looking for advice with first packraft purchase.

hello. wife and i are looking at picking up a pack raft. ive been poking around the forum for the last few weeks trying to locate info that would pertain to us. ive done searches for info regarding the rafts we are looking at and found a lot of good stuff, but havent been able to answer all of my questions. hoping the expertise of the many can chime in and keep us pointed in a positive direction.

our background. we are avid campers. we spend as many weekends out as possible and a lot of the places we end up going have cool water features that we are hoping to take advantage of. we are not experienced boaters/rafters/paddles whatsoever, so no whitewater planned at this point. mostly looking for a nice durable raft for leisurely floats down lazy rivers & creeks along with lakes.

we are looking for a 2 person raft that we can stow in a backpack and zip to and from our destinations and camp via hiking, biking, motorcycling, and shuttling with the camper. ive looked at the different brands ive seen here and elsewhere and keep gong back to the alpacka rafts. theres not really a ton of options ive seen out there for 2 person rafts but the alpacka rafts seem to be a good fit and people seem to be happy with their products in general. since the gnu is no longer offered we have been looking at the explorer42 and the forager. we are open to suggestions from other companies at this point as we are still researching. if you have a suggestion, please post up and let us know.

the main question i have between the 2 alpacka rafts is regarding the self bailing option. my wife currently has a condition with her foot called CRPS. its a long story that i wont get into, but her foot staying dry is a major factor otherwise severe pain ensues. we know getting wet is part of this sport, but until she goes into remission, we need to be diligent about trying to keep her foot dry. when in the alpacka rafts with the self bailing option, is it possible to keep your feet dry in calm waters? we have been out a couple of times in rafts that didnt have the self bail and we had no problems at all. ive run a few rivers with friends in self bailing boats and unless you were in the whitewater it was pretty easy to keep dry.

have been favoring the forager for its room and gear capacity, just not sure the self bailing option would be a good move at this point with where we are at with her recovery. its just hard to tell from pix of the boats if youd be able to stay dry or not. can anyone elaborate furher?

I have a first gen Explorer 42. It would be too small for your needs. I am awaiting the new packraft out soon. Perhaps give Alpacka a call for info on that one and please report back! It may be what I need for a tandem fishing raft.