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Name: msojka

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My current stable of inflatable kayaks consists of the Aire Lynx, Aire Strike, Aire Caracal tandem, and an Inova Safari. I got the Lynx for class 3+/4 rivers and so I had two single boats for that purpose, the other being the Strike. That way I can have a friend or my wife go with me.

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.

I have had my Safari for about 4 years. I bought it used from an on-line classified.
This boat has seen a lot of use in the past four years. It has been on lakes and Class 3- rapids many times. I also have an Aire Lynx, Strike, and tandem Caracal. Though I like those boats better in Class 3+ whitewater, the Safari is amazing in its ability to punch through waves. It is almost uncanny how stable this little boat is once you get it in white water. Also, you can really surf this boat in holes, whereas my other boats really make you work hard to surf.

Pros: light-weight, cost, maneuverability, surfing, fun-factor, lake paddling. The tracking fin is great for lake use.
Cons: my model was only rated to 180lbs - a 250 lb friend used the boat and had great difficulty with tipping over. I would be reluctant to try this boat in Class 3+ water, but, maybe I should try it - it always amazes me. Small boat for overnighters. Though the boat is tough and handles srcaping over river rocks, it is susceptible to pin holes from things like blackberry bushes.

This is a very well constructed boat. The valves are a Halkey-Roberts style that requires an adaptor that Aire supplies. Compared to my Inova Safari this boat is more stable due to its wider width. That also makes it a slower boat and harder to surf with. On a class 2 to 3- run I like the Safari. If I was on class 3 to 4- I would want to be in the Strike. Seat is comfortable. I have used the boat twice and my wife has used it twice. She prefers the Strike due to better stability. The Strike comes in around 36 lbs which is a little heavy. Well constructed with urethane bladders. If you want stability and great construction consider this boat. Lighter than the Tomcat by a little and better constructed. For the occasional boater on class 2 it is hard to beat the Tomcat. The warranty for the Strike is 5 years and the Tomcat is 1 year. That should give you some idea of how Aire sees the construction quality of these two boats which will be on most potential buyers radar screen. Overall I like this boat a lot and give it an eight because it is a little slow and heavier than say a Force. But, the Strike is much more reasonably priced. Would I buy again? Yes