Ultralight Backpacking Float Tube

treillw

New Member
I've done a bit of searching around on the internet for ultralight float tubes to pack into mountain lakes and I came across this site. Seems to be a knowledgable crowd here. I read some older threads on this subject and was wondering what the current best tubes are for packing?

I want it to be decently comfortable. I'd rather carry an extra 3 pounds if it's going to make an entire day in a lake more pleasant.

The Wilderness Lite tubes are interesting, but are they comfortable? I feel like with that seat design the seat will sink down and you will get pinched between the side air bladders. They are also a little pricey.

Suggestions are appreciated! Thanks.
 

treillw

New Member
Thanks for the reply. Looks like a good tube. I will use the tube on day trips as well as staying the night a day or two occasionally. I will carry the tube deflated in my backpack with other gear most of the time.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
The Wilderness Lite tubes are very similar to the old Wood River V Boats (which I love), but are even lighter. I've never used a Wilderness, but I did put one of their replacement bladders in one of my Wood River tubes. When properly inflated, my WR tubes don't "pinch" together very much. Your butt will slide forward after a while, but it's easy to re-position yourself. You do sit close to the water surface in this style tube, but on the plus side they move easily & don't catch a lot of wind like high-profile tubes are prone to do.
 
I have the outcast trinity and the wilderness light tubes. My issue with the trinity is the weight and amount of time to set up. I wish it had different valves for faster inflation. What i like about it is I can put it into several smaller stuff sacks and fit it in my pack quite easily. My issue with the wilderness lite is the fabric. It becomes saturated with water and then your 3 lb float tube has doubled in weight for the hike out. It also packs very compact until it absorbs all that water. Just my experience. I have a buddy in the Seattle are who ordered one of their replacement bladders for his Wood River and it works perfectly according to him.
 

Sir Homey

Level 7 Dungeon Master
I've done a bit of searching around on the internet for ultralight float tubes to pack into mountain lakes and I came across this site. Seems to be a knowledgable crowd here. I read some older threads on this subject and was wondering what the current best tubes are for packing?

I want it to be decently comfortable. I'd rather carry an extra 3 pounds if it's going to make an entire day in a lake more pleasant.

The Wilderness Lite tubes are interesting, but are they comfortable? I feel like with that seat design the seat will sink down and you will get pinched between the side air bladders. They are also a little pricey.

Suggestions are appreciated! Thanks.

I've got a Wilderness Lite tube. You'll sink into it a little if it is anything less than fully inflated. My experience - inflate it, hop in, motor around in the cold lake water, it'll soften up a bit due to the cold temp, then top it off. The backrest bladder makes you lean forward a tad too, but this issue is common on most tubes with that feature. I underinflate the backrest.

Also, I'm a 180 lb guy. If you're smaller than this will be less of an issue. If you're more ample..then more so.
 

treillw

New Member
Thanks for the input. So it sounds like the wilderness lite tubes are comfortable.

Any other suggestions? Anything out there that doesn't get saturated and double in weight?
 

WLLLC

New Member
If your Wilderness Lite Backpacker Pro is significantly heavier when you return to shore, suggest you check the level of inflation. When fully inflated--remember to top it off with air when float tube has equilibrated with cool lake temperature--this will not occur. Also is a great idea to inflate it, put it in the water secured to shore (I use my net to do this) while rigging fly rod to give it time to cool to water temperature, then top it off with a bit of air, put on fins, and ready to launch with optimal performance--best speed, comfort, and does NOT take on any water.
 

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