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Thread: All around pack rafts

  1. #1
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    Default All around pack rafts

    I'm heading out on a few float hunts this fall and my friends have Pro Pie's so was looking at a pack raft. Does anyone have any suggestions on what pack raft would be a good one for all around use, ie. hunting, fishing, and just floating. I have been to the Anchorage and Fairbanks sport shows and there seems to be a growing market for these. For people that have them or have been around them could you shine some light on what you think are the good and bad things about them. I have looked around on this form and some others but still up in the air on what to get. I think I have narrowed down to either the Alpaca or the Packraft 49.

    Thanks for the info.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It totally depends on your intended use. If it is primarily going to be a hunting vessel, the PR-49 looks pretty sweet. It's considerably heavier and larger than most of the Alpacka models, though. If you are going to be doing a lot of ultralight trips where weight and space are a greater consideration than load carrying ability, the Alpackas are likely a better option.

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    That is kind of where I'm not sure I don't know if the extra 10 lbs of the PR-49 is a large difference nor do I know how small each of them pack up when deflated. That's kind of what I was looking for. Also the ruggedness of scraping rocks and such. My plan is to use it for different type of hunts and also for drop off fishing trips and maybe even to row around a lake for some fun fishing time.

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    I took a Alpaca Yak on a successful goat hunt three years ago. It was more than the boat could safely carry with me, gear, hide, and meat. I would not recommend an Alpaca if you are serious about floating out meat. PR-49 weighs twice an Alpaca but it looks like it will carry much more. I'm using one this fall for sheep and caribou.

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    The PR-49 rolls up to a small wad of 14" X 12" with the seat and cargo sling attached. This packraft was designed specifically for hunting and fishing trips where a little extra cargo space is required for comfort and performance. Yes, it adds about 9 lbs to your pack weight, but it also adds room for a large backpack, fly rods, and big guys with a couple of dogs....or a big guy, his pack, and up to a couple of caribou (or a sheep or half a moose).

    The up side to the Alpacka Explorer is its weight...the downside is it's just not quite big enough for safe hunting trips. When its loaded heavy, wave splash and tippy nature makes it rather unsafe.

    just my 2 cents.

    larry

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    Thank you for the info I was heading towards the PR-49 but just wasn't sure. But after looking at each more and hearing what people have to say I think that is were I'm heading.

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    Member honeybadger's Avatar
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    Alpacka has never let me down, but I weigh 155 soaking wet and pack light, and tendency towards risk taking. My alpacka seems to be indestructible. PR-49 looks like a safer bet, but whats life without a little excitement?

    On another note, if I had the spare cash I wouldnt mind having a PR-49 in my pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honeybadger View Post
    Alpacka has never let me down, but I weigh 155 soaking wet and pack light, and tendency towards risk taking. My alpacka seems to be indestructible. PR-49 looks like a safer bet, but whats life without a little excitement?

    On another note, if I had the spare cash I wouldnt mind having a PR-49 in my pack.
    What would your thoughts be on using the Alpacka just to float out moose quarters down a feeder stream to the main river? Would it handle a couple moose quarters at a time... like 220lbs? You would need a pump to inflate it... right? What is the packing weight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da White Shoe View Post
    What would your thoughts be on using the Alpacka just to float out moose quarters down a feeder stream to the main river? Would it handle a couple moose quarters at a time... like 220lbs? You would need a pump to inflate it... right? What is the packing weight?
    If you were lining it down a slough MAYBE, if trying to ride in the boat AND have a couple quarters on do yourself a favor and get a PR-49 from Larry Bartlett.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da White Shoe View Post
    You would need a pump to inflate it... right?
    You don't need a pump to inflate packrafts. I'm not sure of the other brands, but Alpackas utilize an inflation bag which weighs in at a few ounces. They've got a video on their site demonstrating how the bag works. I'm assuming other packraft brands use something similar, as it would defeat the lightweight/low-bulk goal to carry along a pump.

  11. #11

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    If you turn the check valve on the Big-Rig or PR-49 from Larry Bartlett you can air it up with an inflating bag top it off with your mouth to save weight on non-weight heavy endeavors (like floating meat out) but for best results they float/track MUCH better with it pumped up tighter with a pump than what your lungs can do.

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    Thanks guys! I was thinking of hunting up a side stream that's up-river from our drop point, so we would be lining a small packraft to camp. We wouldn't ever be riding in it. The Alpacka sounds just about perfect for this. Thanks again!

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