The CRKT Bear Claw ER is the best emergency river knife for packrafters IF your vest has appropriate tie-down options on the lapel.
This knife does not use the standard PFD docking plate, which is why I like it. Docking plates are generally in a position that interferes with our self-rescue attempts (wet re-entry). Make sure the knife can be mounted on your vest in a position where it can’t slide up or down. Daisy-chain webbing on the shoulder strap is ideal. See photo.
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River knives are carried to cut free of entanglement hazards: rope, cord, or straps. Anyone working with rope or paddling turbulent water should carry a knife as well.
The CRKT Bear Claw ER is the best emergency river knife for packrafters. Nearly all life vests feature a knife docking plate in a position that snags the knife during our self-rescue attempts (wet re-entries). The Bear Claw does not use the docking plate, allowing you to mount it (with cord) in a position that limits snagging. The upper left vest lapel is a good option for right-handers.
The Bear Claw has an asymmetrical shape and finger hole that ensure a solid grip. This knife is a cutting extension of your hand—exactly what you want in an emergency.
The Bear Claw might not be the best option if:
- Your PFD doesn’t have daisy chain webbing or similar attachment options
- You paddle in Neoprene gloves because the finger hole might be too small
|Dimensions||6 × 3 × 1 in|