Kokopelli Packrafts are packable inflatable kayaks built for adventure and strong enough for nearly anything. They come in various materials: Ultra-lights for lakes, or burlier materials for whitewater (I’ve heard that Class IV rivers are doable if the rest of your river skills are up for it). With one of these, your biking, hiking and car camping adventures can be expanded to include an aquatic component.
The most versatile packraft, the XPD, packs down small enough to fit into a backpack. Weighing only 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms), but utilizing the same material used in commercial rafts, the rugged XPD is ideal for entry-level paddlers, lakes, hunting, multi-sport adventures, car camping, weekend-warriors, and those paddling harsher terrains. Using the Rogue-lite shape combined with the extra-large 12-inch (30- centimeter) diameter pontoons and higher floor-to-sidewall attachment point, the XPD is perfect for multi-day trips. This open or “bucket” style packraft helps paddlers minimize weight and reduces setup time while making jumping in and out of the packraft easy.
I’m looking forward to taking the XPD boat out with the kids both in the local lakes and also on floats like the Yakima this summer. Backcountry Essentials will also have demos of the XPD ($749) and the Recon ($899) starting at $40 per day so you can take one for a spin.
Chris Gerston owns Backcountry Essentials, an outdoor specialty shop located at 214 W. Holly in Bellingham, WA.