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Old 03-24-2010   #11
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Here is why I'm an AIRE fan: A Middle Fork blast & cast trip mid September a few years back was much easier (in my opinion) because we were using my cousin's AIRE rafts. 3 days into the trip we had a negligent discharge of a shotgun into the front corner of the floor. We were a few miles from camp and pushed on. The next morning we fixed the inner bladder and were done start to finish in a couple hours - and none of us in the group had previously repaired any raft. On the same trip a different AIRE raft ended up with a 12 inch tear on the bottom of a side tube - but no damage to the bladder. We noticed it around mid day and repaired it the next morning in camp by simply sewing up the outside with thread/needle in the repair kit. A month or so later both rafts were taken back to AIRE to have them sewn up professionally - at no cost.

No affiliation to AIRE, just a fan of their inflatables.

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Old 03-24-2010   #12
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
With a non-Aire boat you could have fixed that first hole in about 30 minutes, without having to unzip anything, or get to an inner bladder. I currently own an Aire, a Maravia, and have owned a Jack's Plastic in the past. The Aire is definitely the hardest to fix, especially if you have any grit or sand in the zippers. In Utah, it's almost impossible to keep sand out of the zippers. Also, the fine sand goes through the zippers and rubs micro holes in your bladders.

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