Hyside Rafts Review: What You Should Know

The craftsmanship allotted in each hand-made Hyside raft embodies a level of prestige that a limited number of people get to have. Purchasing one requires full attention to details and an abundance of patience, as their keenness transcends into perfecting each one before handing them over to you. They make their products worth the wait, though, as they have been consistently delivering excellent performing and long-lasting rafts for years.

Going through their catalogue, you would notice how each raft shows simplicity that proves itself on its capabilities than accessories. Hyside provides a vast array of inflatable rafts in a broader selection of sizes to let you tailor-fit them for your next adventure.

Top 6 Best Hyside Rafts Reviewed

Each series comes in with many sizing options to let you have a raft tailor-fit to your needs. We review each series to aid you in choosing your next whitewater rafting buddy.

#1. Neo Series: Mini-Me and Mini-Max

Mini-Max NEO

The Neo series comprises of Hyside’s original Neoprene coating, which is relatively cheaper compared to the Hypalon models that succeeded it. Both Mini-Me and Mini-Max models are compact enough to fit in your backpack yet deliver a consistently excellent performance.

Keeping the Neoprene coating instead of Hypalon makes this raft series more airtight, ensuring that they will remain rigid throughout the course. On the bottom, Urethane Chafers assure you that these rafts can take the beating of constant impact. Its seams will remain intact with triple bonding that promises excellent durability to live up to the challenge.

You need not worry about water getting in the water with its self-bailing floor. This feature assures that you will stay afloat, letting you focus on paddling during whitewater rafting. The cambered floors significantly reduce your drag, allowing you to glide smoothly on the water. It also improves your speed, maximizing every paddle.

Reducing the tubes’ size enables you to be in closer contact with the water, allowing better maneuverability. This feature also maximizes deck space, letting you bring more gear for fishing trips. Carrying the deflated raft will also be convenient since the smaller tubes keep their weight to a minimum.

#2. Outfitter Series: Max, HDB, and XT

Outfitter 9.0 Mini-Me

Hyside’s Outfitter Series promises to keep up as you chop through the wildest whitewater with its highly durable frame. These rafts use a Hypalon layer on the exterior fabric that lets them be agile enough to adapt to changing water conditions quickly. This characteristic allows a superior level of maneuverability, allowing you for smoother movement on the water.

A second layer of high-quality fabric in the tubes’ interior will assure you that these rafts’ can take a beating. The tubes’ diameters ensure the raft’s rigidity, guaranteeing your stability as you paddle. Hyside offers a wide range of raft sizes to let you tailor-fit the raft to your adventure.

Outfitter Max is the series’ most versatile variant, for it is an excellent compromise between the Mini-Me and XT. Despite its relatively smaller size, this raft can carry massive cargo loads for your multi-day camping trips. Installing its thwarts will comfortably fit seven paddlers, letting more people in fun.

HDB stands for Hot Dog Bun, which is how the raft looks at first sight. This shape allows for maximum maneuverability in the narrowest streams, letting you glide effortlessly. It also allows for optimal weight distribution, keeping you and your friends stable as you paddle.

XT, short for Extra, lets nine more people join you as you slice through whitewater. Removing the thwarts enables you to have an excellent gear boat, promising to carry all your gear for your week-long fishing trips. Its self-bailing floor assures you that everything will stay dry by immediately expelling excess water from the raft. The raft remains highly-resistant to abrasion with its full-coverage Urethane coating at its bottom.

#3. Pro Series

Pro 13.0

This series’ added flexibility makes it highly agile against whitewater, allowing for maximum maneuverability in the most challenging rapids. Hyside offers a vast selection of sizes to choose from, allowing for better customization.

The combination of Nylon and Hypalon makes this series excellently capable of handling the constant impact from whitewater rafting, assuring you of their durability. Combining the two materials makes the perfect compromise between rigidity and flexibility, keeping the rafts sturdy enough to ensure your safety. Urethane Chaffers reduce the risk of getting punctured by rocks, ensuring your safety as you traverse shallower waters.

All the rafts in this series have self-bailing floors that reduce the risk of capsizing by draining water that gets in the raft immediately. The cambered floors also improve on the raft’s buoyancy, which allows for quicker movements. This feature optimizes your speed as well, enabling you to slice through waves effortlessly.

Like the Outfitter series, the Pro offers an XT variant that allows more people to fit in the raft comfortably. The raft will stay afloat despite loading all your gear for fishing and camping with its massive carrying capacity. Nylon’s higher-quality than the rest of the series enables this raft to stay rigid regardless of its purpose.

#4. Livery Series

livery 9.0

Hyside’s Livery Series puts all other rental boats to shame with its excellent performance. These rafts provide paddlers with ample stability that will let you float effortlessly on lazy days.

Like the Outfitter and Pro series, Livery comes in many sizes allowing you to choose accordingly. You would not have to worry about not having enough equipment as the rafts have impressively high carrying capacities for your fishing trips.

Despite its standard non-self-bailing floor, these rafts can take the beating from constant use with its rigid construction. Hyside makes sure that you get the best with its high-quality Hypalon coating on the raft’s fabric to keep it agile for better maneuverability. The full-length Urethane Chafers on the floor assure your safety regardless of the tide. Its flat surface also maximizes deck space, letting you have more than enough moving space.

#5. Kayaks

Kayaks - k1 9.0

The brand’s inflatable kayaks allow for maximum maneuverability on whitewater with its impressive response rate. They are incredibly agile, letting you have full control of your movement as you traverse wild rapids.

Hyside’s impressive kayak variants offer different bow elevation levels to let you decide on the ride you want. They offer a variety of sizes as well to let you pack more for your multi-day camping trips. You can remove the thwarts easily when you need the extra space or when you want to cruise lazily on calm waters.

All kayaks have self-bailing floors that let you stay afloat by immediately expelling excess water. Leafield valves keep the air on their tubes at optimal levels that help their rigidity and improve your stability. You will be spending more time on the water than assembly with its incredibly fast inflation and deflation rate.

A heavy-duty fabric seals the bottom of all Hyside kayaks, which makes them tough enough to take constant impact. Their seams are triple-welded, which comparatively more efficient that glue or stitching since this turns the raft into a unique mold.

#6. Catarafts

Catarafts - nimbus 12.0

Hyside lets you choose between eight catarafts, allowing you to tailor-fit them accordingly. Each raft provides excellent maneuverability that enables you to float through waves and finish each trail effortlessly.

The high-quality outer shell comprises Hypalon and Nylon that ensure maximum agility that does not compromise stability. Their seams are all triple-bonded, assuring you that the raft will stay together despite the constant impact it gets from crashing.

It will take only a few minutes of inflating their multiple air chambers with the Leafield valves installed in each tube. The same valves help keep their tubes airtight, assuring your stability as you paddle. Having numerous air chambers ensures that you will safely finish a trail despite puncturing one section.

A varying number of D-rings, depending on the model, will allow you to secure your gear or upgrade to a more appropriate frame for your adventure. Handles strategically placed on the tubes enables more comfortable transfers to and from the water.

The more affordable NEO variant lets you have a taste of using a cataraft without breaking the bank. Despite its cheaper price tag, Hyside promises the same excellent performance as Hypalon rafts, assuring that you get your money’s worth.

Hyside Raft Construction

We’re now aware of our options, but it’s best to know what goes into every raft’s construction to ensure that we only get the best materials.

Double Denier Nylon

Hyside assures that every raft is durable enough to take a beating with its ultra-tough Nylon fabric. Using the same ballistic technology as bulletproof vests assure that this material can withstand constant impact. Braiding the layers before weaving them into the rafts makes it highly resistant to wear and tear, ensuring you of a raft that will last.


Combined with the Double Denier Nylon, a Hypalon coating makes all Hyside rafts highly weatherproof and abrasion-resistant, protecting them from immediate damage. The 80/20 combination of Hypalon and Neoprene coating on both sides of every raft’s tubes promises that this will be the last raft you will buy. Adding Neoprene to the top layer resolves Hypalon’s reduced capacity to hold air, ensuring that your raft will remain airtight through the harshest conditions.

Urethane Chafers

Using Urethane on the raft’s bottom protects it from getting punctured easily from constant contact with rocks. Despite its heavy-duty abrasion resistance, the material promises to be ultra-lightweight, letting you carry the raft conveniently before and after rafting.

While Hyside already applies this layer on all of its rafts, they allow for better customization by letting you add more in areas that you think would be of higher risk. Speaking with their customer service agents will ensure that you the best setup possible to maximize your raft’s abilities.

Triple Bonded Seams

Having three overlays of tapes on all seams of every Hyside raft assures you that they will not fall apart regardless of the tide. Rigorous quality tests proved that Hyside’s triple bonded seam lasts longer than its Hypalon-Nylon material, assuring you that the raft can withstand the constant impact.

About Hyside

It was a long and winding road to creating a brand that would embody Rick DeChant’s passion for whitewater rafting in a country that did not have any rapids for exposure. Building his empire from a country divided with political conflict posed quite the struggle as numerous restrictions significantly delayed manufacturing.

DeChant puts his knowledge to excellent use by coming up with innovations to make his brand outshine its competitions. Technologies like the Hypalon coating on Double Denier Nylon, applying Urethane chafers on all rafts, and Triple Bonding their seams make Hyside rafts ultimately unique. The assurance of having the best raft possible for any water condition made the brand one of the most trusted in the inflatable rafts industry.

Hyside comes out strong on the other side of the tunnel, though, as they began production after strict adherence to North and South Korea’s laws. Sales pitches that started from door-to-door convincing evolved to using their product’s excellent quality to make customers stay.

The company takes pride in hand-making boats, which is why they put out slots for pre-season orders to let you have your raft when you need it. Since copious amounts of time and artistry are poured into every raft, their factory can only make a limited number of rafts per season. The extensive timeline assures you of getting rafts of excellent quality, though, as each product goes under rigorous quality testing before release.

Their simplistic designs let you focus more on every product’s excellent performance than the attachments included. Having a standard construction comprising superior quality materials with a highly durable seam welding assures you that whatever raft you choose will last.


Hyside’s early stages’ struggles made them more persevered as they continuously provide consumers with a few of the best inflatable rafts in the industry. Despite the never-ending challenges coming their way, the company strived to share their passion with the rest of the world. The amount of time spent perfecting each one before release assures you of getting a raft that can keep with white water rafting pressure.

We hope this review of Hyside products give you a better idea of the craftsmanship they’ve exerted in each one. While they offer an impressive enough line up, it is best to check out our other company reviews below for more information and better decision making.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of valve do Hyside rafts have? How do I maintain them?

A: Hyside has Leafield C6 Inflation and A6 Pressure Release Valves that help keep your raft airtight and optimal. Both come pre-installed, but the brand’s website gives you a manual on how to do it yourself if one gets taken out. Use your hand to secure the valve’s positioning before carefully tightening all the way using a valve wrench so as not to tear the fabric. Deflating the valve’s tube before attempting to pump out debris will help keep it an excellent condition to last longer.

Q: How do I install a thwart?

A: All the removable thwarts function like a door hinge, using a pin to connect each side. Aligning the thwart to the raft’s hinge attachment will enable you to smoothly insert the nail, with a lock on the other side for security. Hyside gives you full control of deck space by letting you have the freedom to install thwart attachments yourself. Older have lace-ins with pre-installed and non-removable thwart discs that will require you to tie them in through the holes to connect the seat to the raft.

Q: What’s the difference between a self-bailing and non-self-bailing floor?

A: As their names suggest, the non-self-bailing floor will require buckets to remove excess water in the raft. While this type of floor lowers the price point, it will ultimately pose more danger to your stability and safety. Self-bailing floors, which is on almost every Hyside raft except for the Livery series, will ensure your buoyancy as you traverse whitewater, letting you focus on paddling. This type of raft deck is also more rigid yet lightweight, improving your maneuverability and speed as it enables you to optimize every movement.

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