are pretty sturdy when you cinch them tight. The kayak turns easily and rides waves well.
One issue – with my lower center of gravity (5’4″) and the kayak width of nearly 38 inches, I was forced to use a high-angle paddling stance to try and clear the side walls. This did allow more water to drip in – while there are drain wells on both ends, you might want to bring along a microfiber towel to wick out any excess.
My husband then took it out solo. Even at 6’2″, he also adopted a higher angle paddling position, and felt in the future he would position his seat farther back, and put weight in the front. The open design was easy to get in and out of, and was roomy for his height.
I then took the kayak out again solo, this time with a seat featuring an inflatable seat base. Bingo! The added height of 4 inches raised me up just enough that I was easily able to clear the bladders while paddling, yet was still down low enough that the kayak felt stable. (Please note, the inflatable seats from the Lagoon series have a different clipping system and will not work with this. A marine boat cushion under the Island Voyage seats might be perfect.)
I did not get a chance to take the Island Voyage out with one of my canine buddies, but I would not hesitate. With the covered floor, the materials are rugged enough to handle jumpy claws, while the kayak is stable enough to handle 32 lbs focused on catching floating leaves. Cleo is shown above in another Advanced Elements kayak.
I do want to note that the velcro paddle holders were not long enough to grab a paddle parallel along the side, but work fine if you use them horizontally, or use one velcro to grab the shaft and then hook the blade under the bungee deck lacing, or spray deck.
And because of the black hull, I also want to caution paddlers not to leave the kayak upside down in the sun fully inflated.
Bottom Line on the Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak
The Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 is a good, entry-level recreational kayak, perfect for those wanting to get out on the water and have some fun without breaking your budget.
The kayak is pretty lightweight for a tandem, very stable, very easy to inflate and paddles nicely. It tracks well as a tandem, with some nose wag as a solo – this is minimized by putting weight in the front.
The kayak is ample enough for two average-sized adults, and quite roomy for an adult and child, adult with lots of gear, or adult and furry friend.
When paddling solo, added weight in the snout is quite helpful, as well as boosting up the kayak seat base to clear the side tubes.
The velcro strips on the floor make it very easy to readjust seating based on heights.
The Island Voyage is a good choice for slow-moving rivers, lakes and flat coastal kayaking, or for some light whitewater – probably through Class II.
The open design will appeal to those who need easy entry and exit – such as seniors or those with physical disabilities – as well as paddlers in need of a quick dip on a hot summer day.
At only $399, the Island Voyage 2 (Model # AE3023) is a versatile option at an entry level price. For more details or to purchase, visit the Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 product page at AirKayaks.com. Stay tuned, we’ll be putting up a video within the next couple of weeks.