Mini-shockles to secure pack

I’ve seen packs secured with something that looks like these mini-shockles:
(bungee inside nylon webbing with carabiners on ends).
For those of you who use something like this, what length do you use (mini-shockles come in 18 and 24 inch at REI), and what brand?

I used two 18 inch mini-shockles on a day run on the Upper Salt River here in Arizona. The shockles held a small, 15L dry bag on the bow nicely. I didn’t get to test the security by flipping though :slight_smile:
The dry bag was so small, it looked like it would easily slip out, but twisting the two shockles around each other three times in the middle created a nice bar to the X that held the small drybag securely.
The twisting made the shockles into the shape of the Alpacka backpack tie down. However, I’ve seen the Alpacka tie down in action and was not impressed. A packrafter using the Alpacka tie down flipped. When he grabbed his pack to turn the boat upright, the pack came right out of the tie down.

The Alpacka tie down is 1.25 oz
Two 18" mini-shockles are 8 oz
Two 59-inch-long 3/4" webbing straps with ladderlock buckles 2.4 oz (this is what I’ve been using, very secure, but must be occasionally tightened throughout the day

I often do river runs with the packraft (all rafting, no packing) where weight is not as much of an issue. I’m going to definitely give the mini-schockles a try with a full size pack since it is so convenient to attach a pack using the shockles.

As the originator of the Alpacka tiedown, but posting here as just me, I don’t mind saying it’s not a perfect for all packs and situations. I just reworked an idea I saw other boaters using, so credit for the design really goes to the community. In truth, there are a lot of good tied-down solutions, and I like seeing them. My all time favorite was seeing Matt McGoerty (sp?) use bicycle inner-tubes to lash a pack to his bow. As a caveman myself, it earned my eternal respect.

The Alpacka backpack tiedown isn’t meant to be click-and-go, no-think for all packs and situations. It’s meant to be click-n-go for Class II & lower situations, and higher if the tiedown and pack interact in a really good way. I don’t want to seem like I’m “pumping it,” but I do want to clarify some of the design thinking, so folks have an insight into it. Part of what’s going on there is…

  • :arrow_right: Quick-Release: A primary goal in this particular design is the ability to quick-release the pack, particularly for dicey situations…
    :arrow_right: “Dump-Leash” Option: It’s designed so you can “leash” your pack with a light carabiner or cord to the tiedown system, so you can quick-release, get the weight off the bow, and flip the boat without a “sea anchor,” particularly for smaller boaters. Hig & Erin turned me on to this.
    :arrow_right: Under-wrap: it’s also set up with the idea that, if it doesn’t fit one’s pack well, they can run an auxillary tie-line underneath the topside webbing & buckle, basically sandwiching it.

So I agree there are a variety of good solutions, based on your situation.

I’ve also had fun with heavy-duty rafting cam-straps, actually, and got about 50 lbs. of firewood onto my bow using those. Definitely, these are secure! I’ll take a look at the Alpacka product description for out backpack tiedown, to make sure it’s clear, as well. Thanks!

I bought 18-inch mini-shockles and used them with a pack packed for three days. I did one wet reentry practice. The length is right for a full pack, they kept the pack secure during the flip-on-a-lake practice. They are heavy (8 oz, but that can be reduced to about 6 oz with something like the Nite-ize S-biner) and very convenient. Only one carabiner needs to be unhooked to get the pack off if one shockle goes across the bow from rear tie down to rear tie down, and the other goes across the bow connecting the forward most tie downs - with a side trip to loop over/under the rearward shockle…

Carol where did you purchase the shockles and what was the cost? From your post I assume they worked out much better than the pack tie down I had when we ran the verde?

Hey Jason!
Shockles are available from
Slightly cheaper here:
Sometimes available at REI (often sold out)
The 18 inch ones work great.

Yep, the shockles worked a lot better than the Alpacka tie down. Shaggy notes above that the tie down is more meant for lower class water. The shockles are heavy though! And I reverse my position that Nite Ize S-biners will reduce the overall weight. The biners that came with the shockles are only 0.8 oz each and actually are lighter than the size S-biner you’d probably want to use - so you’re stuck with 8 oz of shockle.

3/4 inch webbing straps work for me at only 2.5 oz - but are definitely not as convenient as the shockles.