Best Folding Kayaks In 2019 [Top 5 Reviews & Buying Guides]

It is summertime, and you're ready for some fun on the water. However, the thought of lugging a 100-pound kayak or canoe onto your car rack can be an arduous task. Look no further. We're here to show you the best folding kayaks available on the market. We've even added a buying guide and answered some questions you might have.

Kayaks are small watercraft propelled by a double-ended paddle and have been adopted by many for various purposes, such as recreational activities or competitions. They typically have a covered deck and space for one person called the cockpit. However, many modern kayaks have adopted two-seater design.

Folding kayaks are the most modern variant of kayaks so far. They are made with high-quality materials that allow them to be lightweight and sturdy as well. Folding kayaks are portable and durable. They can be put in the trunk of your car and can be easily stored when not in use.

Nobody likes the stress of loading a kayak on their car. Folding kayaks eliminate the need for a car rack. You can carry and store them in your trunk. You can even check-in them as luggage on a plane. They are perfect as gifts and are a good fit for elderly people.

The best part is that they work just as well as your regular kayaks and are just as durable. They can be assembled and disassembled in 15 to 20 minutes. Only one person is needed to move it around as they weigh around 30 to 50 lbs.


Top 5 Folding Kayaks [Table of Comparison]

We have designed a comparison table below for your easy reference. However, it is important to note that the positions are in no particular order of importance. 

ProductSpecifications & FeaturesOur Rating


Oru Kayak Bay ST
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Length: 12 feet

Width: 25 inch

Folded Dimension: 33 x 12 x 29 inch

Maximum Capacity: 300 lbs

Weight: 28 lbs

Material: 5mm double-layered custom extruded polypropylne

10 year UV treatment

Lasts up to 20,000 fold cycle

4.9/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Oru Kayak Beach LT
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Length: 12 feet

Width: 28 inch

Folded Dimension: 33 x 12 x 29 inch

Maximum Capacity: 300 lbs

Weight: 26 lbs

Material: 5mm double-layered custom extruded polypropylne

10 year UV treatment

Lasts up to 20,000 fold cycle

4.8/5.0



Price: $$$$


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Coovy MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Kayak
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Length: 14 feet 7 inch

Width: 35 inch

Folded Dimension: 37 x 8 x 25 inch

Maximum Capacity: 440 lbs

Weight: 52 lbs

Material: Custom polypropylne
>br> 15 year UV treatment

Lasts up to 20,000 fold cycle

4.5/5.0



Price: $$$$

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Elevens Cruise Plus Kayak
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Length: 12 feet 8 inch

Width: 23.6 inch

Folded Dimension: 37 x 14 x 30 inch

Maximum Capacity: 200 lbs

Weight: 30 lbs

Material: Custom-extruded double-ply FRPP
>br> Lasts up to 10,000 fold cycle

4.2/5.0



Price: $$$

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​Tucktec Folding Kayak
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Length: 10 feet

Width: 31 inch

Folded Dimension: 48 x 15 x 8 inch

Maximum Capacity: 350 lbs

Weight: 30 lbs

Material: ⅛ -inch thick solid HDPE
>br>
4.0/5.0



Price: $$

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5 Best Folding Kayaks Reviewed

1.Oru Kayak Bay ST Kayak 

Best Folding Kayaks

The Oru kayak (bay ST) is one multipurpose kayak that you can use whether you want a quiet day of fishing or a fun trip with your friends. It is lightweight, but it can also withstand rough waters. It's made from durable polypropylene and has a lifetime of 20000 folds.

This foldable kayak is built in the traditional "sit-in" design which has the rider's legs positioned under the deck. It has a lot of space below deck that can be used as a storage area. However, the weight shouldn't exceed 300 lbs. or the kayak will be at risk of capsizing.

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2. Oru Kayak Beach LT Kayak 

The Oru beach LT kayak is primarily made for recreational purposes. It has a sleek hull and is made in the "sit-on-top" design. This provides more leg room for the paddler. It has snap buckles which secure you to the boat, so you don't fall off.

This folding kayak has enough room for storage in case you want to go fishing or you want to take your dog along with you. It is more expensive than a regular kayak, but it’s all worth it for the time and energy you are going to save.

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3. My Canoe 2.5 Origami Folding Kayak  

If you're a fan of unconventional designs, then you'd love the My canoe origami folding kayak. This canoe deviates from the traditional look of a kayak. It looks like a canoe but with the features of a kayak. It has two seats that can be shared and still has sufficient storage room.

This paddle boat is TUV certified and has undergone several quality tests and has a lifetime of 20000 folds. The hull is made of polypropylene and a 15 year UV treatment to avoid color fading, making it one of the top-rated folding kayaks available.

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4. Elevens Cruise Plus Foldable and Portable Kayak 

If you're a fan of speed on your watercraft, then the elevens cruise plus foldable kayak is just the right fit for you. This origami kayak is exceptionally stable on the water and can speed up within minutes. Its durable and scratch proof hull makes it perfect if you're out fishing or you want a quick race with the boys.

When folded, this beauty can be carried around without much effort; it can even be stored in your car or your closet during cold seasons. This kayak comes with its paddle and storage bag, helping you save money. It also has its cup holder!

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5. Tucktec Folding Kayak

The Tucktec origami folding kayak combines the performance and stability of a regular hard shell kayak with the portability and light weight of an inflatable kayak. It is perfect for a slow and calm glide or a fishing trip. It rows well and is very balanced.

The single sheet of 1/8 HDPE ensures that it is not scratched or harmed by rocks at the bottom of a river. So it can be used in shallow water as well. This kayak comes with a seat that folds up with it. It fits perfectly into the trunk of even a small car.

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Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Folding Kayak

So you’ve decided to buy a foldable kayak. However, you need to consider so many factors before buying one. Do you want to explore a calm bay, have a fun workout, or have fun in the water with your dog? Just as the kayaks serve many purposes, there are many different types to choose from.

A lot of thought has to be put in before you buy your folding kayak so you won't experience any regret afterwards. How much are you willing to spend on your kayak? What features do you want on your kayak? What do you want to use your kayak for?

Also, there are some essential factors you might not be aware that you need to look at before parting with your money. This guide is here to help you choose the best folding kayaks for your bespoke needs with hopefully no regrets.

Durability

Before investing in any product, the first thing you ask yourself is, how long will it last? Sometimes it is better to invest in a slightly more expensive product that will stand the test of time than one that will require replacement often.

The durability of a folding kayak depends largely on the materials used in making the hull and frame. Most modern kayaks have a sturdy wooden or aluminum frame covered by a skin of synthetic polymers such as polypropylene, fiber-reinforced polymer, and polyurethane.

These materials are quite expensive, but they contribute to the durability, lightness, and seaworthiness of the kayaks. Many of them are scratch and tear proof and can withstand rough handling. They also work great against sun, heat, salt, and UV damage.

Many kayaks are TUV certified. A TUV certification means that the product has undergone a series of safety tests and has met all the requirements of the German Equipment and product safety act.

A folding kayak of good quality should have a lifespan of 10000 to 20000 fold cycles. Many manufacturers give a minimum of 12 months warranty on their products.

Discover Other Different Types of Kayaks

Features

Before buying your origami kayak, you have to decide if you want an open or closed kayak. Open kayaks are "called sit-on-top" kayaks. These kayaks have hollow decks, and the paddler's legs are placed on the open deck. They are best for recreational use on lakes and calm rivers during warm seasons, because you'll get wet easily.

They are easy to get in and out of, especially if you're uncomfortable with having your legs trapped underneath the deck. They have scupper holes which make it easy to drain out the water, and they usually have their storage spaces in the hollow part under the seat.

"Sit-in" kayaks are the traditional kayaks that have covered decks and storage compartments. The paddler's legs are situated underneath the deck, and the positions of the knees, butt, and feet give the paddler more control in rough waters and help to maneuver. They are the best folding kayaks for exercise and sports.

Sit-in kayaks usually have more storage space than sit-on-top kayaks, and they track better, but you have to learn how to do a wet exit. Not all kayaks come with a paddle so you might have to include that in your budget.

Weight Capacity

The biggest advantage of a foldable kayak is the portability and lightweightness. Inflatable kayaks are also lightweight, but with origami kayaks, you don't have to bother about an air pump. You unfold and get in the water in half the time it takes to blow up an inflatable kayak.

Origami folding kayaks generally weigh about 30 pounds, less than half the weight of a regular kayak and can be transported and stored easily. They have a weight limit of 200-400 pounds, so you pick one that suits your taste.

Kayaks traditionally have one seat, but if you want, there are some kayaks and folding canoes that have two seats for group outings. Just keep the weight below the limit, and you'll be fine. The quality of kayak seats are important if you are looking to paddle for a long time.

Budget

Before looking at the features and dimensions of the different kayaks available, it is recommended that you consider how much you want to spend. Not to worry, there is a kayak for every pocket.

Origami kayaks are usually more expensive than inflatable kayaks and other hardshell kayaks, but the comfort and convenience they offer, make up for the price. They are especially good for older adults, people without cars/car racks or simply a stress-free experience.

So many things contribute to the price of a kayak, from the material used to the size of the kayak. You need to have a spending limit to avoid overspending. Simply applying the price filter can help you make a smarter purchase.

Dimensions

The dimensions of any kayak determine the suitable purpose. They determine the speed, stability and even the comfort of the vessel. Kayaks range from 6 to 14 feet and can have cockpits as wide as 42 in. or so.

Longer kayaks glide smoothly and usually have more leg room and storage space, but short kayaks are the best at making turns. Lightweight kayaks also have more room for storage because the boat itself doesn't take up much of it, but those lighter materials are more expensive. It all depends on what your preferences are.

Speed

The fastest kayaks are narrow and streamlined. This allows them to cut through water without much effort from the paddler. They are made of lighter material that can make them tilt in the water and makes it a bit harder to manoeuvre.

They usually have narrow cockpits which might prove to be uncomfortable, especially for people with long legs. This also means that they have less room for storage for your camping or fishing gear. These types of kayaks are best suited for races and exercise.

However, wide and boxy kayaks are more stable and are more suited for long distance paddling. They are the best for camping trips, fishing or touring.

Comfort

The origami kayak is designed primarily to provide comfort for its users. If you're someone who places comfort over price, then you can go for the products that come fitted with the proper accessories.

Some of the best folding kayaks have seats that fold with the boat. Some even go as far as adding cup holders, cellphone mounts and bottle holders. You can choose to go for these or find the accessories that are more your taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many people are required to carry and set up an origami kayak?

It usually takes one person to carry and set up a folding kayak. Origami kayaks come with detailed manuals on how to assemble and disassemble them. So if you follow the manual, you'll be setting up your kayak like a pro after a couple of times.


However, some kayaks might require 2 persons to get them on the water due to the length of the hull. Also, elderly people might find it hard to set up their kayaks alone, so they should have some help nearby, just in case.


2. Can I have my child or my dog on my kayak?


It depends on the size of your kayak. Some of them are wide enough to accommodate two people or more. Some kayaks for kids also have snap buckles that can be used to secure a child or pet to the boat.


If you intend to carry a child on your boat, ensure you look for a child-friendly kayak before taking a child or pet onboard with you. Also, make sure the weight limit is not crossed.


3. Can I attach a motor to my folding kayak?

This is totally dependent on the make of the kayak. Some boats have accommodations for attaching a trolling motor but it is always stated by the manufacturer. You should always contact the manufacturer beforehand.


4. I have a lot of coral in the water in my area. Can I use my kayak in them?

Origami kayaks are typically made of very tough and durable polymer materials that are scratch and puncture proof. If you live in an area with corals or rocks, get a kayak that is specially made to handle wear and tear. They are usually more expensive but they are worth the price.


5. What are the best folding kayaks for beginners?

Kayaks made for recreational purposes are best for beginners, because they are made to sail in calm lakes and rivers and they don’t require a lot of skill to use.

FINAL VERDICT

Kayaks have come a long way from the original ones that were used by the traditional unit for fishing. They now serve different purposes and can be used in different climates and water bodies. There are even folding canoes that identify as kayaks.

The best folding kayaks, however, combine the durability and strength of regular hard shells kayaks and the lightweightness and portability of inflatable kayaks. They are the most convenient and comfortable kayaks to own. They make perfect gifts and help you stand out on the water.

All the products mentioned above are some of the best folding kayaks on the market. However, Oru Kayak Bay ST Kayak is our top-pick due to the features it offers. We rate this product 4.9 stars out of 5.


4.9/5.0
Our Rating
Douglas Keister

I am an adventure fanatic that loves nature and adventure sports like kayaking, camping and water sports. I have been doing this for almost 10 years now and have learned quite a few tricks. With my experience, I hope to provide you with the most reliable and accurate information for your next adventure.

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