Inflation issues?

I just got an Alpacka Llama and I’m confused about how to best inflate it. The air bag system they have seems cheap and badly constructed. I don’t know why they couldn’t just throw in a pump for the price of it. If it’s windy you fill the bag with air but then it spins around, twisting and cutting off the air flow into the valve and making you untwist it.

Also, shouldn’t there be a one-way valve in the main valve? It’s just a hole that opens directly into the inflation chamber. I don’t know how the air is supposed to stay in while you’re inflating it. Am I doing something wrong?

Have you try it? it is working very well, very light and simple and easy to fix in the wilderness if something went wrong. If it is not windy, you simply catch air inside the bag. A boston valve have no advantage over that simple system and, the boston can fail. You finish adjusting the pressure with your mouth via the secondary valve. Simple, light and reliable.
At home, i use a Coleman electric pump to inflate the boat. The electric pump have not enough power to do any damage.

From the Alpacka FAQ:


You can purchase a cheap pump if you really want to. With a little practice you will fill the raft up quickly.

I’m able to inflate my 2015 Denali Llama with 7 - 8 bags of air and then 10 - 15 blows on the inflation mouthpiece. I’ve tried it with a foot pump and the bag is actually faster. I agree that the bags appear flimsy, but they are so light I don’t mind carrying them. I’ve also inflated my boat completely with the mouthpiece. That takes a bit more time (and can leave me dizzy for a few seconds), but it’s effective enough that I don’t worry about the durability of the bag on a long trip. if the bag packs up I’ll just use the mouth piece.

That said, I’ve now had my boat for a year and probably inflated her 50 times with the original bag that shows no signs of wear.

For me the key to accepting the bag and lack of a valve was realizing that all I needed from the bag was to bring the boat to the pressure of the surrounding air, keep any weight off the pontoons so they can take their shape, and put the cap on the inflation port as soon as air backs into the bag after squeezing it in. When removing the bag and capping the port there is no rush as there is no pressure. Take your time to avoid cross threading the post and cap and then use the mouthpiece. I do work at getting air in via the mouth piece and can get the hull as hard as I want. I’m convinced the inflation system is brilliant and couldn’t be improved upon as long as you’re planning on carrying everything for a multi-day trip.



I been using Alpackas now for about 4 years now in an commercial environment and our customer are not always that careful with the bags so we had to repair pretty much all bags and put little re-enforcements over the sites and the bottom parts where the valve is attached. No problems since :slight_smile:. The system is brilliant super easy super quick and very easy to fix in the field. On all our multi day trips we honestly never had any problem with the bags.


I had the same issue first time in the living room. Outside is much different and as one said, you figure out how to manage the bag for air and not to crimp. 7 pumps sounds great and i don’t think you would ever go beyond 12 as you get better and better down to 10… or 7 is really good.
Same as the other suggestions… practice.

I bring along a boston valve cap as back up in case I loose my regular cap. It is slightly too small to fit the threads, so I wrapped a little gorilla tape around the threads so that it stays tight and doesnt leak.