Lee Arbach

Waterkeeper

AIRE Traveler Inflatable Canoe

AIRE Traveler Inflatable Canoe
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Manufacturer: AIRE
Shipping Weight: 85.00 lbs

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Description

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AIRE has dropped the non-transom equipped version of the Traveler inflatable canoe from their line-up, and they only make the Transom Traveler now. See the write up for it in this section.

It is hard to know if we should put the AIRE Traveler Inflatable Canoe under our whitewater section, or with the tandem touring boats - so we may list it under both. With it's rather wide beam and fat tubes, it's hardly a craft that anyone would want to take across large stretches of open water, especially the ocean, although some owners of this boat have done just that. It's virtues include both a very high payload canoe for hunters, anglers, and those who take longer trips in places like Montana and Alaska, and very good stability.

This boat is not to be confused with Innova's product of the same name, which is found in the Solo Touring IK section of our site. AIRE's canoe style Traveler inflatable competes with boats like the Soar's, Grabner's Outside series, Incept's "C" series, and to a lesser degree, the Innova Vagabond. With it's very large 14" tubes and 15' length the Traveler could also be looked upon as a super narrow two, three, or even four person whitewater raft. It has an extremely high capacity of over 750 pounds, something most of the other inflatable canoes can't match. And if you want it to hold more than that and are running mild water, you can temporarily defeat the bailing by covering the holes with duct tape.

AIRE Traveler Inflatable Canoe Payload

Our friend Tracey Harmon, from Anchorage, AK has used it with nearly half ton payloads with excellent success. The 7" thick floor helps a lot in this regard. If you have almost any of the competing brands of inflatable canoes on the market, and load anywhere near this kind of weight in them you will have one to three inches of water in the bottom all the time, since the inflatable floor top will end up lower than the exterior water level. Even some of the 16' and 17' long competitor's models won't match the Traveler.

The Traveler comes with lace-down, metal framed take-apart seats and can be paddled sitting on these or from a kneeling position. Tthe seats can be moved around anywhere you want, and if you take them out the 70 pound weight drops to about 60 pounds. The Traveler is intended to be paddled with single blade canoe/raft paddles, not extra long kayak paddles. Unless you are an experienced whitewater canoeist this is probably way too much boat to paddle solo. Our buddy Tracey (paragraph above) is very experienced and he told us it even took him some time to find the "sweet spot" for solo use, though he eventually did. Tracey is also a hunter, and he is even able to use a shotgun standing up in the boat without losing his balance.

Hull Speed for AIRE Traveler Inflatable Canoe

How fast is it? Big wide flat bottomed boats tend not to be rocket ships on flat water, but the feedback from Tracey and others regarding the hull speed of the Traveler has been good, but the tracking is quite poor. An AIRE SuperLynx (which is about 10" narrower) with competent paddlers will make 3-1/2 per hour under ideal conditions. The Traveler will do less than 3 mph with paddles, and maybe a full 3 mph with oars. It also is more subject to getting blown around by the wind than most of the boats in this section. If your expectations as to how many miles you want to cover are realistic you should not be disappointed. On some rivers with solid current you might be able to make 15 to 18 miles in a day, but on a large windy lake going five to six miles in an afternoon is about the max you should expect, if that.

As a three person raft, it's possible to mount footcones in the Traveler, and have a paddle captain at one end and a paddler on each side - sort of ideal for those really narrow, technical low water runs!

Please note that the Traveler rowing frame is shown separately in this section.

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