Oru Kayak Beach LT Review

The Oru Beach LT is a recreational kayak designed for use in smooth, calm water like lakes, rivers, and streams. It has excellent stability and tracking, making it a great choice for beginners. The origami design creates a hybrid between the features of a rigid kayak, and a skin-on-frame kayak. The large, open cockpit has plenty of space for a cooler, a dog, or a small child. 

Out of the water, the Beach LT folds up into the size of a large suitcase, and the ultra-light 26 pound weight makes it easy to take anywhere. 

The compact folded design makes it easy to store in a trunk, closet, RV, or even check it on a plane. It’s a great choice for people who want an easy watercraft that can go anywhere and store easily when not in use.

Overview of the Oru Kayak Beach LT

Specs

  • Type: 1-person collapsible kayak
  • Size: 12 feet x 28 inches
  • Cockpit: 25 x 48 inches
  • Storage: 140 liters
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max paddler height: 6’6”
  • Materials: 5mm double-layered, custom-extruded polypropylene with a 10-year UV treatment
  • Setup time: 5-10 minutes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Color: White

Construction and build

Oru’s innovative double-layered polypropylene hulls have the performance of carbon fiber, without the weight. Their kayaks are designed and made in house, from their manufacturing facility in California. 

The stable, open design is friendly for beginners, because it’s easy to get in and out of, and provides a lot of leg room for taller paddlers. The bulkhead not only provides extra rigidity and stability, but it also provides a great space for secure storage on the water. Folds securely buckle into place, with heavy duty clasps and high strength straps. 

It has a clipped-in footrest for more comfort and control when paddling, and it adjusts for paddlers of all heights. The included seat is adjustable for both lumbar support height and seating angle, so it is comfortable for paddlers of all shapes and sizes. The seat pad is removable. 

It has handles on the bow and stern, and also handles inside the gunnels that makes it easy for a single paddler to carry the boat when it is unfolded, leaving their other hand free for paddles and gear.

The Beach LT is built for durability, with a 10-year UV treatment, a 30-day return policy and 1-year warranty, and a hull designed to withstand being folded and unfolded 20,000 times. 

About the brand

As originally seen on Shark Tank and Kickstarter, Oru’s innovative origami kayaks have been featured on CNN, Forbes, Oprah Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and more. Oru Kayak began life as a San Francisco startup, with the idea of using custom-extruded corrugated plastic and the space-saving features of origami folding to make kayaks and watercraft that are accessible to everyone. 

Ten years later, Oru has relocated to a warehouse in Emeryville, California, and developed a line of five folding kayaks for every type of water. They design and build every kayak themselves, ensuring quality and function through every step of the manufacturing process. 

Oru Kayaks have won multiple awards, including Gear of the Show by Outdoor Retailer, Backpacker’s Gear of the Week, ISPO Product of the Year, Time’s Best Inventions of 2019, and the Edison Awards.

Pros

  • Performs on the water like a hardshell kayak
  • Extremely compact and flat when folded, perfect for storing in small cars, closets, campers and RVs, and other small areas
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Fast and easy to set up
  • Fast and easy to break down and clean, with fast drying and no deflating
  • Handles inside the gunnels make it easy for one person to carry
  • Stable and maneuverable in the water
  • Open cockpit with lots of room for storage, a pet, or for paddlers with long legs 
  • Adjustable seat back for perfect seating angle and lumbar support
  • Included foot brace for more comfort and control
  • No need to carry a pump or repair kit
  • Rides lower in the water than an inflatable, for improved speed and better performance in windy conditions
  • Designed and made in the USA
  • 30-day returns and one year warranty

Cons

  • “Suitcase” folded design can be a bit cumbersome to carry
  • No internal drainage, and an open deck design, so it isn’t suitable for wet or rough water. For rougher waters, consider the Oru Bay St or Coast XT, which have closed decks. 

Conclusion

With no drainage or spray skirts, the Beach LT is definitely a kayak for calm waters, where the open cockpit design makes it friendly for beginners and easy to bring along a cooler or a dog. It’s incredibly easy to set up, and also easy to take down, with a hull that simply wipes clean and doesn’t require extensive drying or deflating time.  

The Oru Kayak Beach LT is a fantastic alternative to an inflatable kayak for recreational kayakers. The design mimics the shape and performance of a rigid-hull kayak, for improved speed and control, with less interference from wind. It’s as fast and easy to set up as an inflatable, but faster and easier to stow away afterward, and the compact footprint makes it easy transport, stash, and store nearly anywhere. 

Hikers appreciate that this kayak doesn’t require them to carry pumps or repair kits, and everyone loves its performance on the water. It’s an innovative kayak based on ancient design principles, backed by incredible technologies.