In order to get better control of our packrafts we mounted thigh straps. Good (but a bit old) manuals how to make and mount thigh straps can be found at: The Roaming Dials – Thigh straps how to and Things to luc at – Pimp my packraft. Contrary to what’s written on those websites, we did use Alpacka’s grab-loops. We’ve talked to EU’s only retailer who ensured us that the grab-loops (when properly glued) can hold 175 kg. They mounted multiple thigh-straps and never had a problem with them. Make sure you use the correct glue and you glue it the proper way! In 2012 we’ve mounted grab-loops as well, see article: Adding tie-downs to a packraft. For the current grab-loops we used the same procedure, except for one minor thing: Just before applying the grab-loop to the boat, we heated the grab-loop a few seconds. The glue becomes a bit sticky again and will immediately adhere to the boat. This will make life easier while working in the front of the boat.
In the meantime we’ve improved two things:
1. As the buckle was wider than the strap it slips a bit each time we use it. At the end of the day the slip was so large that the thigh strap was almost unusable. We’ve solved this by changing the straps with off-the-shelf ones from Sea-to-Summit, which are also cheaper than the ones we had before.
2. The straps have been glued onto a flexible boat causing some slack. While using the straps this means you first start to hang to one side, your knee moves to the inside and later the boat follows. During our packraft trip to Switzerland we saw that a small cross-connection with the boat makes it follow much more direct.