Airhead unlike many other inflatable kayak manufacturers is an established producer in the field and that comes with a price. That price is often referred to as ‘quality’ which is Airhead’s number one motivator.
This company has been around for a relatively short period of time yet it has already established a profound reputation and a solid fan-base. Airhead is considered to be a pioneer in all inflatable water sport items. However, only recently has this brand made a solid impact on the kayaking realm.
A prominent living example that contributes to the validity of this company is the latest and probably greatest Airhead AHTK-2. The AHTK-2 is the descendent of a long refined line of inflatable kayaks and it has accumulated enough positive reviews to be considered Airhead’s pride.Sounds beautiful but what does that mean in real words? Well, let’s take a closer look at this Airhead inflatable kayak and find out.
When talking about inflatable kayaks specifically and every other product generally, there are two main axis that you need to pay attention to before you make a purchase and those are ‘quality of build’ and ‘quality of material’.
As far as the Airhead AHTK-2 is concerned, you got yourself a solid kayak. The Airhead AHTK-2 is a performance kayak and that requires a specific structure but most importantly, it requires a solid foundation.
Personally, I believe that nothing says resilient like a heavy gauge PVC kayak which was this Airhead’s first choice for base material. What that translates to in real life is a virtually indestructible boat within its designated environment.
Now that we got down material quality, what about build material? Don’t take it lightly as build quality is often more emphasized and for a very good reason too.
Fortunately, this Airhead is not gonna back down after that first leap which is why the manufacturer went with a fortified I-beam construction which is proven to be the best build option for this type of kayaks.
If that’s not enough for you, which is possible, then consider the fact that the floor of this kayak received far more attention and appropriately done. The bottom of a kayak is usually the area which receives most damage in case of friction which is why Airhead reinforced the belly of this kayak with tubular I-beam floor and tri-laminate reinforcements which not only improve quality but also tracking.
When looking at the basic features of the Airhead AHTK-2, it surprisingly appears to be a complete kayak. I say surprisingly because I have reviewed an abundance of inflatable kayaks already and it seems like this Airhead exceeds most of them if not all when it comes to user friendliness.
First thing that you spot on this kayak is the large cockpit which is perfect for beginning kayakers for two main reasons. The first reason that makes this cockpit pro-beginner is the fact that it will enable you to enter and exit the kayak at ease, especially in stressful situations. Second, and most importantly, this type of cockpits are less constraining and far more comfortable than a restrictive cockpit.
Another prominent feature of the AHTK-2 are the two movable and removable inflatable seats which you might take slightly but appreciate a whole lot later on. Inflatable seats for once are actually a lot more stable than you think and naturally comfortable but what makes these seats special is the fact that you can adjust them to your taste and circumstances which I like to think of as a life saver.
Moreover, this kayak is equipped with as many accessibility features as you can handle and even more. For example:
- The grab handles on this kayak will make it extremely easy for put-ins and take-outs.
- The front and back spray covers will keep you and your cargo dry for as much as possible.
- The neoprene elbow guards will help you sit and balance your weight comfortably.
- The 6 stainless steel D-rings are meant to help you secure cargo nets, secure the kayak and tow it when necessary.
- The multiple air chambers will serve as a safety net for when one is damaged the kayak will still float.
- The gauges are designed to make it simpler for you to inflate or deflate the kayak and the overall design of the kayak is intended to give you the best experience you can have in a kayak.
Now, performance is a big deal for pretty much any product out there but even more important for kayaks.
The 12 feet long 208.5 inches wide vessel is somehow a lot bigger than you might think. Nevertheless, it is considered to be a strong performer in lakes and mild white water. Don’t take that statement for granted as white water can be very dangerous for beginning kayakers. (The kayak is colored with high visibility orange for safety).
So, the question is: What makes this kayak a good performer? The answers are many but we’ll try to be as specific as we can.
For starters, this kayak is light weight, compatible and agile which is a commonly solid indicator of an improved navigation system. As a beginner, navigation will be one of your toughest tasks but the fluidity of this kayak will definitely help.
Moreover, similar to most recreational kayaks, this one too comes with a flat bottom hull which is great for navigation but less great for tracking. However, the Airhead recovers quickly and hooked this kayak with a low drag and superior tracking with 4 bottom fins which will make it extremely easier to keep this kayak in a straight steady line. (The total weight capacity of this kayak is fixed at 500 pounds and anything below that will not affect the performance of the vessel.)
- The solid quality (build and material) of this kayak is not unmatchable.
- The abundance of features that you find on the AHTK-2 are everything you’ll need to have a comfortable experience.
- The performance of this kayak is more than you’d expect out of a kayak this big.
- The fact that you have to purchase a paddle and pump separately is a bit of a bother but they would cost you under 12$ anyway.
AIRHEAD AHTK-2 Montana -More Images