Review and Analysis of Anfibio Fly paddle
Fly is an ultralight paddle by Anfibio. Overall, it offers very low weight (just 460 grams) for a fully functional 5-piece paddle, combined with secure grip and quite surprising versatility (see below for more details).
In my view, the main application of this paddle is twofold: (1) long expeditions into the wilderness, where some parts will be done on water, and (2) shortest trips that may include some water related activities (e.g., finishing in remote inaccessible areas).
I received this paddle to conduct a test during one of my autumn expeditions to the mountains of Siberia. In this report, I provide an overview of the outcome of the test.
More technical information is available under the following links:
Test Location and Other Details
Just as with Anfibio Nano SL (this link goes to a separate Nano SL test), I tested the Fly paddle during a solo expedition to Putorana Mountains, a very isolated basaltic plateau far north in Siberian Arctic. The expedition combined the elements of trekking, packrafting, and some montaineering. Photos and more information on the expedition can be found here.
Pros and Advantages
Let us start with the iteration of the most important advantages:
(1) Ultralight. It weights exactly 460 grams. This is one of the lowest weights you can get, for the offered durability, and definitely for the given price (< 100 euros). Only Supai Olo paddle weight slightly less, but I describe below the associated trade-offs.
(2) Durable. I used it without paying too much attention, and while – as with anything ultralight, one should be careful not to throw it around too much – it will not break down after some standard field usage, unless you really try hard.
(3) Simple and easy to mount and dismount.
(4) Versatile. Here comes a cool bonus. Anyone who has been to Putorana, knows that the terrain is really tough. I took with me some carbon ultralight trekking poles, to cut weight wherever possible, and guess what – one of them broke down on the second day (which never happened with my old BD poles). Now, the problem was, I used my trekking poles also as tent poles! Here, the Anfibio Fly paddle proved to also be a very capable backup tent pole 🙂
(5) Comfortable to use. Its relatively large diameter enables secure grip and enough comfort for long paddling.
(6) Small when packed. It takes little space when packed.
Anfibio Fly vs. Supai Olo
To the best of my knowledge, the only paddle model with lower weight is Supai Olo. Its disadvantages are (1) smaller diameter, making usage more clumsy, (2) length lower by 20cm, (3) higher (by 2x) price, and (4) overall lesser robustness.
Anfibio Fly is in my view a great ultralight paddle for expeditions that may involve packrafting, where low weight is of primary importance, but durability is also key. It will also work great in other situations, for example daily fishing hikes in some distant lakes.