Spending time alone, canoeing down a water body provides you with some excellent alone time for self-reflection or relaxation.
Have a look at these top rated Models:
- Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman Canoe
Ideal for the solo sporting canoe enthusiast, the Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman is lightweight, nimble and easy to maneuver yet strong enough to handle the elements and keep the adventurer inside it safe and secure.
Built for performance, anglers and hunters alike will enjoy the simplicity of use and the utilitarian nature that this hybrid canoe provides. The padded contoured seat features an adjustable backrest and is comfortable for short or long trips out on the water, while the spacious open hull contains a myriad of features and storage space that keeps all your necessary gear at hand – and is roomy enough to bring your dog along, too!
The Old Town Discovery 119 measures up at 11ft 9in long by 32.5in wide, and weighs 56lbs when empty. With a three-layer polyethylene construction and a maximum weight capacity of 354lbs, this is surely one our top choices when it comes to canoes.
- Lifetime Kodiak Canoe
The Lifetime Kodiak Canoe comes with 3 molded in-seats that provide stable seating for up to 3 paddlers. If you’re a solo traveler, both the bow and stern seats have quick-release seatbacks that free up some extra storage space for your gear.
It is made of UV-protected blow-molded HDPE (high density polyethylene) which is both lightweight and durable. It is also rated for use with an attachable electric motor with a thrust rating of 40lbs, should you choose to use a motor with this watercraft. There is a transom motor mount bracket that comes with each purchase of this canoe, requiring assembly before it can be used to hold a motor propeller system. It also has luggage style handles on the sides that make for easy transportation off and onto the water.
The sharp-designed bow of the Lifetime Kodiak Canoe is built for speed and tracking, while the wide, flat-bottomed hull provides unmatched stability whether you’re in calm waters, or paddling through particularly choppy waters. The tracking skeg built into the bottom of the canoe provides excellent straight paddling control even in rough currents and especially windy days.
Being 13” long and with a weight capacity of 600lbs, this canoe can comfortably sit up to 3 people, and with plenty of storage space to boot. If you’re planning on a group day out on the water, this might be a great choice for you.
- Old Town Discovery 169 Two-Person Recreational Canoe
At 17ft long, the Old Town Discovery 169 Two-Person Recreational Canoe is the longest in the Discovery series of canoes. It is everything that you might need in a recreational canoe – from agility, stability and maneuverability.
The spacious interior of the Old Town Discovery 169 Two-Person Recreational Canoe is designed to accommodate you and a massive amount of gear when you’re traveling solo, and can also fit your family when you’re planning to paddle around calm waters of the lakes or rivers.
Constructed out of lightweight, three-layer polyethylene, this canoe is built to take a beating – being durable enough to provide years of paddling without any worry of damage. The extra long hull gives a boost every paddle stroke you make, literally making you glide across the water with the least amount of effort. This is perfect for paddlers who plan to travel long distances across the water while carrying a relatively large amount of gear.
The breathable, UV-resistant nylon webbing seats are built to provide optimal airflow, for comfort when sitting down for those long days paddling out on the water. The craft itself measures 16ft by 9in long and 37in wide, weighing in at 91lbs empty. If you plan to bring your family or friends along with you on your canoeing adventures, the 1400lbs maximum weight capacity is definitely way more than enough for you to enjoy a day out on the water without worrying about overloading your canoe!
- MYCANOE 2.5 Plus Origami Folding Portable Canoe
You’ve heard about foldable bikes (endearingly referred to as “foldies”), but have you ever heard of a foldable canoe?
Yup, you got that right. This origami folding, portable canoe from MYCANOE is an award winning, patented design that is TUV certified and has over 1000 5-star customer reviews on Amazon. It can be easily assembled and folded up again by one person and is made to be extremely lightweight and portable, promising that you’ll be from your car to the water in 10 minutes.
Forget the big, bulky watercraft holders that you put on top of your car to lug your boats to the water – the ingenious design of the MYCANOE Origami Folding Canoe turns a 37” x 8” x 25” folded canoe in a carrying case – into a high quality, strong yet lightweight 14ft canoe that is ready for your water adventures.
The body of the canoe itself is made out of a custom, 15 year UV treated polypropylene that can last up to 20,000 folds – which means if you used it once a day of the year, you’d still have a high quality, fully working canoe for 27 years!
The biggest draw here is its convenience. It can fit in most small sedans and weighs only 52lbs. It has a maximum weight capacity of 440lbs and can comfortably sit up to two adults, making it the perfect choice for those who want a fully functioning, high quality canoe that they can fold and keep easily in storage, especially during the cold winter months.
- Old Town Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe
This Old Town Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe glides effortlessly like a dream on the water. It is constructed out of thermoformed polyethylene and the hull is built to be resistant to impact and abrasion – ensuring that you enjoy many years of paddling enjoyment without any worries.
There are contoured seats built into both the bow and the stern, and include storage trays and fully adjustable backrests for maximum lumbar support and comfort – especially if you’re planning on paddling out on the water for a long period of time. The center bench seat can also fit a young child not heavier than 100lbs – otherwise its primary use is as a storage compartment for water, food, necessary gear and other valuables that you plan to bring along.
The molded in fishing rod and cup holders are good news for fishing enthusiasts who enjoy a day out in the calm waters catching fish and having a drink or two. The Molded handles on the deck plates allow you to lug the canoe around from your car to the water and back again easily without any hassle.
Measuring in at 14ft 6in and weighing 79lbs, the Old Town Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe is perfect for that day out in the water with your family, or if you prefer to paddle out solo. This canoe also has a lifetime hull warranty, so you can be assured of its quality construction and the trustworthiness of the Old Town brand – one of the world’s oldest and largest manufacturers of canoes and kayaks for over a century.
- Old Modern Handicrafts Wooden Canoe with Ribs Curved Bow
- Lcxligang Inflatable Canoe,Standard Single Boat Without Pulp, Can Be Used for White Water Level 3 Adventure Rafting
Why choose a good canoe?
The canoe has seen many changes in specifications since it was first invented by human ancestors 8000 years ago, but surprisingly – the design of today’s canoes is not that much different at all from it’s ancient predecessors. The earliest canoes were called dugouts, which were made hollowing out whole tree trunks via controlled fire and some rudimentary tools, followed by shaping of the sides and finally carving out the hull and stern of the boat.
A canoe, in principle a displacement watercraft – which means that it displaces a volume of water that is equal in weight to the canoe and the load that it carries. Choosing a good canoe that follows these rules of watercraft physics not only ensures your safety when you’re out on open water, but also ensures the money you pay for your canoe will go a long way, as it is a relatively large investment if you are new to this highly rewarding water-based activity.
Which canoe should I choose?
There are 4 categories that most canoes generally fall under: recreational, whitewater, sporting and tripping canoes. Recreational canoes can vary in design, from simple to the extravagant – but their specifications are limited to leisure paddling on calm waters, and the occasional rough current. Whitewater canoes are built to extreme specs, with durability and protection taking priority during construction. Sporting canoes are built for maneuverability and efficient energy transfer while paddling, while tripping canoes are designed to haul a lot of gear – enough for multiple days of traveling whether you’re going on a solo trip, or with friends and family.
The size and shape of the canoe also play a big part in how it performs. Longer, narrower canoes have hulls that track straighter, and therefore glide farther with every paddle stroke, giving you the benefit of traveling faster. The bow on these canoes are always taller than the stern, helping the canoe to handle choppy waters and strong winds when out on the water.
Apart from that, the length advantage of longer canoes means that weight can be more evenly distributed across the vessel, allowing it to carry more weight than shorter canoes.
Shorter, wide hulled canoes typically have more maneuverability and are more stable than their longer, narrower counterparts. Shorter canoes are commonly referred to as sporting canoes because activities such as bird hunting and fishing normally use these canoes.
There are many different canoes for different purposes – and what is best for one may not necessarily be great for another. The challenge that most beginners face when choosing their first canoe is actually deciding what type of paddling they want to do and where they are going to be primarily using the canoe. It could be a slow cruise down a pretty canal, a large lake, the local river, or a bigger, more open space like coastal waters. Once that has been established, then narrow down the choices to what fits your needs best.
Tripping or Touring
Solo tripping canoes range from 13 feet to 17 feet long. Tandems are about 20 feet long. Touring canoes usually have less rocker that works well for traveling on calm water. However, if you have practiced canoeing, you can handle the tripping canoe in large lakes and moving rivers.
Racing canoes provide high-performance and straight tracking. A racing canoe usually has materials that weigh less than other types of canoes. Typically, they have asymmetrical shapes with eccentric appearance.
White Water Canoes
In general, white water canoes are short and deep. Also known as solo sport canoes, they have high rocker and usually used for quiet-water play. White water canoes are very different from racing canoes in structure and appearance.
People use expedition canoes for heavy loads and long trips. Expedition canoes are large and fitted with a spray skirt. Usually, they are run by more than two paddlers. Expedition canoes have an increased bow depth and moderate rocker that allow for a ride in open water.
Remember, expedition canoes are 52 inches to 60 inches in length. Compared to other canoes, they can haul more weight and paddle adequately when you put weight on it for balancing the high amount of depth and displacement.
Canoe Construction Material
There are different types of materials used in the construction of canoes. For instance, aluminum is a strong and durable material that can effectively resist ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Aluminum is sturdy and heavy but it is rarely used to construct canoes.
In contrast, companies use plastic material to construct high-quality canoes. Plastic is a cheap and impact-resistant material, but it is also heavy and less viable to hold a suitable design. Some companies use fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar to make laminated or composite canoes.
Canoes made of the fiberglass material are lightweight and easy to handle. However, they are more fragile and less common on whitewater. Besides, wood is another material used to construct canoes. However, it is a less common material than aluminum, plastic, and fiberglass.
Whitewater canoes have extremely rockered hulls, which provides exceptional control when traversing through rapids and rough currents and maneuvering around sharp rocks and drops. However, the prices of whitewater canoes are significantly higher than the ones listed above – so if you’re an advanced canoeist looking to upgrade to your next spec’d out whitewater craft, you may want to look elsewhere.
If you’re a beginner however, the canoes listed above should be a good starting point for you to look at before you make your decision.