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Outdoor Origami

Oru Kayak

Until now, our experience with origami was limited to bar tricks and entertaining children — and we’ll be damned if turning a napkin into a swan isn’t a crowd pleaser. But what if you could apply the principles of the Japanese art of paper folding to a piece of high-performance outdoor equipment that typically weighs upwards of 50 pounds and requires a roof rack to transport? You’d have the Oru Kayak ($1,095), a foldable 12-foot boat made in the U.S.A. from a single sheet of double-layered plastic that folds down into a 33 x 29 x 10-inch case.

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Strokes of genius

Paddle Proper: 5 Great Kayaks

There’s no easier way to cool down on a hot summer day than an adventure at the local lake or river, and no better way to enjoy said body of water than a kayak. A good one will help you ditch the crowds and find the perfect hidden spot for some summer fun –- all while traveling the water less paddled. Don’t know the difference between a whitewater creek boat and an ocean kayak? We’ve got you covered with some great kayaks for summer adventure.

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Don't think Kayak. Think Paddleship.

Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak

The Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak ($2,700) has been re-tooled for 2011 to help improve handling and speed while still maintaining great hauling capacity in the form of three enclosed stowage bins and a large on-deck cargo area. Speaking of hauling, the dual seater also ships with two of Hobie’s unique Mirage drive pedal systems, which…

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A Long Way from a Hollowed Out Log

Justin Charles Cedar Strip Wooden Kayak

Synthetics and composites have plenty of benefits, but they’ll never compete with the look of wood. This Cedar Strip Wooden Kayak from Justin Charles ($16,000) manages to provide the best of both worlds. Its beautiful Western Red Cedar strip exterior is combined with glass fiber to create a light weight, yet durable composite that puts…

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End Kayak Clutter

Malibu Kayaks X-Wing Sliding Console

To deal with the age-old problem of cluttered gear in confined spaces (in this case Kayaks), Malibu Kayaks has created the X-Wing Sliding Console ($130). Designed to confine all your fishing equipment into one compact, convenient location on your kayak, the console provides mounting positions for rods, GPS units, fish finders, compasses, a dry box…

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Have Boat, Will Travel

Folbot Yukon Folding Kayak

Whether you’re a Manhattan apartment dweller planning your weekend adventure or a hardened explorer planning your next expedition, we have the kayak for you. Here’s a boat that packs into two airline-(or yak-)friendly duffel bags, assembles in about 20 minutes, and will haul up to 300 pounds of paddler and gear. Folbot is a South…

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Diesel 65 Kayak

Don’t let the waves and conditions of whitewater and flat-rivers catch you off guard. The Diesel is the most versatile kayak available. It has a high-volume deck and a forgiving performance-oriented hull providing you with control. Minimal part construction keeps weight and potential breakage down. The Diesel 65 weighs in at 39 lbs. and is…