Packraft Sizing

Hi, what’s the current thoughts/guidance on fit/sizing?

I’ve just received my new Yukon Yak - and at 5’9, 170lbs with 30" legs (so short legs but longer arms) it seemed the one to go for based on the Alpackaraft guidelines.

On my first paddle yesterday I found that I could barely touch the front of the boat with my feet and if I bring my toes back I can actually straighten my legs flat along the bottom of the boat. I expected that I ought to be able to brace my feet, with legs bent, against against the front of the boat? I can just about do this if I sit more forward on the seat, though then the backrest is further back.

I’d appreciate any advice on current thinking/guidance on boat sizing and what are the trade-offs. Should it be a snug fit - in which case an Alpacka may be better, or does the extra length aid stability and give you more scope for being more comfortable if you can change your leg position more freely? I’ve seen mention from other posts that some prefer to move their seat further forward - if so how do people adjust their back-rest accordingly?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.


Sizing is a personal thing but there are a few things to consider.
A snug fit is desirable for people running technical water as good connectivity goes hand in hand with good boat control.

Your right the ability to move your legs around and change position will aid comfort on longer paddles.

Moving down a size to the alpaca might work better for fit but would give you less space if your going to carry lots of gear/bike/skis etc…

With regards tooting the seat forward, this involves gluing on some extra tie downs/d rings for the back rest attach to. Then just lacing the seat base on the forward tabs ( this option gives you a lot of flexibility as you can move the seat and back rest when technical boating then moving it back while adventuring)

Check out luc mehl blog, search for ‘pimp my packraft’


So I am 5’9", 165 lbs and have a 30" inseam. I too found that the Yak has a roomy area in the standard configuration. I actually like it for flat stuff so I can stretch out a bit. What I have done to seriously increase my Yak’s performance is: install thigh straps per Luc’s website, added a backband the same as Luc, but added some mini carabiners to allow me to go from forward tight position to a more roomy fit. On more serious stuff I’ve added a short thermarest on the bottom of the boat to take up some room and add some rigidity. I like having the space behind me so I can have a dry bag with 1st aid kit, some snacks, camera, beer… whatever.

I’d highly recommend the thigh straps and forward seat at least, completely changed how the boat handles for the better.

Cheers for the response Andy/Amoxyness,

As I’m just getting into packrafting I’m unlikely to be doing serious whitewater yet so sounds like the Yak will work better for me. Good to know that there’s the option of ‘pimping’ the raft if I want to tackle more whitewater as my skills improve!

As an aside I didn’t find the Alpackraft website that enlightening when looking for the best fit boat. I think Andy’s website gives the best info I could find over at

Thanks Again,