The versatile two person Alpacka Gnu is the packrafter’s canoe. The C2 seating configuration is an adventure racing favorite that uses the same center kneeling pillow as the original Gnu, which maximizes control, speed, and performance. Add the removable Whitewater Deck to the C2 seat and the Gnu will be ready for whitewater action. If you are looking for something a little more comfortable on flat water and easy rivers, our new touring seating system can be paddled either as a comfortable kneeling saddle or as a classic upright canoe style seat, which is perfect for exploring, fishing, and families. The Gnu is available in 210-denier high count nylon, 100-denier, 200-denier, and 400-denier Vectran®.
Note: If kneeling and running rapids or shallow areas with the C2 seat, we strongly recommend knee pads or some kind of knee protection!
- Handmade in Mancos, Colorado
- New one-way valve that provides high pressure inflation and easy deflation with a quick twist of the valve core
- Available in 210d High Count Nylon, 100/200d Vectran®, or 400d Vectran® Tubes
- 840d Nylon Floor
- 4 bow grab loops, 4 stern grab loops, and 2 triangle lash points
- Configurable with an Open C2 Seat, Whitewater Decked C2 Seat, or an Open Touring Seat.
- Cargo Fly with Roll-Top Dry Bags Optional (Zippered Dry Bags may be purchased separately)
- Includes: Inflation bag, stuff sack, and repair kit.
Open – C2 Seat – The adventure racer’s favorite! The Gnu’s open C2 seating configuration features a single inflatable seat that runs lengthwise down the center of the cockpit, which allows two paddlers to kneel in a straddling position over the seat with their knees wedged snugly between the seat and the tubes. This seating configuration mimics the seating position in a C2 style whitewater canoe and provides maximum edge control and paddling performance. Knee protection is highly recommended for shallow rocky rivers.
Whitewater – C2 Seat – Best for whitewater. The Whitewater C2 seating configuration adds a two position removable WW Deck to the C2 seating configuration. The WW Deck is essential for keeping the boat dry and maximizing performance when running rapids.
Open – Touring Seat – New for 2017, Alpacka’s reversible touring seats are designed to provide a more traditional flatwater canoe style seating setup which is more comfortable on flat and easy water. The two touring seats can each be independently placed either wide side down which creates a one person kneeling saddle with a higher position and more cushion than the C2 seat or wide side up which creates a flat sitting seat on top of the tubes with ample leg room on the underside. The touring setup is perfect for families, fishermen seeking a backcountry drift boat, and more relaxing adventures in flat water and easy rivers. The Touring Seat is not recommended for whitewater.
Note – The C2 Seat and Touring Seats can be purchased separately and used in all configurations of the Gnu.
Cargo Fly – 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 Alpacka Gnu models with a Cargo Fly come standard with 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 developed by their USA supplier specifically for Alpacka packrafts. They only coat 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 we 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® 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 have spent years developing techniques to incorporate this advanced fabric into packraft manufacturing. Alpacka offer’s Vectran® in the following weights.
400-denier Vectran® – Alpacka’s 400-denier Vectran® is the burliest tube fabric in their packraft lineup, but its also significantly heavier and bulkier than the 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® – From 2017, Alpacka has finally been able to source a reliable supply of 200-denier and 100-denier Vectran®. These deniers are the 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 Alpacka’s 210-denier Nylon, while the 100-denier is approximately 110 to 220 grams lighter and is their 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.
Introduced in 2012, the Gnu is Alpacka’s take on a packraft version of a C2 style canoe. Alpacka founder, Sheri Tingey, was an expert C2 whitewater canoeist in the 1960s and 1970s and always loved the C2 paddling style. Sheri had always wanted to make a packraft version of a C2, but the “stubby” style Alpacka Series packrafts were far more like a raft than a canoe or kayak. That changed in 2010 when Sheri developed the first prototypes of the extended stern in the Alpacka Series that is now the industry standard. The long stern proved to be more like a kayak or canoe than a raft and Sheri realized that she could make a symmetrical hull with an extended stern and bow to be more like a canoe. The first prototypes were too short and narrow (more like the 2015/2016 Fjord Explorer) to work for two people, but they were on the right path and soon we had the length and width that they wanted.
The next issue was the seat. Unlike the classic touring canoes that everyone is familiar with, a C2 style canoe has both paddlers straddling a saddle like seat in a kneeling position that locks their knees in place. This gives them more control and allows the C2 to be rolled like a kayak. For the Gnu, Sheri found a way to mimic the kneeling style of seat with an inflated seat that ran down the center of the boat and allowed the paddlers to straddle it in a kneeling position. Zippers attached to the floor and the seat kept it in position and it also greatly improved the stiffness of the boat. Finally, Sheri developed a two position whitewater spray deck to keep water out when running whitewater. Thus, the Gnu was born and quickly became popular with C2 enthusiasts, adventure racers looking for the fastest packraft possible, and fisherman who could use it like a mini drift boat.
For 2017, Alpacka didn’t need to change much to the Gnu, but fixed a lot of little things. First, they added 8-inches of length to the original design which gives two people a lot more breathing room when paddling. Second, they replaced the zippers which connect the C2 seat and the floor with a durable aluminum hook system that is quicker to operate and more durable. Finally, recognizing the need for a more comfortable seating positon, Sheri developed a new touring seat that can used either as a padded kneeling saddle if you prefer to kneel or flipped over to create a wide comfortable bench seat just like a classic touring canoe.
|Configuration||Open Touring||Open C2||WW C2|
|Exterior Length||127.5″ / 323cm||127.5″ / 323cm||127.5″ / 323cm||127.5″ / 323cm||127.5″ / 323cm||127.5″ / 323cm|
|Exterior Width||40″ / 101.5cm||40″ / 101.5cm||40″ / 101.5cm||40″ / 101.5cm||40″ / 101.5cm||40″ / 101.5cm|
|Interior Length||66″ / 167.5cm||66″ / 167.5cm||66″ / 167.5cm||66″ / 167.5cm||66″ / 167.5cm||66″ / 167.5cm|
|Interior Width||18″ / 45.5cm||18″ / 45.5cm||18″ / 45.5cm||18″ / 45.5cm||18″ / 45.5cm||18″ / 45.5cm|
|Weight*||9lb 15oz / 4.51kg||10lb 3oz / 4.62kg||9lb 8oz / 4.31kg||9lb 12oz / 4.42kg||13lb 2oz / 5.95kg||13lb 6oz / 6.07kg|
*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.