The Advanced Elements FireFly inflatable kayak (AE1020) is a great product for family fun on the water. With its compact and lightweight design, it ensures durability and safety for a leisurely trip on the water. This kayak is perfect for casual recreation in lakes and rivers, whether you’re floating along with the current or paddling around the lake.
Based just outside San Francisco, CA, Advanced Elements specializes in inflatable paddle sports equipment and accessories, including inflatable kayaks and iSUPs. All Advanced Elements kayaks include a one year warranty, and the company is well-known for their excellent customer support.
The Advanced Elements FireFly kayak is best for casual recreation on calm waters, which makes this entry-level kayak great for beginners. The FireFly weighs in at only 16 pounds but can carry a max capacity of 250 pounds on the water.
Featuring a rigid bow and stern, landing plate, and tracking fin for increased performance, the FireFly is a sturdy kayak with plenty to offer. Its unique 2 layer system keeps the inner chambers dry, while protecting you from any mishaps along the way.
In this Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak review, we’ll go over the specs, pros and cons, construction, and frequently asked questions regarding this great starter kayak.
In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary…
Easy setup and storage
Storage could be improved
Lack of back support
|Price & Where to Buy it|
Advanced Elements FireFly Review: Kayak Overview
The Advanced Elements FireFly kayak is best for lakes, bays, and slow moving rivers. Tough and light, the FireFly is a great starter kayak for beginners and younger paddlers, but seasoned pros may want to aim for something else in the market that can take on harsher conditions.
This kayak is best for flat water, and due to its compact size, it’s fairly easy to steer. Some ocean areas may even be calm enough for the FireFly kayak. Short trips are recommended, as some may find the lack of a built in seat, back support, and storage space undesirable for longer trips.
Design and Construction
The Advanced Elements FireFly features a reinforced bow and stern with built-in rigid panels to give it a sturdy form. A landing plate and tracking skeg fin give the FireFly a better sense of direction, and its bungee cord storage area does a great job of keeping your valuables secure.
The 600 D polyester cover adds to the overall durability of this kayak, with a main chamber constructed from heavy-duty PVC and hull material of durable PVC tarpaulin. A welded perimeter seam works with a splash diverter to ensure a watertight ride to keep you dry while you paddle.
New and improved TwistLoc and spring valves allow quick and easy inflation and deflation, with high airflow regardless of the kind of pump you use. Rubber molded handles make carrying the FireFly kayak a breeze, even when inflated to full size.
The Advanced Elements FireFly kayak is highly visible, with bright yellow and blue colors that are hard to miss on the water.
Storage and Portability
The Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is one of the best when it comes to portability and storage. Weighing in at 16 pounds, this kayak is easy to carry even when inflated, and the rubber molded handles make it less awkward to carry from your car to the water.
Set up takes less than 10 minutes, depending on the kind of air pump you have. Once you’ve had your fun, the Advanced Elements inflatable kayak is easily disassembled and deflated, folding down neatly to 23″ x 18″ x 5″ when tucked into the included duffel bag.
Due to its compact size, the Advanced Elements FireFly can be stored in your trunk or backseat while traveling, and when at home it can be stowed away in a closet. No need for extra garage space to store this kayak.
If you want to brave the white water rapids, the FireFly is not the vessel for you. It is stable and you should have no concerns of capsizing, but the FireFly is not built for rough conditions. The FireFly’s stability is due in part to the kayak’s width, which is somewhat wider than non-inflatable varieties.
The wider size requires a longer paddle than you would normally use, in order to maneuver comfortably. Some users have reported a bit of a wobble because of this wider width, and going against strong winds may prove to be challenging. You really need flat, calm waters to fully enjoy the FireFly.
There is also no built in seat, and there is very limited storage space. Although there is a mesh pocket, it’s rather small and won’t carry anything larger than a small box. The limited space may also be a hindrance to those with longer legs.
Advanced Elements FireFly Rating
FireFly Inflatable Kayak Specs
|Max Capacity||250 pounds|
In addition to the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak, you’ll receive a carrying bag, and inflatable kayak repair kit, and an owner’s manual.
You will have to buy paddles, life jackets, and an air pump separately. However, this does allow for more customization on your part, as you have the freedom to choose between different sizes of paddles and different types of air pumps, whether they be operated by hand, foot, or electric.
Fully inflated, is the FireFly easy for an average person to carry?
Absolutely! As is the case with most inflatable kayaks, the Advanced Elements FireFly is extremely easy to carry around.
How long does it take to inflate the FireFly?
Inflation 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?
Nope. Folded up, you can easily store the FireFly in your trunk.
Is the tracking fin removable?
No, the tracking fin on the FireFly inflatable kayak is not removable.
Overall, the Advanced Elements FireFly is a great value. Steady, durable, and easy to maneuver, it’s a great option for beginner kayakers who are just starting out. Plus, you won’t need an overhead rack for your car to transport the FireFly due to its compact size.
For an inflatable kayak, the FireFly moves quite well due to the built in frame for the bow and stern. However, when compared with hard shell kayaks, the Advanced Elements FireFly can be a little more difficult to track. Some have even reported a little bit of a wobble when paddling.
Experienced kayakers may want to consider other options, as the FireFly is mainly limited to calm inland waters. This kayak was not built for rapids, and is definitely not ideal for fast currents.
For beginners, the Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak is an ideal starter kayak. Although you won’t be able to continue using it if you graduate to rougher waters, it’s a great kayak for calm currents. Its ability to deflate makes it great for trips and vacations, or even a solo paddle on a nearby pond.