Name: techbeaver

Most Recent Reviews

The good: - Easy to store, reasonably fast to inflate, outstanding primary stability (one would have to intentionally try hard to flip this kayak). - Build quality is excellent. No complaints. After 5 years of use with some abuse, the AdvancedFrame is holding up well. The not so good: - Drying the kayak for storage takes a while even wiping out puddles and using water repellent products on the deck. - It is easy to get an asymmetrical hull after inflating, especially when using a backbone. The kayak will then drift to one side putting a lot of strain in one of your arms. The bad: - The AdvancedFrame is slow. The glide is bad. If you are just having a short paddle on the local lake or going downstream on a river, it is okay. Trying to cover distance or going against the current is hard. - At 5'11, I feel quite constrained on the cockpit. Despite the 32"width of the kayak, the air chambers take a lot of space. - No foot braces. I tried the AE ones, but they were flimsy and hard to install. There are alternatives like using a towel or PVC pipes, but I never felt comfortable and properly supported. - The fin is a kind of soft plastic that got deformed due to storage over time, making it impossible to track straight. I had to use a heat gun to reset it to its original form. The AdvancedFrame was my first kayak. I wanted to get into the sport but did not want to commit with a roof rack and the storage space. My verdict after 5 years of ownership is that it is a good choice for the recreational paddler, however, if one really gets into the sport, the AdvancedFrame will show its limitations in speed and control. After the first 2 years of ownership, I bought a used 17ft sea kayak and the first paddle was a moment of revelation for me in terms of speed, glide, control, and even comfort. I still keep the AdvancedFrame as a loaner and for trips (better to be on the water than nothing at all).

If you are on the market for a Trak kayak, read this thread on the message board:

While the kayak itself seems to be great, the way Trak is handling orders and communicating with customers is unacceptable. Trak is not fulfilling orders in the 6 months window they advertised and it is almost impossible to get an answer from the company after you place your order (before ordering, you will be flooded with emails and proposals to meet a Trak ambassador). The problem has been going on for over a year and Trak still keeps selling in the same way. Some of the original Kickstarter backers have not received their boat yet!!!

Be aware before you jump in!

The Tempest was my second boat. I went from a 10'6 inflatable AE AdvancedFrame to a 17' hard shell. Two completely different boats.

For people transitioning from a wide recreational kayak, the Tempest can feel tippy at first, but the feeling goes away after 20 minutes. Just try to put the boat on edge and realize that the secondary stability is awesome.

The Tempest is fast. I was able to cruise at 4.5-5 MPH accordingly to my GPS. Much more fun to paddle than the wide and slow AdvancedFrame. The seat is comfortable, but the back band can be challenging to adjust. I had an old 2009 model, I believe the new back band is better.

Tracking was good even without the skeg. Turning can be challenging without edging, but if you put the kayak on edge, it will turn 90 degrees with a couple of strokes. Long turns can be done easily just by rising one knee while paddling forward.

The main downside of the Tempest is the weight. My RM weighted 57 pounds and could be difficult to put on the roof rack when I was alone. However, very often a good Samaritan would offer help.

Fit wise, I'm a big guy. At 5'11, 235 lbs, and shoes 11, the cockpit was snug. I didn't feel cramped, but getting in and out required seating on the rear deck. Wet exits were no issue, but reentry could be challenging.

On a last note, the Tempest is a well proven kayak. If you are not completely sure about it, look for an used one, they pop up frequently on CL and they are quite easy to resell. It took me literally 10 minutes to resell mine.

The AdvancedFrame Kayak offers easy of transportation and very good kayaking experience. The kayak is lightweight, easy to inflate and deflate. However, it's a good idea to keep it inflate till it is completely dried, a water repellent spray can make the process faster.

The kayak tracks well. The storage capacity is limited. There is a bungee cord on the front, and some space behind the seat, but this space is hard to access if you are in the kayak. The kayak tracks well, not like a touring kayak, but better than an entry level hard shell.

The kayak is not very easy to get in, I am 5'11" 230lbs and I need to open the zipper on the front deck, thus it is almost impossible to take a splash on the middle of a lake as going back inside the kayak will be hard.

With regards to the weight capacity, I am a pretty heavy guy (230lbs) but I had no problems using the backbone. The kayak does not bend on the middle.

If water is cold, it's a good idea to inflate the kayak, let it rest on water for some minutes, and then top up the inflation. I have tried to over-inflate a little bit as well, it works, but it is not recommended by the manufacturer.

A couple of times people came to ask me about the kayak, because it doesn't look like and doesn't performance as the usual inflatable boat that people have in mind. I am very happy with this kayak, but For the price, it could come with an inflation pump.