We recently received news on the new 2019 Kokopelli lineup of inflatable packrafts and gear.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally.
Kokopelli Outdoor Inc. of Denver, Colorado entered the packraft market in 2014, beginning with a handful of models. Last year’s Kokopelli line-up consisted of four whitewater models – the Nirvana and Nirvana XL in self-bailing and spray deck versions; three touring series – the Castaway, Castaway XL and the Twain Tandem; and two ultra-packable models – Rogue and Rogue Lite.
For 2019, Kokopelli continues to streamline and upgrade the product line, adding one new model and some new accessories. The packrafts have been regrouped into three categories – Whitewater, Lake and Adventure.
The 2019 Whitewater series now consists of two current models – the Nirvana Spraydeck (above) and the Nirvana Self Bailer – each with tizip options. While there has been no change to the dimensional specifications or weights, the Nirvana Self Bailer is the only packraft with an inflatable floor (elevating the paddler above any water) with integrated seat base and separate backband. Prices remain the same at $1050 for the base models, and $1200 for packrafts with the tizip option.
The third Whitewater model is new for 2019 – the Recon. Weighing in at a beefy 18 lbs, the Recon features a robust 9mm PVC construction with self-bailing design for intense whitewater or rugged conditions. The Recon sports a 90 x 37 inch exterior, a 57 x 15″ interior with 9mm nylon ripstop floor, and is available in Arctic blue without tizip options. MSRP $900 which includes a bellows foot pump with integrated pressure gauge, but not an inflator bag.
The 2019 Adventure series consists of two models – Rogue (above) and Rogue-Lite. While similar in size and dimensions to the Nirvana, the Rogue with spray-deck features a thinner 210 denier hull material with beefed-up Kevlar reinforcement. The thinner denier material packs down smaller and weighs roughly 2 lbs less, making it more desirable for longer distances, while the Kevlar construction makes it nearly as durable as the Nirvana. The Rogue-Lite features an open cockpit and slightly shorter length, weighing in at a mere 5.4 lbs. Both Rogues are available with or without tizip. MSRP is $825 for the Rogue-Lite and $1050 for the Rogue. Tizip options on both Rogues are an additional $125.
Both the Rogues and Nirvana’s now sport an improved material with thicker TPU coating for added durability and abrasion resistance which also adds a slight 0.2 lbs to the raft weight; this has been a running change since last summer.
Three models comprise the new Lake series – the Hornet-Lite, Castaway XL and Twain Tandem. The 4.9 lb 85-inch Hornet-Lite weighs the least in the product line, making it very desirable for long distance hiking but with a performance trade off. The Castaway XL (above) sports an open design with longer waterline of 104″ for taller paddlers or those requiring room for gear.
The 122″ Twain (above) – one of the few packrafts designed for solo or tandem paddling – is also open-decked. The two longer models are used predominantly on flatwater and feature removable tracking fins to aid in paddling performance. These models remain virtually unchanged for 2019. MSRP is $595, $975 and $1100 respectively. Tizip options are available for the Castaway XL and Twain for an additional $125.
Last year’s Castaway and Castaway XL with spray deck have been retired.
The yellow color continues into 2019, but the French Gray is taking a hiatus this year.
Weights range from 4.9 to 18 lbs. All models except the Recon come with an inflation “bag” weighing a mere 4 ounces, though they also can be pumped up using a traditional hand or foot pump with the proper adaptor.
On the gear side, four new accessories are of special interest.
For 2019, the four-point thigh strap system has been redesigned as a 3-point, simplifying installation and use. MSRP $49.99
The new 70-liter Animas River Bag is constructed from a high-performance mesh material and easily fits the raft as well as a paddle and helmet. An integrated quick-attachment system turns it into a river gear bag that can be stowed on the packraft and is compatible with prior-year packrafts with minor adjustments.
Even better, the Animas can be converted into a backpack system (shown above) utilizing the optional new 3-point thigh strap. MSRP is $79 for the Animas Duffel, or $128 with the backpack/thigh strap conversion.
Also new for 2019 is a set of two internal inflatable dry bags which can be used in the Animas bag, and can be used for storing gear with tizip version packrafts. MSRP $150.
For those interested in easier inflation options, Kokopelli has two new pumps.
A 12-volt, ultralight Feather Pump weighs in at a mere 5.5 oz, yet takes only 60 seconds to inflate or deflate one single-sized packraft chamber to 95% – the packraft still needs to be topped off by mouth. The pump comes with a micro USB cable allowing recharge via a USB charge port; there is a 60-minute run time on a full charge. MSRP $39.99
A new bellows foot pump – included with the Recon – features an integrated pressure gauge and a Leafield adaptor, allowing any of the packrafts to be inflated by foot. MSRP $39.99.
The 2019 models are in stock except for the Recon and the new accessories – ETA is late March through April. Contact us if you want to get on the notification list.