Kayaking can be such an exhilarating experience, but let’s face it – carrying and storing a heavy kayak can be a real hassle. Lucky for us, kayak manufacturers came up with a game-changing idea: folding kayaks!
Now, there are a ton of folding kayak options out there, so choosing the best one can be a bit tricky. That’s why I’m here to share a list of the best folding kayaks with you.
When it comes to choosing a portable kayak, there are a few important factors to consider, like assembly time, weight, storage, and durability. I’ve taken all of these factors into account when reviewing the best portable kayaks out there.
You may have heard of inflatable kayaks, but personally, I think portable kayaks are the way to go. They’re less bulky and more convenient than inflatable kayaks since you don’t have to inflate or deflate them before use.
So, if you’re looking for the best folding kayak for your kayaking adventures, stick with me and I’ll help you find the perfect one!
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
How We Selected the Best Folding Kayaks: Our Extensive Research Process
At Kayak Review Online, we take our product recommendations seriously, and our selection of the best folding kayaks was no exception. Our team of experienced kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts spent hours researching and testing different models, looking for the ones that offered the best combination of performance, durability, and convenience.
Checkout: Best Kayaks
- First, we scoured online reviews and ratings from verified buyers and outdoor experts to identify the top folding kayaks on the market. We looked for kayaks that consistently received high marks for quality, performance, and ease of use, as well as those with features that set them apart from the competition.
- Next, we narrowed down our list to the top contenders and conducted hands-on tests to evaluate their performance in real-world conditions. We took each kayak out on the water and tested its stability, maneuverability, and speed, paying close attention to how easy it was to paddle and how comfortable it was to sit in.
- We also looked closely at the build quality and durability of each kayak, examining the materials used, the strength of the seams and joints, and the overall construction. We wanted to make sure that the kayaks we recommended would hold up to regular use and provide reliable performance over time.
- Finally, we considered the overall value of each kayak, taking into account its price, features, and performance relative to other models on the market. We looked for kayaks that offered the best combination of quality and affordability, so that our readers could be confident that they were getting a great value for their money.
- After weeks of research and testing, we narrowed down our list to the best folding kayaks on the market, and we’re confident that our recommendations will help you find the perfect kayak for your needs. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, these kayaks offer the perfect balance of performance, durability, and convenience, so that you can enjoy your time on the water to the fullest.
Folding Kayak Buyer Guide
Let’s first discuss the basics of buying a folding kayak guide and then move on to the list!
What is a Folding Kayak?
Folding kayaks are built for portability and convenience. As the name suggests, these kayaks can be easily folded and stored into the trunk of your car without requiring a trolley or car rack. They can be folded into a small suitcase size and can be stored in your apartment.
Our expert team suggests that folding kayaks are better than inflatables as they do not require inflating or deflating before use, saving time and energy. Folding kayaks only require unfolding, and you’re good to go – they’re much like hardshells. Most of the foldable kayaks are UV protected, making them durable.
How to Build a Folding Kayak and Pack It!
Building and packing a folding kayak may differ for each kayak type, and all instructions 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. To learn how to assemble an Oru kayak, you can watch the small video below.
Step 1: Open the Box & Lay it Out!
First, unbox the kayak and lay out the large section provided. The large section will form the hull of the folding kayak.
Step 2: Install the Footrest
Next, install the footrests, if your kayak has the option. You can check the instruction manual for exact instructions on how to install footrests for your kayak.
Step 3: Close the Bow & Stern
Close the bow by folding the corresponding section upward. Tighten the straps, then fold the sides over the footrest and center near the cockpit. After closing the bow, close the stern by tightening the straps at the end of the stern. If there is a bucklehead, make sure that it is installed before doing the whole stern.
Step 4: Assemble the Cockpit
Now that the hull is complete from the front and back, place the floorboard into the cockpit. It will provide a floor to your kayak and will be given separately. After that, install the seats according to the instructions given in the manual.
Folding or Packing It Back
Once you’re done kayaking or paddling and want to fold or pack it, simply reverse the above steps.
First, remove the seats and flooring, then loosen the straps on the bow and stern, remove the bucklhead and footrest. Next, fold the bow and then the stern section with the help of your knee. Finally, fold both bow and stern together so that they are side by side. Then, use the straps to secure it, and it’s done!
Video: Oru Beach LT Assembly
How To Choose A Folding Kayak
Earlier, portable kayaks used to be very expensive and only a few people could afford them due to the lack of space for storage or racks to transport them. However, with the introduction of folding kayaks, this has changed. Our experienced team of professional kayakers recommends considering a few factors before choosing a folding kayak, which we have discussed below for you:
Purpose & Reason for Buying
Before buying any kayak, you should ask yourself why you need this type of kayak. The same applies to folding kayaks. If you want to use your kayak for recreational paddling and speed and length are not a priority, then a folding kayak is a good option.
However, if you plan to load up your kayak with fishing gear, you need to look for a folding kayak with enough weight capacity. Our team of expert kayakers can help you choose the right folding kayak based on your needs.
How Often Do You Kayak?
It is essential to consider how often you kayak before buying a folding kayak. If you are a frequent paddler and will be folding and unfolding your kayak more often, it may create problems. However, our team can recommend durable folding kayaks that can last longer and withstand frequent folding.
Comfort and Ease of Use
Another factor to consider before getting yourself a folding kayak is the comfort level and ease of use. Our professional kayakers recommend considering comfort as you will be sitting in your kayak for a few hours. Our team can recommend some of the best portable kayaks below that 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. Our experienced team can help you find a collapsible kayak that takes less than 20 minutes to assemble.
Your budget is an essential factor to consider before making any purchase, and the same goes for folding kayaks. You need to find the best collapsible kayak for your budget that carries all the necessary features. You should opt for a cheap folding kayak if you are new to kayaking and just starting.
Pros and Cons of Portable Kayaks
- Portable kayaks are easy to store and transport to or from the water.
- They make kayaking accessible to people who do not have garages or stores.
- Folding kayaks are lightweight and do not require additional tools to assemble.
- They are very easy to assemble and take less time than inflatable kayaks.
- They are more expensive than traditional kayaks.
- They are not as durable as normal hardshell kayaks.
- Assembling can be a tiring work and requires practice to do it faster.
- They are not good for speeding.
- They require more maintenance.
Folding Kayak vs Inflatable Kayak?
There is a bit of confusion among people about folding kayaks and inflatable kayaks. Usually, these two are considered the same, but there are a few fundamental differences that make them unique.
One of the most common differences is that folding kayaks are folded, while inflatable kayaks are inflated. As far as storage is concerned, both kayaks are easy to store. However, they both have their pros and cons.
It takes a little less time to set up a folding vessel compared to an inflated one. Usually, an inflatable kayak takes around 15 to 20 minutes to get ready for paddling, whereas a foldable kayak takes hardly two minutes to set up.
Another point is about drying. You need to dry an inflatable kayak before storing it, which takes some time. Whereas, folding kayaks are dried pretty easily – put them in the sun and use a towel to dry them out.
Mostly, inflatable kayaks are heavier than foldables, making them challenging to transport from one place to another. It is proven that kayaks that can be folded are more comfortable to transport than inflatables.
As far as performance is concerned, foldable vessels are designed for high performance and better efficiency, whereas inflatables are usually designed for spending a day out. However, inflatable kayaks are much more stable in windy weather due to their heavy weight.
Overall, both kayaks have their pros and cons, and it solely depends on your preferences and choices.
Conclusion – Should I buy a Folding Kayak?
In conclusion, if you’re a beginner and speed isn’t your top priority, a folding kayak would be perfect for you. These kayaks are also ideal for paddlers who have limited storage space as they can be easily stored in a small area.
At Kayak Review Online, we understand the importance of investing in a quality kayak, which is why our expert team and professional kayakers have tested all the kayaks listed above. This ensures that we only recommend the best folding kayaks with top-notch features and reliable performance.
We are confident that you will find the perfect portable kayak for your needs from our list. Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends and family who might also be in the market for a new kayak. Happy paddling!