Help with selecting IK - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-07-2016   #1
 
UriahJones's Avatar
 
Salem, Oregon
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Help with selecting IK

Hi All,

K... I'm back with some questions about IK's. I'm looking to purchase this year, and really could use a little advice as the options seem fairly large. Budget is no so much a concern for me as value. I don't mind spending a little more upfront for higher quality and greater durability.

I want to use these for several purposes, and I'm not sure if all my criteria will be met in one boat, but I'd rather purchase one style of boat if possible. I've read some good information on the forum here, and will try not to repeat questions that have already been answered in full.

I really like the Aire brand, and have heard great things about their Lynx and Outfitter models. I understand the Tomcat is a decent budget boat as well. Here's what I want to do though. Each of the questions contains what appears to me to be the limiting factor.

1) I want to be able to fit my family into two boats for day trips. Family consists of me with wife and two kids. Both really young (4 & 2) but will grow into the sport I want to be able for each parent to take a child in the IK with them, and possibly to fit a parent + both kids in the same IK for easy Class II float. Do I need a single or dual sized IK for that do you think?

2) I want to be able to take said IK on multiday trips with self support backpacking style gear. Can a multi day trip be packed out of a single?

3) I want to be able to run Class IV in the IK. Particularly, on low volume rivers with an emphasis on maneuverability. Can a dual be paddled with sufficient maneuverability, assuming decent Class IV skills?

4) I want to be able to hike in to trips that are not road accessible, so weight is also an issue. Is a dual ridiculously heavy, maybe a single is too heavy and I need a specialized BAKRaft or something?

Bottom line, I know that anything will work for the family stuff. Just need appropriate sizing. I also want to be able to use the same boat for a little more difficult trips and particularly with hiking in, I want to minimize the wight. I'm leaning towards a single, but don't know if that will have enough room for overnights as well. Feedback is really appreciated!

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Old 12-07-2016   #2
 
Eugene, Oregon
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1) I want to be able to fit my family into two boats for day trips. Family consists of me with wife and two kids. Both really young (4 & 2) but will grow into the sport I want to be able for each parent to take a child in the IK with them, and possibly to fit a parent + both kids in the same IK for easy Class II float. Do I need a single or dual sized IK for that do you think?
Singles will work for a little while, but sooner than you can believe, your kids will be too big to fit in a single IK with you. Then they will want to take it by themselves.

2) I want to be able to take said IK on multiday trips with self support backpacking style gear. Can a multi day trip be packed out of a single?
Yes if you are a backpacker. No if you have been a rafter for very long. Your minimal float trip gear expands proportionally to the number of years you have been rafting.

3) I want to be able to run Class IV in the IK. Particularly, on low volume rivers with an emphasis on maneuverability. Can a dual be paddled with sufficient maneuverability, assuming decent Class IV skills?
Yes sufficient, although a double will take much more skill and will not be able to make all of the cuts.

4) I want to be able to hike in to trips that are not road accessible, so weight is also an issue. Is a dual ridiculously heavy, maybe a single is too heavy and I need a specialized BAKRaft or something?
Depends on how tough you are.

I would get a double and a single so that you have options.
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Old 12-07-2016   #3
 
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
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I know that you mentioned a preference for AIRE products, but a friend of mine paddles the Hyside Padillac and it is the bees knees... And tough as nails to boot. If you could get a 2 person (12.0) https://hyside.com/product/padillac-ii-12-0/ and the alpacka alpackalypse Alpackalypse - Alpacka Raft LLC then you would be set for a couple of years...until you buy another double when the kids are bigger...

just my $.02

I love my alpacka--I have the llama with the spray skirt, but haven't taken it past class 3.
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Old 12-07-2016   #4
 
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Salem, Oregon
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My issue with the Alpacka Raft is that while it is an interesting design. I don't see how I'm to fit gear for an overnighter in that. Hence the BAKRaft, or similair idea.

The idea of a single and a dual is a good one. Tough on packing in if its just my wife and myself with no kids.

For those with experience: How easy is it to do an over night trip with a single IK for each person? How much cargo capacity?
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Old 12-07-2016   #5
 
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salmon, Idaho
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For the trips with you and the family on day trip stuff, and the overnight trips Two tomcat tandems seem like the ticket.. They are not really expensive they are stable for the kids and they have a large payload for the extended trips. this will also help when the kids get bigger. Being cheaper you could possibly do the two tandem tomcats and then add a solo boat for your class four technical rivers and hike in trips.
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Old 12-07-2016   #6
 
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Poundtown, Wokastan
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I'm thinking NRS MaverIK. One Mav 1 performance and a mav 2 in the quiver will do nicely. The hyplon makes the perform lite enough and supple to roll tight and pack well. The Mav would do an adult and small child in class 2. The mav 2 would give you the bigger boat. As your kids get older you would need to add to the quiver.
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Old 12-07-2016   #7
 
Buena Vista, Colorado
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I think what you want is the Aire Bakraft 'Expedition', coming out this spring. It will be a little longer than their current bakraft. I'm a long time rafter/kayaker with about zero experience with IK's but I'm jumping on the packraft train. They will always be a compromise but if you have any desire to hike it in anywhere that's the way to go. Like I said I have no direct IK experience but with over 20 years of river experience and a lot of research I'm sold on the Aire Expedition. Longer water line will be a little faster and more stable, the only true self bailer with an inflated floor. Long enough to carry more gear or another person if needed. I can't wait for summer!
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Old 12-07-2016   #8
 
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Western Slope, CO, Colorado
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There's enough room behind you in a single to carry the pump and a 50 Liter or so drybag, which is about the same as a huge backpacking pack, but since you need dry clothes and shoes in there too it is just about right. The weight can throw the balance off so you may need to move the seat forward if running stouter whitewater.
My boat is about 35# and I've carried it up to a mile with no problem, even on rough terrain, by carrying in front, one shoulder then the other, hanging over the shoulders on the back, etc. Changing it up. I could have kept going further.
A Cinder Block is about 35#, so carry one of those for a while to get an idea. Of course, carrying the boat, paddle, and an overnight bag would be more annoying. Maybe a lightweight 50 Liter pack with the drybag inside to carry, then stuff the pack in the drybag to go in the boat.
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Old 12-07-2016   #9
 
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FOCO, Colorado
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I used to guide on the Gauley for a lot of years. In the summer at low water we run upper Gauley duckie trips from lost paddle to mason branch. All the guides are in NRS maverIK double ducks with a full loaded cooler strapped in the back, and customers are in aire linxs with a thwart instead of that silly seat, and a set of thigh straps. Both hold up to a ton of abuse and handle well as well as rolling up in a small package. I've seen the Aires go through hell and back and are lots of fun for a single person in hard whitewater. The nrs boats are stable, durable, and roll up well. There not cheap but they do seem to take a beating and handle well in my opinion.
Get one of each for best of both worlds. Just my .02
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Old 12-07-2016   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 373
I would encourage you
To look at RMR boats and focus on doubles as others have said. IMHO RmR is more boat for similar money ... yes I am biased. Every boat out there will be a great choice but I believe that the RMR is the perfect blend of
Quality and customer service at an unbeatable price point.
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