They come in all sizes. … Still, this raft can carry cargo and passengers and a cooler full of refreshments. Maybe you’ve seen a whole fleet of them go by on a commercial trip. The “Eliptical” design of Aire is eccentric and makes no sense at first, but if you get to running the thing there are a few interesting tendencies that these boats have. It’s likely that if this list were arranged as a buying guide for rafts it would look much different. Best thing about it: Value, durability, and ours was pink. Their raft material is a simple urethane material that is notably tougher than PVC or Hypalon, and is welded together by hand. This boat can fit 10 adults comfortably. The Colorado XT’s can handle serious white water but is the one of best fishing whitewater boats on the water. The Aire 143D whitewater raft is a different animal altogether than the Aire 143R when it comes to on the river performance. Worst thing about it:  Tubes are slightly too small to make it a dominant boat in bigger water. The Aire 130E Whitewater Raft. The 130D is sleek, and does not handle a 6 load with anywhere near the capability of the R series (a notably bigger raft in every way), and does not handle the tight spaces like a Super Puma, but it does everything well. NRS E-132. The welded PVC outer shell seams is high-end and the internal urethane bladders are for serious boatmen. The 20 Best Whitewater Rafting Day Trips. The rafts have all been used by your guide staff on training trips as well as commercial whitewater rafting trips in Washington, as well on private trips (guides at Triad have open access to demo boats at any time) in Idaho, Oregon, and in British Columbia. Many convert the high-pressure dropt-stitch air deck floor to be self-bailing though. If you haven’t noticed AIRE rafts on the front of adventure sport magazines, take another look. This is because apart from river rafting … It’s phenomenal handling and technical water sure footedness and predictability is unmatched. It’s tough and can take on some big white water. Source:, Best thing about it: Money maker for 6 loads on less technical water. Obviously, you know that, which is why you’re shopping for the best white water raft so you can take on the rapids anytime. BRIS’s 12-foot White Water River Raft might be the perfect size. The abrasion resistant PVC is durable and has no problem bouncing off a boulder or two. The XT’s unique dual-side stripping apron with fish ruler that allows easy entry and exit without unclipping. It is sleek, fast, useable, and in the words of one of our trip leaders on the Skykomish; “it just gets the job done”. One critical difference between the Tributary models and the standard Aire raft designs (E, D, R) are that the Tributary ballast floor carries more water than the others, and thus when you pull it out of the water it sags tremendously; this was the chief complaint about this raft. Raft the Chattooga, Ocoee, Nantahala and Pigeon Rivers with the first outfitter in the Smokies & Blue Ridge mountains. The White Nile River, which is a tributary of the Nile River, weaves its way through Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The valves and quick-fills are well designed. Don’t underestimate this little raft. The lenses make it great for environments with weak lighting, and the picture is so sharp and clear that you can see the individual hairs on a fox. Boats come in all shapes and sizes. The higher ride for improved visibility are great safety features. This season is going to be good. The non-slip footrests adjust for any height, and the rod holder can be mounted in six different positions. It’s mid-range priced with industry standard valves, detachable thwarts. The reason we bought one in the first place was that it was the raft used by a competitor, and thus used by the guide that came to us from that company. This raft is, for us, not a commercial raft, even though it’s commonly used as one. However, the best spot for whitewater rafting is at Jinja, Uganda where … Start at Buena Vista and make your way down 12 class I, II, and III rapids with your guide across 16 … Often times you see the 14 foot raft holding this position in other states, but in Washington where the narrow channels and coastal conditions mandate a tight fit, the 13 foot raft reigns supreme. If you are looking for a well-made durable boat for a great price, this boat boasts nearly 400 brilliant reviews. The NRS E-130A whitewater raft (action photo included for added effect). But the feature we love the most is the self-bailing I-Beam inflatable floor with pressure release valve. This is a common raft used in Washington by several outfitters on the Wenatchee and White Salmon Rivers. Whether this is your first stop in your search for the best white water craft, or you’ve been tirelessly searching, our list of the 11 best white water rafts will be your final guide. There is a reason why their rafts are often called the “Ferrari for the private boater”. 9 Best Inflatable Kayaks and Rafts for Whitewater in 2020 D iscover some of the year’s best inflatable whitewater kayaks and rafts from Advanced Elements, AIRE, Cronin and Kokopelli. In fact, the guides nicknamed it Miss Piggy and it carried that name for years. I mean, this sucker is a pig. You feel like you have a guided missile system; the issue is that with this configuration you are really limited to a 4 pack, but if you do run this system we recommend you do so with 8’ oars and a competent paddle crew, and you’ll find you have a raft that’s capable of running about as gnarly of whitewater as possible in a raft. This standard floor raft might seem familiar because it’s timeless two-chamber tube design has been mainstream for decades. The biggest bonus to being a mini raft is that it easily can fit inside a car. The Best Washington Whitewater Rafting company since 1982. Nonetheless, if money is no object, and you want to have a private rapid running raft for the rest of your life; call Sotar and tell them we sent you. The 130A (named such for it’s original intent which was the whitewater of Austria) is a weird looking creature that has no equal or similar craft in the industry. They get full props from us for being Johnny on the spot with custom designs, and being just in general a great group of people to work with. The first is that the nose pierces waves and looks and feels cool; like you’re in the Trojan war and are stabbing waves like Achilles stabbed Trojans (bad analogy but hey, experience it and you’ll see). The New Wave models have 3 chambers and only come in Blue. The high bow and stern kick would create issues in the wind for multi-day rafting, and it can be hard to see over the bow of the raft at times. Some boatmen like to fish and some fisherman like to boat. As a paddle raft the 20-inch diameter tubes are comfortable to sit on. Straight up; the guides hated this boat. This model has been popular for over a decade for good reason. The East Coast has a plethora of wonderful rafting … Amazing … The (at the time) president of Maravia, told us that “all of our New Wave models are blue, except the one we sent you, which just so happens to be pink”. The floor is 5 inches thick and the extra floatation feels bouncer and is more forgiving on flat water. It even comes with a free trial membership to Trout Unlimited. This enduring raft is a great choice to introduce you to the sport of rafting affordably. Tributaries have been around for decades. NRS pulled out all the stops with three air chambers in each huge 28 inch tube. Among commercial rafting companies in Washington there is a prevalent need for the raft that comfortably carries the 6 load; a raft design that has the capacity for 6 adults plus a guide, and can navigate the technical whitewater rivers of Western Washington. The classic BAT (Batten Attachment Thwart) system converts easily to a 6-person paddleboat. The E-136, quite simply, has almost no weakness, and for that reason it tends to own other rafts because no matter what you do, if you run whitewater rafting trips long enough, the weakness of your system will be exposed. McKinley that is most popular in Alaska for whitewater rafting is the Nenana River, flowing north through the Alaskan mainland to Denali National Park. You can easily remove the gear bags and two detachable foam fly patches. The Maravia Spider Whitewater Raft. Last update on 2020-04-30 at 05:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API, Face Time: 20 Best Full Face Snorkel Mask Reviews 2020, Above Board: The 20 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards – Reviews. The adventure of not knowing what is coming up around the bend, and the spray of ice cold water to the face will keep people of all ages coming back for more. Source: The only thing about it is that, as it’s a raft design similar to the Maravia Spider, it flips you quicker than you can say WALLACE. If you were already thinking about trying a cat, there are a lot of little catarafts out there. In Washington our water is cold, and hypothermia is our greatest risk to human life, and as a result we want our rafts to have either round tubes or at least plenty of rocker/kick on the bow to prevent our guests from getting splashed continuously and getting cold. The criteria for our rankings are weighted with the most importance being given to safety, ride, and maneuverability in whitewater (think; the boat the guides liked the best), next to that durability vs. cost (something that’s important in any river rafting business), and finally the look and feel of the boat as it relates to the preference of the guests. Saturn offers all the same specs as the big boats. If you put it in technical Class 4 water, or you get her turned sideways for even an instant and you’re upside down. What makes it unique are the tubes’ high rocker curves and that it comes with paddles. Ready for big water and big rapids? The Aire Tributary 13.0 Raft. All-Inclusive Trips with Steak BBQ - Leavenworth Full Day and Express, Whitewater/Wine Adventures, River Tubing, and more. Worst thing about it:  In big water it’s like a rodeo where they ride giraffes instead of bulls (i.e. Without cargo, take 8 Passengers down class 3 or 4 rapids with chaffing protection on the top sides of the exterior tubes. Worst thing about it: Has almost no viability as a commercial raft due to internal dimensions. The other is that when you run steep drops the back end of the raft is so square that it has a tendency to send you down river in a straight line after running pour-overs. We have literally flipped this raft more than all of our other designs put together. Arizona boaters mark their calendars with a handful of seasonal whitewater runs, but there’s no competing with Grand Canyon rafting on the Colorado River, home to … It’s similar in designed purpose to the Hyside 13.0 but differs in that it’s more of a “playboat” and fits in better with lighter loads and smaller rivers. Instead it occupies a niche in a raft fleet for a commercial operation in it’s ability to take 3-5 guests comfortably down lower water on technical rivers. So, owners can speed to the put-in past all the boat trailers. The glacial river from Mt. The Rocky Mountains are well known for the epic whitewater rivers they produce, and Colorado boasts its fair share of top places to raft. Another raft that probably deserves to be higher on the list, at least in the minds of those who love this design. This is simply a raft that has stood the test of time for us and has never failed in any situation. › best-white-water-raft-reviews We may have ultimately went with the E-136 simply for the convenience of ordering our rafts from the same supplier that we get our guest and rescue equipment from. You’re probably trying to find this design on the catalog and you can’t; that’s because we have the only one. It’s made of simple Pennell Orca (Rubber, for the uninitiated), and it will puncture, and will flex. Now; onward… or should we say “All Forward”. That may be exciting or detrimental to your quality of ride through the rapids; we don’t know but figured we should point it out. Just north of scenic Lake Chelan in eastern … The Otter 130 is perhaps the greatest private boater raft on the market when you consider what it can do. The design of the Super Puma can really only be done by Aire as it has the continuous rocker of the sewn outer skin. The 20” tubes are large for a 13’ boat (it’s actual length is 13’6), and it has a high rocker which make it exceptionally well suited for steep drops. The raft material is heavy duty PVC coated fabric formulated to be puncture proof and abrasion resistant. Ours was also printed in the colors of the American flag because we ordered it on 4th of July weekend, which is cute. So, when you set out to learn how to guide a river trip professionally or privately, you’ll be learning from the best. The E-136 is more akin to the Hyside design, while this is more like the Aire 130D. Most of the rafts have video footage that has been analyzed by management, and feedback reports given by the guides have caused them to be ranked where they are. Lead guides on the Skykomish River did not report back any serious complaints, and as this raft was utilized alongside a very popular raft in Washington, the Aire 130R, it was reportedly nimble enough to keep up and handle the steep technical drops of Boulder Drop on the Skykomish. The Super Puma was described by one of our guides as the Kalashnikov of rafts; meaning that it’s simple to utilize and does it’s job in whatever conditions are required of it. Larger and smaller rafts are available but are better suited to specialized uses rather than general recreational activities. Similar to the Aire Super Puma, the Spider is a narrow raft designed to run tight chutes and technical water. Float on by without a splash because of the tracking the 7 air chambers and air floor. It’s a design that occupies a middle ground for Aire between the Super Puma (A narrow, 13 foot long raft with diminishing tubes) and the bludgeoning 130R. This raft was one we picked up from an old University of Idaho rental fleet, and ran for a summer as an experiment. Source: This rugged river raft is great for family fun. The Aire 130D Whitewater Raft. It’s major weakness perhaps is that it’s more of a class 3 technical water raft than a big water raft due to it’s smaller tubes and splashy factor. The Otter Livery comes in many sizes, but we like the Livery 106 because NRS added an extra foot of space. The E-136 does OK with a stern frame and 6 guests, but does exceptionally well on larger coastal rivers and a paddle crew. NRS made a point to design a variety of 13 foot rafts, and the E-136 takes the pressure off of this design in terms of the “big water” raft. The 143D is fast, turns well as a straight paddle raft, and the … The raft does not have the low water abilities of the Super Puma or even it’s smaller sibling, the E-130. There is also a 425 mile long segment in Idaho, with multiple rafting runs it’s … The built-in foot holders are much appreciated by passengers. The Spider is unique in it’s narrowness and thick tubes, and has a specific niche. It was simply the runner up in our competition to the similar NRS E-136. With so many great … The E series is also a nice medium between the R (round) and D (diminishing) tube designs of their other rafts in that it isn’t as sluggish as the R series and is more stable than the D series. It also comes in red, and we like red. To make matters worse, this raft was used extensively during low water runs on the Sauk, which meant that the extra weight ended up causing the raft to pin. We put this on the list as one of the best “starter” binoculars at an incredibly affordable price. Whitewater river rafting and river adventures are an amazing way to recreate, and Washington state offers some of the best white water river rafting and kayaking in the Western US. Source:, Best thing about it: Best all around budget raft. Selling custom whitewater rafts, cats, inflatable kayaks and frames handmade one at a time. The floor is five inches thick and has 4 individual air chambers and pressure release. This rubber ducky is light and lots of fun. These famous rafting rivers offer river rafting … By Zachary Collier Last year I wrote about the World’s 13 Legendary River Trips, a list of the best expedition style, multi-day river trips. Small Paddle Raft (12' and under) R2/R4 Shootout, 14 foot Whitewater Raft Comparison Shootout, 13 foot whitewater raft comparison shootout, Small Paddle Raft (12' and under) R2/R4 shootout, River Rescue Throw Bags, Ropes, and Static Lines, Triad River Tours, 336 36th Street, Suite #191, Bellingham, WA, 98225, USA,,,,,,,,, The NRS E-136 Whitewater Raft. As a 1 to 2-person paddleboat the front and rear splash guards are great. At 10’6″ long and almost 5′ wide you can add more cargo or a passenger with a standard boat frame. Worst thing about it: Is like a sail pointed in the wrong direction in the wind. Worst thing about it: loading it in and out of the river and waiting for the eternal spring of river water to drain out of it… also; they’re ugly (according to our guide Brandon Steele, it’s “fugly”, which apparently is even worse than ugly).