Outdoors

Oru launches its lightest, sleekest folding kayak ever

A pair of friends paddling in the Oru Inlet
A pair of friends paddling in the Oru Inlet
View 23 Images
The Oru Inlet is designed to integrate with daily life
1/23
The Oru Inlet is designed to integrate with daily life
Pack two or three in the back of the Mini
2/23
Pack two or three in the back of the Mini
Compact enough for trains, buses and airplanes
3/23
Compact enough for trains, buses and airplanes
The Inlet quickly folds out into a 10-foot kayak that can carry up to 275 lb
4/23
The Inlet quickly folds out into a 10-foot kayak that can carry up to 275 lb
An available backpack puts the weight of the Inlet on your shoulders and hips
5/23
An available backpack puts the weight of the Inlet on your shoulders and hips
Unlike a hard-walled kayak, the Inlet fits neatly in the smallest of homes
6/23
Unlike a hard-walled kayak, the Inlet fits neatly in the smallest of homes
At 20 lb, the Oru Inlet is designed to be easily carried 
7/23
At 20 lb, the Oru Inlet is designed to be easily carried 
Oru went back to the drawing board, designing an all-new folding pattern for lighter construction and quicker, easier set-up
8/23
Oru went back to the drawing board, designing an all-new folding pattern for lighter construction and quicker, easier set-up
Strap the Inlet on your back and e-scooter to the water
9/23
Strap the Inlet on your back and e-scooter to the water
A pair of Inlets packed and ready to transport
10/23
A pair of Inlets packed and ready to transport
The new backpack was built specifically for the Inlet
11/23
The new backpack was built specifically for the Inlet
Putting the seat into the Inlet kayak
12/23
Putting the seat into the Inlet kayak
Oru positions the Inlet as a beginner's kayak and all-around fun flat-water boat for those looking for something super-portable and easy to set up
13/23
Oru positions the Inlet as a beginner's kayak and all-around fun flat-water boat for those looking for something super-portable and easy to set up
A pair of friends paddling in the Oru Inlet
14/23
A pair of friends paddling in the Oru Inlet
Oru says complete set-up takes only three minutes or so
15/23
Oru says complete set-up takes only three minutes or so
The all-new Inlet is Oru's lightest, simplest and most compact model to date
16/23
The all-new Inlet is Oru's lightest, simplest and most compact model to date
The Inlet is also Oru's most affordable model
17/23
The Inlet is also Oru's most affordable model
Whether you live in a downtown studio apartment or roaming travel trailer, the Oru is designed to fit your life
18/23
Whether you live in a downtown studio apartment or roaming travel trailer, the Oru is designed to fit your life
The Inlet is a more everyday style of watercraft
19/23
The Inlet is a more everyday style of watercraft
Oru Inlet kayak
20/23
Oru Inlet kayak
Oru has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal several times over
21/23
Oru has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal several times over
On the water with the Oru Inlet kayak
22/23
On the water with the Oru Inlet kayak
The Oru Inlet kayak adds some flexibility in transport
23/23
The Oru Inlet kayak adds some flexibility in transport

Already the go-to for light, packable origami-inspired kayaks, Oru is now launching its lightest, most portable model to date. Sized down for the everyday commute, the new grab-and-go Inlet kayak rides to the water on your shoulder and sets up in under five minutes. It's the perfect watercraft for anyone who has limited space in a small apartment, tiny home or teardrop trailer but still wants to get out on the water regularly.

Portability and convenience were already strong selling points for Oru's other kayaks, but the company decided it could do even better. Founder Anton Willis started from scratch, developing the first new origami folding pattern Oru has released since its original kayak poked its head above water back in 2012. This allows the Inlet to quickly tuck and fold into a 42 x 19 x 10-in (107 x 48 x 25-cm) package that's a third slimmer than the latest iteration of the original Oru, the Bay ST. The Inlet weighs just 20 lb (9 kg), which is 6 lb (2.7 kg) lighter than Beach LT, the next lightest vessel in Oru's line.

At 20 lb, the Oru Inlet is designed to be easily carried 
At 20 lb, the Oru Inlet is designed to be easily carried 

The smaller size makes the Inlet easier to get to and from the water, whether driving in a small car, taking the train, hopping on an airplane or rolling the street on an e-scooter. It also makes it easier to store in cramped apartments or camper vans. The Inlet folds down to create a shoulder bag, and an available backpack custom-developed around its dimensions offers another convenient transport option, spreading the weight out between both shoulders and hips.

The Oru Inlet kayak adds some flexibility in transport
The Oru Inlet kayak adds some flexibility in transport

Beyond those obvious size and weight advantages, the new folding pattern makes the Inlet the easiest Oru kayak to set up. Oru says confidently that Inlet users can be on the water in less than three minutes after a few folds and snaps. Keys to the faster set-up are the fully integrated floor board and fewer loose components that need installing, both of which cut down on the number of steps between "shoulder bag" and "paddling away from shore."

Like Oru's other kayaks, the Inlet is made from a UV-treated corrugated polypropylene Oru playfully calls "OruPlast." It's a heavier, custom-made version of the rugged plastic from which US postal bins are made, a material definitely built to hold up to abuse. Oru rates its kayaks to 20,000 folds, which equates to a whole lot of paddling.

Oru positions the Inlet as a beginner's kayak and all-around fun flat-water boat for those looking for something super-portable and easy to set up
Oru positions the Inlet as a beginner's kayak and all-around fun flat-water boat for those looking for something super-portable and easy to set up

You might expect to pay a premium for all that redesigned convenience, but the Inlet prices in about US$400 cheaper than the Beach LT and is set to become the first Oru to break the $1,000 barrier with an estimated $899 retail price. Those willing to leap in early on Kickstarter will be able to reserve an Inlet for a $749 early bird pledge.

"I strongly feel that the Inlet is as close as we've ever come to building a product that breaks all the common barriers to boat ownership," Willis says.

Sounds like there's no reason to even consider a different Oru model ever again, but the Inlet does have some limitations. The 10-foot (3-m) kayak is unsurprisingly smaller than any of Oru's previous 12-foot+ (3.7-m+) boats. Oru positions it as a flat-water boat for all levels and ages, and it will lack some of the comfort and performance of more expensive models. It's rated to hold up to 275 lb (125 kg), the lowest of Oru's models.

The Oru Inlet is designed to integrate with daily life
The Oru Inlet is designed to integrate with daily life

That said, if you've been putting off buying a kayak because of lack of space to store it, lack of a proper rack or trailer to transport it, or lack of money to buy it, this one might be worth a close look. It definitely looks like a fun, convenient way of getting out on the water.

Oru launched its Kickstarter campaign this week, and it has already soared multiple times over its $70,000 goal. If things keep moving along as planned, the first Inlets will find their way to their new owners in April 2020.

The video below gives you a better feel for how the Inlet easily transports, paddles and stores.

Spartan supercar

Source: Oru

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.