Recreational kayaking can be a beautiful and painful thing. On the beautiful side are the locations you can visit and the relative ease of navigating the water. On the painful side is storage and transportation. Let’s face it: all that size and stability comes with a cost — kayaks can be big. Several companies have launched products to address this. One of the latest, the Pakayak packable kayak, looks especially sweet.
I’ve read a lot about Oru kayaks and their origami-like design, and I’ve seen a ton of them on many Northwest lakes. They’re still novel, but I no longer blink twice when I see one. By comparison, the Pakayak packable kayak literally stopped me in my web-browsing tracks. The Pakayak Bluefin 14 is on Kickstarter now, and with any luck the company will make-up the remaining 50% of its goal in the next 18 days.
The Pakayak Bluefin 14 is a hard-shell 14-foot kayak that nests inside itself to end in a package just 3.5 feet long. It then packs into a bag that you can tote around luggage-style or wear as a backpack. Dude….
Each section of the Pakayak packable kayak has a tongue-and-groove shape that locks the section on either side and compresses a silicone gasket to ensure watertightness. The sections are then held together by a patented metal clamping system (think Pelican case, but with metal). According to the manufacturer, each clamp is rated to hold over 500 pounds of force. Since five clamps hold the cockpit together, that means there are 2,500 pounds of force holding the Pakayak packable kayak together at the cockpit, and another 2,000 pounds of force at each of the other sections.
According to Pakayak, the 55-pound kayak assembles in five minutes and handles just like a traditional recreational kayak. You can even add a spray skirt and roll away as you would in other non-collapsible kayaks with a skirt.
As of this writing, 43 Early Adopter kayaks are still available for $1,495 each. That package also includes a “Mac Daddy” bag for transporting it. Estimated delivery is April 2017. I’m really hoping the Pakayak packable kayak makes an appearance at the Outdoor Retailer-Summer Market Open Air Demo this August so I can take one for a spin.