Aire 160 DOUBLE D ?'s - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-23-2013   #1
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 38
Aire 160 DOUBLE D ?'s

Anyone have one of these rafts (Aire 160 Double D)? I was looking at an 18 ft Maravia a while back then had a little health issue which sucked up some of my cashflow. I am interested in this raft. Any help would be appreciated. I have a 156R and i like it but its a bit sluggish at times and is horrible in the wind. I know the diminished tubes help this a bit but wondering if its worth the upgrade. I dont like the fact it has smaller tubes but not sure an inch is that big a difference. It has a bigger load capacity according to the Aire site.

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Old 11-23-2013   #2
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
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They had one at the shop in Bozeman a while back- it's got a very different design from the 156D Lower and flatter- less sporty. Looked like it would haul a small town~
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Old 11-23-2013   #3
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Waha, Ida'maho
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Originally Posted by Osseous View Post
Looked like it would haul a small town~
Ha! Nice....
Simply in between swims
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Old 11-23-2013   #4
San Francisco, California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 110
160DD is more of a gear hauler than a sporty ride. If you find 156D sluggish, I am not sure you will find 160DD better. Do you have the regular floor? How much gear/people do you load?
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Old 11-24-2013   #5
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
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My buddy has the 143D and its very similar in size/volume to my 13.0 Trib. The 156D is closer in profile to a 14' boat, just more length.

If your primary use is Missouri trips, I could see how the 156R would feel sluggish in the wind. I sure like mine on the Lochsa in bigger water or big III's with my kids.
Problem is that 160DD's and 156D's aren't as cheap or easy to come by!!

Do you need the full capacity of a big 16' raft? After now 10 years of rafting, my desired raft size is getting smaller. People who used to ride with me and loved it got their own boats, freeloaders stopped getting invited, my kids are getting bigger and like a splashier ride, and when it's just my family, a smaller boat is easier to carry.

(I went down from a full 16'x8' Maravia with 24" tubes to the 156R.)

By the way, cats are fun, too. [/enabler]

I'd recommend the 156D; the 160DD is going to feel a lot like your 156R.
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Old 11-25-2013   #6
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
I have an Aire DD and love it. I have taken it down the Middle Fork of the Salmon and we also did a Canyon trip with it last February. We had it very loaded (perhaps overloaded) on both trips and it has not let us down! I row it with a pair of 10' Sawyer square top Vlams and a an NRS frame and it seems like a good combo. The boat is HUGE in the center and very diminished, I think this helps plow through waves.
The Middle Fork was my first trip rowing a boat and I was very pleased with how it handled, after all, I did make it! I was able to put the boat where I wanted it, on this somewhat technical river. On that same trip I was also suprised that while tired from rowing all day, I was not terribly sore. Which I would have expected given my minimal rowing experience and the overall weight with the amount of gear in the boat. I think that speaks to the design of the raft!

There is a local outfitter that runs these as paddle rafts down a class 5 river and they have been happy with them so far!

We are planning to take on a trip to the Deschutes this weekend and back to the canyon again in February.

Here is a picture of it loaded on the canyon.
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Old 11-25-2013   #7
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1979
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Originally Posted by Leyners2 View Post
We had it very loaded (perhaps overloaded) on both trips and it has not let us down!
If you could lose that dead weight in the bow, you wouldn't be overloaded Alaina!
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Old 11-25-2013   #8
seattle, Washington
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2
Dead Weight?!?!

Just relaxing out there.

I am very impressed with the 16 double D. Like Alaina said it does maneuver well and can handle a nasty tube suck on a GC eddy line. We have hit some big stuff we shouldn't have messed with and blown right through it. I have also run a 16 DD as a paddle raft and it does great. I think the diminished tubes help with the ability to turn quickly and the big side tubes do there part for taking a sideways beating.

I have basically run 143 D's as a commercial guide for 8 years but, this year I ran 143 R's and I will tell you I was not really impressed with the R's.

I like the ability I have with the 16 DD to get one or two more strokes on a ferry angle before turning into the Gnar with only one oar stroke.

And they haul a ton of crap...
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Old 12-15-2013   #9
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 38
Thanks for the replies from actual owners of the 160 DD. I like the load capacity, just wish the tubes were a little bigger is all. Will be a great family multi day trip raft if i decide to actually get one. Thanks again for the replies!!!
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