The AIRE Tributary Tomcat Inflatable Kayaks - Entry Level Yaks for the Demanding New Kayaker

Affordable and attractive, the AIRE Tributary Tomcat inflatable kayaks are a design that pleases kayakers who intend to hit the river a few times a season.

Features of the Kayaks

Tributary, owned by AIRE, was established to create inflatable kayaks for people on a budget who want a reasonably priced self-bailing watercraft. The $599 Tomcat Solo and the $725 Tomcat Tandem (two-man) come with removable seat(s), carrying bag, repair kit, and an owner’s manual. You have two choices in hull colors: Dark Blue or Red.

AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo

Specifications on the AIRE Tributary Tomcat Solo:

  • Dimensions: 10'7" x 36"
  • Capacity: 1 adult (325 lbs)
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Tube diameter: 11.5"
  • Air chambers: 3
  • Bow/Stern Rise: 15"
  • Waterline: 84"

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Specifications on the AIRE Tributary Tomcat Tandem:

AIRE Tributary Tomcat Tandem

  • Dimensions: 12'9" x 38.5"
  • Capacity: 2 adults (450 lbs)
  • Weight: 54 lbs
  • Tube diameter: 12"
  • Air chambers: 3
  • Bow/Stern Rise: 15"
  • Waterline: 109.5"

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Recommended accessories:

  • Foot Brace Kit
  • Thigh straps
  • Waterproof cargo hold

Note: paddles not included.

Economical, Rugged, and Nicely Balanced

The PVC outer shell on the AIRE Tributary Tomcat inflatable kayaks is 900-Denier on the upper colored portion of the hull, and the bottom (gray) is thicker, with a 1200-Denier fabric used. As long as you take care of the kayak by applying some 303 Protectant and dry it out before packing it away, you’ll get years of use out of it.

As for performance when compared to other versatile kayaks in this price range, the Tomcat wins out: the Tandem is roomy enough for two men to ride comfortably, the 450-lb weight load is true and not overstated, and it paddles very easily.

There are a few downsides to consider, such as the one-year warranty. The high end AIRE inflatable kayaks are covered for 10 years, all other Tributary yaks for 5 years, and the Tomcats for just one year.

The reason for the difference is that the Aire Tributary Tomcat inflatable kayaks are made in China using cheaper materials and construction techniques. For example, the Halkey-Roberts valves aren’t as good as the Leafields, the underside is sewn on a machine and not thermo-welded, and the Tomcat’s vinyl bladders don’t stretch as well as the urethane ones that are used in the US-made AIRE kayaks. The result is a cheaper boat with a short warranty, but one that has the AIRE distinctive shape and design but costs hundreds of dollars less.

Save Money on a Quality Yak

The load capacity is great, the boat is roomy, stable, and compact, as well as being easy to inflate, lift, and transport. Reviews on the AIRE Tributary Tomcats comment that it tracks well on flatwater, it’s a blast in whitewater, and has better valves and weight capacity than other inflatable kayaks (such as Sevylor) in the same class. If you want a newcomer’s yak that is easy to maneuver and you think you will only put it in the river a few times a year, these quality imported boats will be fine. For day trips or overnighters, the Aire Tributary Tomcat inflatable kayaks are a solid value for the price.

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