Traditionally packrafters strap a pack over the bow. Transportation on the boat works still pretty well. Tracking even improves a little. The backpack on the bow has become the symbol of packrafting. Simple "strap and raft" has its place for hiking with boats.
However, this technique has some disadvantages:
- high center of gravity
- exposure to wind, water and rain
- limited load capacity (volume)
These problems are solved by the Internal Storage System (ISS), the cargo zipper in your packraft.
An airtight zipper allows storage of gear inside the hull tubes. The ISS uses a robust, pressure resistant zipper in the stern of the boat and the system includes two waterthight drybags that slide inside the boat tubes. These drybags are long and a slightly smaller diameter than the boat tubes. Slip the drybags inside the tubes, fill them with gear and clip in place and then inflate.
This has the following advantages:
- Improved handling (whitewater!)
- Increased capacity (bikerafting!)
- Total dryness (multiple chambers!)
By lowering the center of gravity, the boat becomes more stable, increases momentum and manoeuverability. The weight in the tubes makes the boat handle more like a hardshell. It also provides two additional air chambers and makes the “ultimate drybag”. No top heavy load and redused visibility in technical whitewater. It also enhances expedition-style boating resp. applications with high volume transportations, such as an Adventure X2 with two people and full baggage.
The ISS can currently be ordered with the Microraft, the Adventure X2 and the Alligator 2S. Please select it as option (as with color choice). With the Alligator 2S Pro and Barracuda R2 Pro the ISS is standard. A retrofit (zipper installation in retrospect) is available as Workshop service.
The ISS makes the pack and raft application a little more complicated. Loading and unloading takes more time. Naturally, it is not possible to get gear on the water. The system makes the boat slightly heavier (240g including bags). The drybags are 100x25cm (Alligator 2S) resp. 130x30 (Adventure X2) and the opening is limited in size. However, additional luggage can still be stored directly in the tubes.
The TiZip is highly resistant to damage caused by dirt, but will require more care. Avoid unnecessary contact with sand when open. Flash with water or toothbrush before opening and lubricate from time to time the slider port (not the teeth, since the slider movement is contact free and does not wear on the zipper tape or the sealing edge).
In terms of strengh and durability the TiZip performance is outstanding. It can take loads, it is abrasion and saltwater resistant and it will survive sharp, short term bending and twisting without separating. Although you should roll, not fold and close the zipper when stowing the raft. Care is also needed not to stress the zipper during loading and unloading.
Avoid high humidity and temperatures over room temperature for long term storage. After very long time using, The ISS can also get exchanged in our workshop however.
Addtional information can be found on the TiZip data sheet
The zipper must be dried well after use. It must not stay wet for longer than 48h (especially packed up). Otherwise it may lead to mold, which can damage the coating of the zipper and cause leakage. However, if you pay attention to this, the system enjoys a very long service life.
Classic way to transport and store gear.
Internal storage system (ISS)
TiZip cargo zipperInternal drybags (Chambers)
Cargo bags clipped in place
ISS, ready to use after inflation