Oru Launch Their Lightest 'Origami' Kayak Yet | Game-changing Gear - Outdoors Magic

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Oru Launch Their Lightest ‘Origami’ Kayak Yet | Game-changing Gear

Oru Kayak’s new Inlet model is billed as “the world’s lightest and most compact foldable kayak, a vessel so minimalist you can hike it to remote alpine lakes or mountain tarns

Have you ever climbed to an idyllic alpine lake or isolated Scottish lochan and wished you could kayak the crystal clear waters? Well, now you can – thanks to the release of the ORU Inlet, a super-lightweight, ultra-portable and quick-to-assemble folding kayak. It fits into its own backpack and can be easily hiked up to remote tarns, making hike-kayak hybrid adventures a real possibility. Here’s the full lowdown.

The Inlet’s vital statistics are as follows: it’s 10ft long and 79cm wide, weighs 9kg (the Californian-based brand’s lightest ever vessel), folds into a box about the size of a guitar case (107 x 25 x 46cm), and can be set up in three to five minutes. The latter is the headline claim ORU Kayak are excited to shout about – a “ridiculously fast” and super simple assembly that sets the Inlet apart from slow-to-inflate yet quick-to-tear inflatable kayaks, according to the US firm.


There is no air pumping required with the Inlet. Instead it folds out and into shape – a bit like a nifty bit of origami – transforming from box to boat in a few well-placed folds, clipped buckles and Velcro straps. The end result is a “stable cruiser” designed for flat, mirror-smooth water. Oru say tat it “tracks and handles far better than inflatable kayaks” and that it’s “stable, but also nimble and playful.”

The Inlet is constructed from 5mm, double-layered, custom-extruded polypropylene with a 10-year UV treatment, making it “lightweight but extraordinarily strong – incredibly puncture and abrasion resistant and built to last”. It can withstand sliding over rocks, bumping into obstacles and being folding up tens of thousands of times – or so the marketing blurb claims.

Portability is another key selling point. If paired with the optional Oru Pack for Inlet ($199) – a rugged, heavy duty nylon backpack with shoulder straps and hip strap system – you can take the kayak on a plane as checked-in baggage or wear it like a normal backpack on your day hikes. Or, just in its box form, the Inlet will store neatly and compactly in a wardrobe, under your bed, in your car or wherever else works for you.

Other features include a sturdy ABS plastic footrest that’s easy to adjust (even while sitting in the boat), a fully adjustable backrest providing support for paddlers of all sizes (125kg max weight capacity), a cushioned seat pad for maximum comfort, and a spacious and open cockpit that allows you to paddle with a child, dog or simply carry your gear easily. You also get riveted fairings that streamline the kayak and protect the ends from scratches and scrapes, as well as tension straps for added rigidity and removable bulkheads for extra structure and organised storage compartments.

The ORU Inlet costs $899 and is the brand’s first sub $1k boat.

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