Solo Water Adventures: Top 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed

Solo Water Adventures: Top 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed

Having tested several different inflatable kayaks of the same configuration and always looking for a portable yet capable boat, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to test and review the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite kayak. Since the kayak is touted as a versatile multi-day option suitable for different conditions, I couldn't help but set it up as soon as possible. Eager to put this inflatable kayak through its paces to find why it's the best one-person kayak in 2024, from initial setup to on-water performance, I documented my experience in detail.

Setup and Inflation:

The carrying bag included in the package that appeared to be durable was the first thing I stumbled upon as it has padded shoulder straps and duffel-style handles. It was very easy to carry the kayak. The bag is incredibly roomy, so it was not a problem to pack the deflated kayak into it. Inflating the Expedition Elite undoubtedly takes a little longer than other inflatable kayaks due to the 10 separate air chambers, including that of the drop-stitch floor. Using the included pump, it took between 15 and 20 minutes to inflate the kayak. This time is so thanks to the Twistlok valves and high-flow Spring valves. The main inflation chamber is divided into two inboard chambers. Thus, the entire kayak is covered by two separate air chambers, preventing it from suddenly losing integrity when on the water. Although the setting is time-consuming compared to rigid boats, it is without complexity, especially if you invest in a pump with a pressure gauge since the kayak does not include one.

Top 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed

On the Water: 

Having spent about an hour and a half paddling, I can confidently admit that this inflatable kayak surpassed my expectations. First, it rocks amazing stability due to the wide and flat hull. Sitting does not require extra effort, and using an edge to increase the speed of travel experienced tremendous secondary stability. Hence, I was able to perform intensive paddling and handling even in rapid water. However, the kayak is inflatable, and this leads to minimal expectations. However, the bow area and stern are rigidly framed with aluminum rib-frames and offer unrivaled docking. I could effectively use the kayak in performance and spinning, regardless of water flow. 

Top 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed

Comfort and Features:

Another aspect that makes this kayak appear small while on water is comfort and features. First, the lumbar-support adjustable folding seat kept my back comfortable for efficiency. The neoprene knuckle guard is another feature I enjoyed as I had protection against my knuckles rubbing against the fabric. The seat straps regardless of availed friendly space; are adjustable to bring the seat forward or backward in the cockpit to suit different lengths. The foot brace system, however, is less effective as the metallic bar often tends to lie on the floor, so only the heel is supported, causing ankle strain for long distances. Additionally, there is a rear hatch and bungee deck lacing that can accommodate necessary gear for a multi-day adventure. However, since the side tubes take more space, I was only able to carry essentials for a night. With proper packaging, I believe you can get all you need for an outdoor night.

Top 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed

Taller to Larger Paddlers:

At 6’2” and 200 lbs, the Expedition Elite is an excellent all-around fit, and I was comfortable in it for hours on the water. The cockpit is large, allowing for more excellent riders about the legs. Nevertheless, someone taller than me will find the foot room and entrance to the cockpit somewhat limited and unpleasant for many exciting days on the water. The Expedition Elite has a drop-stitch floor, which makes it stiffer and allows it to work as efficiently as possible even when it is packed to the brim.

    Accessories Included:

    • Carrying bag with rucksack straps.
    • Folding seat.
    • Repair kit (in seat pocket).
    • Manual.

    Deflation and Drying

    It is reasonably simple to deflate but somewhat difficult to dry fully due to the reliance on the outer shell material. After bath drying, the kayak will need to be exposed to nature or the sun to ensure that every last trace of it is entirely dry before axing it.

    Top 1 Person Inflatable Kayaks Reviewed

    Value and Final Thoughts: 

    The Advanced Elements Expedition Elite costs $1,050, which is a lot of money, but it is highly worthwhile for the features that come with it. If you want a kayak that is portable and can undertake multi-day trips over various water bodies and maintain its performance, this is an excellent option. Whilst not as excellent as a solid-shell kayak tuned for touring, the Expedition Elite supplies the ideal equilibrium of findings and performance on the water, and I believe it is the best premium option for kayakers who need or need the extra portability. Two other options in this cost range, I believe, are excellent for larger or taller kayakers: the Sea Eagle RazorLite 393rl. There will be a few other alternatives as well, and reading “best inflatable kayak” articles may provide you with more good in finding the ideal model for your needs and dimensions.

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