packing a float tube

#1
I have an older doughnut-style float tube. It's got d-rings on the bottom. I've got some backpack straps for it but...it sucks. Between the bottom of the tube hitting me and the strap comfort level, I'm looking for other options. And of course the other challenge packing a tube in is other items if they can't be tucked into the tube--(fins, fish finder, etc.).

So, I'm looking into other options. I've considered trying to modify an external frame backpack. But I'm also not opposed to a different tube. The newer u-shapes and platforms that could have me sitting outside the water are appealing.

So what do you use? How well does it work?
 
#2
My Supercat does well on walk-ins up to 45 minutes or so. It weighs 14 lbs. It has integrated pack straps and the seat/frame acts as a traditional pack frame. I hang my fins off the back and carry net and rod(s) in my hands. Food and water fit in the side pockets. There is a large bag/pocket on the back of the seat for a rain coat and spare layers.

I find myself doing more of this sort of fishing lately.
 
#3
just took my tube for a short hike a couple weeks ago. fishcat 4 i strapped it to my favorite snowboarding backpack. keep the tube light and put heavy stuff in your bag. use as many straps and carabiners as needed to secure it to the bag in a fashion that keeps its center of gavity close to your back, and so it doesnt flop around. it might be WAY easier to deflate it, strap it on, and carry a small handpump.

leave the fishfind, you dont need it.
fins get strapped onto my pack before the tubes.
 
#4
How far are you hiking? My roundie w/ fish cat padded straps, everything tucked on, is an easy haul. I usually shoulder hoist it as well and that's even easier.
 

bakerite

Active Member
#5
I have an old Jansport pack (external frame) that I use unless I'm only going a 100 yards or so. Fins, waders etc. fit in the pack as well as lunch and all my other stuff. I either have a super fat cat that is kind of heavy or an older caddis tube that weighs 7 pounds that I will take when I'm going more than a couple of miles. I take mine inflated, but I'm on the East side so the trails aren't that overgrown. I leave a strap on m pack that hooks on to the d rings on the inside of my fat cat. The apron goes around the bottom tube and I'm ready to go in the blink of an eye! I ride a bike into a couple of the lakes I fish and just climb on with the pack on my back. Frame packs are easy to find....kind of like turntables.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#6
I have a Fat Cat LCS, it weighs 18 pounds unloaded. I load it way more than needed, I carry it using Outcast's shoulder straps (they're pretty comfortable). Normally I wear my waders and wading boots when hiking in so I carry my fly rods (two) and Fishin' Buddy. My fins, rain gear and net I stow in a dry bag that I bungee to the tube. This is a really big boat. But it is also very comfortable.
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#7
Super Fat Cat for me with padded shoulder straps. Here's a tip that will really help-get a waist strap also. Just like a backpack the waist strap will secure the boat to your body while you walk. Without it the boat has a tendency to swing side to side on every step. You have to fight this pendulum effect either consciously or unconsciously but either way it tires you out.
 
#8
My Cumberland tube ($160) from Walmart came with a set of straps. Fins, waders, net, PFD, tackle food and beverage all find a place. I tie a rope between the straps, across my chest to keep the straps from sliding off my shoulders. Works well for short hikes.
 
#11
I've been happy with my Creek Company ODC 420 Ultralight. Website says 11.5 lbs. Inflatable seat keeps butt out of the water. As others have mentioned, good padded shoulder straps make a big difference. I have only hiked it in inflated for short hikes of 3/4 to 1 mile. I saw this morning that they are on sale right now for $169 - hard to beat that price.
Patt Brown 3 - Copy.jpg
 
#12
How far are you hiking? My roundie w/ fish cat padded straps, everything tucked on, is an easy haul. I usually shoulder hoist it as well and that's even easier.
I've found ~ 1/2 mile to be about as much as I want to do with my current set-up. But I would like the option to go further.
 
#13
I have an old Jansport pack (external frame) that I use unless I'm only going a 100 yards or so. Fins, waders etc. fit in the pack as well as lunch and all my other stuff. I either have a super fat cat that is kind of heavy or an older caddis tube that weighs 7 pounds that I will take when I'm going more than a couple of miles. I take mine inflated, but I'm on the East side so the trails aren't that overgrown. I leave a strap on m pack that hooks on to the d rings on the inside of my fat cat. The apron goes around the bottom tube and I'm ready to go in the blink of an eye! I ride a bike into a couple of the lakes I fish and just climb on with the pack on my back. Frame packs are easy to find....kind of like turntables.
I sort of like the separate pack idea for this reason. I have always carried mine inflated, just because I didn't want carry in a pump too. Though I've considered it for biking--the weight is bad enough, but adding the bulk and the weight up top makes biking a real PITA.

TKWW: Your first move should be to get rid of that Doughnut of Death! Get an open ended boat that is easier to get in and out of and keeps your butt out of the water. It will be a vast upgrade to what you are using now.
Well that's kind of what I'm thinking too. I don't tube a ton because I also have a pontoon. But the hike-in option is something I'd like to explore more and that isn't going to happen with my current set-up. I certainly wouldn't mind replacing the boat, though for as often as I use it, it does give me a little pause.

I've been happy with my Creek Company ODC 420 Ultralight. Website says 11.5 lbs. Inflatable seat keeps butt out of the water. As others have mentioned, good padded shoulder straps make a big difference. I have only hiked it in inflated for short hikes of 3/4 to 1 mile. I saw this morning that they are on sale right now for $169 - hard to beat that price.
That price does sound a bit better for my intended usage. I went to their website, and they had two pictures.

This I could live with it--the tube isn't pressing in all the way around, the shoulders, arms, and neck have some movement, etc.




This is not unlike my current set-up and I can't deal with it. Head, neck and shoulders pressed forward, basically no arm movement, etc. Plus mine, being round, is hitting me from behind with every step.


 

jamma

Active Member
#14
Super Fat Cat for me with padded shoulder straps. Here's a tip that will really help-get a waist strap also. Just like a backpack the waist strap will secure the boat to your body while you walk. Without it the boat has a tendency to swing side to side on every step. You have to fight this pendulum effect either consciously or unconsciously but either way it tires you out.
I have an Outcast Discovery Trekker which I really like.Pontoon style with built-in shoulder straps,it really sits high and is easy to fin around in.At nearly 65,my packing it in days are getting near an end,but due to small town living in the early seventies(recession,no jobs,therefore no money),I had no drivers license so I walked everywhere. Wound up with a strong pair of legs and still like to get my hike on.The waist strap is a good idea,know exactly what you are talking about.I have an old Jansport pack with a waist strap so I'll see if I can't adapt it.Thanks for the tip.Don't know why I didn't think of it myself.
 

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