How effective are Alpacka rafts in...?

This will be my first real year as a backpacker. I have a couple of land locations thought up but I am interested in doing island camps as well. Please note, I have never gone kayaking. My girlfriend has, she took a class and said it was of the most exciting and fun things she did. Sea kayak’s are expensive, however, and since this is my first real year as a backpacker perhaps Kayaking would be a bit much - this is why I am interested in Alpacka rafts.

I wanted to get a sea kayak for open water travel. I’d like to hit the prince william sound and camp on the dozens of islands all the way out to the sea - is a noticeable example. I’d also like rivers as well, however, as you all know sea kayak’s aren’t for rivers and I do have a cheap beat up raft (hopefully it still floats) in my garage.

My question is: What have you used your Alpacka raft for? (If you have one) Would it be any effective for what I would like to do? Any general advise is welcome.

I asked this same question in the Backpacker forums - and GoBlueHiker recommended I came here. Thank you all!


I tried an Alpacka raft on windy water, and I sent it back to Alpacka (Sherry was very good about taking it back). I think it would be entirely unsuitable for what you are thinking of doing. It is very slow, and it likes to turn in circles. It is really optimized for backpacking and river segments where the current does most of the work, and it sacrifices performance on other waters.

A sea kayak can do rivers, despite what you’ve been told. Class 2 shouldn’t be a problem, if you get a little training. I don’t think I’d try class 3 in a sea kayak, but my whitewater skills are rusty; I imagine better paddlers could do it.

– Mark


– Last Updated: Feb-15-08 6:54 PM EST –

I had a thread on this but I cannot find it. I checked into this raft for going downstream after hiking upstream. I decided against it. The straw that broke the buying camel's back was a you tube video of someone paddling this raft. They are, as stated above, very wiley and cumbersome. The water bunches up in the front of the raft.

I think they were made for very short water crossings while backpacking back country(someone here said that on the other thread).

They do make kayaks that fold up. Don't know much about them but people here can tell you about them.