The Lightweight Foldable Kayak You Didn’t Know You Needed
Oru’s latest design can be assembled in under two minutes—one, with practice—and weighs just 18 pounds.
Oru, a leader in the kayak industry known for its lightweight, foldable products, has unveiled its most portable and agile flatwater kayak yet.
The Lake, the latest kayak from the brand based in Emeryville, California, can be assembled in under two minutes—one, with practice—and weighs just 18 pounds, or, about the weight of two fully grown cats. Inflatable variants aside, these specs make the Lake one of the lightest foldable kayaks in the world.
To maximize portability, Oru built the 9-foot-long, 32-inch-wide, open-cockpit kayak using just two loose components that can be easily assembled through a few simple folds and the clipping of three buckles.
First, a single sheet of double-layered polypropylene is used to form the kayak’s puncture- and abrasion-resistant shell, which uses a translucent skin so you can enjoy seeing the water below. This section, when folded, conveniently doubles as the Lake’s box as well.
Next, deviating from past models that necessitate user installation of bulkheads to add structural integrity, Oru’s second piece is a folded floorboard, built to maintain rigidity of the kayak, that comes with a built-in memory foam seat.
“The defining principle of this boat is simplicity, both in terms of customer accessibility and design ethos,” Oru founder and Chief Design Officer Anton Willis said in a release. “Eliminating things is difficult, especially when we’re committed to the same standards of durability and user experience as our performance models. However, we make origami kayaks, and this boat is the essence of that—it’s the most purely ‘origami’ thing we’ve ever made.”
The resulting product, which is 33% faster and similar in size to Oru’s next smallest boat, the Inlet, is one that can be transported and enjoyed by all ages. And, thanks to the kayak’s compactness and a collapsible paddle that can be stowed inside the boat itself, as many as three Lake models can be tucked away in a space the size of a car trunk. The build, the company release said, is “as close to single-sheet origami art as possible.”
In an effort to match cost with the model’s simplicity, Oru, which launched in 2012, put a $699 price tag on the Lake, about $200 less than Oru’s next most affordable model. However, the Lake, which is set for a wider launch later this year, is currently available via Kickstarter in packages that start at just $499. The reasonable price “provides an opportunity for more people to own a beautiful, highly functional piece of durable origami design that will provide years of on-water joy,” the release said.
Additional accessories include items such as a carrying bag, padded handles and footrests, skid plates and mini fairings, LED lights, and more.