Ever wanted to pursue your favorite hobby on vacation, but given up on the idea because it requires bulky, heavy equipment to do it? It’s not exactly easy to fit a bicycle in your carry-on, for example, or drop your favorite paddleboard in the back of the car.
Or at least, it hasn’t been up until now. Several companies have started offering portable versions of gear that you’d never have considered taking away with you in the past.
Here are four fold-down and pop-up versions of your favorite sport and activity gear.
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MYCANOE Origami Folding Canoe
If you’re into water sports, you’re likely already familiar with cumbersome roof racks and annoying trailers whenever you want to enjoy your favorite pastime. For lovers of canoeing, at least, those days are gone , thanks to this folding canoe that fits in a small sedan and stores under a bed.
When stored in its carry case, it’s a svelte 38x8x25 inches, and weighs 52 pounds. Unpacked, it’s a full-size 14’ Canadian canoe, rigid and large enough for two people. The MYCANOE takes ten minutes to set up, and half the time to fold back down again.
With optional extras like stabalizers and oar locks, plus adjustable seat positions and a 440lb max load, it’s a flexible, adaptable craft. Fishing, back-country adventuring, and even sailing are all possible.
The Kickstarter campaign easily exceeded its funding goal, with the MYCANOE due to ship mid 2017. Prices start at around $1000.
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Boardworks Raven Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
Why let canoeists have all the portable fun? Several manufacturers have come out with inflatable paddleboards that bring some much-needed transportability to the world of stand-up paddleboarding.
Pair them with multi-part paddles that break down for easier transportation, you’ve got everything you need for a day of SUP fun, without needing a huge vehicle to transport it all.
The Boardworks Raven combines high performance with maximum portability, rolling up small and tight. The included backpack actually folds up around the deflated board, snapping into place and making it easier to pack down than many others.
Fins are easy to attach, and the pump that comes with it is one of the better ones you’ll find. At 25 pounds, it’s a similar weight to the competition – and a lot less than a non-inflatable version!
You’ll pay around $1300 for the Raven. Good multi-part paddles start a little under $100 on Amazon.
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Brompton Folding Bicycle
Folding bikes are a dime a dozen, but despite their reduced dimensions, many of them still aren’t small or light enough to take on a plane without some big excess luggage fees.
Not so with the British-made Brompton folding bicycle, which weighs between 20 and 28 pounds, and folds down to roughly 22 × 22 × 10 inches, in under thirty seconds. Even coupled with a hardshell case to protect it from knocks and drops, you’ll rarely need to pony up for oversize or overweight airline bag charges.
Brompton bikes are highly-customizable, with saddle, handlebar and gearing all coming in a range of options. Choose between 1, 2, 3 and 6 speed gears, for instance, depending on whether you plan to meander around on the flat or tackle the hills. There’s even an optional luggage system, ideal for carrying a day bag as you explore.
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Opus Air Camper
Want to go camping with the family, with maximum flexibility and comfort, but minimum hassle? In 2017, Opus released the Air, the latest version of its camping trailer system, which fits the bill nicely.
It’s large enough to house four to six people, with inclusions or options ranging from a wraparound couch, refrigerator, portable toilet, heating and air conditioning, and yes, even the kitchen sink. Despite all the luxuries, most vehicles with a towbar can safely haul the trailer, even the family sedan.
The Air model replaces the previous interior frame with inflatable poles – just hit a button, wait a minute and a half, and watch your temporary home spring into existence. There’s a little work required before and after, but you’ll still be good to go (or in this case, sleep), in five minutes or less.
Don’t want to forgo off-road expeditions just because you’ve got a trailer in tow? The trailer has been upgraded to be able transport one or two motorbikes, kayaks, canoes and other gear... safely on top, so your water and dirt-exploring needs are all covered.