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  1. #1
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Inflatable Boat / Packraft

    Does anyone here do 1/2 pedal, 1/2 paddle day trips?

    What are you using for the paddle portion?

    I've got quite a few navigable rivers at my disposal so I've been looking into inflatable boats

    I'd love an alpacka packraft but I'm not 100% sure I'd get my money out of it at $900+

    Been looking at reviews for the Sea Eagle 370, it looks very manageable for hauling in my YAK trailer and will hold the weight of 2 riders, 2 bikes and the trailer while being very river tolerant unlike some of the wider raft options

    Sport Kayaks ? Inflatable Kayaks For One or Two Adults ? from SeaEagle.com - Prices start at just $239. FREE SHIPPING to lower 48 US States.

    I don't foresee doing any rapids, more like lazy river cruising

    I think I could easily get my $350 out of this thing and I can head out unassisted unlike a regular kayak or canoe
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  2. #2
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    Inflatable Boat / Packraft

    Bike rafting is definitely on my to do list but I have never done any to date (though plenty of paddling and biking separately). The first thing I noticed is that the sea eagle weighs 26lbs vs. just under 5 for the Alpaca. That's a huge difference. I also didn't see if the sea eagle came with a pump. Another important consideration.

    I suspect there are other options out there as well. I have also toyed with a trailer to haul my Kevlar canoe upriver and then float back down. But I have to be able to fit it all in the boat and I haven't figured that out yet.

    If you search something like "bike rafting" you should get some good trip reports from which you can figure out what boats people are using.

  3. #3
    saddlemeat
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    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    As a New Mexican, I must exalt Kevin's badassedness. That's one hell of a trip!

  5. #5
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    Get an Alpacka Yak or Lama. Thought out and perfectly designed boats that are light, tough, tracks well on longer flat water crossings and can do whitewater. They have excellent resale value, if you find you don't use them enough.

    We've only had ours for 3 months, but find new routes to do with them about every weekend.

  6. #6
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    I should add here that I'd like it if someone could come with me on the trips, my wife or another friend, I could stretch for the alpaca but there's no way I'm buying 2 of them and finding another person willing to make that big of a commitment is highly unlikely

    Has anyone taken trips with a lesser "boat"?
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    Has anyone taken trips with a lesser "boat"?
    i'm also very interested in anyone else's experience with this. I live a half mile from a beautiful river to paddle and have been itching to do some rides out and float back trips, but i can't spring for an alpacka for the job.

  8. #8
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    Alpacka's are worth it. Way worth it. They've been on the market for so long, that older models are now starting to pop up on craigslist. So, you could try that route.

    Although, even if you get one of those, you will still have a very awkward time strapping both a bike, and a trailer, to your deck. It's something I would not recommend.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    @adelorenzo
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    Alpackas are the bomb and worth every penny. I can't say enough good things about them as a product and a company, and they have been proven in the field time and again.

    That being said, if price is a concern you could also look into NRS packrafts. They seem to be popular with packrafters and they are a good deal cheaper than the Alpacka. They are also under 5 lbs.

    Check the buy and sell forums on packrafting.org as used boats can be a good deal. Especially if you are not doing a lot of whitewater, a used first generation design raft would be a good choice and probably more affordable.

    I'd say you'd want to leave the trailer at home though.

  10. #10
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    I agree with you guys on leaving the trailer home assuming I'm not hauling a 30 something # "boat" and other gear, a normal packraft would easily fit in a larger camelbak or strapped to a rack

    came across this yesterday New Pack Raft Model Weighs 35 ounces. We Put To Full Test | Gear Review | Gear Junkie

    looks like a cheap enough option for a day trip and could certainly buy a 2nd for whomever comes along
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    It looks like a nice boat for completely flat water, but with a bike attached, I probably would not run even class II in it. Especially rocky class II.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    Check the buy and sell forums on packrafting.org as used boats can be a good deal. Especially if you are not doing a lot of whitewater, a used first generation design raft would be a good choice and probably more affordable.
    thanks for the link for packrafting.org. a good used on would probably be the best route to go for me.

    here's a bit of a curve ball question for people: do you know of any 2-person inflatable rafts that could work? the best situation would be to find something that my wife and i could take out on some days and then could double as a packraft with my bike secured to it on others. i can't say i've looked a lot, but if anyone had ideas about something that would work without too many compromises, that'd be awesome. thanks!

  13. #13
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    wait.
    This for something that will be hopscotch between water and trails? or ride to water, leave bike on shore and paddle the day away?

    For the latter, the sea eagle would work

    Have you looked into pontoon boats?
    I have a older one of these:
    The Creek Company :: Pontoon Boats :: #886 - ODC Classic XL
    Love it. Its my fishing rig complete with Lowrance fish finder. Could easily strap your bike to the back and float.

    I used to have a Classic Accessories Colorado, heavy beast (built that way to handle a trolling motor). They make (or made?) a backpackable boat. Think they have frameless ones now.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    I've never used it, but Alpacka's new tandem boat may work.

    I probably wouldn't take it on anything too crazy.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    I've never used it, but Alpacka's new tandem boat may work.

    I probably wouldn't take it on anything too crazy.
    thanks! that is exactly what i had in mind.

  16. #16
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    I probably wouldn't take it on anything too crazy.
    I would!

    I got to see one in action last summer, and was intrigued enough that I made another, separate trip down there to paddle it. I've been waiting ever since with baited breath for them to release it.











    Amazing, capable, and light. I'd take it on any III to III+ whitewater run I've ever done. It's at least as capable as I am as a paddler. Probably more.

    I'm currently considering it for an upcoming ~weeklong traverse in SE AK. So fast on flat water, so light (when split between the two of us) on the back.












  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    Holy crap, Mike. That deck looks incredible. Any chance you know for sure if they are going to release it, or something like it? This may be great for mellow runs with one of the kids.

    Also, you heading to the Packraft Roundup this summer?

    Edit: Just checked and it has been released - Alpacka Gnu. Crazy cool. And yes, I agree, this one looks fun water worthy. (the above link I threw out was to the Explorer 42)
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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  18. #18
    @adelorenzo
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    It should be worth pointing out that any Alpacka can handle a two person load for things like river crossings or paddling around a flat lake for fun. They have more than enough flotation, it's all about trying to squeeze people and gear into the boat.

    SE Alaska is near my neck of the woods. Mike I'd be curious to know where are you headed on your trip, if that is something you'd be willing to share.

  19. #19
    Hermit
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    I'd be careful about ordering that Sea Eagle. I've heard that their quality is fairly sketchy.

    See if you can find someone selling a used one, so you can take a look at how it's made before you consider buying.

    Better safe than sorry.

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
    http://swampboy62.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    Holy crap, Mike. That deck looks incredible. Any chance you know for sure if they are going to release it, or something like it? This may be great for mellow runs with one of the kids.

    Also, you heading to the Packraft Roundup this summer?

    Edit: Just checked and it has been released - Alpacka Gnu. Crazy cool. And yes, I agree, this one looks fun water worthy. (the above link I threw out was to the Explorer 42)
    Roundup is on my radar, but that's a long ways away at a busy time of year. We'll see.

    Gnu arrived today. Few more wheels to build before I can unbox it and schlep it down to the lake for a maiden voyage.

  21. #21
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    It should be worth pointing out that any Alpacka can handle a two person load for things like river crossings or paddling around a flat lake for fun. They have more than enough flotation, it's all about trying to squeeze people and gear into the boat.

    SE Alaska is near my neck of the woods. Mike I'd be curious to know where are you headed on your trip, if that is something you'd be willing to share.
    Southern half of the Northern half of AK's Lost Coast. No bikes, just feet and boats.

  22. #22
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    I am a bit biased as I helped start Alpacka and still keep a role in some of their operations. That being said, the Gnu (2 person) is a really great boat. I have one of the prototypes and have used it mostly for fishing, but the bike applications are fantastic as well. There may be some accessories down the line specifically geared towards biking with the Gnu as well. Otherwise, for an all purpose bike raft, I'd have some one get either the Fjord Explorer (for big and comfortable) or the Curiyak (named after Mikesee) for something lighter and faster.

  23. #23
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    so being cheap got the best of me, I want to try out some 1/2 pedal 1/2 paddle days and for $200 I went with this

    Intex Mariner 3

    The actual weight is around 60# after the top 1/2 of the rod holders are removed and I'll be switching to a kayak paddle rather than the oars when I go solo

    the bag that it comes in is almost exactly the same size as the dry bag that came with my YAK trailer

    pictures to follow, I'll get some of it loaded in the trailer and of course with the bike(s) and trailer in it as well

    I'll get my $200 out of this thing just fishing with the kiddo even if I don't do many bike trips with it, if the pedal/paddle trips are something I want to do more I'll end up buying an alpaca
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    The actual weight is around 60#
    ?!?!?!?! Holy cow! I love my Alpacka Yak. With all my equipment I can always find something to to fault it, but my packraft, I seriously can't find anything wrong with it, except maybe to have more attachment points, but those you can glue on yourself. You can't beat < 5 lbs!

  25. #25
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    Inflatable Boat / Packraft

    Here's 2 bikes on an Alpacka Gnu. Keep in mind this was all class I-II.

    Inflatable Boat / Packraft-gnu2.jpg
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

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