I love my inflatable paddleboard for how easily it packs up between uses. But, sometimes, I’m in the mood to sit down, get my puppy in a more stable watercraft, and pack a few chilly beverages for a more extended day on the water.
The latter usually requires a comfortable kayak, but loading and unloading a heavy boat from my roof-mounted kayak rack is not always easy. That’s why I’m excited to bring you this Oru Kayak review to showcase my experience with their Lake Edition Kayak.
Oru Kayak Review: The Specs
As a self-ascribed gear junkie, I’m always interested in starting with the specs. It gives me hard numbers to compare with other kayaks I’ve used or researched in the past. So here are the basics for the Oru Kayak Lake Edition:
Cockpit Size: 66” L x 24” W
Weight: 17 pounds
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
How to Set Up the Oru Kayak Lake Edition
After you unbox your Oru Kayak, here are the steps for setting it up:
1. Open the clips on either side of the top carry handle and fold out the bow and stern.
2. Remove the seat floorboard bundle and set it aside for now.
3. Start at the bow and push along the fold lines (on each on the port and starboard sides). Then proceed to the stern and do the same.
4. Place the floorboard bundle back in the center. The back of the floorboard should align with the angle of the sidewall.
5. Fold the bow flap together and clip the two straps. The flap with the adjustable male end of the strap should be on top of the flap with the female clips.
6. Move to the stern and clip the single flap strap together. The corner of the flap should be inside the pocket of the strap.
7. Clip the vertical stern strap together and tighten. You may need to apply some force to fully close this strap on a new kayak.
8. Check that the floorboard trim is covering the metal hardware inside the kayak’s cockpit. Then clip and tighten the seat’s tensioning strap – located behind the floorboard.
9. Clip together the straps on either side of the seat’s backrest to the straps attached to the cockpit’s sidewall.
10. Install the footrest by clipping the bungee cord to the loop inside the bow and then attaching the straps on either side.
From there, you can make final adjustments to the backrest and footrest by tightening or loosening the straps once you’re on the water. You can also slide the strap holders on either gunwale to the center so that the closing straps remain inside the kayak while you paddle.
How Does the Oru Kayak Paddle?
The Oru Lake Kayak compares favorably to other lightweight, recreational kayaks I’ve paddled. It’s meant for casual, flatwater paddling on calm lakes or gentle rivers.
You’ll notice that the kayak does turn in one direction once you’ve gained momentum and you stop paddling. However, it doesn’t require much extra effort while you’re underway to keep it tracking in your desired direction.
The main benefit of the Oru Lake Kayak is its easy maneuverability. It turns on a dime when you need to reverse course or avoid obstacles. You won’t need multiple paddles or be forced to make a wide-swinging turn like you might with a longer and heavier kayak.
Is the Oru Kayak Durable?
The Oru Lake Kayak is manufactured with custom-extruded, UV-treated plastic called OruPlast™, which is rated for up to 20,000 folds. This plastic is five millimeters thick and that UV treatment is designed to last for up to 10 years.
My biggest test for its durability was paddling with my puppy and her sharp nails. She had minimal impact on the look and sturdiness of the cockpit and had no trouble snuggling up between my legs for the duration of our paddle.
Does the Oru Kayak Leak?
As long as you set it up correctly, the Oru Kayak Lake Edition does not leak. What I will say, however, is that you need to be careful when emptying out any water sitting in the cockpit at the end of your paddle.
I paddle often with my puppy and she occasionally likes to get out for a swim. So when she gets back in, she inevitably brings a considerable amount of water with her. After our paddle in the Oru, I tipped it onto the stern end to drain the water from the cockpit.
After doing so, I found that a minor amount of water had run between the OruPlast™ sheets that provide the kayak with its structure and durability. Odds are, this minor amount of water dried up in no time, but it’s worth noting to be careful when you’re emptying and cleaning your Oru Kayak.
Oru Kayak Review: Final Verdict on the Lake Edition
The Oru Lake Kayak is perfect for truck camping or RV camping. It’s also ideal for anyone that has a smaller vehicle, doesn’t have space for a rigid kayak at home, or doesn’t want to deal with loading and unloading a heavy kayak from their vehicle’s roof rack.
The setup is quick and easy and doesn’t require a manual or electric air pump as you’d need for an inflatable kayak. The Lake Edition, in particular, is super light and easy to carry down to the water’s edge.
On the water, I’d recommend this kayak for casual paddlers looking to enjoy a relaxing day on flat water. It’s not going to be the most efficient or comfortable kayak for long-distance paddling, but it’s an excellent option for a few hours up to a half day on the water.
What questions do you have about the Oru Lake Kayak? Drop them in the comments below.