We recently received information on Aquaglide’s upcoming new inflatable kayak line for 2021.
Originally a division of North Sports Inc, the Aquaglide brand has grown steadily to encompass water sports products such as commercial and residential water trampolines, tow toys, recreational water equipment and the highly popular Multisport 270 – an inflatable windsurf/sailboat/pull toy/kayak combo. North Sports was subsequently acquired by Connelly Skis, well known for their water skis and water sports equipment.
Now entering the eighth season, AquaGlide’s paddling line of inflatable kayaks and SUPs has dramatically expanded the options available to water enthusiasts looking for portability.
For 2021, Aquaglide continues with 20 models for recreational, touring, fishing, whitewater/crossover and backcountry. This includes the revamping of one model, overhaul of three models, the introduction of four models and the retirement of one model. Twelve models remain the same structurally and graphically, with some price increases.
Big changes include a redesigned Blackfoot Angler series and an overhaul of the Chelan touring line; neither of these were updated in 2020. But the biggest news is the introduction of a totally new category of Backwoods UltraLight kayaks, featuring 3 models weighing in at 7.5 lbs to 13 lbs.
The popular Blackfoot Angler series has undergone a major overhaul and now features the Blackfoot 130 and Blackfoot 160 true tandem.
The Blackfoot 125 has been redesigned as a slightly longer 13 foot by 40 inch width Blackfoot Angler 130 for one paddler, but with space enough to outfit it as a double by adding an extra seat. A new BlackFoot Angler 160 – at a whopping 16 feet with 40 inch width – is a true tandem with all the bells and whistles and an 800 lb payload. The Blackfoot 110 solo has been retired.
Besides beefed up graphics, new features include a series of low tie-down loops on the floor and side molle plates to provide numerous options for attaching gear. EVA foam traction pads on the floor offer better grip and comfort when standing.
The Blackfoots come standard with Aquaglide’s new high-low Frame Seat which features a shelf under the seat for stashing gear. Street prices on the Blackfoot 130 increased to $1199.99 while the Blackfoot 160 retails for $1499.99.
The Chelan touring series, comprised of the Chelan 120 single and Chelan 140 and Chelan 155 XL tandems, have undergone major upgrades. While each of the kayaks still feature high pressure floors and Duratex tubeless construction, the color and graphics have undergone a total facelift as well as a structural redesign. The Chelan silhouette is now more refined with a lowered nose rocker, providing better tracking and paddling performance.
Each of the Chelans now feature an integrated universal mount on the floor in front of each seat as well as side molle plates with a mesh bag. Each can be used for attaching a multitude of aftermarket gadgets, such as rod holders, camera mounts and cup holders. A series of low tie down loops also provide gear points, and can be used to attach Aquaglide’s new optional Frame Seat (as found with the Blackfoots).
The redesigns come with increased pricing; the Chelan 120, 140 and 155 XL are now priced at $999.99, $1099.99 and $1199.99 respectively.
Both Blackfoot and Chelan backpacks have been upgraded to the new River Crossing bag, an updated version of the previous Crossroads DLX bag found with the Aquaglide SUPS. The River Crossing features a larger capacity, mesh pockets and side panels, full zipper, compression side straps, padded shoulder straps and shoulder belt.
Totally new for 2021 is the Aquaglide Backwoods ultralight kayak line, consisting of the Purist 65, the Angler 75 and the Expedition 85.
The Backwoods series is constructed from a rugged, single-sided or double-side TPU nylon, a heavy duty fabric-reinforced PVC with excellent abrasion resistance that is specifically engineered to take a beating.
At 6’6″ by 39 inches wide and under 6 lbs, the Backwoods Purist 65 is a minimalist designed to go just about anywhere. Features include bungee lacing, paddle holders, one Boston valve, a 250 lb payload and inflatable seat cushion and back rest.
The Backwoods Angler 75 fishing kayak offers slightly more space and features than the Purist 65. At 7 feet 7 inches long and a 40 inch width, this boat can carry a 300 lbs payload, yet sneaks in just under 10lbs. The Angler 75 has the length, width, and additional buoyancy ideal for larger paddlers or extra gear. Integrated molle plates provide customizable gear organization options. And for increased performance, the Angler 75 includes the Aquaglide weedless ultralight quick release fin.
The group rounds out with the Backwoods Expedition 85. Just under 12 pounds, Aquaglide’s new 8′ 6″ ultralight Expedition 85 is designed for those paddling longer distances or carrying additional gear. Its streamlined shape and extended stern improves glide and tracking, while the i-beam floor adds rigidity, flotation and overall performance. For increased tracking, it also includes Aquaglide’s weedless, ultralight, quick-release fin.
Numerous attachment points – bungee deck lacing and molle plates – make it easy to mount tool organizers, gear bags, radios, cameras and phones. Adjustable back straps on the inflatable seat and backrest allow one to customize for comfort.
All three models come with an ultralight foot pump which requires only a few minutes to inflate. The included storage bag also doubles as a dry bag when on the water and an ultralite inflation device. The Backwoods series has a one year warranty. Prices on the Purist 65, Angler 75 and Expedition 85 are $429, $549 and $799 respectively.
There are no design or structural changes to the current Noyo, Chinook, McKenzie, Navarro or Deschutes lines, though there have been some price increases. The Noyo increased 5% to $399.99, while the Chinook 90, Chinook 100 and Chinook 120 XL increased 12 to 15% at $399.99, 499.99 and 599.99 respectively.
The Deschutes recreational/touring open-design kayaks – Deschutes 110, Deschutes 130 and Deschutes 145 Tandem – have no design, structural or packaging changes, and the prices are remaining the same at $599.99, 699.99 and 799.99 respectively.
The McKenzie whitewater/crossover series – including the McKenzie 105 single and McKenzie 125 double – have no changes to the design, structure or packaging but prices have increased 6%-11% to $799.99 and $999.99 respectively.
The Duratex Series (McKenzie, Deschutes, Chelan and Blackfoot) come with two year warranties while the covered bladder kayaks (Noyos, Chinooks and Navarros) as well as the new Backcountry line, come with a one year warranty.
Stay tuned, AirKayaks will have some detailed sneak previews on each of the new kayak models before they arrive in early 2021. You can also Contact AirKayaks to get on the notification list for arrival of the 2021 models from Aquaglide.