Rental Product Details


Available : 5

Located where we are, Sierra Outdoor Center rents a LOT of rafts.

To help you decide which raft to rent, we have put together this FAQ.  If you still have questions, please call us at

(530) 885-1844.


  • The larger the boat, the more people and gear it can carry. Duh!
  • The smaller the boat, the more nimble and maneuverable it will probably be and the more exciting the ride in whitewater.
  • However, if you overload that smaller boat, you may well find that it’s less “nimble and maneuverable” than a larger boat with the same weight load.
  • If you’re planning to paddle it on day trips, figure that a 12-13 foot raft is comfortable for a maximum of five-six people and  a 14-15 footer will work well for up to seven or eight folks. For R-2ing (paddling with just two people), stick to a 12-foot or smaller raft.
  • For multi-day trips, you take just about as much gear for an overnight as you do for a week. The difference is primarily in the food, beverages and water needed. If you are a minimalist, willing to go more “backpacker-style”, you don’t need as much gear, cooler and dry-box space as the “everything, including the kitchen sink” crowd.
  • For multi-day trips, of say up to seven days, for two people, figure on at least a 13-foot raft or 13-14 foot cataraft. For three or four folks, you’re looking at a 14-15 foot raft or a 16-18 foot cat. If you’re planning on taking on big water, in say the Grand Canyon, you will probably want a 14-16 foot raft or 16-18 foot cataraft.
  • While the tubes of a cataraft are lighter than a self bailing raft of equal length (there’s more material in the raft), the frame of the cataraft will generally be heavier (there’s necessarily more structure needed to solidly secure the cat tubes).
  • When you have a crew of people that paddle the boat, everyone gets to participate in the experience of making it happen. However, the members of the group have to be physically capable of executing the paddle strokes.
  • When you put a frame on a boat and row it, you have complete control of the craft. This allows you to take people of different physical abilities, or who just want to be passengers.
  • The wider the boat, the more stable it will be in whitewater. A narrower boat can fit through tighter rocky stretches.
  • The distance between the side tubes of a raft or cataraft (dictated by the frame) determines the size of cooler or dry-box that will fit inside.
  • A wider raft doesn’t necessarily have more interior room. If the boat has larger diameter tubes, that eats into this space.

SOC discourages the use of alcohol, glass and Styrofoam on the water. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE.  And, remember to Pack-out what you Pack-in.

Have Fun!


All watercraft rentals include a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and a paddle.

Except for Wake-board rentals, of course. No paddle.

And, in the case of a River Board w/fins rental Sierra Outdoor Center will include a helmet, all of The Team’s experience and Best Wishes.

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