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Old 08-20-2007   #11
Albany, New York
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by calendar16 View Post
Aloha AIRE Runners!

Hello, Hello, Is there anybody out there?

You can share some AIRE?


Hey Calendar,

As a kayaker who bought a raft for the same reasons you state, I've sold my 11' Hypalon self bailer and bought a lightly used 14' Aire 143D. We simply needed more carrying capacity than the 11' could handle.
We've run both strictly as paddle boats and the 14' allows us to bring more friends along. I didn't have a material preference and was shopping, like you, at lower price point.

While the Hypalon (Momentum Oriole) boat was not a Hyside, the construction was similar in design to the NRS Otter series.

Having owned both I can agree with raftus who states there are pluses and minuses in any boat choice.

Hypalon Hyside Pros:
Light weight (consider this if you ever plan to R2 with your wife) Carrrying a heavy boat can be a b$tch with 2 people.
Folds up really small compared to Aire
Very easy to repair

Hypalon never felt as "solid" as the Aire PVC/bladder construction
Seam tape prone to wear damage and peeling
Hypalon tends to "stick" on rocks more than Aire

Aire PVC Pros:
Can be run rock hard making them more agile than a Hypalon boat (raft sizes being equal of course).
Welded seams are smooth as butter. No seam tape.
Bomber outer skin. It would take a lot to rip through that outer shell.
No fault 10-year warranty
Slides over rocks better than Hypalon
You can place the thwarts anywhere in the boat
Drains really quick!

non-sealed floor pocket does hold water in the under side of the floor bladder until it's picked up out of the water. I'd estimate about 5 gallons worth. Not really noticeable until you pick the boat up at the end of a run.

Possible repair headaches. Knock on wood, I haven't come across a repaiir yet...but I have slid over many rocks with no visible signs of damage. I imagine fixing a puncture on the underside of the floor bladder would be the hardest to repair. The main tubes and thwarts are pretty easy to get into with their full length zippers.

Pretty heavy. I went from an 85# hypalon boat to a 160# PVC boat. At nearly double the weight, the Aire pretty much rules out R2'ing for me and the wife. We need at least 3 to get it to the put-in. There are times when I wish I still had the small boat, so only buy as large as you think you really need.

Rolls up large. The Aire boats simply do not package up small if you intend to shuttle with anything smaller than a Subaru wagon.

Hope this helps with some of your decision making.
Also, if it's down to the Tributary or Rio Bravo, I'd say neither as well and would point you to the AIRE specials page where they have a 130R for a little less than a new Tributary.

Best of luck!

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Old 08-20-2007   #12
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
I don't know much about either of the boats you're asking about, just that I don't like the idea of the bladder system (think about stagnant water or sand hanging out in there) and haven't heard anything good about the Rio Bravo.

Even with the wear on it, this is still probably a much better boat than either that you're looking at and probably won't cost you much more, if any:

Good luck making your decision,


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 08-20-2007   #13
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 47
I would check with the outfitters, most will be selling boats in the next few weeks. I know quite a few people who have picked up used hysides for $1000-1500 that will probably last forever. Good, durable, easy to repair boats for the type of use you're looking for. There is also a shop in Salida (forget the name, anyone?) that a lot of outfitters use to dump boats after the season ends. I'm also looking for a raft, and everything I've heard makes me want to stay far away from AIRE. They're heavy, slow, and don't track well.
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Old 08-20-2007   #14
DIllon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 109
Just A FYI I have a good friend that has a Hyside and the thing is constantly in Denver at Down River getting the floor repaired and this guy babies this raft. I also was told buy a person that fixes rafts that Hyside has gone way down hill in quality. Im not trying to talk Shi! BUT... It has happened 3 times in 2 seasons. The NRS boat is a nice choice. I was always a Hyside fan till I saw what my friend has gone through. Call Down River and ask them what they think!
2 Trailer Park Girls Go Round The Out Side!! "M"
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Old 08-21-2007   #15
Blue Shiver, CO, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
I like Aire

I am not a guy who takes very good care of my gear, trucks, sleds, ect. I figure they are there for me to use not to constantly maintain, clean, baby. In this respect Aire is an excellent choice....I feel I can run rivers at a lower level because if I scrape a rock,, I got that thick ass PVC. Drag it at the put-ins and take outs. No big deal. I've rowed a friends 14' Sb and I had an Aire Cat. Bombproof -- both of them with little to no maintenence. As for the Tributary...I think the PVC in thinner so you don't have that thick skin.
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Old 08-21-2007   #16
Albany, New York
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
Just for the record. The Tributary series use the same floor and thwarts as the regular Aire series. Only the main tubes of the Trib's are made of the lighter PVC.

Cal, Take the "I heard" posts with a grain of salt, and try to focus on the advice of those who actually use these things.
I heard Bose makes great sounding speakers.
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Old 08-21-2007   #17
Lawson, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27

I bought an AIRE Trib 14' package in May. I've only been rafting for 3 seasons, but the guys I know own various AIRE boats and don't have problems. Found a good package deal on the Trib w/frame, oars, box, etc. at a price that seemed great to me (with advice). We've been around with it (Ark, CO upper and lower, Clear Creek) and put about 20 days on it. Done both paddle team and oars. Just got off Westy this past weekend and she did great on that.

So, can I say it's reliable long-term, no. What I can say is that it's provided a great season with no issues to date. Easy to roll up and stow with 2 guys. Watched the repair video that came with it, looked reasonably easy to field repair-hope I will never need to do that.

As far as some of the other comments, I do note that it goes over rocks pretty easy, no damage so far. I'll also echo the sentiment that it seems like the perfect size for Colorado as we have run everything from the local CC to big Westy.

Anyway, whatever you end up deciding...enjoy!

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Old 08-21-2007   #18
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Y'all Are Awesome!!!

Thanks to all of you for the great comments, suggestions, etc. I feel educated just from reading everyone's posts.

I am not sure what will become of my raft purchase as I am now facing the realities of owning a house. The after-work runs on Shoshone in my Dagger Mamba have made me think long and hard about a raft purchase right now. I really want to but is it the right thing is the main question I keep asking myself.

I know when I am ready to pull the trigger and buy a raft sometime within the next 9 months I will heed all of your advice. Thanks for edumacating me on raft qualities, pros and cons, and everything else!

Hope to see you all on the river sometime soon, really soon!

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Old 08-22-2007   #19
DanRauer's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 137
I own both a Hyside and an Aire raft and have used them both a whole bunch. One thing is that both companies make great boats regardless of what others on this site say. My Hyside is a 1995 model and I have put over 1000 river miles on it since I bought it three seasons ago. That hypalon boat is as good right now as it was new I'm sure. No fade, no leaks, Chafe guard holding up etc. on the other hand, I just bought an Aire boat this past winter. It is solid as a rock. Yes, I'm sure the bladder system could be a pain in the ass to repair but one thing people don't think about is you can repair them on the river without any glue. You can use duct tape and a clear thick tape that comes in the repair kit. No waiting, no glue sniffin', nothing. To me that is a real bonus.

One thing I did not see people mention is that PVC boats are alittle trickier to store over the winter. You must store PVC boats inflated over the winter to keep them from creasing and wrinkling. To me that is the only draw back to PVC, otherwise it is the idea raft material. This may be a problem for people who don't have room.

Plus, as mentioned, they have a 10 year warranty that can't be beat. If I remember right, their policy is that if the repair is from a pilot error, you pay shipping, if it is a manufacturing error, you pay nothing. That's what sold me. If you want a boat that lasts 20 years, by an Aire. But Hysides are sweet too and have their own advantages. The Aire tributary series rafts have changed the material they used for their bladders this past year, they are more bomb proof then they were the first year they were made. I always find that being patient, not being too cheap will get you a good boat. Yes, the tributary boats are alittle cheaper, but won't last as long as the regular Aire line of boats. Why buy one boat now and another in 5 years, when you can just wait and get one good one that will last for 20 years??? Talk to Ron at Riverboat Works in Salida, he is a Hyside and Aire dealer and will set you straight as well as build you a sweet ass frame for it.
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Old 08-22-2007   #20
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by yakbob View Post
Cal, Take the "I heard" posts with a grain of salt,
Fuck you.

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