8 Best Foldable Kayak Reviews

8 Foldable Kayaks - Best Folding Kayaks
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    Kayaking is an expedient experience that can give you the desired adrenaline rush. Transporting a kayak to or from the water and storing it can be a hassle. Quite a number of people avoid kayaking because of the hassle that comes with carrying and storing their heavy kayaks.  

    In order to solve this, the revolution of folding Kayak was birthed. Picking from the varieties of folding kayaks can get tricky fast. Hence, this is to enlighten you about the key things to note in picking a highly utilizable Kayak. There are key factors to consider in getting the best portable/foldable kayak for you. 

    They include:

    • Assembly Time
    • Storage
    • Durability
    • Weight

    You might have considered getting an Inflatable Kayak instead, but foldable ones are sometimes better, less bulky and more portable than Inflatable Kayak. Also, there’s no need to inflate or deflate the Folding Kayaks.

    What Is A Fold Up Kayak?

    Foldable kayaks are built for portability and convenience. The name purely suggests the ease of folding the kayak and storing it into the trunk of your car without the need to have a trolley or car rack. Also, they can be folded into a small suitcase size and stored in your apartment. 

    They are a better option than inflatable kayaks as you do not have to inflate or deflate the kayak before using which saves time and energy. Folding kayaks only require you to unfolding it and you are good to go. Most of these kayaks are UV protected making them durable.

    This concept has been around for over a century, beginning with skin-on-frame kayaks which is a direct descendant of the original Inuit Kayak made of animal skins stretched over frames made from wood and bones. 

    A modern folding kayak has a collapsible frame made of a combination of wood, aluminum and plastic, and a skin made of a tough fabric with a waterproof coating. To be unsinkable, most have integral air chambers inside the hull. Find below the frame of a Klepper America kayak, the AE-I-450.

    Frame of a Klepper America kayak, the AE-I-450

    The Evolution of Folding Kayaks

    Skin-on-frame folding kayaks are highly strong and have stood the test of time with its setup being quick, despite a solid and rigid frame. Ideally, folding kayaks are made of canvas or nylon skins stretched over wood or aluminum frames. 

    Newer innovations have allowed designers to make use of interlocking panels and fold patterns to create strong folding kayaks. In effect, it allows more of a collapsible kayak making for quick setup of the kayak.

    Who Should Buy a Folding Kayak?

    If you’re down on storage space or you do not access to a garage for storage or you are up a flight of stairs or what inconveniences have you, then you should get a folding kayak. 

    Wondering if folding kayaks are only for people without storage spaces or houses or vehicles to transport? No, as a lot of kayakers choose a folding kayak for performance and responsiveness. 

    In comparison to hard-shell, rigid boat, folding kayaks have a frame that can give a slight flex in response to the water, enhancing the touring experience.

    Benefits

    • There would be no need for storage space as opposed to un-folding kayaks
    • There would be no need for a roof rack or a trailer for storage or transporting as the case may be.
    • You do not have to rent kayaks again if you can have yours without having to bother about portability and storage.
    • It packs up with camping gear.
    • It is great for apartments & RVs.
    • It fits in the trunk of a car.
    • It definitely hits all the fishing spots.
    • It is made comfortable for kids and dogs to ride alongside you.
    • It would not pop like an inflatable and so you do not have to bother about being stuck in waters.

    Features include:

    • It is highly stable in waters due to the incorporation of a wide flat bottom
    • I t has a retractable tracking fin
    • It comes with an adjustable back-support seat
    • The foot rest is also adjustable
    • It has an open cockpit and lots of leg room.
    • It weighs about 28pounds
    • It is rated 1,000’s of folds
    • It has a three year warranty
    Folding Kayak Detailed Review

    How To Choose A Folding Kayak

    Earlier portable kayaks used to be very expensive and a very few amount of people used to have them. This was due to lack of space for storage of a normal kayak and or racks/sections. 

    Its need for transportation could be a bother. Choosing a folding kayak requires paying of a keen attention to few factors as follows:

    • Purpose & Reason for Buying!

    Before purchasing a folding kayak, you ask yourself a question. Why this type of kayak? For what use?  If it is for recreational paddling, speed and length is not on your priority list, then the Kayak is good to go.

    However, if you also want to have to load up gears for fishing, all you need to look for in a folding kayak is its weight capacity.

    • How often do you Kayak?

    In buying, how often would you be kayaking should be a highly considered as it is one of the most important thing to consider before buying a folding kayak. If you are frequent paddler, folding and unfolding your kayak more than often may create problem. 

    How?  Most of the folding kayaks last for certain number of folds such as 1,00folds. However, there are some of the foldable kayaks that are going to last for longer and are quite durable, although, not as much as a hard-shell ordinary kayak. This is because folding causes the creases and it weaken the entire structure of the kayak.

    • Comfort and Ease of Use

    Another important factor for consideration would be the level of comfort level and ease of use. The comfort level is highly important to consider as you would be sitting for few hours of the day in your kayak and thus, there are variety of options available for you to choose from..

    Ease of use is key when it comes to assembling the kayak and taking it for paddling. Thus, the need to see how easy it is to assemble a kayak and take it for paddling to ensure it is convenient and easy for you. 

    While buying ensure it does not take more than 20 minutes to assemble it. This can be judged by seeing the number of sections required to assemble.

    • Your Budget

    This should be the very first factor you consider in purchasing because it is about the budget. You would need to see a best collapsible kayak for budget that does not cost you so much yet carries all the features. If you are new to kayaking and just starting, you should definitely opt for a cheap folding kayak.

    8 Best Folding Kayaks

    1. CoastXT Foldable Sit In Kayak

    CoastXT Foldable Kayak

    It is made for serious tough kayakers. It is created in such a way that stays stable even in rough waters. It has ensured premium stability, speed, and handling for CoastXT. It takes you less than 5 minutes to setup a CoastXT kayak.

    To ensure the durability, it goes under extensive testing, rated at 20,000 folds. It comes with a carrying case making it easy to carry from one place to another. It comes with a 12-month warranty and a 30day get your money back guarantee.

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Best Use: Sea Kayaking
    • Length: 16 feet
    • Width: 25 inches
    • Weight: 36 pounds
    • Cockpit Size: 30 x 16 inches
    • Seat Type: Padded/Foam
    • Number of Paddlers: 1-person
    • Paddle included: No
    • Tracking System: None
    • Packed Dimensions: 33 x 30 x 12 inches
    • Sustainability: Contains recycled materials
    • Material: Custom polypropylene and rust-resistant hardware
    • Maximum Capacity: 400 pounds
    • Setup Time: 10 to 15minutes
    • It can be folded to the size of large suitcase.
    • UV protected

    2. Oru Kayak BayST (Makes For An Excellent 1 Person Foldable Fishing Kayak)

    Oru Kayak BayST Foldable Kayak

    It is one of the best kayaks available. It is highly stable for beginners and maneuvers smoothly in the water. It takes under 5 minutes to construct this kayak which makes it more practical. It goes through extensive durability testing which is rated at 20,000 folds.

    There is also a storage space to store your extra gears. For comfort, there are adjustable footrests and a padded seat. There is a 12-month warranty and 30-day money back guarantee. It is lightweight.

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Best Use: Flatwater Kayaking
    • Length: 12 inches
    • Weight: 28 pounds
    • Width: 25inches
    • Depth: Unavailable
    • Cockpit Size: 30 x 16
    • Seat Type: Padded/Foam
    • Number of paddlers: 1-person
    • Paddle included: No
    • Material: Custom polypropylene and rust-resistant hardware
    • Maximum Capacity: 300 pounds
    • Setup time: 10 to15 minutes
    • Tracking System: None
    • Foldable: Yes
    • Packed Size: 33 x 12 x 29 inches

    3. MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Kayak

    MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Kayak

    It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and it can be folded again under less than 5 minutes. The quality is up to the mark. It features two seats making it a folding tandem kayak and it is highly wonderful for couples to go out in the water and enjoy. 

    It is very light in weight making it easy to transport to or from the water. It is made up of a custom polypropylene with a 15 year UV treatment, rated at 20,000 folds. It is TUV performance and quality assurance tests certified. 

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Length: 14.5inches
    • Width: 35inches
    • Weight: 52pounds
    • Packed Size: 40 x 27 x 9
    • Item Dimension:  37 x 8 x 25inches
    • Seat Type: Padded/Foam
    • Number of Paddlers: 2-person
    • Paddle included: No
    • Material: Custom polypropylene
    • Maximum Capacity: 440pounds
    • Setup Time: 10minutes

    4. Oru Folding Kayak Beach LT Portable Kayak (Good Light Weight Kayak)

    It is built to perform and offer a great performance. It is perfect for calm water like bays, lakes and rivers, making it an excellent choice for beginners and experts.

    It takes about 5 minutes to assemble the kayak. It is highly durable and it passed the extensive strength test. It is easy to transport and it offers great performance and stability while you maneuver in the water. 

    Model & Accessory Specs

    •  Best Use: casual paddling lakes and river
    • Length: 12inches
    • Weight: 26pounds
    • Dimension (folded): 33 x 12 x 29 inches
    • Material: Custom polypropylene and rust-resistant hardware
    • Maximum Capacity: 300lbs

    5. Folbot Full Expedition Package

    Folbot Full Expedition Package Edisto Model Folding Kayaks

    This is another complete package with lots of side accessories. Its accessory kit is easy to install. You would need to place over your kayak and attach with fastener. The foot rudder can be installed at the stern easily and it also comes with foot controls which help it retract from damage in shallow water.

    Its full deck attaches to washboard keep water out of the cockpit. Available is the wilderness repair kit in case of emergency. For the protection of the hull, there is an additional padding for the bottom of your keel. 

    You should consider this kayak if you are spending handsomely on securing a folding kayak for yourself. It is easy to install, highly durable, light weight and water resistant.

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Weight: 7.3 pounds
    • Dimensions: 55.88 x 15.24 x 55.88cm; 3.31kilograms
    • Batteries included: No

    6. Folbot Recreational Citibot Foldable Kayak

    It is very lightweight, designed for recreational paddling. It can be used for bays, lakes and rivers. Its frame offers great support for tracking. It has a less than 10-minute assemblage time. 

    Its hull is designed to absorb the little shocks and damages. It is UV protected which in effect makes it a durable portable kayak. It is folded into a small bag and takes very little space for storage.

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Best Use: Flat water Kayaking
    • Length: 10inches
    • Width: 34inches
    • Depth: 13inches
    • Weight: 24pounds
    • Cockpit Size: 30 x 16 inches
    • Seat Type: inflatable
    • Number of Paddlers: 1-person
    • Paddled included: No
    • Tracking System: None
    • Packed Dimensions: 35 x 18 x 10 inches
    • Foldable: Yes
    • Maximum Capacity: 210pounds

    7. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

    ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak

    This is another one of the best yet loved portable kayaks by Advanced Elements, designed to perform in universal water condition. The cockpit is spacious enough giving room to the angler. 

    Its aluminum bow and stern ribs help in better paddling and complete control over the kayak. It is really fast to inflate and deflate this amazing kayak. It is an improved version of folding and inflatable kayak. It is very lightweight but still it has a great weight capacity. It can hold up to 250 lbs. 

    It features 4 air chamber which is a safety feature in case of an emergency. The experience of this inflatable foldable kayak is definitely similar to any hard-shell kayak.

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Best Use: Flat water
    • Length:  10feet 5inches
    • Width: 34inches
    • Depth: 11.5inches
    • Seat type: Padded/Foam
    • Number of Paddlers: 1-person
    • Paddle included: No
    • Weight: 36pounds
    • Packed Dimensions: 30 x 17 x 10inches
    • Material: PVC-coated triple-layer polyester
    • Maximum Capacity: 300pounds
    • Setup Time: 10 minutes

    8. Tucktec Folding Kayak

    Tucktec Folding Kayak

    This is one of the most affordable kayaks available. It is built from a single sturdy sheet of plastic. It is a more durable alternative to inflatable kayaks within its price range. It performs similar to the hard-shell kayak. 

    It is best for calm days with little wind, it is agile, track straight. It is made for recreational kayakers. You can also swap the seat for a more comfortable alternative as desired.

    It comes with a unique Hull Identification Number. It is quick and easy to set up, in six clamps, you are on water. It is built to take a beating. It is made from 1/8” thick and solid HDPE. Its carbon-fiber reinforced fold lines will not tear, puncture or split.

    It is rated for 1000’s of folds. It withstands rocks and river bottoms. It is carbon-fiber reinforced. It is puncture proof. It is perfect for camping, apartments and RVs or for anyone who loves outdoor adventure, and the ability to get on the water anytime, anywhere. 

    It is durable, portable and solid. It folds up to stow anywhere and fully sets up in 2minutes. Amazing right?

    Model & Accessory Specs

    • Best Use: Camping
    • Length: 9 feet 8 inches
    • Weight: 28pounds
    • Paddle included: No
    • Seat Type: Adjustable High-back seat
    • Setup Time: 2 to 15minutes
    • Material: 1/8inches thick solid HDPE
    • Weight Capacity: 300pounds
    • It is very affordable
    • It is strong

    Worthy Mention

    9. Oru Haven TT (2 Person Folding Tandem Kayak)

    Oru Haven TT (2 Person Folding Tandem Kayak)

    This awesome foldable kayak was built specifically for two. It’s an impeccable folding tandem kayak with a high performance and unmatched portability. It’s now been upgraded with extra-sturdy straps, reinforced rails, and buckles.

    Weight: 41 lbs (18.6 Kg)
    Length: 16’1″ (490 Cm)
    Width: 33″ (84 Cm)
    Max paddler height: 6′ 6″ (198 Cm)
    Weight capacity: 500 lbs (226 Kg)
    Set-up time: 10-15 minutes

    Folding VS Inflatable Kayak: Which One?

    People get confused when it concerns folding kayak and an inflatable kayak. Ideally, they are considered the same. However, there are few fundamental differences which make them unique.

    Most importantly, the common difference is that; folding kayaks are folded whereas inflated kayaks are inflated. Both kayaks are easy to store. Nevertheless, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    It takes little lesser time to setup a folding kayak as compared to the inflated one. Ideally, an inflatable kayak takes around 15 to 20 minutes to get ready for the paddling whereas a foldable kayak hardly takes 2 minutes for setup.

    An inflatable kayak needs to be dried before storage. Hence, the need to spend some time for drying it. Meanwhile, folding kayaks are dried pretty easily by putting them under the sun and making use of a towel to dry it out.

    Most times, inflatable kayaks are heavier than folding kayaks. It is proven that kayaks which can be folded are pretty easy to transport as compared to inflatable.

    As far the performance is concerned, folding kayaks are designed for high performance and better efficiency whereas inflatable kayak are ideally created to spend a day out and that’s it. Inflatable kayaks are stable in windy weather due to their heavy weight.

    Overall, both of the kayaks have their advantages and disadvantages and it solely depends on your preference and choice.

    Should I buy a Folding Kayak?

    Folding Kayaks are perfect for you if you are beginner who does not necessarily care much about speed. They are a best choice for the paddlers who do have any specific storage space as these can be fit into a small space. 

    Step By Step Process For Building A Folding Kayak

    Mostly the instructions for building a folding kayak may be different for each Kayak. However, each Kayak comes with an instruction manual to guide you. The hull of the kayak is formed by the carrying container. After the removal of the separate parts like the seat(s) then, the other part can be folded. The steps below should be a guide to you.

    Step 1: Open the Box and Lay it out!

    You should un-box the kayak and lay out the large section that is given inside that. The large section would form the hull of folding kayak.

    Step 2: Now install the footrest

    The footrest needs to be installed. However, make sure that your kayak has the footrest option.  The instruction guide or manual would enable you get the exact idea of how to install footrest for your kayak.

    Step 3: Close the Bow and Stern

    You close the bow by folding the corresponding section to the upward direction. Then, tighten the straps, fold the sides over the footrest and center near the cockpit.

    After the closing of the bow you need to close the stern. Thus, the tightening of the straps at the end of the stern. In the case of the existence of a buckle head, then you need to make sure that it is installed before doing the whole stern.

    Step 4: Assemble the Cockpit

    As the hull is done from the front and back, you would need to place the floorboard into the cockpit. It would provide a floor to your kayak and will be given separately. After which you would need to install the seats as per the instructions given in the manual.

    Folding or Packing it back

    Once you are done with kayaking or paddling, folding it again or packing it may be a hassle. Thus, a reverse of the steps above and you’re done.  All you need do is to reverse the above steps and you are done. Below is a quick guide on it too.

    Firstly, you remove the seats, the flooring, loosen the straps on bow and stern, and remove the buck head and footrest. You would need to fold the bow and then the stern section with the help of your knee. 

    Now, ensure you fold both bow and stern together so that they are side by side, giving you a box like shape. Lastly, use the straps to secure it and you are done packing up.  

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Portable Kayaks

    Advantages

    • They are very easy to store and transport to or from the water.
    • With this, kayaking has become accessible to people who do not have garages or stores as they can easily fit into apartments.
    • Folding kayaks are light in weight and as such, it does not require any additional tools in assembling a folding kayak.
    • It is highly easy to assemble and takes less time as compared to inflatable kayaks.

    Disadvantages

    • They are more expensive as compared to traditional kayaks.
    • It is not as durable as a normal hard-shell kayak.
    • Assembling can be a tiring work as it would require practice to do it faster.
    • These kayaks are not good for speeding.
    • It does not need much storage space.
    • It may require more maintenance.

    In shopping, reading through folding kayak reviews is pertinent to identifying the right one for you.  Consultation with other kayakers you know who own or have tried a folding kayak and reading reviews to learn about the setup, maintenance, and performance is key. 

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