Folding Kayak experiences?

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Wife and I have been kayaking on our camping trips since 2014. Our first kayaks were purchased at Bass Pro, 10' long sit-on-top kayaks. Very stable and easy to use but have one HUGE drawback: Weight.

These kayaks weigh around 65lbs EACH. I sold mine in 2020 and bought a much lighter (~35lbs) more conventional plastic kayak but my wife still has her 65lb boat anchor.

Problem is - we're both getting older and lofting that kayak (and even my smaller one) onto the roof of my truck is getting really tiresome.

This past weekend (labor day) we went to Ruedi Reservoir and one of the people in our group had an Oru Kayak. These are folding kayaks made of a corrugated plastic material:


We were both intrigued. Not only are these kayaks able to fold into a small package, they only weigh about 25lbs.

I started doing some research online and got bombarded by ads for various other folding kayaks.

Right now we have testimonial evidence (from someone we trust) about the Oru kayaks.

So my question for the group is this:

Who has used a folding kayak (any brand) and what was your experience? My biggest concern is long-term utility. These folding 'yaks are expensive (~$1000 or so) so if we go this route, I want to make sure I get something worthy of the price.

So I'm soliciting input on anyone with actual experience with any of these folding 'yaks.

Thanks in advance!
 

Willsfree

Member
I too have two sit on top plastic kayaks with rudders; 13 and 14 feet long, 55 and 60 lbs or so. I've been looking for a lightweight/compact ocean safe option. Oru now offers floatation bags and spray skirts, yet not rudders for their Coast/Ocean model. Not sure they would be optimal in high sea conditions. The Klepper folding kayak has been around for years, yet requires quite a bit of set up to get going. I'm thinking I'll pick up an inflatable stand up paddle board for lightweight/compact/storable water fun when the seas allow and then make the effort to load up my SOTs when wind and sea requires something more stable. An inflatable like Advanced Elements offers might be a good option too.

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4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
That Oru seems clever but I'd be concerned about on-water stability and long-term durability, especially for the price.

I've got an inflatable Razorlite 393 from Sea Eagle. Pretty much the same price range but it's nearly indestructible and tracks\handles as well as a solid boat. It's a bit heavier than the Oru but still only 35 pounds. I've had it for a couple years now and I'm very happy with it.
 
We went with a Long Haul Mark II stretch kayak. Warning, they are very expensive, but IMO, the best folding kayaks currently in production. At our ages, it’s not a boat to easily cartop, but assembles quickly, and is very capable. When transporting assembled, we use a small aluminum utility trailer with bars and kayak saddles. The military uses the Commando version.

This boat is an improved and refined version of the Klepper Aerius II.
 

EPICBYTES

New member
I would go with pack canoes, which seats low and paddles with double ended paddles alike to kayak. Mine is 14' long and weights at 23lb, costed me right at 2 grand. Definitely look into "pack canoes"

Hornbeck, Placid Boatworks, Swift, Wenonah, Adirondack Canoe Company, and et cetera makes pack canoes in variety of length and hull shapes.

Rigid hull makes worlds difference in water that folding kayaks cannot match. Along the way I would be concerned with the folding joints degrading over the time.
 
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