Comparing 16' Rafts - NRS E-160 v Hyside PRO 16 XT

We have brand new 2019 versions of each of these rafts & thought it might be interesting to blow them up to see what they look like next to each other.
There was no clear winner, but it was time well spent.
Below is a chart with our comments.
Keep in mind that Eddyline focuses on designing outfitting for rafts used for multi-day trips, so that’s the lens we were using while comparing these two rafts.

16’ NRS E-160 16’ Hyside PRO 16.0 XT Eddyline’s Comments
Affordability/ $$$ Outlay $6450 $6395 $55 difference
Construction / Overall Layout Pennel Orca material. HD40 floor armor on the bottom & sides of the tubes. Hypalon coated 2520 Denier Nylon fabric. Urethane bottom chafers. Preventive wear patch. Frame chafers. Triple bonded seams. The Hyside raft seems to have tougher material - a slightly more durable construction. The NRS has a better overall finishing layout of d-rings, thwart attachments, & handles.
Handles 8 6 NRS handles are of a better construction & placement.
Floor Self bailing. Glued in floor with punched non grommeted drain holes. Self bailing. Glued in floor with punched non grommeted drain holes. The NRS floor is tight to the side tubes. The Hyside has a 3-5” gap between the floor and the side tubes. The Hyside will be easier to keep clean of sticks, rocks, twigs, etc.
Thwarts 2 - Batten attachment system, 4 placement options 2 hinge & pin, 2 placement options The Hyside knuckle attachment system intrudes into the inner area of the raft.
Valves Leafield – C7 Leafield The Hyside valves are better placed to be easily accessed from the raft’s frame. NRS puts them on the bow & stern. Great for pumping from the shore, but only one end will be on the shore at a time.
Chambers 7 total - 4 side tubes, 1 floor, 2 thwarts. 7 total - 4 side tubes, 1 floor, 2 thwarts. Both boats have pressure release valves for the floor. Hyside makes & sells a plug for leaky floor valves.
D-Rings 14 total - 12 outside the boat, 2 inside the boat - bow & stern 16 total - 10 outside the boat, 6 inside the boat - 2 bow & stern & 4 just offset from the center of the raft Hyside D-rings are mounted on a triangle shaped patch, which may hold better. Both style boats could improve their D-ring layout for frame rigging.

Our measurements in BLUE

16’ length, 32” kick, 22” diameter

16’1” length, 33.5” kick, 22” diameter tubes

16’ length, 33” kick, 22” diameter

15’9” length, 31.5” kick, 21” diameter tubes

Both boats vary a little from advertised specs.

Our measurements in BLUE

7’7” overall, 47” interior

47” ID - true to spec.

7’8” overall, 48” interior

50 “ ID - with thwart knuckles 48”

The Hyside is a wider & shorter boat, giving it a blockier footprint.
Floor Dimensions - the inside of the boat 12’5” long, 47” wide 12’1” long, 50” wide
Frame size - maximum 92” long x 78” wide 95” long x 79” wide While the Hyside can accept a bigger frame, we suspect the NRS would handle a big load better.
Weight 188 lbs. 149 lbs. 39 lb. difference
Overall shape The NRS has a longer rise to a blockier bow and stern end panel. The 1” larger tubes stand out. The Hyside has more sections in its rocker, a shorter distance to its rise to a smaller bow and stern panel.
Warranty 10-year retail, 6-year commercial 5-year retail

Other Impressions - The NRS is a big gear hauling 16’ raft & may be the better low water boat. It’s slightly skinnier & will likely float higher in the water. The Hyside is a sportier, almost 16’, raft & might be a good choice for those who can’t decide between getting a 15’ or 16’ boat. All that said, keep in mind, the best boat is the one you are in on the river & any boat is better than no boat at all. There are lots of options out there & choosing a raft is not always simple. Please contact us if you want more information about either of these rafts.