Top 10 Best Canoes (Nov. 2018): Reviews & Buyers Guide

Top 10 Best Canoes (Nov. 2018): Reviews & Buyers Guide

Canoes are possibly the most enjoyable way of taking to the water, nothing gets you as close or as intimate with the waves and ripples as a canoe. It’s also a fantastic form of exercise, not only giving your upper body a workout but building core strength at the same time. But what kind of canoe would you like? What’s the best canoe? There is a lot on offer and the choices can seem bewildering. Different sizes, shapes, sale prices, materials, makes and brands, paddle lengths and styles, it’s all up to you!

There are enormous options for fun but the choices can seem like an avalanche of canoe-related facts, especially if you know the golden rules of canoeing. But we’re used to separating fact from fiction; it’s our job. We review all kinds of things here (including canoes) and have developed an excellent system for choosing the best products for our readers.

So relax and enjoy our canoe review to getting the best canoe for you.

Why Should You Trust Us?

Basically, we’ve been doing this for years. Our reviews employ a rigorous research method that has been honed over the long time we’ve been doing this. We look at the facts and figures from the manufacturer, from the retailer and then first-hand experiential data. This means we ask people who’ve used them what they think.

We have a devoted team of volunteers and staff who try out each of the products we review and for this Top 10 Best Canoe List, we’ve tested over 20 canoes. Around 55 hours of research on the canoes and extensive community-based usage data goes into our research report, including all the personal testing we’ve put the canoes through.

With all this data, we were able to trim the 20+ canoes down to the top 10 canoes. We aim to find the highest quality canoe for the best sale price, as well as picks for different types of users. With our broad range of data and personal usage, we’ve managed to provide what we think is a comprehensive picture of the market for canoes and give a top rated canoes review.

We don’t have any particular affiliation with any product, manufacturer or brand, that’s not how we roll. We give our readers the best choices and the right facts and information to help them find the most suitable product for them. That’s how we do business and it works, so we’ll keep doing it!

All this produced our Top 10 Best Canoe List!

But First, What is a Canoe?

You might think it’s obvious what a canoe is, but it does pay to know exactly what we’re talking about when we say “canoe”. A canoe is a narrow watercraft or boat, usually in an elongated ellipse shape (pointy at both ends) and is generally of lightweight construction.

A canoe is propelled by kneeling or seated paddlers (or paddler), hopefully facing in a forward direction in the boat and using a single bladed paddle.

Aha! What you thought of as a canoe was probably a kayak! There are some differences between a canoe and a kayak that you should know. In the UK and Europe, a kayak is often referred to as a canoe and a canoe is often called a Canadian canoe.

Canoes have been used for thousands of years, they were possibly the first types of water transport other than clinging to a log. Traditionally they were hollowed out of tree trunks or made from bark on a frame.

With the onset of textile technology, canvas was stretched over a wooden frame. Then in the 20th century, there have been canoes made from metals such as aluminum, plastics, and composites like fiberglass. Many improvements have also been made for kayaks over the years and today you will find top-notch kayaks with all the facilities you need for an amazing fishing trip.

Types of Canoe

Recreational Canoes:

These canoes are boats for fun. Paddling about easily, splashing each other with the paddles, general frolics. They usually have a wide hull for stability and are easy to control. With that stability comes a loss in agility and speed. Hard to sink or capsize, many people use them for hobbies like birdwatching, leisurely paddling, and photography.

Multi-Purpose Canoes:

The jack of all trades of the canoe world, these canoes can handle whitewater and placid rivers with equal aplomb. More maneuverable than a recreational canoe, they are accordingly less stable and less suited to inexperienced canoers. This type of canoe will take people anywhere with a large load. They will capsize easily too.

River Canoes:

For the canoers up for a challenge, a river canoe can handle rapids and whitewater, anything you find on a river. Tough, solid and built to take a beating, river canoes feature a lot of “rocker”, or a high curvature along the canoe, which makes them extremely maneuverable.

Who Are Canoes For?

Canoes are accessible to just about anybody who can get clamber into one. In fact, there are hoists made for disabled people so they can enjoy canoeing too. So canoes are for everybody who doesn’t turn green at the sight of water.

Children are especially suited to canoeing, the versatility of the experience without the swinging booms and ropes flying everywhere that comes with sailing. You can even take little kids out on the lake and they’ll have a great time, or you can take older kids down rapids and on whitewater. They’ll have the time of their lives, we guarantee it.

Anybody who wants to can get in a canoe and paddle away into the sunset. They’re affordable, durable and require very little maintenance. Once you’ve bought it, it should last you a long time and a lot of fun trips.

As a form of exercise, canoeing is an all over workout. You might not think you’ll use your legs but they are providing quite a lot of the power you’re putting through your arms when you’re canoeing. In a canoe, you swap sides depending on which direction you want to go. When going straight you’re constantly swapping sides. This means you get a thorough workout.

Canoeing can be a very social thing, you can take friends and families out for a day, or you can go solo and be at one with nature. This is one of the greatest things about canoeing, you can just go out and be still on the lake.

For an epic trip, nothing quite beats a few days going downriver with some pals or your family. Take some supplies, a tent and your sun cream and feel invincible with your canoe!

What to Look for in the Best Canoe?

When you’re looking to buy a canoe, it helps to know what features are the most important.

Suitability – where are you going to be using it and will it stand up to the strain?
Build quality – how good do the seams look, is that quality stitching, does it feel solid?
Size – can you all fit in there?
Capacity – if you’re going downriver, you’ll need supplies. Can they fit?
Seats – will your derriere be comfortable after a few hours of that seat?
Thwarts – do they suit your paddling style? Are they well made?
Gunwales – do they allow for easy access for everybody who uses the canoe?
Hull shape – what should be the ideal hull shape? How much rocker do you need? Flat bottom and initial stability or round bottom and secondary stability?
Reviews – what do other people think?
Look at sale price last – safety comes first

How We Picked and Tested

For the picking and testing of the products on our best canoe review list, we first sent out our happy hive of volunteers for an epic quest: to find as many canoes as possible. They never fail to exceed our expectations, bringing back well over 30 in a relatively short space of time. We didn’t bother test 10, either the sale price was too high to consider or the canoe itself looked so flimsy we just couldn’t persuade ourselves to try it out.

From the 20 remaining in our list, however, we got a lot of testing data. None was perfect but there were some standout canoes, and this is how we came up with our top 10 canoes list.

In the assembly of our best canoe list, we looked at a number of features so we could get the best comparison possible. In our comparison, we used data on the design, quality and the type of the canoe, the type of the build material, whether there were air chambers or not, what the maximum weight capacity was, the level of certification, what came in the box with the canoe (accessories and freebies), how easy it was to get paddling in the canoe and how long the manufacturer offered a warranty for.

All this data let us make a really comprehensive comparison of what was good and what was bad about these canoes. Here come our rated canoes.

Our Top Ten Product List

For our list, we have analyzed fully 27 different features that make up a canoe. Adding all this together, subtracting the negative points and looking at the answer gave us our fantastic best canoe list. If you want to see this research report, it’s yours for free! Just like one of our social media pages and you’ll have access to this report and plenty more!

Our Pick: Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6-Foot Canoe

Before we get to our review of this canoe, let’s spend a little time talking about why it is Our Pick and what got it there.

Why is this product our Pick?

  1. In all the 27 different 

    OUR PICK

    Affordable Awesomeness

    Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6-Foot Canoe

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    Affordable Awesomeness

    Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6-Foot Canoe

    A sturdy canoe is a great investment & that’s exactly what this is. With convenient add-ons like a cup holder, this built-for-ruggedness canoe takes your adventures to the next level. Well worth its price!

    features we analyzed for our best canoe list, our research indicates that this has the maximum number of positive features. To get to our top rated product, we focused mainly on 3 different areas: good features, durability and sale price. This canoe fits all three brilliantly.
  2. This canoe is uniquely crafted in rugged, UV stabilized Fortiflex high-density material, meaning it will last a very long time and perform superbly. There are cup holders by the seats, allowing users to enjoy a drink while out in the canoe. The storage compartments under the seats are ample and watertight. This all adds up to make this Our Best Pick
  3. Even though it’s full of great features, it’s still an affordable canoe.
  4. This canoe is very convenient for the user as it comes with a built-in cooler under the seat that can keep your beers cool while you’re trippin’ downriver.

Detailed Review

best canoe: The best choice on the market today
For under $700, this is a remarkable canoe. All the build quality and features you might expect
from one twice the price but for an extremely affordable canoe. $700 might sound a lot of money, and it is to most people, but when you consider this canoe will probably keep you and your friends and/or family well stocked in adventure and together time for years to come, it’s a worthy investment.

As reviewers, we’re occasionally swayed by certain features. Cup holders are one of those features, we can’t resist them! On every seat you can keep your choice of beverage safe and secure while you paddle, then when you’ve had enough of that, you can reach down and enjoy your drink in the midst of your surroundings.

To top that, there’s a cooler under the middle seat! Fill it full of ice, stick some beer, meat and fizzy sodas for the kids in there and have a barbeque when you get to your destination downriver. Or just keep essential supplies in there. Medicines, mosquito repellant, more beer. It’s so, so convenient, we wouldn’t want to go canoeing without one. Plus, the weight is centered properly so it helps this canoe stay stable.

The Mackinaw seats three comfortably or more if there are little people aboard, which there should be because this is a perfect family recreational canoe. The wide, flat bottom and high gunwales mean it is stable and will inspire confidence in even the most landlubber passengers.

Looking at the reviews on Amazon, there’s a solid 4* rating, mostly because some people took it out of where it was designed to be used and treated it badly. This isn’t an extreme canoe, it’s for recreational use. Decide for yourself by reading our research report.

The build quality is superb, the materials feel solid and well made, and overall it’s a very convenient design. You can lug this thing around easily with the transport handles incorporated into the shell, making your trips with the kids just that little bit easier.

There’s a two-year warranty on the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6 footer, which surprises us. It looks and feels like it’ll last a lot longer. If you really know how to choose a canoe, you’ve already realized this is simply the best.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Great for kids
  • Well built
  • Cup holders
  • Cool box
  • Wide and stable
  • Carrying handles
  • Well rated
  • Doesn’t capsize easily
  • Fits 3 comfortably

Cons:

  • Not for whitewater or extreme conditions
  • Wide so not as maneuverable as thinner boats

Verdict:

Well built, sturdy and stable, this is the best canoe for taking the kids on jaunts downriver, or heading out with your friends for some well needed time away from work. Cup holders and coolers! Fantastic!

Budget Pick: Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Canoe Combo

Why is this product our Budget Pick?

BUDGET PICK

Brilliant Little Canoe

Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Canoe

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Brilliant Little Canoe

Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Canoe

Highly rated by the community, this budget canoe comes at under $250 which is a major steal! Don’t let the price fool you -- for its low cost, it’s durable, has lots of cool features, and is very comfortable to sit in.

Our research report, which you can view for free if you’d like, shows us that this is the lowest priced canoe of all in our best canoe list. Even so, it comes with loads of really great, positive features, making it a perfect choice for our Budget Pick. It comes with fully adjustable seating for the most comfortable paddling experience and is extremely light, making it very portable. It comes with a hand pump, 2 paddles, a bag, pressure gauge, basically everything you’re going to need on the water. Altogether, this is a brilliant canoe that comes within your budget.

Detailed Review

best canoe: a perfect choice for our Budget Pick
We simply loved this little canoe. But what we loved most of all was the price. For less than $250, you can take home this 2-men, heavy-duty PVC inflatable canoe. Designed for lake use, it’s not something you’d like to take down a waterfall, but it’ll have you happily paddling around on the lake for years to come.

There is a polyester cover that comes with this canoe combo, providing excellent protection should you run aground or hit something sharp. Built-in inflatable air chambers allow for buoyancy even when one is punctured, so this is a very safe canoe to be paddling in. The patented Airtight System guarantees no leaks, so you can hold them to that. Altogether very reassuring in an inflatable boat.

Using it on our test water was nice, it performed well, not being too wide or having too much rocker. It is maneuverable and quick, not to mention extremely comfortable. No hard seats here, they’re covered and kind to the paddler. Fully adjustable, you won’t be hurting your back from the wrong paddling action on this canoe. When we’d got the straps adjusted right on the seats we found that paddling was relatively easy. Not the greatest, but certainly not the worst. You can make your own judgment by taking a look at our research report which is full of useful data.

Bungee straps at the fore and aft make for convenient storage and quick access of canoeing essentials, and the strap handles mean this lightweight canoe is extremely easy to carry.

Looking at the reviews, we found this was a fairly high rated canoe, with some drawbacks, according to people who have used it for a while. We can’t give you that reliability data as we can’t spend that long testing them, so that’s why we look at the reviews. One user said it was “ungainly”, not something we encountered at all. It’s got a standard stability for a canoe of the size and type.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Inflatable
  • Comfortable seating
  • Good buoyancy
  • Cheerful looking
  • Very cheap
  • Rugged construction

Cons:

  • Can take a little getting used to
  • Not as sturdy as some inflatable canoes

Verdict:

Cheap, cheerful and capable, we liked this inflatable canoe. It has a few great features and a standard of construction that was excellent. Not bad for quick jaunts on the river.

Advanced Pick: Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6 Foot Canoe

Why is this product our Advanced Pick?

ADVANCED PICK

Everything a Canoe Can Be

Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS

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Everything a Canoe Can Be

Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS

For its high price, you’ll get only the best features. Made of the toughest materials, this canoe will last you years. It’s perfect for paddling, fishing and duck hunting. A very versatile choice.

If you’re looking for the canoe that does everything, this is it. It’s one of the most advanced on the market, having all the features you could want and a high capacity and usability. Ideal for family recreational activities, it seats 3 comfortably and more if they’re children. There are storage compartments to keep your essentials safe and dry and 6 built in rod holders for the fishing enthusiasts, who will appreciate the high stability and tracking system of this canoe. All these excellent features make this our Advanced Pick. It might be similar to our Best Pick but the addition of a built-in motor transom for electric trolling motors makes this a more advanced canoe.

Detailed Review

best canoe: A feature-rich choice you can't ignore
This canoe could set you back a pretty penny, but we’ll wager it’ll be worth every cent. It’s extremely versatile, tough and well made, justifying the higher price you can expect to pay for it.

The hull is made from UV-stabilized Fortiflex PE (polyethylene), an ideal material with its light weight and high tensile strength. The shape of the hull is fairly wide at the beam and coming to a fine point at the prow. On the aft gunwale, you’ll find an attachment for putting an electric trolling motor (not included), so when your arms get tired you can still get around. It’s a little awkward to use sometimes as you’re sat in front of the handle, but it’s still a great feature.

6 fishing rod holders conveniently placed around the Mackinaw suggest who Sun Dolphin are aiming this canoe at – fishermen and women (and kids). This is the perfect canoe to paddle out into the middle of the lake or river, cast your lines and sit back for a nice relaxed afternoon of reeling in dinner. It’s stable enough for duck hunting too. Big enough for 3 people but small enough that you could take it out on your own, you get the choice of company.

Plus there’s the cooler in the middle seat and cup holders. This really is the canoe for a social paddle, fishing or camping trip. What’s better than a cold beverage in the middle of a beautiful canoeing spot, floating under the sun?

There are a number of options available for this canoe but the basic package sets costs under $680, which is decent for what you get. It’s well rated as well, with 59% of reviews on Amazon being 5*. This is a good average and most of the reviews we read pointed to this canoe being a reliable beast, which is the only thing we can’t tell you about from our own reviews.

On water, it handles beautifully, both with paddles and with the outboard motor. Secondarily stable, but still fairly stable initially, it’s easy to maneuver and can get some good speed behind it on a stretch.

Works well for duck hunting and more, just take a look at our research report.

Pros:

  • Affordable (the basic model)
  • Full of features
  • Cup holders
  • Cool box
  • 6 fishing rod holders
  • Lightweight
  • Good handling
  • Nice accessories
  • Well rated
  • Stable
  • Outboard attachment
  • One of the best canoe for fishing

Cons:

  • Can be very expensive in some configurations
  • Outboard can be awkward

Verdict:

Like Our Best Pick, this Advanced pick is full of great features. Rugged construction, neat design (check out those cup holders and the cool box) and versatile, with fishing rod holders and an attachment for an electric motor.

A List of 7 Other Products We Reviewed

No 4: Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe Review

TRADITIONAL CHARM

Traditional looks, modern appeal

Old Town 146 Family Canoe

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Traditional looks, modern appeal

Old Town 146 Family Canoe

With a capacity of 750 pounds, this classic-looking canoe can hold a hefty lot of supplies, accessories and passengers. For under $700, you can take long trips downriver while you stay seated in a well-constructed canoe. It’s also perfect for duck-hunting.


This is a traditional canoe with modern stylings. A relatively slim profile gives a good level of control and maneuverability when paddling while keeping the canoe fairly stable. It’s a nice ride and the seats are pretty comfortable, as well as being adjustable. It’s not the lightest canoe in existence and suffers a little accordingly in terms of maneuverability, but that extra weight adds an element of sturdy control that can be welcome to novices.

The hull is a thermoplastic construction, which is tough but light. Thermoplastic has enough flex in it that it can absorb a lot of blows while being rigid enough that it keeps its shape. Perfect for a recreational canoe. You know how kids can drive them into things and run them aground. It’s all part of the fun!

Another great selling point for us is the cup holders. A canoe isn’t the same without them. The same goes for the three molded storage trays on each seat and storage under the middle seat. This is really helpful for fishing gear you want to keep safe or for a snack. Well, you can put anything in them. Great for accessories.

Well rated on Amazon, a lot of people are taking this canoe for duck hunting or out with the kids on camping trips. It seems reliable and able to take a few knocks, always reassuring. It doesn’t come with a huge range of accessories but it is a good, plain canoe.

At 700 to 750 pounds capacity, this is a fairly heavy loading canoe that can take the kids downriver a few days before you need to to go resupply. Plenty of room for your camping gear, or your duck hunting equipment.

For under $700 you can have one of these, which is a reasonable price. There is plenty more to find out about this canoe in our research report.

We enjoyed our time with this canoe and like the thought of all the families out there enjoying their years of use with it.

Pros:

  • Good for families
  • Stable
  • Lots of storage for accessories and drinks
  • Tough construction
  • Adjustable folding seats
  • Relatively affordable

Cons:

  • Not as light as some
  • Could be more maneuverable
  • Better options available for the price

Verdict:

A pleasing canoe perfectly suited to recreational trips and day jaunts up or downriver. Take the kids camping or go duck hunting, it’s all good with this stable, quiet and comfortable family canoe.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

No 5: Sun Dolphin Scout SS Canoe (Green, 14-Feet) Review

HOBBYIST’S PICK

Versatile, One-Person Canoe

Sun Dolphin Scout SS Canoe

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Versatile, One-Person Canoe

Sun Dolphin Scout SS Canoe

If you just want to get onto the water, hunt some ducks or go fishing, this canoe is the perfect choice. It’s extremely easy to maneuver, durable, and comes at an affordable price.


A lovely little canoe that fits its name very well, it’s small, plain and simple. For under $600 it’s a good deal for a duck hunting or fishing canoe. Not quite suited to a big family trip as it’s fairly short, it’s more a hobbyists kind of canoe. The kids will fit in perfectly well but there wouldn’t be enough space for a camping trips kit.

That isn’t to do it down, it has excellent control and tracking, meaning you can stalk or fish with real precision. Take this fishing and appreciate the six built-in fishing rod holders conveniently placed for easy handling of and setting your fishing pole/rod.

On the transom is a sturdy setting for a small outboard motor, giving this canoe an extra dimension of versatility. Some fishing spots are a long way away and it can pay to get there fast, having the option can pay dividends. Buzz out to the spot, set your lines and get the maximum time fishing or duck hunting possible in this canoe.

Handling is easy, it maneuvers with a light touch and is capable of good speeds, especially with the outboard on the transom. Construction-wise, it’s solid and simply designed. A simple canoe is often the most reliable, and this looks like it is that. Based on Amazon reviews, there seem to be no problems when people have used the canoe for a while.

It isn’t the lightest canoe out there, at 112 pounds, but it isn’t astoundingly heavy at all. The kids should be fine with this one on a loadout. The outboard isn’t included and could set you back another couple of hundred bucks, but it’d be worth it for the extra freedom it would give you.

We liked the color too. It’s a nice green that reminds us of camping and fishing holidays when we were younger.

Pros:

  • Maneuverable
  • Easy handling and tracking
  • 6 fishing rod holders
  • Space for accessories
  • Outboard attachment on transom
  • Nice color
  • Decent price

Cons:

  • Not big enough for big trips
  • Outboard not included
  • No cup holders or storage compartments

Verdict:

A small, maneuverable and versatile canoe, the 14 foot Sun Dolphin Scout can get you out and about with the greatest of ease. Attach an outboard to the transom or paddle yourself, it’s all good.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

No 6: Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 119 Solo Canoe Review

SOLO “FLIGHT”

High-Quality Solo Canoeing

Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe

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High-Quality Solo Canoeing

Old Town Discovery 119

This three-layered canoe offers great maneuverability, balance, stability and size. It comes with double-sided paddles that let you gently flow across the water. It’s fairly light, so you can use this on your own. Also great for kids.


A real plain ol’ canoe, with a design suited to solo or dual use, this canoe is a quality bit of kit. It should be for under $700 (plus shipping).

The construction is of three-layer roto molded polyethylene is solid, we felt like it could take a few hits. The hull shape is very good, it has a shallow arch style and just the right amount of rocker to balance maneuverability, stability, and size. Getting in is easy, paddling away is good with enough access on both sides and well-placed folding seats that allow a full paddling action.

As this Discovery 119 is designed for solo use (though a few people could get in at a squeeze, especially with kids), it can be paddled with a double-bladed paddle. Some solo canoes are too wide for this but the 119 performed perfectly well. There was adequate space on either side to get a good action when paddling.

When we looked at reviews for the discovery 119 we found that most people had enjoyed their use of this canoe and that it had a four-star overall rating on amazon.com. We found reviews of people who’ve been very long distances up and down the river with this canoe and reported that it was reliable and safe to use. The construction holds up to a lot of beating and it should last much longer than the warranty, which lasts two years.

Weighing in at 49 pounds, this is not a heavy canoe and should be able to be paddled with ease on a solo or dual trip. Ideal for taking the kids out on the pond and showing them the joys of canoeing, this is a comfortable but no-frills canoe that can make any small trip like going duck hunting, fishing or camping thoroughly enjoyable.

Pros:

  • Decent price
  • Stable
  • Tough
  • Single or dual paddle action
  • Well rated
  • Great for kids

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • No frills
  • No space for accessories

Verdict:

This is a great little canoe for solo or dual use and is made from very solid materials that should last the user a very long time. For dual paddle canoeing or single, it is maneuverable and stable great for duck hunting.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

No 7: Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 158 Recreational Canoe Review

RUGGED CHOICE

Practical excursion canoe

Old Town Discovery 158 Recreational Canoe

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Practical excursion canoe

Old Town Discovery 158 Recreational Canoe

Ruggedness, long trips, lots of supplies and gear? Not a problem for this canoe. This is one of the most stable canoes we’ve reviewed, guaranteeing that you’ll feel secure during your crazy adventures.


The discovery 158 Recreation canoe is not designed for whitewater all4 crazy antics but it is lightweight and extremely durable. This is a no frills practical canoe that can be had for less than $1,000.

This canoe’s capacity is up to 1,150 pounds so you should be able to pack a lot of camping gear into it for long excursions. John testing we can’t tell you about the reliability of any of these clothes because we only get to use them for a short amount of time. However, by looking at reviews on the internet, we can tell whether what the manufacturer says about how reliable it is is true or not.

This canoe appears to be extremely rugged and has lasted people for years according to their testimony. This is reassuring to us because this is not a cheap canoe and should; therefore, last a very long time. The only complaint we could see online with people who have been damaged in transit. Quite pleasingly if you buy it on Amazon, you can have it gift-wrapped. our research report has plenty more that you can look at to make your best choice.

There is no attachment on the transfer of an electric motor but that is no disadvantage this is a very simple canoe. The non-folding seats are made from durable nylon webbing and the carrying yolks are made of ash, flexible and durable wood that won’t go rotten if it gets wet too easily.

Can you have a wide base and is therefore secondarily stable it is quite difficult to get into but once you’re in, you will feel very secure and be able to go fishing or duck hunting to your heart’s content. There is also the benefit of very comfortable paddling, whether with a double bladed paddle or single. You should be able to fit one person in very comfortably, or one large person and several small.

Pros:

  • Rugged
  • Extremely well made
  • Comfortable  paddling
  • Very stable
  • No frills

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • No fishing rod holders
  • No frills

Verdict:

This feels like a real canoe to us, it’s just a plain old canoe for plain old paddling. This is definitely to its advantage it does just what it says on the tin, which is reliable and enjoyable canoeing.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

No 8: Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery Sport canoe Review

SPACIOUS FAMILY CANOE

High-quality, traditional camping canoe

Old Town Discovery Sport Recreational Canoe

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High-quality, traditional camping canoe

Old Town Discovery Sport

If you’re going camping with your family and need a canoe to carry all of your supplies, look no further. This canoe isn’t cheap, but it certainly gives you comfort, stability, and quality.


Old Town Canoes make some of the best traditional canoes on the market. This is definitely one of them. With a wide hull and an attachment on the ransom for an outboard trolling motor, this canoe will be taking you absolutely anywhere you want it to. Well, we don’t recommend taking it down a waterfall or whitewater, but if you stick your family or your friends in there with all the camping gear you need and you’re set for a thoroughly enjoyable weekend away.

As with all wide hulled canoes, this one can be a little difficult to get into but once you’re in it’s extremely stable. There are three nylon strap non-folding seats for comfortable paddling and lightweight maneuvering. This is not the most easily maneuvered canoe as it has a relatively large size; however, it was still a pleasure to use in our tests.

The outboard motor does not come included but it’s easy to attach your trolling motor to the transom and give yourself a great deal of versatility. The transom supports up to a 4 horsepower motor which should be enough for any camping trip or fishing expedition.

Construction of this Old Town canoe Is of the standard we would expect from this company, that means it is very high quality. The gunwales are made of durable nylon meaning that you won’t be knocking them off very easily. There are comfortable carrying handles incorporated into the hull and carrying this thing around is very easy as it is very lightweight as well.

We took a look at the reviews on Amazon and found that this had a very high rating which one would expect given the just under $1,500 sale price. that is a lot of money to pay for a relatively simple canoe. It would be higher on our list of canoes if it were not so expensive.

Pros:

  • Wide hull
  • Very stable and lightweight
  • Comfortable seats for easy paddling
  • Easy to carry
  • Quality build

Cons:

  • Too big to maneuver easily
  • No outboard motor
  • A bit overpriced

Verdict:

This is not a cheap canoe but a very good one. With plenty of space and the added versatility that comes with an outboard trolling motor, you should be able to go anywhere with this canoe.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

No 9: Mad River Adventure 14 Canoe Review

COMFORT & CONTROL

Fun rides without any trouble

Mad River Adventure 14 Canoe

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Fun rides without any trouble

Mad River Adventure

Good for solo trips or two person jaunts, this canoe is durable and offers all the necessary features you’d need in any adventure: comfort, storage, maneuverability, space, and construction quality. It’s also very low-maintenance.


Is Mad River Adventure 14 canoe is a compact and extremely fun little canoe. During testing, we appreciated the comfortable adjustable seats, the storage for drinks and food, and the maneuverability, considering the wide base it could be controlled very nicely by either one or two paddlers.

This canoe is perfectly suited for solo or two person jaunts on the river or on the lake and would be suitable for taking kids on fishing or duck hunting trips. The construction of this canoe is from rugged polyethylene and feels like it will last a very long time. When we looked at reviews on Amazon, we found that it has a 5-star rating overall, although that was only from four customer reviews at the time of writing. You can read our research report for more data on this canoe, it’s full of useful information.

Control and tracking while paddling are supremely easy and enjoyable on this Mad River canoe, meaning that your stalking or Fishing trip won’t be spoilt by you losing control of the canoe and chasing away the prey.

The Adventure 14 canoe weighs 75 pounds, so isn’t the lightest. But for that extra weight, you get comfortable seating, components storage for your beer or chilled beverages. it is a toss-up between extra wide and extra comfort. For most comfort will win, it certainly did for us.

It is designed to be low maintenance. When you pull it out of the water, give it a clean and then stick it in the garage where you can stay until your next trip.

This canoe has a shallow arched hull, making it easy to control but relatively difficult to get in and out of. This shouldn’t be a problem, you’ll get your kids and friends in and paddle away with no difficulty. In short, this is really to enjoy a canoe adventure every time you use it.

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap
  • One or two person
  • Very comfortable
  • Has space for drinks
  • Storage compartments
  • Excellent tracking and maneuverability

Cons:

  • Could be lighter
  • The color could put some off

Verdict:

Are nice versatile can you suited to a number of different applications, suitable for sportsmen and families alike. You can take it camping or fishing or duck hunting, do what you like with it it will manage.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

No 10: Sun Dolphin Scout Elite SS Canoe Review

HYBRID MASTER

For leisure & adrenaline rush

Sun Dolphin Scout Elite SS Canoe

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For leisure & adrenaline rush

Sun Dolphin Scout Elite SS Canoe

Affordable at less than $600, this well-built canoe is suitable for all kinds of adventures on the water, even hunting trips. It also comes with a compartment to keep your valuables safe & dry.


For less than 600 bucks, this Sun Dolphin can be hard to beat. It’s a hybrid, meaning it has the best properties of a fast streamlined and one designed for more leisurely activities. The transom is square backed and can fit an outboard trolling motor if you want it for speedy getaways in your canoe.

Because the canoe shape is not designed for an outboard motor, sitting at the back and operating the motor can be a little awkward sometimes as the handle extends into the boat and you have to sit in front of it there is no side seat for optimum motor operation. This is just how canoes are, so we cannot escape it and the added benefit of having a trolling motor is fantastic for fishermen and women, duck hunting expeditions and trips out with the family for some camping or fishing.

The folding seats are made of molded plastic and are comfortable and under the middle seat is a handy compartment for putting your beer, sodas or whatever else you want to keep safe dry and cool. This element of luxury on your canoeing trip is well worth looking for. There are also spaces for your cups so when you set your lines and you are waiting for a bite, you can have any drinking like on hand. Kids love this feature.

Construction-wise, it is solid and durably built from UV stabilized Fortiflex polyethylene, which means it will not fade too easily or be punctured on the 1st rock because it is guaranteed that you will hit something at some point. All seals and joints are solid and it is easy to see how this canoe will last for a good few years yet, giving your family or friends a lot of pleasure in the meantime. There are clips for your panels so if you capsize they won’t go floating away.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Stable
  • Compartments for food and drink
  • Cup holders
  • Rugged

Cons:

  • Not the best handling
  • Needs at least two for good control

Verdict:

An excellent or rounded you can have one of these for less than $600 and it will last you for a good few years. Suitable for families, camping expeditions, hunting trips or whatever else you want to do on the water.

Check Customer Reviews on Amazon

A List of Other Products We Tested

Care and Maintenance

Taking care of your canoe is essential if you want it to last more than the warranty period. We’ve assembled a few tips for the adequate care of your new canoe, whatever its type, and we hope that you enjoy the use of your canoe for years to come.

  • First of all, clean it when you are done at the end of your canoeing session. Any salt, dirt or water that can have got into the cracks can be cleaned away and stop smells and corrosion from occurring.
  • Next, check all of your seals before you go out on the water. This can save a sinking feeling and keep everybody safe.
  • If you have a transom for the outboard, make sure the metal parts are oiled
  • Check for any leaks and holes before and after any canoeing takes place
  • Get a qualified repair person to make your repairs
  • Keep folding parts oiled and lubricated
  • Carry a spare paddle

Your canoe should be stored upside-down where it can drain and not collect water. Do not put a tarpaulin over it as this will cause the canoe to heat up and be damaged. Canoes are tough, they can take weather conditions. For plastic canoes, make sure you have used a UV-resistant coating.

Revarnish your canoe every four years at the most if it is made of wood.

Wrapping it Up

There are hundreds and hundreds of canoes out there on the market for you to choose from and we hope that our top 10 Best canoe list has helped you make the best choice you can. Don’t forget to have a look at our research report, it is full of excellent data that will make your choice much easier.

It is always good to know what makes the best canoe as per your individual needs and here at Stuffoholics, our job is to do the best research we can and make it available for all of you lovely readers. If you haven’t benefited from this guide, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs properly; so we hope you have.

Thank you for reading it.

Check our site for more advice and guides and enjoy your canoe!

I still remember the days I went hiking with my father and brother – Strolling through the forest, foraging for firewood and roasting marshmallows by the campfire. Eventually, my brother started shying away from these activities, focusing more on his studies; but my interests in these outdoor activities kept growing. Read More