pack raft

tradair1980

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
187
Location
Springfield, OR
I know its not hunting , I guess it could be but what do you guys use . I seen a company offering a 2 person that wieghts in at 8.4 lbs ... So do you guys use? My intent is to be able to take one of my kids in it with me thanks for you help!
 

Daniel_M

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Messages
1,430
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
Pack rafts indeed are hunting! Several of us use them to access, exit areas, haul meat and go fishing in them. Luke and Becca use them in 50-100mi backpacking trips.

There's several out there you an look into, price point is everything.

NRS

Alpacka

Larry Bartletts Big Rig / PR-49.
 

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,249
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
those alpacka's look cool the double duck and explorer 42 are very interesting. Are they tough, like would a spinner lure pop it ? I saw a prety bad review of the nrs on rei's site
 
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Becca

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Feb 26, 2012
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Location
Wasilla, Alaska
those alpacka's look cool the double duck and explorer 42 are very interesting. Are they tough, like would a spinner lure pop it ? I saw a prety bad review of the nrs on rei's site

I can't speak for the NRS, as I haven't used one, but we have done quite a bit of floating in Alpacka Rafts (both the Llama and Yukon Yak) and the Big Rig, and I think we will be using a PR-49 over the summer. Comparing the alpacka rafts to the rafts put out by Pristine Ventures is a little like comparing apples to oranges, they are suited to different purposes. For our uses we currently own one alpacka and two big rigs.

The Alpacka rafts are smaller and really only accomodate one person, but because of this they are very lightweight (I want to say around 8lbs). They are easier to maneuver through whitewater or around obstacles, but become more difficult to maneuver when heavily weighted down. The Alpackas have an inflatable cushion to sit on, and this rests in the bottom of the boat which lowers your center of gravity, but also means you often end up sitting in a big puddle of water.

The Big Rig is significantly larger raft, and also weighs more (I think around 16 lbs), but can tolerate a significantly heavier load. Luke and I do early season scouting trips and bear hunts with a single big rig for the two of us and our gear, and it could accomodate even more weight. For trips like moose hunts, we would likely take two big rigs to float out a moose split between us. The big rig utilizes cargo netting for sitting on and for gear or meat, which gets you up and out of the bottom of the boat but also raises your center of gravity. It is available with a self bailing floor, which I like as it keeps the water from accumulating.

I don't remember the actual payloads for each boat, but the Big Rig can certainly accomodate a lot more weight than any of the Alpackas. An adult person, with a hunting pack is a pretty good load for an alpacka, and when you start adding the weight of meat and horns for animals the size of Dall sheep or caribou, the weight limit maxes out really quick.

We have found both the Alpackas and the Big Rig to be pretty tough, with the big rig being the more robust of the two. We have fished from both rafts, and while we have been careful, i never worried too much about our hooks popping the rafts. With any inflatable boat, the possibility of punctures exist, and we always carry a field repair kit as well as tyvek tape though we have never really had to use them yet (knock on wood).

Some misc pics of both boats in action:

Luke and his gear on an Alpacka Yak during a 100 mile hiking/float trip we did:
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Here he is with the same boat rolled up on one of the hiking portions of that trip
SANY0742.jpg


The two of us with the big rig on a summer scouting trip:
IMGP1354.jpg


Luke hauling the big rig on the same trip:
IMGP1275.jpg


The two rafts, side by side:
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