It’s not the smallest packraft you can get. If you want to explore rivers and ocean bays on your own with a healthy heaping of your trusted gear to help you face the elements, though, the Alpacka Raft Ranger is the perfect ride to bring along.
Billed as the solo version of the outfit’s popular two-person Forager raft, this trail boat is sized to accommodate a single individual, with just enough extra room to fit a cooler, a backpack, or some other gear you want to have along. Whether you’re fishing, hunting waterfowl, or taking a river trip to reach a remote part of the forest, this thing will get you there with all your needed gear in tow.
The Alpacka Raft Ranger is an inflatable boat that can collapse into a compact size of 18 x 10 inches (length x diameter), allowing you to throw it in the boot of the car and even strap it to your pack when going on a hike, all while weighing just 12 pounds, so this shouldn’t add unreasonable heft for the kind of utility it adds to your stash. It has a cargo hull shape, with a lace-in seat and inflatable back rest one end, with the remainder of the space in front of you available for whatever cargo you’re bringing along. Need a big cooler to store all the fish you’re catching? Well… you’re too optimistic, but that will work, with enough room for your fishing rods, tackle box, and whatever other gear you need. Need it to accommodate your backpack and your dog when you use it to link up to a different trail downstream? Yes, this will do the trick, too.
According to the outfit, it comes with a self-bailing floor that should be able to handle Class III whitewater, so you can use it if you encounter a stretch of fast and shallow water during a river trip. Do note, it doesn’t have the maneuverability required for whitewater rafting, so you might want to look at a different raft if that’s what you intend to do.
The Alpacka Raft Ranger can accommodate total payloads of up to 750 pounds, so you can be joined in the hull by a large dog, a burly cooler full of refreshments, and even an elk you managed to snag with your favorite hunting crossbow. It has eight grab loops, four each at the bow and stern, along with a handle at the bow, two stern strap plates, and four D-rings on the sides for securing any cargo you’re bringing on the ride. There’s also an internal cargo fly storage system on the stern of the boat for stashing some gear inside the tubes.
Construction, by the way, are any of three variants of single-side laminated nylon (210-denier, 330-denier, and 420-denier) for the hull, 840-denier ballistics nylon for the floor, and 200-denier nylon for the seating, so this thing is as sturdy as a packraft needs to be. Each one comes with an inflation bag, a stuff sack, and a basic repair kit.
The Alpacka Raft Ranger is available bow, priced at $1,550.