One look at inflatable kayaks and you’d think they’re nothing more than glorified inner tubes or kiddie pools with oars. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is just the same as any other inflatable kayak but the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak blows any and all expectations out of the water. Here’s a look at what makes it so special:
The Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is obviously a lot cheaper than the hard wood, fiberglass, or carbon fiber composites of rigid kayaks but it is almost just as durable. It is also a lot easier to transport, store, and use because of its convenient designs.
It’s basically a starter kayak for people who haven’t really gotten into the sport but it also works for veterans who just want a leisurely ride at the lake. Even for people with a professional fiberglass kayak this is still perfect for a quick ride on calm water.
- Rigid panels for bow and stern are built-in – one of the main issues for inflatable kayaks is their stability and tracking capabilities aren’t anything to praise. This problem is resolved here due to the rigid built-in panels that ensures better steering and faster padding.
- Durable but Lightweight Material – the outer cover is very durable but also very lightweight. This ensures that rocks, shells, and other obstructions won’t puncture the kayak during those moments when you have to ride through rougher waters.
- Quick Set-Up – convenience is the name of the game when it comes to portable inflatable kayaks and the FireFly is no exception. As a matter of fact, it perfects the concept of convenient, speedy set-up due to its high flow Spring Valve and Twistlok Valve that makes the process so much easier, even for amateur kayak enthusiasts.
- Additional Tracking Performance – the FireFly also comes with a built-in fin and landing plate. These additional tools allow for improved tracking and can help the kayak glide with little to no effort needed. It’s a perfect introduction to the sport.
Pros and Cons
- Convenience – with the FireFly you won’t have to worry about technical issues, set-up problems, or anything requiring a professional kayak expert. You can set it up, ride it, repair it, and deflate it all on your own due to its convenient mechanics.
- Portability – the entire set-up will weigh a total of 16lbs. Anyone, even lightweight people with little to no upper body strength, can carry this from their car to the waters. Amazingly, this lightweight kayak can handle passengers up to 250lbs. When deflated, you can easily fit it into its duffle bag and toss it into your car or store it under your bed or inside the closet.
- Improved Performance – very few inflatable kayaks come with their own built-in landing plate, tracking fin, and rigid bows and sterns. The FireFly comes with them all so even if it is an inflatable boat it is designed to work like its rigid counterparts. This ensures better performance on the water.
- Enhanced Durability – the enhanced material of the outer cover is very lightweight but it is also very durable. Most inflatable kayaks of this design and price can only handle calm, Class I waters but this kayak can even endure collisions from Class II rapids.
- Limited Space – some kayaks are built with some extra space so you can store fishing gear or whatnot but the FireFly eschews this concept and offers very little extra space. This is intentional however, to maintain better tracking and control.
- Only for Calmer Waters – the FireFly might be able to endure a few minutes on Class II rivers so a few bumps here and there against some rocks won’t be a problem but it isn’t designed for Class III encounters. This can limit your adventures but if you just want a convenient, portable kayak for a lazy afternoon at the lake then this is the best option out there.
If you haven’t spent much time with kayaks or if you just want a kayak that is easy to carry around and easy to setup then the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is the ideal choice. It is a perfect “starter” kayak and even the veteran paddler will find a lot to like here.
It’s affordable, it’s lightweight, and it is a lot more stable on the water than any other inflatable kayak out there today.