Biking adventures to the next level

Bikerafting with your MRS packraft

For many packrafters, the ability to carry your bike on your packraft is synonymous with the sport! Packrafts are incredibly stable, can carry impressive loads thanks to loads of buoyancy, and are very tough to allow you to carry your bike without worry about the bike damaging your packraft.

Why is bikerafting so cool, and why does it showcase all the great features of an MRS packraft? First, bikerafting with your MRS packraft allows you to combine paddling your MRS packraft with your love of cycling!

This means you can incorporate a cycle route and a paddling route in one amazing adventure by rolling your packraft and strapping it to your bike, then on reaching the water’s edge, unrolling your packraft, inflating and strapping your bike to the front of your packraft! You then paddle down the stretch of water along a river, around a calm coastline or crossing a body of water to get to the opposite shore. You then switch it back, deflating and rolling your packraft and strapping it back onto your bike to contiue your journey! What other personal paddling craft can do that??



Packraft on handlebars

An MRS Microraft L (3.48kg) strapped to the handlebars of a fatbike!


Packrafts generally fall into different categories, some are specialised for specific tasks like whitewater, touring or being ultralight for long backpacking adventures. Likewise, some packrafts are better suited to bikerafting than others.

The main feature of a packraft suitable for bikerafting, is a stable platform which you can strap your bike to securely, which, once you have your bike attached, doesn’t make your packraft feel too top heavy and off balance. This generally means a wider packraft will be more suitable for bikerafting, whilst a touring packraft, or one designed to be extremely agile (i.e. a whitewater specialist which needs to change direction quickly) would be less suitable. Within the MRS range, the MRS Microraft (particularly the Microraft L and XL) and the MRS Ponto are particularly well suited to bikerafting.

Two MRS Microraft L (3.48kg) packrafts with bikes attached

Some packrafters favour a square bow believing this to be the optimum design. However, having experimented with various designs, MRS have a different philosophy; that by retaining a streamlined shape to the bow (the front), this means the packraft will face less resistance as it moves through the water, making it more stable rather than a square bow which by its design nature, pushes the water rather than cuts through it. Not only is a square bow less efficient, taking more effort to paddle, it also can hinder stability. In our view, a square bow, in reality, does very little for attaching a bike other than the impression of a wider more stable platform. MRS look to provide the stable platform for the bike through widening the packraft (which is where the bike actually makes contact with the packraft and the water!), and through the careful positioning of the attachment points so that the bike attaches across a the wider part of the bow. The new MRS Microraft range is also wider than previous designs, specifically to assist with the purpose of carrying loads such as a bike.

Another MRS packraft which is ideal for bikerafting, is the no-nonsense MRS Ponto. Wider than the MRS Microraft, it has more buoyancy and therefore more stability. The MRS Ponto is a straight forward, robust workhorse but by disposing of a spray deck (which is a standard feature on the MRS Microraft) it also shaves weight, dropping to only 2.9kg!! Not bad for a packraft capable of carrying 138kg! Plenty for you, your gear and your bike!


An MRS Ponto (2.9kg) carrying a mountain bike


So our recommendations for the ultimate bikerafting packraft? It depends on your preference and what you need. We believe MRS have it right, sticking with a streamlined bow, but creating a stable wide platform for your bike. If you don’t need a spraydeck, the no nonsense MRS Ponto at 2.9kg is ideal, however, the MRS Microraft L is also ideal if a spraydeck is what you are after – then for taller paddlers and for the ultimate stable bikerafting platform, the Microraft XL is the bikerafting dream. The main drawback of the Microraft XL is it is more to carry at 4.2kg (it is a larger packraft hence more stable – extra size means more material/weight), and when not carrying loads (such as a bike) on the front, it can feel light at the bow – but if you bikeraft allot or are a taller paddler, you will notice the benefit.



An MRS Ponto used on a bikerafting trip with all the gear for wildcamping

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