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Old 07-29-2011   #11
Moustacheville, North Carolina
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22
Don't think that I am not a Hypalon fan, I own a Hyside 12' Outfitter Pro. But it was made in the late 90s, when Hyside still made quality boats... I also have one of their 3rd generation Paddlecats, and its a fantastic boat. You can still tell that Hyside's quality has been going down hill since they moved their factory to China though.

Keep in mind that you are not supposed to store PVC boats rolled up, so if you have limited storage space you might be better off with Hypalon. Also, 4 people is probably maximum amount of paddlers you will want in a Puma. I have guided with 5 (counting me) and it drastically affected the performance. The Puma feels best as R2 or R3. Not sure about the MiniMax, as I have only R2ed.

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Old 07-29-2011   #12
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
mini-max: might be a little small

the mini-max is pretty small, here here are a few pics of two 6' guys with takemetotheriver in the back, and you can see how we all became such close friends.

i sold this raft b/c it was too small, and now have a 11.5 NRS raft with the same general specs as the puma. great size for R3 and R4, probably work great with your kids. i don't use the raft R2 b/c we also have a culebra for that, but i think it would work well. later.
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Old 07-29-2011   #13
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 49

I have run my Puma many times with R2 to R4 and had plenty of room. I've done days trips with 3 people running as an oar rig on Westwater, Shoshone and the Roaring Fork. I really like the design more than any of the other small rafts - it spins on a dime with the stiffness, rocker and narrow design. I've even run it solo or with one passenger on multi-days trips (Cat, Lodore, Deso) and as long as you don't overload it, it does great. I'd echo the recomendation to store it unrolled and partially inflated, but I've had mine for 15 years and it still looks new.

I have a 16' Hyside for my gear-hauler and would not want anything bigger than the standard Puma as a "playboat", especially if your other boat is a 14'.
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Old 07-29-2011   #14
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,147
Originally Posted by DirtBag View Post
I dislocated my patella in a mini-max, so I am partial to the Puma. Plus I think its a better boat! Better warranty, stiffer, more rocker...but heavier, and watch out for those zippers corroding!
I don't think the actual zippers are metal and therefore, can't corrode, though they can become sticky to unzip if you don't do the yearly soapy water clean/lube. The zipper cars are metal, but are easy enough to replace in the field, and you should have one in the standard aire patch kit, although I have never seen one corroded.
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Old 08-02-2011   #15
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 201
Thanks everyone for your advice, I placed an order for a Puma today!!!
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Old 08-04-2011   #16
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Interesting thread, as I am also thinking of getting a Mini Max. I want one so I can take my two kids with me on easier class II-II stuff, since the 14 footer is a bit too big to essentially R-1. We go as a family in the 14 footer and I row, but we all really enjoy paddling for the shorter day trips.

So, I guess I need to look at the Puma.

Next question, where are some good places to take a Mini-max with some kids? Is Boulder Creek good for a Mini? Filter plant maybe? Clear Creek near Golden? I'd like to find some places closer to Denver.
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Old 09-25-2011   #17
scotttoland's Avatar
LAX to SEA, 90032
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27

Hey, new to this thread. Considered both both boats. Have ordered a MiniMax due to lighter weight. (Me and wife only)

Confused about Rio Bravo line and weight of the fabric. I see no mention of a Rio Bravo line on Hyside site. And both mini and minimax are listed as the same fabric and bottom coatings as the outfitter line mates.

Then there is the outfitter PRO line. What gives. Did Hyside have a cheaper line that is no more? Has the 9.0 and 10.5 become part of the Outfitter line and have same quality??

Scotty (Newbie)
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Old 09-25-2011   #18
sh$t show voyeuor/host
Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
Paddling Since: wen?
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 285
I'm guessing that the outfitter series used to be the rio bravo, and the outfitter pro used to be the outfitter series. "outfitter series" sounds more durable than rio bravo economy series
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Old 09-26-2011   #19
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Outfitter Pro is a series of larger boats. The Mini Me has always been 1680d hypalon and part of the Outfitter series. The Mini Max was part of the Rio Bravo series, which seems to have been discontinued. The Rio Bravo boats had grey thwarts, I think.

It looks like Hyside got smart and started making htat little boat right.
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Old 09-26-2011   #20
youngpaddler06's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 173
I put a chafe patch on the top of my mini max which makes me feel better about running a frame on it, but everyone is right that it would be too small for 4 people.

The boat is really narrow.

Every year we do a west water trip where this boat and a yellow puma with a frame also goes. The puma is for sure more rigid, but im not so sure about rocker, they look like very similar boats. The 10 year would be nice.

I have been very happy with this boat though. Rowed it down WW multiple times as well as Cataract. But its place is R2 ing lower volume rivers.

For the fam go with a bigger boat, just my 2 c.

Tried to put pics up, but having issues with MB. I have a few of mini max with frame on my profile.

If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.
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