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Buyers Guide & Information

Oru Kayak Reviews

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced kayaker, we have all the Oru folding kayak information you need for selection.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Oru Kayak Reviews

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced kayaker, we have all the Oru folding kayak information you need for selection.

by PITeam

by PITeam

There are many different kayak models available in the market today, but most models are built in a permanent position and cannot easily be folded down. Oru Kayak makes foldable kayak models for every type of water condition so that you can conveniently store your kayak in tight spaces without sacrificing quality.

The Oru Beach, Bay & Coast XT kayaks are great options for beginner kayakers and experienced kayakers who want an easily portable and high-quality durable kayak.

Oru Kayak began on Kickstarter. The founder, Anton Willis, had spent years growing up hiking, and when he moved to the Bay area, he found that kayaking was his way to escape into nature. The only problem? He had a hard time keeping a kayak in his new home because there wasn’t enough room. Anton decided that by creating a foldable kayak, he could keep his love of kayaking alive and help others find nature.

The Oru Kayak brand is dedicated to creating high-quality, durable kayaks that offer easy portability. Simply fold them down, store them, and take them wherever you want to go. Each kayak comes with a one-year warranty and is made out of high-quality materials.

This brand doesn’t offer affordable or inexpensive kayak options because it prides itself on using the best materials to create its kayaks. This is what sets the brand apart: extreme portability and high-quality build materials. You won’t find a stronger and more durable foldable kayak on the market today.


Pros and Cons of Buying Oru Kayaks

The advantages of buying an Oru kayak are numerous. One of the best reasons to purchase an Oru kayak is the portability. The ability to fold the kayak down and take it with you on trips as well as easily store it at home is the #1 selling point of this brand. There isn't another brand on the market that makes foldable kayaks as well as Oru.

Oru also creates each of its foldable kayaks with a specific purpose in mind so you can choose which portable option makes the most sense for you. You will also save money by being able to bring your foldable kayak along with you on RV trips, road trips, and other adventures where you would otherwise need to rent a kayak. These kayaks also glow at night, which can help keep you safe and are made in the U.S.

There are a few disadvantages of buying an Oru kayak. The most significant drawback would be the need to fold and unfold the kayak. Some people find this process tedious and would prefer to lug around a much heavier kayak. The other disadvantage would be the price. These kayaks are made with high-quality build materials, so you won't find anything cheap here. Purchasing a kayak from Oru is an investment, and some people are not ready to make that level of investment.


Choosing the Best Oru Kayak

Where will you be using your kayak?

When it comes to choosing a kayak, you want to consider the different water environments where you want to kayak. Experiences on lakes, rivers, and coastlines all vary in the type of water you might find as well as the weather.

You want to take the water environment and weather environment into consideration when choosing your kayak model. Oru has different kayaks for different water conditions. If you plan to kayak in whitewater conditions, you will want to consider purchasing a spray skirt.

What is your experience with kayaking?

There are different skill levels with kayaking. Most kayaks are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced kayaking. Most beginner kayakers will choose a lighter recreational kayak model as they begin kayaking.

Later, they may upgrade to a more heavy-duty or advanced model. Typically, beginner models are cheaper and come with fewer premium parts, as well as fewer "add-ons" or extra features. Intermediate and advanced kayaking tend to offer more upgrades.

Do you need a Solo or Tandem Kayak?

A solo kayak is for a single person, while a tandem kayak is for two people to use at once. The tandem kayak is the best option for couples who plan to kayak together and do not want to kayak separately. A tandem kayak is also an excellent option for individuals who plan to invite a friend to kayak with them, but do not have friends with their own equipment.

That said, many people prefer the freedom and flexibility of kayaking in a solo kayak. Purchasing two single kayaks may be a better option for these people. We recommend testing the experience for yourself and renting both solo kayaks and tandem kayaks to see which you prefer. Tandem kayaks are more difficult to store because they tend to be significantly longer.

Do you want a lighter or heavier model?

Kayaks come in both lighter and heavier models. Lighter models will give you room to carry more gear, but most lightweight models cost more because they require more expensive materials. A heavier model can also feel sturdier and may be best for people who plan to kayak in whitewater conditions.

What extra features are important to you?

When you buy a kayak, you also want to review the extra features that are included with the boat. You can always purchase add-on features to customize your kayak, but it's worth considering what is already included. A common feature that may be important to you would be the rudder, tracking fins, or skegs that can come with kayaks. These extra features help keep your boat moving along in a straight line.

How much do you want to spend?

Kayaks come in a variety of price ranges from $150 to $2,000. The more affordable options tend to be solo kayaks that come without extra features. These bare-bones models are great for the beginner or recreational kayaker who doesn’t plan to travel far or adventure into more difficult water conditions.  

More expensive models make more sense for the person who wants to test water conditions, adventure, travel, or who prefers durable, high-quality materials.


Oru Kayaks Reviewed & Compared

1. ORU Beach Lt

Product Specifications

Weight of Unit

26 lbs.

Dimensions (Folded)

33 x 12 x 29 Inches

Dimensions (Assembled)

12 ft. x 28 in.

Warranty

Yes, one year warranty

Max Load Capacity

300 lbs.

Best For

Beginners & Anyone Who Wants to Spend the Day on Calm Waters

The Oru Beach Lt is one of the lightest kayaks available and one of the easiest kayaks to put together. It’s a great choice for beginners because it was made to head out for a casual day of paddling. Made out of 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene, this solo kayak can be put together in as little as five minutes.

The strong durability of the build materials means that this kayak can easily withstand bumping into underwater obstacles such as rocks.

This kayak, however, was not made for extreme water or weather conditions. If you are an advanced kayaker who wants to go whitewater kayaking, you will need to look elsewhere. This kayak is best for calm waters, particularly lakes. Weighing in at only 26 lbs, this kayak is easy to fold down and carry with you to campsites, lakes, and other steady open water areas.

Scott on Oru Kayak's website said, “We got 2 Beach LTs for my wife’s 70th birthday; 1 for her, 1 for me. Lightweight enough for us to get in and out of vehicles and get to and from the water. No hassling with car racks or storage racks in the garage. We can get both ready for launch in 20 minutes.”

If you want a lightweight, durable kayak made with high-quality materials for simple relaxing days on calm water lakes, then you want the Oru Beach Lt.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight at 26 lbs. and easy to bring with you on trips
  • Strong durability and withstands bumping into underwater obstacles such as rocks
  • Quick 20-minute max start-up time when putting the kayak together for each trip; most set-up in 5 minutes!

Cons

  • Best for calm waters, not up to whitewater water conditions
  • Only fits one person

2. ORU Bay St

Product Specifications

Weight of Unit

28 lbs.

Dimensions (Folded)

33 x 12 x 29 Inches

Dimensions (Assembled)

12 ft. x 25 inches

Warranty

Yes, one year warranty

Max Load Capacity

300 lbs.

Best For

Intermediate - Lakes, Rivers, and Oceans

The Oru Bay St. is a lightweight kayak at only 28 pounds that can easily be folded down. This portable kayak is expensive but built with the highest quality materials and can withstand a variety of water conditions. It is the perfect choice for kayakers who like paddling on lakes, rivers, and oceans. It's also easy to travel with as it folds down to a suitcase-size so you can even bring it with you on a plane for the ultimate travel adventure!

Marcin said on Oru Kayak's website, “Over the last couple of months I found it extremely difficult to tear away from my new ORU. Every week, snow, wind, or rain I rode it over creeks and lakes close to home and out north. The boat cuts through water and holds its momentum inspire of the elements.”

Made with 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene, this kayak is ready to hit the water. A 10-year UV treatment protects the kayak from too much sun.

If you want a lightweight kayak that is sturdy enough for a beginner, but also strong enough to handle difficult water conditions, then you want the Oru Bay St. kayak. This kayak is a great choice for anyone who wants to kayak on the lake, river, or ocean with a portable folding kayak.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight at only 28lbs.
  • Can be used on lakes, rivers, and ocean water conditions
  • Easy portability and quick set-up & break down

Cons

  • A little challenging to figure out how to set-up initially, but after the first set-up, easy to replicate
  • Expensive kayak model

3. Oru Coast Xt

Product Specifications

Weight of Unit

36 lbs.

Dimensions (Folded)

33 x 12 x 29 in.

Dimensions (Assembled)

16 Ft. X 25 Inches

Warranty

Yes, 1 Year Warranty

Max Load Capacity

400 lbs

Best For

Serious Advanced kayaker, professional kayaker, surf and wind conditions

For the serious kayaker who wants to get out on the water at a professional level, let us recommend the Oru Coast Xt as the most advanced model Oru kayak on the market. At 16 feet long, this foldable kayak is inspired by traditional Arctic kayaks and is built to withstand active surf, winds, and harsh weather conditions. There is no adventure too perilous for the Coast Xt.

This model also boasts a 400 lb weight limit, so you’ll also be able to pack plenty of belongings for your trip.

Oru advertises the Coast Xt as “the new standard for spontaneous adventures,” and we couldn’t agree more. 

Who would have thought that we'd be able to get on a plane with our foldable kayaks and paddle our way around the most beautiful places in the world?

On the Oru Kayaks website, user Jonathon Smart says, “Now a proud Coast owner for almost a year, I couldn't be happier that I took the risk on Oru's Kickstarter last spring. The boat came ocean-ready, with float bags and a skirt, and has been used extensively in Washington, BC, and even on a vacation to Tahiti. I'm continually impressed by how well it paddles, and how easy it is to travel with it, whether by car or plane. Thank you Oru for making paddling this much fun!”

Whether you’re planning an adventure in your own backyard or halfway across the world, Oru has got you covered at a professional level with the Coast Xt. The only downside we could find to this superb kayak is that it is often sold out due to high demand!

Pros

  • Full 16-foot long kayak
  • Easy to fold and travel with
  • Made to withstand 20,000 foldings
  • 400 lb weight capacity

Cons

  • Often sold out due to high demand

Oru vs Other Kayak Brands

Oru Kayak stands out from its competitors with its dedication to quality build components and customer service. Where Oru Kayak particularly excels is in the foldable kayak department.

If you want a permanent kayak and are not interested in a foldable model, then you might want to spend more and buy a kayak with a more comfortable seat or other upgrades from Sun Dolphin or Ocean Kayaks. However, when it comes to premium folding kayak models, Oru Kayak has the market cornered.

Ocean Kayaks offers some of the best sit-on-top kayaks, and Sun Dolphin creates strong, affordable sit-in kayaks. Oru shines when it comes to adventure and traveling. All models are created with the goal in mind of traveling and can easily be folded down.

There are models designed specifically for light beginner paddling and others intended for challenging whitewater conditions, but all models are designed for portability. Customer service at Oru is also top-of-the-line, and their team truly cares about helping you get the most out of your time on the water.


Essential Oru Kayak Accessories

  • Paddles/Paddle Holders: 
    Paddles are a necessary part of kayaking and help you make your way through the water. This paddle is made out of aluminum and fiberglass shaft with a strong blade to create maximum water resistance that will propel you forward.
  • Spray skirt:
    A spray skirt helps to keep your kayak safe when paddling through extreme conditions. It has a hole for your waist but covers the rest of your kayak so that you won’t experience water overflow. If you plan to kayak through whitewater conditions, for example, we recommend purchasing a spray skirt like this one.
  • Seat wedge:
    A seat wedge, often comes with a backrest, and can make kayaking more comfortable. A padded seat surface is more comfortable to sit on for long periods. You can easily connect the seat to your kayak with straps.
  • Oru Pack:
    An Oru pack allows you to paddle in a variety of places by keeping everything you need in a simple bag. This backpack can hold any brand of Oru kayak and makes it easy to travel to the most remote of places. It's also airline compatible and highly durable.
  • Float bags:
    Float bags can help create additional buoyancy (Oru kayaks have an existing natural buoyancy) and are particularly helpful if your kayak takes on too much water. These bags help you ensure that even if your kayak is submerged, you won’t sink or capsize. You place one in the bow and one in the stern (front and back) of your kayak.
  • Anchor Trolleys:
    An anchor trolley for a kayak helps create a smoother turn experience for the kayak operator. You can use the trolley system to adjust your kayak easily regardless of wind or water currents.
  • Dry Storage:
    Dry storage usually comes in the form of a dry bag and is a waterproof way to keep things safe while kayaking. For example, if you want to bring a camera or a smartphone, you will want to bring a dry bag to protect them from water damage.
  • Rudders:
    A rudder can be placed on the bow or stern of the kayak to help steer the kayak. These are easy to install when purchased with a mounting kit such as this kit from Crack of Dawn.
  • LifeVest:
    If you are kayaking in deep water or difficult water conditions (fast-moving streams or rivers), then you should use a life jacket. A paddle sport personal flotation device is the perfect choice for kayakers who want a life vest that isn't bulky but will still keep them safe in an emergency. 

Oru Kayak Assembly & Folding Guide

To assemble and fold your Oru kayak, begin by opening the kayak box and taking out your kayak. Then, unfold the kayak. The next step is to attach the footrest. The footrest should be placed in the kayak's interior. From here, you will want to close the front of the kayak and the back of the kayak.

This is the "folding" aspect of the kayak, and you will unfold these parts when you want to put the kayak in storage. Now, it's time to insert the floorboard and install the seat.

Once you have assembled the kayak, we recommend looking at each screw and piece of hardware to make sure that everything is tight. You want to feel confident that the parts are securely connected. Then, it's time to get out into the water and have fun! Oru Kayak has individual videos for each kayak model with instructions that can make assembly a breeze.


Care, Maintenance & Storage

When taking care of your ORU kayak, you want to treat your kayak gently. Do not drag your kayak on the ground as you walk with it because you may hit sharp things. We recommend using the kayak’s handles to lift the kayak up and safely walk it to and from the water. Before going on a kayak trip, always check that all of the screws are in place. We recommend tightening anything that seems loose to keep your kayak in ideal shape.

After you have had a great day kayaking, you want to make sure that you rinse your kayak off with fresh water. Allowing salt and sediment to remain on the boat can damage the kayak over time. Make sure that all water is also drained out of the boat. Then, store your Oru kayak in a place without direct sunlight. While the kayaks do have a 10-year UV treatment, it's still best to store the kayak in a shaded or sheltered area. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do ORU kayaks last?

Oru kayaks have a 10-year UV treatment and come with a 12-month warranty. The brand cares about durability, and their kayaks have a rating of 20,000 folds. This means that you should be able to use your ORU kayak for a span of three to ten years, depending on how often you use it.

Are ORU kayaks durable?

Yes! Oru kayaks are durable. These kayaks might be foldable, but they are made from a custom polypropylene material with neoprene coverage for the bow and stern. There is a small tab that keeps the bow connected, and this has been shown to wear down with repeated use, but it's an easy part to replace if this happens. 

Do Oru kayaks come with warranties?

Yes! Each ORU kayak comes with a 12-month warranty.

How do I contact Oru kayaks' customer service hotline?

You can contact ORU kayaks’ customer service hotline by calling: 415-630-3717. If you cannot reach a customer service representative, you also have the option of sending an email to service@orukayak.com.

Where can I find the serial number of my ORU kayak?

To find the serial number of your Oru kayak, look at the right side of the kayak. The serial number will be between the hull and deck on the side seam.

Where is a good place to buy Oru Kayaks online?

The best place to buy ORU kayaks online is Amazon.com. Amazon offers affordable pricing and a wide range of models.


Conclusion

When it comes to portable folding kayak models engineered specifically for travel and adventure, Oru Kayaks stands out from the crowd. The Oru BeachOru Bay & Coast XT kayak models are excellent choices for the avid adventurer who wants to be able to easily store their kayak and travel to remote locations.

It's convenient and sure to help you head out on the water more frequently. Check out the Oru Bay model for long days and overnight trips. Alternatively, purchase the Oru Beach model if you want easy paddling and a lightweight model. If your an advanced paddler, go for the professional Coast XT model.

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