Campers and backpackers carry their tents, sleeping bags, and climbing gear with them – so why not their boats? Oru, The Origami Kayak is a full one-person boat made from heavy-duty corrugated polyethylene (the same stuff that US Postal Service bins are made from) that folds into its own carrying case. At 12 feet long and weighing only 25 lbs, the boat can be fully assembled within five minutes.
Solid plastic ribs, cockpit rims, and and floorboards give the lightweight body structural integrity, and a single seam that sits on top of the kayak above the waterline is sealed with watertight gaskets. Able to hold up to 250 lbs, the Oru also features an adjustable footrest, and it can hold a standard foldable paddle when collapsed. The body is extremely durable, water-resistant, and guaranteed for 20,000 folds throughout its lifetime. The skin is detachable from the rest of the frame, and it can be replaced by the manufacturer as part of the warranty agreement. The Oru is completely recyclable, and it can be produced using only a fraction of the amount of petroleum needed to make a standard molded kayak.
Inspired by compact San Francisco living, designer and kayaker Anton Willis began designing the Oru in 2008. Tired of having to put his fiberglass kayak in storage, Willis became interested in origami after reading an article about how the traditional Japanese art from was revolutionizing the fields of engineering and science. After 15 prototypes, paper models, and countless test runs in bays, streams, and oceans, the kayak was ready to launch. Fellow avid outdoorsman Ardy Sobhani lent his business savvy to the project, and the team is set to introduce the Oru to nature lovers everywhere soon.