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My Experiences with the Firefly Inflatable

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:35 am
by carlb328
So I bought a demo model of the Firefly kayak about four months ago, and just got my account activated so I can give a review of it.

First of all I should say that I am very pleased with Advanced Elements and this purchase. Though I purchased a display model, the kayak came as a completely new item with all the parts and everything wrapped, labelled and boxed as if it just came out of the factory. It came with a seat too, which they apparently didn't used to. The seat was probably the final thing that made me go with the advanced elements, that and quality valves. It also came with the repair kit, but paddle and pumps are not included, which is fine especially for the floor model price.

Secondly, the quality is first rate. Though it makes the boat feel heavier than I thought it would, and you can't roll it up as small as a cheaper inflatable, it's worth it. The boat is tough, thick and sturdy and everything feels high quality, especially the outer shell. It feels solid, but still very light on the water, and I feel about as secure as you could feel in an inflatable.

Paddling is great for me. Yes the nose waggles, and if gets blown around easily if you're not paddling. Even reeling a fishing lure moves the boat, but that's normal for lightweight inflatables. It feels normal to me, probably because I've spent decades on the water, usually in a rubber raft and this is easier to paddle and track with than those.

Cons- there aren't many aside from the size. I wanted a small, portable and light boat, not to mention affordable, but realistically this boat is more suited to a smaller person. I am 5'8" and about 185 pounds and it's quite snug for me. If I'm wearing shoes my feet don't really fit in the end and I have to angle them or put one slightly in front of the other. It's livable for short trips, but would be a deal breaker for many people. The positive about the small inner space is that the floor never feels like it's sagging to me. I think since I take up almost all of it that makes it unable to sag in the middle. I would recommend this more for women (who don't have long legs) or kids. Anyone taller than me is definitely too tall for it, and wider or heavier and it may be too tight or ride too low in the water.

Overall the Firefly is an excellent inflatable, just research it well before buying.


Re: My Experiences with the Firefly Inflatable

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:39 am
by carlb328
I forgot to mention that the bag is pretty big, and with the pump, seat and paddles in it too you're looking at close to 25 pounds to carry so it's not for long trips. Unless you're tall, the bag will drag on the ground unless you carry it with the shoulder strap. I did take it a mile to a pond, but that with also carrying two fishing poles and a tackle bag was miserable. It's really more for short carrying, say 5 minutes. Obviously the stronger you are the further you can carry it. I have an old, big backpack at my parents house that zips open that I am going to try to fit it in for longer trips.

Re: My Experiences with the Firefly Inflatable

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:13 am
by carlb328
I've had the Firefly for about a year now and it still works great. I am going to have my boys try it next month when it cools down a bit here in Texas. Other than being too small in the bow for my feet it's a great little boat.

Re: My Experiences with the Firefly Inflatable

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:48 am
by PJohanson
I recommend the Dragonfly over the Firefly for people as tall as you. Maybe the AdvancedFrame. These models are all with that tough outer hull that makes me feel safe from accidental punctures.
If you're really wanting a small inflatable that rolls up very small, the Packlite is a good bet.