Instructions: Second Generation Plans and Kits

Step 0 – Trace Plans & Cut Fabric (skip for kits)

Step 0.5 – Practice Heat-Sealing

Step 1 – Joining Tube Pieces to Floor

Step 2 – Joining Tube Pieces Together

Step 3 – Join Completed Tubes to Floor

Step 4 – Double-Layer Floor or Joint Reinforcement

Step 5 – Installing Valve(s)

Step 6 – Center Seams

Overview:

In these instruction pages, I show in detail how I put together this packraft from a DIY Packraft Kit:

diy-packraft-6

In the video below, I use a paper model to show how the pieces of a DIY Packraft kit fit together to make a packraft:

If you have ordered plans and raw fabric (as opposed to a kit), you’ll start by cutting out the paper shapes on the plans and tracing them out on your fabric. There are six shapes – the floor and five tube sections, and you’ll be tracing the tube sections twice – once for the left side of your packraft, and once for the right. After the pieces are cut out, you’ll start heat-sealing them together.

The tubing sections on the kits and plans are numbered 1 through 5 to correspond with labels on the floor piece, so you’ll know how they fit together.

Before you begin bonding things together, lay out the Floor with the TPU (shiny) side up and then lay out the ten side pieces TPU side down in their appropriate positions, to make sure you’ve got them all and you know how they fit together (this is where the “Left”, “Front”, and number labels come in handy on the plans/kit pieces). The array will look like this:

diy-packraft-1
Note: plans not to scale.

As you work through the instructions in the links above, you’ll bond each tube piece to the floor and to each other to create a segmented airtight ring around the floor of your packraft.

After installing an inflation valve, you’ll be able to inflate your packraft and go on amazing packrafting trips!

Onward to Step 0: Trace Plans & Cut Fabric

4 thoughts on “Instructions: Second Generation Plans and Kits

  1. Hey Matt,

    Very long winded multiple questions scenario here, sorry in advance.

    Is it possible to have the floor and tube cutouts 1-4 all as one piece? Eliminating the need to weld one side of the tube? I would assume you’d need a piece of seam strip(possibly wider to get the strength the same)to have TPU to TPU sides touching from the inside of the tube to the inside of the floor. Reason being is I’d like to keep the nylon on the outside to protect the TPU from the elements and being roughed up by getting shoved in and out of my bag.
    I figure 5L/5R could also be shortened and strips added to both sides to keep the TPU on the inside. Only issues I can see is it would be harder to seal tube sections to each other and center seams since seam strip would have to be on inside. Or is it advantageous to have TPU on the outside, other than for ease of fabrication?

    Great site, I’m definitely going to do this as I already own an alpacka, but would like to DYI a more minimal version instead of buying their scout model.
    Cheers,

    Cam

    1. Hi Cam, I have made a packraft with the TPU on the inside of the tubes, with the floor and tube sections cut out of one piece as you describe (check out the original V1 instructions at the bottom of the How-To menu). After trying both configurations, I prefer having TPU on the outside, but check out the V1 design and if decide you want to go that route, send me an email and I’ll see if I have any of the original plans lying around (or you can modify the current design fairly easily). Cheers!

      1. I’m currently weighing my options/preferences. I checked out V1 and I can see that the nylon will stay wet longer having it exposed instead of the TPU which would be less desirable to me. I like the addition of the double sided 420d in V3, is there a double sided 240d fabric that your supplier has/you know of? I feel like in a perfect world that would shut me up(since TPU would also be on inside of tube so outside coating has an inside redundancy)

        1. Working with double-TPU fabrics in the tubes would require a different bonding method because you wouldn’t be able to seal it with an iron (the iron can’t touch the TPU). A hot air welder would be the way to go. Because each fabric is custom made and the minimum order quantities are very large, I cannot supply that for you. I recommend purchasing a fabric sample pack so you can see how tough the current fabrics are – that may put your mind at ease.

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