AIRE, Hyside, or NRS - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-14-2017   #1
noneuclidean's Avatar
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Aug 2013
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AIRE, Hyside, or NRS

I know AIRE is quite different from the hypalon boats of Hyside and NRS. That said, assuming I don't find an excellent used boat, I'm currently somewhat torn between the AIRE 160DD, NRS E-162D Nez Perce, and the Hyside PRO 16XT.

I really like the double diminished tubes of the AIRE, but I'm not super fond of the bladder system (particularly since most use will be in the silty rivers of the desert SW).

I'm fond of Hypalon, and like Hyside a lot, but I also like the diminished tube of the Nez Perce. The NRS & Hyside, however, are each backordered until August.

I'm not in a particular rush, but it would be nice to use the boat this season.

What would you get, if you had a choice between the three?

(also, if you have a used one of these you're willing to sell, please shoot me a private message)

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Old 04-14-2017   #2
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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Which ones are made on shore? I know the AIRE is, what about the NRS and hyside?

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Old 04-14-2017   #3
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
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Originally Posted by SpeyCatr View Post
Which ones are made on shore? I know the AIRE is, what about the NRS and hyside?

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Aire yes, Hyside is made in South Korea, not sure on the NRS.

Not any help, but they are all good boats and will probably do you just fine. If you ask me, its a toss up between Aire and Hyside quality wise with NRS a bit behind. Its still a good boat, but I'd get one of the other two first.

Aire has a pretty legendary warranty. Its too bad you didn't post this last week, as they just had a 15% off sale. They are a little heavier but are great boats. For a big boat, I really like the 160DD. If I was buying new it would be on my short list. I just bought its little brother the 136DD and am looking forward to it getting here and out on the water.

Hysides are great and seem to hold up well. I like the Hypalon since its lighter and rolls up. Nothing special with the design, but its a tried and true one that does well in many applications.

Experienced some NRS boats on my Grand trip and a Lodore trip lately. They seem to be built well, if a big heavy. I like the diminishing tubes on the Nez Pierce version too. More space and less wind resistance but still carries a load well.

Like I said, you really can't go too wrong with any of them. Slight differences between them that you'll have to decide on, but in the long run probably won't make a huge difference.
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Old 04-15-2017   #4
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
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I currently own a Sotar SL with diminishing tubes and I like that design. My raft is a 14 footer, and it gives me a little more cargo space. It's a wetter ride for passengers.

I owned a Hyside 12 footer and only sold it to get the bigger raft. I wish I still had it. Well made, lighter, and easier to roll up. No bells & whistles, just a sturdy raft.

My mini-cat has tubes made by Aire and I've not had an issue with them. However, the rafting club I belong to bought & quickly sold an Aire raft because of the silt/zipper thing. I helped clean that raft at the end of a season and it was a nightmare. Aire is quite popular, and well made. Just requires more effort to maintain if you run desert rivers.
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Old 04-15-2017   #5
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Tabernash, Colorado
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Basically what electric mayhem said, only I was raised on NRS, so am partial to them, they do track particularly well, so is a trait I grew accustomed with.
Aire is the only one of those brands that is American made, NRS is built in Mexico.
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Old 04-15-2017   #6
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 253
My hyside 14ner is 16 years old and still look like new. Either of these boats will be fine. NRS makes a bomber boat. I wouldn't be at all concerned about the Aire's bladder system and silt. These can be easily cleaned out after a couple of seasons boating. I will say my Aire is a lot stiffer and punches the waves without much tube movement.
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Old 04-15-2017   #7
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
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If you plan on using a motor on those desert floats, you might want to consider sticking with hypalon for it's better resistance to chemicals (Gasoline) than PVC.
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Old 04-15-2017   #8
open road, southwest
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Maravia, Made in the USA
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Old 04-15-2017   #9
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Just got my Hyside 16xt. Really happy.
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Old 04-17-2017   #10
idaho falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2017
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For rafts NRS, for cats AIRE. Seems to be the case in my area!

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