The Most Packable Kayak: Meet the Oru Inlet

Oru is shaking up the boating world with the release of the lightest, most packable, least expensive folding kayak. It easily fits in your trunk and sets up in just 3 minutes.

California-based Oru is no stranger to creating a stir. In 2013, the San Francisco startup brought a new concept to the boating world. Its pack-up kayaks employed light and translucent material that gave travelers and urbanites a new option to store and transport a full-size watercraft with ease.

We’ve tested the Oru Bay, paddled one down whitewater, and ogled the tandem Haven. And they’ve generally lived up to the promise: a packable boat that doesn’t sacrifice function. But all that awesome comes with a hefty price tag.

Until today. Oru is launching its lightest, most packable, least expensive boat to date: the Oru Inlet.

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Oru Inlet Foldable Kayak

It’s hard to imagine a full-size, functional kayak you can easily hold above your head one-handed. But that’s exactly what you get with Oru. The Inlet weighs a scant 20 pounds, which is 29 percent lighter than the flagship Bay ST model.

And it folds into a tinier package, too. At just 10 inches wide, it’s small enough to stash under the sofa; you can fit three boats in a standard trunk. Apartment-dwellers, compact car drivers, and frequent travelers will love having an easily portable boat. And so will gear-lovers whose garages are overflowing, van-lifers who want a boat, or anyone else interested in an uber-packable boat.

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Perhaps most exciting of all is the quick setup. In past tests, we’ve noted that there’s a bit of a learning curve when assembling an Oru boat. It can easily take a newbie half an hour to successfully figure it out.

But thanks to a completely redesigned folding pattern, the Inlet boasts a speedy box-to-boat assembly. Supposedly, it will take just 3 minutes to set up.

Affordable Origami Kayak

In addition to packability, lightness, and speedy setup, the Inlet is the cheapest boat Oru makes. It will retail for $850. And while that’s still a big chunk of change, it’s exciting to see a sub-$1,000 kayak in the lineup.

And you can save even more right now. For a limited time, the Inlet is available for $699 during the presale.

Oru Inlet Kayak Details

  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Packed dimensions: 42″ x 18″ x 10″
  • Full boat size: 10′ x 31″
  • Retail: $850
  • Presale: $699
  • Learn more

Oru Inlet Kayak: Test Ride Review

We had a chance to paddle an early model of the Inlet this summer. It’s a sweet little boat — but read on before you buy one.

The Oru Inlet is more of a “let’s take it to the lake and goof around” boat than the brand’s other offerings. It paddles great, but with an open deck and short design, the brand does not intend this one to ride serious whitewater or head out to sea in expeditions.

Check it out in our Outdoor Retailer Summer Market video below.

This boat is perfect for a day of fishing on your local lake or river. While it tracks fine, it’s short and reacts quickly to paddle strokes. Use it at the beach, or take your dog for a paddle. It’s a fun little boat much more aimed at low-key recreation than the rest of the line.

For people who want a capable recreational kayak that you can fit in your closet, this one is a great choice. It assembles and disassembles very quickly and will handle a modest day at the lake with no trouble.

See the Oru Inlet on Kickstarter

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Mallory Paige
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Gear Editor Mallory Paige credits a childhood exploring the Rocky Mountains for her love of the outdoors. She recently spent a memorable year motorcycle camping across North America (with her dog!) and is now enjoying introducing her baby girl to all manner of adventure.

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