On display at Outdoor Retailer last week, the new packraft from survival gear company Uncharted Supply turned quite a few heads. Quick and dead-easy to inflate, the Rapid Raft ($400), was designed to fulfill a military request for rapid deployment and re-packing for fluid transition to the water. And instead of taking up all the room in your backpack like other packrafts, this lightweight raft folds down smaller than your tent.
The Rapid Raft is designed to be inflated and deployed in under 45 seconds without the use of any tools, allowing emergency personnel, military, hunters, and adventurers quick movement across bodies of water. A wide opening at one end enables you to fill the packraft with air by quickly taking a few steps forward and then rolling up the end, similar to how you would fill up an inflation bag.
Made from a 30-denier nylon, the Rapid Raft weighs roughly three pounds and packs up smaller than a loaf of bread. Design features like a larger rear volume and rockered front gives it the ability to safely carry up to 400 pounds; guaranteeing a stable, balanced ride even under load.
The real question is long term durability. This is a single chamber packraft which makes it super easy to inflate, but if you spring a leak, the whole packraft deflates. Also, the packraft is super lightweight in part because of the 30-denier nylon material. Compare that to Kokopelli’s 80-denier nylon on their lightest raft meant for lake fun — not adventure and definitely not whitewater. But the Rapid Raft is still a great option if you want to bring a packraft backpacking for alpine lake exploration or even bikepacking for those times you might need to get across a body of water.