mini-max/mini-me vs. culebra/shreder/paddle cat
i have paddled a culebra (made by jacks plastic) several times, i am guessing very similar to the shredder and paddle cat. i found this boat with two people to be very maneuverable, and even stable with up to three people (two paddlers, one passenger, and small cooler). i would say it is ideal for r2, but feeling crowded with 3rd passenger.
i also own a rio bravo mini-max, which i bought at the end of last summer and got to r2 a few times before the end of the season. this boat (and i suspect the smaller mini-me) can easily be handled as r2, but does have the option to comfortably take a 3rd and starts to get a little crowed with a 4th imo.
if i were picking a boat for r2 only, i would go with the culebra. it is nearly as agile as a kayak, and i could catch eddies very easily in it. i have not had a lot of r2 time in my mini-max yet, but my initial impression is that it felt more tippy side to side than the culebra as evidenced by the width - only 62" for the mini-max (even narrower 60" on the mini-me) but a little wider 65" for the culebra, and with a smaller tube diameter on the culebra that gives it an even wider feel.
i chose the mini-max for my wife and me to r2, but also be able to take a friend or two along. the mini-max has two thwarts, where the mini-me only has one, adding a little more seating capacity for the mini-max. i thought the mini-me was a little too small for taking friends along.
i am sure we will be able to r2 the mini-max in the likes of browns, shoshone, and woody/toothache, and i would like to get up to numbers/gorge/slaughterhouse and other CL IV in it with some practice. that being said, i think we could jump into CL IV in the culebra even quicker as it is a more maneuverable boat. i have paddled all these in my kayak, but the wife only up to shoshone/easy CL III in kayak, so the raft will hopefully get us into some more challenging water together.
my 2c: culebra/paddle cat for r2 only; mini-max/mini-me for r2 if you have some friends to take along on occasion. duckies never (see duckies=dorky thread).