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Packraft Options: Grand Canyon/Flatwater

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mike, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike epic blarneys

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    Location:
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    I'm finally gonna get my own boat! Trying to "weigh" out the options (a little pun action for your tuesday evening).

    Supai Boats: The standard as of yet. 24 oz, $299. Only one I've used.
    http://www.supaiadventuregear.com/supai_adventure_gear_3_004.htm

    Litewater Dingy: Just found this bad boy. 33 oz, $225.
    http://www.klymit.com/index.php/litewater-dinghy-lwd.html

    Newer version of the same boat the "UL": $200 preorder price (until April 8th), 25 oz.
    http://rutalocura.com/LWD.html

    FlytePacker: Sold out. $299. 35 oz.
    http://flyweightdesigns.com/?wpsc-product=flytepacker-packraft-2

    Then there are Alpackas. Bomber, heavy, expensive as hell.

    Others out there? Experiences? Paddles that you like?
  2. Erik

    Erik

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    Location:
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    The Alpacka heavy? Ha ha, things sure have changed. I remember thinking there was no way that thing could hold up. It's been great so far, but those light boats sure would be nice for the GC.

    Tags - sharebear. Don't you at least need to post a picture to make that applicable?
    Mike likes this.
  3. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    kind of crazy to see klymit jump on the packraft bandwagon... since they are who helped source the material that is used to make the supai boats. interesting.

    i've used the supai, flytepacker, and alpacka. supais are light and easy to pack, but they are slightly too small for me. Rich Rudow loves his though. i'd prefer the flytepacker for a little more room, but they have an annoying air valve right where your paddle needs to swing. super annoying.

    of course, the alpackas rock. but they are a little more weight, but a huge upgrade on stability, maneuverability, and durability.

    for the GC, the supai boat is probably the best bet if you are below 180 pounds.

    this paddle kicks ass - Kwiktek collapsible paddle. $19

    can't beat the price!
  4. MrAdam

    MrAdam

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    Or....... you can go the ultra cheap, but heavy route.
    http://www.amazon.com/Intex-Explore...8&qid=1364427497&sr=8-1&keywords=explorer 200

    Disclaimer: It says right on the "boat" aka pool toy, not to use it for this application.

    However..... I used one for 29 Mile Canyon and I know other who have used them exclusively in multiple GC slots. They are heavy and extremely bulky, but they get the job done. I even took my pool toy down a steep creek kayak run here in AZ!
    Dan Ransom likes this.
  5. Christian Lupercio

    Christian Lupercio

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    I second the mighty Explorer 200.

    This is what we used for our descent of Waterholes and float to Lee's Ferry. Yes, they are heavy but not only did we consider weight and price, but usage as well. We needed these rafts solely for that canyon with no immediate plans to float out other or even have use for a pack raft. So double the weight for something that's just going to sit and collect dust sounded good to us. If we ever do Waterholes again, the Explorer 200 would be the choice again. I just ran out to weight it, and it clocked in at 4lb 3oz (67oz) so pretty much double. Note that doesn't include the paddles as I no longer have them. Notice how most of those you listed don't have a paddle or include the weight of it.

    What we did: The paddles (oars, whatever) are heavy. If memory serves me right, the paddles come in 4 parts. 3 pieces that make the handle, and the paddle. That's 8 pieces total. We opted just take the paddles and one of those pieces for each one, 4 pieces total. A short perhaps seemingly worthless paddle, but it more than sufficed for us. Maybe it was when we did it or the flow of the river but what we expected to be a 4 hour float was less than 2hrs. More like 1.5hrs really. We read that the flow was so slow, one would have to actually paddle to move. We didn't have such problem. The only time we used the paddles was to steer, that's it. If you're a MacGyver, I'd entertain the idea of just taking the paddles and finding a stick to use as a kayak paddle. ;)
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
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    I want Christian on my team. It sounds like he is VERY strong!

    Tom
    Josh Case and Christian Lupercio like this.
  7. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    You read his story on explorations in the Santa Rosa's? Yeah, pretty sure he's built for huge days...
    Christian Lupercio likes this.
  8. Christian Lupercio

    Christian Lupercio

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    haha, thanks guys. I am finally putting up the beta for Bear Creek, I dropped the ball on that one.
    Dan Ransom likes this.
  9. cirrus2000

    cirrus2000

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    Location:
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    Hey Mike, did you get a packraft yet? Very curious... A friend and I are thinking of getting a couple to use up here. Might see some fairly rough water and jagged rock, so probably would need to go heavy/durable/Alpacka. Then again, we're planning on taking a couple of pool toys through some class II/III water this coming week... yolo indeed - good tagging, Mike.
  10. Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers

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    Location:
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    Being a bigger guy (6'5" 210 lbs.), I opted for the FlytePacker instead of the Supai. After a recent run on the Colorado, I've now got a FlytePacker for sale (I'm buying the Supai). I'm pushing the recommended max for the Supai, but I like it better for several reasons: 1) it's lighter; 2) it paddles better (IMO); 3) the fill valve on the Flytepacker is in a really annoying position; and 4) I like the fill valve on the Supai with the hose which provides the ability to temper on the fly. Use is primarily for the GC--and the long distances and heavy pack weights make weight important. That XLT wetsuit, , long sleeping bag, etc., really start to eat up my volume (and Tom won't make my a bigger HEAPS pack :)).

    Dang, Dan, that paddle looks cheap. Do you use it as a full paddle or break it down to two smaller hand paddles? Much less expensive than my 4-piece FG paddle...
  11. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    Folks do it either way - i prefer using it with only two aluminum pole sections, and using a kayak style stroke. i'm not strong enough with hand paddles to make much progress...
  12. Josh Case

    Josh Case Rock!

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    I am like Mike Rogers and looking at a Supai, but know I will be pushing the weight rating. I mean really pushing the weight rating! Anyone have any experience maxing the Supai out? Any idea what kind of a safety factor is built into the 250# rating? What's the rating on the Ruta Locura? Didn't see that on the website... It really is a pricey purchase, so good to make sure it fits all of the parameters!
  13. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    I'm 6'0" 190, and with a full pack I've definitely been at the brink of the supai's weight limit. Though, I think Aaron and Shannon made a larger version than I was using...
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