Tucktec Folding Kayak Review


You might have noticed that kayak fishing is “a thing” these days. Bass fishermen especially have taken to it like crazy. It’s a way to get out on some amazing water while spending far less than you would to buy a boat. You move faster than in a float tube, have more space, and sit up out of the water. But the drawback is that kayaks are heavy, awkward to transport and require a lot of space to store. My fishing kayak, which isn’t one of the heaviest/largest, clocks in at 65lbs empty. Plus then you’ve got to get it onto the roof or into the back of the truck and from there down to the water. It can be a lot. As anyone with a float tube knows, transporting one of those can be done in the smallest of cars and you can store it in a closet. To say nothing of having the ability to add backpack straps and hike in to your favorite lake. But could there be something in between? Something that gives you kayak benefits with float tube ease? The Tucktec folding kayak attempts to be that exact thing.

The core concept here is that the Tucktec is a giant sheet of polyethylene thermoplastic that folds like an origami crane into a 10ft kayak (there is an 8ft model for small humans). When rolled up for storage/transport, it’s a flattened tube shape that is 48” long and at 25lbs can be carried with its built in shoulder strap. Pricing starts at $339 and there are often sales or bundles that offer additional deals. Plus, it’s made in the USA, which is always nice to hear. The Tucktec design has evolved and improved over the years and it is important to note that this article is about the newest 2023 version.

Who is it for?

If you’ve got the money for a full size fishing kayak, storage space, a way to transport it, and only fish lakes where you can drive pretty close to the launch, the Tucktec isn’t for you. But if you’ve got a small car, live in an apartment, or want to kayak fish lakes that don’t have a car accessible launch, then I'd encourage you to read on...

Setting up/taking down

First off, watch this video and then maybe watch this one.

The Tucktec is a really clever folding design that turns a flat sheet of plastic into a functional watercraft. HOWEVER, it’s a bit confusing and complicated the first time you attempt it. This is made harder by the fact that the creases in the plastic are going to be stiff out of the box and that initial assembly will take more effort than the videos would make you believe. The company even suggests leaving the kayak out in the sun a bit to soften up the plastic before your first assembly. Tucktec claims that the material has been formulated to last for thousands of folds and that all fold lines are reinforced. So in theory, they shouldn’t wear out.


Packed up

Ready to fold

One of the latches

The Tucktec folding design relies on 6 aluminum latches (one each on the bow/stern and 4 in the “cockpit”) to fold along the creases and form the kayak shape. The bow/stern latches are fairly easy to sort out, but the four cockpit ones are a bit tougher. That said, I’m no gym rat and I was able to do it. I would perhaps be a little concerned for anyone with weak hands, though. Finally, the seat straps in by using the shoulder carrying strap and the velcro strap that wraps around the folded kayak when stored.

Once you get used to the assembly, it doesn’t take appreciably more time than pumping up a float tube or unloading a standard kayak. Unfolding is much faster and doesn’t even take five minutes. Every time you use the kayak, the latches/folds do get easier. So don't base your overall impression on the initial assembly.

In Use

The Tucktec paddles fairly nicely. It’s no ocean or race kayak, but coming from a chunky 65+ lb fishing kayak, this felt like it scooted along just fine. I’m unsure if the tracking skeg in the back (which can be raised and lowered) makes a huge difference, but I suspect it helped. The seat is basic, but I found it comfortable enough. You have some adjustability as far as fore-aft placement and seat tilt. I don’t know that this is what I’d want to be sitting in for an 8-hour paddle, but again, that’s not the Tucktec’s game. Finally, there is a simple, but effective adjustable footbrace at the bow. As far as fishing, aside from sitting lower than I do in my SOT fishing kayak and having less storage, things were about the same. I cast at fish and sometimes I caught them. Honestly, comparing the Tucktec to some smaller sit-in kayaks I have fished out of, I'd be hard pressed to say there was much of a difference. It worked just fine and gave me some enjoyable afternoons fishing spots where I'd otherwise have been in a tube or on the shore. I will fish from it again next spring.

The main thing you’ll notice if you are someone coming from a larger SOT fishing kayak is that there is little to no storage on the Tucktec. You’ve got a set of bungee tie-downs on the bow, but that’s about it. There’s some room behind the seat for a bag or perhaps a clever DIY person could make a small crate fit. But there are no cubbies, cupholders, rodholders or hatches. Taking along multiple rods is probably going to be more of a hassle than it's worth. I ended up just bringing a fishing bag with a couple fly/plano boxes, tippet, etc. I tuck the butt end of a rod by my feet and lay it down parallel along the side of the boat. It works well enough. But again, this isn’t a kayak for all day trips or for people who require bassmaster levels of gear with them on the water.


Seat with a backpack behind

The tracking skeg


I felt a bit low in the water in the Tucktec, even compared to other small sit-in kayaks. Adding to this, the sides also feel lower than a standard kayak. I think this would be more noticeable for larger/heavier paddlers. While you CAN use any boat anywhere, I suppose, all this makes the Tucktec not the best idea for big open water, boat traffic, or waves. For me, while it isn’t unstable, this is a kayak for calm water paddling. One thing that can help increase stability, weight limit, and even sitting lower in the water is Tucktec’s snap-on stabilizer kit, which I talk about a bit further down. It is important to note that I didn’t take on any water or feel unsafe or unsteady at ANY time in the Tucktec. I enjoyed using it and I intend to enjoy it more in the future. But it’s a tool for a specific purpose. Trying to use push its limits will likely not turn out well.

Something fairly important to remember is that, while sturdy, the Tucktec is designed to have your weight spread out while inside. That means that you shouldn’t launch it with the stern up in the air (on a steep shore or a rock). You need to do a standard kayak water entry and get your feet wet. It also means that you absolutely CANNOT stand up in it. In both cases, you’ll be focusing weight on specific points rather than spreading it out. And when that happens, the boat will fold as this popular bass fishing YouTuber LOJO found out.
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Fishing Bundle

Tucktec sells a “Fishing Bundle” that consists of a set of their snap-on stabilizers, a 1lb folding grapple anchor, and a contraption called the Tucktec “Thingy”. The stabilizers are the most useful of the bunch because not only do they legitimately add some stabilization to the kayak and allow it to sit up a bit higher in the water, they increase the Tucktec’s weight capacity by 25lbs. They are very easy to install and transport as well. The anchor is a clever two piece design that doesn't so much “fold” as it has two pieces that store flat and slide together to assemble. But it’s a nice little anchor that holds the kayak well enough and is easy to carry in limited storage space. The one drawback I see is that there are no real tie-off “cleats” on the Tucktec to attach the anchor to. Instead, the anchor uses a clip that clamps down on the hull. I don’t know what you call these sorts of clips. But I always think of them as what you use when you need to attach a rope to a tarp and there’s no grommet nearby, here are some on Amazon. Anyway, it works well enough for the kind of wind/current I’d want to experience in this kayak.

The “Thingy” is an oddball. It’s a sort of insulated bucket/storage-bag/cooler that can be attached to the back of the seat. But also taken out and used as a stool and it folds down flat for transport? Here’s a video that doesn’t explain much more. I admit, it’s a more comfortable spot to sit than the rocks if you need to have a waterside lunch. But I haven’t figured out much else to do with it. Still, it might not be a terrible way to keep some water or beer cool if you thought you’d be fishing for a few hours.


Fishing Bundle

Stabilizers installed

Anchor disassembled

The strange golf connection

I wasn’t sure where to put this, so I’m just stuffing it down here at the end. There’s an interesting connection between a Tuckec and golf bag accessories. This is because a folded up Tucktec is about the same size/weight as a golf bag full of clubs. So Tucktec users have found that golf travel accessories can be used for their kayaks as well. This guy on Youtube (and many people on the Tucktec FB group) use golf travel bags for tidy storage or even airline travel. I highly suspect that a Tucktec will fit on a wheeled golf cart. This might be quite handy if you had a lake with a bit of a walk to get to. And finally, I’m fairly convinced that you could use some golf bag backpack straps to rig up a system to carry the Tucktec on your back. If you can walk 18 holes of golf with a 20-25lbs of clubs, you could probably do a decent hike with the Tucktec on your back. Plus, maybe your local golf course has a nice bass hole in the middle. Toss the Tucktec on the back of your cart and you’ll feel like a millionaire with a private pond on your manicured estate. Just watch out for badly hooked drives from the weekend duffers.



  • Priced well
  • Fits in virtually any car for transport
  • Takes minimal space to store
  • At 25lbs, can be carried a decent distance
  • Fishes as well as any small sit-in kayak
  • Can be tricky to set up initially, takes some strength
  • Not suited for rough water
  • Maybe not for very big paddlers
  • Gear storage requires DIY solutions
Bottom line? The Tucktec is a very clever design that fills a need few other watercraft options can. It covers water faster than a float tube, it will let you launch in ponds/lakes that a big kayak can’t get to, and it stores and transports as easily as any inflatable without worrying about punctures or blown seams.

Now, there are compromises. Gear storage is a bit of a hassle. It’s not the best choice for rough water. Assembly can be tough initially and might not be workable for those without a bit of arm/hand strength (though I’m no muscleman and I did it fine). I don’t think you’re taking the Tucktec out for an 10 hour marathon day and you aren’t going to be using it in any kayak fishing competitions. The tucktec is a “kayak” in the same way that the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a pickup truck. It has a bed, you can pick up plants from the nursery or take a load to the dump. But it’s not going to pull your camper or haul a yard of gravel. If you need an ocean kayak or a fully loaded fishing kayak, buy one of those. Don’t be an idiot and expect a folding kayak to magically be able to do the same things those boats can do.

All that said, I like the Tucktec a lot. I’ve got a list of lakes that normally would be float tube or shore only that I’m interested in taking it to. I’m also excited about being able to fit the Tucktec into the 50 mpg Prius instead of having to use the 16 mpg truck for my big kayak. It’s a neat tool that will let me access water that I wouldn’t have fished from a boat otherwise. That’s worth a few compromises for me.

An additional note…

For those researching the Tucktec, it’s worth noting that there are a number of reviews/comments out there that are either out of date (the design has evolved), done by people who didn't assemble the boat correctly, or have modifications that affect the structural design. I’d encourage folks to make sure that they are looking at reviews for the 2023 version of the Tucktec and that the reviewer knows what they are doing.

Useful links...

Tucktec's website: https://foldupkayaks.com/
Tucktec's YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW55pmcdP5jQQbwB8ZttfaQ
Tucktec owners FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/267243452020461


It catches fish...