Light Weight Float Tube

#1
Looking for a lightweight float tube when hiking. I have the Curtis raft, which I like when backpacking or going ultralight and used in the late summer. However, it's not ideal when it is cold and raining. I don't want to lay down in the raft. I'm also 6'2" 185 lbs.

Therefore I'm in the market for a quality, light weight, packable float tube. Considering Outcast Trinity or maybe Gunnison and definitely looking for other options. The Trinity looks good online, but I really don't want to spend $450+ on a simple float tube. Just want light weight, quality, utilitarian, and value.

What else is available and recommended?

Thanks in advance,
Jake
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#2
I have a Fishcat 4 with the inflatable seat base and back. It weights about 12# with the backpack straps has ample storage pockets to carry plenty of gear/food. I also have a sizeable military pack that this thing can fit inside and then more gear can be put into the pack. It certainly is bulky, but not "heavy" in my personal opinion. If I know the trail allows, I will hike in with it inflated. If I know it is overly brushy and narrow I'll pack and inflate upon arrival.
 

Big E

Active Member
#3
I have a Scadden Freestyle H3. Pretty much like the Fishcat4 but it has a capacity of 500# vs 250# of the Fishcat. It weighs in at 13lbs. Can't remember what/where I paid for it but I think it was around $300 from Cabela's. I was looking at the Fishcat but dismissed it because I'm 6'5" and weigh 330. If you bought a Freestyle, I would imagine that you would ride pretty high in the water.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#4
I have a Fishcat 4 with the inflatable seat base and back. It weights about 12# with the backpack straps has ample storage pockets to carry plenty of gear/food. I also have a sizeable military pack that this thing can fit inside and then more gear can be put into the pack. It certainly is bulky, but not "heavy" in my personal opinion. If I know the trail allows, I will hike in with it inflated. If I know it is overly brushy and narrow I'll pack and inflate upon arrival.
I put a pair of nicely padded REI frame pack straps I had lying around on my 1st gen Creek Co UBoat rather than buy the optional straps but it is pretty cumbersome to carry very far. Unlike the newer model it carries nicer with the backrest down and away. For hike-ins on the East side where there isn't a lot of brush I have an old REI Cruiser frame that has 4 straps with QD buckles that I clip it onto. MUCH nicer carry that way. I also have a couple of expedition rucksacks that it will slip into easily with pump and all the other gear I need

I have a Scadden Freestyle H3. Pretty much like the Fishcat4 but it has a capacity of 500# vs 250# of the Fishcat. It weighs in at 13lbs. Can't remember what/where I paid for it but I think it was around $300 from Cabela's. I was looking at the Fishcat but dismissed it because I'm 6'5" and weigh 330. If you bought a Freestyle, I would imagine that you would ride pretty high in the water.
The Fishcat and Scadden V boats look real nice. Does the H3's rockered tubes make it more efficient to fin? Or does it put less flotation on the water that would offset the any gain from a rocker hull?

I hear the Gliderider was a pretty good tube and after Wood River closed up shop is available from Sparton in UK for $475 + shipping (and duty) along with replacement tubes for WR Us and Vs.

The SuperCat is expensive but looks like a cool tube. Does it sit you up higher than a V or a U? Does the height create any issues with leg position for efficient finning? Does the frame keep the tubes back behind you when carrying like a pack frame? Any comparisons to an Outcast Prowler?
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#6
I went through the same thing as you last year. After sending back one less expensive tube that I thought would do, I went ahead and bought the Outcast Trinity from Avid Angler in Lake Forest Park. It's all I hoped it would be; really lightweight, well made and it comes with a very comfortable and well designed pack that it fits nicely into along with your fins, waders, etc. You won't be disappointed if you get one. Greg
 
#7
I have the Curtis raft, which I like when backpacking or going ultralight and used in the late summer. However, it's not ideal when it is cold and raining. I don't want to lay down in the raft. I'm also 6'2" 185 lbs.
You're much too big for a Curtis raft. If a Forest Ranger catches you in that thing in the back country, you could get a major citation. Best thing you could do would be to sell me that Curtis raft right away. :clown: I wish they were still available.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#9
WOOD RIVER rocked!!! Look everywhere you can to still find one. I recently found two and an unused spare bladder. Now I'm set for life, I hope.
There are a lot of WoodRiver fans. Pete Ross licensed the WoodRiver design to Sparton in the UK who has "licensed these patented hull systems exclusively for Europe. WoodRiver has gone down, sadly – there's only us left making and repairing all WoodRiver models worldwide!!" $475 + shipping (and duty)
 
#11
I have a Wood River Glidrider that i've been thinking of selling. I haven't used it in a while. I had Pete put a new bladder in just before he closed his shop and has only been used a couple times since.
 

Preston

Active Member
#12
Without bothering to check the specs, I still believe that the Outcast Trinity is probably the lightest available and certainly of good quality. One thing that gets overlooked, however, is that being very light and having the high, canoe-like, kick up at the front makes it very sensitive to wind and therefore a bit of a problem to keep tracking straight or to maneuver accurately.
 

Slipstream

Active Member
#13
I put a pair of nicely padded REI frame pack straps I had lying around on my 1st gen Creek Co UBoat rather than buy the optional straps but it is pretty cumbersome to carry very far. Unlike the newer model it carries nicer with the backrest down and away. For hike-ins on the East side where there isn't a lot of brush I have an old REI Cruiser frame that has 4 straps with QD buckles that I clip it onto. MUCH nicer carry that way. I also have a couple of expedition rucksacks that it will slip into easily with pump and all the other gear I need

The Fishcat and Scadden V boats look real nice. Does the H3's rockered tubes make it more efficient to fin? Or does it put less flotation on the water that would offset the any gain from a rocker hull?

I hear the Gliderider was a pretty good tube and after Wood River closed up shop is available from Sparton in UK for $475 + shipping (and duty) along with replacement tubes for WR Us and Vs.

The SuperCat is expensive but looks like a cool tube. Does it sit you up higher than a V or a U? Does the height create any issues with leg position for efficient finning? Does the frame keep the tubes back behind you when carrying like a pack frame? Any comparisons to an Outcast Prowler?
The SuperCat tubes swivel inwards and are held in by an adustable strap for back packing. I have done two laps around Lenice in one day fishing, finning is no problem. Notice in the photo that I wear waist-high waders instead of chest waders. Specifications: 6'2" 215 Lbs. SS
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#14
Without bothering to check the specs, I still believe that the Outcast Trinity is probably the lightest available and certainly of good quality. One thing that gets overlooked, however, is that being very light and having the high, canoe-like, kick up at the front makes it very sensitive to wind and therefore a bit of a problem to keep tracking straight or to maneuver accurately.
I've got both the Trinity and a Super Fat Cat. While the 'prow' on the Trinity does indeed stick up, it isn't nearly as high as the SFC.

In either case, the mitigating factor is my 200+ pounds of body mass, clothing and gear, which tends to keep my direction or position relatively steady in all but the strongest wind.

K
 
#15
Kent,

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?