Rapid Raft

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rapid raft for grey nomads
The lightweight Rapid Raft has the capacity to carry 181kg.

In a world where rig weight is critical and additional bulk can add hundreds to the Big Lap fuel bill, grey nomads inevitably have to ask themselves a lot of tough questions about what to bring and what to leave behind.

While the metal detector and the fishing rod might just about pass muster, lugging a tinnie around on the vehicle’s roof is a step too far for many. And that’s a real shame because taking to the water can offer an exciting new perspective on many places … even those that have been visited multiple times before.

So, the search for a vessel that suits the grey nomad lifestyle has been a long and interesting one. We’ve seen miniature canoes and fold-up kayaks and, of course, a whole host of inflatable boats. However, the Rapid Raft from US survival-gear specialists Uncharted might just have emerged from the crowd to take the proverbial biscuit.

Weighing in at a paltry 1.36kg and packing down to the size of a loaf of bread, there really is no excuse not to toss this craft in the rig. And it’s no kids’ novelty, either. The manufacturers say that what they claim is the lightest pack raft in the world can carry an impressive load of 181kg.

The raft was actually designed for quick water crossings for the military, and therefore is manufactured to military standards. It’s made from a durable nylon oxford laminate and packs away to a 12.7cm x 12.7cm x 38.1cm package.

And, for all those travellers who are put off a waterbound adventure by the perceived hassles involved, this vessel Issue 218: March 6, 2020 can be unpacked and ready to use in less than 60 seconds.

Users just need to unfurl the raft and allow it to fill itself with air, before folding down the roll top closure to create the required pressure for flotation. Simple! Rapid Raft sells for just under $500.

• Do you travel with a water craft? Are you glad you do? Email us here to share your thoughts.

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