This is a tough, robust kayak that goes beyond the inflatable kayak norm, with great tracking thanks to dual skegs, and tons of stability on flat water and also when edging.
There’s impressive storage on board, and the carry bag is customizable with lots of room. The major issue here appears to be a lack of kit, but the kayak system itself is of great value. Besides, you get a duffel bag, repair kit, and rudder mount in the package.
Experts love the lumbar support and how easy it is to paddle.
Performance of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
The Advanced Elements Expedition Elite kayak is a sit-inside one person inflatable kayak. First and foremost, experts agree that the Elite is a high-performance inflatable kayak that’s really easy to get moving straight from the first push. Its dual skegs (with one being removable) allow for impressive tracking and speed that’s almost comparable to a hard shell kayak.
Reviewers generally feel this is a good all-around kayak built for most waters. However, they all agree it’s ideal for calmer trips. As an inflatable kayak, some fatigue over long trips is expected. But reviewers feel the Expedition Elite kayak staves this off well with inflatable lumbar support and footrest.
The footrest, in fact, is contentious. Some reviewers feel it’s highly supportive, while others feel it causes ankle fatigue after some time (so your own experiences may vary).
Reviewers further agree that this is a seriously tough kayak that’s built to resist puncturing and all kinds of damage. No experts report damage during various travels with this boat.
It’s also apparently a highly stable boat, easy to balance on flat water, while also nice and easy to manage if you need to get to an edge and power up your paddling.
A downside agreed upon by some is that the lack of basic kit included, such as a pump, is a little disappointing. Most other inflatable kayaks come with a pump.
This doesn’t seem to dampen the consensus that you still get a great kayak package for the price paid. It comes with a duffel bag with shoulder straps, a rudder mount, and a repair kit.
Expert Reviews of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
8.0PaddleTVI really like this kayak - it gives high performance coupled with tons of portability, it's easy to turn, and it's great value! The comfort value here is a mixed bag, but it's probably worth the money for durability and ease of packing. It's marketed for all waters, and I think it'll easily handle some rougher weather and currents over time.Read more
8.6PumpupBoatsWe love the Elite - it's a high-performing inflatable kayak that gets close to hardshell standards, with the added bonus that it packs down into a duffel bag. It's got tons of great features, and we found riding for long periods surprisingly comfortable. It's reliable, hard wearing, and well worth the money.Read more
8.1In4AdventureAfter some serious paddling, I think the Elite is fantastic value for money. It performs to just below the hardshell standard, really cutting through the water - and it'll support kayakers with lower back problems marvelously. It's easy to pack up, and I think there's enough storage on board for multi-leg journeys. Give it a go!Read more
8.6SUP Board GuideWe found this to be one of the best value inflatable kayaks for the money - it tracks and moves at almost a hardshell pace, and it's probably one of the most stable in its class. We also find this boat amazingly comfy - which is never a given when you're working with inflatables! The ergonomic handles for carrying are a welcome touch, too - and there's decent storage aboard.Read more
Handling of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
Expert Rating: 8.8
8.5PaddleTVRight off the bat, I could feel that this kayak was going to perform well over long distances. It's by no means a hardshell kayak, but it's top of its class for inflatable, portable boats. I really enjoy paddling this boat - its internal stern ribs allow it to cut cleanly through the water, and it gets top marks for maneuvering.Read more
9.0PumpupBoatsThis is an impressive kayak that we think paddles better than most other inflatable models, and almost to a hardshell standard. Its removable fin is a great touch if you want a little more support moving around. On the whole, it tracks great for what you'd normally expect from inflatables.Read more
8.5In4AdventureThis kayak is very easy to get moving almost immediately. I felt it easily slice through the water, and that's mainly thanks to its innovative hull design. It's pretty easy to move around, and for anyone used to inflatable kayaks elsewhere, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.Read more
8.0SUP Board GuideThis boat tracks best with its adjustable, removable skeg - towards the stern - with a fixed skeg at the bow. Overall, this boat tracks really well, considering it's an inflatable. We had no problems getting it to move wherever we wanted it to.Read more
10.0Inflatables GuideThe Elite is one of the best inflatable kayaks out there for paddling on calm lakes - it tracks brilliantly in our collective experience. It's all down to the skegs and the aluminum frame built-in.Read more
Stability of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
Expert Rating: 9.0
9.0PaddleTVThe Elite has a nice, wide, flat hull, which gives rock solid stability - even when I'm just sitting in the boat. It also offers fantastic edge to edge secondary stability, which is great for when you need to paddle with a little more power. Again, this is thanks to the intuitive hull shape.Read more
8.0PumpupBoatsSluggish but stable, the Elite is built for Class 3 waters, and by adding a spray skirt, it'll likely balance even better. We don't think beginners will have much to worry about when using this boat on flat water.Read more
9.5In4AdventureI'm confident I can sit in this kayak on the water and it go absolutely nowhere - its stability is superb from the get-go. It's also really easy to get edge to edge and still keep control, as the boat's designed with sculpted edges. Even if you need to paddle fast, there's next to no chance you'll tip.Read more
9.5SUP Board GuideThe Elite seriously outpaces other inflatable kayaks on stability (in our collective opinion) - it readily balances above water on rough and windy routes. You'll want to buy this kayak if stability is your main focus. There's really not much drag here, thanks to the tautness of the material.Read more
Comfort of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
Expert Rating: 7.9
7.0PaddleTVI didn't find the seat to be thickly padded, which does give way to fatigue after an hour or so. However, this trades off so I can sit lower in the boat for more stability. The inflatable lumbar support is actually really helpful - as someone with lower back problems, I highly recommend the Elite for this alone. There's some nice leg and knee support here, but the foot system is just a simple bar - it's only ever supporting my heels, and straining my ankles. It's probably best suited for people six feet two and shorter.Read more
9.0PumpupBoatsThe Expedition Elite inflatable kayak has a raised deck with fantastic lumbar support - we found this ideal for visibility as well as for staving off fatigue over long periods. There are inflatable kayaks out there that feel much tougher to ride after 90 minutes plus. We also like the foot rest, which is easy to adjust - as is the seat, in fact!Read more
7.0In4AdventureIn some ways, the Elite proved to be very comfortable - the lumbar support is genuinely superb. The cushioning under your bum is a little too thin for long journeys, and the foot rest didn't really alleviate much strain during use. You're sitting low in this boat for added stability, and I think it's a good tradeoff.Read more
9.0SUP Board GuideThis is an amazingly comfortable kayak! It easily welcomes heavier riders as well as those over six feet. The back support here is easy to adjust, and we love the fact that we could rely on inflatable lumbar to lower fatigue.Read more
7.5Inflatables GuideThis is a seriously roomy kayak - at 13 feet in length, there was tons of legroom here, even if getting in is a little bit tight at first.Read more
Onboard Storage of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
Expert Rating: 7.8
7.0PaddleTVThe sizeable hatch with a drybag top will hold plenty of gear, but I found that without full drybags on the boat (and by purely using the hatch alone), water getting into the front of the kayak easily drains into the rear - so take caution. Sadly, rear tubes restricts the storage potential overall, but the bungee netting more than makes up for this. There's a little room to the front of the boat, too - I think it's reasonable for multi-day trips if you pack light.Read more
7.0In4AdventureThe Elite comes with a neat back hatch (a bit of a rarity for inflatable kayaks), along with some impressive zipper access towards the front of the boat. Its bulkhead risks letting water in, so always bring dry bags! Some of the volume is a little cramped thanks to how the boat's designed, but with the added bungees, you should have lots of space for a couple of days if you pack lightly enough.Read more
8.0SUP Board GuideThe bungee storage here is pretty impressive, and there's a nice storage compartment held down with velcro. The dry bag top should keep a lot of gear dry from trip to trip. D-ring tie-downs here, too, are great additions.Read more
9.0Inflatables GuideIt's really easy to store a couple of backpacks and still have room to sit comfortably in this boat. The bungee cords, too, extend the storage potential even further - you can really pack this boat!Read more
Portability of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
Expert Rating: 8.3
8.5PaddleTVI love the bag for its padded straps and how much extra space you get even when the boat's packed in. The bag also feels like it's built to last - it gives off amazing confidence! The Elite is 42 lbs - a little to the heavier side for an inflatable, but it's worth it for the outer shell.Read more
9.0PumpupBoatsThe duffel bag provided with this kayak is great - you can add and remove shoulder straps as you wish, and it was never a problem putting the deflated boat back in its bag at the end of drying.Read more
8.0In4AdventureWhile a little on the heavy side at 42 lbs (compared to what you'd expect from other inflatable kayaks), the Elite is surprisingly easy to manage. It's well worth the extra weight as a result of the hard shell for protection.Read more
8.0SUP Board GuideWe love the molded handles here - they really help to lower fatigue when moving the boat about. There's a good storage duffel bag provided, too.Read more
8.0Inflatables GuideThe one-handle carrying system here is great when you need to get to and from the water at a short distance. The carrying bag Read more
Durability of the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite
Expert Rating: 8.3
8.0PaddleTVThis is a highly durable kayak with a drop-stitch floor and an outer shell - it adds to the weight, but it's worth it. Be warned, however, that the fabric will take some time to dry out.Read more
8.0PumpupBoatsThis is a super-rigid boat - the floor is inflatable to a high PSI, and the beams and aluminum inserts really do add extra confidence. This is a clearly well-made kayak from even a quick inspection. The rib frames don't overweight the boat, and the drop-stitch tech onboard is another nice touch - it's built to last.Read more
8.5In4AdventureWith a rough, durable shell and a drop-stitch floor, this kayak is going to take some beating. I'm confident this is a well-built kayak that will endure plenty of challenges.Read more
9.0SUP Board GuideWe found the stern and bow ribs to offer tons of durability, preventing tearing front and back. This helped us to protect the kayak during landing, and when we accidentally dropped the boat during transportation. The drop-stitch floor is also really welcome - it allowed us to pump the boat up to max PSI for puncture resistance.Read more