FAQ  

Frequently asked questions

What is a Packraft?


Packrafts are lightweight, portable inflatable single person or 2 person rafts that can be packed down small enough to fit in your backpack. They are easy to learn to paddle, stable, forgiving and open up a world of possibilities for lightweight travel and adventure.




What types of Packrafts are there?


There are various types of Pack Rafts available. Ultra-lightweight models suitable for flatwater, to self-bailing designs that can be paddled on moving water, to models with touring spraydecks which can be used in different water environments, and even whitewater spraydecks that can be used in more dynamic moving water. There are single types and double seat types suitable for adventure racing or recreation. There are varying types of materials and options that can be selected which in turn determines the weight and use of the pack raft. Regardless of the type of pack raft, they are all a lot of fun!




Where can I use a Packraft?


Packrafts are capable on flatwater (lakes and slow rivers), coastal environments, moving water rivers. Pretty much any body of water depending on the type of Packraft used, and the experience of the person paddling them. Safety: Please note that whilst some experienced and trained paddlers use packrafts on mid- grade whitewater, a packraft is generally suited to flat and low level moving water. We do not recommend packrafts for whitewater use by inexperienced paddlers, and we recommend anyone intending to paddle in whitewater environments receive suitable swiftwater training and self-rescue training, and paddle with experienced paddlers with whitewater safety experience and training in a suitable craft. We do not warrant that a packraft is suitable for any specific grade of whitewater as safe use will depend on environmental/river conditions, experience of paddlers, and knowledge of the river being paddled. It is important to recognise that packrafts are single chamber lightweight inflatable craft so damage can occur and deflation can happen very quickly so it is important that paddlers make an informed choice regarding where and how they paddle a packraft, and be able to exit the craft quickly and safely if this occurs. Please seek suitable advice before deciding to paddle in a swiftwater environment, and determine if a packraft is the most suitable choice of craft.




Are Packrafts safe?


Yes. Packrafts are built using advanced materials for durability and low weight. They are hardy craft but they are inflatable boats made from lightweight materials so care should always be taken to minimise the potential for punctures or tears.




What else do I need to know?


There are some fantastic resources online regarding Packrafts and how you can use them. From instructional videos and paddling tutorials, to customisation, maintenance and repair tips, and a load of inspirational adventure videos. There is no greater resource for the aspiring packrafter than experience: Your own, and that of others that have gone before. Enjoy, and safe paddling!




What are Packrafts made from?


The team at PacKraft puts a high priority on supplying reliable premium quality packrafts, professionally constructed using robust and durable materials. Packrafts are a balance of keeping weight to a minimum without sacrificing the strength and reliability of the boat. A packraft is a significant investment and we want you to be able to enjoy it for many adventures to come. Packrafts typically use coated nylon fabric (TPU) on the main tubes, and depending on the model, either 840, 420, or 210 denier on the floors. Some newer models use a Kevlar/Aramid fibre re-inforced floor for additional strength. The urethane coating provides added protection. Superlight material provides lighter weight and reduced packed size and a higher strength than more traditional packraft materials. Safety: Please note that whilst some experienced and trained paddlers use packrafts on mid-grade whitewater, a packraft is generally suited to flat and low level moving water. We do not recommend packrafts for whitewater use by inexperienced paddlers, and we recommend anyone intending to paddle in whitewater environments receive suitable swiftwater training and self-rescue training, and paddle with experienced paddlers with whitewater safety experience and training in a suitable craft. We do not warrant that a packraft is suitable for any specific grade of whitewater as safe use will depend on environmental/river conditions, experience of paddlers, and knowledge of the river being paddled. It is important to recognise that packrafts are single chamber lightweight inflatable craft so damage can occur and deflation can happen very quickly so it is important that paddlers make an informed choice regarding where and how they paddle a packraft, and be able to exit the craft quickly and safely if this occurs. Please seek suitable advice before deciding to paddle in a swiftwater environment, and determine if a packraft is the most suitable choice of craft.




How do I look after my Packraft?


By caring for your packraft correctly you will enjoy a much longer trouble free life out of the product, and have many more water based adventures. Storage – Where possible store the packraft unfolded, away from the sun, heat, damp and cold. Do not store for long periods of time rolled up tightly. Never store wet, and always rinse and dry out the packraft as soon as possible after use. You may wish to store with the main valve cap open. Sun – Although packrafts use UV resistat materials, extended UV exposure can damage the materials used in the packraft, so try to keep the packraft in the shade or keep it wet when inflated. If left in the heat when inflated, the pressure in the packraft can build quickly, so always deflate the packraft when not in use or let enough pressure out. Sand/dirt – Wash your feet/shoes before entering the packraft to avoid bringing sand or dirt into the cockpit. Sand or dirt can be abrasive and over time can cause damage to seams and the packraft material. Always wash in fresh water after use to clean sand or dirt out of the packraft, especially in the folds and seams. Sharp objects – Packrafts are made from strong materials and are robust craft for their light weight, however care should be taken to avoid sharp objects, rocks, sticks and branches, which in extreme circumstances may puncture or cut the packraft and cause deflation. Where possible packrafts should be carried and not dragged along the ground, and in shallow water extreme care should be taken to avoid damaging the floor of the raft, and by no means should you try and stay sitting in the boat and bounce over shallow sections where the bottom of the boat may come in contact with the riverbed or rocks.





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