2-person inflatables/boats questions


Steelhead Addict
Are there any 2-person inflatables that are:

1.) a.) compact for transport (will fit in large SUV)
b.) quick to set-up & take-down (less than 10-15 minutes)
2.) lightweight (definitely under 150#, preferably under 100#)
3.) can handle whitewater (nothing dramatic, but the typical I-III stuff on good rivers)
4.) allow good fishing (standing?) from the front position
5.) have good capacities (800lbs, 1000lbs+ preferable)
6.) not astronomically expensive (would like it under $3k, less is always better).

I realize I may be asking a lot, but it would be nice to find something perfect.

The only thing I've found so far is the Water Master Rock Creek 2-man raft, but it doesn't appear to be capable of stand-up fishing in the front. I'm also a bit leery of its ability to handle whitewater loaded up, given how small it is.

Do I just need to suck it up and get a trailer? (I'm very much trying to avoid this, as I always travel 500mi to water, often 1k mi+)

Are there 'toons/rafts that can be loaded up on top of an SUV for short trips once at the destination? Anyone do this?
A "standard" raft fitted with a bare bones frame would probably be your best option to meet all your requirements. (Try to find a used Aire with an intact warranty or something similar, then drop a rowers frame on top (which can be car topped or better yet stored in the back of an SUV).) Setup isn't that difficult if you get one of the car battery pumps and don't mind deflating the raft at the end of the day.


Active Member

Check out Aire's deals page. They have a 12' Tributary self bailer raft (i.e. 12.0 SB) for $2000, you could easily get oars, make a good frame, get straps/life jacket, pump etc. for another $1000. If you don't use a trailer a raft will rig twice as fast as a cataraft. If you can operate a drill and have a chop saw, I can tell you how to make a great aluminum fishing frame for this boat for less than $400. An Aire Trib 12 self bailer would hadle any rapids you could think of, fish well for 2, pack small, set up fast, has a 1200 lbs capacity, and do week long trips of you back backpack style or a couple night trip with more stuff. I would jump on it fast if already didn't have 3 boats.


Active Member
Rafts are great and I had one, but they are horrible without a trailer. Folding it up after each use, when you are tired at the end of a day is no fun either. The worse part was lifting a heavy frame around with only one person. They are nice with two people, but get a trailer since the total weight will be well over 200#.

I'd go with the Scadden 80# rig if it were me.

Also, you can use it as a one-person rig anytime you want with no hassle.


Active Member
A trailer is the way to go regardless for speed. But for long hauls 350 miles+, I don't use one. You are also going to want to have a rack on top of your SUV to store the oars and/or frame.

The scadden rigs would treat you right. However, to accuratley compare, lets get the info straight.

It's defenitely not harder to roll a 12' raft than totally dissasemble a 12' pontoon boat and store it in your SUV. If you have a 2-way elecctric pump you can suck that thing down no problem and roll it right up. It takes way more time to take down the cat and store it in my truck than the raft especially by my self. (I have both a 14' raft and 12' cat/toon).

For example, a 12 toon will generlaly have between 6 to 8 straps that need to be installed per each side to hold the pontoons onto the frame. This equals 12 to 16 straps just to get the frame on. It only takes 4 straps to get the frame on the raft. I guess unless you reall want to get your Strap-On going then the Raft wins in this category. Any good quality toons have 2 chambers each making for a total of 4 that need to be inflated. The Aire trib with the thwarts out (the way you would have it for fishing) also has 4 chambers to fill (three chambers around the side and then the floor). With a good electric pump, total filling time will be about the same between the raft and toon.

The 12' Aire Trib self bailer is 105 lbs. A good aluminum breakdown frame following my construction method would weigh <40 lbs. Way shy of 200 lbs. My name aint Hoss and I can pick up all my frames (cat and raft) easily by me and I can pick up my 14' raft (rolled) too. I don't think I have ever seen a 12' raft frame that a normal sized man or woman couldn't easily pickup by ones self. Some of the larger conduit frames with integrated wood decking for larger rafts are heavier though, but I don't particularly like those anyway regardless of weight.

However, there are other considerations, mostly what you think your primary purpose will be. Here is my final 2 cents:

If you plan at all on doing over night trips stick with Aire 12' raft instead of the Scadden. If you go up to a bigger cataraft/raft (say 14) then it is a wash, If you are only fishing with 2 people it is a toss up. If you are going to be mostly solo fishing with an occassional second passanger then I would probably go with the Scadden as the individual pieces weigh less.

What ever you get, one boat does not perfectly meet all needs over time. You might as well start saving up for the Navy now.
Good Luck


Active Member

This boat with some love is a sick boat that is light weight and packs up fast and stores in a car/suv. We added a new frame, oars, and the front seat. Lots of fun.

Rick Todd

Active Member
I have the Scadden 2 man as well. I also have a 12' raft, a 17' drift boat, a 9' toon and an
8' toon. The Scadden is fitted with 2 slide out standing platforms an electric motor for lakes, and some nice Carlyle oars. It is super easy to row, does well up to CL 4 whitewater, and fishes really well. It does everything a raft does, it easier to row, lighter in weight and my wife would rather ride in it than my drift boat. Go for the Scadden! Rick

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Outcast Pac 1200. I can roof top it onto my SUV all by myself, and I'm a whimp. I think that I could disassemble it quickly and fit it into my SUV easily in under 15 minutes. I think I can assemble it from the back of my SUV in under 15 minutes. I roof top it because I'm lazy.

I got mine used for a very affordable price. I do not know its true capacities as rated by the manufacturer Outcast/Aire. I do know that a normal sized dude can stand in front and fish while I'm rowing him down the river. I know that my wife can sit up front and my two young girls can sit on an add on platform behind her seat and above my (the rower's) feet. Best of luck finding what you need.
Here's the best deal I've found on a two-man rig, the Scadden McKenzie Drifter.

Take it apart, roll up the tubes and stash the frame in your SUV in just a few minutes...


If you find something better... let us know.
I think I must agree with Riverman,a few of our friends have 12 & 14 ft pontoon boats and a few with 12 & 14 ft rafts and being on the river fishing with them both,I must say that the pontoon owners are drinking beer before the raft owners due to how fast the pontoons break down & store versus the raft guys.One of my buds has a 14 ft pontoon boat,2 piece frame that he hauls in a 1/2ton tundra short bed,unstraps tubes,throws the 2 piece frame in bed of truck with the oars & his fishing gear & cooler,then ties on top of his truck (in which he has a canopy on) his pontoons,he never deflates his tubes,but he always lets a little air out of them while storing.But all said,most of them now have trailers,way less hassle.
But the best advantage of the scadden pontoon is,you can make it a 1 man set up which will even make it easier to use & lighter to handle & easier to store in you suv.
Here's a good one for a decent price on Kiene's Forum; boat is in Sacramento area.


I carry my 10'-6" Scadden (set up with 2 frames joined together for fishing with my grandsons on stillwaters) on a Yakima rack on top of my shell on a GMC truck. I can load/unload it myself with two pieces of 1" PVC sleeved inside the crossbars that extend them out 18" over the side of the truck. I set the boat up next to the truck, step between it and the truck and lift it up by the inboard tube. Kind of like the old clean-n-jerk weightlifter move. Place the top tube on the PVC extensions, move to the other tube and raise it while sliding the top tube from the extensions onto the crossbars. I'm no spring chicken; 56, 6' and 180. With 2 men it's a snap. I've carried it on top from 200' elevation to 9000' at 65 MPH. Must stop about every 3K in altitude to adjust air pressure.