Collapsible, carbon-framed kayak gets to the water by train, plane and automobile
Canadian company Trak has been building portable skin-on-frame kayaks for over a decade and is now ready to enter the 2.0 phase. It fancies its overhauled Trak 2.0 to be the "ultimate touring kayak" – it's a combination of carbon fiber, aluminum and polyurethane that travels to and from your destination by car trunk, rail car, plane or shoulders.
More than just a simple product update, the 16-foot (4.9-m) Trak 2.0 is what Trak frames as a complete rethink and redesign. The company went back to the drawing board, spoke with the kayaking community on its wants and needs, and got to work developing a collapsible kayak around that feedback.
The kayak uses carbon fiber ribs in the frame, helping to cut weight down to 42 lb (19 kg). That frame, which also has aluminum beams, slides inside a tough, military-grade polyurethane skin, and a hydraulic jack tensioning system tightens it all into a rigid vessel.
The Trak 2.0 kayak packs down into a 41 x 19 x 9-in (104 x 48 x 23-cm) roller case, weighing a total of 53 lb (24 kg). An available harness turns it into a backpack, a good option for paddling waters only accessible by foot. Trak says it takes about 10 minutes to build the boat up from pack to water.
Trak hasn't designed the 2.0 to simply be a portable kayak; it's designed it to be a versatile performer on the water. Internal adjustment hardware lets you alter the waterline and rocker, tuning the ride to water conditions. Trak says its latest kayak will be as comfortable gliding over miles on multi-day tours as it is playing on rough water. It's designed for paddlers between 100 and 220 lb (45 to 100 kg).
Trak puts its 2.0 prototypes through the wringer with help from the Trak 20/20 Team led by professional sea kayaker Jaime Sharp. Team members have been testing Trak 2.0 prototypes around the world and providing feedback. Last month, the group met in Tofino, British Columbia to share input and fine-tune the design. By all indications, the Trak 2.0 will live up to Trak's goal of offering a "kayaker's portable kayak" that is also beginner-friendly.
Trak has turned to Kickstarter to raise funding, enjoying immediate success by reaching its goal in just three hours and rising above the US$325,000 as of this publishing. It's offering a variety of different packages, with various levels of equipment, starting at the CAD$3,509 (about US$2,599) pledge level. That base package includes the kayak, wheeled travel bag, custom spray skirt and a gear flotation bag set. More expensive packages mix and match different equipment, including the backpack harness, a four-piece carbon paddle, a 65L dry bag, rough-water thigh braces and adjustable hip pads.
If all goes according to plan, Trak will begin production later this year and start getting boats out to Kickstarters in February 2018. All models include a five-year warranty.
The video shows a closer look at the Trak 2.0 getting around on and off water.