7/20/2011 | by: Dave Graf
I've had my 16' Lion for over a year now and have used it both unloaded and heavily loaded for multi-day trips. It is at its best when used for the long trips. This is a forgiving and manueverable boat. On a recent Owyhee trip I got to see just how forgiving when I visited the rocks at Nuisance. Heavily loaded and pushed then pinned up the first rock the water was still going below the low tube. Had this been a cat with smaller tubes it would have been a much worse situation. I liken this raft to a magic carpet for the way it smooths out the rapids. I likely will have to get a smaller raft just to get a little more excitement. The Lion is slower than say the 16' Jaguarundi and probably comparable to round rafts for speed when loaded, but with much better manueverability. dg
7/8/2009 | by: Michael
Well, I researched both the Jaguarundi and the Lion prior to choosing the Lion. I have been a loyal AIRE catarafter for years now, owning at one time the AIRE Panther with its 4 tube low center of gravity design. I heard lots of buzz about how much of a pig the Lion would be for running moderate sized class III / IV water like the Rogue, Owyhee, and Hell's Canyon. Well maybe its just me and the loads I carry but the Lion tracks extremely well, is very manueverable and responsive when compared to 14 foot SB rafts and drafts mere inches of water with 1000+ lbs. I generally run solo or with one passenger, and this cat gets the job done week in and week out. Planning a trip down the Middle Fork Salmon in August so well see how it does in low boulder strewn water. My guess is it'll float high in the water and carry the bulk of the gear for our group with little or no issues. Haven't oared the Jag, but think for comparable load in excess of 750 lbs the Lion will maneuver as good as the Jag, plus I really like the ability to strap a long frame to is for gear storage as well as general feel. Who knows maybe Ill pick up a smaller playboat for shorter trips or where width is truly an issue. So far for the water I spend the bulk of my time on 7'6" wide hasn't caused any problems, tuck the oars and shoot through. I couldn't be happier with my purchase and commend the folks at AIRE for being a very customer driven energized group of folks..