They call it the Classic now,…
They call it the Classic now, but when Alpacka were the only game in town it was known as the Yak – their mid-sized packraft. I started back in 2010 with the bigger Denali Llama with a deck, moved on to the slightly shorter Yak with no deck, then got myself another deckless Yak in multi-colour panels and a lighter floor.
You have to buy direct from Alpacka in CO who I've found a bit flakey, but when it comes to design they are the innovators. The cat is now out of the bag and most packrafts today imitate Alpacka’s ingenious ‘elongated stern’ idea from 2015 or so, which improves both buoyancy (trim) and tracking. Fabric is tough TPU, stitched and glued; floors are thicker; seats are lighter coated nylon. The whole thing weighs ~3kg + your paddle and pfd.
You need to remember this is a single chamber inflatable so on more adventurous trips I've made sure my baggage could act as a buoyancy aid, should the hull get ripped. That’s never happened, nor any type of puncture, but these can be simply repaired with a piece of tape, like a plaster.
I know it looks lazy submitting another 'wasn't my choice brilliant' 5-star rating but I base it on the many, many memorable days on the rivers of France’s massif Central, remote Scottish lochs ‘fly-in, paddle out’ rivers in northwest Australia and the US. Discovering portable inflatable boats and especially packrafts was like discovering MTBs back in the 1980s: a whole new way of enjoying the outdoors. Yes, prices seem nuts for what looks like a pool toy, but I’ve tried those cheapies too. In the end, if you enjoy your paddling, you’ll end up with a proper TPU packraft so thanks to Alpacka for showing us the way.
For more on my packrafting travels, search for my blog: 'IK&P'.