See also: Packraft Paddles
In a Line
Four-piece paddle weighs 890g in kayak format, has 15cm of length adjustment, fully variable feathering and includes canoe handles to make a pair of canoe paddles, a long SUP paddle, a tarp pole or even an MYO packstaff.
What they say
Revised, redesigned paddle combination for two-person packrafts, usable alone or in pairs. The very light fiberglass double paddle can be transformed into two paddles and even into a SUP paddle using two extenders. Continuously adjustable in angle and length (210cm to 225cm).
Good value, light 4-parter
Variable length and feathering
Two canoe or a SUP paddle included
Max 63cm length
29mm shaft better for smaller hands
Get a Vertex Tour for €125 if you just want a packraft paddle
Blades a bit loose fit; fixed with tape
No index mark to set feathering angle
29mm shaft narrower than the 32mm I’m used to
Smooth surface is a bit slipperier than my other paddles
This paddle was supplied free in exchange for editorial work on the Anfibio website
A quality two-piece is usually my first choice for a day out, but for travelling with a packraft, especially on public transport, a 4-piece paddle makes sense. You won’t go any slower or get more tired; it just won’t feel as efficient as a good two-parter – and feeling efficient can give you confidence, even if there’s nothing in it. Now sold, my Aqua Bound Manta Ray carbon shaft was at least 10 years old and still hanging in there, and that was my second one after selling the first to a mate. It wasn’t as stiff as my Werner two-parters but it got me across the water all over the world, while also doubling up as a packstaff.
Anfibio’s Vertex Multi Tour really does try to cover everything: kayak paddle, two canoe paddles and even a SUP board paddle – if you own all those it could be what you need. I don’t, so used the canoe handle extenders to make a Mk2 packstaff.
I did notice the spring-button blade connection was a little slack; a matter of a fraction of millimeter clearance and fixed by a bit of tape, easily removed. Maybe the paddle will swell into a tighter fit once repeatedly wetted? (The Manta Ray blades tightened up over the years).
It took a while to notice the Vertex also has a slightly thinner 29mm shaft and less good to grip for me. Smaller handed persons will like this. It’s also smoother which makes me think a little texture aids grip without raising blisters on long paddles.
The length adjustment is something new on me and I like to think is not a gimmick. On our windy Dorset paddle I ran the paddle short (210cm) into the wind, and longer (220 or so) downwind; a bit like low and high gearing, using a higher cadence on the short length when working into the wind. I need to try this a few more times to see if it really makes a difference, or I just think it does. With the lever clamp, you can adjust in a couple of seconds.
Like most paddlers I am right handed and paddle with the left blade rotated forward 45°. Is that ‘45° R‘? I suppose so. But unlike my Werners (left), there is no sticker or other index alignment marker to set your feathering angle on the Vertex. It seems an odd omission. I’d have thought the long thin ‘compression’ slot where the clamped shaft squeezes together would have been the obvious position for an index mark.
I also realised it matters which blade you attach to which shaft if you want your shaft feathering alignment marker to have consistency. After sticking on some yellow alignment arrows (as I’ve done to my older Werner’s where the alignment sticker has long since peeled off), I added some more tape on the left blade and the section of shaft with the lever clamp. Now you just match yellow to yellow and you are good to go.
The Vertex’s blade looks like a fairly standard 650cm2 and should take the usual beating of being pushed off rocks and so on. Once you’re paddling the finer points of paddle response fall by the wayside; you are moving into the wind and waves and current, and at the end of a long or hard session, will feel tired. That’s how we felt trying out the boat two-up off the northwest coast the other day.