The Bay+ has been replaced by the Bay ST
We're excited to introduce the Bay+.
It packs in a whole list of new features — for added comfort, convenience and style. A new adjustable seat keeps your back and legs happy for the long haul. Extra deck straps and an easy-to-reach deck hatch make storing gear easy. Stainless steel ratchet buckles make assembly smooth and fast. And custom deck graphics add extra flair. Whether you're out to conquer the wilderness or just wow your neighbors, the Bay+ has you covered.
I love the design and conceptualization of the Oru kayaks, However, the original Bay (2014 edition) suffers from a few issues. 1. Cockpit size and foot/leg fit----it's too tight for moderately larger folks! I'm 5'10 and 190 lbs. Yet once I'm in the kayak I feel like I'm wedged in tightly with little ability to use my legs or thighs for bracing nor maneuvering. This may work for short flat water paddles, but what kayaker goes out for just a 20 minute paddle?!! By the way, on forums, other paddlers have noted the same issue. 2. Portability----the ability to pack the kayak into a backpack and haul it around is great. Just beware, you will need to find a space to unfold and assemble it when you get to the pond, lake, river, etc. Same when breaking it down: you'll need a ~14 foot flat space. 3. Components---there are a few parts which seem to be breaking on these kayaks. Most notably, a tie assembly behind the seat which holds the two sides together. The part seems to fail from fatigue of use. Mine hasn't broken yet, but is warping. Reading Facebook descriptions, people are finding that the hull snaps seem to hold things in place anyhow. A clever person has started manufacturing aluminum replacement parts----filling a vacuum left by Oru. 4. Customer Service---again, Facebook reviews of customer service are very poor, reporting long wait times for parts (months to a year); lack of response; and dismissiveness. I experienced the latter when I reported an issue.
So, overall, a brilliant product that fails in certain critical ways. I wasn't sure whether to give it a two or three star rating. Erred on the better side, but note that the kayak is primarily a flat water kayak for short paddles.
I've had this ORU boat for several years, and really like it. I can singlehandedly carry it and all my water gear to and from the water, and that's saying a lot for a 5'2" gal! The kayak itself is nimble and responsive. Windy conditions can be a little dicy for this lightweight boat, and there have been times I've wished for more ballast. Assembling it at the waterfront often becomes a curiosity-inspired spectator event. For me, the independence/portability factor is its starring quality, followed right up by the fact that it's a very fun boat to paddle.
I have chosen Bay+ model because of declared by producer easy and quick rigging and comfort of the back rest (I'm 61 so that is very welcomed feature :) ). I have tested it very next day. The day conditions were not very promising: windy, 16 kts head wind and risen river water level forced me to paddle against 1,5 m/s current + 16 kts head wind. I was psychologically prepared just for a 15 min. or so test paddle just to check stability and maneuverability but for the very first hit by paddle of the water I was highly surprised by how easy and smoothly it went against the current and how light is handling and I went on paddling further and further and stopped after 4 km of distance just because my wife called me to go back home (the test day was Christmas Eve day ...). So I went back to the launching place and rigged kayak back into the box and was about to get it into the car (Nissan Micra) when I was called by my friend asking what I'm doing with that box near the river? "It's the kayak"" I replied ... what???
I have made 60 km since then including the 14 km trip up stream, crossing and carrying the kayak across electric power plant dam with follow-on paddling across the lake and crossing the dam on my way back and all that without anyone support and even without a need to use a car :) The rigging procedure is easy and simple, stability requires a bit skill to have with more stable kayaks. So, it is light, stable, considerably fast (5 km/h average speed if you don't rush anywhere) and ... mobile, extremely mobile boat. Thank you Oru Kayak Team
In the end I came to the conclusion that a high quality inflatable or hybrid like a Pakboat is a much better choice: both easily carried in any car, perform better (especially the Pakboat Quest,XT-17, and 12' Puffin and yes, I paddled all). I urge anyone to paddle the Oru first before buying as I found it to be very mediocre in performance, especially compared to hard shells, Pakboats or Folbots, or the Saturn Ocean Pro or Aire Sawtooth inflatables .
The fit and finish is higher than expected. If you launch in an area with other people around, your times will be delayed by questions from people intrigued by the design.
Handling: The boat handles well and its light weight serves the paddler well. The boat tracks relatively well. I find that small corrections work the best. If you need to make an aggressive change in direction, a few aggressive strokes can shift the light weight craft where you need it.
Appearance: I received compliments from other paddlers and some campers along the shore of a local river. The reoccurring comment was "that looks like an expensive kayak." I'm not sure why it looks expensive. I only mention it since I heard a variation of that statement 3 times yesterday.
The compact folding design is the real benefit of this kayak. The kayak fit in the trunk of my wife's car with room to spare. I have this ambitious idea of building a light weight storage box that I an mount on the back of my Kawasaki Concours motorcycle. I don't know if it will make it to reality, but wouldn't it be neat to combine to fun past times.
Once the time changes next month, I plan to take the kayak to work with me sometimes so I can use it get some exercise after work. I find 30-40 minutes of aggressive paddling on a lake to be a great workout for your core and upper body.
Overall the Orukayak is a great package. I bought the Bay+ because of the advertised improved seating. I haven't ever seen or used the base bay unit, but based on my past kayaking experience, comfort is worth the extra money. The price is a bit steep, but I am not aware of another similar kayak that matches it for overall value.