Outdoors

Pontos folding kayak weighs 7 pounds, and can be stuffed into a bag

Pontos folding kayak weighs 7 ...
The Pontos kayak is presently on Indiegogo
The Pontos kayak is presently on Indiegogo
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The Pontos measures 10.5 feet long by 29 inches wide when fully assembled (320 by 74 cm)
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The Pontos measures 10.5 feet long by 29 inches wide when fully assembled (320 by 74 cm)
The Pontos, all folded down and rolled up
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The Pontos, all folded down and rolled up
The Pontos kayak is presently on Indiegogo
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The Pontos kayak is presently on Indiegogo
The Pontos kayak's frame, about to be covered with the skin
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The Pontos kayak's frame, about to be covered with the skin
An earlier version of the Pontos hits the water
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An earlier version of the Pontos hits the water
A better look at the Pontos' frame
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A better look at the Pontos' frame
A peek inside the Pontos
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A peek inside the Pontos
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Kayaks have many great qualities, but they're typically not something you can store in a closet or carry in a backpack. That's why we've been seeing an increasing number of folding kayaks, and the Pontos is one of the lightest, smallest-folding models we've come across so far.

Currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, the Pontos was invented by Lubbock, Texas-based kayaker/entrepreneur Adam Mulsow. And while it measures 10.5 feet long by 29 inches wide when fully assembled (320 by 74 cm), it packs down into a package the size of a rolled-up two-person tent – and it reportedly weighs just 7 lb (3.2 kg).

At the heart of the Pontos is a frame made of individual 18-inch (457-mm) sections of carbon fiber tubing. These are connected by a length of shock cord running through them, along with custom-designed polymer fittings.

Once that frame is folded out into the shape, the kayak's waterproof skin is pulled tight around it, then zipped up across the top. The skin is made of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)-bonded nylon, with heavy-duty raft-grade 210 denier nylon used for the bottom, and a lighter-weight nylon utilized for the upper deck.

Finally, the Pontos' seat gets inflated and secured inside the cockpit. We've been told that the entire assembly process takes just five to seven minutes.

An earlier version of the Pontos hits the water
An earlier version of the Pontos hits the water

By way of comparison – weight-wise – the lightest of the popular Oru folded-polypropylene kayaks tips the scales at 20 lb (9 kg). That said, it's difficult to say how it and the Pontos would compare on other factors, such as durability, stability and tracking.

A better comparison might be made to the unsuccessfully-crowdfunded Justin Case Kayak, which similarly featured a carbon-pole frame and a nylon skin. It was claimed to weigh just 5.7 lb (2.6 kg), although its skin was made of simple ripstop nylon, and its assembled shape wasn't particularly streamlined.

Assuming the Pontos does better in its campaign, a pledge of US$497 will get you one in your choice of five colors – the planned retail price is $575. You can see the kayak being assembled, paddled and tossed through the air, in the following video.

Pontos Packable Kayak

Sources: Indiegogo, Pontos

View gallery - 7 images
6 comments
6 comments
anthony88
Would go well with a collapsible paddle.
Rustgecko
Is a mere 15% enough to justify the risk?
jeronimo
Well done, Adam. It looks like you have engineered this pretty well.
But what's the gig with all the funky hair styles in your promo video ?

The young lady starts with black & sliver streaked hair, and ends up with blue hair.
And the dude with light ginger hair has a dark, fake looking Magnum PI moustache.
And his girl friend is another blue-rinser.
Then there's the other young lady with a light brown and silver rinse.

What a great collection of fashion hair coloring in a promo for a kayak !!
Nobody
While the weight looks good, it could be a liability if the wind blows your kayak away. Better attach a rope to it. Maybe a kite string?
Clamcy
Well folding kayaks have been around since ~1909. We have had a Klepper Aerius double since 1964. Admittedly about 10x heavier, but the bags are hike-able by two people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GVLrsE0jSI
Extremely seaworthy and won't get blown away or off course by a gust of wind.
on Vancouver Island
Kim Schmutzler
Would love to take this on the PCR. 7lbs excellent work. I only use folding kayaks, my first weighed in at 72 lbs it was the Rolls Royce of folding, but the weight caused me to kayak not as much as i would have liked. Now i have a lighter one, but his excels. Good luck and Fair Winds.