Oru: A Kayak You Can Fold Up and Take on the Subway [Updated]

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We’ve had to turn down various opportunities to fly halfway around the world to take out one of Oru’s folding kayaks. At The Outpost this year, we finally got on the water.

Oru Kayaks fold down to the shape of a messenger bag, and since they start at just 26 pounds, you can carry them like one too.


We got to watch the Oru staff put together an original Oru and 2017 model back to back at the event, and from where I was standing, the reduction in assembly complexity was dramatic. The 2017 models basically “zip” together, like you’re installing cable molding. In both cases though, there’s nothing daunting about the build. And yes, I rushed the line to take out one of the 2017 models.

If you’ve been working your way through the canonical list of tropical vacations, you’ve likely taken out a rental kayak on more than one occasion. They’re bulky, basically impossible to capsize, and in many cases shockingly uncomfortable.


Oru is none of those things. Oru’s shape is stealthy compared to those boats, and balancing, while not a feat, is a constant and active process, and much more of a workout. The majority of Outpost’s attendees were likely inexperienced kayakers, including myself, and only two capsized throughout the day, not including myself, in spite of strong winds and choppy water.

Oru currently has three model of kayak, and it should be pretty clear from those star ratings below which one is for you. All of them can handle low class rapids when they have to.


If you’ve spent little time in a kayak, we see inflatable models for as low as $50 over on Kinja Deals, with pump included. If you love this hobby, put Oru at the top of your wishlist. I certainly will be.

I told the Oru guys they should definitely unpack an Oru on the subway and row through, so if that ends up on YouTube it was my idea... then again, I don’t wish the subway on anyone these days.

Update 8/3/17: Oru has launched a limited edition collaboration with United By Blue, another of our favorite outdoor brands. We’ll be covering a bunch of United By Blue gear shortly.