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NRS Inflatable Boat & SUP Guide

NRS inflatable boats have come a long way since the first NRS Otter rolled off the production line in 1983. Advances in materials, design and manufacturing have allowed us to create a line of rafts, catarafts, inflatable kayaks, inflatable SUP boards and inflatable drift boats that is as exciting and diverse as the world’s rivers and those compelled to run them.

As paddlesports have evolved over the years, so has inflatable boat technology. Since its founding in 1972, NRS has established itself as a leading innovator in all categories of paddling gear. Today, our boat designs employ the latest in materials, engineering and production methods, along with the experience we’ve gained from decades on the water.


Materials

Pennel Orca®
For years the terms NRS and “Hypalon boat” were synonymous. Chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CP), or Hypalon®, was invented by DuPont™. Its durability, air-holding excellence and resistance to abrasion, ultraviolet light and petroleum products have made it the gold standard for inflatable boat construction. In April of 2010, DuPont stopped producing Hypalon. Pennel, our material supplier, has long used DuPont Hypalon in their coating. Now they’ve replaced it with another source of premium quality CP boat material, and our Pennel Orca fabric is still the gold standard.

XR-Mariner™

High-tech XR-Mariner material combines the best qualities of rubber- and plastic-based inflatable boat materials. Its Dupont Elvaloy® coating rivals PVC and Urethane for toughness while retaining the long-term-wear advantages of Hypalon and Pennel Orca. Tough polyester woven fabric is coated with a proprietary blend of DuPont Elvaloy, an advanced synthetic polymer, resulting in a fabric that resists UV degradation, abrasion, tearing and puncture while maintaining the flexible, “soft hand” characteristics prized in rubber-based materials. Made in the US.

PVC
Thick PVC coating over tough, low-stretch polyester base fabric creates a material that’s abrasion-resistant and slick for sliding over rocks. Combined with advanced construction techniques, this allows us to build high-performance rafts, catarafts and inflatable kayaks that won’t break the bank.

Drop Stitch
Yet another way we’re redefining inflatables. Our drop-stitch technology enables us to build rigid, high-air-pressure watercraft with flat decks and hulls. The top and bottom surfaces of a drop-stitch air chamber are joined by an intricate network of polyester threads that maintain the chamber’s shape at air pressures up to six times higher than that of conventional inflatables. We coat the outside of the material with super-durable PVC, making drop-stitch boats and boards as tough as they are innovative.


NRS Pennel Orca Inflatable Boats

NRS E-Series Rafts
E stands for Expedition. If you’re one of those boaters who habitually venture out to battle the sharpest rocks, swiftest currents and ugliest conditions, then these are the boats for you. Built outfitter tough, this may be the last raft the private boater will ever need to buy.

  • Pennel Orca tubes and floor: 48 oz., 1670 denier
  • Frame wear patch 41 oz., 1100 denier
  • HD40 gum chafer tube-bottom armor
  • Removable Batten Attachment Thwart (BAT) system
  • 14 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 6-8 EasyCarry™ handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 7-9 air chambers: floor, 4-chamber tubes and thwarts
  • Self-bailing floor
  • 10-year Limited Warranty (5-year commercial)

Pre 2006 Material Comparison

NRS Otter Series Rafts
NRS Otter Series Rafts provide outfitter-grade performance for the boating proletariat. (And for many professional outfitters, too!) We use the same top-quality materials on our Otter designs that we use on our E-Series boats, only less of them. This allows us to produce rafts that weigh less and cost less, while still maintaining the highest standards of quality and performance.

  • Pennel Orca tubes and floor 41 oz., 1100 denier
  • Frame wear patch 35 oz., 1100 denier
  • HD40 gum chafer tube-bottom armor
  • Removable Batten Attachment Thwart (BAT) system
  • 12 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 4 EasyCarry handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 6 air chambers: floor, 3-chamber tubes and thwarts
  • Self-bailing floor
  • 5-year Limited Warranty (3-year commercial)

Pre 2006 Material Comparison

NRS Otter Livery Rafts
At NRS we are always working to advance the state of the art in inflatable boat design, but we also know the value of simplicity. Our NRS Otter Livery Rafts combine the best in inflatable technology with the timeless utility of a standard floor raft. Affordable and reliable, these boats are ideal for basic whitewater, lazy rivers and lakes—and for boaters new to the sport.

  • Pennel Orca tubes and floor 41 oz., 1100 denier
  • Frame wear patch 35 oz., 1100 denier
  • HD40 gum chafer tube-bottom armor
  • Removable Batten Attachment Thwart (BAT) system
  • 6 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 2 EasyCarry handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 4 air chambers: 2-chamber tubes and thwarts
  • Standard floor
  • 5-year Limited Warranty (3-year commercial)

Pre 2006 Material Comparison

NRS River Cat and Kodiak Catarafts
NRS catarafts are designed for extraordinary agility, stability and resilience, whether you’re pursuing trophy fish, the perfect campsite or whitewater adventure. All models feature continuous-curve construction, eliminating sharp angles and enhancing carrying capacity, ride and maneuverability.

  • Pennel Orca tubes 41 oz., 1100 denier
  • Pennel Orca tube bottom 48 oz., 1670 denier
  • Frame wear patch 41 oz., 1100 denier
  • 16 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 4-6 EasyCarry handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 6 air chambers: floor, 3-chamber tubes
  • 10-year Limited Warranty (5-year commercial)

Pre 2006 Material Comparison

MaverIK I, MaverIK II and Rascal Inflatable Kayaks
NRS MaverIK I, MaverIK II and Rascal Inflatable Kayaks are the boats that redefined “ducky.” Designed for maximum performance and convenience, they fit in the trunk of your car, inflate in just minutes and are so burly that they’ve run some of the world’s most demanding rivers. The MaverIK I and Rascal are solo boats. The MaverIK II can accommodate two paddlers, or one paddler plus gear for extended trips.

  • Pennel Orca tubes and floor 41 oz., 1100 denier
  • HD40 gum chafer tube-bottom armor
  • Pillow thwarts, non-removable
  • 1-2 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 2 handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 4-5 air chambers: floor, tubes and thwarts
  • 10-year Limited Warranty (5-year commercial)

Pre 2006 Material Comparison


NRS Patriot Inflatable Boats

The rubber vs. plastic debate amongst rafters gets more complicated with the introduction of the NRS Patriot series. Modeled after our most popular Otter and Expedition series designs, we build our Patriot boats with US-made XR-Mariner material. This remarkable fabric rivals PVC and Urethane for toughness while retaining the “soft hand” characteristics prized in Pennel Orca and Hypalon boats.

  • DuPont Elvaloy-coated tubes 38 oz., 1000 denier
  • Extra material on bottom of tubes for wear protection
  • Wear patch material on top of tubes to prevent frame wear
  • Removable Batten Attachment Thwart (BAT) system
  • 12 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 4 EasyCarry handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 6 air chambers: floor, 3-chamber tubes and thwarts
  • Self-bailing floor
  • 5-year Limited Warranty (3-year commercial)

NRS Outlaw Inflatable Boats

NRS Outlaw Rafts

Outlaw Rafts break all the rules with innovative designs that deliver one-of-a-kind affordable performance. The boats pack a high-pressure drop-stitch floor insert for wave-punching stiffness and stability. Outlaw boats are modeled after our most popular Otter and Expedition Series designs.

  • PVC-coated tubes 48 oz., 2000 denier, and floor 68 oz., 4000 denier
  • 6" thick PVC-coated drop-stitch floor insert
  • Removable Batten Attachment Thwart (BAT) system
  • 12 stainless steel 2" D-rings
  • 4 EasyCarry handles
  • Leafield valves
  • 6 air chambers: floor insert, 3-chamber tubes and thwarts
  • Self-bailing floor
  • 3-year Limited Warranty (1-year commercial)

NRS Outlaw Inflatable Kayaks

An inflatable kayak for adrenaline-fueled whitewater runs, or lazy river floats, doesn’t have to be expensive. Outlaw kayaks, with their lightweight PVC-coated polyester fabric and super rigid drop-stitch floor insert, can go head-to-head with more expensive models. The Outlaw I is a solo boat, while the Outlaw II can accommodate two paddlers, or one paddler plus gear for longer outings.

  • PVC-coated tubes and floor 39 oz., 1000 denier
  • PVC-coated drop-stitch floor insert
  • 2-4 exterior D-rings, plus four internal D-rings that anchor the floor insert
  • Leafield valves
  • 4-5 air chambers: floor tubes and thwart seats
  • 3-year Limited Warranty (1-year commercial)

NRS Drop-Stitch Boats and Boards