Length: 13' 0" - Width: 28.00" - Starting at: $899.00See More Details about this Kayak
The boat has been a joy and has generally met or exceeded my expectations. Its compact duffel was effortless to check in at the airport and its lightweight made it easy to deal with at all points.
It's stability is remarkable even in 4-5 foot seas and comfort level is high. The durability of the skin was often tested on beach landings in some substantial waves and there is no visible indication of wear.
My review is not a ten for only two reasons; as mentioned in a previous post, the seat could be affixed to the floor more securely as it tends to slide forward as the backrest is engaged and I feel that the floor panel could be made of a more rigid material which would eliminate the hull distortion which inevitably slows the boat down.
All in all, it's a great boat for its intended use.
The differences? The new Elite has a categorically greater primary or initial stability. At the same weight (32 lbs.), the wider Elite has larger high-pressure side chambers, rides a bit higher in the water without greater displacement, and easily shows an equivalent hull speed. It has more "volume" and room and now includes a hatch behind the cockpit. It is easier to assemble because the four side poles have been eliminated: for me, ten minutes, which is an excellent assembly time for a combination folding/inflatable watercraft.
It is, in sum, a lightweight, high-performance, portable kayak at an attractive price. With its dedicated skeg, a spray skirt, and a sail, it is a go-anywhere formula for fun.
The original AirFusion was more of a specialty kayak perhaps best appreciated by more advanced paddlers. The new Elite is an "all-rounder" for everyone, thanks to its stability, comfort, and versatility. The original AirFusion's award objectively underlines its top rating of "10." In my experience of both kayaks, the new Elite surpasses its progenitor and deserves to retain this top rating.
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