Touring kayaks may offer a fantastic means of exploring your local waterways, although owners generally require things like a roof rack on their car, a large storage area, and a willingness to lug the boat around when on land – the things also aren't cheap. That's why Canadian outdoors enthusiast Inna Morgan invented the Justin Case kayak. It weighs only 5.7 lb (2.6 kg), and packs down into a shoulder bag when not in use.
"I love being outdoors but kayaking has always seemed off-limits – I didn't have the money or the transportation equipment to own one," Morgan tells us. "I wanted something that was more aligned with the millennial lifestyle – something portable, greener, smaller, more accessible. The initial frustration eventually evolved into a kayak I could throw in the back seat and bring with me on longer hikes."
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The kayak's frame is made of a collection of carbon fiber poles, the ends of which the user inserts into a series of 3D-printed connectors. It's not unlike a giant version of Tinkertoys, really.
Once the frame is put together, a ripstop nylon skin is then pulled over it and secured with built-in closures. The whole assembly process is claimed to take about 10 minutes, with the boat being able to carry over 250 lb (113 kg).
When disassembled and stuffed in its pack, the kayak measures no more than 40 inches long by 6 inches wide (102 x 15 cm). This means that it can be stored in a closet, transported on a plane, or – as in Inna's case – thrown on a back seat and taken on a hike.
The Justin Case is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of CAD$690 (about US$530) will get you one, assuming it reaches production. The planned retail price is CAD$850 ($653). It can be seen in use, in the video below.