Originally Posted by Buschman
Another plus, having a spare on each side makes a nice place to set the oars I'm using out of the water when I'm just floating and not rowing.
Amen to that ^^^.
I also like having 2 for the simple reason that I may need them both! Breaking 2 oars on a trip isn't common, but it's not unheard of either. That, and the fact that it's not like having another box or bag onboard- it's basically completely out of the way.
As to the quality- get what you can afford. Cataracts are definitely nicer and more expensive, but Carlisle oars aren't terrible oars either. I used them for a lot of years. They don't require ANY maintenance, whereas Cataracts do need refinished from time to time to avoid fiberglass splinters. It's another hundred bucks or so to get cats over carlisles, so do you want to spend that on oars, or straps, or dryboxes, or beer. . .you get the idea.