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Old 07-04-2014   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1955
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 42
Super Puma vs Mini Max

We have been running a lot of off season trips. Very low or creek like levels. I have been running a Puma. It has been a pretty good boat. Now I need to get the wife a boat. No more running without her. A couple of my friends run Mini Me's, They like them. Which would be the best boat. With either boat it has been decide to go for the extra 1.5' in length. Any opinions?

cahatch52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014   #2
shredder-scott's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 257

I own both the Hyside Mini Max and Paddlecat.

Both are awsome R2 boats.

The Paddlecat is signficantly lighter and rolls signifcantly smaller.

The Mini Max ROCKS as a R2 boat, even better than the paddlecat.

The Mini Max is now my goto R2 class IV-V boat, but the paddlecat rocks class V very well to.

Aire makes great boats too. The Pumas are great R2 boats as well. I have owned 2 Aire Force IK and I was very happy with them.

A handling debate between the Aire and Hyside can be had, but to me it is like debating the handling difference of a high end sports car, they all rock !

Both Aire and Hyside are quality companies that make high quality high performace R2 boats that rock.

BUT for me the lighter weight and more compact roll of the Hyside Hypalon and Neo boats over the Aire boats are important factors

My Paddlecat is small and light enough to fly commercial in a duffel bag meets standard luggage size weight rules.

Fly to Costa Rica and rent paddles there.
Fun fun

I would buy the Hyside product again without hesitation.

Hope that helps.

Paddle on

Shredder Scott

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Old 07-04-2014   #3
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 312
wow I just posted a huge reply and accidently deleted it. sweet.

if it were me id be thinking in terms of:

what is the best compliment boat to the one you all ready own.

and what would you change about the puma? what would make it more ideal? maybe that will shed light on what you want from a new boat.

I own a mini max. I think its major pros are:
relatively cheap
very light 67 lbs
rolls up very nice and tight
can be stored rolled up anywhere
ie. great for people with small vehicles and limited storage.

it is a great boat though. and I think it handles technical water very well. requires good paddling and ACTIVE high siding.

id say its weaknesses are:
big water , it gets flippy
eddy lines are very grabby especially in big water ( ie eddy lines in Shoshone at big water can flip the mini max) .

just 2c. to kick it off. look forward to more comparisons.
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Old 07-04-2014   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
Our small boat duo is An 11.5ft otter ( only slightly bigger than the puma) and a 12 ft hyside. Otter carries a 65qt cooler and hyside take the dry box. We can go semi back pack and still take plenty of gear for a week. The hyside feels like a real boat but is still maneuverable. The extra room doesn't keep it off the Illinois at the low flows we enjoy. I'll try to get some pics of the two boats together as we launch on the main tomorrow. It sure is nice to not be stuck on the barge all the time. Have fun and good luck.
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Old 07-04-2014   #5
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
+1 for the Mini-Max, because I have one. LOL

I love oi for it's loght weight and ability to roll it tight. You said it was for your wife, so that might be important to her.

I have also found it to be a very versatile boat. R2, family of 4 and it's even big enough for a frame to take on multi-days. I have a dry box for mine and a cooler bay, with room for a large dry bag, couple of s,aller bags and maybe a water jug.

I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
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