Knu-Pac II for Portaging a Folding Kayak

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VE3JC John

Knu-Pac II for Portaging a Folding Kayak

Post by VE3JC John »

A few years ago I purchased a Knu Pac II portage system backpack. It is just wonderful for solo canoe portaging - turning double-trip portages into comfortable single carries, if the majority of your gear fits within the knu-pac.

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I decided to experiment with the Knu-Pac for use in carrying a folding kayak.

Both my kayaks are feathercrafts (K-Light and Kahuna) with rigid coamings. Originally, I strapped a padded ~ 2' piece of 1"x2" pine onto the Knu-Pac's yokes, and the kayak coaming rested quite nicely on that, with the tips of the yokes preventing the kayak from sliding to either side. (Note that the outer width of the KnuPac II yoke is 37 cm, so think about how the yoke would line up in relation to your cockpit width at the "balance point")

I've refined that adapter now, using a single "car top carrier" foam piece, modified as shown in photos: and

Grooves are cut in the "V" shape of the foam piece (intended to hold the hull in normal car-topping use), such that the kayak, once hoisted and inverted onto the carrier, will be supported by both the coaming and the deck bars at the balance point. Grooves are also cut in the flat side of the foam piece, which "compression fits" the piece onto the Knu-Pac's yokes. The 1 X 2 pine (easily inserted in the slot intended for the car-top bar) reinforces the adapter. I hope the pictures explain it.

My > 50 year-old arms are strong enough to lift the Kahuna onto the modified Knu-Pac, and the kayak rides quite well, balanced fairly effortlessly by a single bow-to-stern rope (as described on the Knu-Pac site).

One important consideration in using the Knu-Pac for Folding Kayak portaging: The empty (or perhaps partially loaded) Knu Pac will need to be mounted on your deck while on the water (because of the size of the rigid frame). If this isn't practical or acceptable to you, forget the knu pac alternative. With my Big Kahuna, the Knu-Pac can be bungee-corded on the back deck.

Note that the storage part of the Knu-Pac II is a high quality dry bag with purge valve, so it makes for easy portage transport of the many small gear bags you pull out of the kayak to undertake the portage.

If you wanted to try the knu pac approach to portaging without spending big $$, pick up an old external aluminum frame back pack, and fabricate an extension yoke system with readily available wood and aluminum tubing. If you decide the concept is practical, you'll likely want to pursue the dry storage and carrying comfort which the real Knudsen system provides.

- John C in LondonOn Canada

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