We recently posted our Sneak Preview on the new series of Moki inflatable kayaks from Kokopelli Packraft – two exciting new models we’ve seen for 2020. What’s so special? The new Moki Series expands the Kokopelli product line, providing a traditional paddling experience.
Last month, the 2020 models started rolling in. We began the series with the new 13.6 lbs XPD, so we now turn to the high-pressure Moki inflatable kayak, a 12 ft 2-inch model with zip-off deck and spray skirt.
Getting Started with the Kokopelli Moki Inflatable Kayak
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak body with high pressure floor, EVA seat, removable deck, spray skirt, foot brace, coaming tube, pump with gauge, repair kit, roller backpack, fin, deck rod, repair kit and instructions. The fin and the repair kit are found in a pocket inside the backpack.
Boxed up, the dimensions are 36 x 25 x 15 inches with a shipping weight of 58 lbs. The kayak weighs 33 lbs with the seat, floor, brace and fin – add another 1.75 lbs for the deck and 1 lb for the coaming and spray skirt. All packed up in the bag, everything weighs 46 lbs. The folded kayak size is 29 x 21 x 9 inches.
The generic instructions for Kokopelli’s inflatable kayak series include inflation and deflation techniques, deck, seat and skirt installation, but lack details on actual set up; we will outline the steps we took, below. In general, set up is straight-forward – unpack, unfold, inflate.
The first step is to unfold the kayak.
The Kokopelli Moki utilizes three main GRI push-push valves for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
Next, set up the pump – this is not mentioned in the instructions. The Moki comes with a very nifty, collapsible, dual-action Nano pump and built-in pressure gauge. Fold down the feet and attach the hose to the side that says Inflate (there is also a Deflate side). There are two pieces of plastic tubes in the plastic packaging – these are screw on handles. Unfortunately, there is no place to attach/store the handles when removed so you may want to buy a mesh laundry bag to keep everything together. Or, don’t even bother attaching the handles as the pump is pretty easy to use without them.
The Nano pump dual action mode is operated by a lever on the side of the pump. There are no instructions on using this, but point the lever to the right for double action (air is pumped on the up and down stroke) and to the left for single action (air is pumped only on the down stroke, making it easier to get to high pressures.)
We started in double-action mode. Attach the hose to the military valve by twisting on, and start pumping.
The instructions say to pump up the floor first to 8 PSI, followed by both side tubes to 3-4 PSI. (We did follow these instructions, but will slightly modify them). It took us roughly 45 easy strokes to reach 8 PSI on the floor. Please note that the gauge works on back pressure, so it was 20-25 strokes before the needle started moving.
We then pumped up one of the side chambers. It took us another 125 very easy pumps to get to 3.5 PSI. While this sounds like a lot, the Nano pump is very easy to use and we never switched to single action mode – pumping took about 2+ minutes. Please again note that you will not get any needle movement until about 100 pumps. Screw on the wing cap to keep the valve protected.
At this point we decided to try out Kokopelli’s new miracle pump, the Feather. The Feather pump is a very small (fits in your palm), rechargeable 12-volt battery pump that can inflate and deflate.
The Feather pump comes with a number of adaptors, but we found it easiest to use no adaptor. While it does not have enough torque to open the valve, we put the valve in the open position, held the Feather over the valve and let it rip. After 55 seconds, the tube had fairly much filled out (you can hear a change in the motor), so we quickly popped the plunger to the closed position (air doesn’t come back out).
We then topped it off to 3.5 PSI with 45 quick pumps using the hand pump – quite a time and energy saver! See our detailed review on the Feather pump.
At this point we realized that the kayak looked off-center – this can easily be seen by turning over the kayak and looking at the floor indentation. We let air out of the side chambers, repositioned the floor to look even, and then alternated pumping up each side. Bingo – everything was in line. So our suggestion is to inflate the floor, then partially inflate each chamber, check the alignment, and then finish inflating.
Next, attach the seat by positioning it just “rear of center”. Two top buckles feature quick connect clips that slip onto d-rings on the side handles. Two lower buckles attach to d-rings behind the seat. AirKayaks note: two of the clips were not on the buckles, we found them on the ground, so please watch out for loose clips.
Next, attach the foot brace. A series of daisy-chain links are located under the deck on each side. The foot brace also features quick-connect clips that can be placed on any one of the links, dependent on the position you find to be most comfortable.
Next, attach the fin. Point the fin towards the rear. You will notice a little tab on the fin box, slide that open. Then drop in the fin, pushing back slightly. If aligned correctly, the little tab can be pushed back into position, locking the fin. Pull up to make sure it is truly in the locked position.
If you don’t plan on using the deck or spray skirt, you’re done – less than 10 minutes!
To install the deck, slip the unnamed fiberglass rod into the two pockets on the underside of the deck.
Attach the zipper and run it around the deck – while we were able to do this when fully inflated, it is best to do this slightly underinflated as the tension on the zipper teeth can be strong.
Next open both velcro tabes on the cockpit opening and install the white plastic coaming tube. This is quite easy until you come to the curve. When you come to the velcro opening, guide the tube through and around the corner. This is easiest using a “push from the rear” and “feed from the front” approach. Then pop the tube ends together – this does take some strength and the plastic tubing can cut your fingers. Reseal the velcro tabs (this may take some tugging.) The coaming tube performs two functions – without the skirt it prevents some water from dripping into the cockpit, and it is also used to attach the included spray skirt.
To put on the spray skirt, sit inside the kayak and place the skirt over your body. Grab the skirt and – putting your hands behind you, lock the skirt over the coaming.
Pull hard against the coaming, keeping the spray skirt in position, and slide up until your hands are near the front, popping it over the coaming.
Features and Specifications on the Kokopelli Moki Inflatable Kayak
The Moki is constructed from an 840 denier nylon upper with two separate internal PVC bladders, and a 1000 denier reinforced PVC bottom. The deck material is treated with a water-resistant PU coating which helps wick away water.
The 2.5 inch deep inflatable floor is made of a rigid high-pressure drop-stitch material to give the kayak a more rigid hull, enhancing speed and tracking in the water.
There are four molded rubber carrying handles – front, rear and each side – each with d-rings. The two side handles are positioned 68 inches from the nose.
The front deck has a 6-point quick-attach bungee storage system measuring 17 inches long by 16 to 6 inches. This begins 16 inches from the nose. A male-female 0.75in (1.9cm) buckle at the end allows for quickly securing gear.
The cockpit opening has a 3-inch splash visor, and starts 39 inches from the nose, extending back 68 inches.
Two velcro paddleholders are located on the right side. Each one is 10 inches long, and they are positioned 62 and 87 inches from the bow.
An adjustable 3 x 8 inch foot brace with quick-connect clips attaches to a daisy chain system, located on the side chambers. This allows the brace to be adjusted based on the leg length of the paddler.
There are three main inflation chambers using a GRI push-push valve – floor and both side tubes.
The seat is constructed from a sculpted EVA foam. The base measures 13 x 10 x 2 inches while the seat upper is 18 inches at the widest point, and 15 inches tall. Four straps with quick connect clips allow the seat to be firmly ratcheted to the d-rings on the side handle (upper straps) and the d-rings behind the seat (lower straps). The rear d-rings are located 50 inches from the stern. The seats are adjustable forward and backwards based on the paddlers height.
The seat back features a variety of storage options including bottle holder, rod sleeve and a 10 x 7 x 4 inch zippering pocket with mesh sides.
Two 20-inch long velcro strips begin just rear of the side handles. These are 1.5 inches wide, 3 inches apart, and keep the seat base from sliding.
The rear deck also includes a splash visor and 6-point quick-attach bungee storage system measuring 19 inches long by 17 to 6 inches. An 18-inch long, two-way zipper provides easy access to the well behind the seat.
A removable, 9-inch deep tracking fin helps in paddling performance. There is one drain plug near the stern, and a 16″ front runner on the underside.
The removable spraydeck is also constructed from an 840 denier nylon upper that is PU treated and can be zipped on and off depending on weather conditions. The deck features one long zipper.
With the deck on, there are another two paddle holders on the right side, 22 inches apart and located 62 and 86 inches from the nose.
Two openings allow one to access the side chamber valves.
A fiberglass rod can be inserted into two pockets on the underside of the deck, providing some rigidity so that water doesn’t pool.
The cockpit opening with deck installed measures 36 inches by 16 inches at the widest point. A mesh pocket is located just in front of the paddler.
Plastic tubing can be inserted into the coaming – each end features velcro closures.
The lightweight Alpine spray skirt is constructed from 4-way stretch, hydrophobic nylon that is highly UV resistant. Adjustable, reinforced shoulder straps and an elastic waistband allow the skirt to be worn with a rain or splash jacket. When not in use, it can be stored in the seat back pocket.
The included clamshell backpack measures 36 x 23 x 12 inches and features roller wheels for travelling across hard surfaces. Four handles are located on each side, wit a fifth on the back. Padded backpack straps with breathable mesh and d-rings – as well as an adjustable waist strap – can be stowed inside a 22 x 22 inch velcro back pocket for travel. Four buckling tension straps (two each side) can be ratcheted to secure the gear. There are two internal straps to buckle in the kayak and a 10 x 12 inch internal pocket with velcro. A business card ID pocket is located on the back.
Then dual-action Nano pump features an inflate/deflate mode, single or double action stroke, a gauge, removable handles and fold-up feet, creating a small package profile of 14 by 6 inches with a weight of 2 lbs.
We did measurements. The kayak is 12′ 2 inches long with a 36 inch exterior width.
With the seat positioned 11 inches from the back of the floor velcro, there is 68 inches from the seat back to the interior snout. The brace loops are positioned 33, 36, 39 and 42 inches from the seat back.
There are 38 inches of interior space behind the seat measuring roughly 13.5 inches wide, tapering to a point.
The side tubes are approximately 9 to 10 inches wide, creating a well 10.5 inches deep.
The interior width is 15 inches at the widest point. The high pressure floor is 100 inches long, roughly 2.5 inches deep. Total interior length is 110 inches.
Weight limitations are 500 lbs for person and gear. There is a three year warranty.
Kokopelli Moki on the Water
I first took it out in mild chop. This is one rugged, well-built kayak with lots of thoughtful details! The deck opening is roomy enough to slide into.
I took it out both with – and without – the deck. The deck opening is roomy enough to slide into. The seat is comfortable and the brace works well. Paddling is smooth and tracking is pretty straight. With the deck off, the kayak cockpit is quite room and easy to get into.
My 6’2″ husband found it to be comfortable, roomy enough for his height and it paddled well. He did not paddle it with the deck on, as he prefers more open designs, and he was very impressed with the quality and construction. For some reason, we didn’t get any video footage of him paddling, but he is shown above so that potential paddlers can get an idea of the foot room.
We were able to get on the zippering deck while fully inflated, but it is probably not a good idea due to the tension at the corners.
We did want to point out a couple of potential issues with the deck. As there is no “zipper pocket,” the likelihood of water dripping through the opening is pretty good – possibly some duct tape on those choppy days would help.
The fiberglass “deck lift” rod runs laterally, fixed into pockets, to keep the deck from sagging and retaining water. The pocket ends are exactly where the paddle hits, and could fray with time. For those concerned, you may want to replace the rod with an upright pool noodle which would lift the deck and reduce drag on those points.
Rolling up the Kokopelli Moki
Packing up the Kokopelli Moki is simple – pop the GRI valves into the deflate mode and push the air out. If you really want to remove air, put the Nano pump hose on the deflate side, and pump out any remaining air.
Bring the sides to the center, fold up both ends, then fold in half to the center and fold over.
Bottom Line on the Kokopelli Moki Inflatable Kayak
The Kokopelli Moki is a rugged, well-constructed inflatable kayak that is loaded with features and looks good! It is easy to set up, tracks well, and is fun to paddle. The Moki is Ideal for kayakers looking for a more versatile inflatable kayak package.
The bundled package – with high pressure floor, removable spray deck, brace, Alpine spray skirt, EVA foam seat, collapsible Nano pump and wheeled backpack – is great. Each component appears to have been scrutinized and designed for comfort and performance.
Multiple d-rings, front and rear bungee deck lacing, and seat-back storage provide a wide range of attachment points for gear.
The floor velcro system, foot brace and adjustable seat straps provide ultimate versatility to customize the seating arrangement for varying paddler heights and sizes.
The high pressure design with deep water tracking fin and narrow trim improves on-water performance, giving it maneuverability, speed and stability. And it’s stable.
The ability to use or remove the included spray deck/spray skirt provides a wide range of paddling scenarios, making it perfect for hot summer days, blustery fall weather or wind and chop. It’s ideal for flat open waters, touring, and ocean paddling. Without the deck, the open design is also perfect for those who have physical disabilities or dislike being enclosed.
Smaller paddlers or those requiring lighter options, may want to take a look at the Moki’s new sibling, the Moki Lite. Weighing in at 26 lbs, the 10’3″ Moki Lite features a dropstitch floor and is a streamlined, simpler version of the Moki, Retail price is $699.