As an adventurer who enjoys kayaking on the surface water, I prefer foldable kayaks to hard shell kayaks. Foldable kayaks make a difference when you are looking for portability and ease of transport. They are also easy to use for novices and give a sporty feel to advanced kayakers.
If you haven’t figured the right foldable kayaks for your needs yet, I would love to be of help. Below are my folding kayak reviews that will get you value for your money and give you an exceptional kayaking experience.
Foldable Kayaks | The Comparison
We have researched, analyzed, and reviewed all the best and available foldable kayaks that have excellent maneuverability and solid in terms of quality. Here you go –
Top 6 Folding Kayaks of 2021
- Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak
- Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
- Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport Kayak
- ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Expedition Elite
- Advanced Elements AE1012-R AdvancedFrame Inflatable Kayak
My Top Folding Kayak Picks
The Folbot Touring Kiawah is a lightweight foldable kayak designed for day trips, lazy afternoons, or weekend getaways. Weighing just 32lb, the Folbot is capable of holding around 200lbs. It is also portable enough to transport and anyone can easily carry it around.
Besides, its skin-on-frame design also makes it foldable and secure. Once disassembled, the kayak can fit perfectly in your car’s trunk. Similarly, the frame is made of extremely lightweight yet strong aluminum. The aluminum frame assembles easily without the need of tools and gives the kayak a good look. Additionally, the hull design protects the kayak from extremes like the sun, salt, and minor damages.
The other best thing about this recreational folding kayak is that its beam is quite wide. This allows the kayak to be stable and suitable for use in lakes and rivers. However, with its compact size and lightweight design, you will be compromising on speed. Hence, it is not a good option if speed is much of a concern to you.
Wins & Fails
- Great maneuverability and stability
- Extremely lightweight and foldable for ultimate portability
- Easy to use and assemble
- Less speed
- Shorter frame
If you are looking for a small and lightweight vessel to enjoy your time outdoors, the Folbot Recreational Citibot is great for you. Weighing just 24lbs, this kayak brings together both functionality and convenience. The big advantage of this kayak is that it is easy to craft upright and paddle straight unlike other short boats.
Although the kayak is light, it does not compromise on safety or durability. This is because it’s built with a combination of Elvaloy and aluminum for ultimate protection from corrosion. Additionally, the strong and heavy-duty hull enables it to be resistant to UV rays, scratches, and other minor damages. Citibot is easy to assemble since no tools are needed and can also be disassembled to fit in limited storage space.
The Citibot is known for its wide beam. As a result, you will enjoy improved balance and stability. However, the frame only measures 10 feet, thus you will have to deal with the kayak’s not-so-fast speed.
Wins & Fails
- Foldable and easy to carry and store
- Can support a payload of up to 210lbs
- Extremely durable
- Suited for lightweight and short individuals
- Slow due to its short frame
The Elevens Cruise Plus is suitable for individuals who are looking for a sturdier and more conventional folding kayak. Perfect for day trips and weekend getaways, the Cruise Plus is lightweight and only weighs 30lbs. This kayak is rated up to 10000 folds. This makes it easy to fold such that it can be transported and stored in a car trunk or closet.
This kayak is built from a double-ply FRPP frame making it durable than most foldable kayaks. As a result, it is highly resistant to UV rays, abrasion, and corrosion from saltwater. With its easy to assemble design, the Cruise Plus does not require any tools and only takes 10 minutes to set up.
Apart from durability, this foldable kayak is known for its high performance. With a length of 12.8 feet, the kayak is designed to be small and fast. It is one of the fastest boats in the market due to its solid hull design. Not to mention, its secondary stability and shape make it a top choice for many experienced kayakers.
Wins & Fails
- Constructed from double-ply FRPP making it durable
- Easy setup
- Stable and fast
- Suitable for a payload of 200lbs only
- Expensive than most inflatable kayaks
Next on our list of the best outdoor adventures kayaks is the Oru Kayak BayST. This origami kayak is loved by a number of kayakers because it gets many things right. Its innovative folding design and high-quality material guarantee an exceptional kayaking experience.
Compared to other foldable options, the bag and the kayak are all included in one package. It is super light, and you can easily tuck it away in the trunk of your car. Its lightweight design also makes it possible to hike with this foldable kayak.
One of the perks of the Oru kayak is that it is built from double-wall polypropylene with a 10-year UV treatment. This construction makes the boat highly durable and gives it a different feel. It has also been built to withstand 20,000 folds. Hence, it can be folded and unfolded without weakening. In addition, the setup is very easy since it takes only a few minutes to get the kayak from its box to a fully functioning boat.
While the boat boasts of high performance, it is friendly and stable for beginners. Both experienced and novice paddlers can use this in calmer or large-waved waters. The Oru kayak also folds out to 12 feet long and 25’’ wide. It also comes with a comfortable foam seat and adjustable backrest for enhanced comfort. Lastly, the hull offers adequate room to stash gears for short camping excursions.
Wins & Fails
- Solid polypropylene construction makes it highly durable
- Easy to carry and transport
- Simple setup
- Ease of wear and tear
- Lacks plastic caps to protect the neoprene
The Folbot Touring Cooper is a portable kayak that is great for use in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Constructed from a strong yet lightweight aluminum frame, the kayak is undoubtedly durable. This makes the kayak resistant to punctures, tears, and UV rays from the sun. The covering which is built from Elvaloy is equally durable.
Assembling the mainframe can be done in less than 20 minutes without the use of tools. Once the frame is assembled, the covering is pulled over with ease. This makes the Cooper one of the easiest foldable kayaks to set up.
This kayak is 16 feet in length and 24 inches wide. Due to its length and design, its speed is quite impressive. It offers plenty of space which makes it comfortable for paddlers of all sizes and shapes. It also comes with a seat and a roomy cockpit to stretch out your legs.
When fully assembled, the Cooper kayak weighs 39lbs. Its lightweight design helps the kayak to track extremely well. Although it is light, its overall stability in water is quite impressive.
Wins & Fails
- Aluminum frame and Elvaloy hull for durability
- Simple to assemble and handle
- Wide enough for enhanced comfort
- The material tends to flex
One of the things that I like about the TRAK Kayak is its good-looking design and polyethylene construction. This means that it is extremely durable and capable of withstanding challenges like UV rays and corrosion. As a result, it is very efficient in lakes, rivers, and oceans compared to other foldable kayaks.
With adequate information provided by the manufacturer, it is very easy to set up especially for beginners. Once assembled, you can take on all the fun that this water vessel offers. The kayak is 16 feet in length, weighs 48lbs, and can carry up to 292lbs.
If you are looking for a boat that is highly versatile, the TRAKS kayak is for you. It offers stability and great maneuverability. The speed can be increased by making the kayak lie flatter. Additionally, it comes with three hydraulic jacks to make it possible to change the shape of the hull according to your requirements.
Another great thing is that it is suitable for use in different weather conditions and can explore any water. This is because it can be directed to face the right or left crescent in the event of crosswinds.
Wins & Fails
- Comes with hydraulic pumps to set the tension of the hull
- Made of solid and quality polyethylene material
- Suitable for rough water
- Weighs 48lbs which is quite heavy
- The back deck is a bit high
Just like the TRAK performance folding kayak, this vessel is efficient on lakes, oceans, and rivers. The TRAK seeker is constructed from polyethylene to create a rigid frame and improve its overall performance. The frame is made of aerospace aluminum to protect the vessel from wayward obstacles. Its performance and portability make it ideal for kayakers of different skill levels.
When it comes to durability and resilience, Seeker tops most of the vessels. Its construction is said to be similar to that of a hardshell kayak. It is, therefore, able to hold as much weight as possible. However, this adds to the total weight of the kayak, which in turn, makes it extremely heavy.
When fully constructed, the TRAK Seeker weighs around 48 pounds, and the hull measures 22 ½ inches. It measures 16 feet at full length and has a narrow beam compared to other kayaks. As a result, this boat is able to move at very high speeds with ease.
Another handy feature of the Seeker is its three hydraulic jacks. The hydraulic jacks play a major role in its versatility. For instance, you can use pistols to control the tension of the hull for stability and maneuverability.
Wins & Fails
- Has a 300-pound weight capacity
- Solid polyethylene construction
- Comfortable seats
- Extremely heavy and not suitable for hiking
- Quite expensive
What is the Best Material for a Foldable Kayak?
The material used to make foldable kayaks may vary with the purpose of the boat and the company that manufactures it. It is important for your foldable vessel to be tough enough to survive damages, wear and tear, as well as sea corrosion.
These are pieces that go from one end of the vessel to the other end. The most common materials used for making the vessel’s frame are aluminum and solid wood. The aluminum frame is highly recommended since it is slightly lighter and gives the kayak a modern look. Unlike the wood frame, aluminum is cheap and does not require any maintenance. It also comes in two types: anodized and aerospace. Anodized aluminum is fairly resistant to corrosion.
Wood, on the other hand, is a good choice if you are looking for frames that can be assembled faster. It is also easy to repair in case of an accident and is highly flexible. However, it is not a good choice since it is non-durable, heavy, and requires maintenance.
For some people, the best material for the kayak frame is carbon fiber. This is due to the fact that it’s light, stiff, and strong. However, it’s slightly expensive.
Skin for the Hull
When it comes to the skin of the foldable kayak, polyethylene is commonly used. There are different types of polyethylene: military-grade and Elvaloy. Elvaloy is stronger and will not get damaged easily. Ideally, you should look for a body that is resistant to corrosion, minor damages, and UV rays.
There are also kayaks that have skin made of PVC. PVC is commonly used because it is cheap and can last for a very long time. This material, however, disintegrates easily in hot climates. It is also not resistant to abrasions, chemicals, and gasoline.
Good quality fabrics are coated with Hypalon and neutron. The fabrics come in varying thicknesses and are heavy enough to resist UV rays, salt, and oil. Additionally, Hypalon is more resistant to abrasion and is chosen by most manufacturers as an exterior coating. Neutron is excellent for oil resistance and has air holding capabilities; hence, it is used as a coating on the interior of the boat.
It’s important to increase the thickness of the areas of the skin that are more prone to damage. These areas include the keel and the chine bars where 80 percent of the wear and tear occurs. One way to protect the skin is by adding flexible plastic on the outside of the hull. The skin can also be protected by adding strips of foam plastic on the inside of the hull.
Guide to Buying a Foldable Kayak
Choosing the best folding kayak can be daunting, and a lot of consideration needs to be taken. Some of the biggest considerations when purchasing a foldable kayak include ease of assembly, durability, and weight. Here are some factors that you should keep in mind before making any buying decision:
One of the key factors when purchasing a foldable kayak is durability. Basically, kayaks are usually made of three types of material: polypropylene, Elvaloy, and polyurethane fabric. Elvaloy is a good choice since it is made from different materials and contains PVC which increases its durability.
Just like Elvaloy, polypropylene is a polymer and has propylene added to it. This also increases its durability. Besides, polypropylene is believed to be more durable than Elvaloy.
The last material used to construct foldable kayaks is polyurethane fabric. This fabric is made from a combination of polymer and urethane with no specific additions. As a result, it is considered the least durable.
Most kayakers prefer foldable kayaks because they are lightweight and easy to carry. In order to determine the right weight of kayak for you, you should consider how much you are able to carry. If you are planning to hike with it or transport it yourself, then you should consider kayaks that weigh between 22-33 pounds.
You should also pay attention to your body size and find a kayak weight that will sustain you. Otherwise, getting a vessel that is either too light or heavy may render it inefficient.
The size of different kayaks may vary, and this can affect their speed and maneuverability. Basically, longer and narrower kayaks are able to exhibit high rates of speed easily. However, longer kayaks can be difficult to handle and maneuver.
On the other hand, shorter kayaks are easy to turn and maneuver. The only problem is that they tend to exhibit very low speed.
For maximum comfort and stability, the beam of the foldable kayak should be considered. For beginners, purchasing kayaks with a higher-inch beam is recommended. This is because a much wider beam provides stability in water and the kayaker is unlikely to fall off. However, wider boats are slower and less maneuverable.
If you are an advanced kayaker, you may want to choose foldable kayaks that have an average beamwidth. While it ensures steadiness in the water, it also provides a sporty feel.
- Ease of Assembly
When purchasing a kayak, it’s important to find out how long it will take you to set it up. The best foldable kayaks are easy to assemble and require no tools. Tools can be heavy to carry, and it may be difficult to use them on a beach.
Avoid kayaks that have many pieces to assemble as this can be confusing and take much of your time. Besides, the manufacturer ought to provide you with a clear guideline of how to assemble and disassemble the kayak so that you don’t spend a lot of time.
One of the main reasons why individuals purchase foldable kayaks is due to their ease of storage. The kayaks can be folded into small packages and tucked away in a closet or a normal car trunk. Thus, if you don’t have much space in your home or vehicle, you should consider a kayak that comes in a small size.
Best folding and portable kayak is a new technology to enjoy the great outdoors. You can fold these kayaks to avoid carrying them around and take them anywhere you want. These are very lightweight and easy to carry.
A folding kayak is a good option for people who are looking to go on an adventure or who want to take their kayaking experience with them. It is also a good option for people who want to try kayaking but do not have much room. These kinds of models are also lightweight so that they can be easily transported.
How portable the foldable kayaks are?
One might wonder if it is safe to pack a kayak into the trunk of your car and know that you have everything you need for enjoying this sport at the beach or on a riverbank. The answer to that question is yes!
If you are considering buying one of these, there are some things you should think about before purchasing it. Things like what type of waterways will be traveled on? How long will the trip be? How many people will be at your party? What type of gear do you already have with you? Are all your belongings easily accessible in one place? And finally, how much extra weight does it take up to make?
If the answers are satisfactory; then pick the manual and read it to match your requirements and go buying it.
How long do folding kayaks last?
Folding kayaks are not built to last for decades, so there is no need to worry about broken gear. They should be replaced when they start to show signs of wear and tear. This can be as simple as a missing handle or a loose fabric. It is important that you replace your kayak when it is still in good working condition because the replacement will cost less than having someone repair or replace it after it has broken down completely.
Folding kayaks are usually made out of tough plastic which makes them durable and long-lasting. However, over time they will show signs of wear and tear which will require replacement parts such as handles and fabric. When purchasing your new kayak, make sure you purchase the parts that have been worn out so you don’t have to wait until you need them. When buying a new kayak, it’s important to make sure all the parts are in good condition and that they won’t require replacing any time soon.
Are folding kayaks worthy?
Folding kayaks are a new innovation in the world of personal watercraft. They have the advantage of being more portable than a standard kayak which makes them easier to transport while at the same time not sacrificing much in terms of performance. Many people argue that these benefits make them worth it and recommend them over standard models.
However, there are some who believe that the lack of stability can prove detrimental in certain situations. For example, if you are paddling within a tight space or through narrow rapids. In addition, they typically cost more than other types because of their design and materials used.
Should You Buy a Folding Oru Kayak?
The folding Oru Kayak is easier to transport and store since it folds up into a small size that easily fits in any car trunk or closet. It also takes up less space in your home or garage which means more room to store other items as well! The quality of the material isn’t quite as high as that of the full-sized Oru Kayaks, but it can still hold up against regular use and abuse. If this is something you’re considering for your family, it might be worth looking into if you’re on a budget.
Folding Kayak vs Inflatable Kayak? The differences.
Inflatable kayaks are a lot more affordable and easier to transport, but they are also much less durable. That being said, an inflatable kayak is a great option for beginners who want to learn how to paddle and explore.
Folding kayaks are heavier than their inflatable counterparts, but they are also much more durable. The main benefit of folding kayaks is that it can be easily transported with the use of a car and doesn’t need to be inflated until use.
Can an ORU kayak sink?
“I am curious to know if an ORU kayak could sink,” said Emily. “My other friends told me it would be fine.”
An ORU kayak is waterproof and made of plastic material, so there is no way it can sink. The plastic material will not absorb water, and the frame is made of aluminum which also can’t be absorbed by water.
How much is Oru Kayak worth?
Oru Kayak is one of the world’s most popular kayaks. The company was founded in 2008 and has a wide range of designs to suit different needs, sizes, and budgets.
The company has seen huge growth over the years, with sales totaling the US $6 billion in 2018, and is predicted to hit the US $8 billion by 2020. This growth has been driven by a number of factors, including a geographic expansion into new markets such as Europe and the United States, but also by Oru Kayak’s introduction of new products that have seen rapid uptake from consumers.
Where are ORU kayaks made?
ORU kayaks are made in Portland, Oregon.
ORU has an excellent team that creates amazing products. Our staff is highly trained and experienced with the latest technologies to ensure that our customers walk away with the best product available for their needs.
When ORU was in its infancy, we didn’t have money to invest in fancy equipment or huge buildings to make our kayaks. We had one principle and a dream and managed to come up with the concept of a folding kayak that can be stored easily and quickly taken on the go for recreational use.
How does a folding kayak work?
They are made out of lightweight materials and designed with both stability and speed in mind. This makes them ideal for beginner users or those who just want to cruise around on the water without having to worry about how big their boat is taking up space. They are also affordable enough that anyone can afford one.
What is the best lightweight kayak?
There are plenty of lightweight kayaks that come in a variety of styles and models. Some of these include the Perception 10-2, Perception 11-2, Perception 12-2, Oru kayak (as it is portable and lightweight), and the Perception 12R.
If you are planning to have a great outdoor adventure on the water, you should definitely choose the best foldable kayaks in the market. However, this can be daunting and overwhelming. It’s for this reason that I have compiled a list of the best foldable kayaks and their buying guide.
Whether you’re looking for the best folding kayak reviews or want to know what you should look for in a kayak, this will surely guide you.
You can always refer to this guide to make sure that you can find a durable, safe, and high-performance foldable kayak.
Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API