New Raft

I was in the same postion as you are back this spring. I was set on getting a pac 1300 and keeped researching and getting others opinions and decided it was a little to small. I ended up getting the Aire super duper puma with an nrs frame and don't regret it at all. All the mentioned boats are good. Others may be better but that is one opinion to another. I rowed a super puma and it was nice but that 1 foot smaller was to much to loose. I rowed a super duper puma and really liked it. I know a guy who has a nrs and an aire and loves them both. I went with the aire mainly because a good friend of mine loves his and because the aire is made in Idaho. And it has a 10 year warranty. I got it all through nrs and they are a great company to deal with. I really don't think you will regret your desicion. I would highly recomend that if you are going to do multi-day, that you highly consider a 14 foot boat. All the researching I did lead me to one thing more than anything else and that was get a 14 foot boat. A foot doesn't sound like much, but it is a lot in a boat. My .02


Active Member
While NRS boats are great, I must disagree with a couple of these statements. Aire boats can be stored rolled. I have been storing PVC boats rolled for 15 years. The PVC rolled boat is only slightly larger than our hypalon boats.

Second, field repair of the Aire boats is faster and than hypalon, although a full repair at home maybe easier with a hypalon boat. In the aire, if you get a 1 foot gash in your rig, you deflait only the portion you need to get to, take what you need off the boat to unzip and access the bladder. Put some of the repair tape on the innner bladder, throw some duct tape on the inside and outside of the outer hull (our baseball stitch the outside if it is a reall large rip), then you are back on the water within about an hour to 1.5 hours max for a big job, and you can pump the boat up to full or near full pressure immeidatley. Once you get off the trip and are back home you can make the permanent and more asthetically pleasing repair.

The hypalon feild repair or regular PVC without inner bladder system, involves getting to shore, deflating the boat, and patching with glue. You can't pressure back up to anything remotely approaching full presure several hours, preferably for at least 12 hours.

P.S. I have been in both of these situations, and am not a dealer for any boat.

NRS 100%. Wider (more stable, more storage, better tracking) and easier to store(being hypalon) if you don't have space to leave it inflated.

If it was solely for whitewater, I'd recommend the AIRE, but NRS makes the best fishing raft. Plus, hypalon repairs more easy since you don't have to mess with bladders.

-Sam (former NRS employee)
It seems like I am leaning more and more toward an AIRE (outcast) and talking with a few more people locally and visiting a shop that sells both brands it seems that 2 out of 3 of the people preferred the bladders system and repairs on the fly like Shapp stated.

Does anyone have any experience with the AIRE 130D and 143D models? It seems these are alot simliar to the NRS otter when it comes to size and shape. Wider, which means more stability and storage.

More than likely I will buy the Super Duper Puma.

As for the NRS fishing frame. I would like to possibly add a dry box behind the rowers seat. it looks like there is room? However the width of the SDP is not as wide and heard earlier it may be a custom deal. I may just do dry bags secured in the back portion of the raft, maybe a cargo net system. I would also like to add a cooler. Is there a good way to add a secure mount between the rowers foot brace and the seat of the forward fisherman?

Does anyone have any experience with the NRS frame? What have you guys done to add dry storage and coolers?

Thanks again for all the help! I'll for sure post photos of the set up on this thread when I get it!

shawn k

Active Member
One other thing to consider before you buy a raft. September is usually when aire, maravia and sotar have their sales. there are some aires on sale on the website right now.


Active Member
The middle of winter is even a better time to snag a factor second Aire, I got a cosmetic blemished one that was 20% off new, I couldn't even see the blemish unless someone pointed out where it was supposed to be and still get the full 10 year warranty.

Don't know anything about his actual boat, but a super puma for sale in Spokane. If you get the serial number from the guy and call aire they will tell you how much warranty is left (it is transferable)*

Unless you are really going to do some real creaking or R2ing, I think the 13R would be a great boat for all around goodness. I specifically got a narrow boat to run some really technical stuff, like the Jarbidge/buneau, upper NF John Day, White Salmon, etc, Owhee, at low water. The 13R gives you a lot better width, still really good handling, not as heavy as the 14, better seating for 2 upfront, etc. In general I would always recomend the bigest boat you think would work for what you normally intend to do.

Sounds like you are new to rafts/packing rafts. There is more to know than you can learn on the internet. Go see a bunch of boats set up, maybe andy and bax in Portland, or go hang out at a major multiday river trip putin, during the middle of a busy weekend.
I am new to rafts and packing rafts. It will be my first raft/boat that I've owned. I have been in a few other rafts but they did not have a Modular frame like the NRS. I believe the one raft from what I have seen had a Down River Equipment frame that is pretty much set up one way with all the components in their place. So i'm just trying to get ideas so i can get it set up the way I want it. The other was a NRS OTTER with a NRS Fishing frame, but it was really basic and mainly set up for single day trips. I would still like to add a more fixed cooler position as well as maybe some dry storage.

I spent some time at Andy and Bax this past weekend so I could see and feel the boats. It helped give me an idea of their size and they had some packages put together as well. I like the idea of visiting a put in. Maybe it can be a fishing/raft research trip.

I noticed the close outs and factory seconds on AIRE's website yesterday. Seem to be a few with carpet burn and old serial numbers for sale.

I do like the sounds of the AIRE 130D or 130R.
The NRS will be wider which makes it more stable, however you sacrifice some maneuverability for this stability. The extra cargo room is nice, as is the ability to roll the boat. Hypalon is rad for durability, PVC tends to break down quicker/be more finnicky.

However, the AIRE destroys a NRS in terms of tracking. The design of the boat and the floor construction (the membrane that takes in water) helps it track better, and actually compensates for the lack of stability due to the narrow design of the boat. The AIRE being more narrow is also more maneuverable.

I would suggest checking out Hyside boats before you make a purchase though. They are of hypalon construction, and track just about as well as an AIRE, if not as well. They are bomber boats. The company I work for has some that are almost 20 years old, and have held up better than most of the NRS boats, and that's with 30-40+ days on the water a year.

All this info comes from my experience guiding paddle boats


Active Member
"PVC tends to break down quicker/be more finnicky"

Please elaborate,

And does this apply to the Aire PVC outer shell, urethane inner bladder construction of the Aire system? There are a to of 15+ year old Aire's out there that have no more breakdown problem then a hypalon boat.

Further I have some none Aire PVC boats that are of this age and still going, which have been stored rolled and dried their entire life.

The only thing I would agree with is that glued hypalon seams are going to outlast glued PVC seams.
^It's just from my experience with the boats we have. The PVC Maravia's we have tend to spring leaks after a few years, whereas most of the hypalon boats are 8-10 years old and still hold hair. This however are commercially used boats, which see far more use than a flyfisher's boat will.


Active Member
For clarification, older maraivas were notorious for pinhole leakage. Maravia construction does not use the inner urethane bladder system that Aire uses, so those issues do not apply to Aire boats.


Active Member
I've guided several really boney late season trips down the Selway (Class IV) in Maravia rafts. I've done it in a 13' Spider, a 14' Williwa 2, and a 16' Williwa 1. My favorite boat was the 14 footer. Here's why. It had more room than the Spider and drafted less water. It was narrow enough to scrape through some very narrow slots, yet was big enough to take a standard frame. The 16 footer was a bit cumbersome in the skinny water and left less room for error in the really technical rapids. I like the lighter weight of the PVC boats vs the hypalon, but you really can't go wrong with either NRS or Aire.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
I was in the same situation as you a few years back. I ended up getting the Aire 143D over the Super Duper Puma. It just fit the type of fishing I do and had the room I was looking for.
While it is only 9" wider the the SDP, it seems even bigger then that when in the boat.
I know I made some sacrifices in maneuverable with my choice.
I've rowed all three Puma models. They are great boats as well and I don't think you can go wrong by going with an Aire.

Good luck in your search for a new raft.


nymphing beads with a spey pole.
iagree, I have a 143D We loaded it all summer/fall with gear, 3 dudes, and 2 labs. Still floats through skinny water, and the maneuverability was great IMO. I put the NRS frame on it and its BA. Couldn't be happier and wouldn't trade it for anything else. Good luck with your purchase if you haven't made it already!
I'm trying to build a fishing cat with 10' Maxxon tubes. I also want it Class 3 capable. I like the NRS frame components but the tubing is just too large and heavy for a small 'toon. I wish NRS had 1 1/4" 'ish aluminum tubes with smaller size Low-Pro fitting. Maybe the smaller aluminumn wouldn't be strong enough... ?? That would be sweet if it was. I'm having a very hard time here in Idaho finding a competent welder to build me a frame. Any ideas?