Portable kayaks are one of the greatest inventions to come from technological advances in water sports! These portable, foldable options make it possible for anyone to own a kayak, even those living in a tiny home or RV. Storage space is no longer an issue, and a large vehicle, roof rack, or trailer is not required. Now there are several variations of portable kayaks, in this article we are focusing on foldable kayaks, not inflatable kayaks. As such, the options in this article are all compact, easy to assemble, and most importantly safe in the water.
First, how do portable kayaks work?
The portable kayaks in this article are all made of tough and durable plastic. Some are made of corrugated polypropylene that is scored in specific places allowing you to easily fold the kayak into a compact box. Others have a separate folding frame with a soft durable polyurethane outer shell that folds into a storage box. These boxes then easily unfold into a working kayak in less than 15 minutes. When unfolding the kayak, there are often additional pieces that clip or latch onto the main kayak frame for safety and stability. Below are more details about each recommended kayak our list.
This is the original folding kayak that Oru released on Kickstarter in 2012. Since then however, Oru have updated the Bay ST design with additional features, though the size and folding design are still the same. This is a 12 foot kayak, and is suitable for people up to 300lbs. When folded the kayak becomes a 33”x14”x29” box weighing 26lbs. The Bay ST also comes with an adjustable seat back and padded seat. There is also the option to add a sprayskirt to the coaming if needed. The final shape of this kayak is suitable for all water, from lakes to the ocean.
This portable kayak is 16 feet and can handle up to 350lbs. When folded it measures 41”x14”x9” and weighs 53lbs. As an additional bonus, when packed, it has its own roller bag – making it even easier for traveling. TRAK uses a specialized 3-ply polyurethane material for all of their kayaks, this makes them super durable and safe for any expedition. Unlike the Oru kayaks, the TRAK 2.0 has a foldable frame that then slips into this polyurethane shell. The internal frame is made of lightweight anodized air-craft grade aluminium. This frame is also treated to withstand salt spray corrosion. One of the biggest draws of the TRAK 2.0 is the hydraulic tensioning system. This specialized pump allows kayakers to alter the shape of the hull as they need, allowing for more stability in rough waters.
This foldable kayak shown at the top of the post is the smallest on our list. It measures just 10 feet long and can handle up to 300lbs. As a shorter kayak, it also has a larger width of 31” to help with the stability. Made from high-density polyethylene, with carbon fiber reinforcing, this kayak is built to last. It folds into itself and creates a 48”x15”x9” package that weighs just 28lbs. TuckTec updates their foldable kayaks each year, increasing the safety ratings and making it easier to assemble. The 2021 Foldable Kayak is one of the best portable kayaks available for ease of use and can be assembled in under 3 minutes! The TuckTec kayak also comes with a retractable tracking fin, helping you to navigate in any conditions.
This foldable kayak from Oru, can be used as either a single or tandem kayak. It is 16.1 feet and can handle up to 500lbs. It weighs in at 41lbs making it less than half the weight of a regular tandem kayak. When folded the box measures 34”x17”x29” which is not much bigger than the Bay ST model. Both seatbacks are adjustable and have a padded bottom cushion. Additionally, both kayakers have an adjustable footrest, designed for comfort on longer trips. For extra stability, the Haven TT is 33” wide and has an additional stability support bar between the seats.
There you have it, the best portable kayaks on the market. All of which are easy to assemble and stable on the water. Now Oru offers a range of foldable kayaks, we just included the most versatile from their range. Plus both brands above have a range of accessories to really customize your kayak to suit your lifestyle and needs. Happy kayaking!