Which Collapsible Boat Should You Buy? A Ranking.

Handicapping the race to build the world's most portable boat

By Evan Bleier

 
Which Collapsible Boat Should You Buy? A Ranking.
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13 February 2017

Sometime last year, there grew a feeling in the air that had people across the U.S. dreaming about escaping to remote locations in the wilderness, and quickly. No idea what that could've been.

Whatever it was, intrepid innovators came up with a number of transportable kayak and canoe builds as  a response, designed to make getting a dinghy over to your far-off fishing hole as easy as possible. Below, six of our favorites, ranked by how likely we’d be to fork over some clams for ‘em.

6. Pakayak, $1,695

The Good: Fifty-five-pound hardshell kayak; measures 14 feet but can shrinks down to 3.5 feet to fit in a duffel bag; assembles in five minutes; can accommodate fold-up seats and a rudder.

The Bad: Max capacity of 275 pounds; plastic frame has the potential to crack; goofy looking.

The Verdict: The assembly time and size discrepancy sound appealing, but not at that price.

5. ONAK, $1,260

The Good: Fifteen-foot foldable vessel that converts into a 16" x 48" x 10" wheeled case; weighs 27 pounds; room for two passengers weighing 550 pounds; made of 100% recyclable material.

The Bad: Open design looks like it has the potential to take on water; seems unwieldy to move.

The Verdict: It’s not cheap, but this canoe can carry two and hold a solid amount of weight.

4. K-Pak, $875

The Good: Nine-foot-long kayak-canoe hybrid weighing 21 pounds with a foldable frame and inflatable seats, converts to a backpack in five minutes; made from polyurethane and aluminum.

The Bad: Isn’t really lightweight enough to be truly elite in that category; carries just 280 pounds.

The Verdict: The combo craft isn’t the lightest or strongest, but the backpack design has appeal.

3. Oru Beach Kayak, $1,175

The Good: Twelve-foot-long kayak that compresses into a 33" x 12" x 29" box; collapses from 28-inch-wide kayak to box in three minutes; weighs 26 pounds; has 140 liters of storage space.

The Bad: Warranty is only good for a year; holds just 300 pounds; extremely open cockpit.

The Verdict: The storage space, width and set-up time make up for its potential shortcomings.

2. Justin Case Kayak, $530

The Good: Roll-up kayak that weighs only 5.7 pounds; boat measures 116" x 26" but is 40" x 5" curled up; carbon fiber frame and ripstop skin; assembles in 10 minutes; very transportable.

The Bad: Holds just 300 pounds; not much storage space for extra gear; durability concerns. 

The Verdict: The price and weight can’t be beat, but the boat’s longevity seems like an issue.

1. MyCanoe, $1,400

The Good: Fifty-two-pound origami canoe; measures 14.5 feet and folds into a 37” x 8” x 25” case; convert case to canoe in 10 minutes; marine-grade polypropylene hull; holds 440-pounds.

The Bad: Needs optional stabilizer kit for max stability; paddles are not included; not much else.

The Verdict: The foldable boat’s capacity and soon-to-be discounted price make it a winner

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