Note: That’s a 45 cm (18″) ruler in the picture, not a regular 30 cm (12″) ruler.
Today I whipped up a seat prototype – something I’ve been putting off until now – and it turned out remarkably well. It doesn’t have a back rest yet (I’ll try it out in the water to see if it needs one), but it’s quite comfortable, and with the internal baffles it doesn’t deform much when I sit on it.
The first time I sat on it, however, it popped! Fortunately the problem was just a poor sealing job on my part, so after a few more minutes with the iron, it now holds my full weight off the floor without losing air.
I think this would be a good starter project for anyone who is considering building their own packraft but isn’t sure they can do it, so I have posted a free set of plans you can download from the Shop. There’s a full-size PDF you can download and print, but I also designed the seat without any curved lines so that it would be simple enough to make from a set of plans scaled down to fit on one page, and that’s available there too.
Anyway, here are some photos:
The seat has a tapered profile, with a thicker area under your butt for a more comfortable paddling position, and a thinner end under your thighs. It fits snugly into the back of the packraft and it’s held in place by the packraft’s tubes.
I need to make a second seat for my other packraft, so I’ll write instructions and make a video when I put that one together (instructions & video are now posted here).
With a back rest, this would be a very comfortable and lightweight camping chair, so even if you don’t end up making your own packraft it won’t go to waste. At 132 grams and such a small packed size, why not carry one in your pack?
I’ll try to find time to get out paddling this weekend to see how it feels on the water! (Update: It works really well!)