"World's lightest" pack raft compacts to a bread-loaf-size
Recreational rafting and remote locations go hand-in-hand, but getting a watercraft into the wilderness on foot can be tricky business. Inflatable rafts are a good way to lighten the load, and they might not come any lighter than the Rapid Raft from survival-gear specialists Uncharted, which can take plenty of weight on the open water and pack down to the size of a loaf of bread when the fun is done.
Inflatable pack rafts are nothing new, with the 6.6-lb (3-kg) Trekkayak and the 4.9-lb (2.2-kg) Kokopelli Rogue-lite a couple of particularly portable examples. But Rapid Raft promises to undercut them and all comers with a total weight of just 3 lb (1.36 kg). Uncharted says this makes it the lightest pack raft in the world, and claims that it can still accommodate up to 400 lb (181 kg) when in use.
The raft was actually designed for quick water crossings for the military, and as such can go from packed to ready to use in less than 60 seconds. When adventurers arrive at the water’s edge they can unfurl the raft and allow it to fill itself with air, before folding down the roll top closure to create the required pressure for floatation, no tools required.
In fact the entire raft is designed to military standards, made from a durable nylon oxford laminate to withstand a bit of rough treatment and can be packed down with relative ease, too. When compacted for carrying duties, the Rapid Raft measures just 5 x 5 x 15 in (12.7 x 12.7 x 38.1 cm).
Uncharted has turned to the crowdfunding community to get its Rapid Raft into production for the public, with early pledges of US$299 available over at its Indiegogo page. It hopes to start shipping this November if all goes to plan. You can check out the promo video below.