Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012 Review

Bottom Line:

A solid entry-level, recreational kayak that can stand up to regular use as beginners become more advanced. It’s also great value for money!

Good for beginners and also able to stand up to hard paddling – the AdvancedFrame AE1012 inflatable kayak is great for leisurely days out as well as longer expeditions. It’s better suited to people under six feet tall.



based on 3 reviews

Performance Ratings:

  • Handling
  • Stability
  • Comfort
  • Onboard Storage
  • Portability
  • Durability


BrandAdvanced Elements
Size (length x width)10'5 x 32"
Weight36 lbs
Capacity300 lbs / 126KG

Comparison to Similar Kayaks:

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012 Advanced Elements Expedition Elite Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Sea Eagle RazorLite 393rl Sea Eagle 380x Explorer
Expert Rating
Size10'5 x 32"13' x 32"11'2" x 37"12'10" x 28"12'6" x 39"
Weight36 lbs42 lbs31.5 lbs35 lbs40 lbs
Onboard Storage6.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012 Review

Reasons to Buy:
  • Great value for money
  • Extremely comfortable, with a high back seat and low center of gravity
  • Very durable, with multi-layer construction and multiple air chambers - making it very difficult to puncture
Reasons Not to Buy:
  • Taller kayakers (above 6 feet) may struggle
  • A bit heavier than other similar solo boats
  • No air pump, nor PSI gauge included

Performance of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012 is one of the best inflatable kayaks for 1 person. Experts all agree that this is a great inflatable kayak for the money! The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012 is versatile enough to make it a great first-time, entry-level kayak for beginners, but also can be used by more experienced kayakers on more challenging outings and expeditions. It’s a kayak that offers its paddlers room to grow.

It’s a durable, stable kayak that’s easy to handle – holding a line very well and turning quickly if needed. Its built-in aluminum ribs add definition to the bow and stern, enhancing the kayak’s tracking. Beginners would surely be suited to this kayak  – it’s stable enough to make a first-time paddler feel comfortable and confident, and the slightly wider dimensions (at 2’9″) make it stable, even in choppy conditions.

The AdvancedFrame AE1012 inflatable kayak also excels where comfort is concerned. The low riding position and high-backed seat make for a comfortable ride (and is adjustable too – so you can switch things up if you need to). While shorter people or people of ‘average’ height should find this inflatable kayak both comfortable and easy to handle – paddlers who are taller than six feet might struggle (it can feel a little cramped).

Onboard storage space is adequate, with AdvancedElements claiming it can hold 300 lbs of weight, but this was not a stand-out feature among the expert reviews analyzed here (in fact, one reviewer said that the kayak rode pretty low in the water with just the paddler and no additional gear). Plus, the craft itself is somewhat on the heavy side for an inflatable kayak when compared to similar boats.  However, the comfort and handling of this well-designed craft make up for any shortcomings in this area – so it doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Though the Advanced Elements kayak isn’t the cheapest inflatable boat out there, it’s still reasonably priced and gives great value for money. By combining great performance, durability, and comfort so more advanced kayakers can still enjoy it, the AdvancedFrame AE1012 is a kayak that offers its paddlers room to grow.

Expert Reviews of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

7.3PaddleTVIt's a great entry-level recreational kayak for short to average-height adults. People below 6 feet tall who are just getting into kayaking would be well suited to this boat. While it's a great entry-level inflatable kayak, the upgrade option of a stiffer, more rigid floor would be a worthwhile investment for those who want to advance or start paddling more.Read more
7.7Oz Inflatable KayaksIt's a really great kayak for beginners because it's so easy to paddle, but almost anyone can use it - so it's got room to grow! It's suitable for open ocean as well, so as you get bolder, you can do more and more with it. It's a very versatile kayak that ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of different people.rnRead more
7.5Gear LabFor the performance, versatility, comfort, and quality construction, we think the AdvancedFrame is a very high-value item and well worth its cost. While you may be thinking that purchasing an inflatable kayak will automatically lower the on-water capabilities of your boat, that doesn't have to be true, and the Advanced Elements kayak proves that. With superb handling, surprising comfort, and high-caliber construction, this combination kayak merges the best of both worlds — the speed and tracking of a hard shell model with the portability of an inflatable exteriorRead more

Handling of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Expert Rating: 8.0

7.0PaddleTVIt holds a line very well for a 10-foot kayak; it's very maneuverable and turns very well when you need it to turn, so it handles great! It isn't a boat to take out on into rough conditions - but would be fine for those looking for a boat to stick to calm, sheltered water that's protected from wind and waves.Read more
8.0Oz Inflatable KayaksIt's a real delight to have an inflatable kayak that actually goes straight! The fin on the hull helps with tracking, but the thing that really makes this kayak go straight is the aluminum rib frame design. This is a patented design from Advanced Elements; the built-in aluminum ribs make the front and back bow, and the stern of the kayak, cut into the water. This has the tremendous effect of making the kayak go straight. Read more
9.0Gear LabWith an internal aluminum frame and waterproof fabric on the exterior, this inflatable boat glides seamlessly through the water. It's heavy for a single boat, but once on the water, we were always happy we'd hauled it out. If you're looking for an incredible performance from your inflatable kayak without spending thousands of dollars, this Advanced Elements model is a prime contender to make your dreams come true!Read more

Stability of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Expert Rating: 7.5

8.0PaddleTVIt's what you'd expect from an inflatable kayak of this nature when it comes to stability; it should make even a first-time paddler feel comfortable and confident, and this does! It it has wonderful primary stability, and also has reasonable secondary stability too (tilts and holds very easily without feeling like it's going to capsize).Read more
7.0Oz Inflatable KayaksThe AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak is incredibly stable. It's not like most inflatable kayaks where you're sitting up high on top of the water. This means I you have a low center of gravity when kayaking, so you're not so affected by the wind, and it feels very stable. Great for recreational kayakers because they don't have to worry about falling outRead more
7.5Gear LabIt rides low and is a touch on the wider side at 2'9", making it stable and fast in the water, even in choppy conditions. Even if you choose to jump out of this boat (as this well-balanced kayak likely won't flip), it's easy to get back in.Read more

Comfort of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Expert Rating: 7.8

6.5PaddleTVIt's not the most rigid kayak, but that means that it's actually pretty comfortable, the high back seat is comfortable too. However, when wearing a normal paddling life jacket - the flotation in the back of the jacket actually sits against the seat, so that's not ideal. However, there are paddling-specific life jackets that remove the floatation from the lower back, so you won't have this problem. This is something to consider getting if you opt for the AdvancedFrame AE1012, or any kayak with a high back seat. It's also a little bit uncomfortable for taller paddlers (I'm 6'2 and it's a little bit cramped for me)Read more
8.5Oz Inflatable Kayaks It's really nice to be able to sit back and relax with the great high-back seat. The seat goes up high and is nicely contoured with straps that clip it into the top of the inner tube so the seat is being supported. This means you can put your weight on it and literally sit back and relax, without worrying about going numb of feeling cramped. Taller kayakers, however, should go up to the AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite, as it's really only comfortable for those who are the right size. Read more
8.5Gear LabAnother metric in which the AdvancedFrame kayak excels - this inflatable kayak is extremely comfortable, with a thick cushioned seat that's fully adjustable to whatever paddle position you need. We also love how the narrow shape of the cockpit facilitates a more comfortable leg position for paddling. The low profile of this boat facilitates the feeling of being close to the water that you find in traditional, hard-shell kayaks. That, in turn, makes for a more comfortable paddling experienceRead more

Onboard Storage of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Expert Rating: 6.0

6.0Gear LabThough AE claims it can hold 300 pounds of human and gear, when our 6'1", 220-pound tester hopped in to take the yak for a spin, even without any additional gear, he rode rather low in the water. He then took on extra weight as the lake threw waves over the low hull with relative ease. Despite this added challenge, he still preferred the comfort of this well-designed craft over the other single kayaks.Read more

Portability of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Expert Rating: 6.5

7.0Oz Inflatable KayaksThis is an inflatable kayak so everyone buys it because they want to be able to transport it - and with good reason. It's highly portable, perfect for people who want to go traveling and take the kayak with them. It packs up into a carry bag about the size of a smallish suitcase, so you really can take it anywhere and store it easily. It's great for people who live in apartments (where space is a bit of an issue). Plus, it goes back into the carry bag okay - it's not like when you get a sleeping bag, and you can never get it back in. It's also easy to get out onto the water.Read more
6.0Gear LabAs an inflatable kayak, this boat is already fairly portable, but it's still heavier than average among solo boats we tested - weighing a hefty 33.25 pounds! Read more

Durability of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Expert Rating: 7.8

7.5PaddleTVI really do like how the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame kayak is built the - build quality seems very solid. With the durable protective outer shell and multiple air chambers inside, you'd have to do something pretty foolish to cause this thing some real damage.Read more
8.0Oz Inflatable KayaksAdvanced Elements really thought long and hard about safety, durability and reliability with these inflatable kayaks. With the AdvancedFrame kayak, there are seven air main chambers that are keeping you afloat. This is great because - if the worst should happen (and one of your main chambers is compromised) - at least the other chamber is there to keep you afloat. Plus, the kayak is incredibly durable. I've been paddling these kayaks in the AdvancedFrame range for over a decade now, and I've never had to do a repair on it. Even with a knife, I think you would still struggle to actually put a hole in this kayak. Read more
8.0Gear LabThis is an exceptionally sturdy inflatable kayak, comprised of a folding aluminum frame and PVC-coated polyester, all covered by a thick, waterproof fabric layer. The AdvancedFrame inflatable kayak also includes a repair kit with detailed directions on how to use it effectivelyRead more