A while back I wrote about the Tucktec Kayak, an affordable folding hard shell kayak, made in the USA. While I haven’t had it on the water yet (are you ever going to warm up Illinois?), I have folded and unfolded the kayak several times, and that’s the tricky part.
First off, shipping was super fast. If it’s in stock, and you’re in the United States, you’ll likely receive it within just a few days. Something that was great to see was “Made in the USA” printed on the box. Boy, we don’t see that often enough. It felt great to support an American business that actually manufactures in the good ole U.S. of A.
I chose orange for the color, but since then that color has been discontinued, which is a bummer for those wanting orange. There also used to be a lime green option, and that’s gone. I’m assuming to cut down on costs, fewer colors are now being offered. That’s understandable, since the $350 price is very reasonable.
Now, the folding part. I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy. I had to go back to the instructions several times, because it isn’t so obvious what you’re supposed to be doing with the bow and stern. The side folds are easier to figure out.
It was kinda like wresting an alligator. Until the bends have been broken in, the plastic is going to be very stiff. You’ll also have to crawl around on your knees to fold and unfold the kayak, so if you have knee or hip issues, keep that in mind. Also, if you have arthritis in your hands or wrists, it may be more of a challenge to latch it together.
The good news is that it gets easier with each fold. If you do have any of the above issues, you could have someone else break it in for you. A good option is just to buy a refurbished kayak from Tucktec. People have reported fewer issues folding them, since they have already been broken in.
Another tip is to lay the kayak out in the sun. The plastic will become much more pliable and easier to bend when warm. It’ll be much easier on a summer day. Also, darker colors absorb the sun’s heat more, so you might want to choose a darker color for this reason.
But, I wouldn’t be overly concerned with folding the kayak, because it truly does get easier each time you do it.
The kayak weighs 28 lbs, which is great for a kayak, but it’s not something you can easily toss on your shoulder, mostly due to its folded size. It’s a great size for fitting in the trunk of a car, but not practical for hiking. I’d suggest Oru Kayaks for that, especially their smaller models. Oru kayaks are more pricey, but much easier to fold.
So what do I think of the Tucktec kayak so far? At first, I had my doubts of whether I’d ever been able to fold and unfold the kayak without feeling like I just wrestled a greased pig. Thankfully, it did get much easier. I’d suggest folding and unfolding the kayak several times before even thinking of taking it to the water, unless you want an audience watching you struggle. But once you get it down, your audience will be impressed!
Speaking of being impressed, I really like the company. They back their product and are very engaged with their user community on Facebook. It’s a fun group to belong to!
I will let you know how the kayak performs on the water, so come back. Assuming it does well on the water, I won’t be regretting my purchase. In fact, if it does well, I’ll be buying one for my teenage son too, so we can kayak together.
Visit Tucktec’s website here.