Works better than you'd think
My friend has one of these that we used to float around a local reservoir a few times. I ended up purchasing my own to bring on my desert and camping trips. It's a riot.
Love the concept and design. I realise its intended purpose/use is for flat water travel (lakes and deeper river crossings). Thus, I was not surprised that when I used it on the Kwetabohegan River, in Northern Ontario Canada, it got a bit scratched up on the first trip. I was a bit disappointed at the time but the scratches were not deep ones. It was a warning sign for me to not abuse this vehicle beyond its intended purpose. On these Northern Ontario rivers the rocks are sharp and gagged, not smooth pebbles like many of the stone covers I've seen in review videos online. If you are going to use this to run a river or creek, then make sure you have high enough water levels that you are not scrapping bottom. I applied some very high quality adhesive tape to the spots that got the worst of the scrapping just to be on the safe side. As I mentioned earlier none of the scrapes became holes. I was actually a bit careless. My travel companion got tired of carrying their pack so we loaded everything into the raft and I roped it down the river and was kind of dragging it over some spots. So, in the end it was my bad. I like this raft enough that I recently purchased a second one. I hope to use it more heavily this coming summer season on the Moose River to jump between islands when I want to go hiking with my dog. I won't be using it across large river channel crossings because the wind can whip-up some large waves here that even a paddle canoe would have a struggle getting through. I find this will be best served to jump between shorter (wind protected) channels between islands in the Moose River delta. In the end, it is a great hiking tool for places where hiking is restricted to the shorelines of islands that are affect by tides. It all comes down to respecting its intended use and design functionality. If you go beyond that, then there will be risks involved in terms of swamping (from waves) or scratching (from abrasion against sharp objects). I'm still looking for a webbed pair of gloves that goes an inch beyond one's finger tips, as such an accessory would be a perfect match for this outback, adventure tool.
The raft works great but the tube isnt long enough to properly add air when you're in it. I do plan to add the tubing to it like Kyle suggested. I've also thought about if the boat bottom was inflatable like the sides are, you might be able to get some extra buoyancy and rigidity, and maybe some insulation from the cold. I'm about 6' and my legs just barely fit, The raft works best for me when I leave some extra volume in the back roll-up for some extra buoyancy to compensate for my weight. Overall its pretty cool, and I haven't seen anything quite like it. I plan to go on lots more adventures with it.
Perfect for the size.
Love the rapid raft. Took it out on the lake last weekend. It seems very well made and I'm not too worried about puncturing it. 2 downsides though. One is the thin bottom which gets cold from the water. I put down a wool blanket and that seems to work well. Two is the position of the inflation valve. The raft seems to deflate slowly and having the valve behind you makes it difficult if not impossible to reach. I'm gonna go to home depot and get some length of rubber tubing to extend it. Sure that'll work.
12+ trips in and this thing still rocks, Customer service A+++
I bought a Rapid Raft in the original Kickstarter after seeing how cool it looked, but I never imagined what I could do with it. I purchased the raft with the intention of using it for marsh pond retrieves duck hunting as I don't have a duck hunting dog. I figured it would be good for some quick paddles here and there to cross a river, or get a fallen bird. Since I've bought it, I have yet to use it duck hunting, but have used it for just about everything else. My first trip ever on the Rapid Raft took me down the Buffalo River on day trips, and due to low water levels, I unintentionally torture tested it for 8+ hours a day for a week. Grinding against rocks and sticks for hours, it held up great with minimal abrasion. I unfortunately left it in the sun one day and the expansion and heat popped a seam, but a quick patch and I floated for two more days problem free. Once home, I contacted the company and explained my situation and they worked to with me to get a replacement. It has taken me 25+ miles in a day, carried me and 60# of gear (I weigh 175#) packrafting through Arkansas without flinching, I have even strapped a 29+ mountain bike and gear to it and bike-packed down the Wisconsin River. I have made minor additions such as adding 1.5" D-rings to the strap points, and adding about a foot of tubing to the top off valve (5/8" ID tubing slides over air tight, no need to tape or glue permanently) to reach it easier while paddling and reinforce the valve from kinks. It does drop a small amount of pressure over time, regardless of the roll-up job, but it is easy enough to top with 2-3 breathes here and there. Never have I ever felt unsafe in it, even charging rapids with weight or floating over 30+ft of swift water. Awesome Job Uncharted