New to pack rafting need help with gear purchase

By new I mean. I’ve never been. From Utah paddled a bit Moab daily, westwater, kayaked a little my Eskimo roll is terrible. SUP’d great salt lake few lakes here and Teton. Surfed a lot Costa Rica and California. Looking for rapids but not too heavy mostly hiking desert stuff, escalante river to coyote would be my dream trip. What boat should I be looking for? I am 5"11 215 big dude. Strong, but would like to be efficient both in weight and packing ability. I suck at packing while backpacking my OCD nature. Any help on any of these issues would be great. Mostly boat suggestions though. I am not worried about my ability in backcountry for a 4/5day backcountry trip or portaging I’m looking for durability and ease. Thanks.

I’m new to packrafting but a long time boater. I just got an Aire Bakraft Expedition and I’m super happy with it so far. It’s on the heavy side at 10 lbs but a fully outfitted alpaca weighs about the same. It drives very well in my experience so far and can carry a lot of weight if needed. I just took it out yesterday on a test run with my gf through some class II stuff and it blew away my expectations. Handled very well and was much faster than I was expecting. It would be tight but I believe the two of us could outfit and run a mellow multiday float in it. I really like the true self bailing floor as well. I’ve never paddled any of the more traditional boats and they might be just as awesome, but from watching a lot of videos they always look more like paddling around a bath tub. Just my 2 cents, and the Aire is expensive.

Thanks for your input. I’m considering a two person perhaps as well so my fiancé(2 months wife damn) might wanna go and our dog. Utah WY and Idaho would be the places I went most I’d guess.

I am selling two Aire Bakraft Hybrids. Let me know if you are interested. About 50% off normal price. No damage to the boats. would suggest getting the new style backrest though from Aire. The original design was not great to work with - fine once set up though.

I really like the bakraft expedition design for either one or two people. I think the longer water lines help it handle better. The original bakraft design did get good reviews though and the deal piglet is offering seems pretty good

Update on the bakraft expedition. My gf and I just hiked up the Dolores from bedrock, camped a few days and then floated out. With two people plus gear we put 440 pounds in the boat. That was probably nearing the top end of what would work but it carried the load and handed great! I would have no qualms about planning a multi day class I/II float. It might handle class III/IV water with that set up but you would want both paddlers to be solid boaters which the gf is not.