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Packraft info

Packraft — What's it all about?

A packraft is like a lightweight inflatable kayak that you can easily take with you on a trip, either on top of a backpack, inside the backpack, or even carried easily by hand. Depending on the model, it weighs around 2–5 kg, and when packed, it takes up about as much space as a tent. A packraft offers the opportunity to enjoy nature from an entirely new perspective, as it is versatile: you can discover new hiking routes, plan fishing or hunting trips to hard-to-reach places, or relax by the nearest body of water at the end of the day.

The packraft inflates quickly using an inflation bag or even more rapidly with a handy battery-operated Flextailgear Max Pump. However, you will also need a few strong puffs to fully inflate it. You can watch the example videos below to see how the inflation is done.

Packrafts are durable and beginner-friendly stable, and they can carry a lot of weight. For example, you can take along a backpack, a dog, or even a fat bike. In the MRS packrafts that we represent, excellent frame design and high-quality finishing are combined. Packrafts are designed to withstand use and are suitable for paddling in a variety of places, such as at sea, on lakes, and in rapids. The manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty on the products.

Esimerkkikuva packraft-setistä tarvikkeineen

Frequently asked questions:

The weight of MRS packrafts generally ranges from about 2.2–5.5 kg, depending on the model. The weights we provide include the packraft itself along with the seats and backrests, the spray deck and any related accessories (such as skirts and attachment arches), the packing strap, and the included fin.

Detailed weight information can be found in this table. The weight scale is relatively light, which makes the packraft a convenient and easily transportable piece of expedition gear.

Yes, MRS packrafts are very durable and are designed to withstand demanding conditions such as whitewater rafting, repeated folding and rolling, and varying weather conditions. Our own years of experience, as well as partnerships with various professionals, demonstrate that MRS packrafts are reliable and durable tools for whitewater rafting and paddling in challenging conditions. Should damage occur, repairs are always possible.

The load capacity of a packraft varies according to its size. Descriptions of the packrafts specify their load capacities, and you can also compare these capacities in this table.

As a general rule, packrafts are designed to carry not only a person but also additional load such as hiking gear or even a mountain bike.

We provide three load capacity values for all MRS packrafts:

  • Calculated advised capacity: The manufacturer’s recommended load that indicates the capacity for easy paddling.
  • Calculated maximum capacity: The manufacturer’s recommended maximum load for the given packraft.
  • Tested maximum capacity: This indicates the load under which the packraft continues to function even in challenging conditions, but may sit deeper in the water. Naturally, a packraft with a heavy load is harder to paddle, the travel speed decreases, and agility suffers in challenging conditions.

MRS packrafts come with a lightweight and handy inflation bag for the main inflation process. The inflation is then finalized by blowing air into it. Instead of the inflation bag, you can also use a rechargeable camping pump. In any case, the inflation of the packraft is divided into two stages, and the entire process takes less than five minutes after some practice:

Stage 1: The valve on the MRS packraft has a main valve and a check valve beneath the cap.

  • Open the main valve and screw the nozzle of the inflation bag into the threads. Before attaching the nozzle, you can rotate it counterclockwise while holding the bag, making it easier to screw into the valve.
  • Take a gulp of air into the bag, roll it slightly closed, and then squeeze the air into the packraft. The number of bagfuls needed varies depending on the model and the user’s technique, but the packraft quickly reaches a point where no more air can be added with the bag.
  • Keep the bag airtight and rotate it a few turns counterclockwise so that when unscrewing the nozzle, it will easily rotate counterclockwise and come off the valve.
  • After the nozzle comes off, quickly put the valve cap back in place and screw it on tightly. This step requires practice to minimize the amount of air that escapes during the change.

Stage 2: After closing the main valve, another check valve can be found beneath the top cap.

  • Blow strongly into the valve until no wrinkles are visible on the side of the packraft and it feels sufficiently taut.
  • Place the packraft in the shoreline water while you prepare for departure. If the water is cold, the air inside the packraft will contract a bit, and just before paddling, you may need to add a few more puffs of air.

The ISS System (Internal Storage System) is an extremely convenient additional feature in MRS packrafts. It provides the option to store luggage inside the packraft in waterproof bags while paddling. The system uses TiZip® Superseal zippers and dry bags, in which you can pack your belongings and snap them into loops found inside the packraft. This frees up space on top of the packraft and also stabilizes the packraft’s paddling characteristics by lowering the center of gravity. It is particularly useful for longer trips as you can store items such as tents and sleeping bags inside. Depending on the destination and the amount of gear you have, the ISS can be a valuable addition for facilitating travel on water.

However, you must take good care of the zipper. It’s important to avoid getting the zipper dirty with sand and debris and to remember to lubricate it periodically with the included lubricant. Also, you should avoid bending the zipper: roll up your packraft in such a way that the zipper remains on the outside, or fold the package taking the zipper into account.

Yes, you can bring a dog on an MRS-packraft. The packraft can accommodate both a smaller terrier and a tens-of-kilos Alaskan Malamute.

The material of the packraft is highly resistant to wear and tear, including dog claws.

Of course, it’s a good idea to consider the size of the dog when choosing a packraft. For larger dogs, we recommend the Adventure X2 or Barracuda R2 models due to their larger pontoons and carrying capacity. For example, a Dachshund or a Sheltie would do just fine in a Microraft L or Extra Long packrafts.

MRS packrafts are excellently suited for fishing and also for hunting in various bodies of water. With a packraft, it’s possible to reach difficult-to-access places like narrow rivers or secluded bays in lakes. Fishing is made easier through the use of an attachable fin and MRS anchor. There’s also a separate fishing seat for a higher casting position.

If a hook happens to get caught in the side of the packraft, there’s no need to worry. MRS packrafts are made of strong, urethane-coated ripstop nylon material that can withstand impacts and is not easily torn. If an accident does happen, minor damage caused by hooks can be easily repaired with a quick repair kit, which we always recommend taking along on trips.

It is advisable to be careful with hooks and keep them away from the surface of the packraft, but minor repairs will not affect the functioning of the packraft in any way.

We understand that price can be an important factor in decision-making. However, it’s important to note that MRS packrafts are known for their high quality, long-term design, and precise finishing, not to mention excellent durability.

There are also cheaper packrafts available on the market, but the differences in quality compared to MRS packrafts are usually immediately visible, or become apparent after a test paddle. Inferior material has a significantly shorter lifespan; for instance, low-quality TPU will become brittle under UV light over time, whereas higher-quality UV-coated TPU is virtually ageless. Cheaper material is generally also much less abrasion-resistant, making it more susceptible to scratches and hits from sharp rocks.

MRS packrafts navigate steadily and easily in all water conditions. On flat water, the bow of MRS packrafts doesn’t rise into the air; instead, the raft is committed to the water surface, always offering the best possible features. All MRS packrafts are suitable for rapids and are not easily overturned.

Due to the poorer balance of cheaper packrafts, they tend to pitch up surprisingly easily, making their glide uneven and paddling slow. Several other cheaper packraft brands may not be designed for rapids at all. These features become evident quickly during test use.

Despite speculations appearing on the internet, it’s worth remembering that MRS manufactures only MRS-branded packrafts at their factory. Every MRS packraft is handmade, from start to finish, at MRS’s own factory in Chengdu.

We are always ready to hear more about your needs and discuss how we can offer the best possible experience in packrafting. At Melomo, we are committed to offering our customers the best possible service and quality, and MRS grants a 3-year warranty on their packrafts.

See our instructional videos on inflating the packraft:

Taustakuva jokimelonnasta packraftilla

MRS - Micro Rafting System

The MRS factory is located in the heart of China, in the city of Chengdu, where packrafts have been designed and manufactured since 2007. The production has required extensive development work and a broad network of expertise from various fields. It’s noteworthy that each packraft is meticulously handmade. MRS is also committed to the continuous design of their products, not forgetting the development of the highest quality materials. MRS has a considerable number of patents for their unique solutions. From the beginning, MRS has emphasized high quality and a stringent quality control process. We, as the importers, work closely with the MRS factory in ongoing product development.

The MRS factory only manufactures MRS-branded packrafts, and the only official importer in Finland is Melomo Oy. We import the products directly from the factory to Finland, without any middlemen. All our packrafts come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, and we handle any warranty claims on behalf of the customer, always with direct contact to the factory. As enthusiasts, we at Melomo have always valued high quality and reliability, and we will uncompromisingly continue to adhere to these values. We also actively develop packrafts, their features, and packraft accessories in collaboration with MRS. Our latest development project was the MRS Viking Self Bailer, introduced to the market in 2020, and in the fall of 2023, the Ultralight series Minnow and Surveyor will be released, which will be available in early 2024.

MRS-packrafteja rivissä

Why MRS packraft?

Firstly, in user comparisons, MRS-packrafts are at the forefront when it comes to the market’s highest-quality and most reliable packrafts. Each MRS-packraft assures quality through its meticulously designed, well-balanced frame and sturdy bottom, making paddling enjoyable and effortless. In addition, the finely crafted details, along with extremely strong, hand-stitched, and heat-sealed joints, complete the overall quality. Seats and backrests, as well as several attachment loops, are naturally included in all models, and nearly all models also come with a removable fin.

All MRS-packrafts are specifically developed to be long-term expedition partners and to withstand extended use. All models are also capable of whitewater rafting, repeated rolling up, and variable weather conditions. Despite their light weight, the carrying capacity of the packrafts varies between 150-330 kg, depending on the model; see the size chart for model-specific differences. The manufacturer provides calculated recommended loads for optimal paddling speed. Exceeding the maximum load does not mean the packraft will sink; however, it will start to negatively affect paddling performance.

How tippy are packrafts? Actually, packrafts are very stable. The low center of gravity and sturdy pontoons make packrafts more stable than traditional kayaks, so even those without prior paddling experience don’t have to worry about tipping over. While a kayak roll is certainly possible with a packraft, both tipping and righting oneself do require some practice.

Spray deck protects from splashes

A spray deck is an invaluable piece of equipment, especially when navigating flowing water, and it comes standard with most MRS packraft models. The purpose of the spray deck is to keep the paddler dry when whitewater rapids splash into the boat or when it rains heavily. While it doesn’t offer 100% protection against all water, it effectively keeps normal splashes and rain away. If a significant amount of water consistently lands on the zippers during the day, the zippers and Velcro seams may let water through. MRS-packrafts offer three types of spray decks:

  • C-type: Deck cover attaches with a zipper that goes around the paddler from behind and from the right, with the left edge featuring Velcro fastening. It also has a removable zipper in the front. It can be opened, detached, and rolled up towards the front. An example is the MRS Microraft.
  • W-type: Features a permanently sealed deck with an opening around which four sections of attachment arches are slipped. The paddler wears a skirt that attaches to this frame, effectively keeping water out in rapids. On calm waters, the attachment rims and skirt may not be necessary. An example is the MRS Alligator 2S Pro.
  • D-type: Similar to the W-type but is fixed only at the front, with zipper fasteners on the sides and a Velcro strip at the back. It can be opened and rolled up towards the front but is not fully detachable. An example is the MRS Nomad S1 D.

When the deck is not needed, the C-type is convenient to roll up to the front of the raft, where it also attaches easily with Velcro straps, and from there it can be quickly deployed for the paddler’s protection whenever needed. In W- and D-types, using the skirt is not mandatory but recommended in rapids, where water pours in.

For emergency situations, spray skirts also come with what’s called a ‘panic handle’—a feature that allows the cover to be swiftly pulled open with a single tug, allowing the paddler to safely exit the raft.

C-tyypin aukkopeite
W-tyypin aukkopeite
D-tyypin aukkopeite

The authentic and original MRS packrafts we represent offer a versatile and extremely high-quality range for effortless water travel. The collection below provides the most suitable solutions for both recreational and professional use.

Ultra Light packrafts:

MRS Minnow

Weight: 2,15 kg
Spray deck: None

Exceptionally lightweight and highly compact, this smoothly maneuverable packraft.

MRS Surveyor

Weight: 2,70 kg
Spray deck: None

Ultra-lightweight and extremely compact packraft. Its length contributes to top-class speed and steerability among packrafts.

MRS Surveyor X2

Weight: 3,75 kg
Spray deck: None

An excellent choice for pairs who value lightness and speed on calm waters.

One person MRS packrafts:

MRS Microraft

Weight: 3,2–3,5 kg
Spray deck: Type C

Popular general-purpose model for outdoor trips. Available in sizes XS, S, M, and L.

MRS Microraft+ISS

Weight: 3,5 kg
Spray deck: Type C

Version equipped with an ISS zipper, excellent choice for multi-night trips. Available in sizes M and L.

MRS Microraft Extra Long

Weight: 4,2 kg
Spray deck: Type C

Extended version of the MRS Microraft, popular among dog owners and fishermen. Also available with ISS system.

MRS Microraft ISS HD

Weight: 3,7 kg
Spray deck: Type D

MRS Microraft Hybrid Deck model with a Type-D spray skirt and ISS system. Available in sizes M and L.

MRS Nomad S1

Weight: 3,6 kg
Spray deck: None

Narrower and longer compared to other single-person models, faster on flat water.

MRS Nomad S1 D

Weight: 4,5 kg
Spray deck: Type D

Fast packraft with a Type-D spray skirt for flat water but also performs well in rapids! Also available with the ISS2 system.

MRS Tulo

Weight: 2,3 kg
Spray deck: None

Particularly light and compact model, for crossing bodies of water and leisurely paddling.

MRS Ponto

Weight: 2,9kg
Spray deck: None

Light and straightforward, relatively spacious model with good cargo capacity.

MRS Alligator 2S Pro

Weight: 4,2 kg
Spray deck: Type W

Whitewater model with sportier design and skirt-style spray skirt. Comes in the characteristic Pro model black color, includes ISS system.

MRS Alligator 2S Pro XXL

Weight: 4,5 kg
Spray deck: Type W

Larger version of the Alligator 2S Pro, recommended for paddlers over 180 cm or those of larger build. Includes ISS system.

MRS Viking Self Bailer

Weight: 4,2 kg
Spray deck: None

Self Bailer model with holes in the bottom for water drainage. Features a covering seat assembly, includes Pro thigh straps. Also available with ISS system.

Two person MRS packrafts:

MRS Adventure X2

Weight: 4,4 kg
Spray deck: None/Type C

Two-person model but can also be paddled solo! Also available with Type-C spray skirt and/or ISS system.

MRS Barracuda R2

Weight: 5,1 kg
Spray deck: None

Larger among the two-person models, a top choice for adventurous couples! Also available with ISS system.

MRS Barracuda R2 Pro

Weight: 6,0 kg
Spray deck: Type D

Pro version features a removable Type-D top and skirt covers for two paddlers. Includes ISS system. A real adventure package!

To achieve full comfort, make sure to properly and thoroughly inflate your packraft. The packraft should not be soft or wrinkled on the sides; it performs best when properly inflated.

If the water is cold, let your packraft sit in the water for a moment and do the final inflations just before paddling. In direct sunlight, for example during breaks, remember to release some air from both the packraft as well as from the seat and backrest.

Taustakuva koskenlaskusta packraftilla

Internal Storage System (ISS)

Normally, transporting goods with a packraft is done by packing backpacks and other equipment either on the bow or stern and/or in the foot space. A backpack tied to the bow has almost become a trademark of packrafting. However, the ISS, or Internal Storage System, which consists of a waterproof zipper, allows for the storage and transport of items inside the pontoons. This is particularly sensible when undertaking longer multi-night paddling trips where there is a need for more equipment and provisions. It’s advisable to store inside the pontoons all the items that won’t be needed while paddling during the day, such as food and camping equipment.

All MRS packrafts use high-quality TIZIP® Superseal zippers. Through this completely water and air-tight zipper, you can place your goods inside the pontoons with the help of the accompanying elongated dry bags. When filled, the bags are slightly smaller than the internal dimensions of the pontoons, acting as reinforcement. This lowers the center of gravity of the packraft, thereby improving its directional stability.

The ISS system is available as an optional extra on almost all of our packraft models, and it comes as a standard feature on the Pro models.

The ISS system does have its own considerations. Goods can’t be accessed from inside the packraft while paddling since opening the zipper would release all the air from the craft. Snacks, toilet paper, and cameras should be kept either in a separate bag or in the popular MRS Bow Bag. However, there’s no need to worry about accidental opening or pressure resistance of the zipper as it requires significantly more force to open than any regular zipper. The same high-quality TIZIP® zippers are used in other outdoor equipment as well as in diving, dry, and rescue suits and in chemical and gas-resistant outfits.

The TIZIP® Superseal used by MRS is highly protected against malfunctions caused by dirt. However, it does require more careful maintenance than a regular zipper to remain functional. Avoiding unnecessary contact with sand is advisable, and it’s also sensible to rinse the zipper lightly with water before opening. Although the zipper’s lock is contact-free and doesn’t wear down the chain’s fastening or sealing components, the manufacturer recommends lubricating the lock occasionally to ensure optimal functionality.

TIZIP® Superseal technical details are available on the manufacturer’s website!

Taustakuva kalastuksesta packraftilla

Material information

You wouldn't dare go into white water with a rubber boat like that.

Let’s correct this perception right away – yes, you would! For several years, we’ve been using (and therefore testing) all the models we sell under very different conditions – from ocean waves and roaring rapids to freezing weather. Our packrafts are also used in competitions and as professional tools. It is unlikely for a packraft to burst under normal use. Of course, repair patches (note: glue is not included) come with every raft, and we also offer a quick repair kit that’s good to have on hand during trips. Based on the manufacturer’s information and our years of experience, damaging a packraft would require either a very unfortunate choice of rapids, a strong and unlucky strike from a fishing lure, or rough misuse. If an accident does happen, the repair process is simpler than patching a bicycle tire.

All MRS packrafts are specifically developed to be long-term travel companions and are built to last. All models are also capable of whitewater rafting, repeated rolling up, and variable weather conditions. The material used is a urethane-coated ripstop nylon mesh. This gives the packraft extremely strong abrasion and UV resistance. The surface has been specially treated to repel practically everything. The material also maintains its flexibility in cold temperatures and does not stiffen even when paddling in the freeze. The compound ages well (so-called anti-aging) and is lightweight. In summary: extremely strong and reliable material.

Note: Do not use mosquito and midge repellents near packrafts; the rafts’ slick coating does not react well to the DEET substance used in repellents, and this could cause discoloration.

Koskenlaskua packraftilla

Materials are as follows:

 
Tubes
Floor
Seat & backrest
Deck / spray skirt
Tulo, Ponto, Nomad S1 210D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating (0,35 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 420D high tear resistant Nylon with double Urethane coating (0,5 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 210D weaved Nylon with single-sided urethane coating  
Microraft, Adventure X2,
Barracuda R2
210D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating (0,35 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 840D high tear resistant Nylon with double Urethane coating (0,6 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 210D weaved Nylon with single-sided urethane coating 70D Ripstop Nylon with 210D reinforcements, single-sided Urethane coating
Nomad S1 D, Alligator 2S 210D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating (0,35 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 840D high tear resistant Nylon with double Urethane coating (0,6 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 210D weaved Nylon with single-sided urethane coating 210D Ripstop Nylon with 420D reinforcements, single-sided Urethane coating
Alligator 2S Pro, Barracuda R2 Pro, Viking Self Bailer (black) 420D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating
(0,4 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU)
840D high tear resistant Nylon with multiple Urethane coatings (0,6 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 210D weaved Nylon with single-sided urethane coating 210D Ripstop Nylon with 420D reinforcements, single-sided Urethane coating
Ultra Light: Minnow, Surveyor 210D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating (0,1 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 210D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating (0,4 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 70D weaved Nylon with single-sided urethane coating  
Ultra Light: Surveyor X2 210D high-strength Nylon with single Urethane coating (0,1 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 420D high tear resistant Nylon with double Urethane coating (0,5 mm 67Tx55T 90 A Ether TPU) 70D weaved Nylon with single-sided urethane coating  

We reserve the rights to make model-specific material changes.

Measurements

The following table contains measurements provided by the manufacturer:

 MRS Microraft XSMRS Microraft SMRS Microraft MMRS Microraft LMRS Microraft Extra LongMRS Alligator 2S ProMRS Alligator 2S Pro XXLMRS Viking Self BailerMRS Adventure X2MRS Barracuda R2MRS Nomad S1 D (S1)MRS TuloMRS Ponto
Weight (incl. spray deck/skirt & accessories)3,20 kg3,25 kg3,5 kg3,5 kg4,2 kg4,2 kg4,5 kg4,2 kg4,4 kg5,1 kg4,5 kg (3,6 kg)2,3 kg2,9 kg
Inner length124 cm131 cm133 cm135,5 cm178,8 cm131 cm136 cm136 cm175 cm217 cm171 cm119 cm135,5 cm
Outer length235cm250 cm255 cm258 cm295 cm255 cm269 cm269 cm305 cm356 cm289 cm223 cm254 cm
Inner width at hips30,5 cm31 cm31,5 cm32 cm32 cm32 cm34 cm34 cm34 cm35 cm30 cm30 cm33 cm
Outer width83,5 cm85 cm86,5 cm88 cm89 cm87 cm92 cm92 cm96 cm97 cm83 cm81 cm91 cm
Tube diameter26,5 cm27 cm27,5 cm28 cm28,5 cm27,5 cm29 cm29 cm31 cm31 cm26,5 cm25,5 cm29 cm
Calculated* capacity (advised/max)72 kg/102 kg83 kg/113 kg94 kg/131 kg98 kg/136 kg108 kg/145 kg94 kg / 131 kg112 kg/ 154 kg102 kg/150 kg150 kg/188 kg175 kg/230 kg85 kg/118 kg70 kg/88 kg102 kg/138 kg
Tested** maximum capacity150 kg170 kg180 kg190 kg230 kg160 kg190 kg180 kg270 kg330 kg180 kg140 kg190 kg

Ultra Light-series measurements provided by the manufacturer:

 MRS MinnowMRS SurveyorMRS Surveyor X2
Weight (incl. spray deck/skirt & accessories)2,15 kg2,7 kg3,75 kg
Inner length132 cm155 cm213 cm
Outer length203 cm268 cm324 cm
Inner width at hips37 cm37 cm37 cm
Outer width85 cm93 cm93 cm
Tube diameter24 cm28 cm28 cm
Calculated* capacity (advised/max)100 kg/135 kg130 kg/185 kg130 kg/220 kg

*Manufacturer-recommended load for effortless paddling, as well as the maximum load with which the raft is still easily maneuverable and maintains optimal paddling speed.
**Total load that the packraft will hold, but paddling experience and speed performance deteriorate.
We reserve the rights to make model-specific measurement changes.