ORU Folding Kayak

Seriously considering the purchase of an ORU folding kayak. Anybody have any experience with these? I am particularly interested in their durability. The weight and size are perfect for me, but I am always a little skeptical of the reviews on a products web site! Thanks for any help.

Unsure of which model you’re
interested in, but there are some reviews here at Pnet:


check on the folding kayaks site
There is a website specifically for folding (and inflatable) kayaks with a forum similar to this one. There have been some posts on there about the Orus.


what type of use?
Open water, moving water, calm lakes and streams?

some reports
Since I frequent folding kayak forums (having owned 6 of them) I’ve heard varying complaints about them, mostly that the seats are terribly uncomfortable and that the latches that connect the panels can be fidgety and also susceptible to wear and breakage. Perhaps they have improved them, but early reports were that the footbraces were either lacking or flimsy.

The seat comfort can be fixed by using an Ensolite sleeping pad or closed cell yoga mat, folded and rolled to make a custom sitting platform). In fact, even if you find the seat comfortable, I find that in most folding kayaks it’s best to lay a half sheet of Ensolite (or yoga mat) under your legs between the seat and the foot pegs because the structural components of the boat can sometimes chafe your calves.

My sense is that the Orus are fine for people who do occasional day trips on sheltered flat water but probably would not stand a lot of abuse. The 12’ versions would be pretty much day boats for moderate water anyway, just like conventional kayaks that small. I don’t think the 16’ models have been out long enough to get a lot of feedback in more challenging waters

You do need to use inflatable flotation bags in the bow and stern since they lack bulkheads and will fill with water if swamped or capsized. Well fitted and inflated flotation bags also give a little extra structural integrity to folding kayaks, providing internal pressure against the skin from the inside of the hull.

Have you compared the Orus to other folder and inflatable options?

paddled the Oru at a demo day and was very underwhelmed with it’s performance. It was the 12’ model and while it paddled just ok, it’s flex, creaking, and build quality made me question it. I then paddled a SeaEagle 393RL RazorLite and wow, it’s a outstanding performer. It’s a inflatable, but with full drop stitch technology, it pumps up fast (6-8 minutes) and hard as a board. Seriously, this paddles well with excellent speed, good primary/better secondary stability, outstanding build quality, high quality valves (3 valves total), and is light at 33 lbs. Do yourself a big favor and paddle it before you buy kayak. It’s really the only kayak I ever get excited about and talk about easy transport! It comes in it’s own backpack, seat, paddle, and quality pump. They run $899. and if you buy direct from SeaEagle, they offer a 180 day full refund…amazing. Check youtube for some videos, but paddle one if possible.

Story from Outside Magazine
Not impressed. When these kayaks first came out they were arranging demos in San Diego. I attempted to arrange a review in mild surf Lajolla Cove and the company never responded either to direct emails or facebook page.

Here’s a story about paddlers needing an Oru-rescu


SD Demos
I got to be a part of a San Diego demo two years ago now I guess it was. They’ll paddle well enough in a nice calm marina, but when we practiced self-rescues it felt realllllly flimsy.

I wondered about that.
I recently did some assisted rescues with someone in a folding kayak. I’m not sure which brand and model it was, but it was probably 14’ to somewhere slightly less than 14’. I really enjoyed the opportunity, as it didn’t have bulkheads, and I enjoyed getting to practice dealing with emptying a completely flooded kayak.

This one felt and appeared sturdy enough. However, when crawling up on the deck to get in, it had enough flex that it submerged the back of the cockpit opening, and would just flood back full by the time the person re-entered. When sitting in the bottom of the hull like normal, it was fine. But up on the deck, it just didn’t have the stiffness to support the weight without too much give. We tried a couple times on the water, and ended up paddling the flooded kayak to shore to empty it again and re-enter.

Does the Oru do ok in that department? Was there consideration of full weight on the deck without damage? I’m not saying it’s right or wrong one way or the other. It just helps to define safe use.

Thank you all. Still doing research but am thinking not an ORU!

the TRAK Seeker 16

portable, fast to set up and take down…paddles nice

a little bulkier to transport, but worth it {YMMV}

I had one as a demo…otherwise no affiliation

Best Wishes