There are three types of Pakboats folding kayaks … the Puffins, the Quest and the XT Series.
Extremely versatile Puffins – Puffin kayaks can adapt to your needs in ways that other kayaks do not. If you go fishing or are not as agile as you once were, you can leave your Puffin open like a sit-on-top. Add a deck when you want more protection. Drive your Puffin to the water packed in the trunk or assembled on top of your car. It is easy to assemble and at 20 pounds (29 pounds for the 2-person Saranac), the Puffin is light enough for almost anybody to handle. The excellent Puffin seats are easily configured for one or two persons – seat brackets are even pre-installed to put the bow seat extra far forward for a small child.
Three basic elements interact to form the Puffin’s structure:
- The skin is the outside cover that “keeps the water out”. It is made of woven synthetic fabric coated with polyurethane. A heavy duty fabric forms the boat bottom, and lighter fabric is used for the sides. Stress points are reinforced for years of trouble free use.
- The frame is made of anodized structural aluminum tubing with a combination of high strength and corrosion resistance.
- Between skin and frame in the sides are inflatable tubes that act as flotation and give tension to the skin. These relatively large diameter tubes also help stiffen the boat. To tolerate the working pressure, the tubes have a strong fabric outer surface laminated to durable polyurethane film to form two separate air holding cells on each side of the kayak.
Puffins share the excellent seats that were developed for Pakboats touring kayaks (XT and Quest). Each seat is suspended between cross bars in front and back. Over the front cross bar is an inflatable bladder that provides adjustable thigh support. Both seat and back band have a surface of 3-dimensional woven mesh that provides air circulation. The seats are very comfortable!
Puffins have extremely simple frames. There are only three longitudinal rods – two gunwales and a keel, and a number of cross ribs that connect the longitudinal rods. To make this work we had to develop a new way to give the boat longitudinal tension. This was done by placing a “hinge” in the keel. When the keel and stems are installed in the boat, the “hinge” is at an angle. As the cross members are installed, the keel gradually becomes straight and tensions the skin. Side to side tension is produced by inflating the air tubes.
Placing inflatable tubes along the sides in a kayak does more than provide light-weight structure. Puffins have much more built-in flotation than other kayaks. And placing the flotation along the sides makes Puffins incredibly stable after a capsize. Two separate air cells on each side of the hull provide security in case a cell is punctured. Note: Inflatable boats have even more flotation, but their paddling performance is poor, and a similar size inflatable weighs about 50% more than a Puffin.
Puffin decks are attached with a strip of Velcro around the hull just below the gunwales. Gunwales of the Puffins are tensioned to add stiffness to the hull. An aluminum cockpit rim provides support for a spray skirt. End caps are integrated with the skin to improve the seal of the optional decks to the hull.
The decks on the Puffins get covered by the permanent end caps, completely protecting the deck seals from water splashing over the ends. Both ends of the decks can be opened to provide unrestricted access for loading and unloading, and permanent deck rigging is installed to secure items that need to be carried on top of the deck. Simply remove the deck, load your gear into the boat, and reinstall the deck. If a piece of gear does not quite fit, let a little air our of the air tubes, stow the gear, and re-inflate the tubes. (Make sure no sharp objects touch the inflatable parts.)
Puffin Saco (approved by the North American Fishing Club) – The Saco has a convenient open hull that will not get in the way of your fishing and an optional deck with a cockpit large enough to make it easy to get in and out. The 12 ft length and efficient shape makes the Puffin Saco easy to paddle, yet its packed size is incredibly compact and its weight is only 20 pounds. The Saco has a very functional self supporting deck with a large cockpit that makes it easy to get in and out of the boat.
Quest 150 Touring Kayak. – The Quest 150 is a skin-on-frame touring kayak. All hull materials are coated or laminated with polyurethane for a combination of durability and extremely light weight (less than half the weight of a plastic kayak). Inflatable kayaks of similar size weigh 50% more than the Quest, and the Quest’s performance and sleek lines cannot be achieved with an inflatable structure. Its polyurethane coated materials contain no toxic chemicals, and the design combines great looks with comfort and efficient cruising performance.
Here is a video showing the assembly process.
Excellent Seats. – Comfort starts with the seat, and the Quest seat is “best in class”. The fabric sling is supported front to back, completely eliminating pressure points, and an inflatable thigh support adjusts to fit any paddler. Back band and seat surface are covered with three dimensional mesh for maximum air circulation. The seat drops into brackets on the cross ribs, so installing the seat during assembly takes almost no time.
Easy Loading. – The Quest deck can be opened at both ends for exceptionally easy access and loading of gear up to its 275 pound (125 kg) capacity. The simplicity and light weight let the Quest fit into a single compact storage bag for travel, and it can easily go with you as airline baggage.
Pakboats XT – A super stiff structure supports long hulls and heavy loads. XT kayaks are fast and over-all paddling performance is exceptional. Structural I-beams built into the sides make a very stiff, yet lightweight frame structure. This lets us build long and efficient hulls with consistent rocker, and a multi-chine cross section further enhances performance. XT kayaks share the Quest’s ample multi-chamber side flotation and the hulls are free of thwarts so space is unobstructed. The moderate depth of XT hulls minimizes wind effects and gets the gunwales out of the way of your hands for comfortable paddling – quite unlike heavy load haulers of yesteryear.
|Model||Beam||Depth||Weight||Length||Capacity||Packed Bag Size|
|Puffin Saco (Solo)||26 in/66 cm||10 in/25 cm||20 lbs/9.1 kg||12.5 ft/385 cm||285 lbs/130 kg||28 in x 16 in x 12 in|
|Puffin Saranac (Solo or Double)||27 in/68 cm||10 in/25 cm||29 lbs/13.2 kg||15.5 ft/480 cm||400 lbs/180 kg||28 in x 16 in x 12 in|
|Quest 150 (Solo)||24 in/61 cm||13 in/33 cm||31 lbs/14.1 kg||14 ft 11 in/455 cm||285 lbs/130 kg||28 in x 16 in x 12 in|
|Quest 150 as SOT (Sit-on-top) (Solo)||24 in/61 cm||10.5 in/27 cm||26 lbs/11.8 kg||14 ft 11 in/455 cm||285 lbs/130 kg||28 in x 16 in x 12 in|
|XT-17 (Solo or Double)||24 in/61 cm||10 in/25 cm||44 lbs/20 kg||17 ft/520 cm||400 lbs/182 kg||33 in x 21 in x 14 in|
For more details about the Pakboats Folding Kayaks, click on the toggles below …
Puffin Saco. With its 12.5 ft length, the Saco offers good paddling performance. It tracks well and easily keeps pace with other kayaks of similar size. Very light 20 pound weight makes it much more responsive than similar plastic kayaks, weighing more than twice as much. Use it without a deck to go fishing or with a deck for more protection (deck is optional, not included in purchase price). The Saco can carry camping gear for a few days and it is a delightful kayak if you just want to go exploring for the day.
Please note: To view the Puffin Saco decks, please visit our Kayak Accessories Page.
Puffin Saranac. 15.5 ft in length, the Saranac offers the versatility to carry two people on day trips or a solo paddler with a couple of weeks’ worth of camping gear. Whether with one or two paddlers, the Saranac’s dual (removable) skegs make it track as if it is on rails. Use it without a deck to go fishing or with a deck for more protection (deck(s) are optional, not included in purchase price). You can even chose between a solo deck and a double deck. It is no surprise that the Saranac’s versatility has made it the most popular Puffin ever.
Please note: To view the Puffin Saranac decks, please visit our Kayak Accessories Page.
Quest 150 is a compact touring kayak. It is long enough for effortless cruising, and roomy enough to hold your over-night camping gear, yet it is small enough to fit moderate size paddlers. The 150 is in its element when your travels cover many miles and hours of paddling. At the end of a long day you will send some grateful thoughts to the Quest’s outstanding seat. Please note: The Quest 150 includes a deck, but the deck is not always needed because of it’s unique SOT (Sit-on-top) function. Unlike other touring kayaks, the Quest 150 can be paddled without a deck, like a sit-on-top. Simply leave the deck off in calm conditions. The 150 has a lot of flotation built in to keep you safe. Even better, the flotation is placed in the sides where it helps keep the kayak stable, even when it is swamped. Very few kayaks have this safety feature. Typical flotation centered in the ends does not contribute to stability.
XT-17 Solo has the capacity to handle gear for extended trips and can accommodate large paddlers. Its paddling performance makes long days easy. The solid stability lets you relax and be comfortable in the XT-17. D-rings on each side simplifies installation of deck rigging. A deck is included with the XT-17 kayak.
This XT-17 Solo/Double Combo gives you the opportunity to paddle the kayak in either configuration for maximum flexibility in terms of its use – and the package price is hard to beat! The combo includes two decks (double and solo). As a double, the XT-17 is a fast, easy paddling kayak for two moderate size paddlers. To change a XT-17 solo into a double, you simply remove the solo deck and replace it with a deck with two cockpits (very easy because the deck is attached with a Velcro strip).