Kodiak v. Lion - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-11-2011   #1
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Kodiak v. Lion

I am going to be purchasing a 16' cat here pretty quick (my first - woo too). I have narrowed it down to the AIRE Lion or the NRS Kodiak. Both would suit my needs pretty well I believe. Anyone out there have an opinion as to which one is better (hopefully based on experience)? I know the Kodiak is more expensive but has slightly (just slightly) larger tubes. The Lion looks to have a a slightly larger rocker. Lion has 2 chambers per tube / Kodiak has three. Any information would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!

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Old 11-11-2011   #2
 
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Springfield, Oregon
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I'd bet the Aire would perform slightly better due to its rocker. The Kodiak actually has negative rocker, if the published numbers and pictures are correct.

Plus the Aire is less expensive and made in the USA.
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Old 11-11-2011   #3
 
denver, Colorado
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Kodiak

A Kodiak Brown Bear would kick the shit out of a Lion. Buy the kodiak.
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Old 11-11-2011   #4
 
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portland, Oregon
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I dont know if the fabric has been made better but found it real easy to tear a good sized gash in a 14' nrs cat I've sinced convered to aire. Although i havent had to patch one yet, it seems like it could be done a lot quicker with the aire. Having owned a 16' lion and now the leopard i would say definately go with the leopard. It hauls a little less weight but is more stable and maneuverable, allowing you to take it into spots that were "tighter" with the lion
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Old 11-12-2011   #5
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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How long is the frame that you are running on the leopard? I have friends who feel that you should always get the longest frame as possible, but I am not sure I want to go that route.
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Old 11-12-2011   #6
 
Helena, Montana
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i am pretty pro aire. tough as nails and easy to repair in the field. gonna be heavier though.

also, the rocker will perform better but will limit your load ability. a too long frame on a rockered boat messes up the geometry. and it takes a more thought out approach to rigging because the "see saw" effect can be signifigant ina boat with alot of rocker.

i agree that nrs are easy to puncture, and thats why i have avoided them.

depends on what you want to do with the boat.
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Old 11-12-2011   #7
 
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portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abqhack
How long is the frame that you are running on the leopard? I have friends who feel that you should always get the longest frame as possible, but I am not sure I want to go that route.
Its 12'. Id i could figure a way to condense my gear i'd make the two end bays shallower, probably just about 9' of drop rails. I run, from back to front, two pelican cubes, cooler/open/drybags, drybox/rower seat, open rower feet, large drybox, yeti 120, open/cooler

At first i thought i needed the space in the front open for foot space for passengers but we did some trips where we placed a day cooler up there and had about 4.5' platform there. Worked well -- boat was not overloaded supporting five on a three day float with two occasional inflateable kayakers

Next trip i'll try mounting a seating area on pelican boxes in the rear and have passengers feet just behind my drybox. The front will become a sundeck
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Old 11-12-2011   #8
 
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portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abqhack
How long is the frame that you are running on the leopard? I have friends who feel that you should always get the longest frame as possible, but I am not sure I want to go that route.
Oh yeah. You can always go with a split frame maybe 8' for short trips or more technical and a 4' frame to hold extra cooler and barney bag
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Old 11-12-2011   #9
 
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[QUOTE=MountainMedic;254810]i am pretty pro aire. tough as nails and easy to repair in the field.

I have always wondered about this statement...... easy to repair. Having watched and assisted with on & off river Aire repairs, I didn't think they were easy at all. Zippers, inner bladders, etc. was much more time consuming than a simple find hole, patch hole on a PVC, Urethane, or Hypalon boat. Do most Aire owners carry a spare bladder on multi-day trips? I have witnessed an Aire Cell blow-out once. Luckily it was at the put-in for a Payette Cabarton day run. Unluckily the person didn't have a spare bladder.
I own an Aire Cat, and agree that they are tough & well made. Just not sure I'd call them easy to fix?????

All that being said.....I'd tell the OP to get the Aire Lion. Go with the max frame length recommended (max flat area of the tubes), and take some time to plan out your gear set-up. As you can see from Avatard's post, gear placement takes thought, and sometimes rearrangement.
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Old 11-12-2011   #10
 
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portland, Oregon
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Not sure the rivers you are running but when you get a frame consider inside width if you go with anything other than the nrs yokes. Seems like a 44" box is a standard size for larger rafts and i've seen them go for awfully cheap used. Also, larger volume coolers are usually wider than 40". You may be able to compensate a bit for a shorter frame by adding a few inches in width. Like 78" instead of 72" You may not notice the width and it will make your cat more stable. Be sure to go with 11' oars

Also - i think i saw a reasonable asking price on nrs gearswap for a 2011 leopard. I'm very happy with mine and upgraded from a 16' lion.

If you do go with the lion i think it will fit a 12' frame but i ran 10.5 and it seemed a good size
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