Black Friday Sales!

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak Review – 2020

The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012 Kayak is an inflatable kayak with built-in aluminum ribs, a tough exterior, and a very comfortable interior. This kayak is tough. The best part is it can handle many usage scenarios beyond just lake use. You also get some excellent features at an even better price. The second best part is that it will fit in a duffle bag. If that doesn’t convince you right off the bat, then read on.
AdvancedFrame Kayak Review’ Explorer Board Review

Who It’s For

The AdvancedFrame AE1012 was designed to give users the best of both worlds. Not only can you take it on your next lake trip, but you can also plan a river trip. This kayak can fit the needs of the many while also fitting into tight spaces. So If you’re someone who doesn’t want to be limited to a specific type of kayaking and you’re space-conscious then this kayak is a perfect fit.

Recommended Use Cases

As previously alluded, the AdvancedFrame can handle many different types of adventure scenarios. It is recommended by the manufacturer that you don’t take this kayak on any river above a class II. If you’re wondering what a class II rapid is, then let’s just quickly cover the classes of rapids that this kayak can handle.

  • Class A rapids have no riffles or waves
  • Class I rapids mean that there is a quick movement to the water but with few small waves and riffles. Generally, there aren’t many obstacles in the way, either. But, if there are, they are within view and easily avoided.
  • Class II rapids are a little more exciting. Not only will there be small waves and riffles, but there will also be rocks, trees, and/or bigger waves that will need to be maneuvered around. Class II is still considered within the realms of novice level rapids.

A quick review — you can take this on lakes, some rivers, and in a calm ocean. This kayak isn’t limited to one locale or type of kayaking.

Kayak Features

  • Advanced Elements Spring Valve: The Advanced Elements Spring Valve is a military-grade plunger valve. What’s unique about this type of valve is that it allows for a higher volume of air to be pumped into the kayak at any given time, and the air stays inside the kayak even if the hose accidentally disconnects or you’re done inflating it. It also allows for easy deflation by depressing the center spring and twisting until it locks in place.
  • Integrated Pressure Relief Valve in Floor: Another cool feature that the AdvancedFrame AE1012 has is a valve in the kayak’s inflatable floor that prevents it from being overinflated.
  • Inflatable coaming for attaching a spray skirt:On this kayak, there is an inflatable rim around the cockpit (known as a coaming) to which a spray skirt (sold separately) can be attached. This keeps both the cockpit and the occupant dry by adding a barrier between the user and the water. Once the water hits the skirt, it drips off you and back into the water. Since there are no scupper holes, the kayak can’t drain by itself while cruising along. So, this is helpful to keep water from entering the cockpit from random paddle dips and when you are on rougher waters.
  • Durable double-coated RipStop fabric: RipStop fabric is a rip-resistant material, and once it starts ripping, it is still pretty difficult to tear. It is also helpful in preventing scrapes and punctures to the top side of the kayak.
  • Bungee deck lacing: The bungee deck lacing (also known as deck rigging) is used for pretty much anything that you can fit underneath the shock cords. The deck rigging on the AdvancedFrame AE1012 is placed on the bow of the kayak, giving you easy access to whatever you decide to store.
  • Molded rubber handles: Molded rubber handles are a nice touch. Especially if you inflate this by your car and have to carry it a bit to the water’s edge. On windy days this can help your grip and save your hand from discomfort and injury.
  • Reinforced bow and stern seam: As already mentioned in the Durability section above, the reinforced bow and stern seam protect the most collision prone areas on the kayak. They also help the kayak keep the intended shape and structure since this is where the aluminum rods come in contact with the hull.
  • Hard-edge bow/stern: The aluminum ribs give the bow and stern a hard edge, which helps it to cut through the water while keeping its shape. This means more speed and better tracking.
  • Welded seams: Welded seams give you an overall more reliable watercraft because they are less likely to spring leaks when compared to glued seams
  • Adjustable back support: An adjustable back support is a great feature to have. It allows you to find a comfortable spot and even change that based on use and length of paddle time.

Kayak Specs:

ModelAE1012R (for red) AE1012G (for green)
ColorRed or Green
Length10 ft. 5 in
Width32 in
Weight36 lbs. (16 Kg)
How many occupants1 person (S1)(16 Kg)
Max. Weight 300 lbs. (136 Kg)235 lbs (107 Kg) max person capacity
300 lbs (136 Kg) max person + gear capacity

Our Review of the AdvancedFrame Kayak

Below are the specific categories that we analyze and compare on all kayaks that we test and review. Together they give us the bigger picture as to the overall performance and durability of the watercraft. And, of course, if they’re worth your hard-earned cash.

  • Tracking: The AdvancedFrame AE1012 is excellent at tracking, it really stays the course. A combination of a fixed skeg on the bow’s underside and the aluminum ribs in the bow and stern are what help it do this. This means that you get where you’re going without constantly needing to adjust your heading.
  • Stability: The AE1012 is a very stable vessel. With a width of 32 inches and a length of ~10.5 feet allows for a pretty big footprint and a stable experience. Another aspect that helps stability is weight capacity. The further you are under that weight capacity, the more stable this kayak will be. That isn’t to say that this kayak will constantly tip if you’re pushing the weight limit. But, it does mean that it will be less stable for a 225 lb man vs. a 150 lb one.
  • Speed:The aforementioned aluminum ribs ensure that the bow remains a strict, inflexible point that allows this kayak to navigate the water with minimal flexing and helps it stay on track. The skeg feature also prevents the boat from straying. Allowing the energy of each thrust to be focused on the forward direction with minor changes in vector. What all that means is the kayak will go faster and track straighter than those inflatable kayaks which don’t have these features.
  • Durability/build quality: If you’re wondering how an inflatable kayak can be considered durable, then let’s cover a few things. The AdvancedFrame AE1012 has internal aluminum ribs that reinforce the bow and stern of the kayak (more on that later). Then there is the double-coated RipStop fabric, which is intended to protect the top half (red or green part) of the kayak from punctures and tears. The material is waterproof and is meant to protect it from snags and pokes of gear and other random oddities in nature, such as thorny tree branches. This setup will protect you against most rocks, sticks, and other underwater hazards. Another aspect that qualifies the AE1012 as durable is the reinforced bow and stern seam. This matters, especially since those areas are most likely to make contact with foreign objects than the rest of the kayak.
  • Comfort: This kayak is very comfortable. It has a cushioned high backed seat that is adjustable. It’s adjustable in the sense that you can move it forward and backward with a couple of straps..


The accessories that come with the kayak are a duffle bag, foldable seat, and a repair kit. You will notice that there isn’t a pump or paddle included in that list of accessories. They will need to be purchased separately. The reason this isn’t listed as a con is that at this price point, you are getting an excellent kayak with no paddle and no pump vs. getting a mediocre kayak that comes with a paddle and a pump. The money instead went into the kayak, giving you an overall better product.


  • The AdvancedFrame Kayak: AE1012 has two really cool add ons. One being what Advanced Elements calls The Backbone®. The backbone is a multi-sectional beam that is placed inside the kayak that leverages your body weight to create a V-shaped hull. This causes the kayak to track better and increase hull speed. So it may be something worth getting if speed and tracking are your top priorities. The small downside is you have to insert and remove The Backbone® each time that you use the kayak.
  • AdvancedFrame Kayak Review’ Explorer Board Review

  • second add on is the RigidForm™ Drop-Stitch Floor. A drop-stitching allows for inflatables to reach rock hard rigidity without losing shape and become spherical. The RigidForm™ is placed within the cockpit and blown up. This creates a chine in the hull and makes it better able to track while increasing speed. It also creates a bigger buffer between you and whatever is hiding underwater. So if you run aground, you won’t end up impaled by a hidden underwater tree. This add-on can be left in the kayak but does have to be inflated and deflated with each use.

Other Thoughts

One issue that we had was that it was difficult to get the water out once it was time to pack up and go home. But, we figured it out. What we did was keep a highly absorbent microfiber cloth in the cockpit that we used to sop up the water and wring it out over the side. This was our form of bailing, just without the bucket. The microfiber cloth makes it simple because it absorbs water very quickly and holds onto the water afterward.
As soon as we were inland, we would use a separate microfiber cloth to dry every nook and cranny of the entire craft. Then it’s a good idea to leave it right-side up (cockpit facing the sky) for a couple of hours to ensure that all the water has evaporated. Try to avoid direct sunlight because UV rays can wreak havoc on most watercraft (even the ones that are marketed as being “UV proof or resistant.”) Afterwards, check for any signs of water and if it’s dry, fold it up like normal and put it back in its duffle bag.

Recommendation/Final Verdict

After taking out the AdvancedFrame AE1012, I was very impressed by the number of features that were packed into this inflatable kayak. If I were you, I would buy it. Not only is it comfortable and fun to use, but it’s agile and has a multiplicity of uses. It is durable and stable enough for me that I wouldn’t fret about taking this on more adventures.

The following two tabs change content below.

Justin - Chief Paddler

Heyo! At we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

Leave a Comment