Getting ready to buy a new raft, but which one to pick? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 09-27-2012   #1
 
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
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Getting ready to buy a new raft, but which one to pick?

Went and looked at a few different rafts today and got a lot of info and opinions. I decided the Aire Puma series are just too narrow and won't offer the stability i'm looking for. I did like the Aire 130D i looked at and also the NRS E 130. I wanted to see an Aire 130E but they did not have one in stock and they don't seem to be very popular as i've yet to see anyone with one on the river (I'm in the south east fyi). The NRS and AIRE rafts are two totally different rafts from what i saw and stuff I was told, but since I'm unable to try them out before I buy, what do you veteran rafters suggest?

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Old 09-27-2012   #2
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I'm a big Aire fan, you simply can't beat the 10 year no fault warranty. The E series does seem to be mostly for paddle rafting and they don't seem to be as popular. I'd prefer a D series over the E. I'm also a fan of US made products I think that's worth something still as there's never enough cool places to work.

The NRS boat will roll up tighter and is most likely lighter.
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Old 09-27-2012   #3
 
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vancouver, Washington
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AIre. Unless you are married to hypalon
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Old 09-27-2012   #4
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Too narrow for SE rivers? Don't know about that....

How about a 13' Sotar? On sale next week....
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Old 09-28-2012   #5
 
Durango, Colorado
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I have an Aire 143e, and it is awesome for steep class 4 and 5 paddle boating. The bow design rocks, and I love the square back for guiding. That being said, I only paddle boat, and I haven't ever had a frame on it. if you are going to be doing more class III and overnights than class IV-V, the D series is probably a better boat for you, especially if you are going to mostly row it. The d series have more interior room than the E, and you have the advantage of symmetry for rowing backwards. For the steep stuff the E is the boat, and that is why it is the standard boat for outfitters running the Piedra and Upper Animas. Either way, an aire will have a longer service life than an NRS, because of the way it is built. It is also the best raft (in my opinion) for a first time raft owner, because they will fix it for free for the first 10 years, regardless of how you managed to damage it.
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Old 09-28-2012   #6
 
Shelby, North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floatin mucho View Post
Either way, an aire will have a longer service life than an NRS, because of the way it is built.
How sure are you on that? I've read tons and tons of Hypalon vs PVC debates on mountainbuzz and boatertalk. Looks to be a toss up to me since both have their pros and cons, but NRS E series carry a 10 year warrenty just like Aire. Although i have heard Aire's "no fault" warrenty is a little better then NRS's warrenty, but I've also talked with several people that have 20 year old Hypalon boats still paddleing them and never had an issue! I have not heard of or seen 20+ year old pvc boats that are still being used that have never had a repair. I'm not saying they're not out there, but i've never heard of it....
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Old 09-28-2012   #7
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
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I had a 143e for a while. It did great as a paddle boat and oar rig. I'm not sure if it was a wore out spring in the pr valve causing the floor to run a little softer than my other aires, but that 143e tracked better than any raft I've ever been in, period. The square back really made no discernable difference when rowing, although it creates a nice level platform for the rear seat of a fishing frame. I believe the 130e is a bit narrower than the 130D. I currently have a 130d and it is ideal for me here in the SE. I have had no issues running the FB and noli at real low water, but i've had a little practice at it too. I wouldn't worry too much about six or eight inches, especially when there are guys around here running 14x7' avons at 250 cfs.
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Old 09-28-2012   #8
 
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portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GosuPaintballer

How sure are you on that? I've read tons and tons of Hypalon vs PVC debates on mountainbuzz and boatertalk. Looks to be a toss up to me since both have their pros and cons, but NRS E series carry a 10 year warrenty just like Aire. Although i have heard Aire's "no fault" warrenty is a little better then NRS's warrenty, but I've also talked with several people that have 20 year old Hypalon boats still paddleing them and never had an issue! I have not heard of or seen 20+ year old pvc boats that are still being used that have never had a repair. I'm not saying they're not out there, but i've never heard of it....
The aire is welded construction so no glue to give out. Maybe Nrs is welded now but i didnt think you could do that with hypalon.

Since it has a urethane bladder, its not going to leak when the pvc fabric starts to weather after 5 - 10 years. Also the Aire fabric is Ferrari PVC not some cheap chinese fabric.

The only disadvantage i know of is the zipper is a potential point of failure but its definately an advantage if you ever need to do repairs. The zipper is double constructed

I had a '96 bobcat that i sold last summer i think. It was used and abused and still in great shape when i sold it so i dont at all question the durability or the ability to get 20 years from it
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Old 09-28-2012   #9
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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Tell us more about how you intend to use it. Will you paddle or row or both, how many people? There are die hards on both sides of the construction/material debate they both go down the river. You kinda just have to decide what you're more comfortable with. I'm a fan of Aire boats but my buddy loves his otter.

Did you look at the super duper puma? I think it's a neat boat worth considering since you're looking at 13 foot boats its 14 and very fun.
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Old 09-28-2012   #10
 
Shelby, North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul7 View Post
Tell us more about how you intend to use it. Will you paddle or row or both, how many people? There are die hards on both sides of the construction/material debate they both go down the river. You kinda just have to decide what you're more comfortable with. I'm a fan of Aire boats but my buddy loves his otter.

Did you look at the super duper puma? I think it's a neat boat worth considering since you're looking at 13 foot boats its 14 and very fun.
I want a raft big enough for 4 or 5 adults, but also family friendly for my 9 year old son and my wife. I want to be able to take them and other family friends down class 2/3/small 4 stuff, but then take my kayaking buddies and myself down some bigger class 4 and maybe 5 stuff (if we get good enough). I've narrowed it down to the NRS 130 E series and one of the AIRE series boats in the 13' range. I think the Super Puma would be a little on the unstable side for family and kids because of how narrow it is. I've been looking more at the D and E series. The E series look pretty good online, but have never seen one in person, nor have talked to anyone that has paddled one.
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