## Where to Buy Rubber River Rafts

Whether you’re a seasoned whitewater enthusiast or a novice looking to embark on your first river rafting adventure, choosing the right rubber raft is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. With a wide range of models and manufacturers available, finding the perfect raft can be a daunting task. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the market and make an informed decision:

### Types of Rubber River Rafts

  • Self-Bailing Rafts: Designed with drain holes that allow water to escape, these rafts are ideal for whitewater rafting and other activities where you may encounter significant splashing.
  • Non-Self-Bailing Rafts: These rafts do not have drain holes, providing a more enclosed and comfortable environment for gentle river floats and recreational activities.
  • Hybrid Rafts: Combining features of both self-bailing and non-self-bailing rafts, hybrid rafts offer versatility and adaptability for various river conditions.
  • Inflatable Kayaks: Similar to rafts, inflatable kayaks provide a smaller and more maneuverable option for solo or tandem river adventures.

### Considerations When Purchasing a Rubber River Raft

  • Size: Determine the appropriate size of your raft based on the number of people and the level of whitewater you plan to encounter.
  • Durability: Look for rafts made from high-quality materials like Hypalon or PVC that are resistant to punctures and abrasion.
  • Weight: Consider the weight of the raft for easy transportation and handling, especially if you’ll be portaging or hiking to your launch point.
  • Warranty: Opt for rafts backed by a reputable warranty to ensure peace of mind and protection against defects.
  • Features: Choose rafts with features that suit your specific needs, such as handles, oar locks, and gear straps.
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### Where to Buy Rubber River Rafts

Online Retailers

  • REI: A well-known outdoor gear retailer that offers a wide selection of high-quality river rafts from various manufacturers.
  • Backcountry: Another reputable online store with an extensive inventory of whitewater rafts and accessories.
  • Amazon: A convenient option with a vast array of rafts, but be sure to check manufacturer reviews before making a purchase.

Local Outfitters

  • Whitewater Rafting Companies: Many rafting outfitters also sell river rafts, providing expert advice and the opportunity to test them out on a guided trip.
  • Outdoor Equipment Stores: Check local outdoor gear stores for a selection of rafts catered to the specific river conditions in your area.
  • Independent Raft Manufacturers: Some manufacturers sell their rafts directly to the public, offering personalized service and customization options.

Used River Rafts

  • Online Marketplaces: Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can be a good source for used rafts, but proceed with caution and inspect the raft thoroughly before purchasing.
  • Local Classifieds: Check local newspapers or online classifieds for listings of used river rafts.
  • Rafting Forums: Join online forums or groups dedicated to whitewater rafting where members may sell used rafts or connect you with potential sellers.


Choosing the right rubber river raft is crucial for a safe and enjoyable rafting experience. By considering the type of raft, its size, durability, and features that meet your needs, you can narrow down your options and make an informed decision. Whether you choose to purchase from online retailers, local outfitters, or explore the used market, be sure to research reputable manufacturers and inspect the raft carefully before committing to a purchase.

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