New DIY Packraft Design Available Soon (and a small rant)

I’ve been working on a new packraft design for some time now, incorporating several improvements over the current V2 kits, including tougher floor material, easier construction, more sizes, and better performance.

I might shut down the current V2 kit option in the online shop until the V3 is ready for production so I can devote more time to it and get it ready sooner.

For now, the new V3 packrafts will only be available as kits – not plans – because it’s come to my attention that someone who purchased plans is now charging money for people to make packrafts with them.

Some of the new instructions may be password protected too, because someone else has been copying my website and videos, passing the ideas off as his own.

I don’t lose sleep over this kind of stuff, but it is annoying. Every penny earned through the sale of  plans, kits, and supplies has been reinvested to offer the best possible products in the shop, and I’ve taken on considerable personal debt besides. Maybe one day DIY Packraft will turn a profit, but for now I’m just a guy tinkering in his basement – your support is what makes this project possible.

On that note, my thanks go to everyone who has purchased something through the shop or liked DIY Packraft on social media. Special thanks go to Bruce at the Folk School in Fairbanks, Alaska – he’s been totally open with me and I fully support his DIY Packraft-making workshops.

Now that the people who are trying to profit from information I give away for free have been suitably shamed, here’s a link to the pre-order page for the “deluxe” V3 kits, which include a seat kit, inflation bag, and top-up valve in addition to the packraft kit itself. I’ll be adding more information to that page soon.

13 thoughts on “New DIY Packraft Design Available Soon (and a small rant)”

  1. Hey Matt

    Sorry to hear you have had people stealing your designs for their own profit, that sucks! I can only imagine how much time and effort it must take to plan and test your designs – the V2 packraft I’ve made from your kit has handled beautifully without any leaks since I first made it. I was hoping to purchase plans or a kit for the 2-person voyager in order to make it in time for training for and competing in Godzone, an adventure race I am doing next year in NZ. When do you think kits for the 2-person will be online?

    Thanks for your hard work

  2. I am looking to build a big floating raft for a lake and was wondering what you recommend? Your site is very good and I am new to this but thought I would give it a try just for fun. I am looking for advice on materials, valves and seeming. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Hi Todd, I would start by reading the Fabrics, Tools, and Valves sections of the FAQ, above, and maybe check out the Forum as well, as there are some pictures of rafts people have made. Also check out the inflatable catamaran raft at For seam sealing technique, check out the videos in the How-To sections above. Cheers!

      1. Matt,

        Thanks, I really appreciate the response and I will take a closer look. Great site, seems to have a lot of information and is well laid out.

  3. Hi Todd
    When do you think the V3 will be available? I’m going to make an order soon and just saw that the V3 is in the making.

  4. Hi Matt,

    There will always be those that try to piggyback on the hard work of others, and unfortunately it is frustrating. But if you hold true to your beliefs of providing the best DIY Packrafts, Materials, and information the online public that finds other sites of diy rafts will always keep searching for more options till they find the person that is doing it right, has done the work to understand the topic, and has the users interests at heart. The people that are truly going to be using Packrafts for wilderness adventures will find you, and the other consumers if they choose to follow the clone route will have to deal with inferior products and poor quality.

    The people you what to support are the “users” that understand the importance of raft quality; and they know how there gear can make the difference between a great adventure and death, those that do not understand this are not worth your time.

    Don’t change your business model to do so will upset the support required for someone to decide whether to make a boat or not, and you will lose sales.

    Your doing it right, it will work out in the long run, hold your course, don’t pay attention to any of the competition, do what you do best, support the DIY packrafting community in their building projects and give people the option to decide, if they are true users they will always pick your designs, quality, and processes to build there next boat.

    Your a good person don’t lower yourself to the level of those in the gutter, trust me we your customers can see the difference and in the long run you will succeed and all copy cat operations will be gone.

    Cheers: Brian

  5. Hi Matt,

    About how heavy will the V3 (420D floor, large -140cm, no zipper) be?
    I’m really looking forward in getting one 🙂

  6. Matt,
    Will the V3 kit also be available with 40D fabric? Or do I have to get the V2 instead?

    1. Hi Mark – I will be designing a V3 version of the Ultralight packraft, but it will be slightly different because it will not use double-sided TPU fabric, so it will take a bit longer.

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