Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry Review: The Ultimate Packable SUP

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With the release of its first hiking stand-up paddleboard, Pau Hana has expanded the range of paddling spaces.

As someone who does a lot of stand up paddling, I wish I had a board when I hit beautiful body of water. And it is often during my backcountry trips that I find myself in this dire straits.

While it may seem obvious to return to site with a board, most boards are too big or too heavy to be transported to more remote destinations. That was until I was introduced Pau Hana’s Solo SUP Backcountry ($ 1,249).

Pau Hana means “after work time” in Hawaiian and the company is all about designing boards that people can use to go on the water and play. Although they already had an expansive one Quivers of boardsNot having a lightweight, easily transportable board ideal for backcountry adventures, they set out to create one.

Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry Review

Solo SUP Board: nuts & bolts

The Pau Hana team spent weeks designing, packaging, and redesigning boards until they had a model that met their size and weight goals without sacrificing performance.

The 14.8-pound board is part of a package that weighs just 23 pounds – including a compact pump, stuff sack rucksack, travel bag, repair kit, coiled leash, paddle, and fins.

That makes the Solo SUP revolutionary in size, weight, and beats other packable SUPs we’ve seen by 2 to 5 pounds. (The board itself – at nearly 11 feet – weighs only 14.8 pounds.)

The SUP only is an all-round board model with dimensions of 10’10 “x 30” x 6 “and a volume of 240 L. The 14.8 pound board is compatible with riders up to 215 pounds. The package contains everything You need: the board, the compact pump, the pack sack, the accessory travel bag, the repair kit, the coiled leash, the paddle and the fins.

Now it’s not the first packable SUP ever made, but it competes with that Red Paddle Co. Compact board for the smallest overall package. And there are two main differences that make this board remarkable: the board bag and the paddle.

Unlike other inflatable SUP packages, the Solo SUP comes in a Pack sack Backpack that works to store yours SUP (and other important items) dry. The bag is made of TPU and has a fully removable strap that can be stowed in the bag or used to attach the bag to a bike.

Long-sleeved author Mary in a red PFD paddling across a shallow lake in British Columbia

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To be both ultra-light and stable, the board features woven drop stitch technology, which means two layers of lightweight material lined with woven fabric are attached to thousands of points on the board. In addition, the board contains a structured traction pad, a woven fabric base and two-layer side rails.

The solo SUP paddle

The most revolutionary part of the package is the Solo Paddle. While there are many three-piece paddles out there, this paddle breaks into four pieces and has a fully rollable blade for easy storage.

In addition, the lightweight and adjustable paddle can be configured as a full-size SUP paddle or a packraft canoe style paddle.

PauHana Solo SUP Backcountry

Our opinion

Out of the box, there’s a lot to love about this board. It’s smaller and weighs less than any other dinghy I’ve ever come across. And the fact that it is packed in a pack sack? Genius.

The bag offers additional space inside for snacks and essentials as well as two bottle holders on the outside, which is very much appreciated. It is designed like a backpack for backpackers.

It includes a chest and waist belt for a snug fit that is essential for slimmer hikers. My only complaint is that the hip belt isn’t padded so it digs in easily if you’re wearing light clothing.

When I first saw the paddle, I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical. The rollable blade is great for packaging, but I had doubts how it would work.

It’s by no means a racing paddle, but I was impressed that it paddled as well as other simple, adjustable paddles I’ve tried.

The shaft was a bit slippery when wet so I would recommend adding a little handle or wearing gloves if you plan on getting your hands wet.

It was mostly easy to set up and take down, with one exception: the paddle. Putting the paddle together isn’t intuitive, but Pau Hana has a great instructional video on their website. I highly recommend observing this and experimenting with putting the paddle together before heading into the backcountry.

Other than that, everything was pretty simple and it was easy to put the board and accessories back in the bag.

PauHana Solo SUP

Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry: Conclusion

Although the board wasn’t as stable as a hard board, it ran well and was easy to navigate for an experienced paddler. Overall, I am impressed with this board and am delighted with the doors it opens for paddle exploration in hard-to-reach, remote areas with longer hikes.

There are many other lightweight inflatable SUPs geared towards travel, but this was the only one we found that was specifically designed for hiking.

The Solo SUP is available for $ 1,249 and is a little more than your typical all-round inflatable board model. However, it is in the middle of the market for compact travel models and a board of this length and size.

Red Paddle Co.’s compact inflatable raft is priced at $ 1,899. However, lesser-known brands like it Huntington G4 from NIXY cost $ 825, and they differ in features and weigh a few pounds more.

In my personal opinion, the Solo SUP gives you the best bang for your buck. With the Pau Hana Solo SUP, you can hike to remote destinations, check them out on a plane, or take an excursion over land. The possibilities are endless.

Check the price at REI

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