Advanced Elements Hull Materials: Kayaks, iSUPs, & Packrafts


Inflatable Boats, Paddling /
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Twenty years ago, Advanced Elements began with the vision of bringing a new type of inflatable kayak to the market, hybrid kayaks made of both inflatable and rigid components that have the performance capabilities of a rigid kayak while also being portable, storable, lightweight, and affordable.

Advanced Elements has since been acquired by Pelican International Inc. through its wholly owned subsidiary Confluence Outdoors Inc. and has expanded to offer over 100 different paddlesports products while continuing to push the boundaries of innovation in the inflatable kayak, SUP, and packrafts.

Advanced Elements Kayaks are made of multiple air chambers for optimum safety and rigidity and multi-layer construction with PVC tarpaulin hull material for durability while bow and stern aluminum rib frames and BackBone and drop-stitch floors enhance rigidity, paddling, and tracking capabilities.

Advanced Elements Inflatable SUPs are made with high-pressure drop-stitch technology and a double-layer PVC tarpaulin hull material for superior rigidity and durability. These materials combined with a displacement hull design with injection molded nose cap optimize speed and tracking performance.

Advanced Elements Packrafts are made with a removable high-pressure drop-stitch PVC floor for enhanced rigidity, performance, and ability to stand and two air chambers constructed from 210 Denier Nylon with Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) fabric to create a lightweight yet durable, high-performing material.

If you happen to be comparing the hull materials of inflatable kayaks, SUPs, packrafts, and other boats, you might be interested in checking out my article on Sea Eagle Boat hull materials, What Hull Materials Are Used In Sea Eagle Boats? or What Hull Materials Are Used In Aquaglide Kayaks and SUPs?

Advanced Elements Kayak Hull Materials

A man paddling an Advanced Elements AirFusion Evo Inflatable Kayak on the ocean.

Advanced Elements Kayaks are made of multi-layer construction with PVC tarpaulin hull material, multiple air chambers, a variety of floor types including Advanced Elements’ BackBone and high-pressure drop-stitch floors, models with aluminum rib frames, along with Spring Valves and Twistlok Valves.

Let’s look at these construction and design elements in greater detail.

Multi-layer Construction

Advanced Elements kayaks are developed with multi-layer construction for maximum durability.

Advanced Elements kayaks are uniquely designed with multi-layer construction to maximize durability and safety.

The main air chambers are encased in their own tube cover and many of the kayak models take it to another level by protecting the encased inflation chamber in an outer cover to offer advanced protection against the elements of nature and water hazards.

Multiple Air Chambers

The Advanced Elements kayak has two main air chambers. A main and secondary air chamber encompass the entire kayak to provide maximum safety when out on the water.

Advanced Elements have at minimum two main air chambers that fully encompass the entire kayak. Notice that they encompass the entire kayak and that there are no port and starboard air chambers like many other inflatable kayaks.

Multiple air chambers are an important safety feature of inflatable kayaks. In the off-chance that one air chamber becomes compromised, the kayak won’t sink. In the case of Advanced Elements kayaks with encompassing air chambers, you won’t list to one side or have to hang on to a port or starboard tube while struggling to shore.

While Advanced Elements kayaks have two main air chambers, some models have additional air chambers like the AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite Kayak which has nine total chambers that fulfill a variety of functions.

Kayak Floor Types

Advanced Elements has four different floor types. I have rated the rigidity of the floors in order from one to five with the high-pressure drop-stitch floor being the most rigid.

  1. Foam Floor
  2. Inflatable Floor
  3. Sculpted I-Beam Floor
  4. BackBone Floor
  5. High-Pressure Drop-Stitch Floor

The rigidity of an inflatable kayak affects the boat’s performance and tracking capabilities.

Advanced Elements kayak BackBone floor.

The BackBone floor is a multi-sectional keel beam that is installed under the inflatable i-beam floor to create a V-shaped kayak hull that improves tracking and hull speed. The BackBone floor is offered in the AdvancedFrame line and Lagoon 2 Kayak.

Advanced Elements kayak high-pressure drop-stitch floor.

Advanced Elements’ high-pressure drop-stitch floor is the most rigid floor available. Its rigidity along with the hull chine it creates offers superior tracking and hull speed. While many of their kayaks come with a drop-stitch floor, the RigidForm Drop-Stitch Floor is an option for the AdvancedFrame line and Lagoon 2 Kayak as well.

Advanced Elements kayak RigidForm drop-stitch floor.

PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material

Advanced Elements kayak PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material features a polyester fabric sandwiched between two layers of vinyl to create a durable outer kayak cover.

Many Advanced Elements kayak models have PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material that encases the inflation chambers in an outer cover to offer advanced protection against the elements of nature and water hazards.

The PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material is made by sandwiching a layer of Polyester fabric between layers of vinyl to create a heavy-duty 3-layer outer cover material for extreme puncture resistance.

Aluminum Rib Frame

Advanced Elements kayak aluminum rib frame.

Unique to Advanced Elements is the aluminum rib frame in the bow and stern of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame and StraitEdge line of kayaks. This combined with rigid panels and air chambers provides these hybrid kayaks with advanced performance capabilities that rival hard shell kayaks.

The bow cuts through the water to increase paddling performance and the stern acts like a skeg to improve traceability.

Spring Valves and Twistlok Valves

Advanced Elements kayaks utilize Spring Valves and Twistlok Valves for fast and easy inflation whether using a bellows foot pump, double-action hand pump, or electric pump.

Advanced Elements Kayak Hull Materials and Design by Model

KAYAK MODELKAYAK DESIGNKAYAK MATERIALAIR CHAMBERS
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak.
FireFly Kayak
Heavy-duty PVC main chamber with welded perimeter seam and built-in rigid bow and stern panels.600 Denier polyester upper deck cover and durable PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.3 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, and floor
Advanced Elements Packlite Inflatable Kayak.
PackLite Kayak
Sculpted i-beam floor.Rugged PVC-free rip-stop nylon with a polyurethane laminate and electronically welded seams.3 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, and floor
Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Kayak.
Lagoon 1 Kayak
Inner tube covers add stiffness and abrasion protection. Foam floor. Built-in rigid panels define the bow and stern and improve tracking. Landing plate. Inflatable coaming for a spray skirt attachment.Double-coated 600 denier polyester upper deck cover in a diamond rip-stop fabric and 800 denier PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.6 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, 2 coaming tubes, and 2 deck lifts
Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak.
Island Voyage 2 Kayak
High-volume PVC side chambers, electronically welded seams, and inflatable floor with fabric cover.Double-coated 600 denier polyester upper deck cover in a honeycomb rip-stop fabric and a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.3 Chambers: 2 side chambers and floor
Advanced Elements AirVolution Kayak.
AirVolution Kayak
High-pressure drop-stitched air chambers and injection molded nose cap for improved performance.Heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.2 Chambers: lower floor chamber and upper deck chamber
Advanced Elements AirVolution2 Kayak.
AirVolution2 Kayak
High-pressure drop-stitched air chambers and injection molded nose cap for improved performance.Heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.2 Chambers: lower floor chamber and upper deck chamber
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak.
AdvancedFrame Kayak
30-Gauge main chamber, electronically welded seams, Aluminum Rib-Frames in the Bow and Stern, inflatable coaming for a spray skirt attachment, welded-on landing plates, and 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance.Double-coated 600 denier polyester upper deck cover in a diamond rip-stop fabric and a heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with reinforced bow and stern seams and neoprene knuckle guards.7 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, floor, 2 coaming tubes, and 2 deck lifts
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak.
AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak
30-Gauge main chamber, electronically welded seams, Aluminum Rib-Frames in the Bow and Stern, welded-on landing plates, and 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance.Double-coated 1000 denier polyester upper deck cover in a diamond rip-stop fabric and a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with reinforced bow and stern seams and neoprene knuckle guards.4 Chambers: main chamber, floor, and 2 deck lifts
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite Inflatable Kayak.
AdvancedFrame Ultralite Kayak
Ultra-light 3-layer polyurethane (PU) in a 3-layer construction, open bladder covers, electronically welded seams, foam floor, Aluminum Rib-Frames in the Bow and Stern, inflatable coaming for a spray skirt attachment, welded-on landing plates, bow and stern aluminum deck lift bars provide a pitched deck.300 Denier nylon rip-stop fabric upper deck cover and a polyurethane (PU) tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with reinforced bow and stern seams and neoprene knuckle guards.2 Chambers: main inner chamber and main outer chamber
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite Inflatable Kayak.
AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite Kayak
30-Gauge main chamber, high-pressure drop-stitch floor construction, electronically welded seams, Aluminum Rib-Frames in the Bow and Stern, inflatable coaming for a spray skirt attachment, welded-on landing plates, bow and stern aluminum deck lift bars provide a pitched deck, and 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance.1000 Denier polyester diamond rip-stop fabric upper deck cover and a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with reinforced bow and stern seams and neoprene knuckle guards.10 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, floor, 2 coaming tubes, 4 deck lifts, and rear thwart
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak.
AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak
30-Gauge main chamber, I-beam floor, electronically welded seams, Aluminum Rib-Frames in the Bow and Stern, 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance.1000 Denier polyester diamond rip-stop fabric upper deck cover and a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with reinforced bow and stern seams.6 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, floor, 2 deck lifts, and thwart/foot brace
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak.
AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Kayak
30-Gauge main chamber, high-pressure drop-stitch floor construction, electronically welded seams, Aluminum Rib-Frames in the Bow and Stern, and 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance.1000 Denier polyester diamond rip-stop fabric upper deck cover and a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with reinforced bow and stern seams.6 Chambers: main inner chamber, main outer chamber, floor, 2 deck lifts, and thwart/foot brace
Advanced Elements AirFusion Evo Inflatable Kayak.
AirFusion EVO Kayak
Hybrid Aluminum Frame keel beam creates a V-hull for improved tracking, high-pressure drop-stitch main chamber for rigidity, and low-pressure air thwarts help shape the kayak. Inflatable coaming tube for a spray skirt attachment.Heavy-duty, polyurethane (PU) tarpaulin hull.5 Chambers: 2 side chambers, front thwart, rear thwart, and coaming tube
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Inflatable Kayak.
StraitEdge Kayak
Aluminum Rib-Frames in the bow and stern.Heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.5 Chambers: 2 side chambers, floor, and the stern and bow air bags
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Kayak.
StraitEdge Angler Kayak
Aluminum Rib-Frames in the bow and stern.Heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with abrasion pads.5 Chambers: 2 side chambers, floor, and the stern and bow air bags
Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 Pro Inflatable Kayak.
StraitEdge2 PRO Kayak
Aluminum Rib-Frames in the bow and stern and drop-stitch floor.Heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams.3 Chambers: 2 side chambers and floor
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak.
StraitEdge Angler PRO Kayak
Aluminum Rib-Frames in the bow and stern and drop-stitch floor.Heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams along with abrasion pads and non-slip deck pads.5 Chambers: 2 side chambers, floor, and the stern and bow air bags
Advanced Elements Attack Pro Inflatable Kayak.
Attack PRO Whitewater Kayak
Drop-stitch floor
Heavy-duty, double-layer, 840 Denier PVC tarpaulin hull material with electronically welded seams
3 Chambers: 2 side chambers and floor
Advanced Elements Kayak Hull Materials and Construction

Want to learn more about inflatable boat materials? Check out my companion article on Understanding Heavy-Duty Inflatable Boat Air Chamber Materials And Specs.

Advanced Elements SUP Hull Materials

A woman paddling an Advanced Elements Lotus YSUP or yoga SUP.

Advanced Elements Inflatable SUPs are made of a high-pressure drop-stitch core with an inner construction layer of PVC-coated mesh fabric and an outer protective layer of PVC-coated high-density fabric. These materials combine to provide hard-board rigidity and superior durability.

Advanced Elements SUPs are made with drop-stitch construction.

Patented Displacement Hull Design
Advanced Elements uses a patented Displacement Hull Design with an injection molded nose cap in its Fishbone EX Inflatable SUP. The unique design improves tracking performance and allows the iSUP to effortlessly cut through the water making the Fishbone EX a fast touring/racing board.

Advanced Elements SUP Material and Design by Model

SUP MODELBOARD MATERIALCONSTRUCTION TYPEADDITIONAL MATERIALS
Advanced Elements HULA 11 Inflatable SUP.
Hula 11 SUP
Double Layer of Heavy-Duty PVC TarpaulinHigh-Pressure Drop-Stitched MaterialLarge Foam Traction Pad
Advanced Elements Fishbone EX Inflatable SUP.
Fishbone EX SUP
Double Layer of Heavy-Duty PVC Tarpaulin w/ Injection Molded Nose CapHigh-Pressure Drop-Stitched MaterialLarge Foam Traction Pad
Advanced Elements Lotus YSUP Yoga SUP.
Lotus YSUP SUP
Double Layer of Heavy-Duty PVC TarpaulinHigh-Pressure Drop-Stitched MaterialLarge Foam Traction Pad
Advanced Elements SUP Hull Materials and Construction

Advanced Elements Packraft Hull Materials

Two paddlers in an Advanced Elements Packlite+ XL Packraft on a remote lake.

Advanced Elements Packrafts are made with a removable high-pressure drop-stitch PVC floor for enhanced rigidity, performance, and ability to stand and two air chambers constructed from 210 Denier Nylon with Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) fabric to create a lightweight yet durable, high-performing material.

The Advanced Elements PackLite+ Packraft is lightweight and compact enough to easily pack to remote waterways and has three modular setups that allow you to dial in the weight you need for your personalized adventure. You can take the full setup with drop-stitch floor and seat or remove the seat, floor, or both.

Advanced Elements Packraft Material and Design by Model

PACKRAFT MODELTUBE MATERIALFLOOR MATERIALAIR CHAMBERS
Advanced Elements PackLite+ One Person Packraft.
Packlite+ Packraft
210D Nylon w/ TPURemovable Drop-Stitch PVC2 Chambers: main chamber and floor chamber w/ 2-way military-style valves
Advanced Elements PackLite+ XL Two Person Packraft.
Packlite+ XL Packraft
210D Nylon w/ TPURemovable Drop-Stitch PVC2 Chambers: main chamber and floor chamber w/ 2-way military-style valves
Advanced Elements Packraft Hull Materials and Construction

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