To Cargo Fly or not to Cargo Fly…
Oct 3, 2022 at 5:46 pm #3761232christopher witterBPL Member
@cwitterLocale: Mid Atlantic
Zero intention on whitewater, mainly rivers and lakes, bikepacking and backpacking. While I can see the utility of the Cargo Fly, I’m not sure its worth the extra expense but I’d rather make the decision based on other’s experiences vs. trying to save a few bucks and regretting it later.Oct 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm #3761234Michael GillenwaterBPL Member
@mwgillenwaterLocale: Seattle area
cargo fly would be pretty unnecessary unless you are looking to have good boat control and then you will want some kind of thigh straps anyway. Save the weight and added failure point.
although you desire to get into more rough water may change over time.Oct 4, 2022 at 2:47 pm #3761267James TaylorBPL Member
The cargo fly is a huge pain that will leak and requires constant maintenance, and then fails if you don’t treat it like a princess. Avoid it if you can. It sounds like you can.Oct 6, 2022 at 12:14 pm #3761348Paddy MBPL Member
In my opinion, the cargo fly is a must if you are going to do any sort of overnight trip, or any paddling carrying gear. Having a pack on the bow is actually a much bigger deal in flat or open water than it is on a river. Not only does it increase the boats (already considerable) wind resistance, it makes self rescue more difficult in a situation where you can’t just swim to shore.
It is also much, much easier to keep your sleeping kit etc dry inside the boats tubes than in a pack on the bow.
Yes, the cargo fly zipper has to be maintained, but it’s not high maintaince. I’ve had it covered in some hedious sand, mud and silt, and it still worked. IMO your repair kit must include a stiff bristled toothbrush, a water bottle nozzle that allows a “squirt” and zipper lube. If you have those, it will work forever.
But the real take away is to look at packrafters like Roman Dial, Brad Mikaljohn, Luc Mehl and Mike Curiak who were around before the cargo fly. None of them are paddling fly-less boats.
If the cost isn’t prohibitive, there’s no major downside. If you never open it, you never have to maintain it. But it will be there if you want it.
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