Perfect for lakes, class I to II rapids and coastal areas, Advanced Elements’ AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite kayak is perfect for paddling off into the sunset. Paddle it solo or tandem, and when paddled solo there’s heaps of storage space for camping and fishing gear.
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
Assembly Time 15 minutes
Length 15 ft
Width 32 in
Weight 52 lbs
Price $999.99 USD
Unique among the boats Paddling Magazine tested is the “AdvancedFrame” element which refers to U-shaped aluminum ribs. These ribs are preassembled in the bow and stern to define the kayak’s ends and improve tracking—the bow cuts through the water, while the stern acts as a skeg.
Our tester is the Elite model of the AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak—unpack, inflate, install seats and get on the water in under 15 minutes. The Elite builds on the success of Advanced Elements’ original Convertible Kayak by adding high-end seats and a drop stitch floor. This floor upgrade adds extra rigidity—the original model inflated to just 1 psi and the Elite version pumps to between 3 and 6 psi.
Once inflated, paddlers will notice its long waterline and chines, which help enhance speed, tracking and edging ability. These features make the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite efficient and ideally suited for day trips and touring in friendly conditions. There’s ample storage for camping gear in the kayak, and also bungees on the bow for storing a drybag with on-water essentials.
The versatile AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite can be set up for solo or tandem paddling, and there’s an optional inflatable thwart for paddling tandem. Either way, the padded seats are comfy, supportive, easily adjusted, and come with seatback pockets.
Advanced Elements also boasts a plethora of add-on accessories, including a compact carrying cart, foot pegs, sprayskirts and sails, just to name a few. The aftermarket selection of goodies offers great flexibility to purchase only accessories you’d use and none of the ones you wouldn’t.
One of the accessories we’d most like to try is the solo or tandem spraydeck that can be purchased separately and used to create a closed deck kayak. The deck zips on in just seconds and improves the seaworthiness of the design for ocean, river or big lake travel. Additional bells and whistles coming standard are molded rubber handles, bungee deck lacing, D-rings, repair kit and a tracking fin.
The AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite has multiple layers—its inflatable PVC tubes are contained in a rip-stop polyester with a PVC laminate on the deck, and a three-layer PVC tarpaulin fabric as the hull. Due to this heavy-duty fabric, the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite took longer to dry than some of the other boats before it could be packed away. To assure it was entirely dry, we removed the floor and outer shell. The AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite comes with its own backpack-style duffle bag.