By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Today’s Oru Kayak Review is all about design & functionality. Folding kayaks are starting to make waves (😜) in the community of water enthusiasts, and prove to be a portable way we can travel with a full-size tandem kayak while RVing.
Oru Kayak is a rather new company out of San Francisco. They received their first big media push with a positive appearance on Shark Tank. And, now they are in REI stores nationwide.
In this review we’ll be focusing on The Haven by Oru Kayak – it is the tandem model.
Watch the Oru Kayak Haven Review Video:
#1 Size of the Oru Kayak
I must admit, this kayak (in it’s suitcase form) is a little bit larger than I anticipated. The folded measurements are approximately 30x30x15. This feels comparable to the largest suitcase I’ve experienced in an airport.
However, it still fits easily in the truck bed with plenty of room to spare.
The engineers at Oru Kayak did an amazing job of figuring out how to fold this 16 foot kayak into 30 inches at its longest folded dimension. It’s origami at its finest!
#2 Weight of the Oru Kayak
This kayak weighs only 40lbs! It’s important to state, however, 40lbs in suitcase mode feels a lot heavier than 40lbs in kayak mode. Both my wife and I can easily transport it ourselves from the truck bed to the boat launch.
The Haven is the heaviest of all Oru Kayak models. Their single seater kayaks weigh between 24 and 36 pounds.
Compared to a standard tandem kayak at 76lbs, the Oru Haven still weighs in much lower.
#3 Portability of the Oru Kayak
The ease of portability is our number one reason for traveling with the kayak. We can tuck it into the side of our covered truck and still have room for our camping & music gear. This kayak should be able to fit in most car trunks as well.
When it’s folded in suitcase form, the top strap makes it easy to haul around.
We had to get rid of our two beloved standard kayaks once we began full time RV life. This was a major bummer to us, but there was no logical way to haul them across the USA year after year.
The Oru Kayak, and its ease of portability, has allowed us to get back out on the water.
#4 Quality of Construction
The Oru Kayak is constructed with 5mm double-layered polypropylene. Their website says it can be dragged on the ground and treated like a fiberglass boat. Don’t abuse it – but, know its rugged.
My biggest concern with it’s material is if it can withstand my truck bed liner. Pulling it in and out of the truck may abuse it too much over time. The upside is that the part that drags (the inner foot area) doesn’t play a roll in making the kayak water-tight.
Oru says this unit is good for 20,000 folds! There is no way we’ll come close to folding it 20,000 times. It’s fun to know that it can, though!
#5 Versatility of the Oru Kayak Haven
Even though this is marketed as a tandem kayak, it can also be set up as a single seater. The single seat setup allows for lots of gear and snacks for a solo fishing trip or plenty of room to bring our dog along.
In either single or double mode, Oru says the kayak can hold up to 500lbs. We pushed it to its limit on our first trip our (my pregnant wife brought lots of snacks) and we had no issues whatsoever.
The kayak’s setup time also makes is pretty cool. The first time we set it up it took 25 minutes. The first time we broke it down it took ten. I’m guessing it will take 15 minutes to set up next time and become quicker still as we perfect the process.
#6 It’s Just Cool
The Oru Kayak just looks cool. Almost everyone we saw on our kayaking trip asked us about it. This can be a good or bad thing…but for us it was a fun conversation started with fellow water enthusiasts.
The design is reminiscent of Apple products. Smooth lines, bright colors and clever connections make it an undeniable design marvel
We think it will look great with our 1979 Airstream Argosy! The color and shape match nicely.
#7 Oru Kayak Offers Many Models
The tandem model is best for us, but we know many folks love kayaking in their own unit. Oru currently offers 4 models (possible more in the future). Below you can see the other models we didn’t talk about today!
If you love camping & kayaking make sure you check out our list of 20 Free Camping Sites You’ll Freakin’ Love. This list include many sites you can take your kayak out just feet away from your campsite.