Oru Beach LT Kayak Review

A convenient foldable kayak that delivers surprisingly good performance.

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Oru Beach LT Folding Kayak
Oru Beach LT Side
Oru Beach LT Kayak Cockpit
Oru Beach LT Folded Up
Oru Beach LT Packed
Carrying Oru Beach LT
Paddling Oru Beach LT
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 Summary

  • The Oru Beach LT is a collapsible kayak designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. It’s mainly recommended for beginners who are interested in doing some casual paddling in calm waters.
  • Using an origami folding style, the Beach LT can be folded down to roughly the size of a large suitcase. This makes storage and transportation far easier when compared with a hardshell kayak.
  • The two-layer polypropylene structure, a 20,000-fold rating, and 10-year UV protection ensure that the kayak will last you many years, even if used heavily.
  • Despite the lightweight, foldable design, the Oru Beach LT performs just as well as a hard shell kayak. It’s remarkably stable, tracks well, and is fast enough to be fun.
  • Although the extra-wide cockpit makes entering and exiting the kayak much easier, it also makes the kayak prone to flooding when paddling in large waves. This is made much worse by an incompatibility with spray skirts and the lack of a scupper hole.
  • The Oru Beach LT isn’t exactly cheap, but the portability, longevity, and on-water performance are enough to justify its price tag.

Reviews by our Readers


Introduction

MAKE:
Oru
MODEL:
Beach LT
TYPE:
Folding
MSRP PRICE:
$1,299
RECOMMENDED FOR:
All experience levels, calm water, adventure travel
WARRANTY:
1-year
MODEL YEAR:
2019
WHERE TO BUY IT:
Oru Kayak’s website

Kayak Details

LENGTH:
12′
WIDTH:
28″
WEIGHT:
26 pounds
COCKPIT DIMENSIONS:
62″ x 22″
PACKED DIMENSIONS:
33″ x 12″ x 29″
MAX CAPACITY:
300 pounds (1 adult + child or pet)
CONSTRUCTION:
5mm double-layered polypropylene

Written Review

Owning a kayak that’ll enable you to go on paddling adventures whenever and wherever you want sounds like a good idea until you realize that storing and transporting it around can be problematic. After all, not many apartments have enough spare room to store a 10-foot hardshell kayak. It’s also a huge hassle to mount a traditional kayak on a vehicle roof rack every time you go on a trip to the local lake or river. Oru offers a unique solution to this dilemma with their line of lightweight and collapsible kayaks.

The Oru Beach LT is the most beginner-friendly kayak from Oru. It’s easy to use, stable, and tracks well. Built with a focus on simplicity, it’s considered one of the easiest collapsible kayaks to put together. With a little bit of practice, most people find themselves assembling the Oru Beach LT in five minutes or less – much less time than putting together an inflatable kayak. The single-sheet design of the Oru Beach LT not only makes assembly simple but also lends much-needed strength and durability to the kayak. Like the other Oru kayaks, the Beach LT looks great with its unique white and orange color scheme.

Through the use of a signature origami-style folding design, the Oru Beach LT can fold up into the size of a large suitcase. It’s small enough to store under your bed or in a closet. If you’re going on a trip, the Oru Beach LT can be checked in with your luggage or stashed in your car’s trunk or backseat. You can even go on a hike with the Oru Beach LT strapped on your back, opening up some exciting opportunities to paddle in exotic, remote lakes. The Oru Beach LT is not quite a hardshell kayak, but it’s also not a skin-on-frame – the best way to describe it is that it’s a hybrid of both.

All standard accessories fit into the suitcase-sized bundle which happens to come with a handy carrying strap. Weighing only 26 pounds (about half the weight of similarly-sized recreational boats), you can sling the folded Oru Beach LT over your shoulder and carry it to the beach. Despite the Beach LT’s convenience, it’s slightly too large to comfortably carry for a long period of time and the fact that the pack is rigid when folded makes matters worse.

As we’ve said, set up is easy with all of the convenient buckle closures and tension straps lining the kayak’s body. Putting the Oru Beach LT away after you’re done is even easier. The material makes cleanup of sand and other debris effortless — a great feature that means you won’t make a mess in your car or apartment.

Even when fully assembled, Oru has provided just enough handles to carry the Beach LT around easily. You can lift it using the handle inside of the cockpit and then hang it over your shoulder, or tandem carry it using the grab handles at either end of the kayak.

As with the popular Oru Bay ST, the body of the Beach LT is made with a 5-millimeter thick double-layer of polypropylene. The material makes it lightweight, and the corrugated structure gives it excellent durability. This is the kind of kayak that can endure bumping or sliding on sharp rocks and logs without giving you reason for worry. It’s even possible to land the Oru Beach LT on a rocky beach without causing damage.

For a collapsible kayak like the Oru Beach LT, it’s natural to be concerned about the integrity of the various creases made by the folding design. Oru has anticipated how these creases are likely failure points and have rated the Oru Beach LT for at least 20,000 fold cycles before any deterioration of structural integrity will be noticed. 20,000 is a lot – that’s several decades even if you use the Oru Beach LT every day. Moreover, the polypropylene material has been treated with UV protection that’ll last for 10 years. Constant sun exposure won’t weaken this kayak’s body – a valid concern for all plastic products used for outdoor use.

Measuring 12′ long by 21″ wide, the Oru Beach LT is wider and longer than most kayaks. The design gives it beginner-friendly stability and provides enough space for extra-large cockpit and bulkheads. The wide cockpit makes entry and exit easy and also provides a lot of space to stash your gear. With a 300-pound weight capacity, you can bring along a cooler full of drinks, a tackle box, your dog, or even a small child as a passenger.

Being a collapsible kayak, the Oru Beach LT comes with a bunch of features that keep it from collapsing into itself when fully deployed. A pair of rigid bulkheads, one each at the bow and the stern, provides rigidity as well as airtight compartments for gear storage. A support pole located behind the backrest, the floorboard, and the footrest all lock into the sides of the cockpit to keep the structure from folding in.

Comfort was a priority in the design of the Oru Beach LT. Everything in the cockpit is easily adjustable, from the redesigned footrest to the cushioned seatback. This helps to make sitting in the Oru Beach LT for hours on end bearable even for larger or taller paddlers. The seat pad that comes with the Oru Beach LT isn’t the best, but it’s removable and you can opt for a thicker, cushioned alternative.

Unfortunately, the extra-wide cockpit also brings a whole set of drawbacks. Firstly, it makes the Oru Beach LT incompatible with spray skirts. If you’re paddling out in fast water or anywhere with large waves, then you’re going to end up with a lot of water inside the kayak. This problem is made worse by the lack of scupper holes for draining the kayak when it gets flooded. The width of the Oru Beach LT can also take a little time to get used to, as you’ll find your arms or your paddles frequently banging on the sides of the body.

Because of this limitation, we recommend staying in calm waters when using the Oru Beach LT, such as lakes or slow-moving rivers. In these ideal conditions, the Oru Beach LT truly shines in terms of performance. It cuts through the water almost effortlessly aided by a slight rocker at the bow and neoprene fairings at both the bow and the stern. These features help provide the maneuverability and control that even experienced paddlers will appreciate. It’s far from being one of the fastest kayaks but there’s enough speed to keep things fun. If you’re looking for a collapsible kayak with superior speed and handling and one that’s able to handle rougher waves, then you might want to consider the Oru Coast XT.

At slightly more than $1,000, the Oru Beach LT can be considered expensive as far as kayaks go. After all, you can get a brand-name hardshell kayak at a fraction of that price. However, the portability and compact design of the Oru Beach LT is where it truly shines. It’s much more stowable than a hardshell kayak while offering comparable on-water performance. The build quality is excellent, and the parts have been manufacturer-rated to last many years. This unique combination of characteristics makes the Oru Beach LT worth every penny.

 Warranty

Oru provides a 1-year warranty for the Beach LT, which needs to be activated within 30 days of purchase. The warranty only covers product defects due to materials or workmanship. It does not cover normal wear and tear, damage due to accidents, misuse, improper storage, or cosmetic damage. If the Oru Beach LT was rented out or used for any commercial purpose, this warranty would be considered void.

When making a warranty claim, you’ll need to get in touch with Oru and ship the product with postage prepaid. The kayak will still undergo inspection and warranty consideration before Oru decides if it’s eligible for repair or replacement. All repairs and replacement products covered by the warranty will be provided free of charge.

Oru also offers a 30-day return policy should you be unsatisfied with the kayak for any reason. The returned product will need to be shipped to Oru with all shipping costs covered by the customer. Upon processing the return application, Oru will either offer to provide a full refund or exchange your purchase for a different model.

Pros:

  • The Oru Beach LT is a beginner-friendly collapsible kayak that’s easy to use, tracks well, and is remarkably stable in calm water.
  • Folded down, the Oru Beach LT is just about the size of a large suitcase. This makes it easy to stow in a small apartment or in the back of your car during road trips.
  • Using a signature origami folding style, setting up the Oru Beach LT can be done in as little as three to five minutes. A series of compression straps and buckle closures ensure a convenient but rigid assembly. Every requisite accessory fits inside the single folded bundle.
  • Made of double-layer polypropylene, the Oru Beach LT is exceptionally durable despite being so lightweight. This kayak can withstand just about anything you can throw at it – sharp rocks, logs, and more.
  • With a slight rocker and fairings at both the bow and stern, the Oru Beach LT cuts through water beautifully. It’s fast, tracks well, and has good primary stability.

Cons:

  • The extra-wide cockpit, although convenient, also tends to let water in when paddling in choppy waters. This is made worse by the fact that the cockpit is not compatible with any spray skirt.
  • Although the Oru Beach LT was made to be easy to carry around when folded, it still feels a bit too large and rigid. Unfortunately, the Oru padded shoulder strap does not come with the Beach LT kayak by default and will need to be purchased separately.
  • The seat cushion is far from the best and may feel uncomfortable after a long paddling trip. It’s removable, which is only slightly comforting since a replacement seat would need to be purchased separately.

 Final Thoughts

The creation of the foldable kayak solves the storage and transportation problems which used to be the norm for kayak owners. Using an origami folding style, all the rigidity and excellent on-water performance of the Oru Beach LT can be packed into a bundle the size of a suitcase and conveniently stored under your bed or inside a closet.

With its extra-long, extra-wide build, the Oru Beach LT is an exceptionally stable kayak that’s perfect for beginners. Even with its moderately high price tag, there’s no question that the Oru Beach LT delivers value for money. This is a well-made, long-lasting piece of gear that’ll keep a smile on your face for years to come.

Click Here to Buy the Oru Beach LT Kayak

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