How Do I Roll Up My Packraft?: A Complete Guide
TLDR: There are several ways to roll a packraft: quick rolling for short distances, seam-side down for easier rolling, seam-side up so the floor faces out for enhanced protection, and rolling for short-term storage vs. long-term storage. There’s also a difference between rolling packrafts with quick-release air valves vs. Zipper valves. On top of that, some packrafters prefer folding to rolling. Learn about all the above and more in our complete guide to rolling a packraft.
One of the best things about packrafts is just how portable they are. But their portability relies on being able to fold and pack them up correctly. So, how do you roll up your Kokopelli packraft?
In truth, rolling up a packraft, whether it’s one of ours or one that’s made by another brand, isn’t all that difficult once you know what to do. But knowing how to properly prepare your packraft for transportation or storage is an essential skill to have.
How to Roll Your Kokopelli Packraft
As we explain in our blog post “Maximizing Space: How to Pack a Packraft for Your Next Adventure”, rolling up your Kokopelli packraft is easy:
- Locate an area to lay your packraft down with no sharp objects. It’s also a good idea to find an area that’s free of excess sand, dirt, and debris because it could cling to any lingering dampness on your raft when you roll up the raft.
- Clean any sand or dirt off the packraft.
- Dry the packraft.
- Remove the majority of air. In many packrafts, including the Kokopelli Rogue Lite, there are screw-style valves to release air. In other packrafts, there may be a Zipper.
- Fold side pontoons to the middle of the packraft (“hot-dog style”).
- Fold packraft in half (“hamburger style”).
- Roll from the fold, forcing air out as you go. If you’re rolling with the floor of the packraft on the ground, you may need to continuously push the seam back towards the middle to keep a tight roll. Alternately, you can flip the raft upside down with the seam side down and the floor on top. That will ensure a tighter roll, but it also will mean that the sides and top of the packraft, rather than the floor, will be on the outside of the roll.
- Once rolled, grab one of your compression straps, inserting the webbing through the two D rings, then fold back over into the middle of the two D rings to secure.
- Cinch down on the strap to tighten. Repeat steps 6 & 7 with the other strap. Lastly, make sure that the two straps are evenly spaced.
How to Roll A Packraft With a Zipper
We don't recommend using our TiZip Zippers to release air. If needed, you will need to remove air via the regular valve first and then you can unzip the zipper. Then you’ll want to take extra care when rolling up your raft to ensure that you don’t twist the zipper, or bend it the wrong way. If you do bend or twist your zipper improperly, you risk damaging it, which can create air leaks.
That said, here’s what to do when rolling a packraft with a zipper:
- Remove any sand/dirt from the packraft.
- Dry the packraft as much as possible.
- Unzipper the zipper to release the air from your raft.
- Remove as much air as you can from the raft by rolling it from the part of the raft without the zipper to the area of the raft with the zipper. This is what we refer to as a “quick roll”. If you’re traveling short distances or bringing your raft home, you may not need to continue rolling further.
- Unroll your raft.
- Fold side pontoons to the middle of the packraft (“hot dog style”). You want it to be about 1/3 of its normal width.
- Roll your raft, starting from the side of the raft without the zipper to the area of the raft with the zipper. When rolling, be sure that you follow the “natural” direction the zipper wants to go (the outside of the zipper should be on the outside of the roll).
How to Roll a Packraft for Long-Term Storage
If you’re rolling up a packraft for long-term storage, follow the same steps found above, but take care to:
- Be thorough about removing as much sand/dirt as possible before rolling.
- Allow your raft to sit out for a time and dry COMPLETELY before rolling.
How To Fold a Packraft
Prefer to fold your packraft instead of roll your packraft? Here’s how:
- Locate an area to lay your packraft down with no sharp objects.
- Wipe sand, dirt, and debris off the packraft.
- Dry the packraft as much as you can.
- Remove the majority of air.
- In a linear fashion, fold the outside ⅓ to the middle of the packraft (“hot-dog style”).
- Fold the opposite edge over the top of the packraft (“hot-dog style”).
- Fold the back end of your packraft ⅓ towards the middle (“hamburger style”).
- Fold the front third over the back third (“hamburger style”).
- Once folded, grab one of your compression straps, inserting the webbing through the two D rings, then fold back over into the middle of the two D rings to secure.
- Cinch down on the strap to tighten. Repeat steps 7 & 8 with the other strap. Lastly, make sure that the two straps are evenly spaced.
For more packrafting tips and advice, check out our blog post “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Packrafting”.
Looking for dry bags to store your packraft once rolled? Head to our accessories page.