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Are Folding Kayaks Worth It In 2023? Spoiler: “Yes”

By: Cubby

Last updated on: November 12, 2022

Folding kayaks are less expensive than the traditional variety, and they offer some benefits that might be worth considering. For starters, they can fit into your car or closet without taking up too much space. They’re also lightweight, so you don’t need to worry about them being difficult to transport. But is it worth giving up features like stability for these conveniences? 

Whether folding kayaks are suitable for you depends on what is most important to you in a boat: cost or convenience.

The unassembled form of a folding kayak could make anyone question if they are safe or if will it withstand the blow if the boat were to run into something. The plain answer is, yes, folding kayaks are safe. We’ll discuss this in detail as we further progress in this article.

What are Folding Kayaks?

Folding kayaks are models of kayaks that come in a foldable variation, and you will have to assemble them before use. Even though it might take some practice to learn how to assemble a folding kayak, it will be worth it.

What Are Folding Kayaks?

Some tradeoffs have to be made when acquiring a folding kayak, though. For example, they’re not as stable as a traditional one. They can be difficult to paddle in windy conditions if you don’t clip them properly.

So, now that we know what folding kayaks are next, we will discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of a Folding Kayak

Advantages Of A Folding Kayak


Folding kayaks are highly compact and lightweight. It makes them easy to store. Some of them are literally just as big as a small suitcase. Hence, they can be stuffed into a backpack or duffel bag for convenient storage. Better yet, many folding kayaks come with their own carrying case.

The compatibility they offer makes it very easy to transport them. You can keep them in the back of a car or minivan and take them anywhere with you.


Folding Kayaks are not like DIY art and craft made out of paper which will come apart as soon as you mount it. They are usually made out of aluminum, fiberglass, or some other lightweight material instead of plastic which can crack or warp over time. This means that folding kayaks will tolerate the elements longer than many standard models and won’t be ruined by exposure to water like cheap inflatable boats often are.


Compared to hard shell kayaks, inflatable, and sit-on-top models, folding kayaks are incredibly affordable. This makes them the perfect choice for budget-conscious paddlers or families who want to get into an outdoor activity without spending thousands of dollars!

Disadvantages of a Folding Kayak

Disadvantages Of A Folding Kayak

Less Room for Cargo:

Since folding kayaks are so compact, they don’t have the same room as standard models. This feature makes them less ideal for paddlers who need to haul lots of stuff with them on their trip. In addition, the fact that they don’t sit high in water means that there is more chance you will end up losing your gear overboard if it isn’t secured effectively!

Less Maneuverability:

Folding kayaks can be difficult to maneuver since they do not track well and tend to wobble from side to side when turning or even when simply going straight. Their small size makes these boats difficult for standup paddling, especially if you only want an occasional adventure every now and then.

Less Stability:

Folding kayaks have a lot less stability than standard models. This can be a significant problem for paddlers who are not experienced or confident in their abilities. They will constantly need to watch out lest they end up capsizing the boat because of any sudden movement! They also won’t accommodate many passengers since the space and weight capacity are limited by design. However, this shouldn’t make much difference if you’re using them solo.

Things to look for in a Folding Kayak?

If you have decided to buy a folding kayak, then here are some things that will help you with your search.

Things To Look For In A Folding Kayak?

Size and Type of Kayak:

You will need to decide what size and type of folding kayak you’re looking for. There are different sizes on offer by manufacturers, but we recommend that beginners choose small models as they tend to be more stable and thus safer than their bigger counterparts.


Most high-end folding kayaks or those designed for extreme use come with aluminum frames, making them strong enough to hold up under heavy stress while still being lightweight! However, this means that such boats aren’t cheap either. If budget is an issue, consider opting for a fiberglass design instead as it offers more excellent durability without compromising too much on performance as some plastic designs do. Another option would be nylon fabric since it provides good value for money without being as heavy or bulky as aluminum models.

Look for a dependable brand:

Kayaks are a one-time investment, so you should try to get value for money when buying one. Also, if you are getting it for your kid, then the kayak should be safe enough. A little research and going through the professional reviews will give you a good idea of which brand would be the best for you.


Folding Kayaks offer an affordable way to enjoy kayaking without having to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars into expensive hardshell boats or inflatables with poor durability records. However, these boats lack the same amount of room and stability offered by traditional kayaks. They can be a little tricky to operate for inexperienced paddlers.

But still, folding kayaks have several advantages over other types of recreational boats, so if you’re looking for a new boat, this is something you should consider adding to your list. Whether it’s convenience, durability, portability, or affordability, these little gems have everything that standard recreational watercraft do but in a smaller, more compact package that’s easy to store and transport.

All in all, while folding kayaks might not be perfect for everyone, they still offer an affordable way to go kayaking.

1 comment

  • I have a 12ft Oru folding kayak. I absolutely love it!

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