Puma or Mini Max - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-05-2018   #1
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 2
Puma or Mini Max

Multiday backpacker style boater who's done 6-8 days out of a mini max and enjoyed it - but cant help but wonder about the Puma which is so similar in dimensions (but an extra foot at this small size is a big deal) and now with the lighter weight material almost equal weight wise. Also wondering if the Aire will roll as small as the hyside for hatchback transport.

Looking for a class III, occ. IV (Bruneau lower water) boat that handles well as a backpacker/minimalist oar rig.

Run mostly silty rivers so I'd assume the sealed floor would be a good call.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts beyond spec differences. I do like the made in the US and warranty side of the aire.....

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Old 08-06-2018   #2
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 900
U-Reach | Custom Inflatables, Inc.
Check out these urethane rafts, made in WV.

Pumas are small boats, bow and stern are not optimized to carry gear as they get very tapered at the ends. Great boats, i love how tight you can run them...very rigid...but not much room inside. Wont roll as small but stuffing in a car should not be an issue.
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Old 08-06-2018   #3
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 7
Do it all in a puma

First rig was a puma set up with a frame for multidays or run with thwarts to paddle. Even the older material was light/supple enough for easy rolling and stowing anywhere. It handled OR rivers great, from low water Mckenzie to Owyhee and Rogue.

If you have enough time to tinker with the setup you can bring the kitchen sink... just a smaller version. I had a drop bag bay, cooler bay, rowing bay setup with gear in the back and a splashy ride up front.

I can’t measure rolled dimensions or compare to the mini but if you roll fore to aft a couple time you can get it to the size of a small ottoman.

My puma had a standard floor, sealed would be nice for silty rivers. We took the “green machine” down the Grand as a play paddle boat and we were washing sand/silt out for a LONG time. I don’t think the ballast argument would make or break a flip in a boat that size if your line was off to begin with. They’re so nimble you shouldn’t be that far off anyway.

Hope that helps, sorry the pic is sideways
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