Tucktec Folding Kayak Review – Is It A Good “Origami” Yak

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The Tucktec folding kayak is a lightweight, portable vessel that can be easy to store at home or on the go and convenient to transport.

These foldable kayaks are designed and made in South Carolina, USA, which can be useful when it comes to customer service enquiries. These Tucktec kayaks also come in a variety of colors to suit different paddlers.

  • Length: 9 foot 8 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

The Tucktec kayak is a sit-inside kayak that can be the ideal vessel if you live in an apartment or you don’t have a lot of space at home to store a standard hardshell kayak. It can also be convenient if you use public transportation or want to fit it in the trunk of your car or even load it into your motorhome.

This can be a good option for casual paddling on flatwater conditions. If you plan to paddle frequently, you may find that a traditional hardshell kayak is more suitable, as folding kayaks will tend to have a shorter lifespan due to its maximum fold cycles.

Having said that, thousands of fold cycles can generally mean a few years, even if paddled everyday.

This kayak is built for flatwater paddling and is not recommended for rough water or open water conditions.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Tucktec Folding Kayak

The Tucktec folding kayak is designed to be portable and convenient, and more affordable than some other folding kayaks. Folding kayaks can be a great solution if you live in a small home or an apartment where you have limited storage space for a traditional kayak. Folding kayaks can also be a good alternative to inflatable kayaks.

Folding kayaks tend to have a maximum number of fold cycles, which can limit their lifespan. While some manufacturers can give you a ballpark figure when it comes to the number of fold cycles it can withstand, others may be more vague.

The Tucktec folding kayak is rated for “thousands” of fold cycles, rather than a more specific number. How long the kayak will last will depend on how frequently you use it and how often you fold, unfold and refold it.

If you plan to paddle often or want to haul a lot of gear, you may find a different type of kayak is better for you than a folding kayak. An inflatable kayak, for example, might be a better option if you still want the ease of storage and transportation. Usually, an inflatable kayak tends to have a higher capacity than most folding kayaks and can often be used in a variety of water conditions, including some whitewater.

The Tucktec kayak can be great for exploring slow-moving rivers, calm bays and sheltered lakes. It’s designed for a single paddler, so it may not be suitable if you plan to bring a dog along. Inflatable kayaks or hardshell kayaks can be better for paddling with a dog.

The Biggest Features Of The Tucktec Foldable Kayak

Portability

One of the main features of the Tucktec kayak is that it’s portable. It’s designed to be transported and stored easily due to its compact size when folded. When the kayak is folded it measures just 15 inches by 47 inches, so it can fit in the trunk of a small car or be stored in a closet at home.

This means it could save you money on accessories, as it doesn’t require a roof rack or trailer.

Weighing just 28 pounds, it’s also lightweight, which can make it easier to carry to and from the water by yourself. Its compact size can even make it a great kayak for storing in RVs or on larger boats.  

However, the kayak doesn’t come with a bag to store it in, as it folds up into itself. If you plan to check it as hold baggage on an aircraft, you may want to invest in some type of carrying bag to keep it protected during transit. 

Open Cockpit

The Tucktec kayak features a large cockpit which can be easier to get in and out of than the often narrower cockpits found on some traditional sit-inside kayaks, particularly touring models.

The spacious cockpit may even feel more like a sit-on-top kayak in terms of feeling less confined. You might also feel a little more freedom to move around compared to standard sit-inside kayaks.

This open design of the cockpit may also make it a little more susceptible to the elements, so it may not provide you with as much protection for winter paddling as a standard sit-inside kayak would. You may also take on water from splashes or waves, which might make this kayak better for warm summer conditions and sheltered waters.

Inside the cockpit, you’ll find a padded foam seat for comfort during your paddling trips. The seat can be adjusted for position in the cockpit, letting you sit closer to the bow or stern, depending on your leg length and preference. You’ll also find an adjustable foot rest to suit different sizes of paddlers.

Behind the seat, there’s space to store gear with some covered storage in the stern. However, it’s not designed for heavy gear - you and your gear should weigh no more than the kayak’s maximum capacity of 300 pounds.

For additional comfort, there is foam padding on the sides of the cockpit to protect your knees and thighs.

Stability

The Tucktec kayak is a pretty stable kayak thanks to its short, wide hull. It has a flat bottom which can help to provide a high level of initial stability on flatwater. If you have good balance, you might even be able to stand up in it. But this is not what the boat is designed for.

The good primary stability can make it a good choice for beginners. And the short, wide hull can also make it easier to maneuver on the water, even if you’re a new paddler. It’s not designed to handle waves or any moderately choppy water, so it’s best for calm water only.

Video: Tucktec Kayak Review And Demo

It’s worth noting that the kayak tends to sit quite low in the water, which could mean water comes in over the sides if there are any waves.

This low profile design may also be a downside when it comes to getting back in from the water if you fall out, as you may force water into the cockpit as you try to climb back in.

Performance

The great stability somewhat sacrifices speed and tracking. If you’re an experienced paddler, you might find this kayak a little slower than some higher performance folding kayaks. But it could be faster than some inflatables of a comparable size because of its hardshell plastic construction.

However, you might find that this kayak doesn’t cut through water as well as some other folding kayaks because the bow and stern have exposed folds and are not covered or fastened to sufficiently close the gap.

On the upside, there is a retractable skeg or fin at the rear to help with tracking, which can help you to paddle more efficiently in a straight line. It can be retracted from the cockpit using a pull cord.

Quick Setup

The Tucktec foldable kayak is designed to be assembled in just two minutes. While this may be true for someone who’s had a few successful attempts, it will probably take you around 15 minutes to set it up until you get the hang of it.

Video: Tucktec Folding Kayak Fold-up Instructions

Because there are limited additional parts and the kayak folds into itself, it can be easily folded down when it’s time to go home.

The Tucktec kayak is made using a single sheet of plastic that has machined grooves for you to follow when folding and unfolding. These grooves are reinforced for strength so that you can get thousands of fold cycles for a longer lifespan.

This folding kayak could be a more convenient option than some inflatable kayaks because it will generally be quicker to set up from one piece than an inflatable kayak that has multiple air chambers to inflate and accessories to be installed.

You may also find that it has added durability compared to some cheaper inflatables, as it’s made with puncture-resistant hard plastic. It may also be less susceptible to damage from mold and mildew, which can affect the longevity of inflatable kayaks if stored when they’re not completely dry.

Affordability

The Tucktec kayak is generally an affordable kayak. These boats are not as pricey as some of the other folding kayaks out there, making them a good option if you’re on a budget.

Tucktec kayaks can let you get out on the water more affordably, as you don’t need to consider the additional costs of owning a kayak, such as the purchase of a roof rack or boat storage. This means you can keep costs low throughout your ownership of the kayak.

Bearing in mind the budget-friendly price tag, this kayak is probably not going to be the one if you’re looking for a kayak with high-end components and top-of-the-line features. But it can be a fantastic boat in its price range and importantly, it checks the boxes in terms of convenience and portability.


Tucktec Folding Kayak Alternatives

1: Oru Kayak Bay ST Folding Kayak

The Oru Kayak Bay ST is a 12-foot folding kayak that, like other Oru kayaks, is designed around the art of origami. Oru kayaks are often considered to be the original folding kayak.

Video: Oru Kayak - The Original, Portable, Folding Origami Kayak

The Oru Bay ST is a sit-inside kayak that is crafted for flatwater environments and can be ideal for all seasons. It’s even compatible with standard spray skirts (sold separately) so you can shield your lower body from cold conditions.

This folding kayak is just 25 inches wide, which can make it quick and efficient on the water. It’s also stable and can be great for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

The Bay ST weighs just 26 pounds, features a padded seat with adjustable backrest, an adjustable footrest, and a decent amount of storage space, with bungee rigging on deck. It also has a capacity of 300 pounds, like the Tucktec. However, it is a lot more expensive than the Tucktec folding kayak.

2: Oru Kayak Inlet Folding Kayak

The Oru Kayak Inlet is perhaps a more similar kayak to the Tucktec in terms of size and style. It’s a more affordable Oru kayak but it is still pricier than the Tucktec kayak. The Inlet is a 10-foot folding kayak that’s 30 inches wide and rated for 20,000 fold cycles. It packs down to a compact box that measures 40 by 19 by 10 inches.  

It has a spacious, open cockpit with an adjustable padded seat and adjustable footrest. This kayak is extremely lightweight, weighing just 20 pounds, so it can be ideal for carrying on your own. It’s also designed to be easy to assemble and has a maximum capacity of 275 pounds.

Because of the large cockpit for easy entry, this can be great for beginners. It’s also very stable and easy to maneuver, but it’s not as efficient on the water as the narrower Oru kayaks as it’s built primarily for stability on flatwater.

Additionally, the material has a protective UV treatment that’s designed to protect against UV damage for 10 years.

3: Sea Eagle 300X Explorer

The Sea Eagle 300X can be a good inflatable alternative to the Tucktec folding kayak. This inflatable 9-foot 10-inch kayak can be ideal if you’re looking to haul heavy gear or if you’re a larger paddler, as it can hold up to 395 pounds.

It weighs a little more than the Tucktec, at 30 pounds, but it can be packed into a compact carrying case measuring just 24 by 16 by 6 inches, so it can fit in your trunk or closet. You could even hike it into remote locations to paddle on new waters.

It’s a stable vessel that has a drop-stitch floor for rigidity and performance. This durable inflatable kayak can also handle both flatwater and whitewater. It’s rated for up to Class IV rapids, so it can be great if you’re looking for versatility and want to paddle or fish in different types of water.

The Sea Eagle 300X comes in a variety of packages that include a seat, paddle, carry case, pump and a repair kit.


Conclusion

Pros

  • Convenient to store
  • Easy to transport
  • Fast assembly
  • Great for apartment living
  • Budget-friendly folding kayak

Cons

  • Not for rough water
  • Limited lifespan

The Tucktec folding kayak can be a great boat if you’re looking for a compact kayak that’s lightweight, easy to store inside a closet, and fits in a small car. It can be a stable craft for paddling on calm, flatwater and can be ideal for beginners. Just remember not to head out on rough waters.

Maybe it’s time to check it out for yourself if you think it’s the right fit for you - just click here. Let us know what you think of it in the comments. And if you want to help others find the right folding kayak, share this with them.

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