We recently posted information on Aquaglide’s upcoming new inflatable kayak line for 2021, consisting of 20 models for recreational, touring, fishing, whitewater/crossover and backcountry. While twelve models remain the same, the Chelan and Blackfoot series were redesigned.
The Chelan touring series, comprised of the Chelan 120 single, Chelan 140 Tandem and Chelan 155 tandem XL, have undergone major upgrades. While each of the kayaks still feature 100mm, high pressure floors and Duratex tubeless construction, the color and graphics have undergone a total facelift as well as a structural redesign.
The key words for the new 2021 Chelans are comfort, performance and appointments, now offering a multitude of storage options and gear attachments for a better paddling experience. The Chelan silhouette was also refined with a lowered nose rocker, providing better tracking and paddling performance.
The 2021 Chelans are now equipped with a set of 1-inch side-tube molle plates for attaching gear. Molle webbing is often found on military backpacks and gear. Each can be used for attaching a multitude of aftermarket gadgets, such as first aid kits, multi-tool cases, waterproof gear pouches or Aquaglide’s optional, new, vertically-mounted cup holder. The Chelan series comes equipped with mesh storage pouches which attach to the molle plates.
A universal mount has been integrated into the floor in front of each seat. The base plate makes it easy to attach optional rod holders, camera mounts and more.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Chelans have been outfitted with a series of webbing loops positioned 6 inches apart along the floor on each side, providing even more options for attaching accessories.
The Chelans come with the new River Crossing backpack constructed from a rugged, 600 denier polyester. The bag has been redesigned with a larger capacity and full zipper for better fit as well as multiple handles for easier carrying. Mesh pockets and side panels provide drainage and breathability, while an exterior pocket and straps allow one to store a breakdown paddle. An external bungee lacing system provides more places to attach gear. The River Crossing backpack easily converts to a carrying case by stashing the adjustable, padded shoulder straps into a stowaway pocket when not in use or for plane flights, preventing snags. Dimensions are 39 x 17 x 13 inches.
Other features remaining on the Chelans include movable foot braces, splash decks with bungee deck lacing, multiple carrying handles, three military valves and high-pressure floor.
Threaded floor drains can be open or closed, allowing water to drain when in rougher waters or surf.
A Posi Track weedless fin utilizes a US Fin box. The fin attaches with a tool-less thumb screw, and can be easily replaced with aftermarket shorter fins for shallow water or longer fins for increased tracking.
The Proformance seat(s) remain the same, with breathable mesh covering, high back support, an inflatable seat base and rod holders/mesh pocket on the seat back. Two mesh pockets on the front of the seat are positioned for stashing water bottles or small essentials. Full length velcro strips allow near-infinite seating positions.
At 11 feet 3 inches, the Chelan 120 is designed for solo paddling. The kayak body is 28.5 lbs, or 36 lbs in the pack with seat and fin. Weight capacity is 300 lbs.
The Chelan 140 – with a 13.5 foot waterline – is designed for tandem paddling, yet easily converts to solo by removing one seat and repositioning the other. Kayak body is 35 lbs, or 45 lbs in the pack with seats and fin. Weigh capacity is 400 lbs.
The Chelan 155 is geared towards tandem paddling, with a removable small jumper seat which can be used by a child. Infinite seating positions allow the seats to be positioned for each paddler’s comfort, yet the Chelan 155 can also be paddled solo with plenty of room for gear, or larger paddlers. Kayak body is 39 lbs or 50 lbs in the backpack with seats and fin. Weight capacity is 600 lbs.
Warranty on the 2021 Aquaglide Chelans is two years.
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. The 2021 Chelans should be arriving in January 2021.
More information, product videos or to purchase can be found on the Chelan 120, Chelan 140 and Chelan 155 XL product pages at AirKayaks.com. Stay tuned, we will be posting reviews as soon as they arrive. You can also contact us to get on the notification list – please let us know which model you are interested in.