Skip to main content

3 Perfect Packrafts For Every Backpacking Need

3 Perfect Packrafts For Every Backpacking Need

Packraft

Rafting into pristine hunting ground is a common practice that isn't often talked about but should be. Manufacturers have recognized the need for lightweight but durable rafts for sportsmen not only to reach the backcountry, but to also haul out gear and meat without worry of capsizing. They're called "packrafts," and they come in all shapes and sizes. We've selected three packrafts that fit different needs but still weigh under 15 pounds€¦way under.

Alpacka Forager

If you're looking for a light raft to float you and a friend into the backcountry and back out with a large game animal, the Alpacka Forager is for you. It weighs 13 pounds and folds down small enough to fit in a multiday pack to be easily carried by one person. To take what the backcountry throws at it, the Forager is made of 400-denier Vectran fabric for durability. It comes with a cargo fly attached to the floor, six stainless-steel D-rings, and lash points to tie down gear. An inflation bag is used to blow it up, and it is easily maneuverable with two people. The included self-bailing floor keeps you high and dry while two extra-light dry bags are also included to store more gear for your adventure. Alpacka has packrafts in numerous sizes, load capacities, and prices, and they are 100 percent made in the U.S.


Weight: 13 lbs., 4 oz. | Length: 130 in. | Width: 51 in. | Load Capacity: 500+ lbs.


$2,250; alpackaraft.com

Alpacka Forager

 



 

Kokopelli Hornet-Lite

The Hornet-Lite is the right size and weight for a solo hunter looking to float gear in and meat out. Weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces, it packs down small enough to easily fit in a daypack. The sidewalls are made of a 70-denier double-coated nylon, and all seams are double reinforced, which eased my mind when hitting river bottom during testing. It is single chambered and takes only minutes to blow up (once you get the hang of it) with the included inflation bag. At 5´10˝, I could stretch my legs the length of the cockpit, and my pack was tied securely in place with two D-rings that sit on the starboard and port sides. With a 275-pound capacity, a hunter and a field-dressed medium-sized animal could be floated out easily. Kokopelli also offers eight other packrafts in larger sizes to haul more weight.


Weight: 4 lbs., 15 oz. | Length: 85 in. | Width: 37 in. | Load Capacity: 275 lbs.

$525; kokopellipackraft.com

Kokopelli Hornet-Lite

 


 

Klymit LiteWater Dinghy

This LiteWater Dinghy (LWD) is a hidden gem. Although this packraft has a load capacity of 350 pounds, it is very basic, so we consider it best for scouting trips rather than transporting gear and meat. The floor of the raft sits tall, so you are not protected by the sidewalls. Instead, you sit up high, which makes for easy paddling and maneuverability but also allows water to spill over. The LWD is the lightest packraft in our test. It's made of 210 D ripstop polyester, which appears thin but withstood small rapids and rock outcroppings during testing. There are six tie-off zones on the raft, but they're very slender, so use with caution. The packraft rolls down to the size of a one-liter bottle and comes with an inflation bag that doubles as a dry bag. For the price, you can't beat the LWD as a good solo scouting packraft.

Weight: 2 lbs., 3 oz. | Length: 76 in. | Width: 45 in. | Load Capacity: 350 lbs.

$170; klymit.com

 

Klymit LiteWater Dinghy

 

 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy Optics

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns.Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense? Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.Why Freezer Burn Matters Recipes

Why Freezer Burn Matters

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

To help you find the perfect Father's Day gift this year, the PETERSEN'S HUNTING staff2018 Father's Day Gift Guide Accessories

2018 Father's Day Gift Guide

Kali Parmley - May 14, 2018

To help you find the perfect Father's Day gift this year, the PETERSEN'S HUNTING staff

Introducing the Mystery Ranch TREEHOUSE, a new pack built specifically for whitetail-treestandMystery Ranch Expands With TREEHOUSE Pack Accessories

Mystery Ranch Expands With TREEHOUSE Pack

PH Online Editors - January 19, 2018

Introducing the Mystery Ranch TREEHOUSE, a new pack built specifically for whitetail-treestand

Looking for a few great gift ideas to add to your Christmas holiday shopping list? Then keep these Cyber Monday deals in mind this year!Cyber Monday Deals for Outdoor Gear Accessories

Cyber Monday Deals for Outdoor Gear

Lynn Burkhead - November 22, 2018

Looking for a few great gift ideas to add to your Christmas holiday shopping list? Then keep...

OSG live stream host Michael Bane met up with Holder to talk duck hunting memories and to discuss the attributes of Sure-Shot's new Yentzen One2 double-reed duck call.Sure-Shot Game Calls' Yentzen One2 Duck Call Accessories

Sure-Shot Game Calls' Yentzen One2 Duck Call

G&A Staff - January 29, 2018

OSG live stream host Michael Bane met up with Holder to talk duck hunting memories and to...

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now