The STAR High Five Self-Bailing Raft will ensure big grins in the eddy, they are unavoidable when running whitewater, raft angling and more. With a pronounced rocker, diminishing tubes and a high-pressure drop stitch floor, the STAR High Five Self-Bailing Raft is built for running whitewater, fishing tiny streams, compact overnight trips and much more.
STAR High Five Raft Review by Simon Coward
This is a review of the STAR High Five inflatable whitewater raft based on my experiences with it in various settings. STAR was bought by NRS a couple of years ago, and the High Five has been a very cool addition to their line up over the last couple of years. This raft is great for whitewater, and can also be setup as a fishing platform or for overnight trips on mellow floats.
STAR HIGH FIVE RAFT OVERVIEW
My first interaction with the High Five was as a paddlesports retailer a couple of years ago in Oklahoma City. There was a demo day on the whitewater course there, so we took the STAR High Five for a spin.
We jumped on and did two laps in this thing on some man made Class lll whitewater, and it was a hoot! I was a raft guide for many, many years. I still do raft trips on whitewater and multi-days.
Getting in the STAR High Five was kind of like a whitewater kayak version of rafting, which was really neat.
STAR HIGH FIVE RAFT FEATURES
RIVER RUNNING SHAPE
The High Five is just over 9 ft long. It has diminishing tubes at the front, meaning they just get a little bit smaller. This helps the boat ride up and over waves if you're in whitewater.
The High Five comes with a couple of thwarts. So if you are setting it up with a frame, which we'll talk about later on, you can mount two thwarts here.
Typically, if you’re R2’ing on whitewater, you can have one person front and back with just one thwart as an extra bit of rigidity, and also a spot for people to put their feet.
SELF DRAINING FLOOR
The STAR High Five has a self-draining floor, like all whitewater rafts. It also has a nice stiff drop stitched floor. If you're not familiar with drop stitch floors, basically it just helps you pump it up really tense so that you've got lots of rigidity in the boat. This rigidity makes a big difference in performance.
The High Five also has high quality valves and is constructed from PVC. This makes it relatively lightweight, coming in at around 90 lbs.
STAR HIGH FIVE RAFT PERFORMANCE
So the reality of this raft in our neck of the woods here in the Rockies is its versatility. If you're an experienced whitewater rafter, you could take this out on some technical Class lll - lV with a capable and competent partner and have an absolute riot. It's super lightweight, super maneuverable, and it's reinforced on the bottom.
The STAR High Five raft is definitely designed for whitewater. It's really durable but the lightweight feel of it in the whitewater is what I really, really dug. From an R2 standpoint it's just zippy and maneuverable and you can get where you want to go.
This raft is not cumbersome like a longer, heavier raft. Conversely for the fishing folk and anglers out there looking to access small streams, little rivers, even sheltered, flat water, you can very easily put a frame on here. This includes a simple one, all the way through to a fancy angler frame with multiple seats, casting platforms and all those sorts of things.
You can access some really small creeks and rivers that you otherwise would either have to hike into or kayak into or pack raft into. And the STAR High Five is big enough for a couple of fishers. I haven't tested this, but if you had two people and wanted to go on a multi-day long weekend fishing trip, you have the capacity and you do have the space. You'd just have to pack a little lighter than a normal rafting trip.
For me, I actually got a High Five for myself this year. I have a young family and this is how I'm gonna get them into a bit of whitewater rafting with paddles.
I think overall the versatility of this boat is fantastic. It's super lightweight. You can use it for whitewater. You can use it for recreational float trips. You can use it as an amazing raft fishing platform. And the STAR High Five can get to those outta the way places that others can't get to. You could fly fish off of it. You can spincast off of it. No worries at all.
STAR HIGH FIVE INFLATABLE WHITEWATER RAFT SUMMARY
The High Five is relatively inexpensive, especially when you compare it to Hypalon boats or other bigger rafts.
It's a great way to get into the rafting game. Super versatile, really durable, super fun to use for whatever application you've got, whether that means angling, whitewater, or multi-days with a couple people.
The STAR High Five raft is a fantastic option, at a great price point, really durable, and backed by NRS, who are a fantastic brand.
- Ideal for 2-4 paddlers who want to challenge themselves on technical whitewater, or you can row it on smaller streams where larger boats can't go.
- Diminishing tubes punch through waves and create more room in the bow and stern compartments.
- A 10 cm thick drop-stitch floor insert inflates to a rigid 8-10 psi for stiff and responsive whitewater performance.
- Two removable thwarts with three thwart positions let you set up the boat to suit your paddle crew.
- STAR rafts and catarafts are built with advanced-formula PVC material using state-of-the-art seam welding technology, resulting in superior abrasion resistance, longevity and air retention.
- Heavy-duty tube and floor material shrugs off encounters with rocks and the wear and tear that comes with years of adventures.
- Wear patches on the tops of the tubes add a layer of protection plus better traction for paddlers seated on the tubes.
- The BAT system (Batten Attachment Thwart) lets you easily add, move or remove thwarts. The floor insert also attaches to the self-bailing bottom using the BAT system.
- Three separate air chambers in the outer tube keep you afloat in the event of a puncture.
- Top-quality Leafield C7 inflation valves ensure trouble-free performance.
- Includes ten 5 cm stainless steel D-rings and two carry handles.
- High-pressure hand pump required to fully inflate the drop-stitch floor.
- Includes repair kit.
- 5-year retail warranty, 3-year commercial.
|Tube Diameter:||46 cm|
|Diminishing Tube Diameter:||42 cm|
|Number of Thwarts:||2|
|Bow Kick:||74 cm|
|Stern Kick:||74 cm|
|Number of Air Chambers:||6|
|Valve Type:||Leafield - C7|
|Type of Material:||PVC|
|Weight/Denier of Tube Material:||48/2000|
|Weight/Denier of Floor Material:||62/4000|
|Number of D-rings:||10|
|Number of Handles:||2|
|Center Compartment Width:||71 cm|
|Suggested NRS Frame Width:||122 cm|
|Maximum Frame Length:||127 cm|
|Warranty:||5 Years Retail, 3 Years Commercial|