Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am new to rafting, but love it. I am going to buy a boat and build it out over the winter. I have a big family. I have two teenage sons that will likely have to ride their own raft or kayak. But I want at least one dedicated oar boat to haul gear, my wife, and the two younger kids on multi-day trips. I am considering a Aire 156R or NRS E-160. I took an NRS E-160 down Westwater last weekend and really liked it. I plan to spend most of my time on the Colorado, Green, and San Juan.

Thoughts for a newbie?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Print out the specs for each boat for a side by side comparison. You really can’t go wrong with either. Going brand new?!!!!

The 156R is lower cost and more color options, good multi use boat. I rented a 156R for a week, handled great for me and the dimensions felt right. Wish I owned one. Made in USA. Get the 156R with the sealed floor pocket for your silty rivers. Don’t get forest green or other dark color, it gets really hot in the sun.

The E-160 is a classic 16 footer, a wide and stable gear pig. Probably can carry more beer than the 156R. I have never rowed an E-160 but I have touched two or three. I have nothing bad to say. NRS has great customer service to boot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
I have a 156R and really like it.
And I boat clear waters.


...so I'd also recommend the E160.




Trailing is another factor. The E160 is easier to roll and transport. The 156R wants a trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
I have a 156R and a 150E. To me the biggest points between the AIRE and the NRS are the following. Both boats are go anywhere do anything boats that would be great for anyone looking to have a good multiday rig. Having experience with both I would choose the AIRE personally. I roll mine for the winter and have it inflated on my trailer from April thru October. I run desert rivers all the time and have not had any issues with the zippers. I wash the boat after every trip, even if I do the middle fork I still clean my boat. I hit the zips with a coarse brush and they are fine.



156R:
Easier to repair on the river
Heavy when rolled
Somewhat difficult to roll
Make sure to get premium floor
Better durability than Hypalon IMHO





150E or 160E:
Easier to roll (probably the biggest reason to by a NRS)

Not super impressed with the durability of the hypalon material. I've had to wear patch mine all over compared to my 11 year old AIRE that has had zero issues.
Wider boat can be good for stability but bad for creeky smaller rivers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Don’t own an Aire, but my E-140 has been a really solid boat, gotten me through thick and thin, have really been happy with it. I’ve run the E-160 a few times as well, liked it just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Hey what year is that boat River Wild? Mines a ‘95, and actual Hypalon, as opposed to Pennel Orca, wonder if there if is a durability change with that, somewhere over the years....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Hey what year is that boat River Wild? Mines a ‘95, and actual Hypalon, as opposed to Pennel Orca, wonder if there if is a durability change with that, somewhere over the years....

The boat is a 2015. I've rowed hypalon boats quite a bit and this material seems softer to the touch and less resistant to abrasion. It kind of feel like I could scratch down to the scrim with my fingernails if I wanted to. I had probably 4 or 5 wear spots in the first year with it, enough to make me wonder if maybe there was something wrong with it, or if it was actually an Otter series or something, but serial says E series. I know a number of outfitters that run E series boats on the Middle Fork commercially and I'm sure they are tough, but my boat still makes me wonder.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top