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Thread: Backpackable rafts?

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Backpackable rafts?

    Is there a worthwhile backpackable raft on the market that weighs less than 50 pounds when stowed up and ready for transport? It would be for 1-2 people on small lakes and such, never running waters. It would need to be easily packed for at least a couple miles of trail hiking and compact down small enough to meet railroad baggage requirements (similar to commercial aviation). Separate stuff, such as a pump and collapsible paddles don't count as part of the 50lb limit, which is a per bag limitation.

    Any ideas?
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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Try feathercraft.com They make a 7'4" self-bailing, six chamber pac-raft that weighs under 12# as well as a smaller model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Is there a worthwhile backpackable raft on the market that weighs less than 50 pounds when stowed up and ready for transport? It would be for 1-2 people on small lakes and such, never running waters. It would need to be easily packed for at least a couple miles of trail hiking and compact down small enough to meet railroad baggage requirements (similar to commercial aviation). Separate stuff, such as a pump and collapsible paddles don't count as part of the 50lb limit, which is a per bag limitation.

    Any ideas?
    I'm with Geaux on this one and could go two small packrafts.

    Here's what I'd do tho':

    Look along the lines of a smaller, lighter weight Urethane coated High-ten. nylon constructed Tender boats like the 7'3" 'Baylee 2' or in my opinion better served having 8'6" 'Baylee 3'.

    The Baylee 3 comes in at 12 pounds with a packed size 25.5 x 10 x 12 inches. This boat can be paddled or rowed with a packable aluminum row-frame and very nice oars. You may like to skeg the little boat to minimize some wagging (for better tracking) positioned toward the front or back locations. A lot of this stuff is included in the package. I feel the Baylee 2 & 3 boats offer more utility and versatility than most 'pack-rafts' particularly for your endeavors.

    Keep in mind, you can also choose between two different fabrics. Of note: Fabrics are made in USA and to my understanding handy-work is done in Vancouver, Canada.

    These are offerings from Feathercraft Folding Kayaks company of Canada... an industry leader in highest end folding Kayaks past 30+ years.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Consider an Ally pack canoe. Made in Norway by Bergan's, 46 lbs in a backpack, hold 800 lbs, 16.5' long, these are pretty amazing canoes. I use mine on float trips often and my buddy here in NC got one for the same purpose.



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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Holy Schnykies! I think I just opened up a whole ball of worms. Had no idea they made quality inflatable rafts that were in the 5 to 10 pound range. Figured that weight class was reserved for pool equipment from Freddies

    Thanks for the links. Some of the pricing is not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. Now I've got a whole bunch of reading to do and try to narrow my options down a bit further. And those fold-up kayaks from Feathercraft look pretty sweet as well.
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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just bout a dave scadden raft. 2 person capacity and it weighs in around 46 lbs. He floated the kenai and kasilof last week.
    northforkoutdoors.com

    FWIW, their small craft are made in the USA, the big stuff in New Zealand.

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    Look up "Alaska Wilderness Classic." The stuff people pull off with those Alpacka rafts is pretty mind opening. Those things completely changed wilderness travel in Alaska forever.

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    Check out youtube to see what these lightweights can do .... you will be amazed!

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    Member Gilliland440's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that there are a few used alpackas on craigslist right now because all the whitewater people are after the latest design with the longer tail section... picked up a pair of the latest model at xmas and have used them 4 times in New Zealand and twice down Eagle River already! The design is very stable.

    But if you are looking to use it for two + people the larger Baylees are the way to go.

    -JR

  11. #11

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    Down in Louisiana helping my folks move out if the levee breaks, not looking good - lots of water to try out my new self-bailing packraft-- if the gators don't get me, I will let you all know my thoughts on it.

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    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Good Luck goeaux with the family. Hope all are safe and dry. Red Stick boy myself be careful.
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    I have heard great things about the alpacka rafts, never tried one but would love to get one. This NRS raft also looks like a great lightweight option at a fairly affordable price: http://alaskaraftandkayak.com/store/...at-p-1602.html

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    Not comparable at all. If you are in the market, go with an Alpacka if you want truly lightweight, and Baylee 1/Feathercraft if you want super durability as well as lightweight. The NRS is a made in China knock-off. Baylees are made by hand one at a time, in Vancouver; Alpackas are made in Colorado. The NRS is also an inferior design.

  15. #15

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    Yes, I agree, the Baylees are excellent boats.

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