July 21, 2021

First excursion in my backpack kayak; loving this thing so far! : Kayaking

First excursion in my backpack kayak; loving this thing so far! : Kayaking

I wrote this for another group earlier today. Might as well recycle:

I have an Oru Coast XT that I use for touring internationally. Folds, and with the right accessories is appropriate for more aggressive open water trips. Properly outfitted includes air bladders front and rear and a cockpit sock since when it goes over the entire boat fills with water (like a skin on frame boat). We’ve practiced buddy and solo rescues with it, without the sock it’s not safe for open water solo.

Paddling is smooth enough and the boat has good primary and secondary stability. Construction quality has been good, though the first boat I had to send back. Customer service was exceptional (it’s not if they make a mistake, but how they deal with it).

The boat lacks rigidity, I usually paddle fiberglass, so paddling a folding boat is a bit of a shift. The boat conforms to waves more than I would prefer. The boat turns well and is easy enough to edge (with a twist). Rolling was nearly impossible for me when I tried it, and I have a pretty good roll, but not perfect.

It’s slower than a standard touring kayak, probably a whole MPH slower on the hull speed, and it’s not the quietest boat on the water as there are design choices that disturb the water flow along the hull. Its expensive for a transportable boat, but it has a great cost benefit balance.

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