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Thread: Any experience of Longshaw packrafts

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    Default Any experience of Longshaw packrafts

    I've been very taken with the pack rafting blogs on here, and started looking at different options. I love the idea of bike-rafting, and being able to take a boat practically anywhere with you opens up all sorts of possibilities, as Crow's blogs show. Longshaw packrafts look similar in design and spec to other brands such as alpaca, but are cheaper by a couple of hundred quid - enough for a decent lightweight paddle... I'd wondered about their DE260.
    Are they any good, or are they a cheap knock-off of a better product?

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    Thanks for the mention, Double G.

    I think you mean Longshore packrafts: https://www.longshoreinternational.com/

    As far as I can see, they are pretty much clones of Alpacka packrafts, in terms of their shape and sizes. The DE260 looks identical to the Alpacka Llama (Large). There are quite a lot of Alpacka clones coming out of China, as it's easy to copy the shape, but often they are made of inferior materials and build quality.

    However Longshore is based in the UK, and I may have met its owner once.

    The boats look to be a bit heavier than their Alpacka equivalents, which will be due to different materials used.

    Don't know any more than that, I've always paddled Alpacka, but I'll ask around.

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    Thanks Gordon, much appreciated. I have just noticed they have an offer on the DE260 at the moment. Getting very tempted...
    Last edited by Gordon G; 5th-October-2018 at 12:46 AM.

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    I've asked around and there are some reservations about the ethics of copying boat designs in this way.

    Specific comments on this one were: "Heavy and bulky with untested durability. And not as cheap as they should be."

    Don't know if that helps.



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    Thanks Gordon. That does clarify things actually. I was asking myself if the 300 price difference is worth it, but since the whole point of pack rafts is to be small, lightweight and easy to carry packed up, while being a proper boat on the water, the answer has to be 'yes'.
    The alpackas are half the weight, and presumably pack up smaller too, though I can't find competitive figures for the longshore versions.
    It looks like it will be an alpacka for me if I decide to go down this road. I'll just have to save up a bit more cash...

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    Well, like I say, I haven't got direct experience of other packrafts, but I have paddled a few Alpackas and they've all been excellent. Lightweight, strong and great build quality.

    It's probably true that you get what you pay for in this case.

    If you ever want to try mine some time, give me a shout (I've got a couple).

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    Have you read Chris S's thoughts? He reviews the EX280 on his blog https://inflatablekayaksandpackrafts...ckraft-review/ as well as packrafts from a couple of other suppliers (including Alpacka). He's always struck me as totally impartial, so you can rest assured that it won't be the all-too-common advertorial masquerading as opinion that blights much of the inflatables online world

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    Thanks for the link - a good read.

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    An update - a lot of reading around, checking load capacities and measuring out of pretend cockpits has been done! I have decided to go with the longshore DE260 after all, and live with the heavier weight (!) of approx. 4.5kg for a few reasons.
    Cost was a factor here, but also I prefer the idea of a double coated fabric as hopefully being a bit tougher. The cockpit is longer than the alpacka llama - not by much, but enough I think to more easily fit me and a rucksack in, keeping any load lower down in the boat. And that extra 20cm would keep the bike a bit further away too when bikerafting. I chose to go without the storage zip in the hull - I don't have all the fancy bikepacking bags, so it would only delay the transition between land and water while I unpacked or repacked my rucksack or panniers if I used in-hull storage. And it's one less thing to break! But the cruiser deck strikes me as a useful refinement, especially in wetter colder weather.
    So hopefully all my careful reasoning will bear fruit later this week and I will be able to try it out next week in the Highlands, if Longshore can meet the order quickly enough.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon G View Post
    An update - a lot of reading around, checking load capacities and measuring out of pretend cockpits has been done! I have decided to go with the longshore DE260 after all, and live with the heavier weight (!) of approx. 4.5kg for a few reasons.
    Cost was a factor here, but also I prefer the idea of a double coated fabric as hopefully being a bit tougher. The cockpit is longer than the alpacka llama - not by much, but enough I think to more easily fit me and a rucksack in, keeping any load lower down in the boat. And that extra 20cm would keep the bike a bit further away too when bikerafting. I chose to go without the storage zip in the hull - I don't have all the fancy bikepacking bags, so it would only delay the transition between land and water while I unpacked or repacked my rucksack or panniers if I used in-hull storage. And it's one less thing to break! But the cruiser deck strikes me as a useful refinement, especially in wetter colder weather.
    So hopefully all my careful reasoning will bear fruit later this week and I will be able to try it out next week in the Highlands, if Longshore can meet the order quickly enough.
    Gordon,

    Thanks for your order! Your packraft and paddle is in the post!

    Let us know how it goes in the Highlands!!!

    Tim

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Inflator View Post
    Have you read Chris S's thoughts? He reviews the EX280 on his blog https://inflatablekayaksandpackrafts...ckraft-review/ as well as packrafts from a couple of other suppliers (including Alpacka). He's always struck me as totally impartial, so you can rest assured that it won't be the all-too-common advertorial masquerading as opinion that blights much of the inflatables online world

    Hello all,

    So I should start by saying I own Longshore International and we supply packrafts in the UK. As this thread is about Longshore packrafts I thought I should probably chip in and address some of the comments

    Packrafting is a rapidly growing and incredibly fun way of getting out on the water, but it is also fairly tribal when it comes to brands.

    Packrafts existed before Alpacka, but Thor and Sheri Tingey from Alpacka were responsible for a significant evolution in design and growth in the market. Many other brands like Aire, Kokopelli, MRS and Featherlite have since developed their own designs but the core shape is often similar.

    I think Thor Tingey best explains this himself here:
    https://companyweek.com/company-profile/alpacka-raft

    In the UK at the moment you've got the option of Ironraft, Longshore and Alpacka packrafts. Nick Kowalski https://iron-raft.co.uk and Andy Toop www.backcountry.scot are both great guys selling good products.

    Longshore packrafts have a unique hull shape, stern profile, tube diameter and most significantly we use a double coating of urethane on our 210D nylon tubes (inside and outside). This means our rafts weigh a little more than single coated alternatives but we would argue this makes the packraft stiffer and harder wearing (though we can offer a single coating if you truly want to go down that route).

    I'd be foolish not to link to a review so here's one:
    https://bearbonesbikepacking.blogspo...kraft.html?m=1

    Hope this helps (and doesn't break any forum rules).

    I'd highly recommend packrafting, regardless of who you buy from! They offer a unique opportunity to reach stretches of water that are inaccessible in other watercraft. You'll never look back.

    Tim

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    Cheers Tim, looking forward to trying it out.
    I'll need to fix the bike up now before the weekend...

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    Oddly enough I too ordered a 260 yesterday evening......though I’ve to wait for my green one until November.

    Have to say that Tim lived up to his online reputation for fairness with with some very considered and helpful replies to my emails.

    I concur with most of the decision making points made by Gordon G above.

    I can live with the small weight increase compared to an Alpaca as the Longshore will be in a campervan or on a motorbike....i cannot see me ultra-marathoning it about the highlands.

    Green? Stealth colour....for creeping up on them pesky Nene kingfishers (please don’t tell me they’re colourblind)

    Cheers all, Dick
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  14. #14

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    We should have a pack raft get together somewhere in the middle of us all

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