Oru Beach Kayak Review – The Foldable Kayak Game Changer

Oru Beach LT

Specifications

Set-Up
80%
Portability
90%
Durability
70%

Total Rating

On- Water Performance
80%
Gear Storage
70%
Comfort
70%
4/5

Pros

Cons

Are you looking for a compact recreational kayak that you can take anywhere? If so, you may have come across the Oru Beach LT. This folding kayak is in high demand, but are these origami-inspired vessels really as great as consumers make them out to be? We set out to find out how the Oru Beach LT stacks up against the competition. Check out our findings in the sections below.

Things to Consider before Purchasing Oru Beach LT

So, you’ve exhausted your options in the inflatable kayak category. Still, you aren’t willing to give up on the concept of a fully portable kayak. The Oru kayak Beach LT is one of the most advanced folding kayak designs on the market. Its origami-inspired folding hull is surprisingly fast and easy to maneuver. Not to mention, it can handle its fair share of recreational blunders.

Here are a few things you are going to want to consider before you put your name on Oru’s coveted waitlist.

How Much Space Do You Have

All of Oru’s kayaks feature origami-inspired designs. The Bay ST kayak is 12 feet long and 28 inches wide. Meanwhile, it weighs just 26 pounds. The Oru’s shipping box measures 35-by-16-by-31 inches. However, the folding vessel fits into the Oru’s rectangular Kayak Pack, which measures 33-by-16-by-31 inches.

The Oru’s pack is roughly the same size as a large suitcase. As such, it is compact enough to be stored in a car trunk, boat, or garage. You might even consider taking this kayak on a plane or hike. The company even claims that most airlines do not charge an extra baggage fee for the compact kayak pack.

The Oru’s unique folding design makes it possible for paddlers with limited storage space and transportation means to possess full-sized kayaks. Some consumers have found the Oru Beach LT to be too rigid and bulky to carry to remote destinations. Then again, the folding vessel is a coveted travel companion for many paddlers.

Is This the Right Oru Kayak for You?

The Oru is an excellent yak for any amateur recreational paddler. If you enjoy embarking on weekend paddles but don’t have enough space for a hard-shelled vessel, the Oru Beach LT is an excellent pick.

Don’t let this small yak fool you. The open cockpit can accommodate paddlers of all sizes. Plus, the boat handles very well in mellow waters. The hull offers exceptional initial stability and decent secondary stability. Plus, the yak tracks rather nicely. Therefore, skilled paddlers should have no trouble maintaining moderate speeds.

With all that said, the Oru LT can be a bit hands-on. Paddlers must take the time to fold and unfold all of the creases. Plus, paddlers must clean the kayak before returning it to its box for storage. This maintenance only takes a few minutes. However, it is a hang-up for some paddlers.

Keep in mind that the Beach LT is Oru’s most recreational folding kayak model. It’s an ideal boat for laid-back floats. You can fish and explore from this stable vessel. If you have an Oru Pack, you might even consider toting your boat to a remote waterway.

With all that said, if you’re a skilled paddler or you enjoy ocean paddlers, you might be better off with one of Oru’s coveted Bay or Coast models. The Oru Kayak Beach Foldable Kayak is ideal for paddlers with little to no experience. While it handles quite nicely, there are certainly more dynamic yaks in the Oru Kayak line.

Oru Beach LT Kayak

Features and Benefits of Oru Beach LT

Are you wondering what the Oru Beach LT has to offer? Below you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of this yak’s most prominent features.

Set-Up

The Oru Beach LT’s set-up time is estimated to be between 5 and 10 minutes. However, you will probably need a little practice assembling and disassembling this yak before you can clock in at these impressive speeds. In most cases, you will need to fold and unfold the yak a few times. This process helps break in the somewhat rigid polypropylene seams.

Consumers can find the Oru Beach LT assembly guide here. The seven-step process is quite simple. Once your Oru Kayak box is open, you can start sorting through the separate parts. After that, you must work on transforming the polypropylene carton into a watertight hull and deck. The process involves the installation of a footrest, bulkheads, end straps, fairing, deck buckles, and carrying handles. It may seem as though there are a lot of steps to cover. However, the entire process takes just a few minutes.

Fairings keep the bow and stern together. Tightening these buckles is easily the trickiest part of the assembly process. You may want to employ the help of a friend or nearby boater. Keep in mind that later Oru Boat models boast zipper closures rather than fairings. Paddlers that have upgraded are quick to register the improvements.

Portability

The Oru Beach LT certainly stands out in terms of portability. This folding yak weighs half as much as most hard-shelled alternatives. Plus, it fits into a kayak box that is roughly the same size of a large suitcase. With that said, the Oru Kayak Pack is very rigid and oddly shaped. For these reasons, it can be a bit cumbersome to lug around. Still, the Oru’s origami-like design sure beats a life dominated by roof racks and trailers. Many also prefer this kayak to easily punctured inflatable alternatives.

Durability

The Oru Beach LT is lightweight yet extraordinarily strong. The boat’s 5-millimeter double-layered polypropylene hull can withstand lots of rough play. Plus, the material boasts a 10-year UV treatment. It is a boat that can handle regular abuse. It is even proven to resist most punctures and abrasions. On top of this, Oru says the kayak can withstand as many as 20,000 folds!

While Oru recommends that paddlers avoid sandy, gravelly portages, there’s no doubt that this boat can handle collisions with rough waterway obstructions. It seems to come out of most blunders with nothing more than a few aesthetic blemishes. With that said, the boat does not handle freezing temperatures well.

While the Oru Beach LT ranks surprisingly well in terms of durability, paddlers shoulder never force the seams. This type of behavior can result in irreparable damages.

On-Water Performance

The Beach LT performs  well on the water. The broad hull offers paddlers ample stability. At just over 12 feet, this boat has no trouble cutting through the water. While Oru has yet to offer consumers an aftermarket skeg, the Oru Beach LT manages to track quite nicely. It is even capable of picking up decent speeds. Plus, paddlers should have no trouble pulling off tricky maneuvers.

It’s important to note that the large, open cockpit makes the Beach LT a poor choice for paddlers in cold or choppy water. Moisture is quick to accumulate inside the boat. Still, you don’t have the option to install a spray skirt or other protective element.

Check out the Oru Beach’s launching and landing capabilities.

Gear Storage

The Oru Beach LT provides paddlers with enough storage space for a day trip. First off, this boat’s cockpit is large enough to accommodate a furry friend, small child, or a few small bags. With that said, most paddlers prefer to stuff their coolers and bags in the open area right behind the seat. This recess is large enough to hold a medium-sized cooler or a dry bag. There is also ample storage space in front of the adjustable footrest. Though, don’t expect to find bungee riggings or waterproof bulkheads on this foldable boat.

Comfort

While the Beach LT ranks well in terms of comfort, there’s still room for improvement. The LT’s cockpit is big enough for paddlers as big as 6 feet 6 inches and up to 300 pounds. The boat has plenty of stability and space. Therefore, it is one of the easiest vessels to enter and exit.

The boat has a padded seat, an adjustable backrest, and an adjustable footrest system. The elements offer structural rigidity and are limited to full adjustability. Paddlers can easily alter the angles of the backrest and footrest. You can prop yourself during paddles and recline when you’re lounging or eating lunch.

The cockpit boasts forgiving polypropylene and EPDM rubber trim. Plus, there are handles on both sides of the boat. The bottom of the hull is reinforced with a rigid floorboard. Plus, stiff bulkhead panels help the boat maintain its form. All of these elements make it easier for paddlers to find their balance when entering, exiting, and paddling this kayak.

What Customers Are Saying

Do you want to know what other customers are saying about the Oru Beach LT? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

The Good

Most customers were impressed by the Oru Beach LT’s handling. This 12-foot boat offers superior tracking, speed, and stability. Its large, open cockpit is perfect for solo paddle sessions. You may even consider filling that extra cockpit space with a small child, pup, or cooler.

The Beach LT seems to be a favorite of paddlers of all skill levels. Still, we’re particularly confident recommending this model to beginners. Most customers agree that this boat is perfect for sheltered flat-water, such as lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. Most paddlers strongly advise against bringing it into fast-moving water, such as rapids or surf.

Most consumers were pleasantly surprised by the Beach LT’s ease of assembly. It took most paddlers just a few minutes to piece together their origami boats. While the pack is sort of bulky, it’s still small and light enough to lug to a remote waterway. It sure beats hard-shelled kayaks in terms of storage and portability.

While the Oru Beach is quite pricey, it’s the only foldable recreational kayak on the market. You’re going to have to invest a little extra if you want to get your hands on this cutting-edge technology.

The Bad

While you would think that the Oru Beach LT’s double-layered 10-millimeter polypropylene seat would be comfortable, it is quite rigid. As such, many customers have said that an aftermarket seat pad is an essential investment.

Meanwhile, other consumers warned against taking this boat into rough or windy conditions. The lightweight hull is easily bullied by wind and surf. Still, this origami boat is perfect for day trips, picnics, and short tours on sheltered, mellow waters. Consumers also warned that the kayak does not have waterproof bulkheads. If the boat capsizes, it automatically fills up with water.

It’s also worth noting that Oru is currently only taking backorders. That means you could be waiting 6 to 8 weeks for one of these yaks.

Oru Bay Kayak

  • The closed cockpit is better for cold water
  • Can handle Class III rivers and 6-foot waves
  • Best for intermediate and advanced paddlers
  • More expensive
  • Limited to paddlers 6 feet 3 inches and shorter
  • Longer set-up time (10-15 minutes)
  • Highly portable origami design
  • Weighs 28 pounds

Advanced frame Kayak

  • Cost savings
  • Closed cockpit with 300-pound weight capacity
  • Heavier than Oru Beach LT (36 pounds)
  • A highly portable hybrid of a folding frame and inflatable kayaks
  • Plenty of on-board storage
  • Easy assembly
  • Arched stern helps tracking
  • Compatible with a durable drop-stitch floor

Oru Coast XT

  • High-performance kayak
  • Expensive
  • 16-foot full with a roomy closed cockpit
  • Enough onboard storage for multi-day trips
  • Rated for Class III rivers and 6-foot waves
  • Best for intermediate and advanced paddlers
  • Ultra-durable 5-millimeter polypropylene hull
  • Highly portable origami-style vessel

Final Thoughts

While the Oru Beach LT comes at a steep price, it’s one of the most portable and top-performing folding kayaks on the market. This boat cuts through the water with extreme precision and speed. Not to mention, its durable polypropylene hull can handle scrapes up against sandy banks, riverbeds, and other rough areas. While the Beach LT can be a bit of a headache to lug around, it’s still one of the lightest boats in its class. Not to mention, the assembly process is even easier than that of most inflatables. For these reasons and more, we believe the Oru Beach LT is a great vessel for amateur paddlers with limited storage space.

Happy paddling!

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