New to this, lots of questions

Hi all,

I have the river itch and have some questions. I am not really a paddler, but I have been on quite a few rafting trips (Grand Canyon, Salt, lots of day rivers). My only single person craft experience is in a duckie (on the Grand; up to class 7, LOVED it), and the small class 2 Big Laramie in a hardshell. I thought about getting a duckie, but I love the idea of earning my paddle

I have been reading about the new packrafts versus the old ones. Sounds like a lot of folks sure are liking the new ones and their performance. I’ve also heard that they aren’t as stable as the older versions. Being mostly a beginner, which should I get? I will probably do up to class III water. I’m also right between sizes, it seems. I’m 5’8", ~32" inseam. Would the Yak be more stable than the Alpacka? I’d love to buy used (I’m poor!), but will spend the money for a new one if that’s what I’d be happy with in the long run (I won’t be a beginner forever). Would I have to move the seat up to paddle the yak comfortably? And how the heck do you stay in these things and brace without thigh straps?

I have a feeling that whatever I decide to get, this boat will be my new best friend from the desert southwest to Patagonia!

Please send me an email at: and I will be pleased to answer all of your questions; I also have some ideas for you! Cheers!