The 4 Best Folding Kayaks of 2019 [Reviewed] – Top Models

Do you love to travel far and wide with your kayak? Purchasing the best folding kayak helps you explore the outdoors in ease and comfort.

The benefits of folding kayaks include being lightweight, small and compact for transportation. Top folding kayaks on the market today offer similar performance levels as regular kayaks. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pick one that suits your indivuidual kayaking preferences.

To help you choose, here’s a look at some of the best folding kayaks available in 2019.

4 Top Folding Kayaks on the Market

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Kayak

Weight Capacity

Length

Set-Up Time

Price

best folding kayak Elevens Cruise Plus Foldable Kayak 200 lbs 12.8 feet 10 min Check Current Price
best folding kayak Oru Kayak Bay ST Kayak 300 lbs 12 feet 20-45 min Check Current Price
best folding kayak Oru Kayak Beach LT 300 lbs 12 feet 5-10 min Check Current Price
best folding kayak MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Portable Canoe 200 lbs 14 feet 10 min Check Current Price

Before deciding on the best folding kayak for you, there are a few key points to consider.

These include ease of assembly, weight capacity, storage options and durability. Let’s dive in and take a detailed look at the options.

Choose the Best Folding Kayak for You

1. Elevens Cruise Plus Foldable Kayak

If you’re looking for a sporty kayak that lets you turn sharply and pick up speed, Elevens Cruise Plus could be the best folding kayak for you. It only takes 10 minutes to assemble, so it also gets you out on the water in a flash.

 

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At only 30 pounds, this kayak is super easy to transport. It’s guaranteed to last at least 10,000 folds and it’s also sturdy on the water for a solid paddle.

Speaking of durability, the Cruise Plus is built from double-ply FRPP. Therefore, it holds up well with regular use in salt water and is resistant to UV rays from the sun.

Perhaps best of all, when you’re a regular kayaker, this kayak doesn’t require any tools to assemble.

More on Elevens Cruise Plus Foldable Kayak

Additionally, the included extras with the Cruise Plus are a huge bonus. The kayak comes with a paddle, a storage bag, a cup holder and a cellphone mount. For safety, you’ll receive a life vest which is in keeping with a high-performance kayak.

Features

  • 10-minute set-up
  • Great stability
  • Fast on the water
  • 30 pounds for easy transport
  • Extras included
  • Durable and weather-resistant

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2. Oru Kayak Bay ST Kayak

Oru is known for making great foldable kayaks and the Bay ST is one of the most popular. It’s best for use on day trips and camping excursions, plus, it’s stable enough for beginners.

 

The length and beam measurements allow this kayak to handle very difficult currents. In fact, the Oru Bay ST has been tested in Class III Rapids, which are moderately difficult. However, it’s really only recommended for Class II Rapid use.

Further Review of the Oru Kayak

This kayak has been made from polypropylene and has a 10 year UV treatment. It’s also said to be able to withstand 20,000 folds. All of this means, that although this is a foldable kayak made of very lightweight plastic, it should stand the test of time.

To back the claim that this kayak can hold up to any challenge, it comes with a warranty for one year. This warranty applies to defects from the manufacturing process.

Finally, the weight capacity of this kayak is decent, at three hundred pounds.

How To Set Up Oru Kayak’s Origami Bay ST

An impressive aspect of the Bay ST is that the kayak IS the box it comes in. In other words, when you take the top off the box, you later use the box for the floorboard.

Inside the box, you’ll find six zipper channels, the stern bulkhead, the seat cushion, and backrest. You simply unfold the box and you have a kayak. The next step is to tighten the straps on the kayak, and then begin applying the zipper channels.

The zipper channels are pieces of heavy duty plastic which slide over the seams of the kayak. These zipper channels seal the kayak hull to prevent water from coming in. That being said, these are the most difficult part of assembling this kayak. You must be sure not to force the zipper channels, as this can break the channels or seams.

There are several more straps which must be tightened, and various parts fit into the kayak cockpit.

Features

  • One year Manufacturer Warranty
  • Can fold up to 20,000 times
  • Polypropylene
  • 10 year UV treatment
  • Lightweight
  • Kayak is the carrying box – no extra pieces to store
  • 20-45 minutes of setup time
  • Two bulkheads
  • 28 pounds

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3. Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak

Another kayak designed by the team at Oru, the Beach LT is sleek and stylish. Coming in at 12 feet in length and 28 inches wide, it’s a little wider and shorter than the Bay ST. This is a great choice for a casual paddle and daytrips, with simple features designed for both beginners and serious paddlers.

 

 

The additional width makes this boat very stable on the water, although it’s not suitable for rough conditions.

Beach LT is also called Oru’s friendlist kayak. The reason for this is because it’s incredibly easy to put together. The Oru kayak website boasts that it is a 3 minute assembly, but most new users take between 15 and 30 minutes. The average amount of time for experienced users is 10 minutes.

This kayak, like all of the Oru kayaks, comes with a one year warranty on the manufacturing. This means that if the UV protected polypropylene wears out or the straps break, the company will replace it.

Just like the Bay ST, this kayak has a weight capacity of three hundred pounds, allowing for you to haul quite a bit of your gear in your kayak.

How To Set Up Oru Kayak’s BeachLT

Just like the BayST, the BeachLT is the actual container it comes in. The lid of the box becomes the floorboard of the cockpit. Inside the box are the seat cushion, the backrest and both bulkheads.

The box which is the actual body of the kayak. You place the bulkhead in the bow section, fold the bow together, then tighten it with a ratchet and snap system. While this is definitely easier to use than the zipper channels of the BayST, it requires a some strength and dexterity to seal this bow and stern as needed.

After creating the bow, you place the floorboard into slots on the side of the cockpit. These sides fold over so that the cockpit has doubled walls. There is a bungee cord on the floorboard and seat cushion slides under this. Then the backrest clicks into another piece of the floorboard.

Keep in mind, the backrest can be adjusted up and down, but not forward and backward. There is also an adjustable footrest in the bow of the yak. After completing the cockpit, you repeat the bow process with the stern.

As you can see, this is still a decently long process. However, after assembling it several times you should have the process down quickly.

Features

  • 20,000 folds
  • UV protected polypropylene
  • One year warranty
  • Assembling is fast
  • Backrest can be adjusted up and down
  • Kayak is also the carrying
  • No zipper channels
  • Fairings
  • Wide beam
  • Two bulkheads
  • 26 pounds

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4. MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Portable Canoe

If you’re looking for something a little different,  the patented MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Portable Canoe is unique in its origami design. This kayak is very easy to unpack in 10 minutes and refold in 5 minutes.

 

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With a Canadian-style appearance and the ability to withstand up to 20,000 folds and unfolds, it’s a great choice for kayaking travelers. As it fits in a suitcase-style box, you can store it in the trunk or take it on buses, trains and planes.

In terms of durability, this kayak offers a double-layer marine-grade custom manufactured polypropylene hull.

Though it’s not made for serious rapids, you can happily take this touring canoe on flat water rivers, lakes and canals. It should withstand very low-level rapids and slight changes in water conditions.

More on the MYCANOE 2.5 Oragami Folding Portable Canoe

Additionally, this 14-foot kayak offers two seats so you can share the kayaking experience with family and friends.

You’ll find plenty of storage space for a foldable kayak, for a cooler, camping gear or picnic snacks. As an added bonus, this model comes with a rowing system and a pair of oars.

Features

  • 10-minute set up, 5-minute pack up
  • Durable polypropylene material
  • UV treated
  • Lasts up to 20,000 folds
  • Two seats
  • Lightweight
  • Safety certified
  • Award-winning design

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How to Buy a Folding Kayak

Folding Kayak

When purchasing a folding kayak, the biggest consideration is how easy it is to assemble. It’s also important to take note of how durable it is, if the kayak has storage options and if you can transport it in a way that makes travel simple for you.

Ease of Assembly

Once you get your foldable kayak to the water, putting it together needs to be an easy process. If you come across too many problems, you may find yourself trekking back and forth between your vehicle or breaking parts out of frustration.

Check the assembly instructions before purchasing, to ensure you’re getting the best folding kayak for you. Make sure the instructions are clear and simple, with a quick projected fold and unfold process.

Durability

Durability is obviously a major factor in these kayaks. Foldable kayaks are made from different materials that contribute to durability.

One is Elvaloy, a polymer, which means that it’s made of multiple materials blended together. Elvaloy is different from other polymers because it has PVC added into it. This increases the durability of it.

Polypropylene is another polymer, but this polymer includes propylene. Propylene is an industrial grade product which, like the PVC, creates more durability. Polypropylene is commonly considered more durable than Elvaloy.

Finally polyurethane fabric is unique, as there is no one specific addition to make it stronger. It simply combines polymers and urethane. Of the three, this is the least durable.

Storage and Weight

One of the main reasons kayakers purchase foldable kayakers is the ease of storage and because of how light they are to transport.

It needs to be easy to tuck your kayak away in a small apartment, in the back of your vehicle or on other forms of transport. Check the storage bag to ensure it fits your needs, with regard to travel with your kayak.

In terms of weight, around 30 pounds is generally considered light, depending on your own needs and capabilities.

Our Final Review for the Best Folding Kayak

Finally, ask yourself these questions, before you purchase the best folding kayak for you:

Is the kayak easy to assemble?

Will the kayak be durable enough for regular use?

Is the kayak easy to store and light enough to transport?

Will the kayak’s performance level be good enough for my experience?

Once you’ve taken everything into consideration, you’re sure to find a fantastic yak to suit your needs. When you’re looking for places to go, in order to try it out, check out Bucket List Kayaking Destinations Across the Globe. 

What’s your favorite folding kayak? Share with us in the comments!

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