DIY Cargo fly

Anybody tried this? After having a closer look at the photos it seems that the zip is stuck on the outside which would mean a retrofit would simply involve:

1.) cutting a gash in the raft the same size as the tizip that is going to be stuck on
2.) sticking the zip over the gash with intense 2 part urethane glue
3.) Maybe putting a flap of material inside the raft that presses against the zip when blown up (in the same way it is better to fix a big hole from the inside)

Or am I missing something fundamental?

If postage wasn’t so stupid from Australia I may consider sending it to Alpacka but it would almost be worth buying a new boat with the outfitting.



Hi Jeremy,

As far as I can make up from the pictures & vids currently available, the zipper is not sewn and glued directly on the craft, but first incorporated in a round-cornered rectangular piece of tube fabric, which is subsequently attached to the boat.
Presumably, there might also be some kind of reïnforcement to prevent the incision to tear further open.

Note that the addition of a cargo zipper directly affects the integrity of the tube that provides both stability and buoyancy - make sure to do your homework before putting your scissors in the craft. :slight_smile:

b.t.w. - did you already found a distributor of TIZIP zippers?

good luck, and keep us informed!


Hey Jeremy,
I personally would have liked to install my own Cargo Fly instead of shipping my boat back to Alpacka. I feel I would have even done a better job gluing it on, as it is I have already had to re-glue the edge where Alpacka did not get the glue all the way to the edge. I did this immediately after I opened the box I got from Alpacka, not wanting to get sand/grit in the area to be re-glued, or have the area lift even more. You can find T-zip zippers on Ebay occasionally, you just need to find the right size. I kept looking for the right size, but in the end I got my tax return money and said screw it & shipped my boat in, good thing since they raised the price recently. There is no special reinforcement. just a piece of fabric with rounded corners glued over the outside edges of the zipper. I love the Cargo Fly, the improved way the boat paddles loaded up, and would recommend it to anyone, but you definitely do not have to be a rocket scientist to install one. You do need the inside bags, to protect the boat and keep the load from shifting. Another item easily made, zipper or roll top dry bag made to the right size but it does need to be inflateable after loading it in the boat (protects the tubes), plus it adds secondary flotation.

On a side note, if you put two small pieces of bungee cord on the bottom of your backband and tie it off to the rear seat tabs it will keep the backband stable and in a upright position. You can also get rid of the upper strap and do the same thing on top with bungee cord to get the weight down and it allows the backband to move more freely yet stays suported. 4 points of contact, 2 up, 2 down.

Hi Guys,

Thanks a bunch for the comments, it is great to get some feedback before ripping the boat up! I ordered an oversize zipper last week from ebay and will probably have to cut it down and add some backing material for it before adding it to the boat. Also, regarding the dry bags, I am going to try and make an ILBE bag into an inflatable and if necessary make another SUL one out of cuben/sil or something similar for my soft goods (down bag, mat etc). I guess I could even add some velcro to inside of the raft that I could attach the bags/ individual items to?

Kirkinbend: Thanks for the tip re back rest. Funny you mention that as I made myself a new rest yesterday which cuts the weight by 3x and also connects to the back. I put a second strap across the back so it couldn’t rotate and then just a single tie out to a new patch I will install at the very back when I do the zipper. I was using the back patches previously but they are now almost dead (ripped up). When I receive my new camera I will take a couple of pics (as well as my new v3 thigh straps) on the blog.


So here it is, functional but a bit messy. Next time I would do things differently but definitely well within the scope of DIY…


This doesn’t end well. Now to patch a gash!


Nice to have this DIY on Cargo fly…

Here someone has done it. Only reference is made to a blog that does not seem to exist and food grade warehousing… Maybe even send an email? It seems to me in principle not very complicated , I read that Alpacka the zippers are not sewn but completely glued .

All processes must be perfect in DIY. A cockpit was added for a more scale-istic appearance!
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