Packs for Packrafting

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CST
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Packs for Packrafting

Post by CST » Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:47 pm

Lets hear it - what is your favorite packrafting pack and why.

if you were to have your dream no-holds bar packrafting pack - what would it look like?

I've been kicking around a packraft specific pack design for a few months. Now that I'm a limping gimp I can put the time into making a prototype. Roman and I got together a few weeks ago and scratched out some more ideas
Here is the tick list so far:
-Modular and adaptable drybag harness style pack
-able to handle loads up to 60lbs
-Removable hip belt w/pockets.
-Removable frame sheet / bivy pad
-2 1/2 lbs normal, 1 1/2 lbs stripped
-very, very non water absorbant
-bushwack protection

what specality packs are out there now:
The WX tex pack - this seemed to be a cool packrafting pack, but its one compartment design with 4 buckles to open the top proves cumbersome. Also the pack lacks any points to strap stuff to the outside.

Image

Next up is the NRS Paragon - This is a cheap solution for kayakers to carry heavy dry bags, or their boat on portages. Its simple, but lacks much shape and I've heard from friends that it can be not so comfey... and really lacks any protection for the drybag, just ask JT.

Image

Next up was the Ula pack made for the arctic 1000 trip. This seemed to be a good solution, and Ula made a bunch for sale afterwards. The production pack however left a bit to be desired in my book in that the shoulder straps attach to the weak tabs at the bottom of the WXtex dry bags. I've ripped a few of these corners out through normal use (who hasent?), and doubt they would hold up in the long run. Also, not much protection for the dry bag on bushwacks... seems expensive too.

Image

So I started the hip belt for a prototype last night... the design I'm working on is closest to the Ula of the three, with more mesh, different suspension and different features all together. I'll keep you posted as it takes form. Feedback is welcome!

Eric

forrestmccarthy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by forrestmccarthy » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:32 am

Now you opened a can of worms, lots of opinions. If you are reading this you get to hear mine.

• I like too put everything in my pack, even my paddle.
• I like using an ultra-light dry bag liner. I tried having an exposed light-weight dry bag but the first time I bumped some wood it got punctured. I have messed around with drybag style backbacks but concluded they are to heavy, to expensive, and/or not very durable.
• Drain holes are not necessary.


So what do I use? The best value for weight, durability, and price is the GoLite Pinnacle Pack (http://www.golite.com/product/productde ... PA5252&s=1). It would be even better if GoLite made a more secure role down (dry bag style) top closure and a rectangular frame sleeve. I like to fold up my InsulMat sleeping pad/Alpacka floor and insert it as the frame. The paddle blades positioned correctly add rigidity to the pack as well.

For a waterproof lining I use a Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag (http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/15). I find the Sea to Summit dry bags lighter and more durable then the POE Wytex Dry Bags.

So that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.
Last edited by forrestmccarthy on Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CST
Posts: 60
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by CST » Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:30 pm

forrestmccarthy wrote:Now you opened a can of worms, lots of opinions.
yep, thats why I ask.

Good stuff Forrest.

alpha60

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by alpha60 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:41 am

I spent last summer trying out a modified NRS Paragon/Wtex Pnuemo setup. The results were mixed. On my first trip the main strap ripped away from the frame. Not good. Back home I added a couple of rivets to hold it in place, sewed a mesh bag around it and slit the fabric covering the frame so I can slide a paddle blade in to give it more rigidity. The advantages of the Paragon/Pneumo are:
1. The pack is $50.
3. You can basically strap anything onto it, like say, a folding bike, packraft and drybag.
2. When wet it doesn't seem to gain quite as much weight as a more conventional backpack.

Loading the pack can be tricky and it tends to require a lot of adjustments. I too have found that exposed Pneumos end up with holes in them.

Shaggy
Posts: 172
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Shaggy » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:07 pm

I too have been experimenting on rafting backpacks...

Lately, I've been leaning towards a wet mesh pack: it gets around the technical & lifespan challenges of building a drybag-on-my-back, and it gives me someplace to put my wet stuff - which usually ends up about 90% of my total gear. It'd be nice to get something less absorbent than the standard type-XV nylon webbing. The poly web on the Arc'teryx Naos seems pretty non-absorbent, and tougher than most other poly web.

Have you guys had any problems with plastic fittings breaking on your packrafting backpacks? As I understand it, both water saturation & extremes of temperature make nylon a lot more brittle, but I'm wondering if this is actually surfacing as a problem for people.
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

CST
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by CST » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:42 pm

I'm looking at mesh like Phifertex and other heavy weights for the bottom, then lighter weight mesh for the sides. The trick is the back panel - what to put over closed cell foam so its still comfey. I used some Schoeller on a previous pack which worked well. But I'm looking at getting some different mesh for that too.

RomanDial
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by RomanDial » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:29 pm

I love Forrest's reply, even if I don't agree, fully!

However, I'd like a mesh pack, too, because like Forrest, I like the idea of getting everything in, I just don't want fabric. I want mesh. Light mesh that's super-tough. Kevlar mesh or Spectra mesh or Spiderman silk mesh.

You see, I want to shove everything in my pack so I can pack as fast as Forrest does. With my current set up (ULA Arctic 1000 prototype), I practically need my math degree just to get everything right.

andrewallan
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by andrewallan » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:21 am

For day trip packrafting , I think the Outdoor Research summit pack looks ideal , as it will fit a raft and plenty of other stuff, and also doubles as a dry bag, and weighs about 300g. Unfortunately the bottom side pockets are not quite big enough for a paddle blade, so you will need to make a paddle pag which can then be attached to the webbing ladders on the back. See http://www.outdoorresearch.com/home/sty ... acks/36600 .

As to packs for longer trips, I'm not so sure about what is commercially available, however it is not that hard to make your own pack and liner, if you have some basic sewing skills. My ideal long trip pack was a Mountain Designs Foxlite prototype (we're talking Australian brands here!), which was about 90l+ capacity, but made out of canvas - big enough to swallow anything, and with a fantastic harness system, but heavy. I have subsequently made a modified copy of the design, with similar harness system, but used a 4oz nylon for the pack, and in doing so have reduced the weight from 3.3kg to 1.4kg. I have modified it specifically to attach paddles, fly rods, landing nets etc, according to the gear that I actually use.

Unfortunately the 4oz nylon is not that waterproof, so Inside this I use a large home made roll top dry bag, made out of PVC coated nylon, sealing the seams with sail cloth repair tape (or Aquaseal, if you wish, but the tape works very well). You could also use silinylon to make a lighter packliner, joining the seams with double sided tape used for gluing siliconised spinnaker cloth together (or alternatively sew the seams and seal them with this tape, using silinylon stips on the other side), however I have found that silinylon makes a waterproof, but annoyingy slippery packliner. I have used this pack for 2yrs for bushwalking and ski-touring , and despite the light weight fabric, it shows no sign of wear - however one does need to be a little more careful in terms of chucking it on the ground etc

The bottom line is to design the ultimate pack for your needs, and then get out there and make it yourself. You can use a domestic sewing machine with an 18g leather needle, which will sew through all sorts of things. The most important issue is the thread that is used - don't buy stuff at a local haberdashery place - go to a supplier. Although you will have to buy a cone of thread, which is about 3500m plus, it costs little more than 500m of crap thread at the haberdashery place, and there is some great stuff out there that is basically unbreakable. As to fabrics, I thought that the stuff I used was waterproof, but it wasn't - apparently you can buy some of the "X pack" fabric, which is waterproof, but at the end of the day, does it matter whether the pack is waterproof? - if you're going to use a liner, which you probably would, given the stitching in a pack, then the pack can be made out of whatever - the liner keeps things dry.

The ultimate pack is whatever you wish to make it - the commercially supplied stuff is generally designed for "the market", which means that it is either over-designed(ie heavy pack cloth, lots of heavy webbing etc - eg why use 12 oz packcloth instead of 4oz, and why use 25mm webbing instead of 20mm webbing?), and therefore heavier than required , to allow the manufacturers a generous "guarantee" period " for their item, or it is aesthetic", and may therefore be overweight to accomodate fashion. If you are further interested in this whole concept, check out http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_Intro.htm and the associated pages, and think a bit more about what we all carry in the bush.

forrestmccarthy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by forrestmccarthy » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:55 am

More Forrest opinions;

• I would be interested in trying a mesh pack that was light weight and big enough to stuff everything inside.

• I am not convinced that mesh is needed for wet gear. I am skeptical that you gear dries any faster stuffed in mesh than standard nylon. In my GoLight pack if I have to pack wet gear I pack it at the bottom and segregate my dry gear in the dry-bag.

• I like being able to disguise myself as a normal backpacker. A mesh pack is a dead give way that you are or have floated something.

• Whether mesh or nylon the pack shell does not and should not be the primary barrier for keeping your gear dry. It should protect your dry bag.

• An outer shell that is durable enough to be a reliable dry bag/H2O barrier will be too heavy (Arctryx and POE). You will still need a dry bag too segregate dry gear.

• Derek Collins uses the OR Summit Pack for day trips. It works OK, but is on the small side.

forrestmccarthy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by forrestmccarthy » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:08 am

Roman using his math degree.
IMGP6935.JPG
Dial Style
IMGP6935.JPG (23 KiB) Viewed 16714 times

Shaggy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Shaggy » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:19 am

forrestmccarthy wrote:I like being able to disguise myself as a normal backpacker. A mesh pack is a dead give way.
I like this...

Nonetheless, like mesh for a couple reasons. Like Roman, I want to be able have a pack I can stow all my junk without having to do knot math. I want something that's light weight, dries well, and is TOUGH. Cool as those go-lite packs are, i worry about their durability. Something like a Spectra mesh would be the best of all worlds: super-strong, non-absorbent. I'd want to call it The Spiderweb, or something fun like that...

I'm wondering if you couldn't get some benefits of both worlds with a hybridized pack: mesh in some areas, solid material in others.
Last edited by Shaggy on Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

CST
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by CST » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:35 pm

I have to be honest - I've never used mesh or harness style pack for packrafting - but the motivations are simple
- less weight when the pack absorbs water
- no worrying about fitting it into the dry bag when boating since its ok that it gets wet.
-post boating the wet stuff drains out faster.

So as Shaggy pointed out, the downsides of the heavy mesh is that it is practically the same weight of heavy cordura. I'm only planning on using the heavy mesh around the bottom, then using lighter mesh up top and having the compression straps wrap all the way around so the tension is taken up with them and not the fabric.

Has anyone used the flat smooth curved part of the padle blades as a quasi frame sheet? Been kicking that idea around, maybe Forrest you've tried it with the Golite packs.

The spider web comment was pretty funny Roman..

RomanDial
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by RomanDial » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:06 pm

My interest in mesh has to do with draining and drying time and weight when wet. And as Alaskan I am proud to be a packrafter -- no need to sneak around pretending to be a simple hiker-piker -- although I'd like a stealth pack too -- something really dorky like a frame pack that comes apart and turns into -- a paddle! So I can go down south and visit certain people and places to do certain things that maybe the Parky Service or others might frown on -- like Chris McCandless in the Movie Into the Wild, or something......

forrestmccarthy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by forrestmccarthy » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:03 am

FYI

I find the Dyneema nylon that GoLite uses to be very durable, quick drying, and un-absorbent.

“…no worrying about fitting it into the dry bag when boating since its ok that it gets wet” -CST. I experimented early on with placing my pack inside dry bags and found it problematic when needing to portage in addition to leaving the light weight dry bag vulnerable to punctures. Even when boating I line the inside of my backpack with the dry bag.

I have tried inverting packs inside out, while floating, so that the harness was not dangling around getting snagged and creating a hazard. The problem with this is the lack of anything to secure the tie-on straps to. I like this method but a “packrafting pack” that employs this needs a couple daisy chains or attachment loops on the inside of the pack.

CST
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by CST » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:05 pm

Yes that Dyneema fabric is awesome, but its pretty much unavailable for Joe sewer to buy anymore - at least now. I love the stuff.
Good dialog here...

andrewallan
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by andrewallan » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:27 am

It was Roman who convinced me, via one of his tree climbing Ozzie friends, to lash out and buy an Alpacka, and I am grateful for his input. I now have 2. However, seeing this photo, I do start to wonder whether I have done the right thing!!

Shaggy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Shaggy » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:25 pm

andrewallan wrote:I do start to wonder whether I have done the right thing!!
Sorry, man - you already drank the kool-aid! I would recommend inflating your Alpacka in a quiet, safe place and curling fetal inside of it until the water-angels stop telling to do large drops...
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

packraftnewmexico
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by packraftnewmexico » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:25 pm

I know everyone has their opinions, and I'm sure some of you will rip on me for this one.. but for overpackers like me , this bag is pretty cool. I got the opitional waist harness. And it's really big. :D
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :IT&ih=005

Also- this is a really cool online store- http://www.thewaterproofstore.com/?gcli ... hgodkRzyWQ
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

wfinley
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by wfinley » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:21 pm

packraftnewmexico wrote:I know everyone has their opinions, and I'm sure some of you will rip on me for this one.. but for overpackers like me , this bag is pretty cool. I got the opitional waist harness. And it's really big. :D
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :IT&ih=005
We hauled drybags like the one above 5 miles back into the Copper River Canyon last year and ferried 82 reds back in a series of grueling mountain bike rides. The packs each had 8-10 fish in them and weighed around 60-70 lbs. After that trip I swore I'd never carry heavy loads in a dry bag again. My back and shoulders were sore for weeks! They do not distribute weight well at all!

packraftnewmexico
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by packraftnewmexico » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:36 pm

I think they are best for trips that are mostly on the water for sure. For trips with lots of hiking involved, I use a Gregory pack with a framesheet. this, however, is strickly a backpack, and must be stuffed with drybags. I guess it depends on the mission which bag is best.
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

andrewallan
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Re: Shaggy's water angels??????????????

Post by andrewallan » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:45 am

Dear Shaggy,

You wrote: "you already drank the kool-aid! I would recommend inflating your Alpacka in a quiet, safe place and curling fetal inside of it until the water-angels stop telling to do large drops..."

Inflated the raft last weekend on the verandah, whilst making two "one off" [?two off] silinylon spray decks (yes, the verandah is a nice safe place, and I tried to curl up inside, as you suggested), but the "water angels didn't tell me to do large drops", so I'm not sure what to do next.................Are there some non-prescription drugs needed here?...........

Beyond all this, I'll be fly-fishing and rafting a wilderness river in NZ in 6wks, so I'm at a stage in life where I really don't give a sh.. what happens............

I realise that you guys in Alaska seem to have miles of river to raft whenever, but in Oz we are in a bit of a drought, and finding a river with a decent rapid within 2hrs of Melbourne (the bottom of Oz) is a tad difficult - hence the excitement . I doubt that there are many of us packrafters in Oz - there were some impressive photos from Tasmania recently on the site (Tassie is the bottom-most state, even below Melbourne, which is a city in Victoria, the second bottom most state!

When I bought my first packraft, Sheri did mention that some guys had bought Alpackas for a trip down the Franklin R in Tassie - I wonder whether they are still alive - check out the piccies on http://www.pbase.com/tasmart/franklin_river, with particular reference to the photo named "Robbie in the Cauldron" towards the end, and then think about packrafting this............

I'd rather be curled up in a safe place in my yak, waiting for the water angels to .........................!

Andrew A

packraftnewmexico
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by packraftnewmexico » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:03 am

I plan on buying this pack for next summer's canyoneering season, I am wondering how well it would work for packrafting as well. I'll report on it next summer I guess. http://canyoneeringusa.com/shop/product ... 105&page=1 Either way, Imlay Canyon Gear is very tough, as I have other items in the line.
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

Shaggy
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Shaggy » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:33 am

Have any of you guys ever used Mystery Ranch packs? I've heard a lot positive about them, but they look a bit heavy & over-engineered on the website. Then again, I still do a lot using a stuff stack w/ a piece of 1" webbing sewn onto it...
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

Shaggy
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Re: Andrew

Post by Shaggy » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:40 am

Andrew,
Don't worry: I didn't believe in the water angels either until I got thoroughly trounced by a big wave, and pulled a full-on mystery move. Maybe I just bumped my head on the ocean floor... ha ha.

In any case, check out the real event, caught in photography. This is what I mean by Alpacka kool-aid: http://www.aktrekking.com/beyondSpec/
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

andrewallan
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Re: Not about Packs for Packrafting

Post by andrewallan » Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:47 am

Yep, that looks like kool aid, and a bit of a headache.

Had a look at the site. Was interested to read about "poor men's dry suits" and how only neoprene waders should be used, as in nylon/goretex waders one might turn "upside down and drown due to an air pocket forming in the legs". This is a common myth, nicely debunked on http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/killerwader.shtml - in which a mad english bloke tries to drown himself using waders, but fails. Perhaps this will allow a "richer man's dry suit" to be made........eg waders, wader belt, and thin neoprene top over, which is what we use if wishing to stay dry, but not nearly warm enough for your running of icy creeks

RomanDial
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Tazzies' Franklin

Post by RomanDial » Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:40 am

Andrewallan,

The Franklin can actually be a super-fun packrafting trip. Maybe there should be an international team of packrafters heading down it next year? I am sure there are a bunch of us who'd be keen to go. I for one would like to combine it with Mtn Ash-climbing trip with Tom Greenwood.

packraftnewmexico
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Re: Not about Packs for Packrafting

Post by packraftnewmexico » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:51 am

andrewallan wrote:Yep, that looks like kool aid, and a bit of a headache.

Had a look at the site. Was interested to read about "poor men's dry suits" and how only neoprene waders should be used, as in nylon/goretex waders one might turn "upside down and drown due to an air pocket forming in the legs". This is a common myth, nicely debunked on http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/killerwader.shtml - in which a mad english bloke tries to drown himself using waders, but fails. Perhaps this will allow a "richer man's dry suit" to be made........eg waders, wader belt, and thin neoprene top over, which is what we use if wishing to stay dry, but not nearly warm enough for your running of icy creeks
I kid in my high school drowned while duck hunting wearing waders. I wouldn't tell his family that it is a myth.
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

andrewallan
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Re: Franklin and Waders - perhaps this should be a new thread?!

Post by andrewallan » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:01 am

Roman,

The piccies i've seen of the Franklin look a bit overwhelming for my packrafting skills, admittedly in high water, as per the link to the photos earlier. I'd be happy to lend Tom Greenwood a raft if you could convince him he'd love to go rafting there with you! With a wife and 4 kids, I just don't need a "Robbie in the Cauldron" situation in a raft! We also have some good mainland rivers once the drought lifts, perhaps even near some 80m + trees?!! (for the last few years I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic dialogue I had with Tom one night about the excitement of tree climbing - here was something I knew nothing about, and had no interest in, but which I was absolutely fascinated by, as he was clearly SO enthusiastic about it!).


As to the waders thing, packraftnewmexico, I'm sure you CAN drown, as you CAN do in a bucket of water, but it would require you to at least ensure that the legs are filled with air, and then a waist belt is done up hermetically tight around your waist to stop this air escaping (hard to do - water always seems to get down past a waist belt if you go over the top of the waders), and for you then to leap into something deep, turn upside down, and not be able to use your arms to keep your head out of the water. This is not that easy to do from a practical point of view, except perhaps whilst duck shooting (see below).

If, on the other hand, you stand in waist deep water with the waders on, either before doing up the belt, or without a belt, the water pressure pushes the wader fabric against your skin and expels the air, and they are then no different to a pair of trousers, and you can swim in them quite nicely - I have.

A PFD also improves your odds, which one presumes one would wear rafting, but not duck shooting (or fishing). Perhaps he was standing in a boat with his waders well belted up, and then fell off into cold water, inhaled some cold water, got laryngospasm, and died from that ? One will never know, however drowning would be an extremely unpleasant way to go, in my opinion. Not wishing to detract from the sadness of packraftnewmexico's school chum drowning, non-neoprene waders are a lot safer that some believe, and the concept of "automatically drowning if you go over the top of them" needs to be dispelled. The sexyloops site is pretty clear. Accidents will always happen, but the probablility of drowning in non-neoprene waders is small.

Anyway, before this thread goes TOO lateral, back to packs...........I've already said my bit.

packraftnewmexico
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by packraftnewmexico » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:38 pm

I know there are a lot of variables, especially in whitewater. I try to stay away from constants other than- it's dangerous.
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

packraftnewmexico
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:22 pm
Location: Tijeras, New Mexico, USA

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by packraftnewmexico » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:33 pm

I finally found the perfect bag for day trips, or a wamr weather lightweight overnighter even. Ipicked this up today and will be using it tomorrow.. very nice. perfect size. http://store.seattlesportsco.com/produc ... roduct=621

I grabbed the blue one (1800 CI)
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

jshannon

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by jshannon » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:49 am

From the Dial Style pic, it looks like Roman is "wearing" the MTI livery pfd? I need to get one of those.

John

alaska_lanche
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by alaska_lanche » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:24 am

Anyone try the Arcteryx NAOS packs??? I have the Arcteryx Bora and its bombproof. However the NAOS seems like a great combination between being waterproof and comfortable to hike with. Yeah they are expensive, but this way you only gotta buy a pack and forget about the dry bag. Just looking for input.


Thanks

Here's a link with the info about these packs:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ARCTERYX-NAOS-70-NW ... dZViewItem
Last edited by alaska_lanche on Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

andrewallan
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Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by andrewallan » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:28 am

Sounds great - a bit like the Outdoor Research summit Pack but a lot bigger (the OR pack is perfect as a day pack/packrafting pack).

I'll certainly check it out a bit more, as this sounds an "ultimate" pack for rafting/fishing/hiking

RomanDial
Posts: 428
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ULA Pack

Post by RomanDial » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:49 pm

My ULA prototype pack distinctly does not have the shoulder straps tie into the dry bag. I carry upwards of 60-65 pounds in mine and threading it through a dry bag would not have worked....

Surprised that is the case with production models. Does it tie in or just thread through?

cmcrooker

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by cmcrooker » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:08 pm

Roman,
The straps just thread through the holes in the POE dry sack. The buckles keep the straps from coming out - hopefully.

RomanDial
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:13 am

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by RomanDial » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:31 pm

Carol,

Thanks for that tidbit.

I am surprised that Brian made it that way.

Roman

Dogman

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Dogman » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:28 am

I have an OS Sumit for Packrafting. My wife tryed it this last weekend and fell in love with it. I ordered myself another one. Enough said! :roll:

magn6494

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by magn6494 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:19 pm

my two cents on the packs - for pure packrafting the aarn featherlite freedom is awesome.

its light, has a totally dry sleeve, and has awesome geometry for fast-packing with it's balance pockets. i've used this pack on almost all of my packrafting trips.

it's been redesigned a few times and is now even better.

if you're just using it for packrafting - the balance pockets come in the 'dry' variety. they are also perfectly suited (no modifications necessary) to attach directly to the lash points up front on the boat. you can put one dry balance pocket on each side of the front tubes, lash the pack itself upside down (shoulder straps facing up) so that for portages, all you need to do is slip on the pack and go.

in a recent trip to the absarokee wilderness, i even used this system to climb up easy class 5 rock to avoid nasty rapids after having committed to an unknown gorge.

google aarn packs for more info. the packs are also hands down the best i've found for general backpacking - the balance pockets make the weight almost completely disappear - especially with heavier loads.

i've got photos but couldn't get them on here....

Hig
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:31 pm

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Hig » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:19 pm

Wow, I didn't actually read all that, but I had a couple things to add that I don't think are redundant:

Mesh vs. solid: For the panel that is against the packer's back, I would just go with an ultra-ultra light nylon. You just don't need much strength there. Erin made it for a year with a light nylon back and then had that panel evaporate only after we'd finished. And some nylon doesn't seem to be a big deal as far as water absorption.

The pack-styles that I've given a serious test to are super simple (e.g. GoLite Gust) and frame to hold a dry-bag(e.g. Arctic 1000). I think there is potential to the latter, but the versions I tried kind of sucked. The Arctic 1000 is partly just poorly engineered... like weak stitches on strong fabric. But it's also a pain and a practically needed my geology degree to figure out how to pack it. The super-simple GoLite Gust style seems to me to be the way to go.

As far as features I'd like to see:
-Light... I think a pack only needs to weigh 1.5 lbs. max
-Eric, I heard you mention using the paddles for structure. It seems like the paddles are a huge resource that should totally be taken advantage of. A perfect use of these would give the weight of a frameless pack with the structure of a frame pack. Erin and I have used paddles for structure in a number of ways in packs, and found it very helpful. But they're still limited without having a brilliant system for integrating pack and paddles. One simple trick that works remarkably well is to pack one's pack normally and tightly, then shove the blades inside the pack last, stretching the pack tight and giving it shape and structure.
-I'd like to have the pack arranged so that something (the shoulder straps or hip belt for example) was in a spot where it could be quickly grabbed when exiting on the beach and fleeing an oncoming ocean wave.
-Also think about how to make the pack to allow access to some of its contents while in the packraft. At least a little top-pouch that's handy, or something like that.

And right now it's a bit nippy for us Alaskans to be exploring any of the rivers in our back yard...

JDFIU

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by JDFIU » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:01 pm

I bought the Arcteryx Naos 70L pack with my lovely dividend this year. I wanted one after I did a trip in Denali Park on my coleman raft, and the only thing I took that did not get soaked was my sleeping bag.

It is a well built pack and I do not ever want to go back to rain covers for a pack. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to take it packrafting, but I can't see any problems with it. It is a one compartment rolltop pack, and that main compartment is indeed waterproof, I have tested it. It has 3 zippered compartments that are highly water resistant. In the future I am sure I will mod the pack a little bit. Little things like some shock cord to stuff a jacket on the outside and stuff.

Paddling Regression
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: In AK

Re: Packs for Packrafting

Post by Paddling Regression » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:18 pm

I've found the Watershed Animus to be fairly good for packrafting. While originally purchased as a canyoneering bag I find it works well for kayaking and packrafting. Very durable, always dry. It lacks a bit on outside attachment points, but a few minor additions can solve that problem.
http://www.drybags.com/home.html
"If it ain't high, it ain't quality"

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