Newbie wants buying tips

I am new to packrafting. I come to the sport through the field of lightweight backpacking - which is how I will most often be using a packraft. I am looking for advice about buying a packraft.

Based on what I have read, I am looking at buying an Alpacka Denali Lllama with the cruiser spray deck and the packtach.

I am 6’2" and 195. My main uses will involve alpine lakes in the Sierra on backpack trips. However, I would like to use the raft for rivers in Alaska, Utah and elsewhere and would like to explore some modest whitewater as I become more experienced. Keeping the weight down is important.

Any advice? Does my proposed set up sound good? Where are some places to find used rafts (besides here, of course)?


The Denali should fit you well, I’m 6’ and 185# and I have room to spare in my Denali. I can squeeze myself into my Alpacka but I wouldn’t want to spend alot of time in it. My favorite boat by far is my rigged Fjord Explorer with a cruiser deck, I spend a lot of time on mountain lakes here in Southern Utah and have run class 3 with confidence and would probably push it into class 4 with some rigging. I will be working on a trekking pole rowing kit this winter that will reduce my pack in weight make it multi use as well.

If I had to sell my other boats and keep just one, it would be the Fjord due to it’s ability to row with such greater efficiency on flat water. Nest spring I will be running the A,B, and C sections of the Green River from Flamming Gorge down to Indian Bridge with my rowing kit to give it a try on a river. I love being able to fly fish from the Fjord and be able to control my direction so easily with one hand while I work with my rod, so it should. prove very useful on the green.

If you are anywhere near St George let me know and you are welcome to come give them a try.


Thanks Dustin. I was supposed to be in your area last month but flash flooding kept me out.