I’ve reviewed a few kayaks, the inflatable type and the traditional hard shell, but I might have found the kayak that I might actually use. It’s the TuckTec folding kayak, which weighs only 28 lbs and folds small enough to fit in the trunk of nearly any car.
Last year, I can count the number of times I took my kayaks out on the water. Actually, I can’t because I don’t have zero fingers. They’re just too big a pain. The inflatable ones are fun, but a bit of a nuisance to inflate and deflate. My hard shell kayaks are too big and heavy to transport easily. They’re also not much fun hauling down to the water once at the lake. You certainly wouldn’t strap one on your back and go hiking with it.
I actually had one of my hard shell kayaks fall off my car while I was driving. It didn’t fall off completely, but, naturally, I was on a bridge with traffic zooming by. Lifting a kayak back onto the roof, and feeling pretty silly doing so, kinda took the wind out of my sail on kayaking. Well, I still loved kayaking, I just hated transporting them.
How About a Folding Kayak?
Remember when you were a kid and folded notebook paper to make paper airplanes, or footballs you “kicked” across a classroom? Folding kayaks use the same concept, just in a larger and stronger form. Two companies that have been making a name for themselves using this concept are Oru Kayak and TuckTec. Both have used Kickstarter campaigns in the past to launch new products. You can now buy kayaks directly from each company, though Oru is getting ready to launch a new Kickstarter campaign. It might be a good chance to pick up one of their kayaks at a good discount.
Oru designs and engineers their kayaks out of California, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint where they are manufactured. TuckTek isn’t shy about where their kayaks are made. They are proudly made in South Carolina, to be exact.
Weight: 28 lbs
Length: 9′ 8″
Folded Size: 15″ wide, 47″ long
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs (250 – 280 max passenger weight)
Shell Material: 1/8″ plastic
Warranty: 3 Years
Both Oru Kayaks and TuckTec kayaks have thousands of loyal customers. You’ll find many reviews on YouTube for both. You can check out TuckTec’s user community on Facebook to ask questions, view photos, and read about the kayaks from real customers.
I watched probably a dozen YouTube reviews of TuckTec’s kayaks, because I was skeptical, as I’m sure most people would be. I’m big on safety, especially when on the water. I don’t want a kayak that is going to fold and sink while I’m in it! Luckily, the majority of the reviews eased my fears. The only negative reviews were from people who tried to use them in the rapids, or didn’t properly fold or assemble them.
Are folded kayaks perfect in every way? No, but if used for the right purpose, they perform quite well.
They’re not for navigating rapids, or taking on beach waves. But most kayakers are the more leisurely type anyway, just wanting something safe and convenient for an enjoyable day paddling around on a lake or slow moving river.
What sold me on Tucktec over Oru was the price. You can buy two or three kayaks from Tucktec for the price of one Oru kayak. I do like the Oru for being even more lightweight at 20 lbs for their Inlet kayak, and even easier to fold and unfold, but the price was a dealbreaker.
So, I purchased a kayak from TuckTec, an orange one (choosing the color I liked the most was hard!), and it should be here in a few days. Once the lake temperature is more hospitable, I’ll take it out and give it a good test.
I hope it passes my test, because I have plans to take it on vacation with me. It’ll be awesome that it fits inside my car, instead of flying off the roof.
Check out TuckTec, and come back for the review. I’ll have pictures very soon.