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Advanced Elements Vs. Gumotex Vs. Nortik

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:03 pm
by HarryM
Hi All,

Looking to purchase a sea-worthy inflatable kayak (for one person) and am keen to hear people's opinions on the Advanced Elements Expedition Elite, the Gumotex Framura, and the Nortik Fold 4.2 kayaks. I know that similar questions are posed all the time however I haven't come across a comparison of these three in particular and have actually found very little info on the Framura or Nortik Fold at all.

I recently moved to Glasgow from Quebec, Canada and while I have toyed with the idea of buying a hardshell, storage and transport are an issue, so an inflatable or foldable kayak is probably the best way for me to get out on the water regularly at the moment. I used to kayak a lot as a teenager (on big lakes/rivers) and have a handful of longer sea-kayaking trips under my belt (in BC & Alaska), although I've probably spent more time over the last few years canoeing than kayaking. I'm essentially looking for a versatile kayak that costs under 1500 pounds and can cope with both calm and choppier weather on Scotland's lakes, rivers and coastal waters. I've done a fair bit of research on inflatables/foldables and the three listed above have stood out as good potential options. However, my reservations are as follows - My dad has an AE Kayak which he really likes, but I'm not convinced about the spray-skirt compatability and drying process in a small apartment. The Framura is noted as Gumotex's 'fastest inflatable', but it appears to sit quite high in the water so I'm not sure about its tracking ability & performance in sub-optimal conditions. The Nortik Fold appears to be a cheaper version of Oru's Coast kayak but I'm not sure I want to spend 1500 on a boat that has very few reviews online.

Any advice on these three models or other potential options would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Advanced Elements Vs. Gumotex Vs. Nortik

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:07 am
by swagstaff
Hi Harry, I have a lot of experience of the Gumotex and non of the others. The Gumotex is very hard wearing and I have Safaris that have been used on the river by beginners for years and are still going strong. We used to sell an earlier model which was very similar in shape to the Framura which was popular with yacht owners as it allowed them to explore when the anchored up and at the same time was easy to store on the boat. This also had the rudder option and was quite a lot easier to paddle on the open sea using the rudder. We also sold these which were great boats and now have some sort of relationship with Gumotex. They are made of a different material to the Gumotex but may have contributed to the Framura design experience.
NB how well the boat tracks depends on how much weight you put in it.

Re: Advanced Elements Vs. Gumotex Vs. Nortik

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:56 pm
by MikeWa
I've got a Thaya, but only for easy family/recreational paddling and what with all the lockdowns I haven't even managed to use it yet!

I guess you've already dismissed the Gumotex Seawave for some reason. The Rush is sufficiently new that you won't find much info on it (and it's probably pushing the budget boundaries in this Covid / post-Brexit world).

In terms of research before purchasing the Thaya, most of my info came from:
this forum (a bit - I'm mostly being polite by listing it first :-) )
the InflatableKayaksAndPackrafts website;
the website;
the songofthepaddle forum;
YouTube (not much on the Thaya but plenty of stuff on the older Gumotex's, though much of it is non-English language; Steve Flusswanderer's stuff normally lets you see the boats in decent detail);
Inflatable Kayak UK Facebook group (pretty sure I saw someone saying they used their Rush in coastal waters there).

I was already biased towards inflatables so can't offer specifics on the frame-based stuff. If you've looked at all those then... good luck!