Packrafts have become more and more popular throughout the years and for good reason. This list will go over our choices for the best lightweight packrafts on the market today and what each item brings to the table, or doesn’t bring. A packraft is the perfect combination of a water vehicle that you can easily bring with you when traveling. These packrafts easily inflate and deflate and many have technology that works to keep you safe while out on the water. Some of them are even able to carry multiple people and extra supplies so you don’t need to feel restricted when on your water adventure.
Top 7 Best Lightweight Packrafts
|NRS Packraft||Check On Amazon|
|Intex Explorer K2 Kayak||Check On Amazon|
|Advanced Elements Firefly Kayak||Check On Amazon|
|Airhead Kayak||Check On Amazon|
|Klymit Litewater Dinghy||Check On Amazon|
|Sea Eagle SE370||Check On Amazon|
|Sevylor Quikpak Kayak||Check On Amazon|
1. Klymit Litewater Dinghy
Made to carry one person with a weight of up to 350 pounds, the klymit packraft is compact and lightweight enough to bring with you anywhere. The design gives this packraft an arrow shape that allows you to maneuver around swiftly and confidently.
It’s made to be used in fairly calm waters, not in areas where there are lots of rapids and waves. This raft comes with two valves so that inflation and deflation can be quick and simple. Weighing in at almost three pounds, it’s easy to travel with and can be compacted down to fit into a backpack.
The klymit packraft comes with padded seating which also helps keep your body warm when in cold waters. You can also travel with extra supplies because this packraft comes with six tie-off zones. Some people find the fact that this raft can only hold one person to be a downside. If you’re wanting to bring the family along with you, then this may not be the best packraft for you.
People have also complained that the sides are low which makes the possibility of water entering higher. It’s important to know what type of water you plan to float in and how many people you want to bring because that will help determine if this packraft would work well for you. This product is great for those people wanting to go out on the water alone and know the water will be calm.
Sample Customer Review: I got an inflatable backpacking pad, and this boat is constructed from the same material. Much tougher than the pool toys, but nothing close to an Aire raft or IK. I paddled a class 3 yesterday, and a couple of the guys were using the alpacka packrafts, with the spray skirt, and I was totally blown away that they didn’t swim, and the boats stayed fairly dry inside (I was in an Aire Tribitutary solo inflatable kayak). In comparison, I would never put this thing in that river, or any river that I didn’t feel comfortable swimming down with my life jacket on … i.e. more warm water “beer float” type river situations only! The Alpacka’s are tougher, have knee straps and a foot rest, good hull design and a nice spray skirt – so can do amazingly well on decent white water. You would be bounced out of this thing on the first big hole! But, It is super small and light, and I can ride a dual sport motorcycle to a river and float, and easily inflate and deflate and have fun on the smaller more tame class 1 to class 2 warm water floats. So, totally worth the money. The stuff sack doubles as an inflation bag – it all works really good – and is real quick to inflate and deflate.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing: KLYMIT LITEWATER DINGHY
The KLYMIT LITEWATER DINGHY is a conveniently lightweight raft. Not only is it very light, but it also can be blown up in a timely manner. The raft is perfect on the water as well. It’s arrow-like shape allows it to maneuver across various bodies of water with ease. It is the perfect option for anyone who wants to camp, or just wants a high quality inflatable boat. The boat is perfect for traveling long distances in a short amount of time. Not only is the boat very light and quick, but it is also durable. Customers have reported being able to row through lakes, streams, sticks in creeks, rocks, yet not see any damage to the boat. The polyester used to make it gives the raft a very tough lining. This combination of convenience and durability really help the LITEWATER DINGHY stand out to customers.
2. NRS Packraft
This 2 person packraft is a great option for couples or if you’re planning to go rafting with another person. The NRS Packraft can hold two people with a weight capacity of 350 pounds. It’s about 7 feet long which gives two people plenty of room to move around and one person enough space to bring supplies onto the raft.
This product comes with a two-year warranty so you can feel comfortable bringing it out often. Another comfort feature in this raft is the floor. It’s cushioned enough to be comfortable on your feet and keeps you warmer in the cold water as well.
This item weighs 7 pounds and 5 ounces. It’s up to you to decide how much weight you are okay with bringing when it comes to packrafts so before you head out on your trip, find out if weight is going to be a problem for you. The NRS Packraft is still a lightweight option as others on the market can weigh 40 pounds or more. There are 2 rear and 4 front webbing tie-down loops which make for ease and accessibility.
3. Airhead Kayak
Compared to the other best lightweight packrafts on this list, this model is one of the more expensive options. However, it has some impressive features that make the price completely worth it. One of those features is that the raft is composed of three separate compartments. This helps in situations where you are in the middle of the water and get a hole. Because there are three separate compartments, you will stay afloat even with a tear or rip in your raft and will be able to make it to safety without going down.
The 9-foot length gives you plenty of room to sit comfortably throughout the day and bring extra supplies with you if necessary. You’ll want to plan and know what extra things you plan to bring as this raft can hold only 300 pounds. For some, that is more than enough but for others, they will need to limit what supplies they choose to bring to keep under the weight limit.
It comes with 4 bottom fins so that you always feel in control when maneuvering throughout the water. This packraft comes with a comfortable seat and gives extra legroom that makes it easy to sit on throughout your day on the water.
4. Sevylor Quikpak Kayak
Made with a heavy-duty tarpaulin bottom, this packraft can be used in slightly more choppy waters than some others on this list. This bottom works to prevent rips and tears and helps keep the raft afloat in situations where others may have problems.
This product has multiple air chambers to give you the ability to safely make it ashore if one gets a hole or rip. It also comes with a pump and oar when purchased so that you don’t need to go out of your way to buy the extra items.
It can hold up to 400 pounds and is made to be used by a single person. Some people have complained that this raft is difficult to keep floating straight so it might not be the best choice for a beginner. There have also been reports of problems with the valves.
This raft is made for comfortability and ease of use with a cupholder and comfortable seat. There are also different length foot holders so that everyone can find the most comfortable place to put their feet while completing long trips on the water. If you know that the waters you’ll be traveling in are going to be a little rougher and you want a high quality yet affordable product, then this may be one of the best lightweight packrafts for you.
5. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Able to carry 2 people with a total weight of 400 pounds, this packraft is about 10 feet long. It comes with two removable seats so if you want to go alone one time and then bring your friend another, you have the option to do so.
This raft is made for use in mild and smaller bodies of water with a bright yellow color so it’s easily visible by others. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak comes with paddles and an air pump so that you don’t need to worry about purchasing those necessary items on top of the actual raft.
At a great price point, this packraft is good for those on a budget or people wanting a product that can carry two people easily. One downside to this is that it weighs almost 40 pounds. If you are someone who is trying to conserve weight, this one is not for you. But if you want to just bring this with you in the car on your way to the water and don’t need to carry it far, you shouldn’t have a problem with the weight.
6. Sea Eagle SE370
This product can hold up to 650 pounds – which is one of the highest weight capacity of any raft on this list. It can support three people so it’s perfect for those who want to travel with family. The two seats are both removable, making it easy to use when you’re alone or if one person needs more legroom than the other.
When purchased, this packraft has an air pump that is operated using your feet which is a refreshing change from the standard hand pump most others come with. It also comes with two paddles so you don’t need to go out of your way to purchase these items separately.
The Sea Eagle is made with a thick and durable material to prevent rips or tears when on rockier water. Because of this, it’s advertised as being suitable for up to class III whitewater. It also is made with two skews on the bottom of the raft to improve speed and create better tracking. If you know the water where you will be rafting is a little choppy and don’t think some other options on the list will be able to hold up, this raft is a good option to look further into.
7. Advanced Elements Firefly Kayak
Only able to hold up to 250 pounds, this ultralight packraft is made for one person and won’t be able to carry as many supplies as others on this list. If you are needing to bring extra stock for whatever reason, then you may want to cross this off your best lightweight packrafts list. But it’s perfect for quick day trips to the water for a calm day by yourself.
It’s almost 8 feet long which gives the average person enough room for your legs to stay comfortable throughout a day trip. The material is durable enough so you don’t have to worry about it easily ripping.
One downside to this product is that, unlike many other options on this list, it doesn’t have a seat. Many people with back problems like to have a backrest so that they don’t go home with an aching back for the rest of the week. Another downside is the price. It’s fairly expensive for what it is but it’s a good quality simple packraft.
As needed for all the packrafts on this list, an important first step is to know what you need. Different types of packrafts are used for different water adventures and you should do your research to find out what works best for your needs. Not all lightweight packrafts are created equal and it’s important to know what you need before you purchase.
In all honesty, the best lightweight packrafts are the ones that fulfill your purpose the best. Some options on the list are lighter than others or are made of better quality material. Determine what you will need for your specific purpose so you don’t end up wasting money and energy on a product that won’t end up working well for you.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing packrafts.
The Porter 5400 is the ultimate packrafting backpack. It is equipped with additional capacity and can benefit your packrafting experience in any season. The additional capacity allows you to carry extra clothing, food, or any other equipment you may need for your expedition. The bag itself is made from multiple materials. The main body is composed almost entirely from a fabric called DCH150. This specialized material helps make the bag more durable over longer distances. Not only that, but the bag itself is also completely waterproof. If it were to accidentally fall off into a river, you would have absolutely nothing to worry about. The combination of a lightweight pack and waterproof materials makes an unmatched product. Not only will you have to ability to carry more gear without hurting yourself, but you can also put it down anywhere without worrying about the equipment inside getting wet. This allows you to move quickly without hassle.