“Thirty-one years ago I had never heard of anybody else lashing a bike onto a boat before. It was my own idea, with my first mountain bike in 1987. I wanted to explore an area for moose hunting on the far side of the Delta River, a big glacier river in the Alaska Range. I used a Sherpa Packraft to get across. I rode buffalo trails, ended up shooting a moose, used the bike to wheel meat to the river, and then I ferried it all over in my raft.” ~Legacy Ambassador, Roman Dial. He acquired his first Alpacka Raft in the early 2000s.
For many years, the only way to carry your gear on large, multi-sport packraft adventures was either inside the boat on the floor, or mounted to the bow. However, in 2011, we changed the game completely when we invented the Cargo Fly internal gear storage system. This design not only kept your gear drier, it also dramatically increased handling and whitewater performance. However, it didn’t solve the problem of carrying large bulky items like bicycles, big game animals, and large packs on the bow.
Welcome the Caribou with our latest innovation, the Late Rise Bow, that combines the stability and load carrying ability of a rockerless hull with the whitewater and wave performance of a rockered hull. Unlike anything else on the market, the Late Rise Bow still provides a rocker to shed waves and whitewater, but it moves beginning of the rocker in front of the bow’s mounted load. The result is a broad stable platform for mounting bulky and heavy items like bicycles that carries them high and keeps them out of the water when paddling. And, the load remains balanced and stable on both water and land.
To keep the weight and bulk at an absolute minimum, while preserving our legendary durability, we utilized the same lightweight 210-denier high count nylon fabric as the Scout and the 840-denier floor featured in our other packrafts. The result is an ultralight, full-size bikeraft or ultralight hunting raft that rolls up small for stashing in a pack or on your handlebar roll. It’s also available with a Cargo Fly, for keeping bulky gear on the bow and loose gear inside and dry.
Note: Due to the specialized bags utilized by most bike-packers, Cargo Fly models do not include internal dry bags or internal attachments for clipping dry bags in place. However, internal dry bags can be purchased separately and used in the Caribou without the internal attachments.
Cargo Fly Option
The Cargo Fly is the ultimate packraft gear storage solution. The Cargo Fly features an airtight zipper installed in the stern of the boat, which provides drier and more secure gear storage and improved paddling performance due to a lower center of gravity. Caribou models with a cargo fly do not come with internal dry bags because most bike-rafters have a different set of dry bags for their bike packing setup. The Caribou also does not feature buckle attachments inside the tubes to secure the dry bags because the Caribou is not designed for significant whitewater use. However, you can purchase internal dry bags separately and use them with the Caribou without the buckles.
We are not offering spray decks for the Caribou as it is primarily designed as a minimalist boat for bike-packing and carrying large loads on the bow, which can often interfere with a spray deck.
210-denier High Count Nylon
The Caribou features the same tube fabric as the Scout, which optimizes packability and weight savings while maintaining sufficient tear strength for the Caribou’s intended uses. This fabric features the same USA woven 210-denier High Count Nylon used in all of our standard fabric packrafts, but is coated with a light polyurethane coating on both sides to minimize weight while maintaining air retention.
840-denier Nylon Heavy Double Coat Floor
The Caribou features the same full-strength USA woven 840-denier ballistic nylon floor fabric as all of our standard packraft models. The fabric coated on both sides with heavy polyurethane film custom designed for packrafts by our USA supplier, which maximizes tear strength and minimizes friction. This floor fabric is time tested as the best combination of durability, weight, and packability on the market.
||97″ / 246cm
||97″ / 246cm
||38″ / 97cm
||38″ / 97cm
||48.5″ / 123cm
||48.5″ / 123cm
|Interior Width at Hips
||14.5″ / 37cm
||14.5″ / 37cm
||4lb 12oz / 2.15kg
||5lb 0oz / 2.27kg
*Weight includes all components except inflation bag, repair kit.
Originally, the only way to carry gear on a packraft was either mounted on the bow or down on the floor. However, in 2011, we invented the Cargo Fly internal gear storage system which completely changed the game. With the Cargo Fly, gear can be stored inside the tubes of the packraft which keeps it dry and dramatically increases the handling and performance of the boat when used with the internal dry bags that clipped in place. Yet, the Cargo Fly did not address the needs of carrying bulky items like bicycles and big game hunting packs, or navigating through sections of terrain which require frequent switching between boating and hiking.
While our Alpacka Series packrafts will carry a bike or pack on the bow just fine, the bow rocker begins at the junction between the bow and the sides. When a bike or heavy pack is mounted on the bow, it’s center of gravity is well forward of the beginning of the rocker, which causes the stern of the boat to flip up (on land or water) any time the paddler gets out of the boat. In addition, when a bicycle is mounted on an Alpacka Series, the best mounting platform is behind the four bow grab loops (which is why the bike tiedown upgrades on the Alpacka Series are placed behind the standard bow grab loops), which limits the paddler’s range of motion and sometimes causes parts of the bike to ride low and dip into the water when paddling.
So, we returned to the design room and developed the Late Rise Bow for the Caribou. The Late Rise Bow design utilizes a center panel in the bow to increase the volume allow the beginning of the bow rocker to be moved in front of the center of gravity of a bow mounted load. The result is a broad stable platform for mounting bulky and heavy items like bicycles and supporting them higher and drier when the boat is in the water. And, the load remains balanced and stable on both water and land, with and without a paddler. Finally, because the design still incorporates a rocker, the Late Rise Bow retains outstanding performance in waves and whitewater.
For fabrics, in order to minimize the weight while maximizing versatility and durability, we chose the ultralight and durable 210-denier High Count Nylon with a lightweight double coating of polyurethane that we use in the Scout and paired it with the full weight 840-denier Ballistic Nylon floor that we use on all of our standard packrafts. To optimize the Caribou for bike-rafting, we kitted out the bow a set of strap plates that are oriented to match the layout of a bicycle frame and a handle for launching and carrying during portages. In the end, the Caribou brings Alpacka’s legacy of design and material innovations to the original bike-raft concept that Roman Dial started in the 1980s.