Aire R vs DD raft design - Mountain Buzz
 



 
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
Norcalcoastie's Avatar
 
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2011
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Aire R vs DD raft design

Whats up Buzzards

Lets get another threat going about raft design where today we feature the merits of the R vs DD. Im in the market to upgrade from a 14 Outlaw. Im pretty sold out on the Aire design in general. Weve seriously put as much as we can into our old raft but now its time to go to 15-16 model.

Im looking at the 156R or the 16DD. Weve been using as big a frame as we can for all the gear for 3 people for upwards of 9 days. We life in Bend now but travel all over to hit the usual spots; Main, San Juan, Deschutes, John Day, Grande Ronde, Green, etc

My questions are these: Once loaded up like a pig, will the DD actually be more maneuverable than the R? Will the extra inch of tube size of the R ride higher or handle a large load better? Does the DD handle better in the wind?

Please feel free to nerd out on raft design. Thanks and see you out there

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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
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There is a thread, I think called "talk me out of a DD" or something like that that pretty much beat this horse to death. Search for that and get all the opinions you'd ever want on the DD over the R.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
Boise, Idaho
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agreed, covered pretty well in previous threads. But just for the sake of argument. Here are my answers to your questions in short form

1. No, 16DD is a wider boat, same or less maneuverable under a load.
2. yes, taller tubes = more space for coolers, dry boxes, etc. 156R is narrower though.
3. maybe? but not enough to really matter.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Not much to add, but I love my 156R. Plenty big for multi-days and a great size if you have a group of friend that want to paddle raft it.



If you are buying new, definitely spring for the sealed floor pocket over their standard floor. I had the standard floor for years and finally upgraded to the sealed pocket floor last fall. Definitely takes some of "pig" out of a heavily loaded raft!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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The thread everyone is talking about is mostly about the 136DD and 146DD...so maybe not directly correlateable to your question but still good info.

Biggest take away between R and DD series is the size of the tubes and the interior space. R series has larger tubes...so you sit more inside the boat whereas the DD series has smaller ones so it feels more like you are sitting on top of the boat. Generally...the DD will be a wetter ride since the front of the boat is comparitively lower.

Because of the diminished tubes...there is more space on the floor of the DD. The outside follows the same general shape as the R series, but because the tubes get smaller as they go to front that gives you extra space. That said, because they are also not as tall... everything is more exposed so the tops of coolers and such may stick above the frame and tubes a bit. The R series, everything will sit more inside between the tubes.

Either way...you'll definitely be happy with an Aire. There are certainly other options too...but Aires are great boats.

I agree about the sealed floor...a worthy upgrade IMHO. I think IDriverRunner is the first person I have heard an account of that has had both kinds...so that is cool to hear that it makes a noticeable difference in how the raft handles.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Ive got a 156R that I took down the Grand last year. My 105 lb daughter rowed a 16DD. Went right through the hole in Crystal, right through the V wave in Lava, and the huge hole below, and every other big rapid. I can't say much about the maneuverability, but that thing held a crap load of gear and ran the whitewater like a beast.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
Norcalcoastie's Avatar
 
Bend, Oregon
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I found the other older thread - thanks! Lots of good information there but certainly appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Leaning heavy on the R. Everyone use 9.5 or 10’ oars? Or is it another item that doesn’t make a huge difference?

I guess I’m just trying to not recreate my current situation. I often feel like my current 14’ outlaw is such a pig to maneuver. No flips or scary situations really, but sometimes it just doesn’t go where I want it too. Rowing other folks nice rafts has been eye opening. Cant wait for my daughter to row! She’s a little small, but likes getting on the oars
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Most of the 16' boats I've seen use 11' oars. I tried 10's with my Avon Pro and felt like it I couldn't get it to move. Switched back to the 11's and it was much better. I definitely wouldn't go any smaller then 10 foot oars and would encourage you to get 10.5's or 11's.

I actually use the 11's with my Aire 146DD now too...but I'm kinda weird and like longer oars. I had the 136DD first (still trying to sell it actually) and started with 9' oars and it felt like a pig too. Got some 10' oars and it was night and day better.

Plenty of threads on here about boat setup and how to maximize the power you can get.
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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I had a 156R before my 146DD. Feels like I can pack almost as much into it and it's so much more fun to row. Sealed floor upgrade would definitely help on the R, but I'd still never consider going back.
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