Construction/Materials / Accessories / Assembly + Video / Purchase

Thanks to the unique system used to tension FirstLight kayaks assembly is simple and, after two or three assemblies, can easily be completed by one person in less than 20 minutes. The key stages in assembly are shown here, and you can download a full set of assembly instructions for the 420 model here.
FirstLight kayaks use high quality marine zippers fore and aft to close the skin. To reduce the possibility of water entering via these zippers, a system of two zippers is used with the first zipper being protected by a flap of deck material which in turn is secured by the second zipper.
As with most folding kayaks, there is one step that requires a bit of practice to get it right – with FirstLight kayaks, it’s the insertion of the expansion clips into the longitudinal rods. There are several techniques to do this (and if you discover another please let us know!) which are detailed in the assembly instructions, but please note the following points:

  • We have never found anyone who could not do it,
  • Strength is not needed – if you are straining to assemble a FirstLight kayak you aren’t doing it correctly.

The rod ends that attach the longitudinal tubes to the end frame have recently been improved These parts now lock more effectively into the end frames, and eliminate the annoying problem of tubes unlocking from the end frame during assembly. All boats produced during 2004 have this upgrade. Earlier boats can be retrofitted and we can send you the parts and instructions to make this modification yourself. Contact us at for more information.

A DVD demonstrating the assembly process step by step is supplied with each kayak, and is also available for purchase separately. Contact for more information.

A unique feature of FirstLight kayaks is that the carry bag fits inside the kayak to provide dry storage and additional flotation. A carry bag is supplied with every kayak.

Click on the image above to view assembly movie (3mb)


Flexible rods ensure the coaming holds the spray deck tightly
A strong karabiner is used to attach the tensioning webbing
The color–coded rods fit into the end frame