For those who don’t wish to mortgage their house to get into inflatable kayaking., and anyone who would rather not sit in two or three inches of water as a pair of big adults would in a self-bailing Sevylor, Stearns, or Sea Eagle, the Tomcat line is a highly affordable alternative. AIRE decided to get into the import market mid-2003 with the Tomcat kayaks. “Tributary” is the name AIRE uses for their Chinese line, which now includes the Strike kayaks and the six Tributary rafts. All of AIRE’s imports went up a full 18% for 2009, but the Tomcats still represent a very good value.
Tributary Tomcat Tandem Inflatable Kayak Hull
The Tomcat hull shape is almost identical but 2″ wider than AIRE’s old U.S.-made Caracal models. These boats differ from the Lynx & Strike models in several ways: 1) the warranty is one year, not five or ten, and it will not cover damage you do to the boat, 2) this boat (and the Strikes) is made in China instead of the States, 3) the underside seams are stitched on a sewing machine instead of being welded, 4) it uses less stretchable vinyl tube bladders instead of urethane ones, 5) it has Halkey Roberts knock-off valves instead of the more expensive Leafields, 6) the color choices are limited to red and blue; no green, purple, or yellow, 7) the pvc hull fabric is different and heavier than what is used for other models of AIRE’s kayak lines, and 8) the floor pressure relief valves are generally set a bit lower than they would be on the American made floor bladders, and so they will not inflate quite as stiff as the U.S. floors.
Tomcats are made from a 20 oz. per square yard 600 denier pvc on the upper red or blue portion, and a fairly beefy 24 ounce 900 denier pvc on the bottom that is a bit thicker (though not higher in rip strength) than the American made AIRE kayaks. This floor material is a bit more sticky on river rocks than the undersides of a Lynx, but not much.
Tributary Kayaks Tomcat Tandem Inflatable Kayak Valves
Tomcats do definitely have superior valves and weight capacities compared to the Sevylor River-X series or the Sea Eagles. They also have far better performance on both flat and whitewater than the Sea Eagles, and slightly better pricing. The only other tandem whitewater inflatable that holds more weight than a Tomcat II is AIRE’s Outfitter II. AIRE rates the Tomcat II at 450 pounds but it will handle 30 or 40 pounds more.
AIRE Tributary Kayaks Tomcat Tandem Inflatable Kayak Price Cannot Be Beat
Our price on the AIRE Tributary Tomcat 1 solo inflatable kayak includes an allowance toward UPS and/or accessories. Please note that any accessories purchased with your boat are 10% off, and also note that our shopping cart as yet does NOT reflect these discounts – it will show a higher total so we will adjust the bottom line before ringing the transaction through.
Tributary Kayaks Tomcat Tandem Specs
- Item: AIRE Tributary Tomcat Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- SKU: tomcattandem
- Color: Dark blue or red
- Length: 12’9″
- Width: 38.5″
- Rolled up dimensions (no seat): 13×43″
- Boat weight: 54 lbs.
- Load capacity: 450 lbs.
- Tube diameter: 12″
- Air chambers: 3
- PSI inflation: Floor=2 Tube=2.5
- Waterline: 109.5″
- Rocker (no load): 15.00″
- Tube shell material: PVC 1000 denier
- Tube bladder material: Vinyl unreinforced
- Floor shell material: Bottom=1000 denier : Top=500 denier
- Floor bladder material: 400 denier urethane coated nylon
- Valves: Summit II
- Features: 2 carry handles, Stitched seams, Cargo pack on seat
- Inflatable thwart backrest: Optional Thwart Backrest (no pillow backrest included) add an extra charge
- Shipping info: 60 lbs. 15x21x25″
- Warranty: 1 year