Kokopelli Packrafts

Alpacka raft is about to have some competition, and it’s about damn time.

Almost a year and a half ago I lamented the lack of direct competition in what was obviously the sweet spot in the packraft market.

Over a year after they first popped up on the ‘net, it seems that Kokopelli Raft Company is finally making boats. Preorders aren’t set to ship until late August, which is an unfortunate miss of the boating season in the lower 48, but they are currently giving hefty discounts to the first few folks who take the plunge.

There is plenty of space for another serious wilderness packraft maker. Alpackas have always been expensive, and feature creep and monopolizing the market have seen them only get more pricey in the last few years. Today, a Yukon Yak with a cruiser spraydeck costs 1095 dollars. Add the cargo fly, whitewater deck, and custom multicolor pattern and you’ll be out 1470 dollars. The Feathercraft Baylee 1, with a spraydeck, costs 1350 dollars. I imagine Alpacka isn’t getting rich doing what they’re doing, but in my book that’s still a lot of money. In addition, while I’ve found the design of Alpacka’s boats to be excellent, the construction quality has never been especially impressive. If Kokopelli can deliver a comparable product for a few hundred fewer dollars, and not require aquaseal spot repairs on pealing seam tape after a few months, they’ll do very well.

I look forward to seeing what happens.

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7 thoughts on “Kokopelli Packrafts

  1. Thanks for bringing attention to this. They look like nice boats, still buying something that has no background is a little risky. But, I’m tempted, real, real, tempted. A packraft is finally within my pricepoint. I can’t tell the difference between the Hornet and the Renegade other than the cover / spray skirt.

  2. They don’t make any differences between the two, if there are any besides the deck.

    Sizing is a curious matter; the claimed interior length of 55 inches is 2 inches longer than the Alpacka Explorer (their XL boat). For whitewater some additional means of bracing will be needed.

  3. Yes, thanks for mentioning these. Being in So. CA, the Alpaca pricepoint has always turned me off pretty quickly, especially considering that our lack of immediate waterways makes a packraft a very niche item for me. A Hornet, however, looks like it would fit the bill in price and features for a fairly minimalist adventure racing/canyoneering craft, as well as something to goof around with in high Sierra lakes.

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