During one of our many trips to Advanced Elements earlier this year, we were invited to take a look at an upcoming new product.
Wow! Our first view of the AirVolution prototypes, Advanced Elements’ new 12-14 PSI high-pressure, dropstitch inflatable kayaks. The series consist of the 13′ AirVolution solo and the 14’6″ AirVolution2 tandem.
Advanced Elements subsequently send us a preproduction sample of the AirVolution single to test out.
Our first take on the AirVolution? This is a wonderful addition to the recreational flatwater paddling niche. It’s a rugged, stable, simple-to-setup kayak that paddles well – and it looks great!
The entire kayak is innovatively constructed using PVC Tarpaulin laminated to high-pressure drop-stitch material – this gives a smoother finish, increased rigidity and a sculpted outline for greater paddling performance. The v-shaped hull design in the bow and removable deep-water fin increase tracking performance, allowing the AirVolution to slice through the water.
Drop-stitch (DS) material is the same used in the inflatable paddle board market, where thousands of threads string the top and bottom panels together, allowing it to be pumped up to higher pressures, thus making it more rigid.
With only two chambers to inflate, the new AirVolution high-pressure inflatable kayak features a streamlined set up procedure, allowing one to get out on the water quickly. Two pressure relief valves ensure the kayak is not overinflated, releasing at roughly 18 PSI.
The open-deck design provides ease-of-entry, while a drain well with plug ensures that you stay drier.
The sculpted EVA foam seat can be ratcheted four-ways, providing maximum support, adjustability and comfort.
Front and rear bungee deck lacing provide plenty of options to attach gear, yet there are still options for storing small items under the decks
We took the AirVolution out for a maiden voyage. Both of us felt the kayak paddled and tracked well, was rugged and incredibly stable. The sculpted hull allows water to drain off, and the smooth skin is very easy to dry. Everything in the package looks great, from the graphics and sculpted silhouette to the EVA-foam molded seat and included accessories.
At 5’4″, I found that moving the seat up 12 inches from the rear well allowed me to be balanced and use the front deck as a foot brace. I also was able to easily stand up.
At 6’2″, my husband had the seat all the way to the back. While his knees were slightly bent, he actually prefers that position when paddling. Since I know we will get asked this, for reference we measured the seat back to the front deck as 45 to 46″. With “water socks” on, he was able to lay his legs down flat. So, I would feel comfortable saying the AirVolution can be paddled by customers up to 6’2″. Cockpit actual dimensions are 19 inches wide by 48 inches long.
He did note that the deep water fin provides improved tracking, but one needs to push the kayak into deeper water when launching so the fin doesn’t “hang up.”
One thing I wanted to point out – as the seat features a four-way ratchet design with 2 ladder locks per buckle, it is a little daunting at first. To set the seat up properly, you want to even the straps and get the seat back as vertical as possible, then ratchet the buckles to get curvature.
The AirVolution comes with a dual-action hand pump with gauge, deep water fin, and a roller backpack. While we did not have the production version of the pump or backpack, even the prototype samples looked good. Payload on the single kayak is 235 lbs person (300 lbs person and gear) while the double is 500 lbs persons (550 lbs persons and gear). Weights are 39 lbs and 48 lbs respectively.
Retail price on the AirVolution single is $1099 while the AirVolution2 Tandem is $1299. The AirVolutions are in transit with estimated availability date of 6/26 to 6/29 – preorders are currently being accepted and they’re moving!
AirKayaks New Product Intro Special: Get $100 off an AirVolution kayak, now through July 15th. Use coupon code AIR100 at checkout!
Stay tuned! We will publish a complete Product Review on both AirVolutions when the final production models are in stock. For more details or to purchase, visit the AirVolution and AirVolution2 product pages at AirKayaks.com. You can also watch two videos on the AirVolution.