Friday, December 30, 2011

Ten Pound Packraft

That's been the limit some of us set as a max weight on a packraft. And now I am there.

My 2011 Llama came heavy, with its extra heavy duty spray deck, made from fabric nearly as beefy as the tubes, plus a fat four inches of velcro down its tall waist-wrap. It arrived weighing around 7 pounds.

Then I added a thick poly-pro line to the bow and stern so I don't get separated from my boat like this guy does. In the past, the "chicken line" went right round, but for creeking, just fixing the four front together with poly-pro and the back two seems both necessary and sufficient.

All last season it had beefy metal D-rings for thigh straps fore and aft, anchoring thick, padded Aire Deluxe Thigh Straps. I added sticky-back velcro stabond-glued on the inside tubes to hold an early 2000's style seat as a beefy backrest. This brought it up to over eight pounds

And most recently, in anticipation of creeking on long slides and big drops back East, I added a cut-to fit 1/2 inch closed cell foam lining, a 12" x 12" minicell pad under the stock seat and an 8"x8" foot pad.

The next mod may well be replacing the thigh straps with knee cups, which may take it back down again.


  1. Hi Roman, just a quick question on the closed cell and you use any type of glue to keep them in place? Thanks.

  2. Roman- What do you think of the new spraydecks? Do you think they will be better/worse than your custom job? I switched to the heavier decking last year and noticed a big difference.

    Knee cups? Have you seen this done yet?

  3. Hi Roman, maybe it has to do with metric vs imperial thinking, but for some reason we in EU have set the bar at 4kg (~8 ponds), going as far as boats beyond not considering packrafts. However, this might be of academic value only ;) Any case, state of the art at 3kg is way more capable than 95% of us need. Actually, what I more like to see is a sub 4 pound/2kg boat capable class II/III. Back to the roots! Seams to be what 80% need. Btw, how content are you with the Super Scout?

  4. After two days with my ten pound raft, I must say I love it!

    Because the seat keeps deflating after an hour or so, the closed cell mini-cell that I lashed in, Darren, using p-cord and the extra holes in th seat tabs worked well today for the whitewater run on Tennessee's Tellico Ledges run: no glue. And the foam pad at the feet, the big wad of mini cell that I shoved in and that stays there with friction (it's horizontal so I can put my toes over top and heels against it) allows me to nail more combat rolls than ever before.

    No, Sven, you're right, these boats aren't packrafts anymore. More like "soft-shell" kayaks! As for my Super Scout, I love its basic, back-to-the-roots capabilities for Class III. The mylar/spectra deck started wearing a bit (leaking through pinholes), but that's becuase I was using it to creek Class IV :)

    And John yes, the new decks are drier than my four inch velcro. Sheri Tingey is a genius. We tested that today. My spray deck is wetter than theirs when dropping off water falls and such. I love my boat, but if I were to get a new one, I'd certainly get a boat with that design. But no, we are thinking knee cups but not installing them yet.

  5. Hi Roman,

    Did you plan to develop a bit on this knee cups thingy?! Sounds somewhat interesting?


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