Bikerafting: Top Tips for Packrafting with Your Bike [Video]

Grab a packraft, grab a bike, put them together and you have “bikerafting.” The folks from New Zealand’s Packrafting Queenstown take us along on their bikeraft excursion…

bikerafting new zealand

“If you haven’t tried bikerafting before, just rent a packraft, pick an easy loop and give it a shot! It’s heaps of fun—a totally different way to traverse a landscape. This is bikerafting.” - Deane Parker, Packrafting Queenstown

Deane Parker and a couple friends take us on a bike and packraft trip in Canterbury, New Zealand. The water portion is on the turbulent Waimakariri River:

Top Tips for Bikerafting

Throughout the video, amid footage of their trek, Deane gives us his top tips for bikerafting.

These include:

  • What to bring and how to pack everything you need—including the packraft and 4-piece breakdown paddle—on your bike.
  • Tips for tying your bike down to your packraft so it’s secure once you’re on the water portion, and so it doesn’t interfere with your paddling.
  • If you’re new to packrafting, start with a lower class river to give yourself time to become a paddler.

packraft with bike

What to Bring on Your Bikeraft Trip

Most of Deane’s gear gets stowed in the zippered compartment in the stern of his Alpacka Raft packraft. He carries a few things along with him, though, for convenience and safety:

  • Snacks, dry clothes, camera/phone—all secured in a dry bag.
  • Always wear your PFD (personal flotation device, or life jacket).
  • Tether strap in case you need to tow someone in trouble.
  • On rivers, Deane always carries a throw bag—a length of rope attached to a small bag to help rescue a fellow paddler in the event of a capsize.

Backcountry Hut for an Overnight Stay

Deane’s team makes use of a Department of Conservation backcountry hut on their trip.

New Zealand hosts a network of over 800 such huts that were built just after the second World War for non-recreational purposes. They’ve since been very popular with hikers, climbers, bikers—and now bikerafters.

These huts come in various shapes and sizes, and include bunks sleeping from two people to up to 40.

(Read this post by Deane for more on New Zealand’s huts.)

If you bikeraft in most other countries, you’ll need a sleeping mat and a shelter of some kind: tarp, tent or bivy bag.

Partnering with Aqua-Bound

Deane used our 4-piece Whiskey Carbon for his bikeraft excursion. Here’s his take on his paddle:

“A lightweight, durable, high-performance paddle is a must, and Aqua-Bound’s Whiskey Carbon is one of the best paddles for bikerafting on the market. It has unbelievably high performance. An amazing purchase for the water in a featherweight package that will most definitely increase paddling endurance.”

bikerafting down the rapids


The next time you’re in New Zealand, be sure to look up Packrafting Queenstown for a packrafting adventure!

Contact our Wisconsin-based Customer Service team with your paddle questions today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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