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 these are flat, calm water surfaces, without much wind or slow-flowing streams with little turbulence where not much water will  splash into the raft. Spray decks are not necessary, but a removable spray deck may help to keep you warm or give you options in the future to paddle bigger rivers. Lakes and streams are the easiest and safest place to begin packrafting. Consider our line of open deck or removable deck packrafts. 

  • White Water. White water conditions are much more turbulent, typically fast flowing with rocks, rapids, whirlpools, eddies and are unpredictable. Spray decks are necessary to keep you warm and dry. White water packrafting requires experience and more advanced skills. 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 (max weight 188 kg or 414 lbs). 

    3. What type of spray deck do you need?

    • C-type. This is the traditional removable spraydeck that allows for easy in and out of the packraft. It's reasonably waterproof, but water may get in around the edges in extreme waves or rapids. The MRS Microraft and Adventure X2 both feature the C-type spray deck.
    • E-type. Similar to the C-type spray deck. The difference is the airbag is concealed with the E-type spray deck. The MRS Microraft features the E-type Spray deck.
    • D-type. This removable dual-use spray deck can be easily closed or opened by using the two waterproof zippers. Most water will remain out of your raft when the sprayskirt is fitted to the D-type spray deck. The MRS Nomad SD1Barracuda R2 Pro and the Microraft all feature the D-type spray decks.
    • W-type. A W-type spraydeck is a non-removable spraydeck. The W-type spray deck is fully sealed, and completely waterproof when the sprayskirt is fitted. The MRS Alligator S2, Alligator S2 Pro and Barracuda R2 Pro all feature the W-type spray deck.
    • Sprayskirt. The D-type and W-type spraydecks include a removable sprayskirt for whitewater, protection from the rain, splash and spray proof, or keeping you warm.
    • Self Bailer The bottom of this packraft features drainage holes. The MRS Viking and Viking Evo feature a self-bailing system. There is no spray deck on these packrafts. 
    • 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 help! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@campinghikingadventures.com.