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Old 02-23-2014   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 15
Time to upgrade!

Hey Buzzards! I've been running an older 13'9" Hyside for a few years and while I love it, and still plan on keeping it for fishing and the occasional paddle raft, I've outgrown it... With two kids that are growing every time I feed them, the Hyside has reached the max for trips longer than a few days.
My wonderful wife finally agreed that we should grab a bigger boat, so now I'm on the hunt for the perfect ride.
I'm looking for a 16ft that will be used mainly as an oar boat, trailered but rolled in the winter. Haven't done the Grand yet, but it's on the horizon.
I'm stuck between the NRS160 and Aire156R.
I'm sure I can't go wrong with either of the above. I'm kinda leaning toward the Aire just due to price, but I've never rowed one.
Anybody want to talk about durability, handling, materials, etc? Why the significant price difference between the two?
Help me with the decision!

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Old 02-23-2014   #2
Boy Howdy!
pinemnky13's Avatar
Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,054
156R i love it....

Who's your monkey?
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Old 02-23-2014   #3
Newberg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 287
Originally Posted by pinemnky13 View Post
156R i love it....
times 2
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Old 02-23-2014   #4
Lake City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 128
156R or D. I have never rowed the R but the D works perfect on long trips with the wife and kids and still handles great when loaded heavy.
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Old 02-23-2014   #5
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
If you're going to go for something easily rolled, the Aire isn't gonna match the NRS- otherwise it will blow it away IMHO. If you ARE going to to go Aire, why not add Maravia to the mix? I bought a Zephyr- and it rolls better than folks around here would lead you to believe. Not well- but not unacceptable. I fit it back in the original box without any problems- Be aware, the 156R and 156D are VERY different from one another- it's not just a question of diminishing tubes on the D- it has a much sportier design. The R is a gear hauler with a longer waterline.

Based on your description, my short list would be Maravia Zephyr or Cyclone, or the 156D. I'm not a hypalon guy at all- don't like the way they handle compared to the stiffer boats I'm used to- but to each his own.
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Old 02-23-2014   #6
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
If you're planning on storing your new raft rolled I would avoid Maravia, Aire, or any PVC raft. It will be fine for a while but over time long term rolled storage of those plastic boats will lead to damage with creases and pinhole leaks.

But those rafts will blow up stiffer then the rubber rafts and will handle differently. They won't flex as much when punching holes.

You can't go wrong with either but those are some considerations.
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Old 02-23-2014   #7
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 15
Thanks! For you 156R folks, is there much maintenance with the zippers and airecells? Any problems with durability? (It's not that I intend to hit rocks, it just happens....)
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Old 02-23-2014   #8
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
There's an 18' hypalon Riken in the swap. Bigger is better. I thought 18ft was too big but once you get used to it the extra room is great. Be good for the grand too. Downside is you need a big trailer.
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Old 02-23-2014   #9
windriver's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 66
Aire 160' Double D

I'm looking at upgrading this spring as well. I've been strongly considering the Aire 160 Double D. Does anyone have any experience or input?
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Old 02-24-2014   #10
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 32
@wind: we're thread-jacking here but I'm also looking for someone with hands-on experience with the 160DD. From the stats, it looks like the perfect next boat for my family of 4. Anybody?

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolute nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." -The Water Rat
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