I own a 156R, for the reasons listed above. I had a pair of cat tubes from Aire for the prior 8 years, and they held up really well.I have to say the Aire boats are pretty nice. They are easily repairable, well made and the warranty rules. Besides, the local boys at Four Corners Riversports rock on the customer service. I told you I'd give you some props T!
With the Aire - you can rip the outer shell and still float, if you are lucky. I managed to do exactly that on a trip down the Upper C a while ago. Hit a wall with quite a whap, and ripped open the outer PVC shell. Did not notice this till we got to the take out. Had that been a Hyperlon boat, we would have lost the tube and about 3 hours ( de-rigging, unpacking, repairing, etc..). I was lucky to not tear the inner tube. I was not able to attend the repair session that was held a few weeks later, but my understanding is thus:Aire owners- educate me on the ease of repair of PVC.
I have a hypalon boat and have patched it a few times on trips (even 1 hour before putting on) patches have held for 8-9 years. Just rough it up and apply glue to patched area and patch. Is the PVC even easier than this??