Luggage transport in the packraft
Traditionally packrafters strap a pack over the bow. Transportation on the boat works well. Tracking and bow/stern balance even improves a little. The backpack on the bow has become the symbol of hiking with boats ("strap and raft"). Alternatively, in larger models (such as Sigma TX, Delta MX, Nomad S1), luggage can of course also be transported in the boat (foot box, behind the back).
However, this techniques have some disadvantages:
- exposure to wind, water and rain
- limited load capacity (volume)
- high center of gravity
These problems are solved by transportation within the tubes itself.
The following systems are available for this purpose:
- Packraft Sidebags (TubeBag etc.)
- Internal Storage System (ISS)
- Roll Top Closure (RTC)
Common to all three systems is storage of gear inside the hull tubes. Loading always takes place before the actual inflation of the boat.
This has the following advantages:
- Improved handling (low centre of gravity)
- Increased capacity (transport volume)
- Protection against moisture and wind
By lowering the center of gravity, the boat becomes more stable, increases momentum and maneuverability. No top heavy load and reduced visibility in technical water. It also enhances expedition-style boating resp. applications with high volume transportation.
However, loading and unloading needs some planning. Naturally, it is not possible to get gear on the water.
Below are the systems explained in detail:
Classical transport on bow and/or stern
Traditional way of stowing luggage in the boat
1. Packraft Sidebags (TubeBag etc.)
Sidebags consist of two centrally positioned zippers with directly connected (integrated) inner pockets, which are filled with luggage. The luggage compartment is thus separated from the main air tube. When loaded, the luggage is automatically positioned correctly by the inner pockets and secured against slipping. The construction is absolutely insensitive to dirt and wear. A possibly damaged zipper does not lead to leakage of the boat.
Transport in a tube (here Anfibio TubeBag)
Luggage transport in a tube (here ISS)
Packraft side bags are available in two different versions:
1.1 Anfibio TubeBag
Anfibio TubeBags are sidebags with IPX7 waterproof zips. The volume of the bags is 70 litres each. The system has a total weight of 400g.
Sidebags consist of two luggage compartments
Construction/principle of sidebags
Anfibio TubeBag during loading/unloading
Waterproof zipper on the Anfibio TubeBag
1.2 Nortik sidebags
The side pockets from Nortik have non-waterproof zippers, but a zip cover, which protects against wetness from the outside. The system has a volume of 50 litres per bag. The additional weight for Nortik's side pockets is 450g.
2. Internal Storage System (ISS, ISS2)
The ISS uses a robust, pressure resistant zipper (TiZip Superseal) in the stern of the boat and includes two waterthight drybags (112xØ22,5cm bzw. 133xØ25,0cm) that slide and clip inside the boat tubes. However, additional luggage can still be stored directly in the tubes, which results in a very high transport capacity. The system brings 300g on the scale. The ISS2 (only with MRS Nomad S1) uses two air- and watertight TiZip Superseal zippers, which are positioned to the left and right side of the central segments (see pictures), otherwise the system/princip works the same as ISS.
Internal Storage System (ISS2)
Opened zipper off an ISS
Robust, pressure resistant zipper
Luggage zipper in the stern of the ISS
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. 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 (hydrolysis) of the zipper and cause leakage, which is not covered by warranty. However, if you pay attention to this, the system enjoys a very long service life.*
Waterproof, lightweight pack sacks on the ISS
Luggage stowage (loading) at the ISS
Fixation of the bags on the ISS
Packraft packbags size comparison (ISS)
3. Roll Top Closure (RTC)
With RTC opening (and closing) of the tube is done by a special roll top closure. The specially developed technology uses special materials to ensure that the roll closure is reliably sealed and thus enables even extended tours without any loss of pressure! The RTC is not comparable with the usual roll fasteners of simple luggage bags! As with the ISS, the entire interior space can be used for luggage transport. The weight difference between the Nano RTC and the Nano SL without RTC is 167g.
Currently available boats with RTC: Anfibio Nano RTC.
Loading via roll top closure
Possible luggage volume for the Nano RTC
Luggage is one of the central issues when travelling, and in packrafting this is no exception. The various variants of luggage transport open up new possibilities for tour planning, especially for trips lasting several days. No matter what you decide on, all systems have their justification.
* A retrofit (zipper installation in retrospect) is available as Workshop service. After very long time using, The ISS can also get exchanged in our workshop however.