If you haven’t heard about or seen an Oru foldable Kayak, you will soon (well… you just did). The San Francisco-based company has three models of its “Origami” kayaks that literally fold up into a box, and can be backpacked into remote waters, thrown in a car, or checked on an airplane. They’ve won almost every outdoor award there is from Outside’s gear of the show (Outdoor Retailer) to being included in the Museum of Modern art.
They’re tough as nails and insanely light, weighing in at about 26 pounds. Two weeks ago, we loaded eight kayaks into a short bed pickup truck and dropped in on the John Day river in eastern Oregon for a three-day stint camping and fishing for bruiser smallmouth bass. We paddled 45 miles, with all our overnight gear, food, etc., stowed in the boats. We lashed both spinning and fly rod to the outsides of the boats and used them regularly while floating. Given the conditions of high pushy water and limitations on space, the boat preformed amazingly well with plenty of space and comfort for all day paddling.
Word on the street is the company is working on some modular ad-ons for anglers of all walks, and given the fishing usability of the boats as is, I’d say this is one company worth watching.
– Tim Romano