Alpacka Explorer

I recently tried the llama and it was a bit tight. Not sure if it’s my 260lbs, size 15 feet or 6’-5" height, it’s likely all three. I’m looking at the UR Explorer and wonder about two things; the bow has no upturn and the extra width. Although I will primarily be paddling lakes, there are always occasional whitecaps and I may venture onto some class 2 (max) white water. Is it worth having the bow custom upturned like the other boats or will the tracking be compromised more than the gain on wave riding and splash deflection? The other concern is the width of the boat. The boat is wider than the Llama and the tubes don’t narrow towards the front like the other boats. Any issues with kayak type paddling? I don’t ever anticipate getting the rowing equipment. Any comments /experiences would be appreciated!

Hi Stretch,

the Explorer was my first Alpacka/Packraft (own 4 by now), and I still love it! It is my multi purpose boat. It is simple, stripped off anything, easy to use … for newbies, for bikerafting, trips with children or even with a partner (by seat modification I can set up any sitze I want)

Dont bother with a upturned bow. The explorer bow has enough floatation to ride over waves pretty dry, but the extra draft/dragging (waterline) makes it indeed faster! Equally, the symmetric hull wont be an issue for your size. Your feet even wont be as cramped as in a Llama.

The only thing you could consider is getting a custom spraydeck, if you are planning to go beyond class II WW. But ist can also be done later in a retrofit.

I think you will be very happy with the Explorer.


Sven, thanks for the input. In looking at many of the pictures that have been posted, it appears that the Explorer has a substantial bow and perhaps a slight upturn and should do fine for any waves I might encounter. The Llama worked but if it had had a spray skirt, I wouldn’t have been able to use it as my legs could not go straight for very long without the raft pushing back and bending my knees. With my big feet, they could not go side by side in the bow either.

Exactly, that is what makes the Explorer more comfortable. If you are in need for more convincing pics, have look on my Gallerie too. Especially the older albums have pics with the explorer.

Have fun!


It has been almost a year since I last wrote asking for advise on concerns I had about the explorer since the DL was a bit short. We went ahead and purchased two rafts. My wife purchased a decked yak and I got the ur explorer. The fit couldn’t have been better for us both. We originally rented three rafts, alpacka, yak and DL through which was very helpful. Without trying them first I would have selected the DL and I would have been disappointed. The rafts have been one of the best gear purchases we have made. Altough initially we got them for remote lakes, we have also used them for access around home in Sacramento, CA. I just did some local urban packrafting. There is parking all along a light-rail line that runs close to the American River Parkway. The end of one line is in Folsom where I parked my vehicle and “packed” my equipment a block to Lake Natoma, part of the American River complex. It was a four mile paddle to the dam where I packed-up my gear and walked a half mile or so down to the Lower American River where I launched and then floated for 14 miles into Sacramento. I packed-up again walking on streets about a mile to a light rail station where I rode back to my vehicle. I could have done without paddling the four lake miles but the river float was great which included two class 1+ rapids and lots of wildlife. Total time including lunch and waiting for the light rail train was just over 8 hours. The rafts are slower than our kayaks but much more fun on moving water not to mention being able to make runs like I just described without two cars, all the parking fees, etc. Nothing as exciting as some of your adventures in Alaska and far off lands but fun none the less!

I really enjoy everyone’s blogs!