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Kokopelli Packrafts down the Tumut River

A Guide to Kokopelli Packrafts

Chase the unexplored, the untouched and the inspirational spots with Kokopelli Packrafts. Packrafts are the tool for the ultimate adventure. Put one on your back and hike into secluded waterways, strap one to your bike or throw it in the back of the car for an after-work paddle. 

Packrafts are small inflatable boats that are durable enough for rough conditions and light enough to carry long distances. Packrafting is a combination of backpacking (hiking) and rafting, an activity that has also expanded to include biking, fly fishing, canyoning, climbing and every other outdoor activity you can think of. The best part of packrafts for many is that they are light and inflatable, so no need for the effort of tie-downs, heavy lifting, trailers and roof racks. 

The best type of packraft for you depends on the trips you have planned. Are you a leisurely cruise around the lake paddler or a level III whitewater adrenaline seeker? Or maybe you like both. There is a packraft for every adventurer type. The guide below should help you find the right one. And if not, give us a call on (02) 6947 4062 or shoot us an email here

Types of Packrafts

A non-self-bailing or bucket style, like the XPD, has a sealed floor meaning any water that gets in stays in, as there is nowhere for the water to drain. Standard packrafts are most popular for still water and lazy rivers where you are unlikely to find yourself in an unplanned inversion or have water enter your raft. 

Some non-self-bailing packrafts feature a spray/whitewater deck to be used with a spray skirt, such as the Kokopelli Nirvana Spraydeck model. A spray deck and skirt combination allow you to surf bigger features while staying dry and keeps you warm when touring in the cooler months. The Rogue R-Deck gives you the best of both worlds with its removable spray deck feature. 

A self-bailing packraft, like the Nirvana Self-Bailing Packraft, has drainage in the floor, so when water gets in, it drains back out. You will get wet in a self-bailing raft, so they are best for warm weather or use with a dry suit. The open design of a self-bailing packraft makes for a quick entry and exit making them ideal for trips with lots of portages and scouting rapids. 

The TiZip Feature

Kokopelli has incorporated an optional TiZip feature into their range of packrafts for clever storage inside the inflated packraft. The zip compartment is waterproof and airtight so it's handy for storing your tent, sleeping system and whatever else you need on an overnight pack rafting adventure. This allows more space to strap your bike or skis to the bow. Opening the zipper does cause the raft to deflate, requiring the raft to be re-inflated once it is sealed again. 

Gear for Packrafting

Pump: some packrafts come with a hand pump and some come with an inflation bag, depending on the model. Also available to be purchased separately is the Feather Pump, a rechargeable pump that can inflate your raft in 60 seconds flat. 

Repair kit: all of Kokopelli's rafts come with an emergency repair kit, which can also be purchased separately. Bring your repair kit whenever and wherever you are using your raft.

Paddle: you can't paddle without a paddle. Paddles are sold separately and can be purchased here.  

PFD (Personal Flotation Device): you must paddle with a PFD, they are an essential piece of safety gear that needs to be worn any time you're not on the water. PFD's must be the correct size for the wearer, in good working order and compliant with Australian Standards. More info on lifejackets here

Helmet: an essential item if you are paddling in rapids or areas where it's likely you'll hit your head. 

Other safety items: things like a PLB, first aid kit, enough food and water that you would usually take on an outdoor adventure. Also useful is a paddling specific knife and a throw bag

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