Rocky Mountain Raft vs NRS Outlaw - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-04-2016   #1
clankster's Avatar
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Rocky Mountain Raft vs NRS Outlaw

I have only seen limited dialog on this topic. I'm considering getting my first raft. Is the Rocky Mountain Raft worth the extra $k? I know they are both Chinese made boats and the the biggest concern with the Outlaw is the floor and lack of Drings/handles. Any other thoughts on this topic?

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Old 02-04-2016   #2
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 574
I plan on getting the outlaw this spring
10 d-rings and 4 handles on the outlaw.
10 d-rings and 6 handles on the RMR.

drop stitch floor on the outlaw is a plus for me. (I like drop stitch)

the biggest differences are the floors. But I think the RMR probably bails faster than the outlaw. if that's a big concern for you, you might want to spend the extra money on the RMR.

I'm going for the outlaw mainly because of the price tag.
"Thats what" - She
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Old 02-04-2016   #3
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I think it comes down to the design, others could really get into the specifics. As you mentioned the outlaw is a non traditional take on a self bailing raft. Personally between the two I'd choose the RMR. I've seen both and it looks like it would be an easier boat to set up different ways. The outlaw does not look like an ideal boat to set up a frame on.

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Old 02-04-2016   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 137
I bought my first raft, an RMR, this past summer and I've been pleased so far. Weight and roll size are the only issues, which I knew going in and will be the case with any PVC boat. I looked into the outlaw but stayed away from it due to the unconventional floor design. I also bought mine at a discount, as it was a previous year model, which helped narrow the price gap. You could call around to nearby shops to try and find a similar deal.
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Old 02-04-2016   #5
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 371
I own an outlaw and it bails just fine with the floor being semi flat I think it makes the boat more maneuverable then a standard self bailer but it might just be me. Has plenty of d rings I've put at least 100 miles on it this last season and I think it's a great bargain for a great quality boat. The Rmr line has nothing wrong with em I just went with the outlaw for price and I was buying local. also it was the first raft I ever bought so I wanted something not so pricey just in case I made a mistake or had some newb row it if something happened wouldnt ruin my yr. I dont think you can go wrong with ether boat good luck!
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Old 02-04-2016   #6
Coastal, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2015
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I will have a couple cool pictures of RMR boats soon, I will be doing a RMR 13 in drop stitch. I think RMR has put alot more thought and hard work into their rafts than NRS. I have never been much for supporting the big walmart types who pump stuff out for max profit with not much regard for performance. I really have no reason to ever own anything NRS ,ever since they started they have just copied what others have done and everything they make is pretty much for the mail order newbie. I understand why people in Alaska shop there thats about it.Thats my words to live by for what its worth
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Old 02-04-2016   #7
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Aug 2015
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I have my 14' Outlaw stored here at home stacked on top of my friend's 14' RMR... I have been around both boats a lot for gearing up, but only the Outlaw on the water.

Floor design: Outlaw's battened drop stitch is stiff and bails water as fine as any other raft I've been on. Unfortunately dirty rivers like the San Juan will build up a nice cache of sand between the drop stitch and the permanently attached floor. The Outlaw BAT floor system is a pain to work with at first, but it's easy once you've done it a couple of times.

Cleaning might take longer because of dealing with the floor, but it's not a big deal with some music and a beer. Also, the space between the floor and the edge of the tubes on a RMR is much wider than the Outlaw's. Not a big deal, but something I noticed.

handles: The RMR handles have a better grip, are more rounded so they don't dig into your hand, and are more responsive in general. Advantage RMR on this one.

Frame set up: Both boats accommodate frames easily.

Size/storage: Outlaw rolls up tighter for storage and transportation. I believe they are close to the same weight, the Outlaw is a little wider across and has slightly wider tubes. Both boats look durable, which is good if you're a less experienced oarsman and might bounce off some rocks

Performance: I only have water experience with my Outlaw so I can't speak for rowing the RMR. On the water the Outlaw has done everything I've asked it to do... punch through rapids, pivot quickly between rocks, etc. When I get a better perspective this season on the RMR's water performance I'll try to chime back in for future readers.

Both boats are great for their price points. The Outlaw's floor design is the biggest X factor with it, and I've found it works just fine and bails water just the same. My friend and I both like each boat for different reasons; we were both looking for price point boats that wouldn't compromise safety or usability, and we're both happy with our purchases.

For what it's worth, my step dad (a lifelong raft guide) is retiring his old raft and buying a new one... he ultimately decided on a 16' RMR.

Ultimately, if I had larger budget I would have gotten the RMR to not deal with the quirky floor BUT the floor works fine. It's just extra maintenance, and it allowed me to save money for other gear. Both are good rafts in my opinion and if there is ultimately some serious flaw with the Outlaw floor long term you can bet that NRS will take care of you. I haven't worked with RMR but my NRS customer service experience has been extraordinary.

I hope this helps. There's definitely some irony posting this after GreenWall's comment on Alaskans...
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Old 02-04-2016   #8
Coastal, Oregon
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Your post was a little more technically informative than mine. Good review
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Old 02-05-2016   #9
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Silt, Colorado
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Thanks so much for the reviews and advice! I really appreciate it!

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Old 02-05-2016   #10
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Crested Butte, Colorado
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We just want to give you a few more facts for comparison purposes that haven't been mentioned yet.

1. The Outlaw warranty, according to the NRS website, is 3 years private and 1 year commercial. RMR is 5 years private and 3 years commercial.
2. With the Outlaw you have your color choice of blue or blue. RMR carries blue, gray, red and green and some of our dealers have orange and yellow.
3. The Outlaw comes in 13 or 14' sizes. RMR has 10.5, 12, 13 14 and 16' rafts.

Just a few facts for your consideration.

The RMR Team
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