Five packrafts compared

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Home Forums Off Piste Packrafting Five packrafts compared

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    Chris S
    BPL Member


    Locale: UK mostly

    I recently had a chance to try out five boats from Aire, MRS, Nortik, Supai and of course Alpacka. Intro to each review here (can't do links):

    Some comparison specs in the image below.

    GPT dims

    David Chenault
    BPL Member


    Locale: Queen City, MT

    Thanks for posting Chris.

    Simon Kenton
    BPL Member


    Good stuff, thank you for posting

    clickable hyperlink

    Richard May
    BPL Member


    Locale: Nature Deficit Disorder

    This is great! Thanks for posting. I've been looking at packrafts. :)

    Chris S
    BPL Member


    Locale: UK, mostly

    Happy enough with my Alpacka Yak (well, until I tried this), but have been trying out a few more packrafts this summer.
    Of interest to BPL-ers might be the Anfibio Alpha XC made in China, sold out of Germany.
    My 92kg puts me too close on the 110kg limit, but just right for the Mrs who is half that.
    It’s a totally symmetrical 1.8 kilo boat (stripped out it’s 1.4kg or just over 3lbs).
    Love the Boston-style valve – so much better than the dump valve/stem on the old Yak.
    Not so keen on the lack of the elongated stern which meant it yawed like a first-generation Alpacka.
    As you may know a weight over the bow limits this, or do as we did if you’re short: put a bag behind the easily movable seat to position yourself more centrally and limit the pivoting.

    It costs only €470 plus one type of seat or another. Next size up is a Delta MX, about 10% longer and wider outside but ~20% more room inside and 180-kilo rating. I have tried the Supai Flatwater Canyon II and Matkat – amazingly light and compact crossrafts, but would feel much safer in a TPU packraft like this.

    Long version and a Vimeo on my website. I’ve tried out some other, less BPL-able boats there too, lately.


    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member


    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    Interesting. It looks a lot like the now-discontinued Alpacka Curiyak. I just had Alpacka build me a Curiyak made with the newer and lighter Scout materials; 210d  tubes, 420d floor. The new Alpackas have a single valve now that works a little like the Boston, though not exactly. I like it fine, though you can’t ‘shrink-wrap’ the boat to minimize size by sucking the last bit of air out the top-off stem valve anymore. My Curiyak weighs 1565 g stripped with 4 cargo loops installed in the usual bow locations and one in the stern. The seat adds 140 g, and a simple backpack attachment system using some line and linelocs is another 15 g.

    Chris S
    BPL Member


    Locale: UK, mostly

    I remember thinking about getting a Curiyak – nice basic boat. Ended up specifying a Curiyak floor on a Yak, like it was cutting edge, but it seems 210D hull / 420D floor is the packraft norm now.

    Not seen one but looked at the new Alpacka valve too (v2 now screw-in, not bayonet) but with the turn-lock mechanism it seems unnecessarily complicated, as I understand it. Easier shrink-wrapping with the old stem as you say in your other post.

    These Chinese Boston knock-offs are so simple: a rubber mushroom stem valve in the upper body holds the pressure fine. Spares caps easily bought plus the retaining ring collar things (like Nalgene bottle) are so handy to screw it on quick. I suspect Alpacka turn-lock takes more pressure and more pressure is the way people are going. Packrafting Store pumped up a bunch of different brands to 7psi once without explosions. Lungs can do about 0.4psi, and I know from IKs that just 50% more makes a huge difference on a long boat.

    I also found the other day that a regular piece of ½” garden hose fits snugly into the one-way port, making it less effort than the thin old Alpacka stem to inflate to max-possible pressure.

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