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Old 08-01-2007   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
14' Aire Tributary vs. 13' Hyside Rio Bravo

Hey y'all...

I am torn right now on a decision between either the Aire or Hyside...both I have found at good deals but which would you say is a better choice?

I turn to you, my cyberfriends, for any and all advice and insight you may have.

Thanks for the help and whichever one I may choose I would like to offer you a beer or two or three on my boat of course...for your help!

Carbondale, CO

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Old 08-02-2007   #2
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
Neither of these boats has a great rep for quality. I would not get either.

Funny thing is with the Hyside's Rio is it was introduced as a great money saver over the far superior Outfitter line yet the prices are nearly the same. When you figure the costs on adding a frame chafer,d rings, the outfitters thicker hypalon that the Rio lacks... it's a no brainer to just step up to the Outfitter.

Also, Hyside is currently having a Warehouse might find a deal there. Check their site.

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Old 08-02-2007   #3
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 52
I've also heard bad things about the Tributary series, particularly the first year of release. Since then they've been upgraded some, but the first year out they fell apart under moderate use.
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Old 08-02-2007   #4
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
A few things to consider:

14' - a great general size, big enough (just barely) for the Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon, but still small enough for Clear Creek (barely). In my eyes this is the most versatile raft size.

13' - A better size for general Colorado use, fits better on smaller rivers/ large creeks and at lower levels. But quite small for multi days and big water.

Hypalon - Personally I prefer hypalon over PVC, some people prefer PVC. AIRE uses urethane bladders inside PVC shells. Newer AIRE's have welded seams on the PVC so the outgassing problems for glued PVC are avoided. However for proper repair of welded seams you have to send the boat back to the factory, with hypalon you can glue it back together yourself as good as new.

Weight - I think that the Hyside is lighter (111 lbs with 3 thwarts for Hyside vs. 123 for the AIRE) and would make a better R2 boat if that matters to you.

Thwart attachments - Personally I don't like the AIRE thwart attachments because I find it hard to get good foot wedges, especially with my back foot. The advantage is that with the AIRE you can place the thwarts anywhere you want - personally I haven't found the need for this, but it is an option.

Seams - the Hyside has a lot fewer seams, whether that reflects a positive feature with a smoother waterline and fewer wear points or simply a design that reduces production costs is up for debate. it might be both.

Sorry that this doesn't yield a clear recommendation, but boat boats have their pluses and minuses, it is for you to decide. Feel free to ask more questions and I will try to answer them.

Tubers is right about the price - when Hyside first introduced the Rio Bravos they were at a much lower price point, now the difference on a 13 foot boat with 3 thwarts is about $100. And if you look at their PDF catalog and PDF Price List for 07 they don't even mention the Rio Bravos - my guess is that they will discontinue them since the price point is no longer significantly differentiated.
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Old 08-02-2007   #5
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
I personally don't like the bladder system Aire uses and the way the water gets trapped in them. I've dealt with a friends boat trying to get rid of the mildew smell you get, if you roll them up and don't dry them proper after each use. The zippers to get into the bladders ......for use of a better word......suck.... and you need to soap them good to get them to move. They need to be worked by hand and not with a pair of pliers. (You'll be sorry if you don't heed this warning.) I'd hate to have to fix an Aire boat on a big river trip. Unzipping to fix a hole in a bladder doesn't sound like my type of fun.

I vote Hyside............or possibly look at a Vanguard.
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Old 08-02-2007   #6
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
I appreciate all of your insight. I take all of your comments to heart but also wonder what a kayaker lookin' for a boat for the wife and dog and friends should do to get quality while at the same time not break the bank?

Buying bomber used sounds good but seems hard to find at the same time and then the fact of having to oufit it with frame, oars, etc. it certainly adds up.

I hear a lot about the pain in the arse of the Aire system in regards to patching but is it really that bad? I mean I would say yeah in theory that it sounds like a tedious task but how many of you out there might have actually had the problem and would say you would rather sink the boat than stop and patch?

I have also heard that the Rio Bravos are just not worth it and that the poor glue job on this series has been a bad rap for the company?

Most dealers of multiple companies seem to keep talking up Aire products. I am still just learning from you, them, and anything else in between.

Still seeking your knowledge.

Keep the comments coming...thank you!!

Curious mind still curious,

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Old 08-02-2007   #7
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
In terms of patching it doesn't happen often - I am in my 8th season of guiding and I have put holes in boats twice and had to re-patch someones else's work once. That works out to something like one patch per 200 trips. You just know going in with an AIRE that a patch on the river is gonna take some real time. But it also won't happen very often and no one is gonna sink the boat instead of patching it. If it is a day trip you probably won't even think of patching on the river anyways.

I got my used Hyside 14' outfitter pro for $800 - it was smoking deal, but I have had a lot of friends pick them up for around $1700-$1800 after 2-4 years of commercial use. But you are right, even at that it isn't cheap when you add in oars, frames, paddles, and all of the other things you can/need to buy.

A lot of people do talk up AIRE products, I still haven't figured out why that is exactly. Personally I haven't seen many raft companies running AIRE boats although I am sure that some must. Maybe they have better margins so dealers talk them up? Pure speculation on my part. I would love to hear from AIRE owners why they chose that particular boat, I am probably missing something.
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Old 08-02-2007   #8
canon city, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 16
14, Aire Tributary vs. 13 Hyside Rio Bravo

Check out Down Rivers Colorado Series. I have a 4 year old pvc model that has been great. Theyve upgraded to hypalon I beleive. Around 2800 dollars. great for private boating.
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Old 08-02-2007   #9
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Aloha AIRE Runners!

Hello, Hello, Is there anybody out there?

You can share some AIRE?

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Old 08-02-2007   #10
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
$800 for Outfitter Pro??!!!??

Hook it up! I have a Costco card...does that count?


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