alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/18/21 6:40 p.m.

May be a long shot, since these kinds of boats have not been in production very long, but I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with a folding/origami kayak.  Specifically one from Oru (https://www.orukayak.com/)

Now that we go camping a lot (every other weekend since end of June), we've camped at a lot of places where a kayak would be really nice to have.  Some of the places had rentals, which was cool, but we found out this past weekend that they have a summer schedule, too...

And talking with a friend, he heard about these folding kayaks- which seem to fit our needs perfectly.  The question for us is do we get two single ones (Inlet) or a two person one (Haven)- the total cost comes out to about the same for either choice.

From what I can see, the Inlet is crazy easy to set up, and very light- but we go off separately; whereas there's more to set up the Haven, but we stay together (fishing is easier when she's paddling, lol).  

There are a handful of videos on the University of Tubes, which help a lot- but it's still hard to decide.

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UberDork
10/18/21 8:23 p.m.

A friend who is an outdoor gear distributor used to sell them from the original Shark tank guys. They were okay, but in his mind needed improvement for full success. He ended up selling his demo to another friend at a way discounted price. Don't recall what changes Bill suggested but they wouldn't listen. Bills got over 20 years experience in the outdoor gear business and lives the outdoor lifestyle too.

Trent
Trent PowerDork
10/18/21 10:27 p.m.

There are a bunch of folks that have them out on the rivers here. They are fascinating.  The people who have them tend to be dabbling in kayaking and they choose the Oru because they don't have to invest in roof racks or other ways to haul a real boat. 

I was blown away by how expensive they were when I looked them up. You could buy two decent recreational kayaks and a roof rack for the cost of one Oru. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 6:04 a.m.
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) said:

A friend who is an outdoor gear distributor used to sell them from the original Shark tank guys. They were okay, but in his mind needed improvement for full success. He ended up selling his demo to another friend at a way discounted price. Don't recall what changes Bill suggested but they wouldn't listen. Bills got over 20 years experience in the outdoor gear business and lives the outdoor lifestyle too.

I somewhat got that impression from the difference between the main lines vs. the most recent one I'm looking at as a choice.   At least when it comes to assembly.  And when I see up to date reviews of the craft, when compared to other portable units, they think it's pretty strong.  I was surprised to find out they came out in 2016...  

But compared to other kayaks that do the same thing, even with the flaws, it's the best one.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 6:06 a.m.
Trent said:

There are a bunch of folks that have them out on the rivers here. They are fascinating.  The people who have them tend to be dabbling in kayaking and they choose the Oru because they don't have to invest in roof racks or other ways to haul a real boat. 

I was blown away by how expensive they were when I looked them up. You could buy two decent recreational kayaks and a roof rack for the cost of one Oru. 

That's accurate, but it's also not something we want to do.  If we went with solid ones, just renting them would be the option.   Solid ones are heavy and cumbersome, let alone a huge aero drag to add to our trailer package.

EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
10/19/21 6:49 a.m.

How about an inflatable one? I don't have any experience with them but have talked to people using them that didn't seem to have many complaints. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 7:16 a.m.
EvanB said:

How about an inflatable one? I don't have any experience with them but have talked to people using them that didn't seem to have many complaints. 

They are quite a bit heavier.  Which make them less appealing.  And you have to add in the longer set up time with pumping.  

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
10/19/21 8:20 a.m.
EvanB said:

How about an inflatable one? I don't have any experience with them but have talked to people using them that didn't seem to have many complaints. 

I have an inflatable one I occasionally use in the ocean and it's fine for light use. It's easy to meet or exceed the maximum weight limits on these however. They're an easy order of magnitude cheaper than a folding one so they're a better option for someone just starting out or lightly dabbling in kayaking. IIRC it would take me about 20mins to inflate mine and about the same to deflate and pack up (note: you need a clean surface for this or you're going to bring a lot of dirt into your kit/vehicle/home and you'll need to clean it all up later), I used a cheap flexible laundry hamper as a storage container for the whole kit. If I was on vacation I would basically leave it inflated until I was leaving. They're obviously going to be heavier than a folding kayak but from my experience (haven't done a thorough specs comparison) are in the same ballpark of weight as a traditional FG/plastic model.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
10/19/21 8:35 a.m.

You might look at Trak Kayaks?

https://www.trakkayaks.com/blogs/pilot/matt-pruis

it's the only folding kayak (and one of only a handful of human-power only boats) to complete the 750-mile Race2Alaska.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 8:42 a.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

That specific one, no, but I have looked into skin over frame concepts.  Kind of takes the cost thing to another level.  And they are pretty complex to put together, as well.  The side issue is that they tend to be overkill for the small lake exploration we will be doing here in Michigan.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 8:48 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

Is there a $100 small inflatable kayak?  I see them being around half the price, but not 1/10.  

And the weight is a big deal, we have used some normal plastic kayaks, and we have some struggles moving them- as we age, our combined lifting power is decreasing, so equal to plastic kayaks is not an appealing thing to worry about.  Which makes the 20lb folding one very appealing.  Heck, even the 40lb two seater is a lot more appealing than a canoe that one of us can't lift on our own.

Right now, the trade off is 2 20lb single seaters or 1 41lb two seater.  

I have looked into inflatable ones, and skin on frame ones- and was hoping someone here has tried the folding ones.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
10/19/21 8:59 a.m.

My vote would be 2 single seaters. There's more flexibility in that setup to take a different person, go solo, etc. Have you looked at them in person? REI usually has them in stock so you can at least look, touch, etc. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
10/19/21 9:48 a.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to GameboyRMH :

Is there a $100 small inflatable kayak?  I see them being around half the price, but not 1/10. 

Yes the cheaper ones can be had for close to $100, here's a real bargain bin model for 2 digits:

https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Challenger-1-Person-Inflatable-Aluminum/dp/B00177J4JS/

And here's a very cheap 2 seater:

https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Explorer-2-Person-Inflatable-Aluminum/dp/B00A7EXF4C/

My single seater is at least 40lbs I'm sure.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/19/21 10:00 a.m.

The ORU origami kayak is a neat idea.  I was not aware they existed.  Hard to argue against it, really.  The in-car portability makes it pretty unique.  Easy set-up.  Super cool.  A tad pricey, perhaps, but not egregiously so.

If I preferred kayaks to canoes, then yeah, I might consider one.

OP:  Get two singles.  More flexibility.  If you want a mobile fishing platform, clip the two together.

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster Reader
10/19/21 10:06 a.m.

My wife has one of the early Oru folding kayaks. We have done a few hike ins with it along with many days on normal outings.  Once put together it is a great kayak, although a bit limited on space for longer treks. It has accidentally been taken through some whitewater and came through hits without any issues. 

Setup and teardown on the original ones is a bit of a hassle, especially for those not mechanically inclined. I have heard about the improvements but not seen them in action. 

Would be a good fit for a case like yours. I wouldn't hesitate to put a bunch of miles in with ours.  As others have said, I would recommend two boats over a tandem. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 10:20 a.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

found out that REI had them in stock yesterday evening (after they closed), so we will probably go over there later this week.  Pretty cool that they have them, considering they have a lot of other kayak options.

porschenut
porschenut Reader
10/19/21 12:29 p.m.

I get a kick out of watching people put them together at the local lake.  They seem rather tippy on launch, return and what ever you do don't scrape bottom too much or you could wear a hole.  I  would never take one out where I could not swim to shore.  Just too much flex.  The folbot/kleppers are nice but take time to put together and not as durable as the old milk jug hard boats.  We have had milk juh boats for 20 years and they are indestructible.  Under 40 pounds, impossible to kill and not that hard to carry.  If you  absolutely need to carry something that folds/compresses try an inflatable SUP with a clip on seat.  They are basically a sip on top kayak

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/19/21 2:25 p.m.

In reply to porschenut :

inflatable anything does not solve the problem of having lightness although the stand up boards look to be light.   But it's interesting that an inflatable board is seen as stiffer than a folding kayak.  I don't really see that....  

In terms of durability- if I use it so much to wear a hole, that would be a good thing.  We would very much be getting a lot out of it.

edit- looking into how the sit down stand up boards work, it's also curious that they would be considered more stable, given that the person is 3-5 inches higher and the width tends to be narrower.  Seems to me a board would be a lot less stable than a folding kayak- just looking at center of gravity vs buoyant width.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/4/22 3:11 p.m.

This thread is about paddling, so the canoes showed up. 

 

On topic (I don't know how I missed this thread originally) flex is the enemy. It creates drag, resulting in inefficiency. If you plan on paddling more than 400 yards, you'll be much happier once on the water with a traditional roto molded setup. Inflatables are a complete non starter for me, I can swim faster than two people can paddle one. As for the foldable ones, it's chassis rigidity that matters, more than weight, more than if it needs a rack. Because if it sucks on the water, you're not going to use it, even if it's easier take it to the water. 

procainestart
procainestart Dork
6/4/22 3:11 p.m.

A CANOE is not a kayak, NatalieNoriko and KariSisi.

I'm trying to understand these recent canoes that don't have links. The text is totally machine-generated -- it's just regurgitating stuff that's already been said. What's the point? Will they continue to programmatically post for a while, then start adding links? 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/4/22 3:47 p.m.

The irony of canoeing a kayak thread. 
 

But for an update-ish, my SIL got us a 2 person inflatable before we got a folding one. And it actually performs great. We had it out on Lake Michigan just a few days ago - a pretty protected part near wilderness state park. 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
6/4/22 10:30 p.m.

the only issue I have heard of with inflatables, they do not like wind. 

Foldables have their place.  I know of a few cruisers who pack them aboard because of how little room they take up. I myself prefer my Skin on Frame Kayaks for their light weight. My 12 footer only weighs in around 35 pounds. It can't take the beating a rotomolded one can, but it's not something you need to constantly worry about either.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/4/22 11:22 p.m.

Speaking of Origami, these are pretty cool, as you can use them as a SUP or a kayak and fold it up after:

https://www.origamipaddler.com/

As an aside, in one of my favorite travelogues, the primary character lugged an inflatable kayak all over Polynesia and had a grand time with it: 

Paul Theroux's "The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific" 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/6/22 5:42 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

We've been in some wind, and it wasn't as bad as I feared.  Actually, the inflatable we got as a gift is really nice to sail.  

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