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Pakki

A Compact Packrafting Backpack

The Project: To design a backpack's frame, harness, and container based on a chosen activity. The final product was an accessible and compact pack designed for packrafters that could be rolled up and stowed away when packrafting.

Pakki is a backpack designed for packrafters. It features designated spaces for paddles and a packraft, quick access to items, and a rollable design.

5 weeks

In collaboration with Christine Lee and Luke Raddue

 

Problem Space

Packrafting is a sport that uses an inflatable boat called a packraft that is designed to be used in all bodies of water, yet remain compact when needed. 

Image by Paxson Woelber

User Group

Image by Jason Abdilla

Packrafting originated from activities involving long distance wilderness travel, but has evolved into a popular sport for hard shell kayakers, rafters, or entry-level recreationists. There are few products on the market tailored specifically to this new sport.

Research Insights

Due to the novelty of the sport, few products exist for packrafting.

Most packrafters use dry bags for day trips due to their waterproof nature, then spend time hiking to the place they want to packraft.

The convenience of existing hiking backpacks cannot be found in dry bags and are often hard to manage aboard a packraft.

How might we help packrafters manage their belongings more efficiently and effectively?

Design Principles

Initial Ideation

Initial prototyping explored different methods of making frames compact, including a vacuum splint inspired concept, a rolling sectioned concept, and a folding concept. Given the timeframe and the materials available, it was important to consider which concepts were feasible moving forward.

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Further load-bearing prototypes tested how real materials could be used and combined to create a real model. A rolling sectioned concept was chosen and explored to maximize a compact feature and feasibility.

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Refinement

Concepts were combined and refined to a rolling sectioned backplate frame that used the rafting paddles as a vertical support. The container was refined to have a roll top, central zipper, and mesh packraft compartment.

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Pakki

Pakki is a backpack designed for packrafters. It features designated spaces for paddles and a packraft, quick access to items, and a rollable design.

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