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I'm often faced with opportunity to raft up a friend or family member, but don't always have the volume or the huxpah for the take out carry to fire up our NRS E136 for local runs. Additionally, with a family of 5 starting our multi-day career, I'd like a lighter option to distribute some crew out of our E161 we'll use for gear.

I'm considering the Star line as it represents my commitment to further monetary investment, and I can get a deal on them.

I'd decided the High-5 was the one, but I'm thinking I should perhaps consider a paddle cat (slice). I'm trying to anticipate arguments for each, and this is what I come up with:
Micro Raft: Can fit more people or junk should I need that versatility.
Paddle cat: Performs more like my kayaks?

They're both equally wide/weight, both small enough to milk more season out of the summer. What's the difference?

High5: https://www.nrs.com/product/86223.01/star-high-five-self-bailing-raft
Slice: https://www.nrs.com/product/86221.02/star-slice-paddle-catarafts
 

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I'm in the same boat as you currently. Although the High Five won't be available anywhere until August according to the folks I talked with at NRS. So I am stuck between a Phat Cat or Tributary 9.5.
 

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I have a hyside mini me that I’m considering selling. It holds air perfectly, but is at least a few years old.

PM me if you’re interested
 

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I love my Hyside Paddlecat. If you're a kayaker, you'll appreciate how the paddlecats are incredibly maneuverable and a totally different paddling experience than a raft, even a mini-max/micro raft. Plenty of room for a captain's bag, a small K-pump, water bottles, and a small drag bag for beers. Add more D-rings and you can strap drybags across the front.
 

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The Storm 10.5 or the Cloud 9 from RMR are good options too. They make the Phatcat too, which is similar to the Slice. As others have said, the trip 9.5 is another cheaper option.

I had a Hyside Mini-Max and it was super fun. I got a creek cat, which is less prone to drama and is more capable and it got put by the way side. Its definitely the most popular mini-raft and really makes the small day runs a lot more fun. For this kind of setup...I really think that Hypalon is a great way to go. Lighter and rolls up easier and lasts forever. The PVC that most of the import rafts use is fine, but doesn't roll as well and is heavier. One of the main selling points for these small rafts is the ability to "throw and go" with it...so a smaller lighter package makes a difference.

Resale of the boat will be great for the Hyside Mini-Max too. I sold mine for a pretty reasonable price that wasn't far under what I paid...definitely a tolerable depreciation considering the use I got out of it. They don't come up used very often...but when they do they sell quick.
 

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Ordered the 9.5 Trib today, so we'll see next week how upset I am. Really wanted to try the high five, but if you don't have stock for people to purchase, i guess nobody misses out except in their mind.
 

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I had a Hyside Mini-Max and it was super fun. I got a creek cat, which is less prone to drama and is more capable and it got put by the way side.
What drama does one suffer in a mini-max? Haven't had any yet and wondering? Except people arguing over who gets to row/paddle it as it's fun.
Thanks
 

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What drama does one suffer in a mini-max? Haven't had any yet and wondering? Except people arguing over who gets to row/paddle it as it's fun.
Thanks
Its just a bit on the tippy side like a lot of the little rafts. I had a blast in it in a bunch of different configurations and rivers...but I took it on a few runs where I felt like it was on the limit of being not enough. The Mini-Max makes medium to small sized runs fun again...but its also not a great IV+/V oar rig. It does seem to do great as an R2 or R3 down knarly stuff...but I was looking to go solo on the boat and didn't like the prospect of R1ing it. I thought about keeping it for runs where I wanted to take another person...but that doesn't come up very often and it was collecting dust so I sold earlier this year to a super nice couple from the Ark Valley.

Both of them sounded like they were gonna be having the argument over who it was gonna belong to. :D
 
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