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The CLR Kayak Folds Down to a Backpack, Is Incredibly Light

There are several advantages to choosing a bike over private car ownership, if a two-wheeler is better suited to your lifestyle. The downside, though, is that even if you have an electric cargo bike, your hauling capability is severely limited.
The CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carry 6 photos
Photo: KickStarter / Daniel Schult
The CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carryThe CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carryThe CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carryThe CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carryThe CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carry
In recent years, specialized cargo bikes can pack almost as much stuff as a car. Better said, they’re more than enough for weekly grocery runs, other errands and even for the daily school dropoff routine. But not one of them is able to help you haul a kayak.

That’s the dilemma product designer Daniel Schult faced years ago, when he decided he wanted to explore the great outdoors on the water as well. Daniel is a cyclist and he gets around Berlin on his bike. This meant that either option for a kayak was no good for him: the regular kayak was too big and heavy to carry on his bike, while the inflatable version took too long to inflate.

The CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carry
Photo: KickStarter / Daniel Schult
“It all started with the idea to discover the city from the water and to find relaxation from everyday life on the waterways around Berlin,” Daniel says. “However, the search for a suitable kayak remained unsuccessful. The standard kayaks are too big to store them in my apartment or to transport them by bicycle.”

Noticing a gap in the market (doesn’t it always start like this?), Daniel decided to build his own kayak, one that would do away with both these impediments. Some five years ago, he developed the prototype for what he now calls the CLR Kayak: it was still big, but it could be loaded onto his bike’s cargo rack. It was a good step in the first direction.

Today, Daniel has the CLR Kayak and he’s hoping to raise funds on KickStarter for it, to get it into production. The idea is certainly not new: in the U.S., there are companies that sell folding kayaks just like this one, but based on claims alone, Daniel’s is considerably lighter.

The CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carry
Photo: KickStarter / Daniel Schult
What Daniel has basically created is a kayak that folds down to a square and can be carried like you would a backpack. At 6 kg (13 pounds), the CLR is light enough to be carried on the back of a cyclist without as much as breaking a sweat. A shoulder strap is included, as well.

And that’s just the icing on the proverbial cake. According to the product’s description, this thing is incredibly reliable on the water (which is exactly what you want) and very easy to deploy. Made of pre-folded corrugated polypropylene, it’s coated with a pliable layer of rubber that ensures it’s waterproof. The hinges are waterproof, too, and the bow and stern additionally stiffened. Inside, there’s an incorporated foam seat with backrest, so comfort is ensured.

When folded down, the CLR measures 70 by 50 by 6 cm (21 by 19 by 2.3 inches). In extended form, it’s 340 cm long by 65 cm wide (133 by 25 inches), and can carry up to 118 kg (260 lb). Deploying it takes under two minutes after some training, with regular straps and buckles ensuring it stays in this shape while on water. Daniel says he will provide a detailed assembly video to all those who pledge to the campaign.

The CLR Kayak takes under 2 minutes to assemble, is incredibly light to carry
Photo: KickStarter / Daniel Schult
“The kayak maneuvers very well on the water and keeps its shape,” Daniel writes. He’s been testing it outside Berlin for a very long time, and he promises it’s a product that will deliver on both promises: comfort in knowing its compact size (hence, no need for additional storage or hauling issues), and reliability on the water.

Early birds can snap this folding kayak at €529 ($627): only 50 will be made, with shipping free of charge within Germany and deliveries expected in May 2021. The Kickstarter price will be €579 ($687), and the final price once it hits production – assuming it does – €599 ($711). Add another €20 ($24) or €60 ($71)for shipping, if you’re in the EU or U.S., respectively.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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