rafts compared to inflatable kayaks..??

i’m new to this forum (hi everyone!) and just joined the sea kayak assoc of BC (I live in lovely vancouver bc)…

Have been investigating inflatable kayaks since I have a storage issue and then read of your own products while on an outdoor website (they look like super products!).

Excuse my naivete, but this subject is new to me…looking for a vessel I can travel with either
1 or 2 people (under 5’8") in water varied conditions
(rapids or ocean) and is fast/versatile/lightweight to boot…maybe I need both an ocean kayak AND a raft then?
Just wondering what the pros/cons are of either product for ocean/sea travel?

Feedback is appreciated

I have very limited experience with inflatable kayaks, but I think a strong case can be made for an Alpacka over other craft if you want something that will roll up small.

A packraft will definitely be the best as far as weight and bulk. I think most inflatable kayaks are several times the weight, and presumably compare similarly in bulk. So if you’re going to be carrying the boat (ie “packing”) then the packraft is very nice.

In flat water, you’ll find the packraft both slower and less graceful than a hard-sided kayak. Max practical speed is 2 - 2.5 mph, as opposed to 4+ for a sea kayak. I’m not sure how it will compare to an inflatable kayak… I’ve heard some who think they aren’t much faster than a packraft, but maybe their inflatable sucked or was improperly used. So if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the ocean and are doing trips where driving to your put-in works well, then the hard-sided kayak will perform much better.

That said, packrafts are quite capable in the ocean, and open up some interesting routes. When we came through Vancouver in summer 2007 we walked north through Cloverdale to the Fraser, floated down to where the river splits apart in the delta, walked across Vancouver and over the Lions Gate Bridge, then hiked along the Howe-Sound crest trail until we ran into problematic snow. From there we dropped down into the Vancouver city watershed where we were kicked out by a security guard and walked down to Britania Beach, crossed Howe Sound and hiked logging roads and bushwhacked to Red Tusk Creek and down to paddle Salmon Inlet… it continued like that all the way through the inside passage, through southcentral Alaska, and to the first Aleutian Island.

In the ocean, Alpacka packrafts are stable in rough water, easy to put in and take out, and easy to re-enter if you’re flipped. And they’re really in their element in rivers.

I agree with all that was said below. We run a kayak school in Ak and run trips in inflatable kayaks. In short, how much time will the boat be under your butt. If you will be driving to your put ins, or have short carries, and most of the time you will be paddling, you may find the IK a better product. Innova Kayak makes 10 different styles, and they have several that are very efficent in flat water.
If You are planning on cross country adventures like the one described in BC, then no contest, the packraft will excel. Adventure travel is what packrafts were designed for and they are excellent.
As with all boats, each is designed for certain types of water. You should think about what you are going to paddle most and look for a boat that meets that need. For example some IK’s are designed for class IV whitewater, but they are not good in the ocean. Other IK’s have skaggs and track well, which is nice in the ocean, but terrible for river running.
Gear. Since IK’s are open decked, you can pack a lot of gear and you can be sloppy. A packraft is like back packing, not much room for gear, have to go tight, and eat light. Good luck
jgonsk, Ak kayak academy, Palmer, Ak