Back in 2012, Oru Kayaks became one of the first crowdfunding sensations in the outdoor space when it introduced its original folding kayak. The unique, origami-inspired design of the boat allowed it to transform into a lightweight, easy to paddle kayak that could then fold up and be stored in a box when not in use. The success of that model allowed Oru to introduce several others in the years that followed, creating a line of products that appeals to a wide range of paddlers. Now, the company is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle once again by introducing its lightest, most accessible, and most affordable kayak yet.
The Inlet, which launched on Kickstarter today, promises to bring a slew of nice refinements to the Oru formula. For instance, the boat weighs just 20 pounds, which the company says is 36% lighter than the Bay ST, which is currently the lightest model its catalog. When fully assembled, the Inlet stretches out to 10 feet in length and 31 inches in width, allowing it to remain stable and nimble out on the water. But once it returns to shore, the kayak can be folded down to occupy a space that is said to be a little larger than a guitar case. That makes it not only easy to transport to and from the water, it is also extremely easy to store when you get back home.
When developing the Inlet, Oru says it went back to the drawing board, coming up with a completely new design. Oru’s founder and Chief Design Officer Anton Willis had to create an entirely new folding pattern, which significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to assemble the boat and get it out on the water. So much so that the Inlet can reportedly be put together in just three minutes, which is about 75% faster than previous models.
The new design didn’t just have an impact on the Inlet’s weight, stability, and construction, it also allowed Oru to reduce the price too. Assuming the Kickstarter campaign is a success, the boat will sell for just $850 when it becomes widely available. That makes it Oru’s most affordable model ever, although for a limited time early-bird crowdfunding backers can preorder one for just $699.
In speaking about the Inlet, Anton says, “This boat represents what I always wanted for Oru: kayaks with intuitive and quick assembly, great stability, an affordable price, and unbelievable portability.” He goes on to add, ” I strongly feel that the Inlet is as close as we’ve ever come to building a product that breaks all the common barriers to boat ownership.”
As usual, it is important to keep in mind that backing any crowdfunding campaign comes with a bit of inherent risk and readers are encouraged to understand those ricks before pledging their money. Considering Oru’s long history of using Kickstarter campaigns to successful fund its projects, this one seems fairly safe, but it never hurts to be cautious.
Find out more abut the Inlet at the Oru Kayak website.