Looking for the best folding kayak to maximize space and fun?! You’ve come to the right place!
For many, being out in the water in a kayak provides a very peaceful experience. However, transporting a kayak from your house to the river can be difficult and leads many to pursue other outdoor activities instead.
With a folding kayak, however, transporting your kayak from your home to the water is extremely easy. Therefore, if you are tired of cramming your large, heavy kayaks into the back of your car or in the bed of your truck, then consider using a folding kayak, which easily folds up when not in use and unfolds back into a perfect, high quality kayak whenever it is needed.
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In this review guide, you will learn the benefits of using a collapsible kayak, how to choose the best type of folding kayak for you, what considerations you should make when choosing a foldable kayak and the six best folding kayaks on the market today.
The Benefits of a Folding Kayak
If you’ve never used a folding kayak, then you may be skeptical about the actual benefits of using one. Sure, the concept sounds great. But does a folding kayak actually work? The short answer: yes. The longer answer: absolutely, it’s fantastic! Here are the five main benefits you are certain to experience when switching from a traditional kayak to a foldable kayak.
Makes Carrying Your Kayak Easier
First and foremost, carrying your kayak will be much easier with a foldable kayak. Since you will be able to easily fold your kayak and store in a bag or easy to carry briefcase, you won’t have to deal with the frustrating process of loading your long, heavy kayak into your car or truck, carrying it down to the water, and then repeating the process as you take it back to your house. Instead, use a folding kayak and simply fold your kayak into an easy to carry bag or case when you are finished using it.
Since carrying your kayak will be much easier, you will be able to spend much more time out on the water and less time dealing with your kayak. Let’s face it, strapping your kayak to the top of your car or tying it into your truck takes time and requires planning ahead. With a folding kayak, however, it takes very little time to load the kayak into your car and unfold it when it is time to get in the water. The last thing you want to do on your kayaking trip, which is usually on your precious day off, is spend lots of time trying to properly strap your kayak to your car.
Bring Your Kayak with You Anywhere
If you travel a lot and love to kayak, you have probably found it frustrating at one point or another that you can’t take your kayak with you on road trips. Well, you can do exactly that with a folding kayak. Unlike a traditional kayak which requires a lot of car space and proper planning, a collapsible kayak is very easy to store in your car while on road trips and allows you to take it into your hotel room to avoid someone stealing it from your vehicle while you sleep. This is a feature not provided by traditional kayaks.
Easily Store Your Kayak
One of the most important factors to sustaining longevity with your kayak is to have it properly stored in a safe area. If you live an apartment or have limited space available at your home, then you know how difficult it can be to keep your kayaks away from harmful weather that can significantly damage them. A folding kayak, however, serves as the perfect solution to this dilemma. With a foldable kayak, you can easily store your kayak in your apartment, house or vehicle in order to keep it from being damaged during bad weather.
Have you ever noticed how electric or hybrid cars have a different design than traditional cars? In a similar fashion, folding kayaks have a unique design compared to traditional kayaks. With the unique, aesthetic design provided with most folding kayaks, you are sure to stand out while in the water. So be sure you are ready to answer questions from others kayaking around you about where you got your kayak and how you found one that looks so incredibly awesome.
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Understanding The Different Types of Foldable Kayaks
Not all folding kayaks are the same. Therefore, it is important to have a general understanding of the different types of folding kayaks in order to determine which type is best for your specific intentions.
First and foremost, you should determine whether you want a sit in or sit on top folding kayak. This is dependent in large part on where you plan to do your kayaking. If you plan to kayak in slow moving water, such as lakes and ponds, then you will be able to use a sit on top kayak much easier, which is better for fishing and getting out of your kayak to swim. On the other hand, a sit in kayak is recommended for fast moving water found in rivers and oceans.
Also, determine whether or not you will be kayaking alone or if you plan to have someone with you in your kayak. If you plan to have a partner with you, then be sure to purchase a two person kayak.
If you want to have your own kayak, then use a single person kayak and have your kayaking partners use their own single person kayak.
The two most popular forms of folding kayaks are inflatable kayaks and those made of polypropylene material. While they are both durable and work well while in the water, they have slight differences. The main difference is that an inflatable kayak will require you to pump it up, whereas a polypropylene kayak simply unfolds into a kayak.
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It’s important to have an understanding of your personal preference when choosing the best folding kayak as making the wrong choice can prove costly and lead to years of dealing with a kayak that isn’t best suited for you and your specific needs. As long as you know exactly what you want before starting your search, however, you can ensure you make the right choice and have a fantastic time out on the water every time.
How to Take Care of Your Folding Kayak
Since storing your kayak and keeping it away from harmful weather is much easier, taking care of a folding kayak is simpler than taking care of a traditional style kayak. With that said, there are certain care techniques that you should implement in order to ensure your foldable kayak lasts you for years without needing to be replaced.
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First and foremost, it is important to keep your kayak clean to prevent harmful chemicals found in water from damaging the exterior of your kayak. This can be prevented by simply washing your kayak once a week or after each use.
Also, failing to regularly clean your collapsible kayak can cause the color to begin to fade, which can significantly alter the aesthetic appeal of the kayak. Also, it’s important to repair any broken or damaged parts on your kayak as soon as possible. By doing so, you can prevent minor problems from developing into more serious issues that ultimately lead to the kayak needing to be replaced.
As long as you take the necessary precautions in order to keep your kayak in good condition, then you can ensure that your kayak lasts for years without needing to be replaced. Ensure you see a return on your initial investment, especially since many foldable kayaks tend to cost slightly more than traditional kayaks.
Ranking and Reviewing The Best Folding Kayaks
Not all folding kayaks are created equal. Although folding kayaks tend to be much more intelligently designed with higher quality material than traditional kayaks, there are folding kayaks on the market that blow the rest of the competition out of the water.
In this review guide, we will show you the six best folding kayaks on the market in 2018. We will discuss in depth the most important factors to look for when choosing the best folding kayak for you.
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The six features that we will prominently consider are: the quality of the design, the level of comfort, any additional features the foldable kayak may have, the ease of use, the overall durability of each individual kayak and, of course, the price. We will also give an overall recommendation of each kayak based on these six key factors.
While the quality and quantity of the reviews aren’t a direct discussion point, they do factor into the ranking and will be mentioned periodically throughout each review.
It is our hope that you find the best folding kayak for you personally. Also, remember to keep in mind your personal preference while searching for the perfect kayak. While all six kayaks on this list are fantastic options regardless, you should most certainly take into account your specific preferences in order to find the foldable kayak that is right for you. With that said, if you follow the advice presented in this review guide, you will be able to choose the perfect folding kayak for you personally and be able to easily carry your kayak to and from the water. Enjoy your time out on the water as well.
6 of the Best Folding Kayaks on the Market Now
Oru Kayak is famously known for creating some of the best foldable kayaks in the world. The Oru Kayak Beach is one of the most prized kayaks. Oru Kayaks utilized the work of origami in order to create this incredible folding kayak that is very easy to use both in and out of the water.
Just like with anything, you have to pay for quality. The Oru Kayak Beach LT is more expensive than the average kayak. With that said, it is far better than the average kayak. When considering the fantastic design, unmatched comfort and all the additional features this kayak offers, it is easy to see how it is well worth the high price.
What sets kayaks designed by Oru Kayak apart from other collapsible kayaks is the intelligent design that goes into its structure. Due to its origami like design, it is extremely easy to take the kayak out of the box and into the water in a matter of a few short minutes. When folded out, it has plenty of storage space and is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
If you’ve never used an Oru Kayak, you may be concerned about the level of comfort provided. Fear not, however. The Oru Kayak Beach LT is one of the most comfortable folding kayaks on the market. With a padded seat and plenty of leg space, you can comfortably stay out on the water for hours.
Aside from the origami like design, the Oru Kayak Beach LT has several other really cool features, including increased cockpit size to allow for ample leg room, a 10 year UV treatment to help protect the kayaks exterior appeal and several storage compartments to store fishing gear, first aid kits and much more.
Ease of Use
Let’s face it, some folding kayaks can be difficult to construct and use in the water. While some are too difficult to put together or are too difficult to navigate while in the water, the Oru Kayak Beach LT is simple to use both in and out of the water. Easily carry the kayak in a case and use it in the water without having to struggle to do so.
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The durability of the Oru Kayak Beach LT is unmatched in the folding kayak industry. Oru Kayak backs this product to be completely free of any manufacturing defects with a one year warranty, ensuring you enjoy your kayak for years without needing to replace or make any major repairs.
Overall, the Oru Kayak Bach LT is the best kayak on the market in 2018. Although the price is somewhat expensive, it is well worth it when considering the detailed manufacturing design that went into making this incredibly efficient kayak. It is perfect for those who are on the go and don’t have time to carry large kayaks with them.
The Oru Kayak BayST is another fantastic folding kayak that Oru Kayak offers. Although it does cost more than any other kayak on this list, it may be the absolute highest quality kayak on the market today. With a unique design, numerous features and an excellent durability, you can’t go wrong with the Oru Kayak BayST.
The Oru Kayak BayST is one of the more expensive options on the folding kayak market. However, if quality is your main concern and you want a foldable kayak that lasts for years without needing replacement, then this is the perfect kayak for you as it is both reliable and durable.
Like every Oru Kayak, the design is completely unmatched by its competition. With a construction that was motivated by origami, the Oru Kayak BayST can easily be unfolded and ready to put in the water in a moment’s notice. This kayak is also fantastic for navigating even the most difficult bodies of water without capsizing.
With a padded seat and back cushion, you can sit comfortably in the Oru Kayak BayST for hours without developing back pain, which can’t be said for many other foldable kayaks on the market today. At 12 feet in length, this folding kayak also provides ample amount of leg space.
The Oru Kayak BayST has all the features you can dream of out of your foldable kayak, including adjustable foot and backrests, half-deck rigging, small day hatch and ratchet buckles and carrying handles. If you are concerned with the bells and whistles, then this is the kayak for you.
Ease of Use
This foldable kayak is one of the easiest to assemble and can be done in just a few short minutes. With a quality design and easy to understand instruction guide, you don’t have to worry about a complicated assembly process. Foldable kayaks are supposed to be easy to carry and set up, and this kayak allows you to do just that.
The durability of the Oru Kayak BayST is amazing. While the price may be somewhat expensive, you are certain to get a return on your investment as this kayak will last you years without needing any major repairs. This kayak by Oru Kayaks is also backed with a one year warranty.
If you are looking for the highest quality collapsible kayak regardless of price, then the Oru Kayak BayST is the kayak for you. While the Oru Kayak Beach LT may be a better combination of price and quality, this kayak has a more intelligent design, more cool features and more certainty of durability than every other folding kayak on the market.
If you’re looking to find a kayak that is easy to carry while not breaking the bank to make it happen, an inflatable kayak is a fantastic way to achieve just that. The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market in 2018 and is available for an unbeatable price.
The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is one of the least expensive kayaks on the market today. What is astounding is the fact that it is very intelligently designed and is one of the highest quality inflatable kayaks on the market as well. If you’re looking for a good balance of quality and affordable price, then this is a great option.
Although many inflatable kayaks lack creative design, Intex went above and beyond with the design with the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. Made of welded material and eye catching graphics for added safety while on the water, you can feel safe and comfortable while kayaking.
The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is designed for both comfort and maximized space. Since the material is inflatable, you are certain to have a soft, padded backrest to keep you from developing back pain from being out on the water for long periods of time. Feel free to kick your feet up and comfortably enjoy a cold one in this fantastic inflatable kayak.
The only drawback to inflatable kayaks is they tend to not have many unique features, and the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is no different. With that said, this inflatable kayak offers an inflatable seat with a backrest, a cargo net to store extra gear, a durable paddle and an easy to use pump.
Ease of Use
Since inflatable kayaks are so lightweight, they are easy to carry to the water and use while in the water. The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak in particular is extremely easy to store and pump up once you get to the edge of the water. While in the water, you can maintain control of the kayak much better than you can with many other inflatable kayaks.
Every inflatable kayak has a chance of going flat, which is a problem that you don’t have to worry about with a more traditional kayak. However, inflatable kayaks, especially the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, isn’t as prone to deflation as many may believe. As long as you take care of your kayak and take the necessary precautions, this kayak should last you for several years before needing to be replaced.
If you’re wanting the absolute best inflatable kayak on the market today, then you won’t go wrong with the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. If you are on a budget, you won’t go wrong with the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. In other words, this is a fantastic kayak that is sure to provide exactly what you need.
The best part about the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is that it is a two person kayak, so you and your kayaking partner can kayak together, making the process much easier for both of you. Much like the Intex Challenger, this kayak is a fantastic balance of both price and quality of design.
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The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is one of the most affordable two-person kayaks on the market today. When compared to other inflatable kayaks of a similar price, it is easy to see that there isn’t another kayak under $100 that matches the quality and unique design found in the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak.
Like all Intex Kayaks, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has a unique design that provides extra comfort. This inflatable kayak is also designed with bright yellow colors for increased visibility in case of an emergency. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak also provides ample amount of leg space for both kayak partners.
This kayak includes an adjustable inflatable seat with backrests and a cockpit designed for comfort and space. While many other two person inflatable kayaks can leave each partner cramped for room with little seat flexibility, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak provides each person with maximum comfort and room to move around.
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak doesn’t come with an extensive amount of additional features, but it does provide each passenger with a set of aluminum oars and an adjustable padded backrest. It also comes with a high output air pump, which allows you to easily pump up the kayak once you get to the edge of the water.
Ease of Use
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is extremely easy to carry since it has a very lightweight nature. Also, since you can easily inflate the kayak once you get to the edge of the water, you can keep it stored during transport, which means you won’t have to cram a full sized kayak into your vehicle.
Although most manufacturers of inflatable kayaks aren’t able to achieve the durability they hope for, Intex provides customers with one of the most durable inflatable kayaks on the market. While you need to take the necessary precautions and the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak works best in smaller bodies of water such as lakes and mild rivers, you have little reason to doubt the longevity of this kayak.
If you want to save money and still get a quality, easy to carry kayak that both you and your kayaking partner can share, then the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is exactly what you need. At an extremely affordable price relative to its competition, this kayak is one of the best inflatable kayaks available today.
While the inflatable kayaks by Intex are reliable and are a great combination of price and quality of design, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 takes the quality of inflatable kayaks to the next level. With several different precautionary features that help prevent the kayak from deflating, this may be the most durable inflatable kayak on the market today.
As we have mentioned, the quality of the Sevylor Quikpak K1 is unmatched within the inflatable kayak industry. With that said, it does cost more than the average inflatable kayak. This kayak is still a fantastic combination of both price and quality of design. Backed by hundreds of quality reviews, you are certain to find value with this kayak.
It doesn’t take long to realize that Sevylor put a lot of thought and research into the design of the Quikpak K1. With an easy to carry backpack system, an even easier set up process and a construction involving multiple air chambers to prevent complete deflation of the kayak, you can use this kayak very easily and feel safe while doing it.
Depending on your preference, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 might even be more comfortable than the inflatable kayaks designed by Intex. This inflatable kayak by Sevylor comes with a padded, adjustable seat and a spacious foot area with multiple footrests. This kayak makes it easy to kick back and relax while enjoying a peaceful day out on the water.
Unlike most inflatable kayaks, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak actually offers some really cool features, including an easy to carry backpack, a high pressure pump, an airtight system that is guaranteed not to leak, multiple air valves to prevent deflation and multiple footrests that make relaxing much easier.
Ease of Use
This inflatable kayak is extremely easy to carry from your home to the edge of the water by providing a backpack that can easily fit the kayak. Once you get to the edge of the water, you can easily inflate the kayak in less than five minutes and be ready to enjoy a fantastic day out on the water.
The best part of the Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak is its durable construction. With multiple air chambers and an airtight system that is guaranteed not to leak, you don’t have to worry about the kayak going flat and sinking, regardless of the nature of the water you are in. If you want the most reliable inflatable kayak, then this is the answer.
Finding a well constructed, reliable inflatable kayak can be difficult as many fall into the trap of going for the cheapest option thinking all inflatable kayaks are created equal. The Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak proves that there are different levels of inflatable kayak, and this one is one of the most reliable options on the market today.
The Advanced Elements Kayak takes folding kayaks to the next level. Although it is technically an inflatable kayak, you would have to look very closely to notice as it gives a truly authentic appearance of a traditional kayak. It is intelligently designed and is built to withstand a lot of pressure, which makes it acceptable for more challenging bodies of water.
Although it is more expensive than the average inflatable kayak, it is much less expensive than the average folding kayak made of polypropylene, which can cost well over $1,000. Since the design is far more complex than the average inflatable kayak, this kayak is well worth its price.
The best part of the Advanced Elements Kayak is its unique design that is unmatched in quality by its competitors. This folding kayak offers built-in aluminum ribs that define the bow and stern and improve tracking. Most importantly, it has three layers of material, which makes it extremely resistant to punctures.
This foldable kayak comes with a high support, adjustable padded seat for extreme comfort. The Advanced Elements Kayak is so comfortable you can easily paddle for hours without feeling any back fatigue whatsoever. Although it is a sit in kayak, which typically doesn’t provide much room for leg movement, it is very spacious and does give you room to stretch out when needed.
The Advanced Elements Kayak comes with an easy to carry duffle bag, a folding inflatable seat, repair kit and an easy to understand instruction manual. While it doesn’t provide any truly unique features, it does have all you need for a fun, enjoyable time out on the water.
Ease of Use
This is one of the best folding kayaks on the market today, which means you can very easily carry it to the water in a compact manner and inflate it within minutes once you arrive at the edge of the water. Also, this kayak hardly feels like an inflatable while in the water. Instead, it navigates more like a rigid hard-shell kayak.
Due to the three different levels of high quality material, this kayak has an extremely low chance of suffering a puncture and going flat. If you plan on exploring very challenging water sources, such as oceans or intense rivers, then this is the inflatable kayak for you. While most inflatable kayaks aren’t reliable in heavy current waters, this one is proven reliable despite the water climate.
If you want the best possible inflatable kayak on the market without concerning yourself with the price it takes to acquire it, then this is exactly what you want. Although the price seems high for an inflatable kayak, this is one of the best folding kayaks on the market today and should not be considered along with the average inflatable kayaks.
Conclusion: Finding the Ideal Folding Kayak For You
By choosing one of these six options, you are sure to get one of the best folding kayaks on the market today. Folding kayaks make the process of going kayaking much easier and completely eliminate the complicated procedure of strapping your heavy kayaks on or in your vehicle, finding someone to help you carry it down to the river, and then repeating the process once it is time to leave. Instead, a folding kayak allows you the ability to easily carry, assemble and store your kayak without the headache. As long as you take the advice given in this review guide and combine it with your personal needs and preferences, then you will be able to choose the foldable kayak that is perfect you and will last you for a very long time.