Mini max or puma - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-24-2016   #1
 
whitefish, Montana
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Mini max or puma

Looking at buying a small boat for next season to r2 and at times put a small frame on and do a little fishing. I have a few Aire boats and know the quality and durability but don't know much about the hysides. Anyways any input from folks that own these boats would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-24-2016   #2
 
whitefish, Montana
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Does anyone have experience with hysides neo line of boats.
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Old 09-24-2016   #3
 
Portland, Oregon
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Old 09-24-2016   #4
 
Searching for water....., Idaho
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Both GREAT boats. No worries with either option. In MT you don't have too much silt so the bladder is not an issue. If you are going to roll all the time the hyside has an advantage. The Aire has the ease of repair, but neither should need it. Buy with confidence they are great boats and you will enjoy either.
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Old 09-25-2016   #5
 
BV, CO
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I'm no expert but both companies have a great rep around here. My beautiful lady friend bought a Minimax last year and I love it. We R2 it and basically are able to run complex kayak lines on lower water Ark and paddle it at higher flows when I wouldn't be comfortable in my kayak. She has a frame for it too and it is wonderfully nimble. Like any boat, it has its sweet spots and things that it is not as good at. We use it to do multidays with her rowing and a couple of us in kayaks and its great but it would be a wild ride on big water like the Grand. Again, I'm no expert and have limited experience with catarafts but I prefer the raft. I like how I can smear a rock with the bow and not end up straddled. YMMV.
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Old 09-25-2016   #6
 
whitefish, Montana
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In the mini raft world I assumed the mini max and puma were at the top of the ranks I know the rmr Storm has become very popular, I assumed it was because of the price point. What is the top pick for r2 or small oar frame.
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Old 09-25-2016   #7
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Slightly bigger but best performance wise for fishing and R2 would be a Maravia Spider. Twice as much $ as the neo mini max though...
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Old 09-25-2016   #8
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I did a late season Lodore trip last year and a couple guys R2'd a Minimax with all their gear including drybags and a cooler. It seemed like they had a blast and that they could make it go wherever they wanted. No problems with it flipping.

Alternately, I went on a Yampa trip this year and this guy Larry had a 1st generation Aire Puma. He said it was a bit smaller and slightly different design to the current one, but it did great and he also seemed to be able to move that thing wherever he wanted on the river. Here is a video of him in action on Warm Springs rapid at ~14-16k cfs(second blue/teal boat)...



In that category, for me, it would be hard to not look at the Rocky Mountain Rafts Storm raft. It is their equivalent to the Mini Max and is significantly cheaper. They are both import rafts so that isn't an issue. The PVC on the RMR rafts is harder to roll and a bit heavier compared to the Hypalon or Neo Hyside, but both seems to hold up well.

I guess the last thing I'd say is that its relatively rare to see the small size Puma on the used market. There are plenty of them out there, so its not because they aren't well liked but more because they are so well liked that people don't sell them. Seems more versatile to me, but if you are just looking to get out R2ing then the Mini-Max or Storm might be better. You see come up more on the used market then the Puma, but they also seem to hold their value too. I know a couple places are doing end of season specials on both, so its good time to buy new setups too.

Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. They were all a bit small for my taste as an oar rig, so I opted for a 12' Hyside that I got recently to supplement my 16' Avon Pro gear hauler.
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Old 09-25-2016   #9
 
whitefish, Montana
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The maravia spider and small sotars are sweet also but a little out of my price range.
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Old 09-25-2016   #10
 
Portland, Oregon
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