Knu-Pac Portaging System

Does anyone have experience using this unique system to carry a pack and a canoe. Seems like it would be much easier on the shoulders, back, and neck.

It looks especially intriguing for solo trips.

You might try the search function to
access past archived discussions of the Kny Pac.

I have not used one, but I have an old ('71) Kelty exterior frame pack with a top extension bar, and I can throw my Mad River Synergy, weighing in the upper 60# range, up onto that extension bar so that the canoe minicell saddle (where I kneel, at the balance point) rests on that extension bar. Using the shoulder straps and hip belt, I can carry the boat some distance in reasonable comfort. It does not skitter around up there, and I can keep it stable with one hand.

One thing that makes this whitewater boat easier to carry in this way is that it has considerable rocker. I know from experience that the fore-aft balance of canoes with little or no rocker is not as confidence inspiring. That is one reason that KnuPac has people use for and aft lines to control the balance of the boat.

As I understand it, KnuPac expects people to raise the boat on one end and then walk forward or back until the little U shaped things engage the thwart. I do not think that KnuPac users will be able to throw a boat up there because having the thwart land exactly in those cups in necessary. When I throw the Synergy, there is a wide lattitude of where the foam pedestal seat can land on the extension bar. Then adjustments are easy.

Verify they are still in business
A couple years ago they were trying to sell out and not having much luck. Not a very big market for these things. Sort of like the “kayak kickstand” more of a nuisance than a benefit IMHO. There was a poster on here trying to sell a brand new one for half price, another poster punched his seat out on the risers.

I got one…
I use it for canoeing and kayaking. When I go solo I kayak and if someone comes with canoe. The system works great. I am able to carry a boat and all my gear in a single carry over 1km+ protages. All the weight is off your neck and shoulders and onto your hips and legs.

Eric is a great guy to deal with and will respond to everything promptly.

Home made version
You can make your own pretty easily with any old frame pack and a bit of ingenuity.

A home-made version is what I use for portaging, for either tandem or solo canoes. For a tandem, it is pretty simple to use. One person lifts the bow up high enough (walk your hands down the gunnels towards the center) for the other to duck under and locate the thwart into the yokes on the pack; then you just pull the bow down with the rope and away you go.

We use a rope for balancing, not because it is hard to balance a canoe, but because it is a lot more comfortable to walk with your arms down by your side, and you only need one hand to balance the boat. You can carry a paddle in the other hand, which makes a handy hiking staff for use in really rough terain.

A lot harder to use for a solo canoe if you are alone. I just try to find a tree branch at a reasonable height, and prop the canoe up on the branch, or between two close growing trees, and then duck under the boat to locate the front crossbar of the seat frame into the hooks. It can get hung up on the seat, as it is a tight fit. But if there is someone with you to lift up the bow, then its relatively easy to load.

It is not as easy to get started as with a standard yoke and pads, but it is a whole lot more comfortable to use this system - the heavier your canoe and the longer, harder the portage, the greater the benefit. It is much easier to control the boat on steep and difficult terrain. I have a Wenonah seat mounted yoke for my solo Rendesvouz, and except for being easier to get up on my shoulders, there is no way that it is as good as using a pack frame system. I “put up with” the more difficult start to get the benefit of a much easier carry across the portages. There is no problem lifting the canoe off the fram at the end of the portage, but it is easier if you do have a partner to hold up the bow while you duck out from under the canoe.

With a light cnaoe, you can carry a pack on the frame as well, or just the canoe alone.

used to
I used to be in a hurry and carry a canoe and pack. Now I take my time, enjoy the journey and double portage. Relax and enjoy the walk.