Enjoying life on the water on the best folding kayak is a peaceful and fulfilling experience. It gives you an exceptional feeling and allows you to relax your body and mind as you plot for the next day. When you have a reliable kayak, the feeling is even more exhilarating. However, these boats require lots of storage space, which makes it nearly impossible for everyone to enjoy them. Transporting a kayak from home to the water is not an easy task. Their enormous size makes it even challenging to carry it to and from the water. This is not the case when you invest in a foldable kayak. The design makes it highly portable as you can easily fold it to fit in any trunk for easy transportation. It also guarantees you can store it safely to the existing space you have and enjoy it later. If you you want to invest in a kayak, here are some features to look for to ensure you buy the best folding kayak on the market.
How to Choose the Best Foldable Kayak
With different kayaks available, picking the right one for your needs is not that easy. All kayaks have their ups and downs depending on your requirements. It is easy to find one that ensures you enjoy your time on the water. If you don’t live near a river, getting a portable kayak is much more profitable than finding one with natural storage features. However, those with small trunks on their car will benefit from a foldable kayak more. Before you settle for a vehicle, it is essential to ensure you consider your interests to avoid investing in something that won’t suit you in the long run. To fold up kayaks is convenient and will be easy for you to pick the most appropriate model that lasts.
Different Types of Folding Kayaks
There are several folding kayaks on the market. Although all kayaks seem the same, the simple design differences and structure makes a great significance in the way a folding kayak operates. The most common folding kayaks available on the market include:
Sit-on-top kayak. These are easy to use. They are convenient for beginners and children. With this design, you will not be worried how to navigate your way as its broader surface design guarantees it will keep you safe.
Inflatable kayak. These are some of the best on the market. They are sturdier and convenient for all time use. With it, transportation and storage will no longer be a fear. You can easily fold it to any size you desire and store it safely in a small storage space.
Folding kayak. Unlike inflatable ones, these vessels are convenient for anyone. They don’t require particular skills to ensure secure use. With this kayak, you can fold it down immediately after use. However, most folding kayak designs feature aluminum/wood frames to ensure stability when unfolded.
There are also sit-inside and sea kayaks, but they are not much different from those described above.
Folding Size of Kayak
The folding size of a kayak often varies from one material to another. Different materials have extreme resistance, which makes them ideal over the others. Additionally, another factor that influences the folding size of a kayak is the manufacturing company. The common folding size ranges between 32” x 15” x 18”, and 32” x 28” x 13”. Depending on the material and the water bodies the fold up kayak is intended, the size can either exceed or reduce from these given figures.
Kayaks are specifically designed to give you an exceptional trip across the water. With different designs and manufacturers, it is not easy to settle for a particular weight level. Finding a folding kayak that offers excellent service regardless of your weight limitations isn’t easy. However, if you are passionate about kayaking your weight should not be a stumbling block preventing you from enjoying kayaking. The general weight of the best foldable kayak ranges between 400lbs to 450lbs maximum weight. Therefore, if you put about 350lbs on its surface, it will comfortably fit you with any gear you require for a comfortable trip.
What Material Is The Best For Folding Kayak?
Kayaks are made of different materials. Concerning Kayak construction, it is not easy to single out one material as the best. The materials involved in making kayaks have individual advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, the way you intend to setup yourkayak also determines the material that to use in making an incredible traveling tool. Some of the materials that companies use in making best portable kayaks include:
Although these materials are suitable for a particular design, and can comfortably be used to build a robust foldable kayak, inflatable material is the best in making a highly portable boat. Inflatable material is also suitable for beginners, as it provides greater comfort while traveling. Thus, we recommend you think carefully, while opting for the most suitable solution for your needs.
Folding Strength of Kayak
The construction material strongly determines the folding power of kayaks. Although all materials are suitable for making a foldable vessel, their resistance varies from one material to the other. If you are a beginner, it is essential to find a fold up kayak that is easy to assemble yourself and save time. With an inflatable fold out kayak, you are sure that apart from easy transportation, you can conveniently set it up and enjoy outdoor adventures without assistance. Inflatables can Inflates and deflate in seconds, which makes it the best for all your water ride experiences.
Inflating and Breakdown Time of Folding Kayak
Now that you have your best portable kayaks in mind, the next big issue to address is the appropriate breakdown time and paddling blades. Ensure to invest in the right gear for you to have fun any time you feel like getting in the water. Your paddling gear will either make your trip exciting or unbearable. As you pick your paddling gear for your inflatable kayak, keenly check every detail from the construction style to material durability. You don’t want to spend an hour inflating your boat, do you?
Beam Width and Assembled Length of Folding Kayak
When designing a folding kayak, its length and width will be significantly influenced by the number of passengers you wish to carry. If you look forward to constructing the best foldable kayak that can conveniently accommodate two riders, ensure it has proper breathing and stretching space between the riders. Moreover, the length of a kayak affects the way you control it. The longer it is, the harder it will be to control, especially if you are a beginner.
Seating in Folding Kayak
For any fold out kayak, seating position is essential in determining the comfort of the rider. Most kayaks have a separately attached seating position to ensure cushioning is not affected by continuous folding and unfolding of the boat. Make sure seats are comfortable and safe, and that you won’t get stuck if you find yourself upside-down.
Puncture Resistance of Folding Kayak
The best folding kayaks are designed using top quality animal skin material, which guarantees they are highly resistant to puncture. With this material, you are sure nothing will affect your ride on the water and will ensure you are safe at all times. It is vital your boat remains undamaged, so you do not regret spending money on it.
Top 10 foldable kayaks
We know how difficult it is to find a proper kayak which is spacious but, at the same time small enough to transport it. That’s why we find it necessary to present what you need to know when you choose a kayak, and better to say, a foldable one.
We want to present 10 products which can be a solution to practice this hobby/ performance sport, without losing too much time on research.
1. Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak
Our first product is Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak – the best folding kayak in 2019. Presented by Oru Kayak, they wanted to upgrade their last model from 2017, where this model has a spacious cockpit easily accessible for paddlers of any size. Oru Kayaks can be used any place — all thanks to its origami folding system. When you put it on the water, you will see how lightweight, durable, and tough is. Oru Kayaks support those who want to practice outdoor sports in a more practical way, that’s why more and more people choose this portable kayak.
- Portable kayak
- Interesting folding system
- Easy to use
- Quality materials
- The seats may be a little uncomfortable for those who aren’t used to the design
- 300 lb capacity for the user and gear
- If you are too tall, you should look for a larger version
Verdict: We can say that this model easily suits any extreme situation lover at an affordable price.Check on Amazon
2. Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak – best foldable kayak in 2019
Would you imagine finding a foldable kayak at an affordable price and a resilient material can be easy to find? This model proves you can enjoy a safe ride on a river, having the best foldable kayak. But what do you need to know about this fold-up kayak? It is easy to use, features a design that promotes stability, and is super light. Not to mention it comes in your favorite color so you may give it a personal touch.
- Resistant material
- Super Light
- Easy to customize with your favorite color
- Stable structure
- Easy to use on the water
- Easy to assemble
- Double-wall polypropylene
- It can be used only by one person
- It doesn’t come with skegs
- The weight limit is 300 lb
Verdict: It is an excellent option when you are used paddling as a single user. Also, the reinforced structure and quality materials give you another reason to choose it.Check on Amazon
3. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak – top rated fold-up kayak in 2019
This model comes at an affordable price and is dedicated for those who want to enjoy a pleasant, but safe ride with your friends or family.
Durability and a fold-up kayak are the keywords to this model. Having a multi-layer construction and ease of use, this kayak is one of the best. When you search for a fold out kayak with a strong structure and the option to use it on large rivers, you can be sure you will be safe. The best part? It comes pre-assembled from the factory, easy to unfold and the option to remove its seats.
6 chambers, 2 adjustable padded back supports, advanced elements to its spring valve, a reinforced structure, and quality fabric are only several important specifications this kayak features.
- Portable kayak
- Pre-assembled from factory
- Beautiful color
- Two-person kayak
- It has a metal structure
- Inflating and deflating may pose a problem for some as it’s a little large
- a little heavy to carry
- It doesn’t come with a pump or paddles
Verdict: Despite the drawbacks, this is a good choice as it is very resistant, and will last for quite some time.Check on Amazon
4. ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak – one of the best collapsible kayak in 2019
It comes in a beautiful orange color, being able to navigate universal water conditions. You have plenty of space to move freely and control it in all circumstances. This is a collapsible kayak that fits in a backpack, and will simplify your life a lot! Imagine all you need is to unfold it and put it in the water. More than that, it has compact but stable aluminum bow and stern ribs, creating a hard shell for your boat.
It comes with a, attractive price, and if you are lucky enough, you may catch a promotion which will save you money.
- Two color options
- An aluminum bow and stern ribs
- Fits your backpack
- Strong shell for your boat
- Two options for choosing its color
- 4 air chambers
- It is one of the most stable kayaks
- Too small and this can be a problem for larger individuals
- Hard to clean
- Too much time to fold it back in its bag
Verdict: If you are looking for an easy to use kayak this is a good option with a good price.Check on Amazon
5. Advanced Elements Advancedframe Kayak – one of the best portable kayak in 2019
It comes with a powerful color: RED. It is presented as a hybrid as it’s both a foldable kayak & inflatable kayak. It comes with a carrying duffel bag, folding seat, repair kit, and a manual in case you have any questions.
This portable kayak has multiple air chambers, having a unique design for optimum safety. You will see how its sides water like a knife through butter. Another plus is its material – 1000 Denier Polyester outer layer.
- It comes with beautiful color (Red)
- Multiple air chambers
- Unique design
- 1000 Denier Polyester outer layer
- Aluminum ribs
- 3 layers of material
- Pre-assembled at the factory
- It doesn’t come with a backbone
- It is a little small for those who are a tall or over 200 lbs
- A little uncomfortable for long trips
Verdict: Having a strong structure, nice design, and easy to transport are the main benefits.If you are looking for a bargain to get out on the water you can enjoy this kayak at a very good price.Check on Amazon
6. ADVANCED ELEMENTS Island Voyage 2 Inflatable Kayak – 2-person foldable kayak
With a pleasant form, a pointed bow built for performance, this is an amazing option for you – a 2 person foldable kayak. Comfortable versatile, compact, and with good stability – these characteristics can convince you to choose this beauty. We almost forgot! It is yellow (you can also choose gray if you prefer a neutral color) and features 3 seats allowing you to go alone or with your family/friends. The procedure for setting it up is to unfold it, inflate, and add the seats – you can enjoy a two-person kayak without much effort.
- 2 person foldable kayak
- 2 options of color
- Easy to use
- Removable deep tracking fin
- 3 spots to put your seat
- Durable PVC material
- A little small for 2 people
- No too much space when you load your gear and some food
- It doesn’t come with a self-bailing
Verdict: More than enough for single users and provides extra space if you want to take someone with you.Check on Amazon
7. Elevens Cruise Plus Foldable and Portable Kayak – best portable kayak in 2019
If you are looking for the best portable kayak you need to look at this model, which has very good durability – it is made of custom-extruded, double-ply FRPP, rated to 10,000 folds.
This folding kayak will allow you to easily transport it wherever you need. The package comes with a portable kayak, one paddle, one life vest, one seat, one cup holder, one cellphone mount, and a storage bag.
- Double-ply FRPP
- 10,000 folds
- Easy to transport
- Many additional accessories from the factory
- 1-year warranty
- Free paddle, life vest, seat, cup holder, cell phone/camera mount, and storage bag
- A little small for those who are taller
- A little uncomfortable for long trips
- Being light can be a minus when it comes to fast water and stability,
Verdict: Strong materials keep you safe and comes with many useful accessories.Check on Amazon
8. Sea Eagle Razorlite 473rl Inflatable Kayak Pro Carbon Tandem Package – best lightweight 2 person kayak
To find a good folding tandem kayak is a challenge, but a good tip is to know how much time you need to bring it to life? This model has an inflation time of 8 minutes. Also, it has 3 recessed one-way air valves which helps you when you are on the water. Having drop stitch technology gives to this collapse kayak a lighter weight and is faster to paddle. These plusses will be used for creating a high performance for this packable kayak with 3 year manufacturers warranty.
- 8 minutes to inflate
- 3 recessed one-way air valves
- 1-year warranty
- Two-person kayak
- Fast to paddle
- Too expensive
- A little heavy
- When you use it as a single paddler, it may be a little confusing
Verdict: Ideally for those who love to ride in pairs and want something which has the best materials.Check on Amazon
9. Advanced Elements Lagoon 1 Kayak – one of the best collapse kayak in 2019
A single person model collapsible kayak, created for lakes, bays, or lazy rivers. This model can be bought at an affordable price in two optional colors (gold or gray). With a one year warranty, you can be sure any problems you have (hope not!) can be resolve with the Advanced Elements company. The maximum supported weight is 250 lbs. To make it more resistant, this kayak has 6 chambers with 29” x 18” x 5″ dimension. So, who wants to try this packable kayak?
- Good price
- 1-year warranty
- It has 6 chambers in its structure
- Two color options
- Good price
- 1-year warranty
- Not very comfortable on long trips
- It swings if you don’t know how to operate it
- The tracking fin isn’t removable
Verdict: for one person this is more than enough, creating the right environment to ride it.
10. ADVANCED ELEMENTS Advanced Frame Expedition Elite Kayak
Ocean Blue is the color which you have for your next fold-up kayak. With an adjustable foot brace, plenty of space if you want to bring some food or water and a drop-stitch floor construction – these are only a few highlights of this amazing foldable kayak. It has 9 chambers which provide a unique design. Another important aspect is it is constructed for only one person, being able to be used with a maximum weight of 450 lbs.
- Adjustable foot brace
- Unique design
- High back lumbar seat
- Repair kit included
- Drop-stitch floor
- Too heavy
- You have enough space to get in, but it can be a little difficult to get out
- A little expensive
Verdict: it has all the benefits of a foldable kayak with high quality materials.Check on Amazon
Frequently asked questions about fold up kayaks
In this section, we will present information each of us had when we starting to look for kayaks. The list below is made based on the most necessities and what the pro and cons are when we reviewed folding kayaks. Now let’s see what people faced and what the solutions are.
How do folding kayaks compare in efficiency, performance, and speed with hardshell boats?
Performance is determined by the materials and the design. Depending on these 2 factors, folding kayaks are good and even better than hardshell boats in some cases.
Are folding kayaks delicate or damage-prone?
Again, this depends on the material. Because manufacturers know this concern, most materials are resistant to hard hits or extreme situations. Most folding kayaks are made with a metallic frame plus other resilient materials.
Do foldable kayaks cost more than hard shells?
Foldable kayaks are generally more accessible than hard shells. The cost of a kayak can grow fast when it is designed for 3-4 persons and has extra metallic structures in it. If you want to buy additional accessories, you will have additional costs.
What are the best materials for the frame and skin in a folding kayak?
There isn’t a material which is the best choice. Aluminum, polyethylene, polycarbonate, and fiberglass filled nylon are the most used materials. Any choice is the best as long you like it, and can easily use it.
What is the best fold-up kayak?
The kayak is one of the most water-friendly pleasure boats and can be used on lakes, on the sea, slow rivers, or on mountain rivers for real professionals. We know you choose kayaking because it is a great water activity that anyone at any skill level can enjoy.
The best folding kayak, in our vision, is the Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak, as it meets all the requirements you should look after, and it has all the benefits for a safe ride with fair costs, and it is easy to transport.