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

 

 

Recommended for You

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench. Ammo

Roll Your Own: Best Reloading Supplies

David Draper - April 19, 2019

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench.

We put the best boots for late-season hunting to the test. Here are the results. Clothing

Field Tested: Cold-Weather Boots

Kali Parmley - April 22, 2019

We put the best boots for late-season hunting to the test. Here are the results.

These four hunts will test your endurance. North America Big Game

North America's Toughest Black Bear Hunts

Brad Fitzpatrick

These four hunts will test your endurance.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Over the years, Remington has introduced a continuously expanded variety of Model 1100 shotguns. Guns

Remington Timeline: 1963 - Remington Model 1100 Autoloading Shotguns

Hunting Online Staff

Over the years, Remington has introduced a continuously expanded variety of Model 1100...

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt. North America

5 Great Last-Minute Public-land Hunts

Joseph von Benedikt

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt.

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the whitetail North America

Top 10 Trophy Whitetail States

Joseph von Benedikt - December 18, 2017

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the...

See More Stories

More Accessories

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

When it comes to traveling near or far to hunt, these five items will make your trip Accessories

Best Travel Gear For Hunters On The Go

Kali Parmley - November 14, 2017

When it comes to traveling near or far to hunt, these five items will make your trip

The perfect 3-day hunting pack durable, comfortable and spacious.
Looking for a pack that's built Accessories

Best hunting packs for 3-day adventures

Kali Parmley - November 22, 2017

The perfect 3-day hunting pack durable, comfortable and spacious. Looking for a pack that's...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×