Recently I was on a camping trip with my family down in the Florida Keys. I got talking to the neighbor who was camping next to us, mainly because they owned several inflatable kayaks. Between the parents and their children I believe there was about five kayaks in total. Most of theirs were two-person inflatables that I was already familiar with, but they introduced me to the Advanced Elements Firefly. The firefly is only a one-person kayak but it is nothing short of perfect. I recently purchased a rigid stand up paddleboard that is also inflatable and wondered why kayak makers are using the same materials as the paddleboards. When inflated these paddle boards feel rock solid to the point where you would have no clue that there actually full of air. Advanced elements realized this potential and implemented those same rigid and sturdy materials into the kayaks. If you’re looking for a kayak that feels like the real deal and doesn’t look like an inflated raft then you’ll want to stick with the Advanced Elements brand. I personally didn’t get the opportunity to ride in the firefly but I was out on my kayak while the family was out on theirs and it was apparent that the firefly had a much better ability to cut through the water with way less effort. Keep in mind were talking about the Atlantic Ocean here, not the pond in the backyard or a small calm river. Knowing that I wanted to write about this here on my blog, I talked to the family about it and they said that the firefly was by far their favorite out of all of their kayaks. They even said that they were thinking about selling their other kayaks and getting more fireflies.
What I like about the Firefly
I was initially impressed not only by the sturdy frame, but also by the size of this kayak. Most kayaks designed for single users are a bit on the small side but the firefly measures in at 7’10”. I was also concerned with how compact the kayak breaks down to. Most of the inflatable that I’ve seen are easy to store and easy to pack but they’re lacking that firm structure that this kayak has. The father of the group said that they are able to put there’s easily inside of a duffel bag, and that is how they usually transport it. It should also be noted that this is one of the best selling and highest rated kayaks on Amazon.
What I don’t like
One thing you’re going to need with this kayak is a decent paddle. Remember the longer the better when it comes to inflatable kayak paddles. Most inflatable’s are wider than their regular counterparts so you going to need that extra length to compensate for the additional width.
The only other downside I see with this kayak is the lack of back support. If you plan on being in the water for long periods of time you’re going to want to invest in some sort of support otherwise your back will be paying for it the next day. This could be as easy as a blowup pillow that you find in the camping department of any big-box retailer. You just want something to help give you a little extra so that lean back and have something there behind you.
Overall this is a wonderful kayak. Honestly it’s one of the best I’ve seen in a long time and I highly recommend it, mainly because of its sturdy body. Few kayaks can stand up to ocean waters but this one seemed to tackle ocean waters just fine.