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Thread: Aire Traveler

  1. #1

    Default Aire Traveler

    I have an Aire Leopard which I like a whole lot. I am looking for something to raft smaller rivers and bodies of water, with one or two people, and that is more packable to take to remote spots, that will take one person and gear, no problem, on a float hunt. I have my eye on the Aire Traveler. Does anyone have experience rafting smaller rivers with the Aire Traveler? Is it more geared toward just easy floating, while fishing and hunting, or also for just floating for fun? I don't expect to spend too much time beyond Class III water, or IV if I can help it. Thanks for your time.

  2. #2

    Default inflatable Canoes

    There are a few inflatable Canoes out there on the market, do your research and homework. Remember in that type of hunt you are betting your life on the quality and toughness of the equipment you choose. Understand that you also should be well season in that use of that type boat before trying anything above a class II float. Buy early and practice in varied conditions and under heavy loads. If you do go into bigger water just rope your boat and gear threw the spots where you feel it is a gamble. The backcountry is unforgiving but a builder of spirit and food for the soul. Wish you the best on your journey.

    Kent Rotchy
    Rocking R Designs
    The Oar Saddle
    Last edited by Row-it; 12-13-2006 at 20:58. Reason: left name off

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    The AIRE Traveler really shines in faster moving water in addition to 3-4 whitewater with the rigidity in design being its highest cards for maintaining performance and superb stability. The Traveler is very user friendly and lends itself to beginners as a confidence builder to a top-end-quality package you can not outgrow through expertise.

    Efficiency-wise you are looking at a fatter footprint on the water (think skinny Puma raft here) vs. the lines of a conformist/traditionalist canoe. Up-winds or up-streams are not high cards nor are the factory seats. Still-water is not its forte.

    In choosing canoe paddles consider the length of the medium to longer paddles. You could also row it by various structures if you’re more on familiar terms with river rafting methods.

    I give the Traveler the thumbs up of my approval… however as another poster says, try to get as much experience as possible before your potentially overloaded trip. It is neither a Cataraft of astonishing forgiveness and weight-bearing handling nor a kayak of sporty competence and downriver efficiency.

    Brian Richardson

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Thumbs up The AIRE Traveler


    Every boat is a compromise of sorts, and inflatable canoes are no exception. Each model has good and bad points, and ultimately it comes down to what you plan to do with it.

    I prefer the Traveler over other designs in general for the following reasons:

    1. Best warranty in the business.

    2. It comes from a trusted company with an excellent track record.

    3. It's made from PVC, which makes it a very rigid, top performer (no flex).

    4. It weighs 55 pounds, making it one of the most packable canoes out there.

    5. Ease of repair.

    Because the Traveler is made of PVC, it slides well over wet tundra. This can be a very nice feature if you use it to sled meat out of the field overland (yes, overland). I know people who have done this with their Traveler. It's much harder to do that with a rubber boat that grips everything when wet.

    On the negative side, I would like to see some small D-rings on the Traveler, and a different seat design that's more packable. It would also be nice if it were about three feet longer, but then we're getting into why a person needs a canoe instead of a cheaper round boat.

    You may not have thought of this, but if you have two canoes of the same size, you can put a frame on them and make a cataraft out of it. Alaska Raft and Kayak has built these frames and could help you with it. It's a great idea.

    I agree with Kent and Brian on this; get some practice with the boat on Class I water before you stick your neck out too far. A canoe is not an entry level boat. It's a boat experienced watermen graduate to once they've mastered the skills necessary to operate small boats on moving water.

    Inflatable canoes are surprisingly stable, compared to rigid-shell models that are notoriously tippy. So there is a margin of safety there.

    Brian mentioned paddle length- you will have to reach around the outside of the tubes to paddle an inflatable, so you will need a longer paddle. Go with one that reaches from the floor to just under your chin. Some paddlers are more comfortable with a paddle that is as tall as they are.

    Rowing may be the best option, as Brian suggested. My personal preference for rowing is Kent Rotchy's design, the Oar Saddle. AIRE also has a frame, but it is more bulky than the Oar Saddle; to each his own. HERE'S THE LINK to the Traveler Frame by AIRE.

    A while back I wrote a comparative analysis of some of the more popular inflatable canoes out there, and that report is available online. CLICK THIS LINK to go to the report. Then click the link at the bottom of the page to download the report.

    Hope this helps!

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