These cheap inflatable rafts are cheap for a reason — they are poor quality. And they will almost certainly fail you at a critical time. So, if you are serious about floating rivers in a raft, do yourself a favor and get a good one. So what recreational uses are these rafts well suited for? The list is almost endless, and really is only limited by imagination. Some prime uses for this class of raft include:. In some ways, it is easier to list the limitations of these rafts than it is their potential uses.
Inflatable rafts are neither sleek nor slender. In fact, they are rather fat. This is great for stability—you really have to work at it to capsize a Sea Eagle 9 inflatable raft, for instance. A solo paddler can, in fact, sit on the edge of the boat with their feet dangling into the water and not even come close to capsizing the raft. The front of the raft acts like a snowplow—pushing water ahead of it instead of cutting through water like an inflatable kayak or inflatable canoe can.
The result is that, on flat-water paddles, progress is slow and paddling is rather tiring. Far from it. Or paddling down a bit of flat water in a river that otherwise has a solid current. Progress was slow and the rowing was tiring. Few recreational inflatable rafts have drain valves. Drain valves allow water that enters the boat to drain out. As such, when water enters most recreational rafts it needs to be bailed out, sponged out using a specialty boat sponge or simply tipped over and emptied when onshore.
However, when running powerful Class III rapids, it is almost inevitable that water will enter the boat. However, if you foresee lots of Class III rapids in your future, you might want to reconsider which type of inflatable boat meets your needs or only consider buying the Sea Eagle 9 raft.
Most quality recreational inflatable rafts are constructed from a thick, flexible PVC material. However, this fabric becomes less flexible below freezing. And the colder the temperature, the more brittle the fabric becomes.
The one notable exception to this temperature limitation is the NRS PackRaft, which is constructed from a thicker and different material, but which also has a higher price than other recreational rafts. Went through Class III whitewater just fine. My raft was replaced by the redesigned Sea Eagle 9 raft , which has many killer features I wish my raft had. My guess is that the lack of flat-water paddling ability removes these boats from consideration by many paddlers.
Due to this somewhat constrained selection of rafts available, shopping for them is easier. See more info about the SE9 at Sea Eagle. I own the smaller version of the Sea Eagle 9—the now discontinued Sea Eagle 8. The Sea Eagle 9 is one of the more versatile recreational inflatable rafts available, which is one reason I recommend it more than any other recreational raft. The raft has a huge weight capacity—over pounds. Another unique option available for these boats is the canopy. This raft was also recently redesigned with a number of new features I wish my older raft had.
In particular, the newer features include:. Finally, the SE9 is very portable. Total inflation time, using the manual pump, is about fifteen minutes once you get the hang of it. Also, the Sea Eagle 9 works just fine for multi-night float trips, or as the video below shows—multi-month float trips. You see, normal river use is unlikely to lead to holes in the boat because these rafts are soft.
Once you inflate them, you can easily push your finger into the fabric a good half-inch. Instead, what punctures these rafts is dragging them along the ground. In particular, a fine way to puncture these rafts is to drag them up a rocky or twig-strewn riverbank or lakeside. These rafts are designed to bounce—not be dragged. There are a handful of different types of whitewater rafts around the world. Some have been around for decades while others are the latest and greatest. This is what most people imagine when they think about whitewater rafting.
A paddle raft often has people paddling while a guide steers and calls out commands. Most paddle rafts are in the 14' - 16' range. Similar to the paddle raft, the oar paddle combo boat adds a frame and oars to the rear of the boat for the guide.
Many guides choose this boat set up for extra control on extremely difficult rivers. It gives the guide extra power and maneuverability with out having the rely heavily on the paddle crew. The power of oars makes this a good fit for stretches that have flat water as well. Paired with a really strong paddle crew this boat can be fast, nimble, and an excellent set up for getting down the river.
While you may not have heard the term "mini-raft" often, you may have heard the term "R-2" or maybe "R These boats are generally 11' and smaller. The Hyside Mini-Max is a favorite of many. Some people will even strap on a tiny frame and grab their oars to row these down the river. Rafting is similar to car camping meaning you can take everything, even the kitchen sink. With a wide range of lengths you will typically find the gear raftt to be in the 16'' range. A gear raft is typically outfitted with a larger cooler sometimes multiple , dry boxes, and ample storage space for the tables, chairs, kitchen gear, and space for large dry bags.
Some gear boats are used only for hauling gear down stream while others are set up to take a few passengers up front. While they look quite different, catarafts share many similarities to rafts. There are big 16' - 18' catarafts that haul great like a gear boat. There are even small 8'' ones that are like a mini raft keep reading to learn about "shredders".
Often referred to as a cat boat these crafts are versatile and forgiving. You can load up some equipment like a gear boat or keep light to act as a "safety cat" and help pull swimmers out of the river. The following rafts are not as commonly used but have some really cool and unique purposes on whitewater rivers.
There are some strong opinions and followings for these unique types of rafts. These are definitely worth checking out if you have the opportunity. The shredder sometimes called "paddle cat" is similar to cataraft with two big parallel tubes but it also has a center compartment for paddlers to sit.
The original Shredder is made by Airtight Inflatables. Again, paddlers power this craft downstream.
Whether you already have a fleet that you're looking to update or you're just starting out your collection of boats, the customer service team will be there to offer you advice when you need it most. Should you have any questions about specific products, you can even chat real time with business owners using the live chat function. Once you've chosen the rafts for rivers that's right for you, secure your purchase in just a few easy clicks. You can track your order for clear guidance on when you can expect it to arrive.
The purchasing process is straight forward. All you need to do is plan when you're getting to get your new boat out on the water, and which of your friends you want to take out, Alibaba. So browse the range today if the water is calling your name. Visit Store. Rowing Boats Inflatable Ride-ons Raft. Supplier Types. Product Types. Ready to Ship. Suggestions Vietnam.
Hong Kong S. New Zealand. Taiwan, China. United States. Hull Material. Outdoor Activity. Rafts For Rivers products available. Everyone sits along the sides of the rafts and has their own paddle, necessary for paddling the boat. The guide steers the boat from the back of the boat giving paddling commands to the crew. You will be seated in the bottom of the kayak with a double-bladed paddle. There will be instruction from a guide before each rapid on how to maneuver your way through.
You are guaranteed to get splashed and possibly take an unexpected swim! Emily grew up in South Carolina but the Appalachian mountains called her north, where she learned to kayak and fell in love with backpacking and all things outdoors. Now she is enjoying living and playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
The Rogue River captured my heart the first time I saw it. I will remember my first trip down very fondly. I had recently returned from a backpacking trip in India and was ready for a summer filled with sleeping outside, rafting, and sharing the outdoors with people. The water was high, my sleeping bag got a little wet, but it made a huge impact on my life. Here I… Read More. We had a successful season and are excited for We will update this web page and send our guests a pre-trip email if there are any important changes.