Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Kayak



This is the gold standard for inflatable folding kayaks.

The author of this review is an ambassador for Advanced Elements.

Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Kept it! And happy to keep using it.)


This is the gold standard for inflatable folding kayaks. The Expedition is so portable I have taken it on airplanes as an ordinary checked bag. On the water, this recreational kayak handles well and has way more glide per stroke than the smaller models from the same manufacturer. The materials are tough and well-made.


  • Excellent materials and construction
  • Portable and packable
  • A good recreational kayak on flatwater or up to Class 2 whitewater
  • Excellent customer service and warranty
  • Terrific online discussion forum on the website for questions and stories


  • An inflatable rec boat is not a 17-foot sea kayak
  • If the hull is softer than you like, get the BackBone or the Drop-Stitch floor and be happy
  • Try a different model if you are under 5 feet tall or over 6 foot 7

I am delighted with my Expedition. I have used it for more than four years and it is still going strong. The boat is very well-constructed of tough materials. The outer hull shows very little signs of use after dozens and dozens of days on the water. The inner inflation tubes are safely covered in tough cloth and are still good after over a hundred times of inflating, using, deflating, and putting away.

When paddling with friends I can keep up fine in the Expedition. I like the way it glides after each stroke much better than the shorter models of recreational kayak. It is stable and responds well to changes in direction.

What I love best about the Expedition is being able to carry it myself in its gear bag. I am not a big person. I usually need help to carry a sea kayak. But the Expedition is wonderful for being portable. I can put it myself into a car trunk or strap it to a luggage roller and take it on the bus. I've taken it on commuter trains. On airplanes, I check it as ordinary luggage -- no extra charge for oversize or overweight!

Check out my review on Trailspace of the Lagoon kayak from the same manufacturer, Advanced Elements. Most of what I say there applies to the Expedition. You will also see a photo of my friend's SmartCar with both my Lagoon and Expedition packed in the back. 


This 13-foot Expedition is better than the Lagoon for camping trips, because there's room for gear inside. I did a multi-day camping trip solo down the Red Deer River in Alberta, Canada, in my Expedition.

My friends who have borrowed my Expedition like it too. It is a good fit for adults from 5 feet tall to about 6 foot 6. If you are taller than that or have very big feet you will want to try the Convertible model from Advanced Elements. If you are 5 feet or shorter, try their smaller models of kayak. If the Expedition is too heavy for you to carry, the smaller models are lighter.

[Disclosure: The author of this review is an ambassador for Advanced Elements.]


Thanks for the Expedition review, Paula.

10 months ago
Paula Johanson BRAND REP

Does it show that I love this boat? It's great to be able to carry my own gear!

10 months ago

I completely understand the desire to be able to take care of all of your own gear!

10 months ago

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Kayak


The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Expedition Kayak is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen August 25, 2016 at REI.

If you're looking for a new inflatable kayak, check out the best reviewed current models.

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