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Old 08-19-2016   #11
CaptBiggler's Avatar
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 31
Wow. I am surprised how many people are going Hyside. I believe that in the recent years the quality of boat from NRS has gone way up and Hyside has gone down. IMO you cant beat NRS if you want a hypalon boat both for quality and customer service. You can always add D-Rings.

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Old 08-19-2016   #12
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 426
I have worked commercially with both brands, and I like NRS better. Can't exactly put my finger on it- just how I feel about them.

That said, I wouldn't buy either. I know this wasn't the OP's question, but having worked extensively with not only Hyside and NRS, but also SOTAR, I'd buy the SOTAR. Hands down, no question.

I was not a fan of non-hypalon at first- harder to roll, harder to patch, etc. But, after working with them, they are the jams. The handling is far superior to any hypalon boat, they are lighter, and I actually find them easier to patch than hypalon once you get the process down. The only down-side is that they roll up bigger.

Sorry for the deviation from the OP.

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Old 08-19-2016   #13
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 338
All great responses and respectable opinions. I am curious about the comment about hyside going down in quality. What specifically do you mean? Also, I'm a little scared of Sotar due to recent material problems. Being that this will likely be my only new boat purchase, I don't want to take any chances. I noticed that the hyside is 63 pounds lighter than the nrs expedition 18. Both dimensions are nearly the same. Maybe the thwarts on the nrs add extra weight, however 63 pounds is not all thwart.

I appreciate all the feedback and enjoy hearing from people with much more experience than I will ever have.

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Old 08-19-2016   #14
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 338
One other thing I would like to mention is the general degradation of the material over time. I'm a working stiff, therefore I'm lucky to get 5 trips in a summer, so I'm not worried about either boat with respect to durability. If both boats are run commercially and also rented to privates and last, I trust that either one will last me. I still see a bunch of nrs on the river and I currently row a hyside that is super old. Hypalon is supposed to last how long? I know the neoprene tubes on my snout are from 1954 and are still beautiful.

Fridays are great days to geek out on raft specifications!

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Old 08-19-2016   #15
New River Gorge, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3
RMR has a PVC 18' under $5K Preseason orders only! [IMG]C:\Users\Bobby\Pictures\2012-07-30 rm rafts\18'.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 08-19-2016   #16
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 338
I couldn't find anything on Rocky Mountain Rafts website about an 18'er
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Old 08-19-2016   #17
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 96
Avoid RMR preorders

I would avoid preordering from rmr if you can help it. My experience was not a good one. My boat was a month late, and did not match the specs that were on the website. When I contacted RMR about the discrepancy, they changed the website specs, and have ignored me since. Bobby is the person who I spoke to @ rmr, and that also appears to be who is posting above, judging by the link. Good prices, bad customer service. I would only buy another RMR if it was sitting in front of me and I could inspect it. They have also had some bad floor designs that limited cooler options, or had standing water inside when fully loaded. I learned that you get what you pay for when it comes to inflatables. That said, I have seen a few storms in person, and it looks like a good design, if heavy.
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Old 08-19-2016   #18
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 90
Personally I can not imagine a need to own an 18' raft, 16' could carry everything I need and be more versatile. I plan on getting a new 16' raft in the next year and Im planning on getting another RMR. Ive had a great experience with my 14' RMR and for the price you can't beat it.
A big raft can only go on big rivers so I am just way less concerned with weight, rolling ability, even handling and shape. I fell like once a raft is that big it doesn't matter enough to justify the huge price difference. The only reason to have a raft 16' or bigger is to carry a ton of gear down big rivers and the boat is so big and heavy anyway.
That being said Im planning on dishing out some good $$$ on a Sotar SL 13'. A smaller raft will be used on more technical smaller rivers (like most in Colorado). In a smaller boat I feel that I need to every advantage in maneuvering, shape, design, weight, ext. For the price of an NRS or Hyside 18' you could buy two RMR rafts and have one set up for day trips and one for Utah desert trips or the Grand.
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Old 08-19-2016   #19
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 781
For a big boat being such an investment I'd try to swing for a USA made boat with a warranty that you are comfortable with. I purchased my Aire used with I believe 5 years of warranty left at the time. I have a RMR paddlecat and love it but for such a large purchase I'd recommend buying up, even if it means buying used.

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Old 08-19-2016   #20
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 90
Plus, Im not a big fan of hypalon, the boats always feel soft and are very slippery when walking on or getting on/off. I like the stiff wave punching power of PVC or Urethane. Hypalon does roll nice though, so it can't be beat if you dont have a trailer.

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