NRS River Catarafts – Ideal for Hauling Lots of Gear on Extended River Trips

The NRS River Catarafts have an improved glide and quick maneuverability with the new continuous-curve bow and stern design as well as the Pennel Orca fabric.

A Look at the Rafts

The two NRS inflatable catamarans have buoyant 25" diameter tubes that ride high on the water. Each tube has three air chambers for security in emergency situations, as well as extended wear patches on top to sit frames up to the 13' long. Other features include 16 2" D-Rings (8 per tube), 6 EasyCarry™ handles (3 per tube), and a repair kit. NRS River Catarafts come with a 10-year warranty for retail use and 5 years for commercial use. Frames are sold separately.

NRS River Catarafts

Features/specs on the NRS 14' River Cataraft:

  • Length: 14'
  • Max Frame Length: 132"
  • Weight: 72 lbs
  • Hull colors: Blue, Red, or Dark Green
  • Price: $2,145

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NRS River Cataraft

Features/specs on the NRS 16' River Cataraft:

  • Length: 16'
  • Max Frame Length: 156"
  • Weight: 75 lbs
  • Hull colors: Blue, Red, or Gray
  • Price: $2,450

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Construction on NRS River Catarafts

The “cat” tubes have a combination of 41-oz/1100-denier on the tubes and 48-oz/1670-denier Pennel Orca fabric on the floor for superior performance. This fabric replaces the popular and highly regarded Hypalon fabric that was phased out by DuPont in 2010. The Pennel Orca fabric has the same properties as Hypalon: it is resistant to abrasion, UV light, and damage from petroleum products, and has excellent air-holding characteristics. It is so tough, in fact, that NRS backs it with a 10-year warranty.

Frames for the Cats

The 14' and the 16' cats both fit five different NRS frames including the Alley Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Fish, Top Cat, and the Universal Frame. The frames have different configurations for seats, crossbars, oar mounts, and rigging to carry gear, coolers, and dry boxes so you can get the rig that is right for you.

It is recommended that you purchase the cat together with a frame and save money. For example, a package deal consisting of a 16' Cataraft, the 72" x 120" Cat Fish Frame, oars, three swivel seats, cargo floor, and anchor mount ($4,425) offers room enough for three anglers and all their gear.

Readers and Editor’s Choice

Reviews done on the NRS River Catarafts praise the cat fleet as being very stable and maneuverable, even when loaded with a lot of gear for an extended river trip. The popular 14' cat was featured in Canoe & Kayak magazine in the 2009 Beginner’s Guide issue. They focused on the strong points of the River Cat as well as mentioning the reasons a cataraft is superior to a raft especially for a solo paddler: the option to rig a center frame to the dual tubes so the big cat can easily be handled by one person and a pair of oars.

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