Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Product & Use

General questions

  1. How do I find the right packraft for me?
  2. Where can I find information on use, tips and tricks, and tours?
  3. How can I test / rent a packraft?

Before the tour

  1. How do I set up / inflate my packraft correctly?
  2. Where can I paddle?
  3. What accessories do I need?
  4. Do I have to name (label) my packraft?

During the tour

  1. Why is my packraft no longer tight on the water? Is it losing air?
  2. Why doesn't my spray skirt fit properly?
  3. What happens if I hit a rock?
  4. Are the packrafts saltwater resistant?
  5. What is the best way to transport my luggage?
  6. Which packraft is suitable for bikerafting?
  7. How do I attach a fin / skeg?
  8. How can I repair my packraft?
  9. Are there any safety instructions I should follow?

After the tour

  1. How do I pack the packraft properly?
  2. What is the best way to store and care for my packraft?

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General questions 

1. How do I find the right packraft for me?

Choosing the appropriate packraft is very dependent on individual preferences. It is helpful to ask yourself the following questions in advance:

  • Do I want to paddle alone or with a partner, or should both be possible? 
  • How tall and heavy am I myself? How much luggage do I want to stow?
  • How do I transport the boat (backpack, bike, public transport, car)? How light and small does it have to be? 
  • What kind of waters (calm-, salt- or white water) and seasons are planned? Do I need a spraydeck?

For an initial overview of our packraft rang, take a look at our packraft comparison chart. There you will find the most important data of all Packrafts at a glance. For more detailed descriptions and information on the individual models, we recommend the respective product descriptions. 

2. Where can I find information on use, tips and tricks, and tours?

We share a personal blog with all kinds of tips, tutorials, videos and stories about packrafting. Additionally you can find useful and interesting print articles in our store. 

3. How can I test / rent a packraft?

Demonstration models can be inspected and tested any time, just contact us and make an appointment in Leipzig or Dresden. Many packrafts can also be tested or rented by mail from us and our partners

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Before the tour

4. How do I set up / inflate my packraft correctly?

The assembly of a packraft is very simple. You can inflate the boat with the help of the included nylon bag, the so-called inflation bag. How this works exactly, we explain here.

5. Where can I paddle?

According to German and EU law, water sports are generally allowed on public waters. Exceptions exist in drinking water and nature conservation areas as well as in specially designated areas (e.g. parks) or in cases of special danger. Special regulations apply on federal waterways.

6. What accessories do I need?

The amount of accessories depends strongly on the intended use. With paddle and packraft you are basically ready to go, but in addition we recommend at least a suitable floatation vest.

Depending on the use (difficulty, distance from shore, proximity to civilization, water temperature, weather, etc.) as well as demands regarding comfort, fun and variation, more or less extensive accessories come into question. Finally, we have built a whole store around it. This includes emergency repair, cold protection clothing (dry suits), helmets, throw bags, luggage bags, sails and much more.

7. Do I have to name (label) my packraft?

On so-called federal waterways (inland waterways and coastal waters) boats must be clearly marked with a name (free designation of at least 3 * 10 cm letters, light on dark or dark on light). In addition, the civil name and the contact of the holder must be noted inside, altough in smaller letters. 

This regulation has two reasons. The name serves responsiveness by the water police ("Driver of the watercraft AX1 please pull over"). Marking the address and name inside serves identification in case of finding a ghost boat.

To meet these requirements, we recommend the following solutions. A simple, temporary marking can be improvised well with painter's tape, also waterproof laminated printouts with double-sided adhesive tape or cords fixed to the boat are accepted. More permanent, more beautiful (but also removable) are foil plots. Of course, you can also take waterproof pens (e.g. Edding) or firmly glued letters of boat material, but then the name is fixed forever.

For contact information on the inside of the boat, a handwritten note with a waterproof pen (e.g. Edding) is usually used. 

A nice illustration to the topic offers also the video contribution of Kai Sackmann.

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During the tour

8. Why is my boat no longer tight on the water? Is it losing air?

Air loss is not impossible, but very unlikely. Usually this is the result of the effect of the cooling water (tempering). If the difference between air and water temperature is significant, the warm air used to fill the boat cools and contracts on contact with cold water. As a result the air pressure inside the boat drops and it feels less firm. In this case, you should simply inflate the packraft again a little after the first half hour on the water or temper it already before starting to paddle. 

Still not convinced? For a leak test, proceed as follows: Fully inflate the boat, secure all the valves tightly and leave it overnight in a temperature-controlled room. It should still be fully inflated the next morning.

9. Why is my spray skirt not tight?

If the spray skirt on the MRS Alligator 2S, MRS Nomad S1, and MRS Barracuda R2 Pro models comes loose when the boat is in use, it may be caused by the lack of tension. The coaming of the packrafts are delivered untightened from production. Please re-pull the cord (by approx. 10 cm) and knot them again (see picture). This will tighten the coaming. The process can be rough-running. It is best to tighten the cord WITHOUT the coaming segments and the boat non-inflated (use a pair of pliers to pull the thin cord, if needed). Just do not pull against the channel, but in running direction to avoid tears.

10. What happens if I hit a rock?

As a rule, this should not harm the boat, because firstly, an inflatable boat yields on impact, the energy is absorbed (unlike folding boats, for example). Second, a scratch-resistant polyurethane coating resists mechanical stresses such as rough stone contact very well. Third, the underlying fabric (unlike a film) has the appropriate tear strength. All packrafts offered by us meet the basic requirements (running over stones, contact with bank reinforcements, etc.) or corresponding material properties (PU-coated fabric). Just like parachutes or mountain bikes, they are safety products which are subject to high demands.

Of course there are differences and limits (round river stones in contrast to slate rock or lime quarry) and also the payload of the type plays a role. Our comparison chart differentiates this very well. You should also avoid hard objects in the boat (on the bottom or in the tube), which increase the mechanical stress enormously.  

11. Are the packrafts salt water resistant?

Yes, all packrafts offered by us are suitable for salt water and are seawater resistant. The salt water cannot harm the material of the boats in general. However, as with other water sports equipment, it is recommended to rinse the packraft with clean water and wipe it dry after use in salt water. This way, no crust can settle in the niches between the tubes and the floor and the valves remain salt-free.

12. What is the best way to transport my luggage?

Traditionally, luggage is simply tied over the bow or transported directly in the boat, for which waterproof bags are necessary and recommended. There are also various transport options directly inside the tube (ISS, TiZip, TubeBags, RTC). We present these in detail on our info page.

13. Which packraft is suitable for bikerafting? 

Basically, any packraft can be used for bikerafting. The choice of the right packraft depends on the bike characteristics (size, weight), the type of tour (one day or several days with additional luggage) and the personal comfort requirements. You can take an Anfibio Alpha XC as a minimum solution for short trips (see Gearjunkie test) or the MRS Adventure X2 (alternatively the MRS Ponto 2.0) as a maximum version for longer expeditions (see: Bikerafting in Siberia).

The Anfibio Sigma TX has also established itself as a universal bikeraft (see articles by Genussradler.at). During the ride you should make sure that the bike is laced properly tight and pointed or sharp parts should not press directly on the tube.

14. How do I attach a fin / skeg?

A directional fin (skeg) helps to keep the boat in the direction of travel. The directional stability and speed are increased in this way. Before you do this, however, you will need the appropriate mount, which must be glued to the packraft beforehand (if not attached already). In our instructions, we show the simple self-assembly with the help of the right adhesive. Even though the article is in German, any translation plug-in will work fine. Alternatively, you can also use our workshop service.

15. How can I repair my packraft?

Nothing is indestructible, not even a packraft. In order to not have to abort the trip in case of an emergency, you need a plan B. For a quick repair on the field, we recommend our Lifepatch. In addition, a permanent repair is generally less difficult than you might think at first. The instruction manual supplied with each packraft describes this in detail. Also in our blog you will find tips and different procedures for the repair. Even though the article is in German, any translation plug-in will work fine.

16. Are there any safety instructions that I should follow?

As a general rule, do not navigate sections of water that you are unable to swim. You must be prepared to deal with the resulting danger. Familiarize yourself with your boat, its capabilities and limitations. 

A detailed list of safety instructions can be found both in the manual supplied with the boat and on a label directly on the boat. 

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After the tour

17. How do I pack up my packraft correctly?

There is basically no right or wrong, depending on the circumstance, time and purpose, you can proceed as you wish. In order to use the advantage of the packrafts, the small pack size, this procedure has proven itself with us.

Packrafts with integrated luggage zipper (ISS) need a little more care. The zipper must be dried well after use before stored. Under no circumstances should it be left packed wet together for longer than 48 hours. Otherwise, it can lead to mold growth, which attacks the coating of the zipper and can cause leakage. However, if care is taken, the system will enjoy a very long life. 

18. What is the best way to store and care for my packraft? 

We recommend cleaning the packraft with clean water and drying it before storing it for an extended period of time to prevent odor and mold growth. The boat itself will not be harmed by the humidity. For short term transport it can be packed up wet without any problems. Store the boat in a dry place out of direct sunlight. Store your boat with the valves open. Avoid heat sources and solvents near the boat. Fold or roll the boat loosely to avoid pressure points. Keep sand and dirt away from the valves as this can cause permanent leaks.

Boats with integrated luggage zipper (ISS) require a little more care. The TiZip zipper must be greased from time to time on the port (slider) and the outside (but not on the teeth). To do this, use the original TiZiP sliding grease included in the delivery or a comparable product.

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