Well…a folding, inflatable kayak might just be your answer you have been looking for but never thought of.
We’ve really missed kayaking and getting out on the water. We’ve rented kayaks in various places that we’ve been but we’ve always thought it would be nice to have our own. That way we could go out whenever we wanted, wherever we wanted.
David did a lot of research and found a nice folding, inflatable kayak and ordered one from AirKayaks, located in California.
AirKayaks carries a large line of inflatables and have wonderful, and very helpful, customer service. After talking with Holly several times (thanks Holly for all your help!) we ended up selecting the Advanced Elements Convertible DS Series Inflatable Kayak – AE1007DS and ordered the Ultra Kayak DS package. The Kayak can be used as a one person or two person, it inflates easily and quickly with a dual hand pump, and stores nicely in it’s own bag. The size, as you can see, neatly and compactly fits underneath our coach in our cargo area. We went with the “Convertible” as you can use it with a single or double deck (optional) that zip on. For us, we wanted a deck vs just being open and this kayak allows for any configuration!
So when it came in we were pretty excited to get it set up so we could get out there on the water.
Now, thinking ahead, we did not want to set it up for the first time outside, by the water, baking in the sun. So what does one do?
Well…you set it up inside your motor home of course, in the air conditioning.
So that’s exactly what we did.
Kayak Neatly Packed In Bag
The kayak fits nicely and neatly inside it’s own duffel bag. As we open up the bag and get the kayak out, we are hoping it will go back into the bag just as nicely.
David Pumping Up The Kayak
After reading and following all the instructions we had a fully inflated, 15 foot kayak…
…inside the motor home.
Not bad for our 2nd attempt.
Yes the first attempt was a little longer, at 30 minutes, but we tried again once we knew what we were doing and were more familiar with it and we got it down to 12 minutes! Precisely why we did this dry run of setting it up. Not to mention we then would have a better chance of not looking really silly out in public trying to figure out how to inflate a boat. (Ok, ok, that was the real reason for doing it inside our coach.)
Now the fun part of deflating it and putting it back into the bag. Sorry to say I do not have any pictures of that.
However, David did do a time lapse video of us setting it up and taking it down.
You can see the entire process in just over a minute. Take a look!
And yes, as you can see in the time lapse video, it did fold back up into the duffel bag just fine.
After a little research of waterways in the area, and their are several, we settled on the Bear Creek Reservoir. Part of the Bear Creek Lakes System, it had a nice boat launch and calm waters. Just what we needed for our first time out with our new inflatable kayak.
We found some neat rock formations and were able to enter inside them seeing we were in a kayak. A kayak also allows for the viewing of wildlife along shorelines and we were hoping to see some, but alas, we didn’t really see any. However we did stop at a nice location for lunch along the shoreline and found ourselves remembering why we wanted to do this in the first place. That being the peace you can obtain when you are the only one around in a natural place.
All in all we’re are very pleased with how our new inflatable kayak handled in the water. It’s only about 50 lbs so it is easy to lift and get in and out of the water. It tracked nicely in the water and it felt very stable and rigid thanks to the drop stitch floor that comes standard with the DS edition. We felt very safe and secure.
I think David did a wonderful job researching and selecting a kayak that was just right for us by allowing us to set it up in more or less any configuration. The only option he really wanted was a foot controlled rudder which is currently not an option. Being a 15 foot kayak, it could surely benefit from one in our humble opinion. Attn Advanced Elements…Happy to test one please!!! We surely are not the first to ask for such an option.
So to complete this blog post about the new way for us to to get Outside Our Bubble, here is a video of our first excursion out in our Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak, complete with Quadcoptor arial video. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to see more kayak videos as we continue to travel the USA.