Vectran Fabric

We now offer two of our boats in Vectran®, The Alpackalypse, and the Alpacka Gnu.  

“What is Vectran?” And why is Alpacka offering it?

First look at some technical information on Vectran:

Vectran® is a high-performance multifilament yarn spun from liquid crystal polymer (LCP). Vectran® is the only commercially available melt spun LCP fiber in the world. Vectran® fiber exhibits exceptional strength and rigidity. Pound for pound Vectran® fiber is five times stronger than steel and ten times stronger than aluminum.

What does this mean for our rafts in a practical sense? First and most important for us, Vectran fabric has no stretch, so a boat can be blown up to higher pressure and have a much more rigid frame than our regular fabrics allow. With increased stiffness and durability this increases the responsiveness of the boat in difficult rapids and rough seas. It is a difficult fabric to tear.

We work with two types of Vectran®:

  • 200x400D on the Alpacka Gnu
    • The 200x400D will tear, but it takes a lot of stress to get it to go.  It weighs the same as our regular tube fabric and rolls up to the same diameter.
  • 400D on the Alpackalypse
    • The 400 cannot be torn by hand. . As stated earlier, it can be torn, but it takes a lot to make it happen. The 400 denier weighs more; it adds one pound six ounces to a boat. It does not roll down as small as the 210 denier fabrics. However, this fabric does NOT tear. It is a very tough, burly fabric.

We currently offer the Vectran® in only two of our models, the Alpacka Gnu and the Alpackalypse. As we get more comfortable in working with this difficult fabric more style options will be added.  This fabric is VERY expensive.  It is also a much more complicated fabric to work with in production.

  • The Gnu can be purchased in either regular fabric ($1250) or the Vectran ($1550). The difference between these two fabrics is the Vectran® makes the Gnu very stiff and much more responsive for two people paddling than our regular tube fabric does.
  • The Alpackalypse ($2000) comes only in the 400 denier Vectran®. This boat is built to take more abuse than our standard rafts.