Love the rapid raft. Took it out on the lake last weekend. It seems very well made and I'm not too worried about puncturing it. 2 downsides though. One is the thin bottom which gets cold from the water. I put down a wool blanket and that seems to work well. Two is the position of the inflation valve. The raft seems to deflate slowly and having the valve behind you makes it difficult if not impossible to reach. I'm gonna go to home depot and get some length of rubber tubing to extend it. Sure that'll work.
I bought a Rapid Raft in the original Kickstarter after seeing how cool it looked, but I never imagined what I could do with it. I purchased the raft with the intention of using it for marsh pond retrieves duck hunting as I don't have a duck hunting dog. I figured it would be good for some quick paddles here and there to cross a river, or get a fallen bird. Since I've bought it, I have yet to use it duck hunting, but have used it for just about everything else. My first trip ever on the Rapid Raft took me down the Buffalo River on day trips, and due to low water levels, I unintentionally torture tested it for 8+ hours a day for a week. Grinding against rocks and sticks for hours, it held up great with minimal abrasion. I unfortunately left it in the sun one day and the expansion and heat popped a seam, but a quick patch and I floated for two more days problem free. Once home, I contacted the company and explained my situation and they worked to with me to get a replacement. It has taken me 25+ miles in a day, carried me and 60# of gear (I weigh 175#) packrafting through Arkansas without flinching, I have even strapped a 29+ mountain bike and gear to it and bike-packed down the Wisconsin River. I have made minor additions such as adding 1.5" D-rings to the strap points, and adding about a foot of tubing to the top off valve (5/8" ID tubing slides over air tight, no need to tape or glue permanently) to reach it easier while paddling and reinforce the valve from kinks. It does drop a small amount of pressure over time, regardless of the roll-up job, but it is easy enough to top with 2-3 breathes here and there. Never have I ever felt unsafe in it, even charging rapids with weight or floating over 30+ft of swift water. Awesome Job Uncharted
Got my pair of Rapid Raft hanging in my storage since their funding campaigns. Finally had them out to the Bay Area of our Singapore's southern islands. When we whip out the rafts and got them into the waters, a lot of envy eyes were spotted. They are so amazed of the packability and they're so easy to inflate and be ready for water in no time. When all fun is over, we just pack them away into our bags and feeling satisfied for an awesome product invested. Highly recommend for all to enjoy the waters, anywhere and anytime.
Wow. By far the best gadget I have purchased. Friends are blown away by the concept. Haven't had the chance to water test it yet but will be doing this weekend hopefully. Mostly just practicing the technique for inflating it. Intend to use it in the ocean as a rapidly inflatable float to be used as a platform to paddle from the boat to the beach and also for my wife to hang out in the water while we all snorkel and dive.
Took this out on a rainy PNW morning for the first time. I had it and a kayak paddle strapped to my backpack and didn’t even notice they were there. It is definitely very light and packable. It’s easy to inflate but when I’ve experimented with it at home and in the field, it ended up taking about 60 seconds of inflation through the little blow tube. I have not been able to get it to fill up initially more than that. It floated just fine and was fairly easy to maneuver through a small pond. I did notice that my butt sank fairly far down into the water which made it challenging to get over logs 4-5” under the surface that I could have easily gone over with a non-inflatable kayak. I’m about 160 lbs. The water was also very cold on my butt and I could not feel it after a couple of minutes. Those are minor issues that are not really avoidable given the main purpose and construction of this boat. I did notice that the air slowly leaked out and I ended up having to inflate it about 30 minutes into an hour long paddle because it was getting pretty soft. I did my best to keep sharp edges when I was rolling up the end but I wonder if there’s some special technique to prevent the air from leaking out quite so quickly? Overall it definitely seems like it has a niche on longer hunts were crossing rivers or lakes would be desirable for packing out meat down the river. If I was going to go duckhunting or on a longer fishing or hunting trip on a body of water that had ready access by road I would probably take my plastic kayak. It’s a cool little gadget to having the gear closet and will definitely come in handy. Other similar packrafts run $700+ which is hard to justify for my purposes.