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Thread: Pack for the Pack raft

  1. #1

    Default Pack for the Pack raft

    I've simplified my raft setup from an 18' Aire cataraft to a PR49 and alpacka.

    Any recommendations on packs for the PR49? It is pretty bulky and I'm trying to figure out the best way. Requirements are as light as possible, but still able to comfortably haul the raft + gear + food for a descent trip length (7-10 days). Since going pretty lightweight with my packs, the only one I own that could haul the PR49 is my old Kelty external frame freighter pack.

    Also bought an Alpacka to use for solo trips and an extra boat when I can't fit two on the PR49 (I'm thinking this is more complicated than just my old Aire Cataraft). I found a pack that I like for the alpacka adventures - Hyperlite Mountain Gear 4400 Porter.


  2. #2


    I've had good luck with high volume packs in the 7000-8000 cubes range. I use a Kifaru Timberline thesedays but my ol' Dana Designs (mystery Ranch precursor) Astralplane works just as well. I usually roll mine to a 20" wide roll and compression strap then secure it to the outside bottom of my pack with paddle and air pump packed inside the bag with food and gear.

    I've also use an external packframe and watershed dry bags lashed to the pack to walk it in somewhere.

    Good luck,


  3. #3
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks Area


    I use my Kifaru EMR II with the Grab-it, PR49, with kit for 3 days.

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

  4. #4


    Unrelated except for the sheep in your photo Stid...yuz the galldurn man. There aint a tweener left in the Brooks or AK Range, eh big guy....?

    See ya in a couple of days.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5


    Like Larry I have used a number of high volume packs as just getting enough gear for normal backpacking for 7-10 days usually takes up 3500-4000 cubic inches. Add hunting gear (spotting scope, tripod, knife, gamebags, binoculars, rifle, ammo, and more) will take up even more space. Now add packrafting to the mix and you need space for paddles, pump, repair kit, and finally a packraft. All this spell the need for SPACE. I have used packs from Arcteryx (Bora 95), Mystery Ranch (NICE 6500), and Kifaru (Highcamp 7K obviously 7000 cu in, Duplex Timberline 1 which is 7200 cu in, and EMR 2 which is 8400 cu in). Of those packs listed far and away the EMR 2 does the best job IMO in organizing gear and being able to strap the packraft to the back of the pack.

    In fact strapping two PR-49s and 2 sets of paddles along with enough gear for a weeks worth of stuff is still managable with this pack. Just got back from a 4 day packrafting trip last night in which I had the PR-49 strapped to my Kifaru EMR 2. Still the best way to stow it I have found is with the packraft rolled up tight and positioned vertical on the back of the pack. The 15 pounds isn't that heavy so having that weight back that far isn't an issue and better than stowing it inbetween the pack frame and the pack which would push the rest of my gear back further away from my back which is where the majority of my pack weight is making this a less attractive option.

    Here is a pic of me sportin' two PR-49s with the EMR 2 (yup a big pack but atleast its able to do it with relative ease and comfort) last spring in southern Utah, when packing it in Alaska where alders and willows abound I roll the packrafts shorter and fatter for less to stick out above my head:

    Of course you can always carry them like this too

    HAHA only to be done if crossing back and forth on an open river bar often

  6. #6
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Dang are a packing beast. Most impressive! What river did you float in Utah?

  7. #7


    I pack my PR-49 on the bottom of a Kifaru Timberline, to keep the center of mass close to my body and not too top-heavy. It was kind of annoying for bushwhacking through alders and dwarf birch on sparse caribou trails, but not as bad as I expected.

    Jason -- Fly fishing photos & insect hatch encyclopedia. -- Exact 5-mile Haul Road corridor boundary for GPS & Google Earth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    northern alaska


    If you can't figure out how to pack your stuff, you should probably stay home...

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Dang are a packing beast. Most impressive! What river did you float in Utah?
    Haha just weak back and weaker mind. The "river" was the escalante in Utah. Here is a video from the trip....

  10. #10
    Member icb12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    I fold mine instead of roll, and it gets cinched between my pack and the frame of my mystery ranch. Little more time consuming to retrieve or pack away. So if its getting frequent use, I roll it tight and it goes in the sleeping bag compartment of the 6500.


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