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Affordable packrafts are overdue
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Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Affordable packrafts are overdue on 10/12/2009 05:22:34 MDT Print View

The lack of an affordable packraft contributes to the inactivity of this forum.

I have just placed an order for a 2-person Sevylor boat that costs $40. The material seems to be tougher than the Trail Boat and I believe the boat itself weighs 6.2lbs. Seems like a better option than carrying two Trail Boats since I am always outing with the significant other anyway.

I will update when I get it and post a review of my initial impressions. For $40, I am not expecting much at all. I wouldn't dare to take this to anything larger than a small current.

I am a complete novice in packrafting introduced only by a curiosity which resulted from the release of that new Packrafting book. Hopefully this will help those pondering about packrafting but are put off by the hefty price tag it carries.

Here is the link by the way:

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Affordable packrafts are overdue on 10/19/2009 20:37:58 MDT Print View

The alpacka site forum has a good bit of traffic.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Affordable packrafts are overdue on 10/19/2009 21:07:31 MDT Print View

You're looking at $1000 dollars just to get outfitted with a basic setup (including paddle, PFD, etc).

I can buy a fully rigged fishing/diving/touring kayak for that finders, bait tanks, rod holders, hatches, the works. I know it's comparing apples to oranges...but $1000 for a no-frills inflatable?
If they could get the price below $400 I suspect they might make up for it in volume- I'd jump at that price.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Re: Affordable packrafts are overdue on 10/19/2009 21:43:58 MDT Print View

And you can buy a bike for $60, but does it compare to a $6000 one?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Affordable packrafts are overdue on 10/19/2009 22:43:00 MDT Print View

Hey, you can do a lot with a $60 bike that you can't do on a $6000 dollar one:

1. Actually ride it to a store!
2. leave it outside
3. ride it in the rain
4. drop it without worry
5. loan it to your buddies
6. put cool stickers all over it
7. not worry about scratching your paint or precious Campy groupo...
8. not have to lie to your spouse about the price
9. not worry about getting suckerpunched at the bus stop for it
10. crash into stuff!
11. Put a basket, fenders, rack and bells on it!!!
12. Not have your sphincter tighten every time someone gets near it...

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
hmmm... on 10/19/2009 22:54:36 MDT Print View

chaff is right around the corner, I'm with the OP, I've thought of using the cheaper stuff, please keep us posted, I for one am interested...

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Affordable packrafts are overdue on 10/19/2009 22:59:10 MDT Print View

Keep us posted on the Seyvelor. There's a fellow who posts on a Portland-area hikers forum who has one that he uses for dayhiking into lakes. He has a lot of fun with it.

Julian Watson
(JulesWatson) - F
bontrager's axiom on 10/20/2009 03:59:11 MDT Print View

Light, strong, cheap: pick any two.

Packrafts fit it well.

Alex Maslov
(alexmaslov) - F
Re: Affordable packrafts are overdue on 06/14/2010 11:12:39 MDT Print View

There is a raft in the $270 range that just came onto the market

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Sevylor Trail Boat on 07/31/2010 03:09:01 MDT Print View

With some glue and urethane coated material you can beef up the Sevylor's bottom and put on some tie down patches.

I taught several month long classes where we fixed boats up this way. Also Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic racers used Sevylors and Curtis design boats in the 90s. Keep them out of the sun and off of sharp rocks, but beefing up the bottoms is really key.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
"Affordable packrafts are overdue" on 07/31/2010 03:58:09 MDT Print View

I would also be interested in your experience. I'm one of those who's wanted to get into packrafting but am put off by the price. Please do keep us posted.

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: "Affordable packrafts are overdue" on 07/31/2010 04:19:01 MDT Print View

Totally forgot about this thread. The rafts mentioned seems to be worth checking out. From my experience, the Sevylor rafts are way too heavy. The trail boat might be okay but the quality might be lacking.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
affordable packrafts on 08/02/2010 10:06:04 MDT Print View

Two years ago I bought (payed shipping, really) I Sevylor with a reinforced floor from a friend of a friend in AK. It floated, well enough to act as a proof of concept and confirm that I would use and enjoy a proper packraft.

That said, an Alpacka really is another category of boat entirely. The dinky tubes at the small end of the Sevylor mean that you get wet from even the smallest waves, and also causes the boat to paddle poorly. The reinforced floor is fairly necessary, as the Sevylor fabric is crazy fragile, but the vinyl and glue makes the boat heavy, bulky, and hard to pack. Much moreso than an Alpacks.

Phil Turner's video of the Flytepacker is very informative. It seems like a solid option for lakes and calm rivers. The video also makes it obvious that Alpackas are in a different league as far as design and construction. I had high expectations for my Alpacka, and it has exceeded them by quite a bit.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Sevylor on 08/07/2010 15:47:19 MDT Print View

It just so happens I've got a Sevylor. I bought it at Wal-Mart for $40 mainly for fishing. It's the 'Hui' model and it says on it that's it's built by Coleman.

For $40 it's been quite good. It's a lot better than some of the cheap rafts so you see at Wal-Mart because the main perimeter is two chambers so you aren't sunk if you get a hole in one. It also has a really nice valve that makes inflation by mouth (~60 breaths or 5x a NeoAir) do-able and deflation is easy since you can leave it open to deflate itself unlike cheaper valves that you have to squeeze to deflate.

The only downsides to this boat is the weight and the durability. With the roping removed, just the raft is just under 5 lbs and the paddles (even using 1/2 of the shaft) is another 1.5 lbs. Regarding durability, I wasn't that careful with it initially because I thought it was tougher than it is. I put 3 small holes in the main perimeter chamber and two small holes in the floor. Thankfully the patch kit is pretty awesome. The glue dries super quick so you can get back on the water in 2 min and all the leaks have been slow enough that I can just top it up with a few breathes every 15 min until I get to shore to patch it. A friend has a similar raft and he got 6-7 holes in it during a 45 min, 1/2 mile bushwack when it was strapped externally to his pack.

Ultimately, it's not even close to a white water boat though, which isn't what I'm looking for. I'm mainly looking for a fishing and lake crossing vessel which this does okay, but the Flytepacker raft looks like it does that better for less than 1/2 the weight and the $240 price tag is reasonable. If I keep having a good time fishing remote lakes then I'll probably buy one of those.

Sevylor 1

Sevylor 3

Edited by dandydan on 08/07/2010 15:49:19 MDT.