Inflatable SUPs are great, as they let you fit a functional board in the most crowded car, allowing you to enjoy paddleboarding without having to carry an uncomfortable amount of gear. Problem is, most inflatable SUPs are still too big to bring along whenever you’re going on an extended hike to some secluded waters in the depths of the wilderness. The Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry wants to change that.
Designed specifically for hiking and backpacking, this inflatable SUP packs down to a compact pile with the dimensions of a mid-sized backpack, all while weighing a reasonable 23 pounds with all accessories in tow. That’s right, it’s a full-fledged SUP in a backpack that’s far from oversized, making it viable for those times you need to hike, climb, or fight a difficult boss to your desired destination.
The Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry inflates to a proper board measuring 130 x 30 inches (length x width), with a volume of around 218 liters. Weighing 14.8 pounds fully inflated, it’s light enough to carry straight into the water, all while having enough floating power to maintain balance for riders up to 240 pounds. From what we’ve seen, this is the lightest packable SUP of its kind, making it a great option for folks looking for the most portable board they can bring to those remote paddling spots. It has a drop-stitch TPU construction, by the way, so it should hold up just as well as most inflatable SUPs out there.
Getting the board ready is pretty straightforward, as you simply inflate it like other SUPs and snap in the two included fins using the single-click mounting mechanism. The soft blade paddle is the trickier part, as it actually comes in a collapsible design that’s one of the reasons why it’s able to compact into such a portable bundle. They do, however, offer instructional videos for assembling the paddle, which you’ll definitely want to watch while practicing since the paddle is far from the most straightforward thing to put together. If you can get over that hump, though, you’ll be rewarded with a functional paddleboard setup you can take anywhere.
The Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry comes with its own backpack, where everything is meant to fit inside its compact shell measuring 23 x 14 x 12 inches (height x width x thickness). There’s even extra room in the bag with everything already in tow, so you can stash a few personal essentials, complete with stretch pockets on the outside for water bottles, as well as a sternum strap and hip strap, if you want to keep the whole thing stable during your hike. It’s a dry bag, by the way, so water won’t be able to get in or out (great for holding wet gear fresh out the water), complete with the option to secure to the board while you’re paddling, giving you a place to stash snacks, gear, and supplies.
Is it as good as a regular SUP? We doubt it. The Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry, however, offers arguably one of the best options you have for paddling in areas, where cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles will have a hard time reaching. It’s available now, priced at $1,249.