Stikine packrafts any good?

Larry Bartlett

WKR
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Feb 13, 2013
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1,519
well they are the experts in their arena. Doesn't make scientific sense that a single sided coating would provide better tear strength than a double sided, but I don't have lab experiments to prove it. I'm using a double-sided coated 200D TPU for a military project I'm involved in for the airborne operators. That same bag made with single sided fabric didn't hold up to our drag tests as well as the double sided fabric.

Sorry if my input added confusion. If anyone finds some of their proof nuggets I'd love the education.
 
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Belleau

Belleau

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Jul 8, 2022
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I'm sorry I didn't want to put you on the spot here.. You've been very helpful so far!

Here's what I found:

ALPACKA
Hull Materials
"We only coat one side because it provides significantly higher tear strength than a double-coated fabric."

Floor Materials
"Our standard packraft floor fabric is a Made in USA 840-denier Ballistic Nylon, coated on both sides with a pigmented heavy-duty PU laminate."


DIY PACKRAFT
"The short answer is that for a given weight, double-sided fabric is weaker than single-sided fabric (holding everything else constant). A full analysis is beyond what I can do here, but like any engineering problem it comes down to making tradeoffs between many factors, such as weight, strength, durability, cost, workability, design complexity, product availability, and so on, and you have to weigh each factor based on the design goals of a particular project."

Blue Duck Packrafting
"Single coated is more flexible and lighter and according to reports is therefore less likely to be sliced by a rock, tree or other sharp object..."

"The double coating provides wear resistance on the inside of the tubes if you are storing gear inside the boat (TiZip)..."

"Single coated tear strength is better..."

"Double coated airtightness is better, and it resists wear on both sides..."
 

Larry Bartlett

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Great education. Sounds like you've now been pretty informed as well. Good luck on your selection.
 

thinhorn_AK

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There is a retired smoke jumper who does huge solo expeditions in alaska, a few summers ago he did some long raft trip, might have been the entire Yukon river. He couldn’t get an alpacka because their production had slowed due to Covid, he ended up using a Chinese knock off and said it was actually pretty good
 
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Belleau

Belleau

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There is a retired smoke jumper who does huge solo expeditions in alaska, a few summers ago he did some long raft trip, might have been the entire Yukon river. He couldn’t get an alpacka because their production had slowed due to Covid, he ended up using a Chinese knock off and said it was actually pretty good
I had hoped to avoid this decision, but it seems like there aren't many options available made in the USA or Canada. While Alpacka seems to be top notch, I think they lack a bigger and more rugged option that I need for hunting. One thing that really appeals to me about Audec is the level of customization they offer. They can provide a variety of shapes, custom lengths, double chambers, any fabric denier, Tizip, additional D-loops, Skieg, full inflatable floor, and more.

Thank you to everyone for your responses. I plan to continue consulting Larry's content and may consider investing in one of your bulletproof rafts in the future. However, for my current needs in Quebec, it seems like too much of a boat.
 

Spike_105

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Feb 5, 2024
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Hey man, I am in Canada as well, did you end up getting a raft? If so, what did you go with?
 
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Belleau

Belleau

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Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
40
I'll say this

I ended up with a Chinese Packraft because there was nothing else on the market that fit the style I wanted. The only other options was the rafts from Pristine Ventures, which are great but a bit overkill for lake navigation in Quebec. I wanted something lighter and efficient on flat water. Would I go this path again? For specific needs, absolutely. They customize everything to your liking at a very affordable price, and the quality is excellent.

That said, I'm not thrilled to admit this, and I don't want to be the person on Rokslide encouraging everyone to buy Chinese Packrafts. I might get an Alpacka for solo hunts because I think their quality is exceptional, and whenever possible, I prefer to support American businesses.

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