FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Packraft Europe an official Alpacka Raft / Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) dealer ?
- Yes, we are the official Alpacka Raft dealer for the European Union and an official Hyperlite Mountain Gear dealer.
- Backcountry Scot is the official Alpacka Raft and Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) dealer for the UK.
- Verreweg is the official Alpacka Raft dealer for Belguim.
What is the difference between ordering with Packraft Europe or directly with Alpacka / Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG), or other retailers outside the EU (USA, Norway etc) ?
- If you order through Packraft Europe your total price at the checkout is your final price. We will handle all shipping, import duties, VAT payment and customs clearance for you. You also get customer service within European business hours and in local European languages.
- As official Alpacka Raft dealer, we have access to Alpacka's stock inventory for dealers and we can get most models shipped sooner than those ordered directly with Alpacka. Contact us for current delivery times.
- When you order directly from Alpacka / HMG, or retailers outside the EU (USA, Norway etc) you are responsible for all shipping costs, import duties, VAT payment (up to 27%, varies depending on country), customs fees and customs clearance (you can get delays).
What is the Packraft Europe Price Match ?
- We always try to offer the best prices in Europe for all the packrafting gear in our store. If you find a better deal on an Alpacka, or any of the products we offer, simply contact us and we will do our best to match the price!
- Yes, please contact us.
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) are 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. Check out our blog post on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for packrafting in whitewater.
- We strongly recommend all whitewater paddlers take whitewater rescue training. Rescue 3 Europe is the recognized European standard for whitewater rescue training. Packraft Europe is an official Rescue 3 training provider and offers whitewater rescue training specifically for packrafters.
Why buy an Alpacka over another packraft brand ?
- All Alpacka packrafts are made by hand in Mancos, Colorado, USA with the highest quality materials and parts sourced almost entirely from the United States. Alpacka is committed to quality, design, innovation and creating the best packrafts possible, as such their packrafts continue to refine and define the sport. They have been the industry leaders within the sport 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.
- Packraft Europe provides a full range of repair and upgrade services to keep your Alpacka packraft in optimal condition.
- 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 Alpacka packrafts are lightweight, they 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. They are mostly made in China and do not have nearly the same urethane adhesion strength, fabric tear strength, and UV resistance as an Alpacka Raft.
Do I need special skills to packraft ?
- It depends. If you just want to paddle 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 children (including ours) who have completed extended trips in the front of their parent's 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 packrafting /kayaking course to learn water safety and paddling technique. Packraft Europe offers custom packraft training and whitewater rescue training specifically for packrafters.
Which model and size should I get ?
- Tough question! You can’t go wrong with the Alpacka Classic as a do everything packraft. It is the original model and a best seller for good reason. The Gnarwhal is a great option if you want a do everything packraft with maximum whitewater capability, while the Wolverine is a great choice for the hard shell kayaker that wants a packraft or those serious about paddling whitewater. The Cargo Series is perfect for families, sportsmen, and bringing along an extra person or a pet, the Oryx is the packraft version of a C2 Canoe. Finally, the Scout is ideal for ultralight trips and the Caribou is great for lightweight trips and bikepacking.
- 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.
- Please contact us for specialized service and advice.
Please get in touch!