Light Weight Float Tube

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
How do you like the Trinity? I have a SFC but I was thinking of something for hiking in that would be a little more user friendly. Would you recommend for Alpine Lakes?
The main advantage to the Trinity is that it has a similar seating position to the SFC, high and with one's thighs almost out of the water. But I've got several minor quibbles and one major one.

First, the valves are similar to the seat and back of my SFC: the spring valve is too tight to allow inflation by mouth which means bringing along a pump. Maybe I haven't got it totally figured out yet, but the gear pockets on the sides seem to pronate too far outboard, meaning that the contents are susceptible to getting dunked. The seat and pockets are separate from the side tubes which slide into sleeves on either side of the seat. Getting the tubes perfectly aligned is tricky and usually results in one side being a bit lower than the other. Finally, the stripping apron fits tight in one direction but loose in the opposite. Overall, the boat doesn't seem well designed or thought out.

My major beef is that even though it's lighter (by less than a pound) than my $90 TU Gunnison tube, the fact that I have to bring along a K-Pump to inflate the tight valves means it ends up being heavier. That leaves the only advantage as the higher seating position. To me that's not worth the several hundred dollar price premium.

It's easier to pack on my mountain bike than my SFC but given its bulk and the pump issue, the Gunnison or my Curtis raft get tapped for serious hike-in trips.



Active Member
Well, I just purchased a Trinity and here are my initial thoughts:

1. Kent is right - the valves are tight. I tried to inflate it by mouth and is sucked - or blew - don't know which. The pump is almost a necessity

2. Set-up, tubes even or not, all seems to work for me.

3. If you wanted to make a lightweight tube you cold shave a lot of material off of this one. Not recommended as a home project.

4. This was my first time in a tube. I am a paddlers. I am shocked at how slow and cumbersome it is.

5. From the high seating position the kicking motion is not unlike doing leg extensions. I thought, "Great, I am going to hike in 5 hours and then sit in this and do leg extensions. Perfect plan."

6. I have lots of waders including lightweight, integrated boot Gore-Tex prototypes from a major manufacturer that never saw the light of day. I am playing today with fins but no wader boots on my feet to see how that goes.

7. The plan, unless we get some stupid weather, is to hike into a favorite alpine lake of mine fora few days this week to try it all out. I have a prototype 85 liter pack that needs some miles on it, so it should be a good fit.


Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
. . . If you wanted to make a lightweight tube you cold shave a lot of material off of this one. Not recommended as a home project.
That's an interesting thought Marty. I think that the Trinity, while certainly a contender for the lightest tube available, still leaves the door open for an even better, more thoughtful design.

For instance, it might be interesting to see how the folks at Alpacka might approach the design and production of a seriously lightweight float tube.



Active Member
The Bucks Bag Mustang should probably be in this discussion as well. American made with a 5 year warranty and a 300# capacity. $299