Diy packraft "long-term" reviews?

I’m a newcomer to this forum, but mikec’s trip reports of traverses in Alaska over the last several years have me intrigued. Not being one to plunk down a bunch of change, and since I like working with my hands, I am intrigued by diy packraft.

My biggest hesitation is durability. The author of the one longer term report I could find ( spent a decent amount of time fixing seams over a 4 month trip. While I don’t foresee any trips of that length, I also don’t want to constantly fix a boat.

Has anyone built and used one of these rafts for long enough that they can add another data point?


The fabric is the same (enough) as the stuff alpaka uses that it will last a long time (more than 20 years with good care and possibly repairs depending on use). 3 factors affect fabic durabilty: 1 ultraviolet light 2 bacteria 3 abrasion. When you build it yourself you are already primed to make high quality repairs to it which is simply to reheat seal with an iron, whether it be a seam or a patch; glue should only be used as a last resort or field repair. I built mine similar to the people in that article u reference, gluing every seam hoping it would cure my hasty heat sealing and ran into the same issues. It is very satisfying to build (v2) and does takes much time and patience. That said I do plan to build another once the v3 ultralight plans come out. In summary I recommend it, it really opens up a new realm of possibilities

Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like the construction is easy to mess up in haste, so slow methodical construction is the way to go. I just want to make sure that I can make a high quality raft before diving in.