Category Archives: Origami Folding

Having 2x The Adventure With Origami Kayaks AND Bikes!

Do you love to go biking and kayaking, but never have the room in your car to take both?  Well, there is a way to do that, and it’s with both folding kayaks AND folding bikes! Today, we will be discussing origami kayaks AND origami bikes, though “folding bikes” is the proper industry term.  Hopefully, you get the idea.

You can conveniently fit both a folding bike and a folding kayak in your trunk or back seat, and also have room for your other gear and friends or family. Life can be pretty simple and amazing, if only we think outside the box. Why take up more space than you have to, when more compact items have been created to make things easier on us?

You could ride a bike for a nice leg workout, and then fold it up, put it in the car, and carry your kayak to the water in a backpack, or the other way around: all thanks to origami technology.

Let’s take a look at the two in closer details:


History of Folding Bikes

Folding bikes, which are designed to facilitate easier storage, as well as transport, have a history that can be a bit confusing. That’s because a lot of people mistake actual folding bikes to bikes that are merely separable or portable. While William Grout is often credited for creating the first folding bike, his creation was more of a portable bicycle, since only the front wheel could be folded and the frame had to be disassembled.

It is Emmit G. Latta, an American inventor, who created the first documented folding bike. He even had his invention patented in the U.S., which was successfully granted in February of 1888. Following that, he sold the patent for his folding bike to the Pope Manufacturing Company. However, no one really knows if Pope ever produced bikes based on Latta’s patent.

Aside from Latta, American inventor Michael B. Ryan also invented another version of the folding bike, the patent for which was granted in April of 1894.

However, it is to French military officer Captain Gérard that the invention of the first folding bike is often attributed to. The only problem is that Gérard’s prototype didn’t really work. Charles Morel, a wealthy Frenchman who was completely sold on the budding bicycle trend, and Gérard then got the help of a mechanic called Dulac to perfect the design. Once it has been perfected, Morel and Gérard started manufacturing and commercializing the folding bike.

Morel and Gérard’s joint venture was a success and soon after that, even the army bought into the idea of using folding bikes. Gérard was put in charge of a regiment of soldiers using folded bikes and was eventually promoted to Captain. Later on, Morel and Gérard had a falling out due to an issue with profit shares. The patent for the bike was then sold to Peugeot, Michelin who took over the production in 1899.

It can be said that while it was Captain Gérard who made the folding bike famous, it is still Latta who created the first documented folding bike.

So, how did such a cool invention come to be?  Well, here’s a succinct video:


A Fine Example: The Montague Paratrooper Highline 20 Speed Bike

Designed for the country rider, this rugged folding 20 speed mountain bike is a favorite of many. Foldable within 20 seconds, it can easily fit in one’s truck or car, a closet or any small storage area you choose. It really is a convenient bike for many. This means that you can ride up to your destination and fold it to either walk with it or put it in a case or backpack for carrying.

The Paratrooper Highline comes in two sizes: medium for riders who are 5’7″-5’11” and large for those who are 6′-6’4″. The medium has an 18″ frame and the large has a 20″ frame. When the folding process is complete, the bike measures out to be 36″x 28″x 12″, and it weighs about 30 pounds.

The frame is aluminum and the rest is alloy and steel, with front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. It’s perfect for mountain biking and areas where there a lot of rocks, as the 27.5″ tires allow you to roll over them easily.


History of the First Origami Kayak

We have to firstly thank Anton Willis for inventing this amazing product: the Oru Bay line of origami kayaks. Boats can be big and occupy a lot of space, and that’s where the origami kayak comes to the rescue by being light weight, easy to fold, strong and can carry up to 300 pounds or more.

Origami kayaks are made up of a single sheet of polyethylene which, when folded, becomes a single box with straps. That means that the boat becomes the box and the box becomes the boat! The folded kayak can easily be carried on one’s back as a backpack or as a shoulder bag.

Of course, there are a couple of other origami kayaks including the MyCanoe.


Imagine Cruising Freely Alongside The Water…

Picture this: You are riding your Montague Paratrooper Highline bike alongside the water on a trail. You are beginning to envy the thrill of the people on the lake who are kayaking as you watch. So the idea hits you, why not kayak too?

Instantly, you remember that your kayak is in the car, so you decide to ride back and get it. You could strap it onto your back and head back to the spot where you want to go kayaking. Then unfold it from its case, stretch it out and lock the parts into place.

You can fold your Montague Paratrooper Highline, put it in its bag and take it with you wherever you want to go on the water, it’s just that easy.


But The Origami Kayak Is Too Heavy For Me!

Not all of us have those biceps and muscles to even lift the cases of either the folded bike or the origami folding kayak. In that case, take your car to the kayaking spot instead of riding the bike to it, if that’s at all possible. When you reach your destination, decide which activity you would enjoy doing first. Many people would rather go biking first. Once the hot sun shines on you for a while, you will need the refreshing breezes of the lake while floating on the water.

Once you are through with riding, come back to your car, fold your Montague Paratrooper bike and put in the back. Remove the origami kayak, strap the case onto your back and walk over to the water and start the assembly. You could always do it the other way around as well. When you get tired of kayaking, carry it back in its case and get your bike out of your car.


Is It Safe To Carry My Folded Bike On A Kayak?

The following would be the scenario if you can carry the kayak on your back while riding the folding bike, then put the bike into the assembled kayak and go out on the water. If that’s not possible, there are inflatable kayaks as well that fit into smaller backpacks, but might not have room for a bike case and could be more prone to punctures. But for now, let’s take a look at this particular combo.

The folded Montague Paratrooper bike weighs approximately 30 pounds. The Origami kayak can carry up to 300 pounds. Adding an average person’s weight of between 130-200 pounds, it means that the total max weight loaded onto the kayak would be 230 pounds. So it is definitely possible to take the bike on your kayaking trip.

Just fold it, put it in its bag and load it into the storage area of the kayak or between your legs and off you go. Make sure the bike bag is stored properly so that it doesn’t scratch the surface of the kayak.


Important Tips For Using Both Vessels Together

1. The folded bike is made of aluminum. Be careful when putting it in the kayak, so as to avoid scratches. Also, the bag for the Montague is water resistant, so a few drops of splashing here and there should not be a problem. It’s a somewhat risky venture to take the bike, but some people need to do that if it’s a long adventure.

2. The Montague Paratrooper Highline 20 speed bike comes with 27.5″ wheels. These are very strong and sturdy on the road, providing a firm grip. You can ride along with no fear of sliding or skidding while carrying the folded origami kayak on your back.

3. The need for lightning fast brakes is taken care of in the Paratrooper, with hydraulic disk brakes. This is essential, especially when on country trail rides where emergencies can appear at any moment.

4. The Oru Kayak Beach LT is very sturdy and lightweight, with more room than the other Oru models. The material that is originally used to make the kayak is designed to accommodate both heavy weights and light weights while being streamlined. The weight is distributed evenly across both sides. With its 12′ length and weight of 26 pounds, it is easy to paddle through water, even when carrying the case containing the folded mountain bike!



Yes, you can interchange both mountain bike riding and kayaking. You do not have to worry about when to carry each on your trip. The Montague Paratrooper can be folded easily into a case and so can the origami kayak, which can be folded into a box itself and strapped onto one’s back, if not shoulder carried.

The good thing about both is that they are designed for the sporty person who wants to enjoy life to the fullest. Go on, switch between kayaking and mountain bike riding, and experience double the thrill!

Oru Bay Kayak Review: A Novelty Or Something More?

Chances are that since you are researching the Oru Bay kayak (also known as the Oru kayak), you are familiar with its “coolness” factor. Just in case you don’t know what’s so special about this kayak, let me break it down for you in the various synonyms that I can.

Check out the Oru Bay Kayak on Amazon!

This kayak is actually a folding kayak, origami kayak, or can also be called a “collapsible boat”. In the following Oru kayak review, you will find all the details regarding all the models with pictures and videos, and our brand new FAQ section that will answer every question you may have regarding this uniquely built kayak!

Let’s get started:


Currently, The Oru Bay Kayak Comes In Three Models:

ModelPriceMax CapacityLength
Beach LT$300 lbs12'
Bay ST$$300 lbs12'
Coast XT$$$400 lbs16'

Model #1: Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Kayak

The Oru Kayak Beach LT is perfect for beginners and professionals alike, and thanks to its folded space-saving design, even apartment dwellers can enjoy the fun of kayaking. This foldable kayak collapses to the size of a backpack and is perfect for flatwater kayaking on large bodies of water, such as lakes and slow rivers, making it perfect for casual fun and day trips.


The Oru Kayak LT Model
Image of ORU LT Model; Credit: Oru Kayak Company


[Note: Check out our inflatable kayaks reviews and best kayaks of all types!]

Easy to assemble, the Oru Kayak Beach LT has a wide beam measuring 28 inches that makes it stable and easy to paddle, even by those with little experience. It’s durable plastic material can be folded thousands of times without any wear or tear, and a large cockpit makes it easy to get in and out of.


The Oru Kayak Beach LT folding kayak measures 12 feet by 28 inches and weighs approximately 25 pounds. It has a padded foam seat and can support up to 300 pounds. The Oru Kayak Beach LT also has an adjustable footrest, backrest, and carrying handles for easy maneuverability.

The Beach LT kayak is also the most inexpensive ones of the Oru Bay kayak line.


Model #2: Oru Kayak Bay ST Folding Kayak

The Bay ST kayak is easy to store and won’t occupy a large amount of space like traditional kayaks.

With built-in carrying handles, the ability to collapse into a small package, and a 28 pound weight, this folding kayak is easy to take with you in a car or on a hike. The Oru Bay ST Kayak is easy to assemble, giving you more time to enjoy the water, and is made out of strong, double layered polypropylene. That means that not only can it withstand rigorous folding, but the Bay ST is extremely puncture and abrasion resistant.


Oru Kayak ST Model
Image of ORU ST Model; Credit: Oru Kayak Company


The Oru Bay ST is also comfortable, boasting a foam seat and adjustable footrests and backrests. There’s also plenty of space in the hull to keep gear for longer excursions, and it fits all standard size spray skirts. This Oru kayak model measures 12 feet by 25 inches, comes with half-deck rigging, and structural bulkheads, making this kayak rigid and stable. The Oru Bay ST is perfect for fishing, hiking, and camping.

Check out the Oru Kayak on Amazon!


Model #3: Oru Kayak Coast XT


ORU Kayak Coast XT model
Image of ORU Coast XT Model; Credit: Oru Kayak Company


The Coast XT is Oru Kayak’s top of the line model, designed from bow to stern to stand up to harsh wind and surf that is found in more extreme waters. This kayak is perfect for Pros looking for an adventure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not comfortable. With an adjustable footrest, backrest, and thigh braces, the Coast XT gives you amazing comfort and control.


Even with it’s impressive length of 16 feet, this Oru kayak folds into a compact shape that makes it easy to store and take on the go. Not only is it perfect for flatwater excursions on lakes and slow rivers, but the hard-chine hull also responds well to braced turns and edging. Along with full-deck rigging, the Oru Kayak Coast XT comes with extra deck straps and lines to store gear.


oru kayaks in water

It’s durable polypropylene material is incredibly puncture and abrasion resistant, and takes only minutes to fold and unfold. Weighing only 34 pounds, this Oru kayak easy to take it on the go, and the Coast XT is great for overnight camping trips and hikes, as well as overnight tours.



The Oru Bay kayak’s design and construction is tailor-made for those seeking the most out of both their kayaks and their lives.

In the next section of our Oru kayak review, we will be discussing how this original origami kayak got its funding.


So, How Did The Original Oru Bay Kayak Get Funded?

Before you read any more about it, did you know that the Oru Bay Kayak started as a Kickstarter project years ago and the founders even made it on Shark Tank? Here, check out the video:

How cool is that? (PS. Shark Tank is one of my most favourite shows!) But enough! More about the Oru Kayak…

Check out the Oru Bay Kayak on Amazon!

Yes! The Oru Bay Kayak is one of the coolest kayaks of its kind: you can fold it up and pack it like origami (remember what that is? The cool swan people build using a piece of paper? Yes, just like that). Let’s take a look at how the Oru Bay + Kayak works conceptually:



Oru Bay Kayak: The Coolest, Tech Oriented, Transformable

Now that you’ve officially met the Oru Bay Plus, you should know that it is a higher priced kayak. I don’t want to explain nitty gritty details over the next 1000 words when you can easily view it here in a few minutes and be excited about this phenomenally cool “gadget”:



Digging The Oru Bay Kayak Apart: Worth Your $$?

While not an inflatable kayak, the Oru Bay kayak is as nifty as they come: first, you can fold it and unfold it like an origami. And guess what? There’s no carrying case, per se, other than the neat fact that the when you fold the Oru Bay+ Kayak up, it itself becomes a carrying case.

The Oru Bay kayak stretches at around 12 feet. Keep in mind that it will probably take you, on average, 15-30 minutes to assemble it. The first time it will probably take you around 25 minutes and after doing it a few times, around 15 minutes.

Check out the Oru Bay Kayak on Amazon!

This is pretty average, as most of the inflatable kayak reviews we have done, on this site, indicate around 15 minutes of assembly (inflation / deflation) time. (Keep in mind that the Oru kayak falls under the origami kayak category, not inflatable!)

While this one is more of an “expensive” buy for a novice kayaker, is it worth your investment if you’re a hobbyist kayaker?  The next section of our Oru kayak review discusses how the ride feels:


Does The Oru Bay Kayak Feel Good To Ride In?

Despite the Oru Bay kayak being a feather weight, the kayak makes really sweet, sharp, tight turns and when accelerating, is super responsive–which came to us as a surprise, just because it’s that light! In fact, a lot of reviews around the web, collectively, compare the performance of the Oru kayak to a traditional, hard kayak. While you can’t ignore that the cockpit is a very tight fit and takes a bit of getting used to, neither can one ignore how well it performs.


Even though the cockpit can be deemed as as tight fit, it is very important to also know that in no way does it feel uncomfortable thanks to its high back seat.

Looks like this original Kickstarter project is a win win for everyone! Check out more details here at Amazon!

For fun, check out Big Sur in an Oru Bay Kayak, and get one for yourself:


Oru Kayak – Frequently Asked Questions Section

We have done our best to present you with a comprehensive, detailed Oru kayak review article.  However, we thought we would answer some specific questions that we have been receiving through email.  Here we go:


1. I’m Going Camping. How Heavy Is The Oru Bay Kayak? Can It Be Carried Great Distances?

Yes. The Oru Bay ST, for example, is ideal for camping trips. It uses origami-inspired folding techniques to give you a compact kayak with unrivaled ease of conveyance. It weighs 28 pounds on the water and 30 pounds after you fold it back into its cover.

The Oru Bay Kayak (also known as the Oru Kayak) is lightweight but incredibly sturdy, and can carry a total of 300 pounds. Pack it up and put it in the backseat of your car or strap it to your own back. You don’t need a second person, let alone a trolley, to ferry the Oru kayak to your favorite water body. It has the look and shape of a travel suitcase without the weight of one.

2. Can The Material Of The Oru Kayak Rip Easily?

No. Oru Kayaks are built from polypropylene sheets that have undergone a 10 year UV treatment. It’s essentially a really tough but lightweight plastic. These kayaks have survived rigorous tests and get a high rating in durability. It won’t rip or tear and does fine with bumps against hard, rocky surfaces.

However, the designers of the Oru Kayak suggest that you treat this rig the same as you would a fiberglass or skin-on-frame kayak. It’s not made to sustain regular, high impact beatings. Treat the Oru kayak with respect, but don’t be scared to put it through its paces.

3. I Am 6 ft Tall. How Big Is The Oru Kayak Cockpit? Is There Enough Leg Room?

Yes. The Oru kayak is meant for paddlers upto 6’3″ in height. The cockpit is standard and has an opening of 16″ x 30″. There is plenty of leg room, but you can also take advantage of the adjustable back and footrest to find a comfortable stretch for yourself. You can also do a comfortable wet exit and re-entry without any hassle.

Kayaking enthusiasts who are taller than 6’2″ may find the longer Coast XT an easier fit withing the Oru Kayak range. But if you are more worried about entry and don’t have particularly rigorous kayaking in mind, the Beach LT, with its wide opening, is probably the perfect craft for you.

4. Is The Oru Bay Kayak A Fast Kayak?

The speed of any vessel is determined by its size, weight, and the flexibility of its hull. With the narrow 25″ width of the Bay ST, this Oru Kayak has been built to cut through water in a sleek line. Its hull has been made deliberately unbending to divert all the power of your paddling into the speed of the kayak. But weight is also a crucial factor in acceleration. The Oru Kayak’s light weight is an advantage in long distance kayaking, but perhaps not in a sprinting race.

It’s extremely difficult to determine how fast a kayak can go. In ideal weather and water conditions, your Oru can traverse great distances at an impressive pace. It feels extremely fast because of its light build, giving you the best of kayaking experiences. But in terms of hard numbers, your speed would depend heavily on your own size, stamina, and technical proficiency.

5. Do I Need Float Bags For My Oru Kayak?

While float bags are not mandatory or required by law, there is a very good reason that they are recommended with Oru Kayaks. These bags aren’t really any help in keeping the kayak afloat, but in the event of a capsize, float bags are what help displace water and keep your Oru kayak from filling up completely.

Since none of the Oru Kayak models have watertight bulkheads, there is no other way of keeping water out of the kayak. After a capsize, once the kayak has been put right-side-up again, having float bags makes it much easier to get the rest of the water out from the cavity. You might even be able to get back inside.

6. Will Hitting A Rock Tear My Oru Kayak? Is It Unsafe To Use In Rapids?

No. The polypropylene material can sustain a lot of hard hits, and the makers guarantee that colliding against rocks won’t damage your kayak. Ideally, a part of taking good care of this material is to wash it with fresh water after every use and store it away from direct sunlight. This will ensure that your kayak will remain resilient for a long time.

Also, no. Oru Bay Kayaks aren’t really made for riding rapids. While the cockpit of the Bay ST can be augmented with a spray skirt to keep water from pouring in, this is only good for surviving some bad weather kayaking and executing eskimo rolls.

The Oru kayak isn’t sealed well enough to be true rapid-worthy crafts.

7. Will Folding And Unfolding My Oru Kayak “Weaken” Or “Mess” It Up?

These kayaks have been judged by experts to be capable of withstanding 20,000 fold cycles. So you can pack and unpack your Oru kayak as many times as necessary without worrying about fraying the folds of the kayak.

These folding crafts are known as Origami kayaks for good reason. Oru Kayak has utilized the principles of the old Japanese artform into a folding technique that transforms a boat into a box without wasting a single bend. The design of the Oru kayak has worked these folds into the material of the craft, so that you can assemble and disassemble this boat within a span of minutes.

So long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, no amount of use will mess your Oru Kayak up.

8. What Is The Best Type Of Water To Use This Kayak On? Is The Oru Kayak Safe In The Ocean?

The Oru kayaks are ideal for calm, sheltered water. The Oru Bay ST is in its element when you use it to explore wide, open water bodies. It’s extremely well balanced body keeps the kayak steady through some very rough conditions, managing to keep the paddler from toppling into the water.

The Oru Bay ST, for example, was built for long sessions of exploration of regions where other boats can’t go. It performs beautifully on icy seas and lakes with high wind speeds. But while this model of Oru Kayak can handle itself well in a range of different waters, you would be safer choosing the Oru Coast XT as your companion on the unpredictable ocean.

9. Can You Use Oru Kayaks For Fishing?

Yes! The Oru kayak can be modified slightly by easily fitting the Oru Fishing Kit parts onto the kayak. This kit includes the RIBPort mount, Fixed Extender, Adjustable Extender, Rod Holder II, and Drinkhold.

You will not have to drill any holes into your kayak because the 3M VHB pad enables you to stick the RIBPort mount firmly onto it. You can then easily affix your fishing accessories to it, such as a rod holder and extender. You can do all this from the comfort of your own garage.

You can also modify your Oru Kayak by fitting a Scotty Fishing Rod Holder onto the kayak’s deck. Position the rod holder such that it is accessible while paddling. Make sure that it does not interfere with the folding process or damage the kayak as you fold and unfold. Preferably, you can position the rod holder just behind the cockpit.

10. Are These Kayaks Easy To Travel With? Are There Restrictions With Airlines?

Oru Kayaks are made of skin that can withstand many folds, which allows you to fold the boat and pack it inside the Oru Pack. The Oru Pack protects the kayak and makes transportation easier, whether you are traveling in your car, pick-up truck, or taking a flight.

The Oru Kayak can be checked as luggage on a plane. You can bring it on-board a flight as you travel on both domestic and international flights.

However, you have to strictly follow the rules during the check-in process. When selecting flights, check for airlines that admit kayaks and go through their oversized baggage check-in policies to guarantee that both you and your Oru kayak will be admitted onto the flight.

11. What Accessories Can I Purchase To Use With My Oru Kayak? Does It Come With A Paddle?

There are essential accessories that you will need to purchase to use with your Oru Kayak and they include the Oru Paddle, Oru Pack, and Oru PFD (Personal Floatation Device) which is a life jacket.

In addition to these essentials, you may need to purchase accessories such as the Oru Carbon Paddle, Oru Float Bags, Oru Dry Bags, Oru Spray Skirt, Seat Wedge, Oru Repair Kit, Oru X Luci Inflatable Solar Lights, and NRS-safety Kit.

The Oru Kayak does not come with a paddle necessarily, but the DUO Package includes paddles. The Oru Carbon Paddle is more efficient compared to the regular Oru Paddle, although it’s more expensive. You also have to find a paddle that works best with your arm’s reach and how you will be paddling.

12. What Is The Tracking Like With The Oru Kayak? Is It As Good As Others?

The Oru Kayak is highly maneuverable and has good tracking, considering its size. This kayak is very stable and it accelerates faster due to its low weight. Of course, a heavier kayak will be harder to accelerate and control.

In calm conditions, the Oru kayak has smooth and efficient tracking, as compared to other kayaks of similar sizes. It is steady and easier to paddle in the wind and waves compared to crossover kayaks.

Now, that should cover EVERYTHING you may have needed to learn about the Oru kayak.

Oru Bay Kayak Extra Videos…

When I set out to check out the Oru kayak, I didn’t know that I would find so many fun videos. I will be adding them to the bottom here, just in case wants to view some fun ones before making up their minds. If you’re interested, you can check them out here at Amazon.

Anyway, this is a video of someone enjoying their Oru Bay kayak in a creek with a good water rift and at some point, he’s got his friend on a spare tire, riding alongside him, holding him:


Oru Kayak Update On This Excellent Folding Kayak!

For a kayak that needed funding on Kickstarter to being featured on Shark Tank, the creators of the Oru Bay kayak have seen their vision not only through, but what a success it has become.  The best part about the evolution of this folding kayak is that it behaves, navigates, and actually IS a real kayak; definitely not something that was rushed or comes off as cheap.

Check out the Oru Bay Kayak on Amazon!

This folding Oru kayak seems to hit all the major checkpoints that kayakers seek: mobility, navigation, portability, weight, design, and most of all, aesthetically beautiful when folded or in action. For sure, there are plenty of videos here to satisfy most people researching the Oru Bay or the Oru Bay Plus; however, here is one more really awesome one where this folding kayak is being tested in open waters.

Yep, you read that read: the Oru Bay kayak being tested in open waters!  Yeehaw! Here it is:

If you have any questions regarding this Oru kayak review article, please contact us through the Contact Form or leave us a comment. Thank you!

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