Best Folding Kayaks

Folding Kayaks - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Folding Kayaks

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Folding Kayak Buying Guide

Are you tired of maneuvering bulky kayaks? Want a simple solution to enjoy kayaking? Go for the simple yet effective folding kayaks.

Being more durable and efficient to carry more weight than the inflatable kayaks, these amazing types of canoe allow you to enjoy different activities smoothly. Whether you are looking to enjoy the view of the vast embouchure, or indulge in kayak fishing and other adventurous sports, the folding kayak will not disappoint you in any sector.

Give a quick look at the buying guide before purchasing the product

The folding kayak solves the problem of storing the product and is quite easy to handle. Just fold some sections, and the product is ready to use. So, it is essential to check the material, lock quality, and other aspects to select a durable kayak.

The buying guide allows you to get to the bottom of every characteristic of the kayak and prevents you from being hoodwinked.

Now let us dive into the details of the folding kayak.

What are folding kayaks? Why should you choose these over other kayaks?

Having a kayak helps you to paddle to the best paddling destinations. But when it comes to storing your kayak, it will take a huge space. Nowadays, you will find some kayaks designed with advanced technology that can be folded easily. These foldable kayaks will help you to increase your fishing performance at a budget-friendly price.

Now the very obvious questions you will have in your mind how these kayaks are different from others. You can go through the following points to know the difference –

  • You can easily store a folding kayak into a box or bag. Also, it is easier to transport because it fits your car's trunk without any hassle.
  • You will get better access to paddling with these kayaks so you can move them in water without much strength.
  • Compared to the inflated kayaks, foldable kayaks are lightweight, and no foot pump is needed to carry the kayaks.
  • Along with the straps, the interlocking system of the kayaks helps you to assemble the kayaks without any extra tools.
  • It takes no time to deflate like the inflatable kayaks. You will also quickly start fishing as you do not have to go through the process of unloading and all.
  • The best thing is you are able to paddle to and fro in the water as you wish.

Foldable kayaks vs. Inflatable kayaks vs. Regular kayaks

There are many similarities between the foldable kayaks and inflatable kayaks, but the latter is lighter. Though you can transport and store both of them effortlessly, inflatable kayaks are more portable because of lightweight. But you can carry much weight on an inflatable kayak where the foldable kayaks come to work. They are compatible with heavier gears because of their durability.

The best thing about a folding kayak is that it takes no time to assemble so you can quickly get into the water. When your friends are unloading and dragging their inflatable kayaks to the water, you will already be there. Some inflatable kayaks are available with patch kits to make sure you can patch a hole easily.

On the other hand, folding kayaks are a little different from regular kayaks. But people love both types equally. The regular kayaks are made up of durable and strong materials, and thus they are able to carry heavier gears. On the contrary, the lightweight materials are used to make foldable kayaks so that they can get folded easily.

The lightweight materials are not capable enough to support much weight without losing stability. Regular kayaks last longer because they are damage proof, but if you have an issue with space, you should consider the foldable kayaks.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Folding Kayaks

Length

There are different folding kayaks available with different lengths. Before going to buy a folding kayak, you should decide how long you want your kayak to be. Commonly, you can find three varieties of length including—

  1. Recreational length

For a recreational kayak, the usual length does not exceed 12 feet, and the width is more than 2 feet. These kayaks have weights up to 50 pounds. Because of the lightweight, they are very easy to carry. Also, they provide much stability while in water.

  1. Light-touring length

The length of these kayaks varies between 12 feet and 16 feet. They are wide up to 25 inches. They come a little heavier, so if you are a beginner, it will be a good choice. The optimum length and width of the kayaks are appropriate for moving in the water effortlessly.

  1. Touring length

These are the largest types of kayaks that are longer than 16 feet. They have 22 inches of width. These kayaks are suitable for extreme environments. Also, they are recommended for experienced kayakers so that they can deal with the kayaks well.

Size and weight

The speed of your kayak depends on its size and weight, so it is better to check those features in advance. When you choose the folding kayak, you should consider the size so that it can comfortably fit in your backpack and does not take up a larger space for storing.

Moreover, for longer kayaks, you need good skills to deal with, but longer and narrower kayaks are good for enjoying the high speed. Shorter kayaks are easier to maintain. However, you should go for a compact size that goes well with your height and length of legs.

It is no brainer that the lightweight kayaks will be more portable, and you can carry them from place to place with less effort. Foldable kayaks are lighter, and you can transport them easily. You should always consider the weight you need to carry before selecting the weight of your kayaks. In that case, your bodyweight matters a lot.

Do not go for a kayak too heavy or light because it will affect the vessel's sustainability. You should think about those factors carefully to have the right weight and size of your foldable kayaks.

Durability

You must pay attention to durability while buying a foldable kayak. Since the folding kayaks have many moving parts, you should look for the toughest kayak to make sure they can serve you for a longer period. The quality of the materials matters a lot that you can not forget to consider while choosing your kayak.

Generally, three kinds of materials are used in constructing the foldable kayaks that include polypropylene, polyurethane fabric, and Evaloy. Due to the presence of PVC combined with other high-quality materials, Evaloy ensures more durability for the kayaks.

Polypropylene is also a polymer that comes with propylene, and it is good for the stability and the durability of the vessels. These materials are strong but easy to bend. This is why they are very appropriate for foldable kayaks.

Another important factor essential for the durability of the foldable kayaks is that they must be leakage proof. It is better to have a kayak with a UV rays resistance feature.

Comfort

It is very exciting to travel to your favorite paddling spots, where you can paddle without any troubles. But, you will have to sit on your kayaks for long hours to explore the paddling locations effectively. So, you should not ignore the comfort of the kayaks you are picking up. Make sure that your kayak is comfortable enough for your back and butt.

You will not be able to enjoy the journey if you do not feel comfortable while kayaking.

Materials

Most of the best folding kayaks are made out of the best quality materials. Also, the weight of the kayaks directly depends on the material standard. A lightweight kayak ensures higher speed and better capability to carry heavy gears. Although you may find the kayaks made of the best quality materials are a little expensive, it suggested investing more for the highest durability and stability. Some of the materials are:

  1. Polyethylene plastics

This material is resistant to abrasion, and it comes at the cheapest rate. Moreover, it adds extra weight to your kayak, which may make an issue while moving on-water. Your kayak will be exposed to strong sunlight, so if you choose this material, you should place it under a shade. Otherwise, it can be damaged by the UV rays very quickly.

  1. ABS plastic

It is not as cheap as polyethylene, but it provides similar durability. Although it is lighter than polyethylene and resistant to UV rays. With ABS plastic, you can have two-tone designs where the hull and the deck are made individually, and finally, they are combined together.

  1. Composites

You may search for a boat that is designed with a mixture of ultralight carbon-fiber and fiberglass. Though it is a little bit expensive, it offers the highest performance. You should be careful of the rocks when choosing this material because rocks can damage it quickly. This material is resistant to UV rays.

Easy to assemble and use

This is one of the most important factors in selecting a folding kayak. Though it is hardly any difficult to assemble the foldable kayaks, you must check all the features beforehand. Usually, it takes nearly 5 minutes to set the kayak properly. You must go through all the instructions given by the manufacturers to understand how to assemble.

You can also search for the customer feedback through the internet that will give you a comprehensive knowledge about the assembly process. Therefore, make sure you will not have any problems assembling the folding kayak and get into the water as fast as possible.

Beamwidth and stability

Kayak length works as a deciding factor of speed and stability of the folding kayaks. One other important factor playing a vital role in enhancing the kayak stability is beamwidth. Shorter length with the wider beam is ideal for the beginners because it makes the kayak more stable. But if you have a longer kayak with a narrower beam, it will become faster than other kayaks.

You should choose the width of the kayak beam depending on your kayaking skills. For the beginner kayakers, the better grip is important over anything else. It means the new paddlers can enjoy their kayaking without worrying about stability. However, with years-long kayaking experience, you can easily go for a narrower beam for enjoying your paddling with higher speed.

Fold cycles

Before buying a foldable kayak, you should know about its folding capacity properly. Some of the manufacturers offer a definite number for the fold cycles, which means the kayak will not last long. Especially if you are likely to go kayaking almost every day, it will be best not to choose those kayaks.

Most of the foldable kayaks ensure the highest durability, but they will not work well for their construction. It happens because, during the folding cycle, all the foldable parts lose their strength gradually.

Seating

You must have a comfortable seat on your foldable kayak to paddle for hours without any difficulties. Make sure the seat has an optimum length and height to be fitted in the kayak appropriately. The seat should be comfortable enough so you can sit on it for a couple of hours to explore the best paddling place without having any back pain.

It is better to check for the space required for your leg length. Many foldable kayaks are available with a seat, but when you are deciding to paddle for longer distances, you must upgrade the existing seat.

Storage and packing

People are likely to have a folding kayak because of easy storing. Needless to say, folding kayaks are easier to maintain as you can keep them in the closet securely when not in use. You are able to put the kayak in your backpack or the trunk of the car, which makes it convenient to carry and transport.

If you live in an apartment and do not have enough space to store a larger vessel, you will look for a foldable kayak. Moreover, without a roof rack, you can transport the foldable kayaks from one location to another location.

After paddling for a long time, you must get back home quickly. Choosing a foldable kayak that can be packed easily without spending much time will be a boon to you. Generally, foldable kayaks do not need to get defeated like inflated kayaks so that you can pack it in less than 10 minutes.

However, you must keep in mind that foldable kayaks that are easy to transport may not perform well. Therefore, pick up a kayak that comes with a balance of easy packing and comfort.

Where do you want to paddle?

You should make a decision to buy a folding kayak after deciding your paddling spot. The place you are choosing for paddling may have a great impact on a kayak. For example, a tourist kayak can provide extra space where you can store the gears for camping.

However, you should be careful that the kayak you are selecting is capable enough to deal with whitewater rapids. Sea kayaks are specifically made for an adventurous journey in the ocean, and if it is required, you will be able to make them a camping kayak.

Max. Weight capacity

The weight capacity of the foldable kayaks varies with different models. It will not be a wise decision to cross the maximum weight capacity of a particular kayak. It may make the kayak unstable.

Therefore, it is always suggested to check the highest weight capacity when you are about to buy a foldable kayak. Also, make sure it meets up all your requirements. As the foldable kayaks are lightweight and flexible, the maximum weight capacity is automatically less than the regular kayaks.

Budget

It will be a wise decision to find out the best quality folding kayak within your budget. Generally, foldable kayaks have a wide price range between $100 and $500. Defining a budget before buying your foldable kayak will help you to narrow down the options in an effective way. Decide a budget and never go over it while choosing a kayak. Make sure that the kayak you are choosing meets up all your requirements. If you are thinking of the long run, it will be better to invest some more money to get a more durable and long-lasting kayak.

Steps to build and store folding kayaks

Build up

Foldable kayaks are popular for its easy build-up features that help them to get folded conveniently for storage. However, the steps to assemble a folding kayak may depend on the brand and model of the kayak. Here are some simple tips to show you how to build a foldable kayak with less effort –

Step 1

In the very beginning, you need to layout the kayak. You will get all the pieces that come in the box. Start with forming the hull by spreading the large part.

Step 2

The next step is very important for your kayak. You need to set up the footrest for the product. You must follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the footrest perfectly. Some models require to attract the footrest near the bow where other models allow you to attach near the center area.

Step 3

After that, you should close the bow. Fold the parts in an upward direction to close the bow. If there is a strap in the bow, use it to tighten the bow. Fold the sides and make a bulkhead. Also, ensure that all the straps are tightened precisely.

Step 4

After closing your bow, you have to close the stern. Check all the straps at the stern are tightened properly. In case you have the rear bulkhead, you should set up that before tightening the stern straps. This step is quite similar to the previous step.

Step 5

You have already closed the hull from back and front, so this is the time to install the cockpit. Now set the floorboard into your cockpit. It may come like a separate section for some kayaks, so you must install it into your hull perfectly. It will allow you to install the seat according to your convenience.

Storing

You should also know the right way to store your folding kayak. Before storing, clean the kayak properly to remove all the mud, sand, salt waters. Otherwise, it may damage your kayak in the future. Use fresh water to wash all the dirt and debris from the kayak.

It will not be a good idea to keep your kayak under the sunlight for a long time. Therefore, store it in a dry and cold place. You can easily keep your kayak inside the closet or car trunk. If there is any bag for the kayak, you can use it to store the kayak and keep it protected from dirt and UV rays.

FAQs

  1. Are folding kayaks worth their name and money invested in them?

The product is highly beneficial if you need to carry the kayak for long distances to remote areas. The folding capabilities of the product allow you to reduce the size and fit it into your vehicle easily. This elevates the portability and usability of the product.

To ensure maximum safety of your kayak, look for an appropriate case. The case will protect the product from any unnecessary damage and will increase its life.

  1. How should I evaluate the seat of the kayak?

While selecting an appropriate product, you should account for your height and weight properly. Every kayak comes with a max limit of the weigh it can carry. So, first, deem about the activity for which you are going to use your kayak. Then evaluate the weight you are going to take and compare it with the limit of the kayak and select the best option.

  1. Which is the best material for the product?

Folding kayaks come in different material variants, but carbon fiber is the most durable one. It is also quite lightweight, which increases the portability of the kayak. Also, the kayak with carbon fiber has a higher threshold against environment wear and tear. However, the material is a little expensive but will totally return the value of the money invested in it.

Summing Up

The folding kayaks provide a quick space-saving solution to anglers who love to fish. These highly portable products are easy to carry and store. In this comprehensive guide, we have listed out all the crucial characteristics to deem about while selecting the ultimate product for yourself.

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