These classic inflatable river runners are nimble and maneuverable, offering incredible stability and control. The tried and true design performs well on big water, creeks and local river sections. These are all-around whitewater kayaks built for day-long outings and small extended trips.
The duckies at the rental companies are definitely different from the Aire Lynx. They generally have bigger tubes and you sit down farther in them. The Aire Lynx is much more like a sit-on-top in this respect. You will sit higher and the tubes are smaller. This makes for a more maneuverable IK.
I have been paddling my Lynx on class 2 & 3 rivers now. I really like it. I don't have the concern about flipping and rolling as I know I will just fall out of the Lynx. I purchased thigh braces and they are a great thing to have to feel more one with the kayak. And don't forget to get the foot pegs. The Lynx has a reinforced spot already for the foot pegs to mount into.
The Lynx is easy to inflate. It is very portable, too. I originally purchased the (Aire) Tributary Strike IK, but due to circumstances I sent it back and got the Lynx instead. I am glad because the Lynx is an inflatable kayak that I will never feel the need to upgrade.
It is pricy. But it is US made and has a great warranty.
The boat handles the bigger water and holes very well and turns quick enough to pick your way through the secondary lines. It is also nice to have room for dry bags and an extra paddle.
We chose this model because we wanted the best. We have a house 5 miles from the river and we plan on using the heck out of them. After one summer they only show light scuffs and no sign of wear at all. Everyone that sees it says "I wanted that one but didn't have the money". It really is that good. The Cheetah seat has varied opinions but we have grown to like it. We have also found that it needs to be placed further forward than you think it would. Our feet fall at the drain holes. We will add the foot pegs because sometime you need the extra power. I do wish it had a relief valve on the main tubes. I find the pressure very sensitive to temperature changes and I worry that it will over inflate in the sun. So, I have to carry a pump with me in case it drops because of the cold water.
Some say this boat is fool proof. I am proof that it is not fool proof. The river has made a fool out of me despite this boat on several occasions. You absolutely cannot jump in this boat and shoot class 4/5 rapids without doing your homework. If you do your homework this boat can handle anything you want to do.
Bottom line: if you can pay a little extra money I suggest you buy the higher end Aires. It may be the last boat you ever buy.
I have had the Lynx on the Sacramento Sims to Vollmers run, the Trinity Pigeon Point section, and the Rogue River Graves to Agness wild and scenic run. The main difference I noticed with the Lynx is that it seemed a little more stable on the drops probably due to a little more rocker than the Strike. The Lynx makes you feel a little more up in the air than the Strike so logically it seems the Strike would be less tippy, but I feel the Lynx is very stable.
The Lynx is about $350 more than the Strike and you get 4 less lbs, 1/2" larger tubes, and a 10 year warranty vs 5 for the Strike. It is a tough call whether the Lynx is really worth the extra money. I can say I really like both boats have no regrets on purchasing either one. The deciding factor would probably be that if you are doing rapids with lots of 3' or larger drops you might find the Lynx worth the extra money. If you are doing Class 3- and less, the Strike is all the boat you will need.