See also: Packraft Deckbags
In a Line
Easily fitted, low-profile 22-litre bag with waterproof zip and works off the boat as a shoulder bag too.
Cost: 99 euro from Anfibio Packrafting Store (supplied free for editorial work)
Weight, Size & Volume
Bag: 224g; straps 11g each (verified)
59cm wide, 43 cm long and ~15 high when full. Volume: 22 litres.
Northwest Scotland, Medway, Knoydart.
• Waterproof construction including IPX7 zip
• Variety of attachment options, providing you have the mounts
• Four 58-cm straps included
• Works great on the trail as a shoulder bag too
• Handy Molle rim tapes
• You can easily tuck a once-folded WindPaddle underneath or even inside
• On the bow of my Nomad was a bit of to reach; better on the Rebel 2K and TXL
• Not convinced it works well as a floor bag
• Won’t stay up to be a pillow
• A white interior and external mesh pocket would be really good
• Drop the straps and use reusable zip ties – quicker and easier
What they say
Waterproof zippered packraft bow or stern bag for easily accessible essentials on the water. Fits any Packrafts (and a lot of other boats) by full perimeter daisy chain (for variable fastening).
With the Anfibio DeckPack you can transport your essentials safely and securely in all conditions. Splash-sensitive valuables like a camera, keys or documents as well as emergency equipment and spare clothing are always at hand on the bow, the stern or on the floor beneath your knees. The DeckPack can also be quickly converted into a daypack for excursions on land or the use as hand luggage on your journey.
The problem with packrafts is there’s nowhere to put your stuff other than the bag it comes in, usually a backpack. I wrote more about it here, before making my own small Pakbag.
Otherwise, I like a 20-30L holdall, like my old Watershed Chattooga, or my current Ortlieb Travel Zip (right) with a handier TiZip and mesh-zip external pockets. These bags sit accessibly, but out of the way, under my knees, and on previous packrafts attached to a tab mount glued to the floor for when you flip.
Anfibio’s DeckPack is another way of doing it. It resembles Alpacka’s larger, 24-litre Bow Bag but costs 25% less at current $/€ rates. It’s a vaguely semi-circular, PU-coated bag of around 22 litres which, unlike the Bow Bag, has a perimeter of daisy-chains (continuous attachment loops, a bit like Molle). It fits most obviously on a packraft’s bow, as this is where most packrafts have four tabs and where the weight trims the boat best. But you could as easily mount it on flatter sterns (as on my Nomad) if you already have a big backpack up front. Anfibio also suggest it can go inside on the floor too. Using the supplied straps, I’ve also used the pack as a shoulder bag while on the trail.
On my Nomad it just so happened the bow mounting tabs where just right to fit the bag without using the supplied straps. Reusable zip ties (below) are best. But mounted on the bow it was a bit of a reach on my Nomad unless I shuffled off the seat.
In fact there were enough hull mounts on my Nomad to position it further back (above right) using two front straps. Here it acts as a splash guard extension and was much more accessible on the water without making getting in and out too awkward.
Another very handy aspect of a DeckPack is that a mounted WindPaddle (left) or similar can be quickly folded in half and tucked under the bag out of the way when you’re setting off or need to change direction and start paddling. In strong winds this stashing of the sail is an important thing to be able to do easily and quickly; without a deck you can jam it under your knees, but with a deck the DeckPack or similar enables reliable stashing. Then, when you’re ready to sail again, you just pull out the sail and it’s up in a jiffy.
I submerged the DeckPack in the bath and, pushed underwater (ie: under some pressure) air bubbles slowly leaked out via the zip head. But Anfibio tell me:
Please note, the zipper is one-way air penetrable, that means it will release air to the outside under some pressure along the zip, not only the head, but it remains watertight. It is actually rated IPX7. Under any circumstances, it can withstand submersion.
Without pressure, there may be no leakage and so the DeckPack doubles as a secondary buoyancy aid – always reassuring on single-chamber packrafts.
Once I realised it would work well on the IK, I ended up liking the Anfibio DeckPack a bit more than I expected, but here are a couple of suggestions:
• Drop the price and make the straps (right) optional. Most paddlers will have their own mounting means or ideas. I use four reusable zip ties.
• A curved, meshed exterior zip pocket would be really handy for knick-knacks or having a GPS in a readable position. Or, run a line of daily-chains alongside the main zip, so you can DIY a mesh pocket to the outside without interfering with the main zip or bodging as I have done (left). It would make the DeckPack even more versatile and save over-working the waterproof zip to access stuff while on the water.
MYO Seatback Mesh Pouch
As mentioned above, zipped mesh pouches on exterior surfaces are dead handy. You can put stuff in them, they drain or dry fast and they enable handy access without digging into a main bag. It’s one of the things I like on my Ortlieb Travel Zip.
On eBay I found 9″ x 7″ zip mesh pouches for makeup at about 3 quid each and quite well made. I zip-tied one around the side hem to the buckles on the back of my packraft’s foam backrest (above and below). It’s a handy place to stash the inflation bag, some cord, snaplinks, zip ties and the top-up adapter for my K-Pump. I even fitted one to my Anfibio DeckPack.