AF Convertible vs Expedition

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

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aussie_jason
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AF Convertible vs Expedition

Post by aussie_jason » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:17 am

I'm currently torn between the AF Convertible and AF Expedition, I'm a fairly lightweight 6'3" so the regular AF is out and wouldn't suit my needs anyway as I'm looking for something to get into kayak camping. The reason I'm torn between the Convertible and Expedition is there are times it would be nice to get my wife to come out but I don't know how often she would but maybe the extra room in the Convertible would be worth it when solo?

Would it be realistic to be able to pack a small-ish cooler on the convertible along with all the camping gear making it closer to car camping than backpacking when solo or would that be pushing it?

People say how much storage room the Expedition has but I've never seen that quantified so can someone give me more insight into what to expect? Could you slide under a large backpacking style pack behind you or would you need to split the load between under the front & back + utilize the cargo spaces on top? Not really a big deal either way, just trying to get a better feel for it.

I'm also thinking that if my wife did get into kayaking more then it may even be better just to get a regular AF for her (she is short), then we wouldn't need to worry about synchronizing our paddling on the convertible but even that doesn't help me make up my mind as I don't know if the extra room on the convertible would be worth it when solo.

The Expedition would be easier to handle due to the weight especially when launching from the likes of rocky breakwaters (most of our lakes in TX are man made with essentially breakwaters as shores) but I think I could still manage the Convertible on my own. Ah so many variables!

I guess at the end of the day it boils down to the storage on the expedition and if it can handle multi day trips so that is what I really need to know I think.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

Ps. After typing this I just watched that Patagonia video someone posted, those are Expeditions correct? If so I think that answers my question.

aussie_jason
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Post by aussie_jason » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:26 am

Actually I think those are the AirFusion that currently aren't available? Would the Expedition perform similarly?

aussie_jason
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Post by aussie_jason » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:15 am

Well I ended up making up my own mind as I've been thinking about this for weeks now but only just found this forum hence my posts. Just writing it out I think helped and I also read a large portion of the posts on here, which led to me ordering the Expedition but I'm still interested in what people think.

I didn't get the backbone yet as I want to see how it is without first and keep it simple for now.

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PJohanson
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Post by PJohanson » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:55 am

I like camping with my Expedition. I put my gear inside drybags inside the kayak, in the bow and stern. On the deck goes the kayak's empty bag rolled up small.

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Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:05 am

I think you made the right decision for your needs. The Expedition has much more room for storing gear for over-nighters. Not to say that you can't do it in an AirFusion Elite but you will be much more comfortable. The kayak performs great as it is and it is good that you are trying it that way first. The backbone does help with the overall performance and tracking but is not a necessity. It is more noticeable for under-inflated kayaks and heavy set people.

aussie_jason
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Post by aussie_jason » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:15 am

I did end up getting the backbone, for actual use I found the kayak performed fine without it but I'm hoping it reduces flex when doing a wet re-entry so as much water doesn't get in and it should also help with portage as it was a little awkward to carry, any tracking improvements will be a bonus! Will be trying it out this weekend so will report back after.

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PJohanson
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Post by PJohanson » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:44 pm

When you're doing a wet re-entry, try crawling over the bow towards the stern, rather than trying to pull yourself over the side. I found that even if I was able to lie flat on top of the water and pull myself over the side, a lot of water got in or the boat would flip. Instead, I do a cowboy by pushing down the bow and pulling myself onto the front deck from the end. It involves a bunch of crawling on my belly, but my paddling friends have promised to stop taking photos of me doing it.

aussie_jason
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Post by aussie_jason » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:47 pm

My deck bag might complicate that a little but I will give it a try next time.

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PJohanson
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Post by PJohanson » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:10 pm

Yes, deck bags do get in the way. That's another reason to put nearly everything inside the kayak and only a throw bag on the deck, or just a very little in the deck bag. :)

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Post by aussie_jason » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:17 am

Wasn't a big fan of the backbone, it really adds to the setup time and hauling an extra bag of kit is not ideal. It seemed to do what it should on the water but with the standard floor I could definitely feel it underneath and it wasn't comfortable at all.

I'm not sure if I had it positioned wrong or not inflated correctly in order to cause the discomfort or if it was the act of forcing my way through a bay of water lilies that completely blocked the bayou with no portage options that triggered it but the discomfort coupled with the setup hassles prompted me to order the high pressure double stitch floor.

Will see how that performs this weekend.

Note: the Expedition performs fine out of the box for regular use so you do t really need either but I'm a gear junkie and have some fringe use cases

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