Sometimes hunting in Alaska is best done using a waterway. Here are our favorite watercraft we tested.
These are the best watercraft for hunting in 2020
|Aire Lion 18’ Cataraft Tubes
Aire cataraft tubes are durable, tough and well-suited for Alaska’s harsh conditions. These tubes are 18 feet long, with a 27.5-inch tube diameter, weigh 110 pounds and have a 2000-pound load capacity. They draft very little water, and therefore are a fine choice for floating shallow, backcountry rivers in Alaska, as well as any other river that you want to float. Alaska Raft and Kayak is the Anchorage dealer for Aire, as well as several other manufacturers, and also builds custom rowing frames to fit Aire pontoons. Tubes are available in multiple colors and come with a ten-year warranty.
|Alpacka Forager Packraft
Contributing Editor Bjorn Dihle spends many days in the field and contributed this Editors’ Choice Award. “Packrafts are a revolutionary tool for the backcountry, however most of the standard models are a little cumbersome for hauling any real amount of gear and meat, especially on rivers with whitewater or weird eddies. Alpacka’s Forager, however, weighing in at 13 pounds and with a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, is ideal for hunts. It can be used by two people or one person with a lot of gear/meat. It handles tricky rivers better than other packrafts and provides a more comfortable ride. It also handles seas remarkably well—I used a Forager on a 30-mile ocean paddle with my infant son strapped to my chest and my old lady in the bow. One of my favorite things about the Forager and other Alpacka packrafts is how durable they are. Short of a grizzly chewing on one, it’s incredible how much abuse the Forager can withstand. If you’re looking to go on a remote hunt where you’ll need a boat, consider the Forager. It’s not cheap, but the lifetime of use and adventure it’ll offer you will be priceless.”