Originally Posted by dipper
Does anyone on here know if any quality companies (other than aire) make tubes with a bladder/cover system?
I'm back and forth on hypalon and other such materials, sounds like having a bladder/cover system similar to aire's design makes on-the-water repairs easier.
Sotar has an internal bladder but best I can tell its not accessable other than through cutting into the outer tube skin.
the bladder vs non bladder can go either way. People in desert areas complain they get silt inside their tubes which can cause wear. Other's complain the zippers fail. I've never had either problem, my problem is I don't want mildew growing in my tubes so after a trip I like to unzip and let them hang to dry in front of a fan to drive out all moisture.
Personally the zippers are double set and sewn in really strong so I doubt this would fail.
the benefit comes on the river. Instead of hoping you mixed the glue right, applied properly under non ideal conditions, sat waited and gave it enough time to cure, with the Aire solution a lot of times you can apply duct tape from the inside and some tear aid patch on the bladder and be back on the river to finish your float. You can deal with that crap at the campsite or, if a day float, after the trip.
I've personally never had this happen in two years of owning an aire boat, but it can happen with any boat (punctures, tears, etc). The nice thing is you can send the boat back to Aire during the 10 year warrantee period and they will WELD a patch on the inside of the boat which will make the repair spot permanent and stronger than if it never had a tear.
I did have this happen on a hypalon boat. The fabric tore like an old t-shirt. I wasted an afternoon on the Middle Fork waiting for my boat to dry, we had to split the group up to get down the river, and I was nervous the rest of the trip about it failing again. I'd much rather have don't the repairs on the shore at camp ...