Sea kayak transportable - Oru Kayak Coast XT or pakayak

On Wednesday I will take an introduction course and test kayaking for the first time. I’m super excited since I have been looking for a proper outdoor hobby for quite some time now.

If I think it’s an activity for me after the course I want to buy a kayak asap. Since I live in flat with no access to a car in a city close to the archipelago here in Sweden I found this to be my best choice so far “ Oru Kayak Coast XT”. Mainly since it’s so easy to transport and got quite good reviews.

Now I also found pakayak. Which also seems to fit my needs.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

My advice would be to take your class and talk with your instructor about options. I know there are kayak clubs in the Stockholm area where you can borrow or store an actual kayak. I have lost my contact information, but there are many kayakers in your area in the same situation. The Oru kayaks are in my opinion not well suited to paddling cold water in Scandinavia, even though you will likely be in protected areas to begin with, the boats are flimsy and don’t have adequate flotation and are difficult to get back into in case of capsize. The pakyak looks interesting but I would not want to take that design in rougher waters. If you get into kayaking you will soon find both boats hinder your progress. I would get advice from local kayakers in clubs and at shops before buying anything.


SeaDart is spot on. If you can find a kayaking club with storage that would be the best choice. I too would avoid the Oru Kayaks.

There is Chuck von Yamashita here who paddles Alaskan waters with his dog Paris. He is seen paddling inflatable kayaks rather frequently. Perhaps message him for an opinion. There is also Willowleaf, she owns several inflatable and folding kayaks She would be another person to ask advice.

There are and have been folding kayak makers that could be an option. I imagine Klepper folding kayaks might also be found in Sweden There are even kayaks that break down into sections. Point 65 Sweden comes to mind. I would look for used kayaks for sale that might be storable in the space you have available.

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Scansport is headquartered in Europe (France) and is the distributor for PakBoat kayaks. Their Quest 150 model has many advantages over both the Oru (which is not a kayak I would take into open ocean) and the much heavier Pakayak. Prices are quite reasonable too.
(I have owned 5 models of the Pakboats so I can attest to their quality and performance.) You can find videos on YouTube of people using PakBoat models for sea kayaking and even sailing.

The Pakayak at 59 pounds is not a boat I would consider “portable”. Unless you are The Hulk, it would be a challenge to carry one on your bag or even tow it on a dolly for transport. My Pakboat Quest 135, which is similar dimensions when set up to the Pakayak, only weighs 27 pounds, can be set up in less than 30 minutes and I can pack it in a standard rolling suitcase for airline or train travel or to carry in the boot of a rental car.

There are actually many better options than the two you were considering and most are European made.

Here is a link to a major German representative of folding kayak line s including Nortik and Triton as well as Pakboat . They have a map showing where their European dealers are located and there are several in Scandinavia.

Other seaworthy folding kayaks are available from Longhaul and Klepper.

Also, occasionally, used models of Canadian-made Feathercraft folding kayaks sometimes come up for sale. The company stopped producing them about 10 years ago but they made the widest selection of models and, though costly, they were very well-designed and well-made and are among the best performing for sea kayaking (I admit I am biased since I have owned 4 of them and still use one regularly a 15’ 7" Wisper solo sea kayak.)

There is a Facebook group “Feathercraft Folding Kayak Aficionados” where owners of the boats and those seeking to buy them post discussion.


We have both the Oru Coast XT and a Pakboat Quest 150. We use them as loaners for when relatives are visiting. Our normal kayaks are P&H Cetus.

Between the Oru and Packboat, I would recommend the Pakboat Quest. It performs much better, has better build quality, and is more user friendly in terms of being able to stow and access gear. I would take it out in conditions I would not take the Oru.

Thanks all for your input! Will discuss with the course leader on Wednesday but the PakBoat Quest 150 model sounds awesome!

One thing I will say is that the Oru is super quick to assemble/disassemble and very easy to store. We have two that we use on days where we’re going to a beach that has no conditions, and flat water to paddle around near shore. They don’t really compare to my main kayaks, but they are exceedingly great to get into the sport with.

I’d especially recommend you try to pick one up used, get a feel for paddling and start developing some preferences, and then look at more robust portable/collapsable boat options.

Definitely make any buying decisions well after taking the class. Better yet, rent or borrow boats for a while also before buying.

The standard for design and performance is a hard shell kayak, with deck lines and compartments separated by bulkheads. All portable kayaks are making some tradeoff as compared to hard shell. At various times in my paddling career, I have had folding and inflatable kayaks, but in each case I got rid of them and came back to finding a way to have hard shell kayaks.

One of Oru’s big tradeoff is in regards to rescues/recoveries. The Coast and Bay models are possibly rescue-able in deep water (the others are not), but the process is a bit more challenging than with a modern hard shell and definitely needs to be practiced/perfected if you want a chance of being successful. You do need to have optional float bags installed front and back, and preferably larger ones than the ones Oru offers.

A big concern is if the boat has a lot of water in it when you do a 2 person T-rescue. With bulkhead less boats, the standard is the TX version , where the boat is dragged upside down over the rescuers deck and teeter tottered back and forth to drain water out. This is hard enough and rarely done as most hard shell boats have bulkheads, such that few know how to do it. With the Oru, you add to this that if there is a lot of water in the boat, the slider on the top deck that holds the two halves together has been known to break. Common suggestion seems to be to pump the boat out before trying to rescue, which means that the swimmer is in the water even longer.

I don’t have experience with Pakayak, but looking at it I am concerned about the sealing ability of the seams given there isn’t a bulkhead on both sides of the ends of the pieces. I much prefer the basic design of Point65 kayaks (a Swedish company -, which makes each pieces as separately sealed pieces.

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Don’t buy until after the class. Use the instructor as a resource for advice. Plus you really won’t know enough to make a good choice until after. And you may find there are storage options for a hard shell after talking to more kayakers. The Oru craft are what they are. Which is limited even if the pricier ones.

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Oru is sign material JUNK

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I forgot to post photos of my Pakboat Quest 135. This is a slightly scaled down version of the Quest 150 they came out with the first year they made them but the design is basically the same. Also a review from Paddling Magazine (note that Pakboats corrected the too-high seat issue since then and the stability is no longer a problem.)

I disagree with this sentiment. Oru may have bad advertising practices but their kayaks are great for getting folks who live in apartments into calm waters to enjoy nature. If you live in an apartment and must own your kayak rather then joining a club then its not a bad option.

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Looks amazing! What are your thoughts about building time?

Thanks for your input! My main concern is leacking and that you need extra floating pads (haha even with quite good English I’m not sure that a correct sentence😅, but hopefully it makes sense) do you have any real life experience with oru?

I have a beach LT and Haven II that we take out to the bay on calm days. Pretty good to just float around and relax.

My main fleet is a Delta 16 and two surfski style boats - Stellar S16 G2 and Epic 14x

I have been using folding kayaks for 20 years and frane and skin assembly is similar for most of them. There are videos on YouTube you can watch to see the process. Often the first time I set one up for the season it can take me 40 minutes because I make a couple of mistakes I have to go back and do over. And if I know I will not be taking the boat apart after paddling it is necessary to apply Boeshield T-9 lubricant (bicycle shops sell it) to the joint connections in the frame, especially for use in salt water. This is to prevent corrosion of the metal which can make the frame tubes stick together, That adds about 5 minutes to the process.

And yes, for any folding kayak you need to have inflatable flotation bags in the bow and stern. This is to reduce the area inside that would fill with water if you capsized. Wearing a properly fitted spray skirt also helps keep water out of the kayak.

But after the first time I set up the Quest (or any of my other folding kayaks) I don’t make mistakes any more and can usually assemble in 20 to 30 minutes. Taking it apart to pack it down takes about 10 minutes. The directions from Packboat are a little unclear so I posted a series of photos and instructions on the photo share ste Flickr. If you do get a Quest I can send you a link to it — I sometimes look at the photos myself again before I assemble the boat to remind myself of the steps.

It is as yet unclear that the OPer does not have more options than they know. Paddling clubs etc are more common where he is than here.

Get that lesson, talk with instructors and explore all of your options first.
Paddling in the US tends to be a much more on-your-own unsupported activity than in much of Europe.

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I have paddled and traveled folding Feathercraft kayaks quite a bit. They are maintenance intensive. Another option would be a sectional. I used to have a 3 piece Nordkapp. It was quite heavy and sold it as I have back problems. I think Valley and SeaKayak UK still make sectionals

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You know, not everyone wants to go to school off the bat for a recreational activity. Its not necessary to take a class and prepare a thesis on boats to enjoy paddling. If OP wants to lazily float around calm waters, they don’t need a paddling lesson to do that. IF they find they like the sport, they can increase their involvement and commitment.

@Timeforheroes - good luck on your paddling journey and let us know which way you go!