Best Whitewater IKs for Gear Capacity - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-15-2019   #11
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1
I've been using an Aire Tomcat solo for years for multiday trips around Oregon and Washington, and some (easier) whitewater day trips. It's a great value (~$650 new) and as mentioned above, works well if you take on a lightweight camping mentality (we usually camp as if backpacking except we also bring beer, camping chairs, and pvc tubes + wagbags for required toilet regulations).

They are pretty stable through rapids - in hundreds of river miles, I think I've only flipped it twice unintentionally (Boxcar rapid on the Deschutes, and Wildcat rapid on the Rogue). But if a river has long continous rapids, I'd be wary of tackling it with an IK.

One thing I've found is that IKs perform better in rapids when not encumbered with camping gear. My general rule of thumb is to use a fully loaded IK up to about Class 3-, and a lightly loaded boat up to Class 4-. But I know others who are better kayakers than me exceed these levels regularly with IKs.

I've looked a bit into Packrafts since people do some crazy cool stuff with them, but it seems like they really only make sense if you are hiking a distance with them, and I generally don't know of many rivers in Oregon that are under Class 5 that don't have road access. This may be just a lack of imagination on my part, and I could see if you lived somewhere like Alaska where they would make a lot of sense.

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Old 08-15-2019   #12
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 152
Alpaca has some good options The internal storage puts the weight low which is good for stability. The JPW Fat Cat is a good option also. Don't be put off by unconventional. i totally agree with your rationale.
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Old 08-15-2019   #13
Fruita, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 5
Aire Outfitter I can handle 400lbs. It handles well and can do class IV V . Great boat. Get thigh straps and footpegs.
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Old 08-15-2019   #14
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 35
Aire. Outfitter. II.
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Old 08-15-2019   #15
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 231
I’ve got a Hyside Outfitter II and it hauls allot of gear fine. Problem is also handles like a barge compared to Aire IKs. I got to try out a friend’s Aire Tomcat II with a similar multi day load recently and it handles way,way,way easier than my clunker Hyside. I was a Aire IK convert within the first 15 seconds of paddling it. It slid over rocks way,way easier, too. The Hyside felt like the bottom was coated with sandpaper compared to the Aire. I also wasn’t sitting in a puddle the whole time, as well. Stable enough to stand up in to scout rapids from the river.
Loads were roughly a 200lb dude with 2 watershed Colorado duffles bow and stern plus a small Chatooga day duffle for some load reference.
I’m not sure which Aire I’m gonna get yet this winter but Lynx II is looking good right now as it seems somewhat similar to the Tomcat but with urethane bladders.
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Old 08-20-2019   #16
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1

Just returned from a 5 day Laby float on the Sea Eagle 420x. the drop stitch floor lets you stand up like a SUP, holds 855 lbs... we had 2 110l drybags on front and back, 30Qt cooler, groover, chairs, popup, table, ammo cans and water jugs and were super compfy the whole time. takes a bit of a tetris mentality, but well within weight. and you can make it like a hammock with the pro seats.

did Cisco to Moab last year in it as well, and it was a solid boat in the waves

love the IK trips.

that being said, we are probably gonna let this boat move on and get an oar raft and smaller ducky setup.

also forgot to mention the self bailing valves- run as a bucket boat in calm water, and open the valves to self bail in up to class IV
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Old 08-21-2019   #17
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 731

Cronin himself leads a crew down the Illy every year with a large Ducky. The large holds weight well, I've done some easy class IV in a large Ducky and I'm 350 lbs. Part of the Cronin design is a really flat floor where it meets the tubes, much like a Sotar IK. He makes a 12 foot model now as well. I told him I'd like to see an 11' boat, I think that would suit me well. Goodwater boat works typically has a large Ducky for Demo if you wanted to try it out.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 08-22-2019   #18
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Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 162
I would not put the Outlaws in the best boats category of any kind (except maybe budget boats) but I have 2 duckies and a raft. My duckies are the newer versions made by Star, they did improve the design of the floor for faster bailing (better on the Seminole than standard but both are and improvement to the original design). The standard Outlaw is not a great gear hauler but I do like that it spins on a dime and the continuous rocker does help you to go over waves unless you but too much weight in the bow. I bought the Outlaw Seminole for my wife and she loves it, so does everyone who has paddled it. It has the same amount of rocker but a much longer waterline with bigger tubes and is a little wider than the standard Outlaw. You mentioned price was not a big deal so I assuming you won't go with the Outlaws but if you do and want to haul gear look at the Seminole.
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Old 08-22-2019   #19
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 119
SOAR inflatable canoes rock! I have a 14' model that I ran down Brown's Canyon all July at pretty high levels without issue.

Used an 8' kayak paddle, a seat off a zoik SUP and fashioned a foot brace with cam straps and a small piece of 2" PVC pipe. Sat on the floor, set the foot brace so my butt pushed hard against the seat and felt like I was one with the boat. Could even peel out and hip check similar to a hardshell.

As for gear, these SOAR boats are built to haul it with a grommeted strip running from bow to stern so lashing is easy. Bet I could run near a 1000 lbs in class 2/3s.

If you are running less aggressive water can use canoe seats and paddle it with single blade paddles.

Makes a great sleeping pad under the stars or for passing out as well.
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Old 08-22-2019   #20
Half Moon Bay, California
Paddling Since: '82
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 32
I 'm a big fan of the hyside padillac 11 I've had em on the selway, rogue, cataract canyon, they are great durable manuverable IK's. I also have a frame to use the 2 IK's together for a raft. great for 2-3 people lightly loaded. the backpack light theme is a good idea. Just saying...

The pack rafts are nice too. I did a selway Aug 1st launch a couple years back I had the padillacs and another couple had teh alpaca with the zipper feature. While I was wrestling the IK's through Ping pong the pack rafters just picked up the boats and waded down stream til they could float'em again. That was the last we saw of them. I'm pretty sure they were backpack light on their gear.

I'll get a pack raft ...maybe. I like the Padillac
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