An inflatable product is always a challenge, and yet; water sports are being largely taken over by inflatable SUPs, boats and of course, kayaks.
After trying a good deal of inflatable products, I no more consider them to be of lower quality but as good as rigid and authentic recreational kayaks.
This review is going to be about one of the Advanced Elements’ kayaks which you are apparently interested in.
Advanced Elements is the one brand that never fails to impress me with their well and strongly built kayaks, and this time, we’ll be reviewing the FireFly kayak; it sounds promising, right? Well, you might like what you’re about to see.
- Rubber molded handle
- Bungee deck lacing
- Mesh pocket
- Advanced Elements Spring Valve
- Heavy-duty PVC main chamber
- Tracking Fin
- Welded perimeter seam
- 600 D polyester cover
- Durable PVC Tarpaulin hull material
- Rigid bow and stern
|Use||Recreational (Lakes, Bays, Inland WatersSlow Moving Rivers)|
|Folded Size||23″ x 18″ x 5″|
|Material||Heavy-duty PVC + 600 D polyester cover|
|Weight limit||250 lbs|
|Number of Chambers||3|
|Fins||1 tracking fin|
|# Carry Handles||2|
|Warranty||1 Year Warranty|
|Rigid Bow & Stern||Built-in rigid panels define the bow and stern and improve tracking.|
|Durable & Light||The unique outer cover provides durability in a lightweight design.|
|Easy To Set Up||Twistlok™ valves and high flow Spring™ valves allow for quick setup time.|
|Hull Design||Landing plate and tracking fin improve performance.|
I’d bet that this is something you already know; most, if not all inflatable kayaks are made of PVC material. The FireFly is constructed with heavy-duty PVC that will withstand any natural circumstances and maintain its shape for years to come. Also, to give the kayak a sharper and more rigid shape, Advanced Elements constructed the Firefly kayak with a welded perimeter seam frame which works as a booster for its form and direction. Thus, the company has produced a high-quality product that will perform as expected in any water environment.
Moreover, the hull is also made of durable PVC Tarpaulin for maximum rigidity and versatility since the bottom of the kayak is the part which will receive most of the beating and paddling abuse. Not only that, as rigid as it is built, the Advanced Elements inflatable FireFly kayak is to be praised for its flexibility and lightweight. This water kayak is barely 16 lbs which you can carry on one shoulder comfortably.
The FireFly is coated with a 600 D polyester cover which is pretty great for a kayak with this price and size. It’s dense enough and thick enough for sure durability and for an authentic kayaking experience, yet, it’s light and easy to pack for storage.
Moreover, this kayak is featured with built-in rigid panels that define the bow and stern, plus a durable skeg underneath the boat. The skeg improves tracking. It also does a better job when it comes to speed because a body that is sharp and defined will cut through water and wind faster and steadier. There will be less resistance and drag with Advanced Elements Firefly kayak when you go out paddling.
Last but not least, the FireFly is 7 feet and 10 inches long, 35 inches wide and designed for a single paddler. Maximum weight capacity of the kayak is 250 lbs.
The leg room on this one is built to extremely comfortable because you’ll get to stretch your legs and still feel tight and held together.
- Built-in rigid panels define the bow and stern and improve tracking
- A unique outer cover provides durability in a lightweight design
- Twistlok valves and a high flow Spring valve allow for quick setup time
Given the fact that the FireFly is not that of a pricy kayak, it’s a fact the FireFly Advanced Elements kayak is one of the most affordable kayaks today, you’ll be glad to know that it got most of the good features found on other high-end and high-tech kayak models.
The cockpit is probably the first part of the kayak that you need to check because it’s where you’ll be spending most of your water time. Its simple design makes it extremely easy to slide in and out of it. It has a wide cockpit opening that feels like a comfortable buoy, however, the kayak won’t provide total back support as compared to other kayak models because there are no actual adjustable seats installed. It’s just a cockpit hole with enough leg room which will be enough when spending time in the water.
The FireFly Inflatable Kayak Advanced Elements is featured with a bungee deck lacing that’ll allow you to secure and transport the pieces of equipment and other small cargo when you gout, say for example when you go fishing. This lacing comes really handy when it’s time to take a break and you need to put away the paddle and when you use the boat as a fishing kayak.
You’ll also find 2 grippy and rubberized carry handles for extreme comfort and utility. They’ll enable you to carry the inflated kayak around easily.
Concerning the tracking system, Advanced Elements decided that it is necessary to furnish almost all of their products in all price ranges with a, tracking fin for a smooth and versatile navigation experience. The FireFly is featured with a landing plate and tracking fin that improved the performance of the kayak as a whole. With this built-in feature, the kayak will be responsive and light to paddle.
Furthermore, the FireFly is built with 3 separate air chambers that are featured with the Twistlok™ valves and high flow Spring™ valves for really quick setup time.
For a 7-foot kayak, speed is not the main focus. The FireFly is a kayak designed for recreational kayaking on flat water. It’s rigid, stable, and responsive which makes it a great way to spend some relaxation time. It can also be considered an entry-level kayak that’ll open the door for beginners to get down to the sport. I mean, look at this way, it’s not pricey, it’s featured with everything you could possibly find on a more expensive kayak, and it’s fun and easy to control.
The navigation system makes it a lot easier to connect with the kayak thanks to the tracking fin that aims at making the kayak a more versatile one. You can absolutely take the FireFly on a floating river or a lake and feel how it copes with different water conditions.
Along with the FireFly Kayak, you’ll find:
- A carrying duffel bag that you can carry on one shoulder comfortably.
- A repair kit in case something went wrong.
- And an owner’s manual so you wouldn’t miss anything.
- The Firefly is made of heavy duty PVC Tarpaulin to withstand serious shocks.
- It’s covered with a 600 D polyester that is dense, yet, light and flexible.
- It’s featured with a bungee deck lacing and mesh pocket.
- The welded perimeter seam frame technology gives more definition and rigidity to the kayak.
- The navigation system makes the FireFly a versatile and stable boat.
- This kayak is not pricy, yet, it has everything that a kayak needs.
- I wouldn’t complain about anything except for the nonexistent seat; the kayak alone won’t provide enough support, however, the cockpit’s depth is enough for a small/medium rider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fully inflated, is the FireFly easy for an average person to carry?
Yes, it is. Just like most inflatable kayaks, the Advanced Elements FireFly is extremely easy to carry around.
How long does it take to inflate the FireFly?
Inflation and deflation of the Advanced Elements FireFly can take around 10 minutes with a hand or foot pump, and even less with an electric pump.
How hard is it to deflate and fold up this kayak?
It’s not difficult at all. Deflation takes only a few minutes, and the lightweight material is easy to fold and pack away.
Will I need an overhead rack to transport this?
No. if adequately deflated and folded, you can easily store the FireFly in your backpack, carry bag or trunk
Is the tracking fin removable?
No, the tracking fin on the FireFly inflatable kayak is fixed.
Final Review of the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak
The Advanced Elements FireFly is a great value. It’s an excellent option for newbie kayakers because its steady, durable, and easy to maneuver. Storage is also no issues since it can be deflated and folded and stored in a backpack or carry bag. There’s also no need for an overhead rack to transport the FireFly.
For an inflatable kayak, the FireFly steers quite well due to the built-in frame for the bow and stern. However, when compared with hardshell kayaks, the Advanced Elements FireFly can be a little more challenging to track.
The FireFly is mainly limited to calm inland waters; thus, experienced kayakers may want to consider other high-end kayak options. This kayak is not designed for rapids and fast currents.
For beginners or newbies, the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is an ideal beginner’s kayak. Although you won’t be able to continue using it if you graduate to rougher waters, it’s an excellent kayak for calm currents.
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak Setup