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Old 08-27-2012   #1
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
River inner tubes, any suggestions? NRS are pricey

So i never thought i would be asking this...but what is a decent tube for floating down the river?

My kids jumped in some this weekend...and the liberty from leaving the raft was exciting for small for SUP or kayaking yet.

The ones my friends had from Sports authority were too cheap (thin vinyl pool) and NRS ones are serious ($130).

Any suggestions appreciated...thanks

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Old 08-27-2012   #2
., ...
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 207
Check with the local tire stores, they might be able to help out with a truck inner tube.

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Old 08-27-2012   #3
gringoanthony's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 115
The cheap vinyl ones are toast the first time the hit a branch or stick.

Inner tubes are a major hassle to comfortably stay in, especially for kids, who will fall right through the hole.

For frequent use, the NRS tubes are worth it. They are very sturdy and the mesh in the bottom makes them comfortable to sit in without falling through.
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Old 08-27-2012   #4
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
cut a round piece of plywood and tie it in the center of a truck tube, good for holding beer in and your but from dragging on the rocks.
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Old 08-27-2012   #5
coloradopaddler's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 206
nrs tube

going to have to agree with the gringo, the nrs tube is perfect for trailing behind the raft. the kids love it. i thought it was retarded to spend that much on a freaking tube but it's solid with good features and should last longer than ten truck tubes.
You deserve a good paddling!
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Old 08-27-2012   #6
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 95
Just use gorilla tape to patch the cheapies (bring some on the river). I have a couple river rats ($10 pool toy tube) that are 5 years old and still going... Many patches, but they hold air great. Also, the mesh netting stops you from sinking your butt into the river to lower your center of gravity in the rapids. I made it thru Smelter Rapid on the animas without flipping during peak two years ago @ 5400 cfs in the river rat, while my friend with a nrs flipped in the first wave and went for a long swim. Tire intertubes will give you a rash from chaffing, and are more expensive.
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Old 08-28-2012   #7
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liftedlimo's Avatar
Vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 27
I have a set of 4 River Run tubes. They have a mesh bottom and a lounge chair style back, cup holder. Yes they are going to get holes in them eventually. Like he said above, bring gorilla tape or a patch kit, then keep having fun. I could replace my tube 20 times and be even with how much the NRS one cost. If you have the cash, I bet the NRS one is the shiz though.
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Old 08-28-2012   #8
LAGNAF406's Avatar
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 15
Here's one that may be an option:

I use their snow tubes and have blast with them with the kids. Haven't tried their river tubes, got a sweet deal on some used NRS from the local guide shop. You'll notice that Tubepro runs butyl tubes inside with short valve stems vs the PVC my NRS uses. I've seen on their site somewhere some neat little party rafts also.

You're right though, the kids love using tubes on flat water floats. It's entertaining seeing how far out they can jump to the tube from raft.
"If you're gonna be a hero, you have to do stupid things once and awhile."
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Old 08-28-2012   #9
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Saw these at Outdoor Retailer: Kwik Tek RAGIN RIVER

Seemed pretty well made for the price. Not an NRS though...
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Old 08-28-2012   #10
snakester's Avatar
Mesa, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 161
I got a used NRS tube fo 40 bucks. Worth every penny.

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