Possible curtis raft repalcement?

ffb

Active Member
#1
So I've been looking at something comparable to a curtis raft that's not as expensive as the alpacka rafts and came across this on another forum.

http://flyweightdesigns.com/default.aspx

Looks kinda like a curtis raft and is at least cheaper than an alpacka. Has anyone heard of these or seen/used one? Supposedly it's made more heavy duty than the curtis raft. Owner posted on another site, "I believe we have what you are looking for, our raft is approx 2 lbs 3 oz made out of 200D Fabric vs 70D used in Curtis rafts and has a weight capacity of 310 lbs. Please see our website for more details"
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#2
That looks very close to the Curtis, and the price at $269 is cheaper in constant dollars than my Curtis was (~$200 in 1992). If you want a backpackable raft, get it. One thing, I didn't see any paddles with it. You could make some out of 1/8" plywood that would be light and compact.

Sg
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#3
Cool looking raft. I sent them a question about the raft being one or two chambers, recommending a simple diaphram at the front and back, adding a second valve and getting the added safety of two chambers should a blow out happen. The diaphrams and boston valve addition would still not make the raft exceed 3 lbs. I also told them about Chris' awesome gear program where people would have a chance to try it out...just sayin'.

About an hour after sending the message to flyweight designs I had a response. Marc clarified that they are single chamber boats and they strongly encourage the use of PFDs. They are also working hard to meet demand for the incoming orders so they don't have any spare boats for the gear program but they eager to get the boats into the hands of forum members.

Pretty cool, or so I say.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#5
Mumbles,

Somewhat different boating rules apply to ultra-light backpacking freaks. Single chamber, single valve is lighter and less bulky than two. For safety, we use our backpack thermarest in the raft for insulation against the cold lake water and as a PFD altho thermarests are not intended for such duty. A backpacker makes each piece of gear multi-task if at all possible. Good on ya' for contacting them however.

Sg
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#6
Salmo,
I must confess. I did once use my thermarest and my wifes to float on once. Puffed them up nice and full, stacked and sat on them. Great call on putting it on the bottom for a thermal barrier. I like the multiple use angle for things. When my fat @$$ goes on hikes I try to minimize what I take but I'm a whole bunch of cheeseburgers from needing to shave weight by removing the tags from my pack, clothes and things. Would you bring a single breakdown type paddle too? Thanks for the info. Ed
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#8
Mumbles,

Cheeseburgers or not, being a weight weenie when backpacking pays off seriously. Remove enough tags and clutter and you can offset the 4 pounds that a 6 pack of beer takes up in the pack.

My Curtis raft came with 2 ping pong size paddles made of that poster board with foam in the middle and vinyl or something on the outside. Very, very light.

Fins are not compatible with backpacking. Fins means waders, and both add too much weight and bulk in a backpack. Carrying a 60 pound backpack in this day and age is rediculous, not to mention too heavy to be much fun.

Sg
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#9
Salmo_g, great points, many thanks. If I can shave 15 pounds off my 60# backpack and 25# off my 225# then my overall abuse to my musculoskeletal system will be greatly reduced. Very good point on the minimalis paddles, no need for fins and waders. I don't think I've carried a 60# pack in a long time, but even shaving some weight off of my 45# pack would be a plus. Someday I'd like to check out your Curtis Raft. I hear and read amazing things about them. What is your impression of this FlyWeight Designs product? Does it seem comparable? Ed
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#10
Mumbles,

Re-read my first post in this thread. Yes, the Flyweight looks like nearly a dead ringer for a Curtis, just a few ounces heavier, apparently due to slightly heavier fabric and valve.

Sg
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#11
Re-read, thanks for pointing that out! My humblest apologies for asking you one question you already answered. I guess that means you won't let me check out your Curtis Raft?
 

Cliff

Active Member
#14
That NRS raft actually looks pretty nice. I like the double chamber, floor, and the rise at the bow. True, it's 4.6 lbs compared to 26 ounces for the Curtis boat, but it would still be easy to hump into the mountains. I think it might be a little cheaper than the Alpaca. I have a Curtis raft as well as an old Eddie Bauer pack raft, which has two chambers and is a little bigger than the Curtis, weighs around 4 lbs. I love my Curtis raft and would never part with it, but I prefer using the heavier boat when I can.

Cliff