Puma and R4? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-20-2015   #1
 
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Puma and R4?

New to the site and only a couple years experience paddling duckies. After a great summer of paddling the Lower Salmon and San Miguel, I find myself wanting a raft. I'm thinking a small raft that I can backpack down Chukar trail (90ish lbs max) and R4.

I've narrowed it down to two boats, Aire Puma and Hyside MiniMax.

The question is, why does Aire list the Puma as a max paddle crew of 3 and the MiniMax 5?

Anyone?

Thanks,

T

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Old 09-20-2015   #2
 
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Gunnison, colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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The Mini Max is lighter, so it does have that going for it. People may tell you other wise but I like the way these small boats R4, they become more stable, they're considerably faster, and with the longer waterline track like a larger boat. Lets also not forget how much fun they are!
Both are great boats from reputable companies. That being said my vote would be for the Max, especially for a Gunni Gorge craft. Its lighter and rolls/packs way tighter than any Aire boat.
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Old 09-20-2015   #3
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I'd say mini max for light weight and packing. Puma in my opinion would be more durable.

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Old 09-20-2015   #4
 
Whitewater Machine Works's Avatar
 
Groveland, California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 31
Hard to go wrong with either one....both are awesome little boats!

Actual weights: Puma 87.5lbs., Mini-Max 72lbs.

Believe it or not, they roll up to just about the same size.

The Puma should float higher with four paddlers. It has a longer waterline than the Max and the floor fills up the entire area from tube to tube where the Max has ~4" border around the floor perimeter for the attachment/bail holes.

More room lengthwise in the Puma. Width is almost identical, 26.5" Max, 27" Puma (without thwarts.) Thwarts can be re-positioned on the Puma.

I've got one of each inflated on the shop floor right now if you would like any dimensions confirmed etc.

Guy
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Old 09-20-2015   #5
 
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 30
Thanks for the prompt replies!

Guy, with both boats there in front of you, do you see any logic in the Puma's max rating of 3 paddlers vs Mini-Max's rating of 5?

Any noticeable difference in shoulder room with a crew of 4?
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Old 09-20-2015   #6
 
Whitewater Machine Works's Avatar
 
Groveland, California
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Width thwarts in/out:

Mini-Max: 26.5/28
Puma: 27/29.5

So a slight bit more width/shoulder room in the Puma.

Hard to give input on ratings without the criteria used to establish them. Can you squeeze 5 people in either and have one hell of a good time doing it? Well, yes! Either boat will fit 4, it will be easier to fit 5 in the Puma.

Off to play on the river........be back tonight if you need any more info.

Guy
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Old 09-21-2015   #7
 
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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Posts: 267
Hi

I have a mini max.

Imo........it is a GREAT r2 boat.....and ok at best for a r3 or r4 boat.

Scott
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Old 09-21-2015   #8
 
Spokane, Washington
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 19
I have an old school Puma. It runs beautifully R2 or R4. I would see no problem with the new wider design with 4 people. I have also R2 ed a MiniMax quite a bit and enjoyed the heck out of it. My Puma is a 94 and still holds air beautifully. Longevity to Aire. Weight advantage to Hyside. Good luck with which ever you decide.
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Old 09-21-2015   #9
 
Whitewater Machine Works's Avatar
 
Groveland, California
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Hyside Outfitter 12

You might consider looking at the Hyside Outfitter 12

https://hyside.com/product/outfitter-12-0/

An additional ~6"+ of interior width and another inch of tube diameter at a very respectable weight. If you're always R4 and your minions aren't tiny people you might appreciate the extra room and buoyancy.

Guy
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Old 09-21-2015   #10
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Both boats are sluggish, heavy, and respond poorly with four people. Both are great with 3.
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