Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Size Raft?

Hi All,

Bill Strong Denver Here!

I received an email over the weekend asking what size raft I recommend for family day-trips and short multi-day trips.  You'd think that would be an easy question to answer, but for me it isn't.   Obviously it all depends on the size of your family and what your needs really are.   I consider a "short" multi-day trip anything under 7 days.  If you go longer than that, some considerations on gear etc are in order (particularly the grade of cooler you use).  More on that later...

We started with a 14' raft and it has served us well for over 8 years.  When we started with that "family-raft" my kiddos were 2 and 4 years of age.  Yes, we did some rafting with our kids that age...mostly the Pumphouse run of the Colorado.  In general the 14' raft worked well for day trips down the Colorado, Browns Canyon on the Arkansas, the Roaring Fork and other fun class III type runs.  It also ran some fun class IV's as well.

We also ran it for many multi-day trips down the San Juan, Lodore Canyon of the Green, and other multi-day trips.  It served us well on trips up to 6 days.  Longer trips require a bit more gear...and I've been accused of being somewhat of a gear-hound.  The 14'er worked fine for those trips.   That said, as my kids get older, and they want to bring friends, we will move up to a 16' raft.

If you're just getting started I'd probably suggest a 14' raft like the above.  As time goes on, you might find yourself moving up after your kids reach an age where they want to bring their friends on longer trips.  More than 2 adults/2 kids on a 14' raft is pretty tight if you're also hauling all the gear my kiddos like to have along.  Squirt guns and water cannons alone take up a lot of room.  WATER FIGHT!!!

Have Fun!

The Family That Rafts Together, Laughs Together!

Bill Strong Denver

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