Nautiraid Narak 550 foldable sea kayak

Looks great if you travel by air or have limited storage space.


Dang! Resembles a skinny pack mule. Absolutely impressive, but couldn’t understand him. Sounded like he chewing tobaccy.

Dis you get one for personal use?

To much time to assemble for me. Some videos I posted showed it used on expeditions. Looks like a quality product for serious kayaking.

Looking for pricing later.

The video looked impressive. I bet it would go over a waterfall. I’m thinking.

Price is incidental. YOU want that Nook.

550 is 4,600 USD not bad. Make a decent variety of hulls.

To much work. I’d get one if I traveled by air to different location.

What counts is whether it satisfies a need, and you have the means. For me, I came to realize my boat is like a comfortable shoe. That’s what I need.

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I like it because it’s nice engineering, quality product a safe product. Be nice for people who can’t store a regular kayak. I’d love to try it but videos look great.

Seems 5he make military stuff so it’s not JUNK.

I like the engineering. It doesnt look like performance suffers at all.

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Well not enough to be a drag. Pun intended :grinning:

Military has used folders for nearly a century, especially commando units.

And they have been used to cross oceans and both folding kayaks and canoes can be used in moderate whitewater (up to class 3).

The Narak 550 is the closest currently made folding kayak model to the out of production Feathercraft Wisper I have used since 2010.

Besides portability through folding into a duffel bag, folders tend to be significantly lighter than hard shells of similar dimensions. But the Narak is heavy at 53 pounds, 16 more than my Wisper. This is largely due to the Feathercraft (and even lighter Pakboat) folding kayaks using aircraft aluminum frames rather than wood.

European folders have traditionally used wood frames more often than metal. I suspect this is because one advantage of wood is that it is more resistant to salt water corrosion than aluminum – one has to be super diligent about lubricating AL frames and keeping them rinsed off or the frames can become “frozen” together. European paddlers are going to be more apt to paddle in sea water than North Americans because most of their populations are closer to seacoasts and estuaries. The old friend who introduced me to folders had been using a wood framed and canvas skinned Klepper to paddle in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic for over 20 years.

I confess I am drawn to Nautiraid’s latest offering, the sleek Nook, which is an ultra low profile Greenland style model that weighs only 43 pounds and supposedly sets up in 15 minutes. But I already have an 18’ x 20" Greenland boat that weighs 10 pounds less than that and even a similar, though scaled smaller, folder that only weighs 27 pounds (Pakboat Quest 135).

Nautiraid is a better value than the overpriced and hard to get Trak folders (with their horrible delivery delays and questionable customer service.)

I will say that all the folders I have owned (4 Feathercraft and 4 Pakboat models to date) were extremely comfortable boats. The fabric seat and back band arrangements are either inflatable or sling style and they cradle one in infinitely adjustable fashion.

And, for anyone who has never paddled a folding kayak (or canoe), they have a different feel in the water compared to plastic or composite boats. While you do notice a bit more drag in calm water, once things get rougher, folders excel in stability and control since they absorb some of the force of waves rather than being buffeted by them and they somewhat flex longitudinally which keeps them better in contact with the surface when broaching waves. And there is an overall sense of contact with the water that you don’t get in a hardshell.

Yeah, set up can be a pain with folders, in part because most have inflatable integral sponsons and you have to use float bags to fill the stern and bow space. But once you are familiar with the steps, most can be set up in 15 to 30 minutes.

And the convenience and ease of being able to heft a boat that weighs less than a toddler or the average mid-sized dog onto a roof rack with one hand as well as being able to check it as baggage and then transport it in the boot of a rental car at exotic locations is a pretty decent tradeoff.


Plus $1,100 shipping (to the East Coast)

Not for everyone, but perfect for those with limited storage or transportation issues. I think the wood would also be easier to replace if it becomes broken compared to a design using aluminum. First time set up would probably be a big pain until you get used to it.

I put together the Cross 405 model with one of their folks at the Euro trade show last year, and it was honestly a 12 to 15 minute job. Fit and finish are excellent (as good as I’ve seen on any other folding boat), and their pricing strikes me as very reasonable for the quality level they’re offering. If I wanted to paddle in a real kayak but couldn’t manage a rigid boat, I’d have no qualms about a Nautiraid.


I’ve owned a couple of Feathercraft folding kayaks that I paddled mostly in Florida’s Gulf Coast waters. I was especially fond of the 12 foot Kurrent but it was a hassle putting it together each time I wanted to paddle for a few hours and then rinsing it out and drying the interior. I replaced the Kurrent with a Feathercraft Aironaut which can go from stuff sack to launching in ten easy minute and weighs just 20 pounds. But the Aironaut is a decked kayak and just as difficult as was the Kurrent to rinse and dry after paddling. I suppose I could use a sea sock to make things easier but I have a strong aversion to them. An undecked version of the Aironaut might be close to the perfect inflatable, something like a long, narrow Innova Safari. And as to Innova, it appears that they may have stopped production. Anyone know why Innova Kayaks are currently unavailable?

The Pakboat Quest has an optional deck and can be paddled with or without it. And even if you choose to use it, it is easily removed to dry out the hull (attaches all along the gunwales with industrial grade wide velcro plus wrapover seals on bow and stern). It has inflatable sponsons along the length of the sides both for flotation and to tighten the skin. At 15’ long and 24" beam it is relatively sleek for a folder. Still not as quick to set up as your full inflatable Aironaut, but one of the things I like about Pakboats is being able to set them up as an open hull, without the “pretzel yoga” that situating the frame inside a Feathercraft hull requires.

The Feathercraft Java inflatable sit on top is close to what you imagine as an undecked Aironaut.

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Aluminum frames rarely break – they are the same technology as higher end backpacking tent frames. I did have a couple bend after unwisely carrying one of my Feathercrafts on a short roof rack during strong winds and highway speeds. But I was able to straighten them (with some effort) and the boat is still fully functional.

And the ribs of some makes are nylon reinforced plastic (similar to the material used for kitchen cutting boards). Very tough.

I don’t use float bags with my Pakboats Quest 150 as I think the 4 integrated inflatable sponsons running the length of the boat should be sufficient in case of a capsize. Still taking me an hour or so to set up but I’ve only used it twice so far although I love it’s lightweight (14kg), compact portability when folded and performance in the water! :slight_smile:
I would love to get the Nautiraid Nook or a Fujita Alpina-1 450 Hybrid EX that’s similar to the Pakboats Quest/Nautiraid and sets up in 30 mins or so if I had the spare cash!