FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Shipping & Delivery
How long will it take for my order to ship ?
- All our packrafts are custom made to order by Alpacka in the USA. During peak season (April to July), it can take up to 8 weeks for a new packraft to be built and shipped. Please contact us for the current delivery time.
Will I get my boat faster if I order it directly from Alpacka USA ?
- Usually not. Alpacka builds packrafts as they receive the orders, so the build time is the same, however Packraft Europe has a specific customs account and a streamlined import and customs clearance process. This means we get your order to you quicker and you avoid any potential delays with customs.
Why are Alpacka Packrafts ordered from Packraft Europe made to order ?
- Alpacka USA makes over 400 possible configurations for packrafts. These consist of different models, sizes, colours, build options etc. We believe in making all of these options available to our customers.
How much is Shipping ?
- Alpacka packrafts are made to order in, and ship from the USA. We charge a flat rate of *€65 for shipping for all Alpacka packraft orders (Includes international and domestic EU shipping costs).
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear products are made to order in, and ship from the USA. We charge a flat rate of *€45 for shipping for all Hyperlite Mountain Gear orders (Includes international and domestic EU shipping costs).
- Paddles, PFD’s, & safety orders are charged at a flat rate of *€20.
- *You only get charged once for shipping (so if you order a packraft, a HMG pack, a PFD and a paddle you only get charged the shipping for the packraft).
Which countries do you ship to ?
- We ship to all countries within the European Union.
However if you live in the following countries we recommend you contact your local Alpacka dealer :
Is Packraft Europe an official Alpacka dealer ?
- Yes, we are the official Alpacka dealer for the European Union.
What is the difference between ordering with Packraft Europe or directly with Alpacka ?
- If you order through Packraft Europe your total price at the checkout is your final price. We will handle all import duties, VAT payment and customs clearance for you. You also get customer service within European business hours and in local European languages.
- When you order directly from Alpacka your are responsible for all import duties, VAT payment (up to 27%, varies depending on country), customs fees and customs clearance (you can get delays).
How is pricing calculated ?
- Alpacka packrafts ordered with Packraft Europe are priced to be the exact same price as if you were to order directly from Alpacka USA.
- To do this we take the current USD retail price for an Alpacka packraft, and exchange it to Euro (currency exchange rate is updated when it fluctuates more than 1%). We then add import duties and VAT (Austrian VAT =20%). This gives us the Euro equivalent to Alpacka USA.
I can see a product on the Alpacka USA / Hyperlite Mountain Gear websites that is not listed on the Packraft Europe site. Can I still order this from Packraft Europe ?
- Yes, please send us an email or give us a call and we will add the product to our website as soon as possible.
What is a Packraft ?
- A packraft is an inflatable water craft (similar to a kayak) that can be packed down to a small compact size (about the same as a two person tent) and can fit inside a backpack. They are lightweight (1.5 to 4.5 kg) and depending on the model and manufacturer are very durable and whitewater capable.
What equipment is needed to safely go packrafting ?
- For lakes and slow moving water (no whitewater) only a packraft, a paddle and a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) is required.
- For moving water, and whitewater, a packraft, paddle, PFD (Personal Flotation Device) and a helmet is required for safe use. For use on whitewater we strongly recommend only the use of proper Whitewater designed PFDs and Helmets.
- We strongly recommend all whitewater paddlers to undertake whitewater rescue training. (Rescue 3 Europe is the recognized European standard for rescue training. Packraft Europe is also an official Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technician training provider and offers regular course specifically for packrafters ).
Why Buy an Alpacka over a cheaper brand ?
- All of Alpacka packrafts are made by hand in Mancos, Colorado, USA with the highest quality materials and parts sourced almost entirely from the United States. In addition, Alpackas progressive designs have reshaped and pushed the boundaries of packrafting for nearly two decades. Take a look around at the other packrafts on the market—almost all of them feature designs and options taken directly from Alpacka packrafts. Finally, as an in-house manufacturer, Alpacka offers a full range of repair and upgrade services to keep your packraft in optimal condition year after year. From 2019 onwards Packraft Europe will have an in-house repair and upgrade centre here in Austria. You can buy a cheaper packraft, but you can’t buy a better one !
Are Alpacka Rafts made out of a different material than other packrafts ? Are they durable ?
- Yes! Although our packrafts are lightweight, Alpacka use only the highest quality Made in USA materials which have been designed specifically for their packrafts. While it is possible to puncture an Alpacka Raft, their urethane coatings and base fabrics are very durable and slick which allows them to scrape and scratch through shallow sharp rivers with rarely anything more than minor nicks and scratches that can be easily repaired in the field. Don’t be fooled by other brands selling cheaper models that look like Alpacka packrafts and claiming to use the “same” fabrics. Their fabrics are sourced over-seas and do not have nearly the same urethane adhesion strength, fabric tear strength, and UV resistance as Alpakca Made in USA materials.
Do I need special skills to packraft ?
- It depends. If you just want to get on and enjoy easy water, all you need is a PFD, basic paddling skills, and good judgment to have a great time. We know of packrafters in their 80’s and of many toddlers who have completed extended trips in the front of their parents boat. If you want to do big backcountry traverses or challenging whitewater, you will need specialized skills for those adventures and you can learn a lot by taking a whitewater rescue course or a kayaking course to learn water safety and paddling technique. Packraft Europe is also an official Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technician training provider and offers regular course specifically for packrafters.
Which model and size should I get ?
- Tough question! You can’t go wrong with the Alpacka Series for a do everything packraft. Its the original model and best seller for good reason. The Gnarwhal is a great option if you want a do everything packraft with maximum whitewater capability, while the Alpackalypse is a great choice for the hard shell kayaker that wants a packraft. The Cargo Series is perfect for families, sportsmen, and bringing along an extra person or a pet. Finally, the Scout is ideal for ultralight trips. We recommend that you size the boat to you and if on the fence size up for comfort or down for performance. Sizing charts are available on all models.