Advanced Elements Lagoon1
Historic Range: $299.00-$743.59
This inflatable folding kayak is portable on buses and inside SmartCars and by small people. A very dependable recreational kayak, well-made with a terrific warranty. Available from the manufacturer, some stores, and West Marine stores and website.
- I can carry all my gear, boat and all, everywhere.
- Tough materials in a good design
- Affordable but not flimsy
- Good customer service and online discussion forum
- Recreational boat is not a high-speed 20-ft sea kayak
- This is a real boat and it can get you far away from shore when a storm blows in
- Small for carrying camping gear; get the Expedition model instead
The Lagoon is my favourite kayak of the several different boats I own. I've used an older version of the Lagoon for eight years without it failing. It's still a reliable, convenient recreational kayak.
Here's a photo of me using it for the first time, in 2006.
This 9'6" kayak is very stable, very confidence-building, very responsive to the paddler's moves. Hundreds of times it's been inflated and used, then deflated and put away. I've banged it into docks, run it up onto rocky beaches, and waves shuffled me across barnacled rocks without any damage beyond a few light scratches on the outside of the outer hull.
I just got a brand-new Lagoon and with the improvements it's even better than the original. The makers paid attention to customer suggestions through their online discussion forum. The inflation tubes are now securely covered in a tough cloth sleeve inside the tough outer hull. This is the gold standard for inflatable and folding kayaks, and so is the 13-ft Expedition version.
Check out my paddle group's website Kayak Yak and put the word inflatable in the Search window to see over a hundred times I've mentioned this kayak. My friends took dozens of photographs of me in this kayak. This is the boat I use, over and over, wherever I go.
It's small enough folded up to carry along a trail to a lake or ocean bay. I've taken this kayak on buses, subways, trains, and airplanes. I've paddled it down urban rivers and floated in ocean bays to watch otters, seals, and a whale. I took my Expedition model camping solo on a multi-day trip down Red Deer River in Alberta.
[Disclosure: Since publication of this review, the author has become an ambassador for Advanced Elements.]
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: under $300 7 years ago at West Marine, today's price is $350.