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.”