The standard inflatable boat valve is the “Boston” valve, which is made up of three parts:
- A threaded flange that glues into the boat. This has an opening of about 21.5 mm (27/32”), which makes for quick inflations and deflations.
- A one-way valve that screws into the flange. This stops air from escaping while you’re inflating the packraft.
- A cap that screws on over the one-way valve to keep air in and dirt and water out.
Plastic rings hold the three parts together so they won’t get lost when they’re unscrewed, and the whole assembly weighs about 37 grams (1 oz). If you purchase a Boston valve elsewhere, make sure it includes the flange that glues into the boat and not just the parts that screw into the flange. Most boston valves available online do not include the flange because the target market is not DIY Packraft makers, but people who have lost the valves for their manufactured boats. The product descriptions do not make this clear, so you really have to look at the pictures to know what you’re buying. This is what you need:
If you want to add an easily accessible top-up valve for regulating the air pressure in your packraft while you are on the water, you can purchase one like this:
This top-up valve (available here) has a twist-lock end cap that allows you to either add air by blowing into it, or to release air by simply opening the valve. It weighs only 12 grams (0.42 oz)!
For smaller inflatables, such as packraft seats and DIY life jackets, a lighter and more compact option is this small valve (available here): It performs the same functions as a Boston valve, combining a one-way valve for inflation with a larger “dump” valve for deflation, but it has a much smaller aperture so is more suitable for lower volume inflatables. The best part about this valve is that it weighs only 4 grams (0.1 oz)!
You can support this page by purchasing valves from me right here 🙂