The ZelGear frameless cataraft is the first choice of adventurers who run extreme rapids around the globe. They have been battle-tested on expeditions to the most remote rivers, first descents and white-water competitions. After a few years of engineering iterations, based on the performance information gathered from these expeditions, we have perfected the design.
The ZelGear VectoR-2, BeaveR-2 and OtteR-4 are the only frameless R-2 and R-4 inflatable boats in the world that incorporate the most sought-after feature of Russian-designed framed catarafts: kneeling seats with kneeling braces. Many world-class river runners believed that this was the single feature that set Russian catarafts above and apart from the rest of the field of inflatable rafts and boats.The kneeling seats with two-sided thigh braces give each paddler the ability to reach water far outside of the boat and do various advanced strokes.It transformed large slow boats into fast, responsive, technical beasts that a trained crew could turn on a dime. As a result, many of the most challenging rapids on Earth were run only in hard-shell kayaks and Russian-made catarafts; they are off-limits for other common types of white-water boats. The obvious downside of these types of catarafts is a need to carry a heavy metal frame (over 50 lbs) and a long assembly time.
Other cataraft models that we offer do not have kneeling seats, but still display very distinguished features and characteristics. Tour-6 is the largest paddle cat in a world, it offers a great alternative to rafts: similar load capacity and stability, but safer for paddlers, much faster and weighs a lot less.
Our inflatable kayaks are revolutionary as well.
Igla (Needle) is the fastest IK in a world, it has a displacement hull, vertical bow and can handle anything from open sea to moderate white water and month-long expeditions.
ZelGear One is an IK that has a heart of a hard shell white water kayak - but in all-inflatable package. It utilizes high-pressure floor for exceptional rigidity, proprietary shaped sides help to keep the kayak narrow, resembling plastic designs. It can be rolled, it can be paddled through waterfalls and class 5 rapids.
You are up for a pleasant surprise when you receive your boat. Quality will exceed your expectations.
We produce all our boats using most advanced German and US technology, fabrics and machinery available today.
We do not make these boats to last only a few years. With a small amount of proper care they will serve you for a decade and longer, much longer.
Flat bottom main tubes (floats) are crafted from German-made HyTex PVC which provide excellent strength, durability and UV-resistance, despite relatively low weight. It is also easily repairable. Optionally, all our boats can be made from ultralight US-made TPU or coated Vectran fabrics.
Are our boats welded or glued? All main seams are machine-welded, then taped on top using a special glue.
We never sacrifice quality.
All boats that we make have multiple D-rings and handles on inside and outside of the main tubes; also on a cataraft's hanging floors for cargo (and we even provide the light-weight straps). Floor itself is stretched, very rigid and tear-resistant mesh or PVC with multiple reinforced drain holes, so water drains instantly.
Our catarafts and kayaks have a stripe of extra-layer material welded to the bottom - that provides additional protection to the surface area that usually get in frequent contact with the rocks.
Every tube ("floats" and cross-tubes alike) has an additional safety valve to it. You can pump ZelGear Catarafts to a maximum pressure without fear that it may blow up while ashore in a hot sunny day, because you forgot to release some air from tubes. No other framless cataraft on a market has this feature.
Boats are produced not in Asia, but in Europe. We employ only trained, qualified stuff in our dedicated production facility. Also, we have strict quality control, which includes rigorous post-production inspection and multiple pressure-retaining tests.
For your peace of mind, we provide a superb warranty that covers our product in a case of any manufacturing defect or shortcoming. Yet, it is extremely rare for our warranty to be used.
As suggested by their names, BeaveR-2 and OtteR-4 carry 2 and 4 paddlers respectively, along and a lot of cargo (or one-two passengers and a little less cargo), supporting long water trips in isolated areas.
Superb hydrodynamics of our catarafts allow for easy surfing, without compromising hole- and wave-punching ability. This makes our equipment more forgiving and fun for novice rafters, while providing precise control and great resilience for all seasoned river runners who want to challenge class 4 and 5 rapids.
Disclaimer: We strongly believe that class 5 rapids should only be attempted by experienced crews that already had spent significant time running easier rapids together, as a team, in the same boat type - even when boat design itself makes it suitable for extreme white water. We do not assume any liability for injuries that you may sustain as a result of your decisions. Running extreme white water is dangerous, it requires not only good skills, but also careful planning and execution, with every possible safety measure and rescue equipment in place. Always wear your life jacket and helmet when using our catarafts.
We manufacture the absolute best frameless catarafts and inflatable kayaks in the world. Our ZelGear boats are packed with unique features and are top quality, on par with the best US-based manufacturers. We beat or match their prices. In fact, if you compare the specs and features carefully, you will see that we give you by far the best value.
HAVE WE MISSED ANYTHING?
Could we improve the design a little more? Tell us. If you find anything we can change and make design even better - we will listen and if your wish makes sense, we will either implement the change or make a custom boat for you.