If your boat is squeezed for space, and you have a hard time finding room for a kayak, take a look at the new foldable Inlet model from Oru Kayak. It folds up like an origami, fits into a duffle and weighs just 20 pounds. And it was just named one of Time’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019.
Anton Willis, the founder of Oru, got the idea for a folding kayak after he saw a story in The New Yorker about origami. He was an ocean kayaker, but he didn’t have any place to keep his kayak in his San Francisco studio apartment. After he designed a prototype, he got $500,000 in funding from Kickstarter in 2012. Two years later he appeared on Shark Tank and got enough money to expand worldwide.
The Inlet is Oru’s smallest, lightest, and least expensive model. It’s made for beginners and for calm water. It’s ten feet long, and it folds up in its bag measuring 42 inches by 19 inches by 10 inches, so it can fit easily in the trunk of a car and in most boat lazarettes.
The kayak itself has three folds; even the paddles break down into four pieces. The company says it takes only five minutes to unfold everything and get the kayak ready for the water. It’s made of UV-treated plastic. The Inlet will start shipping next June, and it has an introductory price of $849.
Oru makes several other models, including one for two people. Its flagship, the Coast XT, is designed for serious blue-water expeditions; it was inspired by traditional Arctic kayaks. It weighs 34 pounds and costs $2,499. Read more, and see the video below: