I currently have a couple of rafts but I am looking to purchase an inflatable Kayak for some lower flow trips. Wanted opinions on what people thought about each one? It will be used mostly for going down the Upper Salt and the Verde river and then outher whitewater trips. It may be used on a lake occasionaly but mostly whitewater. I want the option for 2 people so all of these are tandem
Aire Tomcat Tandem Kayak: Cheapest of the 3 but does not have a drop stitch floor. It is about as long as the Saturn and as wide as the NRS Outlaw II. It has a bladder system. Outer tube is 500 deneer PVC. Only 450lbs weight capactiy
Saturn Whitewater Tandem: This is the longest of the 3 at 13' and has a drop stitch floor. Its floor is also the thickest at 6 inches. Outer tube is 1100 Deneer PVC. Is the most narrow at 36". Slightly more expensive than the other 2. It also says it has the greatest weight capacit at 700lbs.
NRS outlaw II : This is the shortest of the 3 at just over 12', it has the most width at 39". It has the drop stitch floor that is 4" thick. It does not really specify on the weight capacity or how thick the material is. This boat also weighs about 10lbs less than the other 2.
This is all the details on the boats. How much difference does the drop stitch floor make on the kayaks and what does everyone think would be the better IK to go with?
What don't you like about the drop stich floor in an IK? I was leaning towards the NRS outlaw at first but I read that it takes forever to drain. While I obvisously dont care about getting wet it seems waiting 2 minutes for the boat to drain seems excessive. I had not looked into RMR IK, I will check it out.
How is the Tomcat when it comes to drainage and if you have 2 people are you sitting in the water?
I have a tomcat solo and my friend has the tandem. Mine is fairly new and his is old, more than 5 yrs at least. Wrt two of the points you raised, his is quite heavy and he drags it everywhere. Amazingly, its held up remarkably well, no major abrasions or leaks. So the Tomcat durability is up there. As far as drainage neither his nor mine have shown any puddling even though we sit directly on the floor. You really cannot go too wrong with any of the 3 you mention.
Since you seem open to other options Aire Outfitter II. Large tubes, wide, and low center of gravity equals very stable. Built in internal loops are very nice
Aire also very easy to field repair, minutes in most cases. And awesome warranty.
The Outfitters also float you high enough that you aren't sitting in water.
I urge you to find a Aire lynx. The tomcat bladders fail at the seam and can't be repaired effectively. Saturn are inferior in all aspects. I haven't used a RMR, but it seems strange that they are everywhere used for sale only a couple years old. I hear they are heavy. If you are patient you will find a Lynx 2 lightly used for $850 or less. Money in the bank like all white water gear if you buy quality it last for a very long time.
Mcguire- I have been trying to find one used for awhile now and they just don't seem to come up very often in Arizona. You seem opposed to the Saturn any reason why. From everything I can tell they are made of the exact same thing as the outlaw and Tomcat II. None of them are welded PVC. The RMR I looked like it was actually welded PVC instead which I have heard makes a difference. It however doesn't seem to have the dropstitch floor but an Ibeam. Seems there is a little question on which is better in a kayak though.
Willie- What makes the Aire Outfitter easier to patch? Seems it would be similar on most boats. I can see how the wider tubes would be helpful though and they seem to be welded boats as well. If anyone has one for sale I'm interested.
Mattman- I had a friend who let me use his Cat and I wasn't to fond of it. It was to high up and it felt to easy and I stayed to dry using it. It didn't feel as intense to me, I really like my 9' and I think that the kayak will be the same where you feel everything a bit more.