For the love of Packrafts

If you are like me and finally figured out there is no such thing as the one ultimate packraft.
(even though most may have tried to find it, and some may think they have)

  1. How many Packrafts would you need to have your complete set up?

  2. Which Packrafts would you have in your perfect set up?

  3. Which Packrafts do you own today?

  4. Have you sold/stopped using any Packrafts and why?

My Answer:

  1. 4-5 packrafts

A quick kayak-like packraft.
(Already have it: “MRS Nomad S1D”)

A very forgiving WW packraft.
(Soon have it: “Alpacka Gnarwhal SB”)

A sporty technical playful WW packraft.
(Maybe “Alpacka Wolverine” or “Valkyrie”)

An ultralight backpacking Packraft
(Thinking “Uncharted Rapid raft” maybe)

A highly packable but capable allround packraft.
(Suggestions= MRS microraft, Kokopelli Rouge, Alpacka Caribou)

MRS Nomad S1D
Vikingraft Hellion

Norseraft Loki (sold, first packraft),
Norseraft Viking (sold, wanted the MRS),
MRS Microraft M (sold, wanted the Nomad), Kokopelli Rouge lite (sold, smaller then expected and got a great price for it)

Great question @Joelhero.

In the past few years I’ve owned:

  • Kokopelli - Nirvana ~ Spraydeck (w Ti-Zip)
  • Kokopelli - Rogue R-Deck (w Ti-Zip)
  • Alpacka - Expedition (w Ti-Zip)
  • Kokopelli Hornet
  • Alpacka - Classic

I largely agree with your list, although I’d say:

  • Whitewater - kayak (Valkyrie)
  • Whitewater - traditional (Wolverine)
  • Ultralight (Scout)
  • Bikerafting (Caribou)
  • Tandem (Forager)

Oh super excited seeing an answer. Really thought this question would catch fire. I’m completely sold on the whole “packraft fleet” idea.

Wow that’s quite the list’

I like your choices’ spoken like a connoisseur’ specially on the American market.

I see your kokopelli’s aren’t with you in the final list though, can I ask why?

Tweaking your questions a bit, and answering:

List all the packrafts you own or have owned, in chronological order:

  • DIY Packraft Ultralight (sold because it was too floppy and I was constantly fixing slow leaks)
  • DIY Packraft Skeena (Fun project, good first boat, sold because it didn’t handle in white water nearly as well as an Alpacka, and because I was constantly fixing slow leaks)
  • Kokopelli Rogue (bought this and Alpacka Classic at the same time, blew both up in my living room, returned the Rogue. I wrote up explanation here, and I feel much more strongly about my choice now than I did then. Inferior in every way, and not that much cheaper.)
  • Alpacka Classic with WW Deck, backband, foot brace, and self install 2 pt thigh straps. (Still own, still enjoy. Just purchased self bailer conversion kit, and will probably choose this boat over Wolverine for creeking unfamiliar water when we have to do a ton of scouting and some portaging. Just so much quicker to get in and out of a self-bailer with 2 pt straps)
  • Alpacka Wolverine w WW Deck (Awesome, go to boat, noticeably more sporty than the Classic.

What boats would I add to my collection, because they would be ideal for particular uses that my current two boats aren’t ideal for:

  • Alpacka Valkyrie: I got to try one, it’s fucking rad. Takes a higher level of skill, but with that skill you can do things you can’t with any other packraft. Using the boat will increase your skill. Valkryie is to Classic as Porsche 911 is to Cadillac.

  • Cronin Inflatables Chetco: This will be released soon. It’s a 14 lb tank, rediculously stable. I want one for bombing down runs I have no business trying to paddle in my packraft. It’s pretty hard to fall out of one. More details coming soon.

  • Alpacka Forager: Taking out my girlfriend and my dog, going on a trip with a buddy where we can take turns fishing.

  • Alpacka Ghost: Alpine lake fishing. Canyoneering.

  • Alpacka Scout: UL trips, making class II rapids more fun when paddling with less skilled paddlers

  • Alpackla Ranger: Expeditions where weight is everything

  • Kokopelli XPD: Cheap indestructible stable boat I can get on sale at REI and loan to people who want to try boating and wouldn’t be able to appreciate a nicer boat anyway. I haven’t paddled one, but I like the concept.

  • Because I know and like the guys from Go North Rafts and CD Packrafts, I’ve been very tempted to try one of their boats.

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Hey @Joelhero,

I don’t have any Kokopelli’s on my final list because, between them and Alpacka – money not an object – I’d take the Alpacka’s at this point in time.

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Love this, @CaliPackrafting.

I’m looking forward to hearing more feedback on the Ghost + Valkyrie. Wondering if the weight-saving is worth it for the durability loss versus the Scout?

Also, solid concept with the XPD loaner. It’s wicked durable - that’s for sure. 1000d PVC raft material hull.

I’m interested to see how people respond to this with accessories in the play as well (e.g. self-bailing, deck vs removable deck vs no spray deck, backbands, seats, etc.).