New stuff for 2011 from Alpacka!

New stuff for 2011

Happy New Year everyone! We want to inform all of you Alpacka users about everything new we are offering this coming season. We have a newly formatted website coming out soon and all of these items will be showing up when we change over.

BOATS: new designs, new models!!

  1. Boat designs….welcome in the BIG Booties! We have been experimenting with extending the butt of the whitewater boat (that is still in development) and we like it so much better that we added it to all of our models. We have extended the butts of the all the boats another 11 inches. It is as radical as we can get the design to go! We have thoroughly tested the extended butt design in every boat style and all of the testers feel that it is a huge improvement. The results are:
    • The boats have greater stability and tracking, and they ride substantially more trim in the water- without weight needed in front.
    • There is also no loss in turning ability with the extended but. It is a win/win situation.
    • There is also a pointier bow on the new boats.
    The only downside is that it takes a bit more fabric to pull the design off. Although the weight difference is only 2oz, the radically shaped pattern really eats up the fabric. As a result we have to add $30 to the cost of the boats… we think the price increase is well worth it. We think you will too.

  2. The Scout, with the addition of the bigger butt, is now a much drier boat. The Scout is so much nicer, with its new booty, that it is hard to compare it to the previous model. We’ve added a throw-in mylar pillow to use as a seat. It weighs only 3 oz and costs nothing. Think of it as a mylar balloon on steroids. It can also double as a camp seat or a sleep pillow. Inflated and placed in the boat, the seat is almost even with the top of the tubes. This enables you to sit up tall and enjoy the view from the lake. Add our new ultra light Scout paddle and you have the ultimate lake setup. New ultra light paddle you say? Keep reading…

  3. For you serious weight crunch people…we now have a SUPER light-weight paddle! We took the Black Diamond Carbon Probe ski poles (which make nice hiking poles, ski poles, etc.) and had paddle blades fabricated that will pop onto each pole tip. We chose the Carbon Probe poles because they screw together to make a nice paddle shaft. We found that you can’t get the hand grips off any of the other hiking pole options out there- a necessary step that allows you to combine the two poles into one long shaft. Sawyer Paddles is constructing the blades- each blade weighs just 3oz. For a mere additional 6oz you can transform your hiking poles into a nice lake paddle. NOTICE: this is not a paddle for rivers or anything similar. It is delicate- but it sure works well gliding across that backcountry lake. We should have these available by March.

  4. Another item arriving by March is a new variation of the Scout. It is floorless and has an aluminum frame supported seat. This boat is for lake fishermen, as it is a cross between a fisherman’s float tube and a real boat! It works great and weighs just 3 lbs.

  5. A larger floorless fishing boat is coming out, hopefully by March as well. This boat is two inches longer than the Fjord explorer. Unrigged, it will weigh around 7lbs and fully rigged, it will weigh around 13 lbs. The full rigging setup will come complete with oars, rowing frame, and a folding rigid floor. The floor can either be folded back, to slide legs and fins down into the water, or it can be pulled forward to make a kneeling and standing platform. You can also adjust the amount of weight you want to carry based on what you plan to do with the boat. For example: you can use a kayak paddle and leave the oars and rowing rig at home. It is really an exceptional fishing tool.

  6. The whitewater boat is still in testing. Contrary to rumors it has not disappeared. We will let you know when it is ready.

ACCESSORIES : new stuff!

  1. We finally found a glue, that can be bought locally, and works well for putting on patches and grabloops. It can be bought at any ACE Hardware Store. It is the ACE brand Flexible Vinyl Mender. If you don’t live near an ACE store, we will sell it online. We can ship this glue UPS ground but we cannot put it in the US mail. This, unfortunately, makes the product unavailable for international shipping . We will be putting a column on the website about how to best use this glue on the boats.

  2. We have two new dry bags. Pac Outdoors discontinued the dry bag we have been selling for several years. We found two great replacements at the Outdoor Retailer show. Actually, we think they are even better than the PacOutdoors bags. They are both 65 liter bags made by SeaLine, a division of Cascade designs. One bag , the Ilbe Sack, is tough enough to hold its own outside of a pack, while holding up to abuse. It weighs just 11oz. The other bag, weighing just 7oz, is in all honesty the way the Pac Outdoors bags USED to be. These bags are big and light weight, but tough enough for the extra abuse incurred in packrafting- a rare find indeed. Both of these bags are winners.

  3. Pac Outdoors also discontinued the sleeping pad that we have carried for so long. Apparently we were only one of a few groups carrying it. We looked and looked at the OR show but could not find anything similar to that air only pad. The replacement we finally chose is a pad from Cascade Designs: the Thermarest Pro-lite Pad. It is an excellent pad for the boats. The only downside is that this pad is more expensive. But they fit the boats really well, are very light weight, and are pretty tough.

  4. For anyone with questions about how to get around the requirements the Park Service has on dual air chambers (for river travel on some of the rivers they manage)……we have a very cheap, funky, and simple solution. We have some 5mil mylar bags that are very long and narrow. These bags can be fed through the main valve in the boat. We taped on a simple nozzle valve for inflation. It is quite easy to reach in through the main valve and pull the interior nozzle up through the main valve hole to inflate this “inner chamber”. It gives you quite an adequate second inflation chamber. It is easy to use and weighs just 3 oz . For those of you contemplating serious open water crossings like Hig and Erin did, on their epic journey, you might consider putting one of these in as well. They are only $5!! They are easy to put in- you just roll the bag like a long cigar and shove it through the main valve. They are a bit of a pain to get out, though, but they do come out with a little man-handling. You just have to pull pretty hard to get it back through the hole. You won’t hurt the boat, and if you damage the mylar getting it out you are only out $5. Give us a call with any questions.

When are the new boats available for purchase? If I ordered a llama now would it be one of the new ones?


Looks like going more towards traditional kayak shape.

Hmm, not sure what to think. Like to try first of course . Generally for the better (except added weight/cost), with tracking and stability, but how in edgy situations with pressure of water like holes and waves?

Isn’t the tail then to collapse/twist, thus having a less defined reaction of the boat? Whats with the original Idea of your body being the frame? It is still a low pressure craft after all.


Does anyone know if those pictures are of the whitewater prototype or the standard with the additional 11"? Looks more like a “packayak” than a packraft. I’m excited! Packrafts finally have a bow and a stern and look more like a boat than an inner-tube. On multiple floats out last summer I had been discussing how to get more of a kayak feel or shape out of a 5lb package. Looks like they figured it out!

I see that the site is updated with the new specs. Looks sweet, definitely getting one this spring! What were the old specs (or what are the differences besides the stern)?

Yes, I was puzzling over that. AFAICT there’s more bow too.
All up a Llama is half a metre longer; now 2.4m, was 1.89m according to some online specs.
The width and internal dims are the same I believe. And no more flopping down seat back as you hop back in!

There are two roughly similar pics - old and new - here

Well done Alpacka and well spotted Esben.

Chris S

That is indeed a radical move and I wonder what that half a meter more means in terms of (hull) speed, the greatest limitation for packrafts so far. This is a feature not mentioned in the improvements (next to tracking an stability).

Also, I am surprised half a meter more boat would mean only 150g more in total weight (according to the specs: Lllama old 2,25 ; Lllama 2011 2,4 kg without spraydeck).

Looks like going more towards boating. For me an odd look I have to get used to :wink: I liked the cuddlesome appearance :slight_smile:


The boat does seem to have a little better hull speed. I haven’t actually done the acurate measurements yet and it most likely won’t be a big difference but I suspect there is some improvement. It sure paddles straighter, and that is a huge plus. I just got back from a week of paddling on the ocean with the new boat and it was a great improvement over the old design there as well. This is still a small boat that angles between rocks on small rivers really well. That big butt just allows it to handle bigger waters better.

As to wondering why it doesn’t weigh more with all that extra length, you have to realize that most of the change is the amount of air it holds in the butt. The quantity of actual fabric used is not much different, it is just the shape of the material that is radically different. Hard to describe acurately, but it is what it is. The very odd shape of the stern pattern takes alot more fabric in the layout but the actual piece when it is cut out does not have that much more fabric in it than last years piece. Think of making an S shape that is 6inches tall and 5 inches deep. Now make an S shape that is 6inches tall and 9 inches deep. The actual line of the S is not that different but the amount of space it takes up on the page is quite a bit more.

Yes, the look of the butt is very different, and the old boats were more “cuddly” but I haven’t seen anyone use the new boat that didn’t think it was a huge improvement in boat handling ability. There appear to be no advantages of the old design over the new one.

Cheers, Sheri

Thanks for explaining on this one Sheri :slight_smile:Can you also respond to edgy situations with pressure of water like holes and waves?

You said it can handle bigger water better, but what is with the original idea of your body being the frame? Like stated above, it is still a low pressure craft after all. How does the tail perform in this (rare) situations? Any twists?


Can’t wait to get one of these new boats. May go back to using a Yak…although the Llama is a big stable boat for big water.

The principles behind the boats have not changed. Your body is still the main frame. Having more air in the stern gives the boat more rigidity, not less. There is a more solid feel overall to the boat because it is better balanced in the water by itself. If you just move yourself forward in any alpacka raft to get the boat to ride more trim in the water then you are actually decreasing your stability slightly. This is because of the low pressure in the tubes and your butt not being supported by the stern wrapping around it. The boat can have a slight tendancy to buckle where your hips are located when it gets into heavy water. The weight of your butt is pressing down on just the two side tubes rather than the curvature of the tube in the butt wrapping around you. In short you are working against the dynamics of the boat, not with it.

The greatest stability the boat has is when a person’s body “fills the boat”. Ideally you want your body to fill the boat’s cavity and have the air in the tubes do the balancing of the boat. For a packraft that is the maximum stability. Much more stable to have increased air capacity in the stern than to move yourself forward to try to achieve a more trim line in the water. I have seen no tendency for this boat to want to twist or torque. The only place it is funky that any of us have seen is trying to surf it in the ocean. With that large pointy butt when the wave breaks in back of you it pushes the butt to one side or the other. It is hard to keep the boat straight. Obviously this is not an issue in the river, the butt is a help in trying to surf there.

We have taken a long time to get to this design because I didn’t think we could pull it off. It posed a whole pile of technical difficulties in making it. Taping the center back seam is the nightmare from hell. But we finally got there and the boat does have more of that “kayak” feel.


Will the new floorless fishing raft also have the pointed and larger stern (you say its being added to all your boats)? It seems like the tracking, bouyancy, and somewhat better hull speed would be a real plus for that rowable model. If not, can that feature be ordered as a modification? I understood the original release date for that new model was February, 2011. You now say March - is that a firm date or guesstimate?


An acquaintance ordered a 2011 version green Yak with deck yesterday. It shipped today for delivery early next week…


The 2010 deck’s front is the same as the picture of the 2011 deck you posted. A pack normally sits over the top of the front section and so there is no interference from packs.

McNikky, caring a bike and using the deck is easy. At the same time.

Hi there,

I just got the new designed 2011 denali lama with a spray deck and I am impressed by this boat - lightweight, nice blue color, very good production quality, (partly) removable deck, rugged and small to pack away.

this is my first packraft but I own two inflatable canoes (good upto whitewater III) so I am familiar with rugged inflatables. in comparison to them i like very much how small and light the alpacka is. this makes it way easier for me for walk or bike and boat activities like before.

today tried it in small pond together with my children (2 and 5) and we all fit in that boat (removed spray deck) and were even possible to paddle quite easily with a sufficent and good speed and very good manoeverability. I really expected its speed way slower than from the first appearance. it was quite a surprise.

furthermore i could paddle a very straight line without any problems and if i stopped paddeling the boat floated still straight ahead in a steady bow stern line.

this has maybe to do with the new stern shape but i don’t have the comparison with the previous model.

let’s see how it will work out in different conditions with a pack on the bow.

The new boat is the best Alpacka thing since spray decks.

Roman, nice seal launch in the video. How did you finish inflating the boat – by mouth or with a bicycle pump or …?

I’m interested to know if anyone has info/experience on which (if either) the Llama or the unrigged Explorer tracks better or is faster. I’m thinking seriously about getting one of the newly designed boats and am trying to determine which best fits my needs. I’m mostly looking for an ultra low water boat and will probably set it up in an unconventional way. I’m prioritizing floatation and stability but also have an interest in tracking and hull speed. It seems obvious that the explorer is more stable and has higher floatation and I assume the Llama would track better and be faster but one never knows until trying.
What I would probably do is cut a foam floor and seat to get a higher and more upright seating position more toward the center of the stiffer boat. I’d also try paddling with a single blade paddle. This is how I run custom IK’s on sneaky little desert streams in southern New Mexico and Arizona. But I’d love to try this with a packraft on these rivers at their boniest. Combined with ultralight backpacking gear this might allow for year round paddling down here. I also just got a Pugsley this winter so the bikerafting idea is intriguing.

@ Raven,

By mouth.

Would like to use bicycle pump but my son has it; made up a little giszmo to finish off the boats with bike pump but need a little bike pump again.