EXPLORE RENTALS REVIEWS
There is no greater point of pride than the wonderful comments and reviews our guests have provided over the years. Here is some of the awesomeness:
If you looking for the best way fish some skinny water by boat around Bozeman, The SmithFly Big Shoal Raft is your best option. During the past couple weeks Collin and I have had the chance to test this “mini raft” and have been seriously impressed with its performance.
The idea behind this boat is to comfortably float three people while two people fish; one in front and one in back. Drift boats and standard 14 and 15-foot rafts can do this as well, but are not as maneuverable and can not navigate through the smaller river channels like the SmithFly. I’ll go over some of the great features of this raft.
Personally, I don’t care to fish from a raft. They are sluggish in the water; rigging them with gear is a hassle. The floor is always wet and not very stable. Personal items always get lost in the bottom of the boat. Fishing lines and gear seem to get tangled in the frame; etc. etc. The SmithFly has solved these issues. It has hands down the best floor in the industry. It has a drop stitch floor with a hard foam pad on the top and almost a seamless integration with the surrounding tubes. This makes moving around in the boat easy and comfortable, even in bare feet. The boat is self-bailing but there is never any standing water on the floor unless it comes over the top of the tubes. Even then it drains and dries quickly. The Frame is one solid piece, making it very rigid and minimizing “catch points.” Even though the raft is relatively narrow it is extremely stable. Standing on the side tubes will not tip this boat. Whitewater is no problem either. I wouldn’t take it down a class-5 rapids, but it can handle more that a drift boat. The smaller size is an advantage also because everything in the boat is close. Fishing equipment and beers are easily passed between passengers with minimal shuffling. It can handle almost any water that comes its way. But it has the advantage of being narrow and floating high in water making it much easier to navigate smaller rivers and side channels. Overall we love this boat.
A couple things we don’t like…
The oars. They are Sawyer SST oars, but they are a little too flexible. You get used to them after a while, but they do not instill confidence and are definitely not a strong as larger oars found on larger boats. One other downside is NO CUPHOLDERS. Finding a place to put a drink is hard. If you have a cooler that has drink holes in the top that would help. Honestly though, the boat is stable enough that you don’t need them. Resting beers on our Canyon 55 cooler (which by the way fits perfectly in between the main tubes, and under the front seat) for about 20 miles in total we had zero fall off or overboard.
One of the best features of this boat is that you don’t need a boat launching site. At 125lbs dry this boat can be picked up and put in the water almost anywhere. Check out the video below of Collin and I putting in on the lower Gallatin River near Manhattan. It was a fishing access site, but there was no boat launch. So we carried the boat about 100 yards to the water and were able to float a section of the river that most don’t. Handles are plentiful around the out side making moving it easy from any side.
Ruth tried her best to get the large stick out of the way for an easier launch. 🙂
Kelsey (I think was her name) was wonderful. She was very helpful and courteous. We were very comfortable in our suburban and relieved to have it when the snows came.
This is simply the only way to rent in Montana. You are getting genuine, caring personal service, lots of great advice and access to all the outdoor equipment you need. Oh, and the vehicles are great, too. We’re from New Zealand and this is a brilliant way to rent from offshore. Definitely give Explore a crack!
I was in the Bozeman area for a few days and needed a rental car to visit some land I bought in a relatively remote area of the state. After checking out the national brands, I came across Phasmid and liked that they had the exact type of vehicle I needed (a Subaru wagon) at a decent price. So while I knew nothing about Phasmid, other than the Yelp reviews, I figured a local company was worth a shot.
I don’t think I’d ever use anyone other than Phasmid in future trips to Bozeman. First, they met me at the airport and drove me to their lot (about a mile or so off-airport) to fill out paperwork. It was a very friendly way of arriving and everyone there helped with information about the area. While I didn’t use any of their complimentary services (camping, fishing, etc.), another customer who had rented a Suburban with a camper was just returning and raved about the experience. I have every reason to believe that Phasmid can outfit your outdoor adventures in a way that the national brands can’t.
My car was a “road warrior” (higher mileage car) but it drove like a new car. I drove a lot of miles and saw the odometer turn over to 70,000 miles during my trip but I bet most people would have thought it was a new car based on how it drove and the interior comfort.
The return of the car at the end of was very easy…I drove to the Phasmid office, filled out the paperwork in a matter of a few minutes and they drove me back to the airport.
Even if Phasmid had been more expensive than the national chains it would have been a good experience. Phasmid was actually cheaper for the type of vehicle I wanted.
This is the company you want to rent a vehicle from if you’re looking for something that is SUV-ish, particularly if you are also going to be camping, fishing, skiing or exploring the back country.
Way more than 5 stars!
I rented a “road warrior” Outback and camping gear for a spring trip to Yellowstone. You guys were fantastic from start to finish. Great advice on what kind of gear we’d need, which car would work for us. Friendly staff on the phone and inperson – the airport pickup was excellent. I was surprised as well because despite being outside the airport, this was the fastest I’ve ever managed to get through the rental car process. And then when we got stuck in traffic and were in danger of missing our flight home, you guys really saved us with the flexible return process. I can’t thank you enough for such a great experience. I second the reviewer who said “wish you were everywhere!”
What a fantastic customer experience! We thoroughly enjoyed your employees (Laura gets well-deserved kudos, and a new windshield), your vehicle, and your excellent customer service. We will certainly look forward to using your car rental agency for our next trip.
Our 10 day trip to Montana got off to a rough start with flight cancellations and missing suitcases. But Laura’s smile, and patience, helped us feel welcome once we arrived. She waited while we dealt with the airline and gave excellent directions to the nearest mall, where we could buy something to wear until we were reconnected with our lost luggage. Their office was quite close to the Bozeman airport and we were quickly on our way. The car was a new Subaru Outback in a nice metallic brown – we named her Goldie, in the tradition of personalizing the Phasmid fleet. She had lots of room for four adults and, eventually, all their bags. After 2500 miles to Whitefish, Glacier and Yellowstone, she felt more like home than any of our hotel rooms.
I highly recommend Phasmid car rentals for their convenience, courtesy, and outstanding customer service. My medical students will tell you I don’t believe in grade inflation, but these folks earned an A+!
From talking to Will to reserve the vehicle, to being picked up at the airport, to us dropping the vehicle at the airport at 5 a.m., the Phasmid experience surpassed any other car rental experience we’ve had. While we did not have any malfunctions, we did have some unexpected warning lights appear near the end of our 3 week rental period. We called Will and he was able to dispel any concerns. Turned out to be a minor situation. We would recommend Phasmid wholeheartedly.
This trip of ours was made special by so many means and the service from Will and the Phasmid company was surely part of the experience. He went beyond our expectations to please us and make our stay so memorable. Thank you so much brother and we will be seeing you again in two years. You are a wonderful person and I very highly recommend this service to anyone who is renting gear or a vehicle in the Bozeman area. You will be highly satisfied for sure. A+++++++
It was so nice to be able to take a family trip and not be squished. Our trip included Great Falls, Glacier and Yellowstone. We will definetly use Phasmid again for our next family vacation.
We were picked up at the airport and taken back to the Phasmid Office to finish paperwork. We were provided with a map of Montana (we were first timers) and given our interests, Will pointed out & marked suggestions on the map. Phasmid staff is kind, caring and totally customer oriented. Highly recommended!
You guys are awesome. SO GLAD I decided not to rent from the big national rental car places. I needed quite a few extras, 2 car seats, a pack-n-play, the works. Everything was on time, in perfect working order, and the entire transaction was as smooth as it possibly could have been. I expected to pay a little more with a local rental car company, but even that wasn’t the case… I ended up a couple hundred dollars less than the others in my group who rented from the national guys. I seriously wish every company had the level of customer service these guys have. Thanks for a great experience!
Phasmid were top notch. The Suburban was immaculate, handled just as it should and we felt very safe in if. Our whole experience was very smooth, from booking to returning the car. All very easy and accommodating. We would definitely recommend you and will use you again when we next come to MT. Thanks!
Arrived by bus from Yellowstone and found we’d left a pair of glasses on the bus. Will from Phasmid was willing and helpful in every way, and only thanks to his tireless efforts we can set off in our Subaru Outback for our big wolf adventure, complete with the recovered glasses! Thanks very much, Will. We would recommend Phasmid to other Australians travelling to beautiful Montana!
Some say it’s scary to go off the beaten path.
Our experience with Will and the Phasmida operation is head and shoulders above any other rental, EVER!
The whole experience was easy going, friendly, and helpful. Pricing is competitive and an all wheel drive vehicle was guaranteed available. No other rental company would make this commitment.
We had a 2014 Subaru Outback. Other than a door nick, that Will pointed out, it was like new!
The experience exceeded my expectations in every way. Everything was perfect!
I highly recommend Phasmid car rental. It is great to know the exact car you will rent (subaru outback) and not have the company change at the last minute to a less desirable model. We have a small child and they had just the right car seat of just the right size for my son. This is a well run business and it was all around a very pleasant experience.
Needed some equipment rental but not car rental. Phasmid went out of its way to meet my unique needs, even though I was certainly one of their smaller customers. If I ever have an event here again and need transportation, this will be my car rental company as well.
Best auto rental we have used in the West. The Outbacks are in great shape.
We rented a Subaru for a 10 day winter trip to the mountains and it was an outstanding experience from start to finish. Will went out of his way to meet our needs. Definitely recommended!
We got a subaru from Will for the week we were in Montana and had a blast driving it all around the state. This is a great company and its locally owned, I really recommend Phasmid rentals
Fantastic! Friendly, helpful and punctual. Take our advice and skip the mega monster rental company’s and choose this Montana based outfit. We will be back next year!
My wife found Phasmid Rental on Tripsadvisor as they have good review. I was not 100% sure. However, thanks to my wife, it’s by far the best car rental experience that we had. Firstly, Will waited for us at the airport to pick us up at almost 11:00 at night. Then the process to go through the paperwork is just as simple. Will even explained to us how we can save some money as we already have our fully covered insurance. We were going to rent one bear spray and turned out Will gave us 2 for 1 price. When we return, we had to drop off our car at 6:00 in the morning and Will was already at the shop and waiting for us and he personally drove us to the airport at the end. We never know a little bit more money and get the services go to far. What a great experience!!
I came for the Bear Spray & stayed for the rental! Don’t go anywhere else. Customer service is not an oxymoron here. Was looking to rent bear spray for a trip to Yellowstone. I had already rented a car from a national chain but ditched it after speaking with the owner, Will. While I paid a little more than what I had originally booked. I got twice the car and 10 times the service. It was overall the best deal in town. Not only did I rent a car and some bear spray, I got many good tips for restaurants, sights, good place for rafting, etc. There is no substitute for good local knowledge. We will be coming back over the next few years as our son has stated MSU and I wouldn’t think of renting anywhere else. Out of town MSU parents take note!
It was a pleasure doing business with Phasmid and meeting you both, Will and Emily-Ann.
The Subaru fit my needs perfectly and ran great. The addition that I could get equipment and supplies from you was a very nice extra and the price was great!
I hope your business continues to expand. Your car rental business is in a class by itself.
ur 4 th fishing trip in Montana was a total success ! Quick, a new date in 2014 for our next trip with Phasmid !
Thanks a lot Will.
Olivier – French Team.
Best rental experience ever. Will was awesome. When we arrived at the airport Will was there to meet us with a sign with our name on it. He helped us load the car and took us back to the office, where we took care of the paper work. We rented bear spray (a must in Montana). He said we needed 3 of them but didn’t charge us for the extra ones. His communication skills were top notch. Every time we had a question he responded immediately. We would defiantly recommend and will rent from him again. Thank you Will for an outstanding job.
Following are excerpts from your website. I found it to be right on. Thanks for doing what you do.
“Meanwhile, an unexpected twist has developed. I have fallen head over heels in love for Montana. The people, the water, the mountains, the open space, the small towns- everything. Our primary model can be summarized in one simple word, share.”
My son Jordan and I had a great experience in Montana and Yellowstone using the nice Subaru Outback we rented from you. We did most of the things you suggested and enjoyed them all. And the car performed beautifully. I hope you found it where we left it at the airport parking lot. I’m afraid it was a lot dustier than when I picked it up – unless yesterday’s rain washed it off. We didn’t have any rain on our Friday, Saturday and Sunday adventures.
I took the Hwy 86/US 89/Brackett Creek Rd loop you told me about and ate lunch at the Wilsall Café. We took the Trail Creek Rd route toward Gardiner. We ate at The Garage in Bozeman. We followed your advice about the bears. Not a trace of a bear on our hike. Everything was just as good as you promised.
We are eagerly looking forward to our next opportunity to return to Montana.
Great service. Appreciate the attention to detail and being treated like a human.
Renting through you guys made our trip easy and enjoyable. Hugely appreciative of all the little tips and recommendations you gave us. Both of us feel that Montana wouldn’t have been as good without them.
Rented a Subaru Outback from Phasmid and the service was incredible. Flew in from Florida and we were picked up the next day at the hotel. Great communication and service. The car was a new Subaru Outback with all wheel drive and super clean and nice. Wil was very helpful giving us info on the area, maps and recommendations. After a week rental, we dropped off the car and were brought to our hotel (had an early AM flight). Prices were great for the vehicle and service we received. The car made us feel safe (you know us Florida drivers have no idea of “snow driving”) and the service excellent… Would recommend to anyone planning on coming out that way.
Thank you for the great service. We never used a rental car company that offers the service and attention you do. Made our trip a breeze.