Kayaking is a wonderful experience that can give you adrenaline rush. However, getting a kayak to or from the water and storing it can be an exhausting work. Most of the people avoid kayaking because of the exhausting part of carrying and storing the heavy kayak. In order to overcome this issues, kayak makers came with a revolutionary idea of folding kayaks.
You might have seen number of folding kayaks options available in the market and choosing a best one can be a tricky part. Therefore, I am sharing a list of best folding kayaks for you.
There are lots of factors to consider before getting best portable kayak for yourself. Some of the important factors to consider before selecting a foldable kayak consists; assembly time, weight, storage and durability. I have gone through all of these factors while reviewing the best portable kayaks for you.
You might have gone through the Inflatable kayaks, but I think portable kayaks are must better. Since, you don’t need to inflate or deflate the kayak before using. It is less bulky and portable than compared to inflatables.
Top Rated Portable Kayaks
|ORU KAYAK CoastXT FOLDABLE KAYAK||Oru Kayak||36 pounds|
|ORU KAYAK BAYST FOLDABLE KAYAK||Oru Kayak||28 pounds|
|ORU KAYAK BEACH LT PORTABLE KAYAK||Oru Kayak||26 pounds|
|FOLBOT FULL EXPEDITION PACKAGE||Folbot||5.9 pounds|
|ADVANCED ELEMENTS AE1007-R CONVERTIBLE KAYAK||Advanced Elements||52 pounds|
|ADVANCED ELEMENTS ADVANCEDFRAME SPORT KAYAK||Advanced Elements||26 pounds|
THE Best Folding Kayaks
Folding Kayak Buyer Guide
So let’s first discuss about all the basic things about buying guide about folding kayak and then to the list!
What is a Folding kayak?
Folding kayaks is built for portability and convenience. As the name suggests, you can easily fold the kayak and store it into the trunk of your car and does not require you to have a trolley or car rack. They can be folded into a small suitcase size and can be stored in your apartment.
They are much better than inflatables as you don’t have to inflate or deflate the kayak before using which saves time and energy. Folding kayak only requires you to unfold it and you are good to go – they are much like hardshells. Most of the foldable kayaks are UV protected making them durable.
How to Build a Folding kayak and Pack it!
Building a folding kayak and packing it back may be different for each kayak type and all the instruction can be found in the instruction manual.
Generally with folding kayaks, the hull of the kayak is formed by the carrying container. After removing the separate parts like seats; the other part can be folded. You can watch the small video below to learn that how to assemble an Oru kayak.
Step 1: Open the Box & Lay it out!
Firstly you need to unbox the kayak and lay out the large section that is given inside that. The large section will form the hull of folding kayak.
Step 2: Now Install the footrest
Now you need to install the footrests, but make sure that your kayak has the footrest option. You need to check the instruction manual to get the exact idea that how to install footrest for your kayak.
Step 3: Close the Bow & Stern
Now you need to close the bow by folding the corresponding section to the upward direction. Then you need tighten the straps then fold the sides over the footrest and center near the cockpit.
After closing the bow you need to close the stern. For that, tighten the straps at the end of the stern and if there is a bucklehead then you need to make sure that it is installed before doing the whole stern.
Step 4: Assemble the Cockpit
Now as the hull is done from the front and back then you need to place the floorboard into the cockpit. It will provide a floor to your kayak and will be given separately. After that you need to install the seats as per the instructions given in the manual.
Folding or Packing it back
Ones you are done with kayaking or paddling and wanted to fold it again or pack it. Then you simply need to reverse the above steps and you are done. Let me give you a quick guide on it too.
Firstly remove the seats, remove the flooring, loosen the straps on bow and stern, remove the bucklhead and footrest.
Now you need to fold the bow and then the stern section with the help of your knee. Now fold both bow and stern together so that they are side by side. Then it will take a box like shape and then use the straps to secure it and it is done!
Video: Oru Beach LT Assembly
How To Choose A Folding Kayak
Earlier portable kayaks used to be very expensive and very amount of people used to have them as they did not have space to store a normal kayak and or racks or sections to transport it. Choosing a folding kayak also require few factors to consider which I have discussed below for you;
Purpose & Reason for Buying!
Before buying any kayak, you ask yourself a question that why this type of kayak and the same thing happened with this folding ‘yak. If you want to use kayak for recreational paddling and speed and length is not on your priority list then kayak is good to go.
However, if you also want to have want to load up gears for fishing and all then you need to look for folding kayak with enough weight capacity.
How often do you Kayak?
It is one of the most important thing to consider before buying a folding kayak. If you are frequent paddler and would be folding and unfolding your kayak more often then it may create problem.
As most of the folding kayaks last for certain number of folds and may became inefficient after reaching that number. However, still there are some of the foldable ‘yaks that are going to last for longer and are quiet durable but not as much as a hardshell ordinary kayak. Because folding causes the creases and it weaken the entire structure of the kayak.
Comfort and Ease of Use
Another factor to consider before getting yourself a folding ‘yak is considering the comfort level and ease of use. Comfort level is very important to consider as you will be sitting for few hours of the day in your kayak and there are variety of options available for you to choose from.
I have listed some of the best portable kayaks for below which offer utmost comfort level.
Ease of use is another factor to consider, you need to see how easy it is to assemble a kayak and take it for paddling. You need to make sure while buying a collapsible kayak that it does not take more than 20 minutes to assemble it. It can be judged by seeing the number of sections that are required to assembled.
The last factor that every one of us consider while making any type of purchase and that is about the budget. You need to see a best collapsible kayak for budget that does not cost you much and carries all the features. You should definitely opt for cheap folding kayak, if you are new to kayaking and just starting.
Pros And Cons Portable Kayaks
- They are easy to store and transport to or from the water.
- Kayaking become accessible to people who do not have garages or stores as they can easily fit into apartments.
- Folding ‘yaks are light in weight. Does not require any additional tools to assemble folding kayak.
- Very easy to assemble and takes less time as compared to inflatable kayaks.
- They are bit expensive as compared to traditional kayaks.
- Not as much durable as normal hardshell kayak.
- Assembling can be a tiring work and require practice to do it faster.
- These are not good for speeding.
- Does not require much storage space.
- May require more maintenance.
Folding Kayak vs Inflatable Kayak?
There is a bit confusion between people about Folding kayak and an inflatable kayak. Usually, these both are considered as same; however, there are few fundamental differences which makes them unique.
One most common different is that; folding ‘yaks are folded whereas inflated kayaks are inflated. As far storage is concerned then these both kayaks are easy to store. However, both have their pros and cons.
It takes little lesser time to setup a folding vessel as compared to the inflated one. Usually, an inflatable kayak takes around 15 to 20 minutes to get ready for the paddling whereas a foldable kayak takes hardly 2 minutes for setup.
Another point is about drying. You need to dry an inflatable kayak before storing it. You need to spend sometime on it for drying. Whereas, folding kayaks are dried pretty easily – put them on sun and use a towel to dry it out.
Mostly, inflatable kayaks are heavier than foldables; therefore, it is pretty hard to transport it from one place to another. So it is proven that kayaks which can be folded are pretty easy to transport as compared to inflatable.
As far the performance is concerned, foldable vessels are designed for high performance and better efficiency whereas inflatables are usually designed to spend a day out that’s it. However, inflatable kayaks are much stable in windy weather due to their heavy weight.
Overall, both of the kayaks have their pros and cons and it solely depends on your preferences and choices.
Conclusion – Should I buy Folding Kayak?
Folding Kayaks are perfect for you if yo are beginner and does not care much about speed. They are definitely a best choice for the paddlers who do have any specific storage space as these can be fit into a small space. I have list some of the best folding kayaks above for you along with their all features based on which rational decision can be taken.
I am sure you are going to find the best portable kayak in my list and get one for yourself. Don’t forget to share it with others!