Airfusion Vs Advanced Frame

Get advice on which kayak may be best for you. Compare the different models. "VS."

Moderator: JCOOLEY

paddledownunder
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 pm
Location: Australia

Airfusion Vs Advanced Frame

Post by paddledownunder » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:49 pm

Hi, I just can't decide on which kayak to purchase. I currently have a 17" hardshell sea kayak and am wanting a something just for weekends away. An inflatable would be perfect and I would only spend a 2-3 hours on the water at a time.

I like the idea of the fusion being narrower and performing like a hardshell. I tend to paddle at a very brisk pace non stop so I do enjoy something that has a bit of speed. I will be paddling on rivers, lakes and bays but certainly nothing too rough.

Both these kayaks seem like a good option but the fusion is quite expensive compared to the AF, but at 32" wide, will the AF give me the performance I want? Does the bar make much difference to the AF and if so, how close is it to the fusion with the bar in?

Also, the AF DS could be good, but I don't like the idea of a flat bottom. How does this compare to the AF with bar and the fusion?

If anyone could help me figure this out I would be thankful.

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:20 am

A lot of it comes down to your size. For me personally, I find a closer comparison between the Advanced Frame Expedition w/Backbone and the AirFusion than the Advanced Frame and AirFusion.
It also depends on if you are talking about the original AirFusion or the current AirFusion Elite. The Elite is a little wider and more stable than the original Airfusion. It also does not utilize the side poles and has smaller bow and stern air bags compared to the original Airfusion. This gives a little more room for your legs.
I am 6'2" and have raced both the Advanced frame Expedition w/Backbone and the AirFusion Elite. I can pace only 30-60 seconds per mile faster in the AirFusion Elite than in the Expedition. I have more leg room in the Expedition though.
Feel free to ask me anymore about any of the models.

jeremy

paddledownunder
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 pm
Location: Australia

Post by paddledownunder » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:47 pm

Thanks for the feedback Jeremy.

Regarding size, I am 5'10" so I would expect the AF should be big enough for me. Since I only plan on 2-3 hour trips for 95% of the time, I think the AF should be fine. For overnight stays etc I would use my hard shell which has heaps of room, therefore I think I would prefer something smaller and lighter than the Expedition.

Re OLD Vs NEW AirFusion, I was thinking the new, because it sounds like set up is quicker and easier. However, all the reviews on both boats I have read seem to say around 15 minutes for both. Is there much time difference in your opinion?

I have read the OLD is a little tippy initially, that doesnt worry me at all. My current boat is also a little tippy till you get going and get your balance. I assume the extra width of the NEW overcomes this issue as well.

Whilst I read that the NEW is 2" wider than the OLD, does this translate into an extra 2" in the internal cockpit dimensions? My hard shell has an internal cockpit of 33.7"x 16.1" which is cosy but fine for me. I assume that the bigger side tubes may account for the extra width and that they expand inward as well as outward?

Do the OLD & NEW compare on speed?

Bearing in mind I dont need much storage, just a light fast boat to go for a 2 hour paddle in, and bearing in mind my height (weight around 220 but am getting this down to 198), which boat do you think would suit me best? I would generally only go out on relatively calmish water, no white caps. River/Lake would account for around 70% of my paddling.

I really appreciate your advice Jeremy. I would pop into a store and take a look at the boats but there is not an AirFusion on display in any of your agents here in Melbourne or Sydney. They all say they can get one in for me to buy, but wont get one in just for me to take a look. Hence, all my questions.

paddledownunder
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 pm
Location: Australia

Post by paddledownunder » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:04 pm

Jeremy,

I just had a thought. If the NEW AirFusion has smaller thwarts than the OLD, does it fill out the covering as well. Would you say one looks tighter than the other?

Also, last question, I promise, when I look at pictures of the AF and AF Expedition on google, they both seem to have a little bend where the person sits. I stress little, however, although hard to see, this doesnt appear to be the case with both AirFusion models. Is my observation accurate and if so is this due to the higher PSI in the AirFusions?

Thanks again.

paddledownunder
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 pm
Location: Australia

Post by paddledownunder » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:06 pm

Bend is the wrong word, slight curvature would be more accurate.

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:11 pm

AirFusion Elite is definitely easier to setup. It takes about 10 min max.
It does has more room inside width wise. About an inch or two.
The older AirFusion is more tippy because it is much narrower. More experienced paddlers prefer this width compared to the newer width.
Older model is slightly faster but not by much.
Newer model has more storage. We incorporated a storage hatch on the stern that allows you to put some gear under the deck.
220 is pushing it a bit.
If you had the Advanced Frame w/backbone, this would be better suited for your weight. 198 is fine for either kayak. You will not get the speed in the Advanced Frame that you would in the AirFusion. Roughly 1/2 to 1 mile per hour slower depending on paddle strength.
Either way, both kayaks are great and a joy to paddle so you can't go wrong either way.

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:15 pm

The smaller thwarts fill out the cover just as well as the older model.
Any bend or curvature you are seeing in pictures is due to 1 of two things.
1. If it is a picture of somebody paddling, the kayak could be underinflated.
2. If it is a stock photo of the kayak itself, it is just the shape and design of the kayak that may be giving it that look.
Not exactly sure what it is you are seeing.
When pumped to proper pressure, the kayaks are very rigid and keep their shape up to the max weight.
Last edited by JCOOLEY on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

paddledownunder
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 pm
Location: Australia

Post by paddledownunder » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:18 pm

Thanks mate, appreciate the help.

Bojan_cro
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:51 pm

Post by Bojan_cro » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:18 am

Hi, I have been paddling with my friend in his Convertibile a couple of times, really liked it, and now I'm thinking of buying my own AE kayak – I'm trying to decide which one of Expedition (with backbone) and Airfusion Elite would best serve my needs. I would be mostly doing 4-8 hour paddling along seashore and I'm attracted by Aifusion Elite speed, as it is often described as sport car among inflatable kayaks or „with hull speed comparable to a hard-shell“. So not to open a new theme, I will post my questions here.
JCOOLEY wrote: I am 6'2" and have raced both the Advanced frame Expedition w/Backbone and the AirFusion Elite. I can pace only 30-60 seconds per mile faster in the AirFusion Elite than in the Expedition. I have more leg room in the Expedition though.
Feel free to ask me anymore about any of the models.

jeremy
I have tried to put this in perspective by doing some calculation, but not to make this too long and a boring, what interests me more than top speed - is Airfusion cruising speed significantly above that of Expedition and are there any numbers (mph) on which we can refer to get an idea how faster Airfusion really is?
Also I suppose that racing with Airfusion was made without skag? How much influance does skag have on the speed?

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:21 am

Expedition was raced with backbone installed
Fusion was raced once with skeg down and once with skeg up

Both were comparable when raced. Racing time was roughly the same in any instance.

It would be different if paddling the Expedition without the Backbone.

Skeg up helped when getting through the small rapids
Skeg down helped when in the flatter sections.

Either will be fine as I paddled them. You will end up with similar speed. The Fusion edges out the Expedition just a little. You just don't have as much storage capacity and room inside the kayak as you do in the Expedition.
Personally, along the seashore, I would choose Expedition.

Bojan_cro
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:51 pm

Post by Bojan_cro » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:30 pm

When asking an advice on a subject you are undecided, what you really want is for somebody to just tell you what to do or what to pick. Without beeing sarcastic, I must say this answer is just what I needed and in general the best one I've got in some time. :-) I've been dwelling on final decision for some time now, read everthing there is about both kayaks and now I can finally say my decision-making came to an end. I'll go with Expedition then, hope I' ll have many stories to share :-)

I've got one more question that just pop my mind - does normal Expedition kayak pack contains that bar that serves as a foot brace or I have to buy it seperatly?

Thank you for sincere answer and help :-)

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:51 pm

The normal Expedition comes with the Foot Bar.

lee johnson
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: vancouver canada

AFX (Expedition) vs. AirFusion Elite

Post by lee johnson » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:46 pm

I have owned the AirFusion Original (narrower than the Elite) and now alternate between the Elite and my Expedition (and my 17'6" hard-shell sea kayak). I sold the original AirFusion in part because of my height and weight (6'1", 220 lbs [100 kg]). The Elite is roomier without giving up much, if any, speed because it displaces about the same amount of water. I always use my Expedition with a BackBone, which helps tracking and hull speed. The AirFusion has its own internal backbone (poles #1 and #2 joined together by the short splicer #3). The Elite and the Expedition are similar in their cruising and top speeds, even similar to my fancy hard-shell sea kayak. I find that the glide distance on the Elite is quite impressive, and it is easy to paddle for long periods of time. The Expedition, however, is much better at sea when wind and waves come up. The AFX even puts my hard-shell to shame in wild conditions because of its incredible primary stability. It hovers and glides over the water like a Zen master transcending physical conditions. As an all-rounder, in any conditions, the Expedition with BB makes a compelling case. Furthermore, my AFX is a 2007 model (before the rip-stop deck), has been used hundreds of times over thousands of miles, and is still like new. My hard-shell, only three years old, has deep scratches on its hull. But my Elite, also used over a hundred times now, is still like new. Advanced Elements products are a terrific value, well designed with top-quality materials. Final thought: if you are undecided between the Elite and the AFX, ask yourself how much paddling you will be doing in challenging conditions, in which case the AFX is the safer choice.

spikeithard
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:55 am

Post by spikeithard » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:25 am

Im deciding whether or not to upgrade from an expedition to an elite.

I am 6 foot, roughly 200 lbs and size 12ish feet. I notice in the exp my feet get slightly cramped at the end and have to keep turning them or straightening them out after a while.

Would the AF elite be even worse for me in this size 12 shoe case?
thanks

rlpugh1
Site Admin
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:52 pm
Location: Concord, Ca

Post by rlpugh1 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:59 am

The Elite would be fine for your foot size...you'll have to take your shoes off though. As a matter of fact, if you're not doing that already in your AF Ex, give it a try there too. Jcooley paddles both the AF Ex and Fusion Elite in races with size 13's and does not have problems.

The Fusion Elite is a great boat, but you should know that it does not have nearly as much storage space. So, just a heads up if that matters to you. I have seen a lot of paddlers go on multi-day trips with the Elite though, so if you pack right, you can make it work.

Post Reply