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Pack rafts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tayres, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Tayres

    Tayres

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    Question for those of you with pack raft experience?
    I'm looking to purchase a pack raft and would appreciate any insight on what you liked/disliked about the different rafts you've used and what you would buy if you were buying again.

    Rent options would be appreciated to.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It, of course, depends on what you want it for. Grand Canyon? Nothing like the Supai Canyon Flatwater2, because it only weighs 24 ounces. But ONLY useful for the Grand Canyon, essentially. If you hit a rock with it, you will break it.

    I have them for sale, and for rental:

    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.co...=108#!/~/product/category=2754060&id=14344893
    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.co...=108#!/~/product/category=2754060&id=26613544

    http://www.supaiadventuregear.com/

    Also useful for pothole escapes, but that's another discussion:

    Supai Pothole Escape2 Imlay.
  3. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I hear great things about the alpaca rafts. Great rafts for a pretty penny. Most are just under 5 lbs. but with the weight you get the peace of mind...
  4. Tayres

    Tayres

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  5. Tayres

    Tayres

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    Boot boy,

    Have you used the alpaca?
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I am not much of a boater. Alpaca's have a very good reputation. People seem to like them.

    Tom
  7. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    I've owned and used a couple varieties of the alpacka. No doubt, they are the top of the line packraft right now. You can run legitimate class 3 whitewater in them safely. But they are heavy. My supai boat is 24 ounces. The new paddle they just announced is 12 ounces. So in the grand canyon, it's a no brainer. I can't really see any reason to carry an Alpacka at a huge cost in weight, bulk, and money. My alpacka weighs a little over 6 pounds, and is significantly larger to pack. A supai packs down to the size of a nalgene.

    If you got a strong back and deep wallet, I can't recommend an Alpacka highly enough. We have two now. (I also own a sevylor, supai, and have played with a flytepacker and NRS. Alpackas are great for class 2 or higher. I use the Supai for everything else.)
  8. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    No, I haven't used one, but I hear nothing but good things with the exception of the weight.
  9. Tayres

    Tayres

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    Dan,
    Thanks for your take on the alpaca pack rafts. I think the Supai sounds like the right fit for what I'm looking for.
  10. Sandstoned

    Sandstoned

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    I am interested in learning if the supai boat is any stronger than the frequently see intex explorer 200 (13 gauge)? I KNOW its lighter, I LOVE that it has a blow hose allowing one to add air to the boat when it becomes droopy from cold water chilling the air inside the two chambers. I believe the supai boat has a boston valve, a great feature the explorer 200 does not have. My small group is not planning on using the intex explorer 200 on further grand canyon trips. The boat is gong to be a one trick pony. Our goal is to see the technical section of Shinumo Wash then complete the one mile raft float to the take out beach at Fence Fault. Seems as if many have done this route before? One member's posting, I believe, referred to the route as a trade route. I have no idea if this is so or not, and frankly I am (hopefully not wrongly) expecting a degree of solitude descending the canyon, then whomever we do or do not run into in the form of river runners exploring from below--well at that point its to be expected. In any case, back to the boat query...for a one time shot on the big river on a quiet one mile stretch does the significantly more expensive supai boat offer a significantly higher degree of strength, steering ability, or safety over the cheap shit boat I have seen other use, and am planning to use myself? If you can offer any tips about the boat, or for that matter the route, by all means, I am all ears.

    As a quick point of who and where I am in the sport; have been backpacking grand canyon for over twenty years now, and have been enjoying technical canyons for about eight years, mainly in zion, but cedar mesa and the moab area have also provided some technical adventure for me as well.
  11. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    The intex will work fine for silver grotto. Remember, a trade route in Grand Canyon means it gets done once a week, not 5 times a day like in Utah.

    The supai is strong, relatively so. I think of it as similar to an inflatable air mattress (it's the same material). Don't hit a rock, and it will be fine. Forrest McCarthy just used one to cross multiple lakes in the wind rivers, and of course many of us use them in the big ditch.

    Are they 10 times better than an intex for that particular route? Probably not. If you are going to do many more canyon loops with it, I'd recommend it whole heartedly. But the intex will do the job.
    ratagonia likes this.
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