DESIGNED, BUILT, SUPPORTED
Made in the USA
All AIRE boats are made right here in Meridian, Idaho, USA.
Each raft, cataraft, and kayak are manufactured to live up to the
standards of whitewater enthusiasts, which includes our team at AIRE.
DESIGNED, BUILT, SUPPORTED
The BEST Warranty
We stand by our products, that’s why we offer the best warranty in the business.
Built for Whitewater
Construction & Fabric
Every AIRE boat has an internal bladder system made from 10 - 12 mil urethane film. The AIREcells are thermal-welded and oversized, so there is never too much pressure on the seams. A stretchy Lycra bulkhead connects the AIREcells together and secures them to the inside of the boat. Urethane is an excellent airtight material that is stretchy and flexible, which makes it puncture resistant. The floor AIREcell is urethane coated nylon with welded I-beams for a nice rigid floor.
Full-length zippers are used to install and access the AIREcells. A double zipper is sewn in on rafts and catarafts for extra strength and rates ten times stronger than the force exerted by the recommended inflation pressure.
The most common valve on the river is a Leafield valve, and with good reason. Leafield valves are built with rugged acetal plastic and metal components. The seal is designed to clean the seal surface as it operates, further reducing the risk of leakage due to dirt and debris.
AIRE thwarts strap anywhere along the floor lacing which provides a plethora of options for getting the perfect fit so you can paddle with as much horsepower as possible. The thwarts strap to the floor instead of the raft collar, so when the boat flexes in crazy hydraulics, the thwarts don't separate from the floor.
A PVC coated material with a heavy-duty polyester base fabric covers all the AIREcells to produce a boat that is 100% wrapped. The PVC shell provides the shape of the boat and protects the AIREcells from river, sun, and transportation abuse. The air holding layer stays completely untouched from whitewater wear and tear. Learn all the details about our PVC in the section below.
Thermal welding uses pressure and heat to physically and permanently bond the seams of the boat together. The process eliminates the need for glue which we don't use here at the factory. No glue protects our employees and the environment from toxic adhesives, solvents, VOCs, and spray coatings and welded seams give you a stronger boat. Win, win!
Stainless steel d-rings are stitched to an oversized PVC base with two pieces of webbing. The base is welded INSIDE the boat, and the D-Ring is punched through precision cut slots in the hull. Handles are constructed the same way. Welding D-rings and handles this way makes them structurally a part of the hull of the boat, not just attached to the outside.
Everything on an AIRE boat can be repaired or replaced. The AIREcell system, and ability to access the inside of the boat through the zippers makes this all possible. Handles, D-rings, valves, bulkheads, and AIREcells can all be replaced. Permanent Tear-Aid patches can be applied to an AIREcell and holes in the PVC can be stitched up and patched from the inside.
Précontraint Ferrari PVC – The Outer Skin
PVC by AIRE and Ferrari. Manufactured exclusively for AIRE. No other manufacturer can get our specially developed PVC.
The Base Denier Fabric
Not all base fabric denier is created equal. Our fabric has a high-tenacity polyester micro-yarn base cloth which means it’s light, sturdy, and tear-resistant. We use a 1670 denier weave that is tensioned in all directions before and during the PVC application which gives the fabric exceptional dimensional stability. Why does that matter to you? When you inflate an AIRE boat, it’s rock solid, which leads to better on the water performance. The quality-driven, highly automated and controlled manufacturing of our base fabric means we don’t have to overcompensate with a tighter or heavier weave.
Ferrari manufacturers AIRE PVC with 70% of the coating on the outside of the base fabric and 30% on the inside, so you get more PVC coating where you need it most. Our AIREcell technology allows us to use non-airtight 37 oz. PVC which is more resistant to punctures, tears, and the general punishment it receives on the water. Why? Manufacturing airtight PVC requires longer exposure to high temperatures, which weakens the base polyester.
We finish our PVC with an acrylic lacquer. This finish provides UV protection from hot days in the sun and adds significant abrasion resistance. For three years leading up to 2017, AIRE worked with Ferrari on developing a new double layer finish for the gray fabric we use on the undersides and chafe strips of rafts and catarafts. Learn more about the Fabric change HERE
Quick Self-Bailing Floors
Raft Lace in FloorsAll AIRE floors lace into the collar of the raft, which means the entire perimeter of the floor bails water, FAST! The floors come uninstalled in new rafts so you can choose if you would like the floor valve in the bow or stern, it also saves you money in labor costs. The lacing is tight which prevents the floor from significantly raising and falling in whitewater.
The Regular Floor Pocket
AIRE rafts come standard with a regular floor pocket (RFP). The regular floor design intakes a little water in the pocket between the AIREcell and the PVC. This gives the floor ballast which helps the raft track better and “stick” to the water in rapids. It gives the boat a little more weight on the floor side when the boat is up on edge, which, sometimes, helps pull it out of a flip.
How the RFP is built:
- The RFP is constructed by sewing the PVC floor top and bottom to a zipper along the perimeter of the floor pocket.
- An air floor AIREcell is inside the pocket which keeps the floor rigid and buoyant.
- Intake and drain holes are built into the bottom of the floor pocket.
- RFP aid tracking and stability.
- While on the river, water will enter the drain holes and add ballast to the boat.
- This extra ballast creates a low center of gravity and can help you stay right-side-up in rapids.
- This design comes standard with all our rafts.
- Great choice for paddle rafts of all sizes.
- Rafting big and technical whitewater.
- Smaller gear boats.
The Sealed Floor Pocket
Sealed floor pockets prevent water from entering between the AIREcell and the PVC. Sealed floor pockets (SFP) have three valves and waterproof zippers which make these floors a more expensive than the RFP, but there are some advantages with the added cost. Sealed floor pockets are a better choice when running silty rivers and keep the boat a little lighter, which is handy for portaging the raft around a waterfall.
How the SFP is built:
- The SFP is constructed by welding the PVC floor top and bottom together along the perimeter to form a waterproof pocket.
- One watertight zipper is installed on the floor top to access the air floor AIREcell.
- The SFP has three valves. The inflation valve, the pressure relief valve, and a burp valve that relieves air pressure caught between the AIREcell and the floor pocket.
- The SFP does not intake water to ballast; this will make the raft slightly faster and more responsive.
- Owners don’t have to wait a couple of minutes at the take out for water to drain out of the floor pocket.
- No need to rinse out the floor pocket after a trip down a silty river.
- Good choice for rowing large, gear hauling rafts.
- Rivers that require portages.
- The SFP is a good option when mostly running silty desert rivers.
AIRE kayak floors attach to the tubes with an internal and external double stitch, reinforced with webbing. Cargo loops line the floor for seat and thigh strap attachment, and to lash down dry bags and gear. Welded mesh bailing holes in the floor top and bottom create the self-bailing and ballast system. The mesh keeps debris out of the floor pocket and allows water to circulate inside and through the floor, which adds ballast and stability to the kayak.
Cataraft/Paddle Cat Floors
Wait, what? Catarafts don’t have floors! (But you can buy one HERE). Okay, okay, so catarafts don’t come with frames or floors, BUT paddle cats, such as the Sabertooth and the Mammoth, do. AIRE paddle cats come with laced in Superman mesh floors. The mesh bails instantly and prevents the floor from scooping in water. Superman mesh is made by individually coating each strand of braided polyester before the weaving process. It lives up to its name in toughness and durability.