:: TAIGA WORKS - Kayaks, Merino and Fleece Reviews

We could tell you that TAIGA gear and clothing is world class, but let our customer feedback speak for itself:


Innova SWING 1
I have a bad back (I had surgery in May) and was looking for a lightweight kayak, but one that wouldn't break the bank. I love that it folds down so small but feels so roomy when sitting in it. It tracks very well, even on a breezy day in the ocean. This is a great design - so simple!! The only issue I had was inflating it. There is a video online which was very helpful. I wish it had clearer information about the type of pump needed. Initially I used a battery powered pump which didn't do a very good job. The valve needed to be pushed down and turned to stay open, then pushed and turned the opposite direction to close it. A lot of air was lost trying to manually close it. A neighbor had a bellows-style foot pump which had more positive pressure - it worked MUCH better. The adjustable seat was comfortable. My feet did not reach the foot rest. I really am enjoying this kayak and look forward to many more trips in it!
Deb Groganon 4 Sept. 2013 (Source: Amazon.com)

Innova SWING 1
Nice alternative to a hardshell boat. The covered decks can make the inside warm, so for really hot days a sit up on might be better. But it is almost light weight enough to carry in a mile or so.
Birdson 23 Jun. 2014 (Source: Amazon.com)

Innova SWING 2
As are obvious, the big appeals of this beautiful kayak are: it's compactness, weight, ease of storage, ease of inflating, traveling by small car (fits perfectly in the trunk, no irritating and expensive roof attachments and cords required), sleek looks, stability, ruggedness.
For anyone with a small car or condo this is an obvious solution if you wish to have your own kayak and easily carry/transport it. It is comfortable to sit in, we are both 5'7 and you can easily rest your legs on the sides. Maybe taller people would find it a bit less comfortable. I found no use for the foot rest, maybe useful for people who paddle aggressively. It is easy to portage with and paddles along smoothly with the best of them.
Love my Swing II!
25 July 2013 (Source: paddling.net)

Innova SWING 2
Garage space tight? Inflatable kayaks are great for easy storage and transport. But they usually have an open cockpit design a big compromise if you really want a closed deck boat to protect you and your gear in cold and/or rough water.

Solution: The Swing II affords all the benefits of an inflatable, but comes with a deck to repel spray. The 13'2" tandem can carry up to 400 pounds of people and equipment. More importantly, its "tubeless" material (rubber-coated rip-stop polyester) means its floor and side chambers can inflate to a higher pressure than bladder kayaks for a more rigid ride. The poly content also helps it dry quicker for roll-up storage.
Three metal crossbars snap in beneath the deck for added structural support. Medium-to large-size dry-bags fit in the fore and aft areas, accessible via a zippered deck; secure additional items to the deck rigging above.
For better tracking, attach the snap-in fin (included). "We pulled the deflated boat from our Subaru's cargo hatch for a jaunt around Colorado's Trappers Lake, and had it set up in 10 minutes. It was a hit among grown-ups and kids alike" says one tester. "And when the afternoon breeze picked up, it punched through wind-chop, easily deflecting water off the deck." Reality check: While inflatables win on portability, hard shells are faster and more responsive. 26 lbs packed size is 26" x 16" x 10"
Eugene Buchanan Gear Guide 2013 (Source: backpacker.com)

Advanced Elements EXPEDITION
Decided to buy two kayaks this year but my small car would not have held the weight on the roof. Found Advanced Elements inflatables and bought two. About the only drawback is the time and effort it takes to deflate and get back into their bags. Other than that, these boats are great! They track well, are super stable and so comfortable I'm tempted at times to drop anchor and take a nap! Very well made, tough material that I've tested on rocky surfaces already, they seem like they'll hold up for years. Highly recommended!
Tedjr55 27 Apr. 2011 (Source: paddling.net)

Advanced Elements EXPEDITION
I purchased two Advanced Elements kayaks about three years ago from REI Sports. I had used regular hull kayaks before but once I saw how compact these boats were in their carry bags I was sold. I drive a compact car and the thought of shlepping two full size Kayaks on my roof was daunting. After having put many satisfied hours in these boats since then, I can honestly say that they were a great investment. Yes, they take some effort to inflate, (I use the hand pump that Advanced Elements makes)and have even resorted to a 12V. pump at times although I use the hand pump for final pressures. Getting them back in their bags takes some effort as well, but I still would much rather deal with the effort involved with these boats and enjoy the major comfort advantage over a rigid hull boat anyday!
Sitting in these boats is so relaxing as you are literally sitting on air! They track well, move gracefully through the water and unlike most rigid hulls, they are very stable. Like I said earlier, I've had mine (Advanced Frame Expedition and Advanced Frame) for about 3 years now with no discernible wear or damage and I see them lasting a good long time with care.
I HIGHLY recommend these boats! I often get comments from other boaters who had never seen either an inflatable Kayak or one from Advanced Elements and they all are very impressed.
Tedjr55 3 July 2014 (Source: paddling.net)

Advanced Elements AIR FUSION ELITE
The original 13' AirFusion won a design award after its introduction in early 2010. In the spring of 2013, it was succeeded by the equally high-performing but more stable and comfortable AirFusion Elite. They look alike; so, what else is still the same? Most importantly, their ease of paddling: they are "energy-efficient" kayaks that glide across the water at a sustained cruising speed (circa 4 mph) with less effort than my big sea kayak and dozens of other hard-shells and inflatables I have used in recent years.
The differences? The new Elite has a categorically greater primary or initial stability. At the same weight (32 lbs.), the wider Elite has larger high-pressure side chambers, rides a bit higher in the water without greater displacement, and easily shows an equivalent hull speed. It has more "volume" and room and now includes a hatch behind the cockpit. It is easier to assemble because the four side poles have been eliminated: for me, ten minutes, which is an excellent assembly time for a combination folding/inflatable watercraft.
It is, in sum, a lightweight, high-performance, portable kayak at an attractive price. With its dedicated skeg, a spray skirt, and a sail, it is a go-anywhere formula for fun.
The original AirFusion was more of a specialty kayak perhaps best appreciated by more advanced paddlers. The new Elite is an "all-rounder" for everyone, thanks to its stability, comfort, and versatility. The original AirFusion's award objectively underlines its top rating of "10." In my experience of both kayaks, the new Elite surpasses its progenitor and deserves to retain this top rating.
ljleejohns 20 May 2013 (Source: paddling.net)

Advanced Elements AIR FUSION
I needed a kayak to replace my 16 foot fiberglass that I lost in a fire. I also needed it to be portable since I no longer had the space to store or transport a large hard-sided boat. I had no interest in inflatables until I saw the AirFusion. I bought it three months ago and it's exactly what I need. When I'm traveling it's stored away and when I get to my destination its easy to set up and fun to paddle.
The service from Advanced Elements has also been outstanding. I recently bent one of the metal rods. When I contacted customer service, Ritchie fixed me up with a replacement and put it the mail that same day.
I'm very pleased with the kayak and the company.
Greg b 22 Jan. 2016 (Source: paddling.net)

Advanced Elements ADVANCED FRAME 1012
What a wonderful "machine". Googled it and bought it after reading a multitude of reviews.
Boy, was I circumspect before, but now, after I've tried it on my very own skin, I swear that if the BMW is "the ultimate driving machine" this boat is the beemer of all kayaks. It is more stable than a hardshell while the trackability is the same. And, wait, there's more: transportability due to inflatable feature, good looks due to the quality of the materials/manufacture ship, customer oriented service people etc. If recreational is your purpose, than look no further. AE really took the kayak world to heaven.
By the way, I'm a 230lbs/6ft Romanian guy that had no problem with the inflated chambers' snugness or the backbone's stiffness "downunder", as some dudes mentioned before. This kayak really cuts through water like a knife.
PS. For something funny, check out the Quality Assurance checklist that comes with the kayak. It is in Chinese. So... Viva Mexico!
J Novak 18 May 2012 (Source: paddling.net)

Advanced Elements ADVANCED FRAME 1012
After 10 years I still give it a 10. Spent last 8 years on a 31' sailboat up and down east coast US an to the Bahamas. Tracks better than some hard bodies. (I have had a long hard dive kayak) This inflatable is like wearing a life jacket all over. I can get distracted watching wildlife or shooting video and bump into a rock or a dock or sea bottom and get only a gentle reminder.
Sandybeach 7 Mar. 2014 (Source: paddling.net)

Merino Wool

Merino-200 Crewneck
I bought two of these great shirts approx. 6 months ago. I wanted to see if they pill,rip,shrink. To this date they have been soaked, stuffed in bags and drip-dried 20 times, and they look and feel as good as new. They have endured a lot, and have stood up to the abuse. Very good product.

Merino-260 Zip Pullover
Absolutely love this pullover. It maintains a comfortable temperature, breathes well, and fits great. If you are used to wearing itchy wool sweaters, you wouldn’t even be able to compare them to this pullover with its smooth, fine texture. It has an athletic fit, and I appreciate the support team recommending a size up, as it fits perfectly. Great product.


Polartec-300 Fleece Jacket

Superbly warm and beautiful go-to jacket for all occasions.
I searched online for at least an hour to find a 300 fleece jacket for women. Not an easy find! Finally landed on this beautiful Taiga jacket that's made in Canada to boot. Put it on my wish list and received it for Christmas. (My husband said the company contacted him that they would need to make this jacket because it was out of stock and they would do their best to get it to us before Christmas! Amazing, caring service.
Thank you!

This is by far the warmest fleece jacket I've ever owned and it's automatically become my go-to jacket for all events.
Even in windy weather, it's warm. Of course, I live in the Bay Area where it's not snowing at all, but still, this Phoenix-born girl can't bear the cold! And it fits perfectly. I am thrilled with it. You will be, too!
(Karen Brighton)

Better quality and warmer than the same North Face!
I bought this jacket (Polartec-300 Fleece) for my spoiled 16 year old daughter that wanted a North Face. The reviews for this one were so good that I could not resist but to buy it. The quality is better than the other North Face jacket my daughter has and much warmer.
(Anthony Cabral)

High Quality.
Great Fit. Nicer than the picture suggests. Very pleased with this fleece (Polartec-300). Seems very high quality, and fits' my wife great. We were especially happy with the arm length, as she is taller and most garments like this are too short in the arms.

Taiga Works Rocks.
The jacket (Polartec-300 Fleece) is marvelous. Very warm and wonderfully styled. I just wish Taiga would make a women's 18 as I would appreciate being able to wear layers under it. They are a company primarily concerned with customer satisfaction. They have called me numerous times to secure my opinion on the order. Very competent staff especially Graham who bends over backwards to assist your every need. GO TAIGA.
(Cheryl Joan Adkins)

I really like the jacket.
It is warm and has two inside pockets which are great for stowing a phone or small wallet. I wore it in a snowstorm and was impressed with how warm and dry it kept me. Now I tend to stay hot anyway so your mileage may vary. I ordered a size 10 and got an email from the company suggesting how to measure myself and was surprised and pleased that I was contacted. If I had been in a store and had an opportunity to try on the jacket I would have wanted a wee bit more room in the chest. I like the way I look in the jacket and will not be sending it back but will keep in mind for future purchases to size up. I have no problem recommending this jacket to anyone looking for warm, stylish fleece.
(Destiny 3)

Beautiful and WARM jacket.
I love this jacket. I was looking for a polartec 300 jacket. They're not easy to find around here. The sizes run just a little larger than "on" U.S. sizes. I ordered 8, my usual size, but I'll be able to wear a heavy wool sweater underneath it. I liked it so much I also ordered a size 6 which works fine with thinner layers underneath it. I hope they keep making this jacket, because I plan to wear it a lot. It would be nice if they came out with a grey-green color (not khaki.) Maybe next year.
(W.S. Clausing, Portland, OR)

Finally Warm
Bought for my wife (Polartec-300 Fleece Jacket) - and she loves it. The USA guys - selling a like garment - would do well to have their Chinese suppliers do it like these Canadian guys. It's mighty cold here in Pennsylvania – but not now for her.
(Dyson Guy, Pennsylvania)

Love, love, love it!
The vendor initiated contact with me to verify size, as Taiga size charts vary slightly. The size was a perfect fit, the jacket (Polartec-300 Fleece) is well made the most comfortable I own, and my new go-to jacket. Going back for a different color!

Very warm, soft, comfortable 300 weight polartec jacket for cold weather.
I love the shade, and the many zippered pockets it has. The fit was a litter large. But this is good as it allows for additional layers of clothing under the jacket. The only con is that this particular jacket did not offer an option of a hood. If it did, I would give it a 5 star rating.

Love it!
It's fitted, not boxy and a little extra room for really cold days to layer. It's my go-to jacket for sure this winter.
(Lynda Koke)

Fabulous Taiga Fleece
I sail in Boston all winter long, and I was looking for a fleece that is warmer than the standard. This fleece is made from the same Polartec 300 as the North Face Denali jacket, but at a far lower cost. It fits me perfectly and I couldn't be happier. Warmth, style, true to fit, and a great price. I highly recommend it.
(Mary F. Hennessey, Boston)

Polartec-200 Fleece Jacket
"Hi guys. I am so happy to see you guys are still making great fleeces! I lived in Vancouver from 1989 to 1994, when I returned to live in the UK. I returned for a visit in 1995. On that visit I bought a Taiga Polartec-200 fleece in dark blue, which came to be my most prized garment of clothing. It was fantastic! I wore it everywhere, and people always commented on how nice and cosy it looked. In 1999 I moved from the UK to Seville, Spain, and my trusty Taiga fleece came with me. In April 2000 I went to the Feria de Abril, a huge week-long party on grounds near the city centre. I was in one of the casetas (bars) and handed my much-loved fleece over the bar (a friend was working there) for safekeeping. Needless to say, at the end of the night my beautiful Taiga fleece was nowhere to be found, and I have truly mourned its loss to this day (and I'm really not joking, it makes me sad whenever I think about it!). So, I have found you online, and would dearly love to have a Taiga again"
(Chris M., U.K.)

TAIGA® outdoor equipment is designed & manufactured in our Vancouver, B.C. plant. Our products include: Outdoor Clothing & Active Wear; Equipment for Adventure Travel & Trekking; Hiking, Backpacking & Mountain Equipment; Survival Gear; Ski Wear; Cycle Shells and Boating Wear.