Fortune Favors Fold

These Origami-Inspired Kayaks Are Adventure in a Box


December 30, 2019 Gear Patrol Store By
Oru Kayak

The best products are the ones that solve a problem. When it comes to owning a kayak, one of the biggest problems is where to store it when it’s not in use. For some, it’s as easy as standing it up in a spare corner of the garage. But for many enthusiasts, space is tight and storing a large boat is a pain. What’s more, unless you have an SUV or truck with the appropriate hardware, getting your boat to the water’s edge can be just as irksome. That’s where Oru comes in.

Oru kayaks are inspired by the traditional art of Origami, folding up when not in use into a footprint no bigger than a standard suitcase. This miraculous transformation makes even Oru’s larger profile boats easy to store in a closet, behind a couch or under a bed. When you’re ready to paddle, a packed Oru rides easily to the water’s edge in a trunk or back seat. Oru kayaks are so portable when packed you could even take them on the New York City subway or on your favorite airline.

The best part is that all this space-saving savvy doesn’t compromise functionality. Oru’s kayaks are stable and sturdy, constructed from a custom polypropylene that is rated to 20,000 fold cycles and sports a UV treatment that will last for ten years. What’s more, they’re light. Even the Bay ST, a larger kayak designed for longer waterborne adventures weighs 28 pounds, far less than a typical solid hull kayak. And while these unique boats require a little assembly, going from totally packed to water-ready should take no more than 10 minutes for an average user.

With a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds and space for paddlers up to 6’6″, Oru kayaks are designed for everyone. Adjustable foot and backrests give the boats customizable comfort while still affording plenty of space to stow some gear.

We’ve encountered a lot of great products in our day, but few rank as highly as the boats from Oru Kayak. But don’t take our word for it.

The Boats

The Beach LT

Oru Kayak Beach-LT

The Beach LT kayak uses origami to unfold from a compact box, into a high-performance kayak. Unfolding only takes a few minutes — no pumps, tools or roof racks required. In the water, it’s sturdy, durable, agile and fast — it paddles like a molded hardshell kayak, minus half the weight.

With a large cockpit and stable 28” beam, it’s perfect for day trips, picnics, fishing, and casual fun with friends and family (or even dogs!) While it may be Oru’s friendliest boat, it’s still built to the company’s high standards of strength and durability, rated to 20,000 folds. And it’s as easy on the eyes as it is on the water.

The Bay ST

The Bay ST is the original Oru Kayak, launched on Kickstarter in 2012; it’s even in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over the years, Oru has thoroughly updated the design to enhance performance, making it easier to assemble and more comfortable to use than its predecessors.

It’s stable enough for beginners, while the length and contouring make it fast and sporty for experts. There’s plenty of room to stash gear for day trips and short camping excursions. Best of all, transforming it from box to boat takes just a few minutes.

The Accessories

Kayak Pack

Bring the Oru Kayak anywhere! Hike into remote waters, or check it on a plane to foreign lands. The Oru Pack is made of rugged heavy-duty nylon, with a super-comfortable shoulder and hip strap system. It’s loaded with smart features to make your Oru Kayak journeys easy and convenient. Padded shoulder straps add comfort and external mesh pockets stow paddles and other gear with ease.

Paddles

The Oru Paddle—in bright white to match the kayak—breaks down into four pieces, so it stows easily inside the Oru Kayak in box form. It features a lightweight fiberglass shaft and super-tough ABS plastic blades. The paddle is truly customizable: a quick-clamp connector allows you to adjust both the length (220-230cm) of the paddle and the feather angles of the blades.

This post is presented by the Gear Patrol Store. Purchasing products from our store supports our editorial efforts.

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