Kayaks saw a surge in popularity along with other outdoor activities over the last three years, but while kayaking is largely seen as a leisure or sporting activity now, it was once a vital part of survival for some people.
Roughly 4,000 years ago, the Inuit invented the kayak to aid their daily activities. This vessel was designed to help the Arctic dwellers with hunting and fishing expeditions. These kayaks had frames made from bones and wood with animal skins stretched across to enable them to float. Over the years, kayak designs have been modernized until today where there are vessels designed for sea, whitewater rapids, or for touring.
With passing years, more innovation has occurred in kayak design to the point where there are now inflatable and foldable versions available as well as the more recognizable hard-shell vessels.
A brief explanation of what a foldable kayak is
Sometimes, these foldable boats are called origami kayaks, and once you lay eyes on one you will understand why. A foldable kayak has a frame that collapses and opens and is made from a combination of materials such as aluminum, wood, and plastic. Instead of animal skin, a tough waterproofed fabric is used to cover the kayak’s frame.
For a clearer picture, you can check out these foldable origami kayak reviews and get a better understanding of how these vessels work. But, basically, foldable kayaks are designed to perform the same role as a hard-shell kayak but are more compact.
What are the major benefits of a foldable kayak?
Standard kayaks are great, and they offer a unique way to combine exercise with leisure and relaxation. You can use a kayak to traverse white water in Snake River Canyon or you can get a kayak for two and spend an afternoon paddling the waters in Lady Bird Lake, Texas.
Water-based activities are becoming more popular. Kayaking is gaining new fans constantly, and many others are discovering the fun of inflatable rafts and pontoons. Inflatable boats are selling more as they are easier to transport to lakes and rivers.
And foldable kayaks are gaining traction now too due to the many benefits they have.
Below you have five benefits of foldable kayaks.
1. Foldable kayaks are lighter
An average hard-shell kayak can weigh anything from 20 pounds to 80 pounds. Some kayaks even weigh more than this and can be 100 pounds even. But, foldable kayaks weigh vastly less.
Depending on which brand and model kayak you buy, you could expect it to weigh no more than 20 to 40 pounds, with 30 lbs being a good benchmark.
Despite foldable kayaks being light, they can still carry everything you need for a trip on the water. You can find origami kayaks that can easily carry 300 pounds of distributed weight with some going as high as 400 pounds.
2. Foldable vessels are perfect for solo kayakers
Carrying a heavier hard-shell kayak solo can be awkward especially if your car is parked someway from the launch point. There is also some effort needed to get the kayak onto the roof rack of a vehicle and down again.
With a foldable kayak, however, there is no need to even have roof space as the vessel can collapse and fold up. Foldable kayaks can be as small as half the size of a hard-shell kayak when collapsed, allowing them to fit inside a small vehicle easily.
They can be carried to the launch point and assembled in no time at all. When it is time to go home, the kayak can be broken down quickly, carried to your car, and stored away.
3. They are perfect for leisure activities or for beginner kayakers
Foldable origami kayaks work perfectly on flat water such as lakes and ponds. You can take a foldable kayak out in a bay also, so they suit beginners who should get used to paddling on bodies of water such as these.
While some foldable kayaks are not recommended for whitewater, many models are suitable for windy conditions and open waters. Some foldable kayaks can be used on Class II or Class III rapids under the International Scale of River Difficulty.
4. Foldable kayaks are quick to ready and launch
Not only can you carry a foldable kayak direct to the launch point with ease, but the process of setting one up is also simple. After a bit of practice, a foldable kayak can be assembled in just 3 or 4 minutes.
Despite the appearance of an origami kayak, they are very durable. Foldable kayaks are tested and proven to last thousands of folding cycles. It is very common to see these kayaks approved for 20,000 folding cycles, and treated with UV protection guaranteed for a decade.
If you are wondering about the safety of inflatable kayaks and their folding cousins, then you’ll be pleased to note foldable kayaks can also take the same type of knocks and abuse that hard-shell vessels do.
5. Storage is never a problem with a foldable kayak
No matter how small your home is, you can store a foldable kayak easily under the bed, in a closet, and inside a small car when traveling.
Many people are put off buying their own kayaks due to storage concerns, but foldable or inflatable kayaks overcome this problem. Even the smallest apartment should have space for a foldable kayak.
Foldable kayaks are lightweight, easy to carry, and extremely convenient. Transporting a foldable kayak is far easier than with a traditional model, and this means they can be taken almost anywhere where you are able to launch from.
Foldable kayaks might make the best choice for beginners as they are ideal for leisurely paddling and don’t require loads of storage space. Indeed, foldable kayaks need no roof space on vehicles at all.
And despite having to be folded and collapsed, they are guaranteed for thousands of folding cycles, treated for UV, and are highly reliable.