During a packrafting course I took recently, I  had the change to put my ultralight packraft, the Klymit Lite Water Dinghy through a test run of a Class I (with high water, which we did not have it’s a Class II) rapid. At the moment of the run (with the amount of water) it was probably closer to Class I, but due to the large waves, it might rate up to a PR2-PR3.

I had ran the rapids several times on MRS and Alpacaraft rafts before taking the plunge (figuratively, I did not fall off) on my Klymit, so I was confident that I could manage the rapids. Nonetheless, as I approached the tipping point of the rapids, I got more and more nervous.

Due to the somewhat limited maneuverability of the Dinghy, I ended up taking the absolute largest waves on the rapid (a route I had not taken with the more capable rafts). The Klymit managed quite admirably. At the largest waves, it started to bend a little at the middle as the rising wave turned the bow up but the stern was still on a level surface. With some paddling I got the raft over (or through) the large waves. After the rapids, the boat was quite full with water, but still maneuverable.

Of course the Litewater Dinghy is designed for anything but rapids. Nonetheless, it can take on rapids for fun or if necessary, at least if they do not require heavy maneuvering past obstacles. I do recommend a helmet and mental preparedness to end up swimming or at least very wet.

Unfortunately I do not have video of the ride. I will do a re-run with an action camera at some point. The cover video is from the same rapids (Martinkoski) but with a lot less water flowing.

 

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