M Gear Guide: Packrafts
by Ryan Jordan
An online subscription (Annual or Lifetime) is required to view this article.
Not yet a Premium Member? Subscribe now.
Already a Premium Member? Please login using the form to the right.
Not ready to become a member, but need the article? Buy access to just this article.
- Provides an overview of packraft types, terminology, and design principles;
- Identifies specific brands and models and compares their key features and specifications;
- Suggests specific packraft models for various applications.
This report features open boats (i.e., packrafts without integrated spray decks or skirts) designed to be paddled with a double-bladed kayak paddle, where gear (i.e., a backpack) is secured to tie-down loops affixed to the outside of the tubes. However, many of the packrafts featured in this report can be rigged with add-ons that add functionality to the boat. Examples include:
- Rowing frames and detachable skegs for more efficient flatwater paddling with dual oars;
- Self-bailing floors, spray decks, and/or spray skirts for whitewater use;
- Zippered cargo bays that allow for storage of gear inside the tubes;
- Additional tie-down loops that can be glued to the tubes for increased gear attachment options, or grab lines;
In an attempt to normalize the comparison of packrafts in this report and distill the market to its core designs, packrafts specifically featuring these add-on options have been omitted from the comparison table. Where appropriate, however, the availability of these add-ons have been noted, and packrafts featuring them will be highlighted in the "Applications" section later in this report.
- Packraft Types & Applications
- Water Type
- Nature of Access
- Trip Duration
- Design Features
- Inflation Mechanism
- Tube Size
- Chamber Redundancy
- Cargo Storage & Rigging
- The Seat
- Gear Guide: Specifications Table
- Performance Comparison
- Applications: Which Boat?
- Alpine Lake Fishing
- Incidental River Crossings
- Long Distance Flatwater Paddling
- Flatwater River Running
- Expedition Boating / Trekking
- High Performance Whitewater Boats
- Directory of Manufacturers
# WORDS: 4130
# PHOTOS: 13
Buy Access to This Article
If you do not want to subscribe and get access to all BPL articles, you may instead opt to buy this single article: "Gear Guide: Packrafts"