The Aire Lynx II is American-made and probably the most expensive inflatable whitewater kayak on the market. But is it worth the money?
Outstanding 10 Year Warranty
Well, the stand-out feature is the 10 year “No Fault” warranty that Aire provides with it’s kayaks. That’s a massive statement of intent by a company that stands behind it’s products. It’s pretty hard to beat, especially seeing as the average warranty is only around 2 – 3 years.
If you’re a member of the more popular kayaking forums, you’ll see that some paddlers have been using and abusing a Lynx II for 20 years. They are definitely built to last and that’s where your extra money is going.
Lynx II’s Sporty Redesign
A few years ago, Aire redesigned the Lynx 11 and made it a foot shorter and a foot wider. Naturally, this had the effect of reducing speed but making it less likely to tip. You’ll find it to still be faster than something like the Hyside Padillac 2, and this is due to it’s outstanding design.
Rather than chop through the water, the Lynx two with it’s elevated front (which is 4” higher than the rear) rides over waves. The extra width means it’s very stable and perfect for class III rapids.
Great Seats & Storage
Many inflatable kayaks have problems with their seats sliding around and not have any storage. Thankfully Lynx have addressed both these issues.
The seats are extremely comfortable. You can also adjust them in the water which is a great feature a lot of kayaks just don’t have. There’s a storage pocket and water holder in the rear of the seats, too.
Converts to a Solo
The Aire Lynx 11 is a tandem inflatable and it’s perfectly designed for two. Many inflatable tandems tend to be a bit constrictive. If anything, this is a bit too wide (more of later!) Providing you pack lightly, the Lynx 11 is perfect for long weekend river trips.
You also have the option of removing a seat and going it solo. Of course, this’ll leave a lot of space for more gear and longer, overnight trips.
Pumping & Storing
The Lynx II inflates fast. With a foot pump, it should go up in around 8 minutes or so. To cut this down further, you could of course use an electric pump.
Once deflated, it’s about the size of a double inflatable mattress. This allows most people to carry it by themselves.
Drawbacks with the Aire Lynx II
Like any design, there are a few drawbacks to mention.
The increased width means it’s not a snug fit and hard to lock your hips in well. Especially if you are slight to medium build.
Also. a lot of debris such as silt and berries comes through the self-bailing cut out. This gets trapped between the tubes and the bottom of the boat, causing you extra maintenance before deflating.