Our Top Rated Folding Kayaks on the Market
Kayaks are becoming increasingly popular in modern times, with sports like sea kayaking finding plenty of fans all around the globe. Unfortunately, a lot of amateurs are getting interested in kayaks without really knowing how to choose them.
It can also be pretty hard to travel with your kayak of choice, so people on vacation often have to rent out poor quality equipment that doesn’t fit them, rather than being able to enjoy the benefits of using a well-fitted boat. Fortunately, folding kayaks exist to help solve this problem, and we’ll be sharing a few of the best models with you today.
With a folding kayak, you don’t need to worry about those classic restrictions and limitations that travel so often imposes. You don’t even need a roof rack on your car. Instead, you can simply fold up your kayak and take it along on journeys with you. Lots of big manufacturers are getting interested in the production of folding kayaks, so people have more choice than ever before.
A folding kayak really opens up a world of possibilities for its owner, letting you take your own personalized craft wherever you like. The folding nature of these products also helps them to be much more easily stored in cupboards and closets, rather than blocking up garages and taking up lots of room.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at three of the best folding kayaks currently on the market. When shopping for your own model, it’s important to bear certain things in mind. For instance, the performance levels of a folding kayak are still bound by the same rules as regular sea kayaks. This means that you’ll still have to consider the ratios of speed to maneuverability and initial stability to secondary stability.
The hardness of the chines can have a big impact on the stability ratings of each kayak, so be sure about what sort of craft you want to buy before you go ahead with any purchase. Other factors like beam width, vessel length, volume and frame material can all influence the performance of the kayak out on the water, so don’t forget to do your research. Now let’s look at some examples of folding kayaks you might be interested in.
Trak Kayaks Seeker ST16 Folding Kayak
This is perhaps the most impressive all-round folding kayak that you can buy in 2016. How does it achieve such a prestigious title? Well, the first advantage of the ST-16 is its convenience factor. It might take a couple of tries for you to get the hang of it, but this kayak can actually be assembled in an incredibly short amount of time. Experienced users will be up-and-running in less than ten minutes. This makes this model one of the easiest to set-up. It also comes with its own little bag that can be wheeled around with ease. If you’re looking for a model that doesn’t need a lot of effort to carry around and put together, this is a great choice.
Not only is the ST-16 a breeze to set up, it also happens to offer incredible performance levels. This dynamic vessel is actually able to change shape to suit your needs. Its keelson comes with an adjustable jack, allowing the kayaker to change the length of the keelson on-the-fly. By changing the length, you can give yourself more maneuverability or tracking to cope with differing water conditions. This is an entirely unique and exceptionally useful features. The ST-16 also features a hard-chined design and a premium aluminum frame for good resistance levels. What’s the catch? Well, this kayak will costs you around $2,800, making it the most expensive entry on our list today, but we think it’s worth every penny of that price tag.
Oru Bay Folding Kayak
After our most expensive model, comes the cheapest. If you’re working on a limited budget, Oru’s folding kayak isn’t a bad choice at all. It can be found for approximately $1,200 and offers a lot of good functionality for that price. With this kayak, Oru’s development team was trying to strike a fine balance between convenience and performance. We think they succeeded, as this model features a rigid shell with hard chines for good secondary stability, while also being very simple to put together. Its design makes it perfect for paddling over creeks and swamps, with a nice degree of maneuverability for paddlers of all ability levels.
This kayak really provides a strong interpretation of the word “folding”. It really does fold right up, with its double-layered skin being carefully planned out in an Origami-like pattern. To set it up, you’ll simply need to unpack from its bag, fold it out, attach the removable bulkheads and floorboard, and finally stick the waterproof seams of the deck together. It won’t take long at all and means you won’t be wasting any time when using this model. It also happens to be very light, weighing in at just 26lbs in total. This really helps for travel purposes and makes Oru’s design one of the best in terms of convenience.
Folbot Touring Cooper Foldable and Portable Kayak
We’ve looked at one of the most expensive models on the market, along with one of the cheapest. Now let’s split the difference and look at one right in the middle. Folbot’s Touring Cooper kayak can be found for around $1,900 and offers exceptional performance for touring enthusiasts. Folbot is one of the oldest names in the industry and always produces quality goods. This kayak continues that tradition. It has a smart design, with hard chines and resistant skin. Folbot’s folding kayak glides rapidly through the water, but still offers a refreshing amount of maneuverability for and a lot of initial stability for the amateur paddler.
How about that convenience factor? Well, compared to the other models on our list, you might spend a little bit longer setting this one up. It’s only made of five parts and is actually very easy to put together, but that process might still take about 15-20 minutes. It does, however, come with a resistant nylon backpack for easy carrying. It also doesn’t weigh too much. At just 40lbs, you won’t have too many concerns about having to carry this kayak around.