Explorer 42 (FX42)

1,161.00 Inc 20% VAT

Alpacka’s lightest and most compact multi-person packraft! The Explorer 42 can comfortably be paddled by pairs looking to save weight and bulk on long traverses and adventure races. Its also the easiest multi-person packraft to be paddled solo, which makes it ideal for families, pets, and sportsmen and women. Add a Cargo Fly for maximum gear carrying capacity.


Add Cargo Fly

Back Band Upgrade

Add a Backband for the Front Passenger (€60.00)


The Explorer 42 (For Two!) is Alpacka’s lightest and most compact multi-person packraft. It’s about half the weight of carrying two single packrafts, which makes it a great choice for pairs doing long traverses that involve shorter days on the water or adventure races that require you to carry your boats. It’s also just right sized for one person to comfortably paddle, which makes it our best boat for bringing kids and pets on adventures. Solo fishermen and hunters will also find the extra space ideal for stowing day gear and packing out medium sized big game animals. The Explorer 42 features Alpacka’s exclusive patent-pending high volume hull design which improved flotation and handling, a seating system based on their self bailer and Whitewater Series seats which increases floor rigidity, and lightweight stainless D-rings which accept a backband for the front paddler.



  • Handmade in Mancos, Colorado
  • Exclusive patent-pending high volume stern design, which improves floatation and handling
  • One-way valve that provides high pressure inflation and easy deflation with a quick twist of the valve core
  • 3/4 length seat which improves floor rigidity
  • Available in 210d High Count Nylon, 100/200d Vectran®, or 400d Vectran® Tubes
  • 840d Nylon Floor
  • 4 bow grab loops, 2 stern grab loops, and 2 D-rings which accept a backband for the front seat
  • Cargo Fly with Roll-Top Dry Bags Optional (Zippered Dry Bags can be purchased sepaarately)
  • Includes: Inflation bag, stuff sack, and repair kit.


CARGO FLY OPTION:  The Cargo Fly is the ultimate packraft gear storage solution. The three-piece system utilizes an airtight and watertight zipper installed in the stern of the boat together with two gear storage dry bags which are clipped in place along the inside of the raft tubes. The system provides drier and more secure gear storage, improved paddling performance due to a lower center of gravity, quicker transitions from packrafting to hiking, and the internal dry bags act as additional balanced air chambers for increased safety (even over a two-chamber packraft) in the event of a puncture. The Cargo Fly is perfect for expeditions, whitewater performance, and keeping your gear dry in any conditions. All Explorer 42 models with a Cargo Fly come standard with our Roll-Top Internal Dry Bags (you can purchase our inflatable Zippered Internal Dry Bags separately).



Standard Nylon High Count Fabrics:

210-denier High Count Nylon – Alpacka’s standard packraft tube fabric is a USA woven 210-denier High Count Nylon, which is coated on one side with a highly UV resistant heavy polyurethane film custom developed by their USA supplier for their packrafts. Alpacka only coat’s one side because it provides significantly higher tear strength than a double coated fabric. Made in the USA fabrics and coatings are more expensive than similar materials sourced overseas, but they provide significantly better urethane adhesion, fabric durability, and overall quality. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Multi-Color Orders – Factory Choice means that Alpacka will choose a multi-color color combination for you based on what is in stock (at no extra cost). Custom Multi Color means that you pick the colors of your choice, subject to fabric availability and a minimum 4-week lead time. If you place a custom multi color order, please read and follow these Multi-Color Ordering instructions. A custom order costs an additional €75.

Vectran® Fabrics – Vectran® is a high-performance multifilament yarn spun from liquid crystal polymer (LCP), which is five times stronger than steel and ten times stronger than aluminum. In a packraft, Vectran® fabrics provide exceptional tear strength and rigidity (due to its lower stretch) than comparable Nylon deniers, which results in a stiffer higher performance hull. While a Vectran® hull is much more resistant to tears than Nylon, it has a lower urethane bond strength and its higher rigidity makes it slightly more prone to punctures. Vectran® is extremely challenging to work with and Alpacka has spent years developing techniques to incorporate this advanced fabric into packraft manufacturing. Alpacka offer’s Vectran® in the following weights:

400-denier Vectran® –  is the burliest tube fabric in Alpacka’s packraft lineup, but it’s also significantly heavier and bulkier than our other fabrics. It is a great option if you are looking for the toughest boat possible where weight and bulk are not significant considerations.

200-denier and 100-denier Vectran® – For 2017, Alpacka has finally been able to source a reliable supply of 200-denier and 100-denier Vectran®. These deniers are their highest performance fabrics and provide almost the same rigidity as the 400-denier, but at a much lighter weight and bulk. The 200-denier version is roughly the same weight and bulk as their 210-denier Nylon, while the 100-denier is approximately 110 to 220grams lighter and is the most compact tube fabric. Unfortunately, these fabrics are very expensive (over double the cost of the 400-denier Vectran® and six times the cost of the Nylons) due to their very limited supply. Alpacka is working hard to reduce the price and will pass the savings on to you as soon as they can.

Custom Ordering – All custom Vectran® orders are subject to fabric availability and a minimum 4-week lead time. Please contact us prior to your order to determine current Vectran® availability.



Alpacka released the original Explorer 42 in 2011 based on customer requests for a packraft that could carry a second person for crossing rivers and lakes and short downriver trips but that wouldn’t be much heavier or bulkier than a single person packraft. The original model was designed utilizing a stern similar to the Alpacka Series combined with longer sides and a short bow to keep the weight and bulk to a minimum. The rear paddler was given a two level seat to more easily see over the front person and the front person was given a simple square cushion towards the bow.

Despite gradually lengthening the stern on the Alpacka Series from 2011 to 2014, they left the Explorer 42 largely unchanged from its original design. However, three things happened in 2016 that gave Alpacka some great ideas for improving the Explorer 42. First, they noticed that our 3/4 length self bailer seats added some stiffness to the floor that they thought could benefit a larger boat like the Explorer 42 especially with a second person. Second, when they developed their new high volume hull design in the Gnarwhal they realized that the extra volume and flotation would also benefit the Explorer 42. Finally, the new custom foam backband for the whitewater boats was light enough that it would be a great option for the front paddler in the Explorer 42. Alpacka combined those three concepts together with their new one way valve and out came the new Explorer 42. More comfortable, stiffer, and better performance at the same weight and bulk as the original.



Cargo Fly No Yes
Capacity (Persons) 1-2 1-2
Gear Capacity* 50-100lbs (22-45KGS) 50lbs (22KGS)
Exterior Length 107″ / 272cm 107″ / 272cm
Exterior Width 38.5″ / 97.5cm 38.5″ / 97.5cm
Interior Length 59″ / 150cm 59″ / 150cm
Interior Width 15″ / 38cm 15″ / 38cm
Weight*  7lb 4oz / 3.29kg 7lb 8oz / 3.40kg
Packed Size 7″x22″ 7″x22″

**Gear Capacity is an general estimate of the useful carrying load of gear in a cargo fly equipped boat with two average sized adults.  The gear capacity will increase or decrease depending on water conditions and paddler experience and capability. It is the paddler’s responsibility to make an informed decision on gear weight based on conditions and their experience.

**Weight is based on 210-denier High Count Nylon tube fabric and includes all components except inflation bag, repair kit, and internal dry bags for cargo fly.

Additional information


Sierra Red, Cedar Green


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