A company that brought you the world’s first origami-inspired folding kayak is back again with a new model – the 16-foot Coast (and Coast+), which is a longer, expedition-style kayak designed for multi-day trips and choppier waters. The Coast offers some neat improvements over Oru‘s original 12-foot folding kayak, but retains the remarkably simple fold-out design that makes it easy to pack and carry, as well as fun to paddle.
The California-made Oru kayaks are built using a tough corrugated plastic for the hull, with nylon straps that secure the top seam and provide a seal that won’t take on water – even if you’re ambitious enough to do a roll, provided you have a good cockpit skirt. The box that the Oru Coast folds into, despite its 16-foot length, will fit in most car trunks and closets, and easily qualifies as standard checked baggage on flights, meaning it can go places other standard (and even traditional folding) kayaks can’t.
The Coast weight in at 31 pounds, which is incredibly light for a boat this size, and will support paddlers up to 400 lbs and 6’6″. It’s designed to be used by paddlers of all skill levels, and includes a built-in adjustable footrest. Oru says it should take 10 minutes or less to put it together from its folded configuration, and based on my personal experience with its original 12-foot model, that should be about right once you’ve done it a few times and gotten over the learning curve.
The original Oru Bay is a terrific kayak; it’s as fast as equivalent hard-bodied boats, and so far has proven incredibly durable, too. Oru runs these kayaks through incredible failure testing prior to shipping them to consumers, including doing things like dropping them off of buildings.
Oru debuted a Bay+ upgraded model of its original kayak late last year, but this time, it’s doing both a Coast and Coast+ right at launch. The Coast+ version of the new boat provides ratchet buckles for easier assembly, an improve, more ergonomic seat, thigh braces, and deck lines plus a folding hatch for additional accessory and storage support. Both new models should be faster and more comfortable than the Bay, owing to their elongated design.
Oru looks to start shipping the Coast beginning in August tock the first backers, with a target goal of $40,000 for its funding total. It’s already more than halfway to that mark after just a few hours of accepting backers, so there’s little doubt it’ll reach that threshold.