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Up to date Might 15, 2023 2:59 PM

Leaping into an origami boat just like the Oru Kayak isn’t my first selection once I head out on the water. In actual fact, in the course of the first day of testing, I believe my good friend might have taken a brief video, and my precise phrases had been, “I’m afraid this isn’t going to drift!” The light-weight design and semi-translucent supplies made me a skeptic the second I took it out of the field, however after a number of rounds of paddling, I’ve come round to see the attract of those moveable, easy-to-use kayaks.

Whereas the Oru Kayaks are nonetheless not essentially the favourite kayaks I’ve ever tried, they’ve their place within the boating world and open up the world of kayaking to quite a lot of people, primarily these residing in city areas. I solely had the pleasure of attempting out two of the Oru Kayak fashions. Nonetheless, after a number of rounds of meeting, paddling, and climbing with the kayaks, I recognize the considerate product designs and a spotlight to element put into manufacturing quite a lot of moveable kayak choices to suit the wants of newcomers to expeditionists.

How We Examined Oru Kayaks

Reasonably than reviewing all the collection of Oru kayaks, we examined their two hottest fashions: the Lake and Inlet. 

We selected these as a result of their recognition, dimension, performance, and ample area for fishing gear. We examined each kayaks strictly on calm waters since that’s their meant objective. I selected an space with a hike-in strategy that diminished the chance of seeing many different paddlers, however I aimed to keep away from motorized watercraft. The hike-in additionally gave me an opportunity to really gauge the portability.  

My major testing location is a reservoir that I frequent with my canines simply outdoors of Wenatchee, WA. It will get minimal site visitors within the Spring once I examined however is a well-liked fishing spot in the course of the summer time months. I’ve extra expertise with the Oru Inlet, however for testing the Oru Lake kayak, I strictly examined it on the reservoir a handful of instances. There are a number of different lakes in Washington the Inlet has been used together with the Columbia River that flows by means of the city of Wenatchee.

Oru Inlet Kayak (left) and Oru Lake Kayak (proper) when folded up. – Meg Carney

What Are Oru Kayaks?

Oru Kayak started from a Kickstarter marketing campaign in December 2012 and shortly grew to become well-known for its folding kayaks, that are designed to be light-weight, moveable, and user-friendly. The first advantages of Oru kayaks in comparison with hard-sided kayaks is that they take up much less area and are simpler to retailer and transport. A dream for house dwellers, RVers, or householders brief on area, Oru gives entry to paddling for folk that in any other case don’t have the area or car to hold a conventional kayak however desire a related stage of sturdiness. The straightforward-to-carry kayaks are additionally ultimate for paddlers who hike longer distances into distant areas.

The heaviest Oru kayak—even with the carrying case—solely weighs round 30 kilos. The lightest weighs simply 18 kilos. Every Oru kayak has a particular objective, and there are kayaks for newcomers to superior paddlers.

Camping photo
Oru Inlet Kayak in motion – Meg Carney

What Are Oru Kayaks Made Of?

Whatever the Oru Kayak you’re utilizing, they’re constructed utilizing one sheet of corrugated polypropylene plastic. The corporate calls its particular materials design Oruplast, which is customized to its specs. All of their kayaks are UV handled to reinforce their sturdiness and enhance their lifespan with prolonged publicity to the solar. It’s a gentle, sturdy plastic that may fold no less than 20,000 instances, if no more, earlier than weakening. The foldable design adopts an origami strategy with out strictly sharp edges as a result of to movement by means of the water, they wanted a kayak that had some comfortable edges. The sharper edges that do exist are positioned in such a means as to enhance monitoring, to not inhibit the general efficiency. Due to the folding design, the edging that’s built-in into the kayak gives higher monitoring and maneuverability than that of an inflatable kayak.

Every Oru Kayak design has variations in setup, construction, and supplies to assist them carry out inside their meant paddling self-discipline. Whereas the kayaks and equipment may be bought independently, Oru additionally gives as much as three bundles per kayak mannequin that embrace equipment.

How To Fold Oru Kayaks

Oru kayaks come packaged in what seems to be a big briefcase or field, relying on the mannequin. The Lake and Inlet Kayaks are of an analogous dimension and weight so you may simply carry them by the built-in deal with or with the addition of the Oru carrying case.

The Lake and Inlet open up equally by unbuckling the straps and unfolding it till it’s an open sheet. From there, the meeting actually begins. It’s simple sufficient to arrange and take the form of a kayak by pushing on the designated and labeled traces on every finish of the boat. The place you place the seat panel differs by mannequin, however each the Lake and Inlet have two buckles on the back and front of the kayak that secures the form. After finishing the remainder of the setup designated for the actual mannequin, you’re able to paddle.

Oru Lake Kayak Overview

Oru Lake Kayak

Camping photo


  • Weight: Lake 17 Lbs (7.7 Kg), Lake+ 18 Lbs (8.2 Kg)
  • Size: 9’ 0” (274 cm)
  • Width: 32″ (81 Cm)
  • Cockpit: 66″ x 24″ (168 x 61 cm )
  • Max paddler peak: 6’4″  (193 cm)
  • Weight capability: 250 Lbs (113 Kg)
  • Kayak field: 42″ x 10″ x 18″ (107 x 25 x 46 cm) 
  • Set-up time: 1-3 minutes 

The Oru Lake Kayak is the smallest and lightest kayak choice within the Oru lineup. Its design is good for calm, flat water paddling and has a roomy, open cockpit. The affordability of this kayak is likely one of the important promoting factors, and we extremely suggest it for newcomers or informal paddlers. The Lake+ is barely dearer than the unique Lake kayak, but it surely gives further trim on the entrance of the floorboard and an adjustable backrest.

In accordance with Oru’s web site and educational tips, it is best to be capable of assemble the easy Lake design in beneath one minute. It’s dependable, steady, and is an efficient choice for all ages and talent ranges. Regardless of the smaller dimension and lighter weight, it’s nonetheless constructed utilizing the identical supplies because the Oru expedition kayaks and gives the identical stage of sturdiness.

Oru Lake Professionals Oru Lake Cons
– Most reasonably priced Oru kayak
– Light-weight and simple to hold
– Roomy cockpit
– Sufficient area for a canine or gear
– Glides by means of water simply
– Easy setup with apply
– Not intuitive to assemble
(Learn directions or watch video)
– Extensive cockpit makes it tough to paddle
– Doesn’t observe nicely
– Seat isn’t very comfy
– Too open for waves of any variety

What I Like Concerning the Oru Lake Kayak

General, I loved utilizing the Oru Lake Kayak. It’s a superb dimension for many paddlers, and since I usually paddle with one in all my canines, I liked the big cockpit space so he may comfortably lie down and alter place with out bother. As for portability, there’s a carrying deal with to offer a straightforward carry choice. This sufficed for the size of my strategy, however for longer hikes, I may see why having a shoulder strap or carrying pack can be higher.

Camping photo
For the burden, the carrying deal with is ideal for brief approaches – Meg Carney

The meeting isn’t essentially intuitive, and I like to recommend referencing the instructions or watching one in all Oru’s educational movies earlier than setting it up. When you get the grasp of it, although, it’s fairly simple to arrange and break down and may be executed in a matter of minutes. There aren’t any pointless steps, offering a cleaner design and sooner meeting.

The sunshine weight of the kayak makes it simple to hold to a put-in location, and the big cockpit makes it simple to get out and in of the kayak. The big opening in entrance and behind me allowed my canine to leap out and in when wanted. I used the Oru paddle throughout testing, which can also be very user-friendly and has a excessive stage of adjustability to accommodate paddlers of various sizes.

Camping photo
Writer, Meg Carney, testing Oru Lake Kayak together with her canine, Ash

Whereas paddling, the huge and open cockpit space was very comfy, and the boat was steady sufficient to entry gear with out transferring the kayak an excessive amount of. I may even sit cross-legged whereas resting. It’s simple to propel the kayak ahead and glide easily by means of the water.

The disassembly of the Oru Lake Kayak is even simpler than the meeting. You’ll be able to hop out of the boat, carry it as much as shore, and have it disassembled, able to hike in beneath 5 minutes.

Learn Subsequent: The Greatest Locations to Purchase a Kayak

What I Didn’t Like Concerning the Oru Lake Kayak

With the worth, dimension, and weight of the Oru Lake Kayak, there isn’t an excessive amount of to dislike. Nonetheless, I seen a number of issues whereas utilizing the kayak that I really feel might be improved. First, since this kayak seems to be focused in direction of newcomers and intends to be extremely user-friendly, printing meeting directions onto the boat (particularly for seat set up) can be ultimate. That means, customers don’t have to hold out their paper directions if wanted.

Camping photo
First meeting try with the Oru Lake Kayak with out directions – Meg Carney

Though the cockpit is roomy and comfy, the huge boat design made paddling considerably awkward. This can be as a result of I’m extra accustomed to paddling in narrower kayaks, however I discovered myself bumping my kayak paddle and my arms onto the facet occasionally due to the width in comparison with my peak. With such a big opening, additionally it is simple to splash water into the kayak, and with any waves or wind, it isn’t very simple to forestall.

Paddling felt easy within the kayak, however the monitoring was subpar. When stopped, the boat spun round continuously, and when paddling, it took extra effort than regular to remain heading in the right direction. The huge, flat backside of the kayak could also be influencing the monitoring skills, and it wasn’t horrible, but it surely additionally wasn’t nice.

Lastly, the seat setup isn’t all that comfy. There’s minimal padding, and the unique Lake design lacks adjustability. Oru cures this within the Lake+, however regardless, when you’re paddling for an prolonged time, the seat isn’t the perfect.

Camping photo
Disassembling the Oru Lake Kayak – Meg Carney

Oru Kayak Inlet Overview

Oru Inlet Kayak

Camping photo


  • Weight: 20 Lbs (9 Kg)
  • Size: 9’8″ (295 Cm)
  • Width: 31″ (79 Cm)
  • Cockpit: 23″ x 44″ (111 x 58 cm)
  • Max paddler peak: 6’2″ (188 Cm)
  • Weight capability: 275 Lbs (125 Kg)
  • Kayak field: 42″ x 10″ x 18″ (107 x 25 x 46 Cm)
  • Set-up time: 3-5 minutes

The Oru Inlet Kayak was the model’s lightest mannequin till the Lake debuted. Nonetheless, the Inlet is exceptionally light-weight (solely 20 lbs) and the best to assemble. The Inlet is meant for flat water, and the form and edges of the kayak present superior monitoring to that of inflatable options. It gives a big cockpit and options like an adjustable seat and footrest.

In the event you take pleasure in paddling on lakes or calm rivers and streams, the Inlet is the right moveable kayak choice. All their kayaks, together with the Inlet, are constructed utilizing a 5mm double-layered customized polypropylene materials with a 10-year UV remedy. So, even the lightest fashions are equally as sturdy as another Oru kayak and may face up to being folded up tens of hundreds of instances.

Oru Inlet Professionals Oru Inlet Cons
– Light-weight
– Tracks nicely
– Meeting directions printed on
– Quick meeting and disassembly
– Adjustable seat and footrest
– Simple to paddle and maneuver
– Massive cockpit
– Sturdy but versatile supplies
– A bit wobbly if used for fishing
– The seat isn’t comfy for lengthy
– Dearer than the Oru Lake
– Open cockpit isn’t appropriate for waves

What I Like Concerning the Oru Kayak Inlet

The Oru Inlet Kayak solely weighs 20 lbs, making it simple to load up and carry to the paddling vacation spot. It additionally has a shoulder strap so it’s much more comfy to hold. For the reason that kayak has two D-rings on the highest, you may connect the Oru strap accent or avoid wasting cash and take a strap off a duffle bag to make use of as wanted. 

General it has a straightforward and intuitive setup. Though I like to recommend studying the directions and trying out Oru’s educational video on find out how to set the Inlet up accurately, this specific Oru mannequin has the directions printed onto the kayak. I discovered this ultimate, particularly when you’re in an space that doesn’t have mobile phone service and forgot the directions at dwelling. 

Camping photo
Directions to point out find out how to align and set up the seat. – Meg Carney

It took round 5 minutes to assemble the Inlet, even with the additional options just like the braces and footrest. The size of the kayak is superb for flatwater paddling, and when within the water, it tracks nicely. I favored that the cockpit supplied ample area for a canine and equipment however wasn’t too huge to inhibit paddling. Each the seat and the footrest are adjustable, making paddling extra manageable and pure. 

For probably the most half, the kayak is comparatively steady on the water and is very maneuverable. It’s simple to make sharp turns and alter instructions shortly. I used to be nervous that the light-weight design wouldn’t be fairly as sturdy, however there have been no points once we needed to lower by means of a little bit of ice or when a number of rocks scraped the underside, particularly with the bolstered bow and stern. For the reason that supplies are powerful but versatile, it could lower the chance of a puncture or harm when colliding or scraping towards any particles or rocks within the water. You must nonetheless take additional care to keep away from damaging the kayak, which is true for any vessel.

Disassembling the Inlet is simply as fast and simple because the meeting. There are a number of items to maintain observe of, however all have a particular use and improve the paddling expertise. For an informal calm water paddle, the Oru Inlet Kayak goes to be a tough one to beat.

Camping photo
The sunshine weight of the Inlet makes it simple to place within the water even on a steep shoreline. – Meg Carney

What I Don’t Like Concerning the Oru Kayak Inlet

The Oru Inlet Kayak is a dream, and there isn’t a lot to complain about when you’re utilizing it for the meant objective. The meeting does take a bit of bit longer due to the equipment and items required to make it absolutely useful. It might be simple to lose some elements since they solely slide contained in the kayak when folded up as an alternative of fastening in place onto something. 

In the event you intend to make use of this as a fishing kayak, there’s loads of area contained in the cockpit, however when transferring round to assemble gear or reel in a fish, the kayak is kind of wobbly. It might take some getting used to forestall a little bit of the wobble, but it surely appears inevitable with an exercise like fishing. Of the entire Oru kayak designs, the Inlet is probably going the most suitable choice for fishing, however there could also be a studying curve when you’re used to utilizing a extra conventional kayak design. 

Camping photo
Paddling the Oru Inlet Kayak on a Reservoir in central Washington. – Meg Carney

The seat adjustability enhances consolation, however the seat itself isn’t that comfy for lengthy paddling adventures. It might be good if a shoulder strap got here customary with the kayak as an alternative of being an add-on for the reason that construct of the deal with is small and never the perfect for carrying lengthy distances. The open design of the cockpit is superb for probably the most half however permits extra water to spray into the kayak, stopping you from paddling in areas with waves or excessive winds. With a kayak as gentle as this, I wouldn’t wish to paddle in windy circumstances anyway.

Oru Lake vs. Oru Inlet: How Do They Examine?

Whereas each the Lake and Inlet kayaks have their professionals and cons, ultimately, I favor the Inlet for a number of causes. First, it has means higher monitoring than the Lake kayak, and the boat form typically feels extra pure transferring by means of the water. Whereas they appear like small additions, the adjustable footrest and seat, stabilizing bars, built-in baseboard, printed-on directions, and bolstered ends present a greater consumer expertise and a seemingly extra sturdy kayak.

The Lake Kayak means that you can add a footrest, and the Lake+ has extra adjustability, so I can’t say that these issues alone are what swayed my resolution. The form of the Lake Kayak and its huge physique, whereas comfy to take a seat in, is considerably awkward whereas paddling.

Both kayak is a stellar buy for newcomers and informal paddlers. They’re each light-weight, however in order for you probably the most bang in your buck, the Inlet gives the next stage of efficiency and flexibility. The Lake Kayak nonetheless gives a wonderful consumer expertise when you’re on a price range. Shopping for the Lake Kayak means that you can save a few hundred {dollars}, so ultimately, which is finest for you is determined by your particular person wants and price range.

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Camping photo
Lake and Inlet facet by facet when folded up. – Meg Carney


Q: Are you able to fish from an Oru Kayak?

Sure, you may fish from an Oru Kayak. The Lake and Inlet fashions have loads of room in entrance and behind the paddler to accommodate fishing gear. For the reason that Oru Lake Kayak is designed for flat water, it is a good choice when you primarily fish on lakes and ponds. If you’d like extra management, consolation, and area, we suggest the Oru Inlet Kayak for fishing. 

Q: How lengthy do Oru kayaks final?

Oru Kayaks claims their kayaks are rated for as much as 20,000 folds with out weakening, which equates to over 20,000 makes use of. In the event you use the kayak usually, chances are you’ll start to note some put on however total, Oru Kayaks are constructed to final a number of years of use if nicely cared for and used appropriately. 

Q: Do Oru Kayaks have footrests?

Not all Oru Kayaks come inventory with footrests, however the Lake and Inlet have a footrest accent that may be bought individually. The footrest is a superb addition to both kayak mannequin, as it will possibly improve the consolation and management of the paddler. 

Q: Are you able to examine an Oru Kayak on a airplane?

Sure, you may examine an Oru Kayak on a airplane. Airline insurance policies and the dimensions of the kayak might affect the worth of the checked kayak. Some airways cost for outsized baggage, whereas others have a flat price based mostly on weight. 

Q: Can an Oru Kayak sink?

Oru Kayaks are designed to be naturally buoyant to keep away from sinking even when submerged. You’ll be able to preserve float baggage within the bow and stern compartments for added security. Float baggage embrace a versatile valve stem for simple inflation and may make the kayak extra manageable and maneuverable when you capsize or tackle water. 

Q: Are Oru Kayaks price it?

For some paddlers, they’re nicely definitely worth the value, however they will not be the precise match for others. The meant objective of a foldable kayak is to offer extra accessibility to paddlers that don’t have the area to retailer or transport a kayak or desire a lighter choice to hold into extra distant areas. In the event you usually hire a kayak, an Oru Kayak can save that trouble as nicely.

Remaining Ideas on Oru Kayaks

Oru Kayaks are in a league of their very own and are tough to match to the standard inflexible or inflatable kayak designs. Whereas they’re extra similar to inflatables by way of storage dimension, they’re much more moveable and better acting on the water. Each the Lake and Inlet Kayaks are extremely light-weight with out compromising their sturdiness. Every choice works nicely for newcomers and flat water paddlers that want one thing gentle, moveable, and simple to retailer. In the end, the Oru Kayaks usually are not for everybody, and extra intent or skilled kayakers will seemingly favor a extra conventional kayak choice. In the event you stay in an city setting, pack into alpine lakes, or desire a boat that matches within the trunk of a automotive, each the Inlet and Lake Oru Kayaks are reasonably priced and user-friendly purchases.

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