The Pontos folding kayak weighs 7 pounds and can be stored in a bag
Kayaks have many good qualities, but they’re generally not something you can store in a closet or carry in a backpack. That’s why we’ve seen an increasing number of folding kayaks, and the Pontos is one of the lightest and smallest foldable models we’ve come across so far.
Currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, the Pontos was invented by Lubbock, TX-based kayaker/entrepreneur Adam Mulsow. And although it measures 10.5 feet long by 29 inches wide when fully assembled (320 by 74 cm), it packs into a package the size of a two-person roll-up tent – and it would weigh only 7 lb (3.2 kg).
At the heart of the Pontos is a frame made up of individual 18-inch (457mm) sections of carbon fiber tubing. These are joined by a length of shock cord running through them, along with custom designed polymer fittings.
Once this frame is folded into shape, the waterproof kayak skin is tightened around it and then zipped over the top. The skin is made of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) bonded nylon, with heavy-duty raft-grade 210 denier nylon used for the bottom and a lighter weight nylon used for the top deck.
Finally, the seat of the Pontos is inflated and secured inside the cockpit. We were told that the whole assembly process only takes five to seven minutes.
For comparison – in terms of weight – the lightest of the popular Oru folded polypropylene kayaks tips the scales at 20 lbs (9 kg). That said, it’s hard to say how it and the Pontos would compare on other factors, such as durability, stability, and tracking.
A better comparison could be made with the unsuccessfully funded Justin Case Kayak, which also featured a carbon frame and nylon skin. It was claimed to weigh only 2.6 kg (5.7 lb), although its skin was made of simple ripstop nylon and its assembled shape was not particularly streamlined.
Assuming the Pontos do better in their campaign, a pledge of US$497 will get you one in your choice of five colors — the expected retail price is $575. You can see the kayak assembled, paddled and launched into the air, in the following video.
Pontos folding kayak
Sources: Indiegogo, Pontos