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Folding Kayaks: Why Portable Exploration Is Excellent

Traditionally, if you wanted to go out onto the water, you needed a boat or kayak. But these are bulky and expensive, which makes them impractical for the average person. Foldable kayaks aim to solve this problem. But are folding kayaks a good choice? 

Yes, Foldable kayaks are prized for their practicality. They can be folded into a suitcase-sized package, with many weighing approximately 20 pounds. These models are safe, rarely leak, and handle smoothly in the water. They are also more affordable than a traditional kayak. 

Folding kayaks are increasingly becoming the preferred way of exploring a new waterway. This portable device means you’ll be able to take them almost anywhere.

Plus, they are far more convenient than a traditional kayak. Read on to learn more about these kayaks and decide whether they are the right choice for you. 

riding an oru foldable kayak - are folding kayaks any good

Are Folding Kayaks Any Good?

Foldable kayaks have a strong reputation for being strong and durable, with surf versions able to cope with rough water. Foldable kayaks can also carry a lot of weight, with some rated up to 300 pounds. Importantly, they are lightweight, compact, and affordable. 

In theory, the idea of a foldable kayak sounds great. But many people still have some question marks over how it will perform in real-world circumstances. As long as you get a reputable model, this isn’t something that you need to worry about. 

Many of these kayaks have been built to be extremely durable. They can take a few bumps and scrapes without breaking apart. Usually, you will be able to find a foldable kayak that has a warranty period of at least a year. 

There is a long list of other reasons why someone might choose a foldable kayak; these include: 

  • Affordability. Purchasing a traditional kayak can be an expensive task. The good news is that you can get a foldable kayak for a fraction of the price, saving you money. 
  • Compact. A traditional kayak requires a lot of space for you to store. You also need a trailer to transport it to the lake or river. You don’t need any of this with a foldable kayak. As we’ll discuss later, some options are small enough to fit into a backpack. 
  • Lightweight. Often, you will be able to carry this kayak on your back. This can make it a great choice for camping trips or exploring a more remote campground. 

The most important aspect is how the kayak performs in the water. This is where most models will shine. They handle similar to a traditional kayak. But their low weight means you have to put less effort into getting them moving. 

It’s a good idea to think about the conditions you plan to use your kayak in. Some will be better suited to calm water, while others will be able to cope with the rough surf. 

Depending on the model, they might also be able to carry a lot of weight. In some cases, you can carry up to 300 pounds. This is ideal for fishing, as you’ll be able to carry all the gear you need. 

Of course, there are a few downsides that you will need to consider. Sometimes, it can be a little difficult to assemble the kayak. Though it can help to watch a few YouTube videos.

The good news is that this will get easier over time as you get used to the process

Are Folding Kayaks Safe?

Foldable kayaks are extremely safe to drive. They are durable and are unlikely to spring a leak from scraping a rock or underwater obstacle. Many models have been designed to handle rougher surf, coping with large waves. Puncture kits are available for any minor leaks. 

One of the most important parts of any watercraft is ensuring it is safe. The last thing you want is to have an accident and have to swim to shore.

The good news is that this isn’t something you need to worry about when using a foldable kayak. 

These vessels are designed to be highly durable and can take a few bumps into rocks or submerged obstacles without damaging the hull.

Some foldable kayaks are capable of handling the rough surf, so you won’t need to worry about getting buffeted by the waves. 

If you have a small puncture, you can get a repair kit. This should allow you to patch the problem. 

Because of their low cost, many parents will get a foldable kayak for their children. It’s a good way of introducing them to the basics without risking their safety. 

As always, there are a few other safety elements that you should keep in mind when using a kayak; these include: 

  • Wearing a life jacket
  • Brushing up on the water rules
  • Have a way of calling for help

How Much Space Do You Need For A Folding Kayak? 

Many foldable kayaks can be packed into a bag the same size as a suitcase. They should be able to fit into a cupboard or store in the trunk of a car. At the lower end, they will weigh 20 pounds. The more heavy-duty models will weigh 40 pounds. 

One of the biggest attractions of a folding kayak is its compactness. This means you won’t need a lot of space to store a kayak. You also don’t need a trailer to tow it to the water. 

How much a folding kayak will weigh will depend on the model. For example, the Oru kayak will weigh less than 20 pounds(1). This is ideal for a hiking trip, as getting the boat to the campsite won’t be too difficult. 

You can find a heavy-duty Coast XT Oru kayak on the upper end of the scale. These will usually weigh around 40 pounds. While this is a little harder to carry, it shouldn’t be too strenuous. 

Once you have finished using it, you’ll be able to store it in a package the same size as a suitcase. You shouldn’t have problems transporting it in the truck or car.

You can put it into a storage closet or garage to keep it out of the way when you’re not using it. 

Even better, straps will be on these bags so you can carry them as a backpack. This makes it easy to transport them to a remote campsite and back so that you can explore more remote rivers and lakes. 

Final Thoughts

Foldable kayaks have garnered a lot of attention in recent years. They have made water sports accessible to those without the large storage sheds and trailers required for a traditional kayak.

Plus, they have become popular for their low cost and stability on the water.