Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is Packrafting?
How much weight can I carry in an Alpacka Raft?
Are Alpacka Rafts Durable?
Can Alpacka Rafts Run Whitewater?
Are Alpacka Rafts stable?
Do Alpacka rafts have multiple air chambers?
Do I need special skills to packraft?
Where can I learn to packraft?
Which model and size should I get?
Why Buy an Alpacka over a cheaper brand?
How Long will it take to Ship my Order?
What are the fees for international buyers?
How do I glue in additional attachments to my Alpacka Raft?
I just received my Alpacka Raft, how do I set it up?
How do I inflate my Alpacka Raft?
General. Alpacka rafts are inflated using a simple and ingenious inflation bag, which acts as a high-volume air pump and weighs a mere 3 ounces. All 2017 inflation bags are reversible and can be used either with both our 2017 valve and our 2016 and earlier valves. With practice, you can fill the boat in about 90 seconds. Finish off the inflation using your lungs.
2016 and Earlier Valve Operation – All 2016 and earlier models, plus the 2017 Scout, feature a two valve system. Use the inflation bag with the large dump valve to fill the packraft with air, then unscrew the inflation bag and quickly close it off with the valve cap. Use the elbow valve to temper the boat up to pressure.
2017 Valve Operation – All 2017 Alpacka Series feature a lightweight single valve allows high pressure oral inflation and quick deflation with a quick twist of the valve core. Turning the valve core to the right will open the valve for deflation and turning the core to the left will allow the one-way flap to engage for tempering. To inflate, insert the valve adapter on the inflation bag into the valve and twist to the right to lock in place. Use the inflation bag to capture air and compress it through the valve. As the boat fills up, you may want to turn the valve core to the left (without disengaging the adapter) to close the one way flap which will allow you to get more air in with the inflation bag. When the boat is full, disconnect the valve adapter and proceed to tempering. To deflate, just turn the valve core to the right and squeeze the air out.
Tempering – Tempering should be done by mouth or you can use a small pump. If tempering by mouth, you will not be able to overinflate the boat. Inflate it as hard as you can get it by mouth—short sharp breaths are more effective as the boat gets more tempered. You will need to re-temper the boat after a few minutes in the water as the air inside the boat adjusts to the water temperature. On sunny days, you will need to de-temper (let air out) the boat any time you bring the boat out of the water for more than a couple minutes. Due to the volume of air in the boat, the boat can reach dangerously high pressures very quickly if left in the sun. If using a pump, do not inflate the boat above 2-psi.
How do I deflate and pack my Alpacka Raft?
Deflating – To deflate, remove the valve cap and twist the valve core to the right. Roll the boat from the bow to remove additional air. During the valve break in period, you may need to hold the valve open (turned to the right) during deflation. If you have a Cargo Fly, once the packraft has been de-tempered with the valve you can open the Cargo Fly zipper to release the rest of the air.
Folding/Rolling – There is no right or wrong way to roll or fold your boat for transport. Do whatever fits best for your use and carrying method. We recommend the following ways:
– For a wide thinner roll, fold in half lengthwise and roll from the bow.;
– For a narrower thicker roll, fold into thirds lengthwise and roll from the bow;
– For a relatively square fold, try folding into quarters lengthwise and then folding in 1-foot length sections from the bow and secure with a strap.
How do I install my seat?
We have several styles of seats depending on the model:
Tie in Seats – Our non-self bailing Alpacka Series models (and many of our discontinued models) have tied in seats. To install, lineup the coated fabric seat tab (with holes) that is sewn to each side of the seat with the similar tabs that are attached to the sides of the packraft. The valve side of the seat should face up. Thread the tie in cords (included in the package) through the tabs and tie off each end to hold in place.
Sleeve Seats – All self bailers, all Whitewater Series models, and the Explorer 42 use a 3/4 length seat that is held in place by a sleeve that is attached to the floor of the boat. To install, slip the uninflated or partially inflated seat into the sleeve with the valve facing up and inflate to secure in place.
Gnu C2 Seat – The Gnu C2 Seat attaches to the Gnu via a series of aluminum hooks which connect to heavy duty loops which are welded into the floor of the Gnu. There are also two 1-inch male quick release buckles at each end of the C2 Seat which connect to corresponding female quick release buckles on the boat. Installation is easiest with the Gnu inflated and the C2 Seat inflated but not tempered.
Gnu Touring Seats (Kneeling Configuration) – To install the Touring Seats for kneeling, the wide flat side of the seat faces down and will push into place on the floor. The seat is designed to be oriented so that the higher part of the “saddle” is towards the stern. The paddler can kneel on either side of the saddle with their feet hanging off the back edge for a comfortable and cushioned kneeling position. When inflated, the seat pushes outwards to stay in position and keep it from falling out when you are out of the boat. The straps (for installing in sitting position) can be hooked into the floor attachments for the C2 seat for extra security.
Gnu Touring Seats (Sitting Configuration) – To install the Touring Seats for sitting, the wide flat side of the seat faces up and the “saddle” side faces down. Position the seats so that the curve on the flat side that you are sitting on faces the stern. There are 4 strap plates on the seat which allow the seat to be secured by lashing 1-inch webbing straps to the two grab loops on the end of the packraft and the two triangles in the center of the tubes. You can cinch the seat down tight for a comfortable seat like a classic touring canoe.
How do I setup the Cruiser Deck?
How do I setup the Whitewater Deck?
Fitting the Coaming. The Whitewater Deck coaming is a 98-inch long 1/4-inch I.D. PEX pipe with an aluminum joint for connecting the coaming after threading onto the cockpit rim. To attach the coaming, unzip the two water resistant zippers on the cockpit rim and thread the coaming into the sleeve from the end without the aluminum sleeve. You may have to push and pull the PEX to work it all the way around the cockpit rim. Join the PEX with the aluminum joint and close the zippers to lock the coaming in place. Due to shrinkage of the deck fabric, you will need to trim the coaming pole to fit after a few weeks of use. Trim the end without the aluminum joint about 1/2-inch at a time until the coaming fits snugly in the cockpit rim when zipped closed.
Fitting the Spray Skirt. The spray skirt should be worn over your paddling clothing and under your PFD. To attach the spray skirt, start at either the back or front and work the opposite direction. It may take a few rounds of practice to get used to fitting the last bit of the skirt over the cockpit rim. If it is still to tight, trim the coaming pole as described above.
How do I install a Backband?
- Detach the stabilizing straps from the backband, loop them through the strap plates in the stern, and reattach to the inner ladder locks on the backband.
- Attach the backband by threading the straps on each end of the backband through the stern facing D-Rings on the packraft from the bow to stern and then thread through the aluminum common loops and attach to the outer ladder locks on the backband.
- You can adjust the backband while paddling to give a tighter or looser fit.
NOTE – If you have a 2016 Self Bailer, we can provide two heavy duty aluminum hooks for attaching the backband to the webbing loop on the packraft. The straps on the end of the backband should be threaded through the aluminum hooks (only one of the holes, not both like a ladder lock) and then back through the ladder locks on the backband as described above. The aluminum hooks should be installed so that they face down when attached to the packraft.
How do I install thigh straps?
- Sit in the inflated packraft with the backband adjusted to a comfortable leg position with your knee bent.
- Drape the thigh strap in place over your knee and note the of the metal hooks on the strap plate on the top of each side tube with the straps wrapping slightly around your knee cap.
- Attach the straps at all four points and adjust the length of the ankle strap so when the strap is tightened at the hip it lies flat over your thigh and knee. Once the top and ankle points are set, tighten and loosen the strap with hip adjustment which is threaded through the D-Ring facing towards the bow.
NOTE – If you have a 2016 Self Bailer, we can provide two heavy duty 1-inch quick release buckles for attaching the hip points of the thigh straps to the packraft. The thigh straps should be threaded through the top slot in the quick release buckle (not both slots like a ladder lock) and then back through the ladder lock on the thigh strap for adjustment.
How do I setup and care for my Cargo Fly?
Overview – The Cargo Fly is the ultimate packraft gear storage solution. The three-piece system utilizes an airtight and watertight zipper installed in the stern of the boat together with two gear storage dry bags which are clipped in place along the inside of the raft tubes. The system provides drier and more secure gear storage, improved paddling performance due to a lower center of gravity, quicker transitions from packrafting to hiking, and the internal dry bags act as additional balanced air chambers for increased safety (even over a two-chamber packraft) in the event of a puncture.
Internal Dry Bags – The Cargo Fly system includes two internal dry bags:
Ultralight Dry Bags are included standard on all Alpacka and Cargo Series models and optional on Whitewater Series models. The Ultralight Dry Bags feature a standard roll-top style closure. Weight 9oz/pair.
Standard Dry Bags are included standard on all Whitewater Series models and optional on all others. Standard dry bags feature an airtight zipper closure and inflation tube to act as additional air chambers. Weight 18oz/pair.
Installation – Both ultralight and standard dry bags (except Forager) can be secured inside the side tubes with the included 3/4-inch quick release buckles. On initial setup, the male buckle will need to be threaded onto the 3/4-inch webbing tab installed about half way down the side of each tube.
Packing – Internal dry bags should be evenly weighted to balance the load on either side of the packraft. Heavier items can be packed towards the bow or stern depending on the paddler’s preference. Note – All hard and sharp items (pots, fuel canisters, stoves, etc.) should be packed in a padded case or wrapped in clothing and placed to the top and inside of the internal dry bags to prevent pinch flatting your packraft in shallow rivers.
Care & Maintenance – Follow these simple steps to keep your Cargo Fly TiZip SuperSeal® zipper in good repair (See more in our Cargo Fly Care Instructions):
Keep the zipper lubricated! Lubricate the entire length of the zipper before the first use, before and after any multi-day trip, and anytime the zipper feels sticky or difficult to move. Clean excess lubricant off with a cloth.
Keep the zipper clean and free of dirt and sand in the field. Load and unload your boat in the field in a clean area and keep your zipper closed when not in use. Clean sand and dirt contamination with a small brush and or by blowing on the area to prevent the zipper from separating.
Dry your zipper after every trip. Allow your boat to dry with the zipper open after every trip. The coating on the zipper can degrade if stored damp, which will cause the zipper to leak.
Do I have to do anything special to care for my Alpacka Raft?
Store your packraft out of direct sunlight. We use the highest UV resistant urethane coatings available. These coatings will stay color fast far longer than cheaper packrafts that “look” like our boats, but use a much cheaper lower UV resistant coatings. Storing your packraft out of direct sunlight will prolong its life and reduce UV aging.
Wash your packraft. Washing with mild dish soap helps keep your boat clean and prevent the spread of invasive species across waterways.
Air dry your packraft. A wet packraft can spread invasive species. In addition, if your boat is stored wet, it will start to smell like cat urine and this smell can be very difficult to remove.
Clean, dry, and lubricate your Cargo Fly zipper. See the Cargo Fly Care Instructions for more details.
We recommend periodic Seaworthiness Checks. These should be done when pulling the boat out after a period of storage, after any non-design use (ex: using it as a tarp or gear-sled), or after any event that might have damaged the boat.
Do not use “UV-Protectant” or similar sprays on your packraft – These sprays create a hard outer coating that prevents repair materials and glue from sticking to the packraft. If you do accidentally use a UV protectant spray on your boat, it will wear off after use but you will have trouble with repairs or gluing any attachments to the boat until it does wear off.
How do I store my Alpacka Raft?
How do I repair my Alpacka Raft?