"First origami tandem kayak" folds down to suitcase size
Californian company Oru Kayak has designed a foldable kayak that can be carried on one's back for easy transportation and use.
Haven is the latest product from Oru Kayak, a company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that makes various folding vessels.
Based on the Japanese paper folding technique of origami, the new design features a lightweight shell that folds down to the size of a large suitcase that weighs 40 pounds (18 kilograms).
Oru claims it is the first origami tandem kayak, and is manufacturer-rated for 20,000 fold cycles.
"When folded into a box, the Haven is the world's only tandem kayak designed to be carried by one person," said the company in a statement.
Made of five-millimetre polypropylene, the product has a translucent shell and orange plastic boards across the hull. When folded down, this double-layered, custom-extruded orange surface serves as a protective exterior for the pack.
Shaped similarly to a bean pod, the shell wraps at its two corners, leaving a hollow for users to sit in persons.
The design is suitable for one or two persons. To convert the kayak to tandem, a footrest can be repositioned to a seat back, and seats switched with a few buckles.
It takes approximately 10 minutes to turn the design from a box to a floatable boat. Intuitive folding patterns, and colour-coded stitching and loops, guide the assembly.
The coloured straps and loops show how to attach seats and footrests, and also serve as clips to fasten the kayak's box when folded.
When fully open, the kayak measures 31 inches (79 centimetres) wide. When packaged together, the box measures 33 by 15 by 29 inches (83 by 38 by 73 centimetres).
Haven is also equipped with a patent-pending rail system for storing items like bottles, cameras and fishing rods, and which runs along the top of its sidewalls.
Another foldable water-faring vessel, designed by Thibault Penven, is made of rigid fibreglass panels sewn into a foldable PVC skin.