Marine

Collapsible, carbon-framed kayak gets to the water by train, plane and automobile

Collapsible, carbon-framed kay...
On the water in the Trak 2.0
On the water in the Trak 2.0
View 27 Images
Trak redesigns its collapsible kayak into what it calls "the ultimate touring kayak"
1/27
Trak redesigns its collapsible kayak into what it calls "the ultimate touring kayak"
On the water in the Trak 2.0
2/27
On the water in the Trak 2.0
Trak 2.0 kayak
3/27
Trak 2.0 kayak
The new Trak weighs 42 lb and measures 16 feet
4/27
The new Trak weighs 42 lb and measures 16 feet
The Trak 2.0 is designed to roll through airports, train stations, town centers and villages on the way to the water 
5/27
The Trak 2.0 is designed to roll through airports, train stations, town centers and villages on the way to the water 
The Trak 2.0 uses a carbon fiber and aluminum frame with a polyurethane skin
6/27
The Trak 2.0 uses a carbon fiber and aluminum frame with a polyurethane skin
Transporting the Trak 2.0
7/27
Transporting the Trak 2.0
Transporting the Trak 2.0
8/27
Transporting the Trak 2.0
Trak launches the Trak 2.0 on Kickstarter 
9/27
Trak launches the Trak 2.0 on Kickstarter 
Trak is offering a variety of Kickstarter packages with different levels of equipment 
10/27
Trak is offering a variety of Kickstarter packages with different levels of equipment 
Trak 2.0 kayak
11/27
Trak 2.0 kayak
Trak 2.0 kayak
12/27
Trak 2.0 kayak
Trak says the kayak is as ready for rough water as it is for calm touring
13/27
Trak says the kayak is as ready for rough water as it is for calm touring
Riding with the Trak 2.0
14/27
Riding with the Trak 2.0
After getting feedback from hundreds of kayakers, Trak redesigned its kayak
15/27
After getting feedback from hundreds of kayakers, Trak redesigned its kayak
In transit with the Trak 2.0
16/27
In transit with the Trak 2.0
Ready to check at the airport
17/27
Ready to check at the airport
Trak's 20/20 prototype testing team has included instructors, guides and dedicated sea kayakers 
18/27
Trak's 20/20 prototype testing team has included instructors, guides and dedicated sea kayakers 
On the water in the Trak 2.0
19/27
On the water in the Trak 2.0
On the water in the Trak 2.0
20/27
On the water in the Trak 2.0
On the water in the Trak 2.0
21/27
On the water in the Trak 2.0
On the water in the Trak 2.0
22/27
On the water in the Trak 2.0
Trak 2.0
23/27
Trak 2.0
Trak 2.0
24/27
Trak 2.0
A look at the Trak 2.0 frame
25/27
A look at the Trak 2.0 frame
The skin secures around the frame below 
26/27
The skin secures around the frame below 
Taking a tiny car to the water
27/27
Taking a tiny car to the water
View gallery - 27 images

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.

A look at the Trak 2.0 frame
A look at the Trak 2.0 frame

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).

On the water in the Trak 2.0
On the water in the Trak 2.0

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.

The Trak 2.0 is designed to roll through airports, train stations, town centers and villages on the way to the water 
The Trak 2.0 is designed to roll through airports, train stations, town centers and villages on the way to the water 

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.

TRAK 2.0 Kickstarter

Sources: Trak, Kickstarter

View gallery - 27 images
7 comments
BeinThayer
The dimensions (especially length) when fully assembled would be a useful addition to this story. . The weight and price combination is a bit shocking. Sure, I can understand that significant use of carbon fiber does add to the price, but if thousands of dollars of carbon fiber are used...how did it get so heavy? This boat can only carry a 220 lb paddler yet weighs 42 lbs??? There are plenty of sub 40lb kayaks capable of carrying a 300lb paddler or a 200 lb paddler and 100 lb of gear that can be had for less than $600. Maybe just buy a $1500 hoopty to transport your $600 kayak that doesn't fold ....still come out $500 ahead.
C.C. Weiss
Length = 16 feet, is in second paragraph.
toyhouse
$2600?, whew! And 53lbs. Like mentioned by Bein, seems heavy for a supposed light-weight folder. I see in the pic it showing quite a bit of strength being used in surf. But is that how a folding lightweight would be used? Not for me personally. I'd prefer lighter construction and save mine for calmer waters. But that's me. I'm also picturing it banging into something in one of the aluminum tube soft spots. A pricey dent. Perhaps a more forgiving material? Still, I always look to see what's new in this category. Perhaps, the more robust construction would be useful for some folks. Choice is good, just make it a bit more affordable if possible.
-BG-
Disappointing that nearly every product covered by this newsletter has posts about whatever the item is as being too expensive. Please compare to like products before complaining such as Klepper and Feathercraft for example. This boat compares well in price to fiberglass boats with the advantage of being much lighter as well as being able to pack and store in a condo, transport in a sedan and check as luggage on a plane. Plus it will hold up to 300 lbs which is about all that my plastic and fiberglass touring kayaks would reasonably hold. I wish Trak well and hope to try one out soon.
sk8dad
Yes heavy, yes expensive, but not more than what's already out there and still comparable in weight and cargo to rigid hulled boats. This is a welcomed relief from the truck loads of ill-conceived folding/packable kayak designs that is constantly surfacing in the froth of crowd funding. I imagine the weight is a direct result of using robust fabric for the skin. If you've ever dealt with whitewater inflatables, you'd under why. Keep in mind that collapsible kayaks will always be niche. Nevertheless, the video actually show actual paddlers with proper equipment paddling real world conditions. This is the first time I've seen a folder surfing the Skook in a promo video. It's got deck lines, thigh braces, workable coaming, and adjustable rocker. Throw in a few float bags, I would totally paddle it into the cold Pacific. My only suggestion would be to add a bulkhead (though difficult for a skin on frame). That would greatly improve self rescue success in the open water if rolls fail.
icykel
Ten years ago I bought a Kiwi collapsible kayak that was much the same as this except it used carbon fibre tent pole type frame rods that broke down into convenient length held together with bungie. I was told that it could be assembled in 10 min. but the best I ever managed was closer to 40 min. The skin was a very tough polyurethane 'self healing' material. Mine could also be altered in shape by adjusting keelson tension. I think mine was also about 19kgs. I eventually sold it to a Canadian travelling in a motorhome as the struggle to assemble became too tiresome.
Techbeaver
As of October/2019, Trak is behind production. Some customers have been waiting for more than one year and the company is not transparent about what is going on. Check this thread on the paddling.com message board:
http://tiny.cc/trakdelay