Puma or Mini-Max? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-28-2011   #1
 
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 230
Puma or Mini-Max?

Looking to purchase a small raft and have pretty much narrowed it down to these two. Will be using it mostly for a family of four (two young kids) on easy rivers, and for my wife and I to R2 on mild rivers. No need to fit overnight stuff, we have a 14' for that. Just want a fun boat that is easy/simple to get on the water.

Puma has 6" of width and 1' of length on the Mini-Max which will offer some extra stability, but the Mini-Max has it beat on weight (I think by about 20lbs?) and price. My biggest concern is that 4 people would be crowded in the Mini-Max when the kids get larger.

Any advice from owners of these rafts would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Guy

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Old 07-28-2011   #2
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Puma. The Mini-Max is built with cheaper, thinner hypalon and will in no way be as durable as the Puma. 4 people is a crowd in either boat, in my opinion, but can be done in both.

I have used Pumas commercially on class V water and have a friend with a Mini-Max. He loves it, but I think it needs fixed right now. That Rio Bravo hypalon just isn't as tough.
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Old 07-28-2011   #3
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
Paddling Since: wen?
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Puma, hands down. I own one and have also paddled the mini-max commercially. Randady is right, the max is thinner/cheaper and we had some repairs/quality issues in their first season. They are much lighter if you are planning on packing into anywhere like the Gunny gorge, but I was able to get my Puma down there! The puma is super stiff, making surfing, wave trains, big drops, hell everything, much more fun in my opinion. It seems to row more like a drfit boat than a raft. Plus no one can come close to their warranty. I have owned three hysides and currently own three aires, and the one raft I will NEVER sell is my puma.
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Old 07-28-2011   #4
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
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With a family of four, a Super Puma might offer great performance and a bit more room.
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Old 07-28-2011   #5
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Also, you if you're shopping for a new boat, a 12' NRS Expedition or 11' Hyside Outfitter will do everything you want and more... something to consider.
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Old 07-28-2011   #6
4Life
 
Moustacheville, North Carolina
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22
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!
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Old 07-28-2011   #7
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
I am partial to aires, and pumas are sweet. I have a trib 9.5 that is a blast and if you can find a small used tributary for a good deal get it. My friend has the 12 footer and it's a great boat.
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Old 07-28-2011   #8
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
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hmmm. i think randaddy might finally be right about something!!(JK, homey). go with the puma man. the hypalon on the mini me/max just doesn't seem too bomber. although patching will be easier, but you'll be doing a lot of it
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Old 07-29-2011   #9
 
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 230
A unanimous vote for the Puma, I like that. Puma it is!!

Yes, I am buying new and I could probably go with a larger boat, like the Hyside/NRS, but from what I have read it is easier to R2 a narrower boat. Plus the Puma fits the wad of cash I have burning a hole in my pocket....even a SuperPuma is another 5 bills and I don't think I need the extra length for what I am doing. I have a 14' boat to haul more people if need be.

Anybody have a lead on getting a deal on a new Puma???
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Old 07-29-2011   #10
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
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The only deal I have seen on new Aires is the factory end of year sale (selection depends on inventory they need to move). Got my Aires direct (no dealers in this area) and saved a few hundred bucks in the process. The factory some times will have a good deal on blems as well. I rarely see Puma models on sale as they are very popular rafts.
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