Oru Kayak Haven – The Awesome Power of Origami
The Oru Kayak Haven ($1999) is 2 person kayak that can be converted to a single and has lots of storage for long days. The origami folding design will turn heads too! My wife and I took it out to our favorite lake to test with some friends and their kids.
We have teste inflatable kayaks but never a folding one. When the Oru Kayak Haven showed up we were curious about how it would work. I started filling the “unboxing” video on our deck, then quickly realized we needed a lot more space! We took it to the common area and neighbors came out to see what we were up too.
We were a bit confused about the first time setting up. This is to be expected and is not a complaint. After about 20 minutes of folding, unfolding, and tightening straps, we had a kayak! Though, we were still not sure if it would actually work on the water.
The very first trip out testing was a beautiful day here in Colorado. We chose Evergreen Lake for its location and views. Also, the lakes in the Denver area were experiencing a blue-green algae contamination. You and your dogs do not want to mess with that! Seriously, stay away from that. Fortunately, it allowed us to travel a bit further and enjoy this lake.
We invited my wife’s good friend and two of her kids. They had never been out on a kayak before, so this was a nice treat to show them the joys of human-powered water travel. As an added bonus, the lake was also the place where my wife’s friend and her husband were married! Serendipity.
As we put the Haven kayak together, people would stop and ask us about it. Get used to this if you wind up getting one! It was fun giving a little show and tell to the new friends and watching them light up at seeing it all come together.
Assembly of Oru Kayak
After the second time putting this together, you gain some level of confidence. Though, I was not able to get the rear seat to stay secure on some trips. This is probably user error on my part. Also, the orange dividers for storage at the front and back did not stay in place. Full disclosure – this is a “tester” model, so not new. The unit arrived with those pieces a bit bent.
This did not affect the performance for us when using it though. Just something we thought was a bit odd. As mentioned above, I had some trouble securing the adjustable seat back on the rear seat. My wife did not have this issue on the front seat. Small gripes, but we wanted to share those details with you. Nothing works perfectly, and we still had a great time.
On water performance
This is a large kayak at 16ft long. It cut through the calm lake water with ease. My wife thinks it was slow to turn, but I think it was fine. I feel that the kayak was easy to get into and was stable on the water. I appreciated the ample space. We could fit a cooler and action camera with ease. This is not even touching the abundant storage at the front and back of the kayak.
We took turns taking the kids out on the water and they loved it! I used just one paddle and let them sit upfront and enjoy the views. I had no issue powering and steering the kayak with just one paddle. The size and stability of the kayak helped ease the kids into trying something new. Happy kiddos!
Oru Kayak Haven Review
We were really impressed with the Haven kayak. It packs up using all the parts of the kayak, which is great as there is no bag to fuss with or lose. There are no valves or caps to lose. No need to inflate it either. We actually brought a second inflatable kayak with us for a few trips but lost one of the Boston Valves so we could not use it. We even ordered a bunch of replacement ones, but none fit. Big points for Oru Kayak for this reason alone!
The kayak weighs 40lb and can fit in the back of our 4Runner with ease. It carries pretty well too, with a nice padded shoulder strap to haul it around. The kayak is very durable too. I watched my wife and her friend run directly into the rocks as they tried to coordinate their efforts. It was hilarious and no one was hurt, and the Haven did not care.
I really appreciated its durability. We were not “gentle” on the kayak. We treated it like most anyone would and it handled that level of use with ease. I can see this being a great kayak for a couple or a family for long days on the lake, or perhaps even camping. There is a lot of storage space and you can add accessories for fishing or holding your beverage.
At $1999, it is an investment. But seeing how much the kids and we enjoyed it, and how durable it was, it could be worth it. Plus the fact that you don’t have to inflate it, it packs up small and can handle ruff shenanigans and you have a winner!