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New to Packrafting? Start here.

Are you just getting into packrafting and wondering where to start? You're in the right spot. Learn about our favorite introductory models, the differences in each packraft series, and how packrafting got started. Plus more.

Let's get started with our recommended packrafts.

Each of the packrafts listed below are part of the Alpacka Series, but also fall into other series categories as well. These are entry level packrafts and are great if you are just getting started.


The gold standard by which everything else is measured, the Classic delivers adventure driven fun from your backyard to the backcountry. All of the quality materials and workmanship that we’ve built our reputation on, with minimalist features to take us back to our roots and budget friendly pricing to boot.


With its next generation Rally Hull design, ergonomic seating, and 4-point thigh straps, the Gnarwhal is our most stable and forgiving whitewater packraft. Ideal for building skills and confidence, carrying heavy loads, and charging hard on high volume runs.


Whether you are big and tall, need a bit of extra space and comfort for a longer trip, or you are a hunter looking for a boat that you can easily pack into the backcountry but won't run out of space on the float out, we built the Mule for you.

What is a series and what are the differences?

We have grouped our packrafts into different collections, also known as a "series" based on their use. Some of our models fit into a few different series due to their versatility and what they were originally designed for. Below is a brief intro to each. Click on the series links and find out more and which boats are included in each.

The Alpacka Series

  • The Alpacka Series, includes our iconic packrafts for all adventures, they inspire you to create your own adventurers whether reimagining backcountry travel or running your local run.
  • They are all packrafts that help you reimagine your packrafting adventures and experience the freedom, solitude, and joy of accessing remote landscapes.

The American Rivers Series

  • The American Rivers Series is our curated collection of packrafts that are ideal for classic river running adventures.
  • River running includes river trips of all sorts, whether its a self-supported multi-day trip, or just a lap on the local town run, the packrafts included in this series are great for all of your river running adventures.
  • Alpacka Raft is proud to support American Rivers and their work to protect wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature, hence the series name.

The American Whitewater Series

  • The American Whitewater Series is perfect for anyone looking to use their packraft in whitewater.
  • This series features our cutting edge whitewater packrafts, each handmade in Mancos, Colorado.
  • From beginners learning the basics on Class II to experts exploring a new backcountry Class IV/V, it is hard to match the fun of paddling whitewater.
  • Alpacka Raft is a proud supporter of American Whitewater and their work to protect and restore America’s whitewater rivers and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.

The Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Series

  • In the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Series we have curated a collection of packrafts designed for hunting and fishing.
  • Whether you are packing out a giant moose or accessing new fly fishing spots, these packrafts are perfect for your hunting and fishing trips.
  • The sales from this series support Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

Getting Started & How-Tos

From inflating your packraft, to in the field repair, or an intro to your whitewater setup, to paddling and river navigation 101 tips, get started in with our education center tutorials at the link below.

>> Get started with our video tutorials.

The History of Alpacka Raft packrafting

It all started with a mother and son team, a trip in Alaska's Brooks Range, and an idea to make a better boat. This idea has brought us to where we are today. Check out our story and learn more about the history of Alpacka Raft.

Read more about our story.