Tributary makes a great product for the money. The bladders are the identical material as in the AIRE boats and made on the same machines, but the difference is that Tributary's are made in China and AIRE in Idaho. Base fabric is identical. AIRE's have a slightly heavier coating of PVC than the Tributaries. There are only about three differences:
- 10 year no-fault warranty
- Couple less D-rings
- Chafe strips
My previous generation AIRE tubes are identical to the current Tributary tubes. Basically, the current Tributary rafts and cats are the previous generation of AIRE's.
This last season I saw a lot of Tributary rafts running commercially out West here.
Frankly, the Tributary rafts will last the average user on this website a lifetime of personal use. I have friends who own $5k-$6k rafts (rubber only) and they only get out one trip a year. More boat than they'll ever use!
Yes, PVC can be more prone to damage than Hypalon, but I believe that it is drastically miss-represented by many on this website of the problems of PVC. I have a 10+ year old PVC boat, and now many others as well, who all roll our boats up and store them in our garages during the winter and have had no problems. I just make sure not to unroll or push against the boat when it's frozen.
Are you planning to use this mainly as an oar boat or paddle boat? I can then share my thoughts on the sizes.