4 Things to Consider in Choosing Your Packraft – Camping Hiking Adventures

4 Things to Consider in Choosing Your Packraft

Packrafts vary in size and function. This page will give you some basic guidelines in choosing the right packraft for your next adventure.

1. Where will you primarily use your packraft?

  • Lakes & Streams. Usually more flat, calm water surfaces, without much wind or a slow flowing stream. Little turbulence where very little water will be splashed into the raft. Spray decks are not necessary but a removable spray deck may help to keep you warn or give you options in the future for slow flowing streams. Lakes and streams are the easiest and safest place to begin packrafting. Consider our line open deck or removable deck packrafts. 

  • White Water. White water conditions are much more turbulent, typically fast flowing with rocks, rapids, whirlpools, eddies and more unpredictable. Spray decks are necessary to keep you warm and dry. White water packrafting requires experience and more advanced skils. Unless you prefer a sef-baling packraft. Consider our line of white water packrafts or a self-bailer.

2. What size packraft do you need?

  • How many people will be in your boat?  Is it just you, or will you be bringing a friend and paddling tandem? Check out our line of solo and tandem packrafts. 
    • What is the total weight you expect to carry in your packraft (including cargo)? All our packrafts are designed around "recommended load capacity" for the best rafting experience, as well as certain safety margins. Packrafts come with "Max load capacity," too, which is the total load weight you should never exceed. If you know that you will be carrying a lot of cargo, you will want to consider get a packraft that can handle the extra weight, such as a Barracuda R2 (max weight 230 kg or 507 lbs), Barracuda R2 Pro (max weight 230 kg or 507 lbs) or an Adventure X2. 

    3. What kind of spraydeck (skirt) do you need?

    • C-type. This is the traditional removable spraydeck that allows for easy in and out of the packraft. It's pretty waterproof, but in extreme waves or rapids, water may get in around the edges.   The MRS Microraft & Adventure X2 both feature the C-Type Spraydeck.
    • D-type. This removable dual-use spraydeck can be easily closed or opened by using the two waterproof zippers. Most water will remain out of your raft when the spray skirt is zipped shut. Both the MRS Nomad SD1 and Barracuda R2 Pro feature the D-Type Spraydeck.
    • W-type. A W-type spray skirt is non-removable, fully sealed, and completely waterproof. The MRS Alligator S2 and Alligator S2 Pro both feature the D-Type Spraydeck.
    • Self Bailer The bottom of the packraft features drainage holes. The MRS Viking features a self-bailing system. There is no spray deck on this packraft. 
    • None. Open design without any covers.

    4. Do you want the Internal Storage System (ISS)?

    • The Internal Storage System (ISS) is a completely airtight zipper on the packraft. It allows you to access the hull or tube chamber of the packraft and provides extra storage space, as you can store your gear in there, keeping it safe and dry. 
    • All MRS Packrafts with ISS feature a top-of-the-line TIZIP zipper, and come with an internal storage bag. We recommend using silicone grease to protect the zipper system (also included). 
    • The ISS is an optional feature on most of our MRS packrafts. 

    We hope these tips helps! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@campinghikingadventures.com.