This State of the Market Report focuses on one-person packrafts suitable for river paddling in wilderness areas.
If you plan to go packrafting in a big wilderness area in the Northern Rockies, Canada, or Alaska, you will want a raft that is big enough to carry you and your gear through mid-sized rapids.
This review focuses on rafts that have either a self-bailing floor or a whitewater deck. This review excludes smaller rafts such as the Frontier Mininow and CW220 because they have a different purpose (flatwater paddling). Additionally, this review excludes larger packrafts such as the Frontier AR series.
Features of River Packrafts
The first packrafts were quite like a rubber pool toy, just tougher. Since then manufacturers have modified the shapes of their rafts and added more features. The upgrades can add cost and weight but they also improve performance in many ways, so they are worth considering.
The key features addressed in this packraft review include spray / whitewater decks, self-bailing floors, thigh straps, material durability, hull design, inflation and rigidity, and cargo hauling apparati.
Decks for Weather, Splash, and Wave Protection
After seats, spray decks were one of the first features added to packrafts. The primary purpose of a deck is to keep waves from splashing into your boat and filling it with water. Rafts that fill up with water are not just uncomfortable, they are sluggish and difficult to maneuver. Another benefit of decks, even on gentle water, is that they keep the rain off and hold warm air in.
Post time: Mar-05-2019