Llama vs. Unrigged Explorer

Hello packrafting community! The time has finally come for me to order one of these rafts! WooHoo!

I live in SW Oregon and there are several whitewater rivers out here. As I’m 6’ 4" I have naturally limited my choices between the Llama and Unrigged Explorer rafts. I have a few curiosities that perhaps can be satisfied here.

I seem to gather that the Llama is more maneuverable and suitable for whitewater. I do intend on going through whitewater given the abundance of it in proximity to me, and I want to ensure I get the right raft. The Unrigged Explorer appeals to me, however, as it can later be upgraded with a rowing frame and the rest. I also like the fact that it can pack more weight or a passenger…I can envision many situations where this would be a boon to me. However, I seem to get the impression that it is less well suited for rougher water. I guess what I’m asking is what the functional differences between the Llama and the UR Explorer are when it comes to more technical water. I don’t foresee myself as a whitewater prodigy, but would certainly like to be able to get through it efficiently and don’t want to be held back because of my equipment. I suspect that the difference in performance between the boats for a relative novice like myself are negligible, but I just want to get the most for my $ given what I intend to use the boat for.

Thanks for your help!

Reading what Alpacka say about the design of both boats, their intended roles and hull profiles, I guess that if you really do want to go whitewater Packrafting… Buy the Packraft designed for whitewater! :exclamation:

Getting the most for your $ won’t really matter if you get a boat which is not designed for whitewater use, and as a novice, use it for whitewater and come to grief!

I guess that experienced whitewater Packrafters could do just fine, but if you’re not, then don’t! Buy the Llama, perfect your skills, know your boat, and respect your limitations.

I bought a Llama for myself, and an equipped Dory/Explorer for myself and passengers, and I do not (yet) paddle whitewater as I have neither the inclination or skill.

Others far more qualified to comment than I, will hopefully do so.