New (2016) Alpacka seat without the extra weight?

Mods, DIY gear, repair, etc...
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 3:34 pm

New (2016) Alpacka seat without the extra weight?

Post by gchristopher » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:02 pm

I've been wanting to find a better seat option for a long time (a little more forward and higher), the way I've seen several people have set up their packrafts. (Luc's being the canonical example.) I tried ordering the new standard seat bottom to see how well it works.

Here's a picture of the old horseshoe seat and new seat side by side.


The new seat is quite a bit larger. When in the raft, the new seat snugly fills the entire rear of the (2013) packraft. It definitely sits a little higher than the old seat and I can see how it might add some rigidity by creating a firm connection across the rear of the boat. It's comfortable and extends a few inches farther forward than the old seat, which makes it friendlier to paddlers that would like to sit a little farther forward without even having to offset the lacing.

The new seat weighs 8.4 oz on the postal scale, vs. 5.0 oz for the old horseshoe. I can't help but wonder if some of that extra weight might be reduced somehow.

The new seat has a flexible tube extending the inflation valve. I can see how Alpacka might be responding to customer complaints that the seat is hard to inflate, but I've never had a problem with the seat valve. I don't think the weight of that tubing is really justified. That will be easy to trim off and replace with a new $1 valve.

I'm also wondering about how the seat is so much bigger than my butt. Do I really need that triangle of seat behind the third baffle? I won't be sitting on it and it takes up a big chunk that nice little storage space behind your back that you can sometimes use on flat water.

Does anyone know the best techniques to glue/weld the seat fabric? Other ideas? I'll ask Alpacka next (they're been super helpful with DIY boat mods in the past), but thought I'd ask for suggestions here first.

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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:48 pm

Re: New (2016) Alpacka seat without the extra weight?

Post by MattP » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:55 pm

If the Alpacka seat is heat sealed, you could try modifying it using the techniques described here (or make a new seat from scratch): ... able-seat/

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