Best Canoe Reviews 2018

Whether you're going on a rugged backwoods lake trip or a family wilderness vacation, a great canoe can make all the difference. Some canoes are built for speed and maneuverability, while others are built for reliability and comfort. That being said, the best canoes will have a mix of all these qualities. Here you’ll find 5 products from some of the best canoe brands out there that have been carefully selected and will for sure transform your canoeing adventure.
Overview
PROS
CONS
Our Top Choice
Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS Recreational Canoe
Sun Dolphin is the largest selling brand for small boats such as kayaks, canoes and fishing boats. This recreational canoe is ideal for relaxing wilderness vacations.
Comfortable raised seats. Built-in cooler and dry storage. Square back for motor boating. Fishing rod and cup holders.
Not ideal for hardcore tripping since it's heavier and less maneuverable than some canoes.
Best Value
Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Inflatable Canoe
Sevylor specializes in high quality inflatables for water sports and recreation. This heavy-duty inflatable canoe gets the job done without all the weight or expense of a classic canoe.
Heavy-duty PVC construction. Polyester protects against punctures. Multi-air chamber design. Boston valve for easy inflation and deflation. Extremely portable and lightweight.
Not as strong as a standard canoe, but still great for lake use. Not as much storage space as standard canoes.
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 158
Old Town combines tradition with innovation in their huge variety of canoes and kayaks. This lightweight canoe is ideal for hardcore canoeing and portaging.
Lightweight. Three-layer durability. Minimalist design and built-in yoke make it easy to carry. Carry handles.
Built for speed and easy carrying, so it lacks more luxurious features.
MyCanoe Origami Folding Canoe
MyCanoe won a series of innovation and boating awards for their highly unique origami canoes. The folding canoe is surprisingly sturdy and fast on the water.
Lightweight. Extremely portable. 10 minute assembly and 5 minute folding. Fast.
The origami boat is safe and sturdy, but not as rugged or durable as a standard canoe.
Lifetime Wasatch 3-Person Canoe
Lifetime offers great value on a huge variety of life essentials and recreational products. This casual canoe features quick-release seat backs for superior comfort.
Quick-release seat backs. Luggage-style handles. Highly stable design. UV-protected high-density material. Rated for use with a motor. Rod holders.
Heavy design.

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How Do I Choose the Best Canoe?

What beats the feeling of just lying lazily on a floating island on that above ground pool in your backyard? Nothing, right? Wrong! Inhaling the fresh crisp air when paddling on a quiet lake or just sitting with your portable travel fishing rod hanging on the side of your canoe is out of this world.

Canoeing has been around for a long time, and the more modern designs still bring memories of the boats used by Native Americans as well as explorers. Canoes come in three different types: recreational canoes, versatile canoes, and river canoes. Recreational canoes are ideal for flat water paddling, while versatile canoes are multi-purpose and allow for greater maneuverability. And just like the name implies, river canoes are made for paddlers who love intense rapids and meandering rivers. Some of these canoes come with include paddleboards, but if you don’t like those, you can always buy your own canoe paddles to enjoy a more customized outdoor experience. If you become very serious about canoeing, you can take all your watersport equipment, strap it on a durable canoe car rack and travel to various exotic places where you can practice your favorite sport!

Your choice of a canoe will depend on the type of paddling you intend to do and how many people are joining you in the canoe – this is where size comes in. For example, a standard canoe should allow you to manage its speed and have enough carrying capacity.

In case you intend to paddle over a considerable distance, you may want to go for a longer canoe that’s easier to paddle and is more stable. Week-long canoeing excursions may mean having gear in your canoe, so you should make sure that your canoe can handle the weight without capsizing.
Price
The wonderful feeling that comes with canoeing is well worth the price. With between $ 270 and $1200, you’ll be in a position to buy a canoe that comes with adequate features to ensure a good paddling experience. Prices of canoes vary depending on a number of factors.

One of these factors is the material used to construct the canoe. You may have to pay more for a canoe made of polyethylene since it comes with a good combination of strength and weight. We also recommend you to stay away from cheap canoes since during our research we found out that such products not only dent easily, but that their construction doesn’t allow proper maneuverability.
Features
The following are the crucial features to have in mind when shopping for a canoe:
  • Type – Can either be a recreational canoe, river canoe, or a multi-purpose canoe. Your choice depends on the kind of paddling you intend to engage in.
  • Seats – How many seats are available? What is the material used to make the seats? Is the material fast-drying or does it remain drenched?
  • Materials - The lighter the material used to make the canoe, the easier it is to transport and maneuver.
  • Weight – If you intend to constantly go portaging, then weight is a major consideration. Canoes that are more durable tend to be heavier.
  • Size – The length, width, and depth of the canoe all come into play when determining the use, as well as the carrying capacity of the canoe.
Construction and Design
The design of a canoe’s hull and the side shape affects its maneuverability. Hull shapes come in various designs - one is a flat bottom hull shape that has great initial stability and is ideal for recreational paddling. The round bottomed hulls may not be stable initially, but are the least likely to topple over when canoeing in rough conditions. Those with shallow arch bottoms are a hybrid of the two and remain on track better.

A canoe is constructed with a rocker, which is that upward curve you find on the canoe’s hull. The more of a rocker there is, the easier it is for the canoe to turn. But canoes without a rocker remain on track easier and have a higher speed on water.

The design of the sides of a canoe also affects its maneuverability. Flared-out sides tend to fight waves, allowing the canoe to remain stable. Inward curving sides may let water in when paddling in rough waters, while a straight shape offers a compromise between the two.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a canoe depends on its ability to maneuver and remain stable while on course. Maneuverability is determined by the shape of a canoe’s side, where a straight shape allows for easier maneuvering without toppling over. The entry line of the canoe also affects its performance, where a sharp line slices water easily and a blunt one is perfect for rougher paddling.

With the right paddle(s), using a canoe is pretty easy, but it’s always advisable to take a couple of them out for a test drive before you settle for one. Canoes don’t require any installation since they’re sold pre-assembled, and all you need to do is push them into the water and start paddling.

What is the Best Canoe?

So far, we’re sure you realize that a lot goes into the functionality of a canoe, including the shape of its sides as well as its entry line as you paddle. This review offers more pointers and tips to help you decide on the best canoe for your outdoor needs.
Our Top Choice
The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS offers a little lakeside luxury with its built-in cooler, cup holders and comfortable seats. Looking for something more maneuverable that you can take down-river? Try the Sun Dolphin double-ended Mackinaw Canoe.
Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6' Canoe with Built-in Seat Cooler, Dry Storage & Cup Holders – Available in 3 Colors

Sun Dolphin Canoe Mackinaw SS – Green


Features
Sun Dolphin is the world's largest selling brand of small boats such as pedal boats, fishing boats, paddleboards, canoes and kayaks. They specialize in recreational designs that make it easy to combine the beauty of the wilderness with little luxuries like comfortable seating.

This canoe is built for luxury – you can practically bring your living room onto the lake. Cup holders, a built-in cooler, fishing rod holders and paddle holders offer everything you need. On top of that, this square-backed canoe is compatible with trolling motors so you can really relax. The canoe comfortably sits three people and is built with rugged UV stabilized Fortiflex high density polyethylene for superior durability.

This canoe is available in green, navy and hazelnut.
Best Value
Sevylor's Inflatable 2-Person Canoe is an easy, inexpensive way to get out on the water, featuring rugged Airtight technology and heavy PVC durability. For added speed, check out the Sevylor 3-person Inflatable Kayak.
Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Inflatable Canoe Combo with Airtight Multiple Chamber System, Heavy Duty PVC

Sevylor Canoe 2000014328


Features
At Sevylor, summer time is fun time. Their wide variety of inflatables make it easy to have fun in the water and are made with high quality materials to last many summers. Sevylor actually began as an electrical accessories company in post-WWII France. They discovered that their advanced welding machines could be used to manufacture PVC products, and thus invented the inflatable bathtub. The rest is history, and today Sevylor has become the king of water inflatables.

It's easy to have fun in this inflatable canoe. To say it's lightweight and portable is an understatement – this canoe glides easily through the water and can be packed away unlike any standard canoe. It's built with heavy-duty PVC and wrapped in polyester to prevent punctures, making it ideal for lake use. It's also designed with multiple air chambers so that one puncture won't sink the whole boat. Built-in storage compartments even let you store items while out on the lake. The seats are elevated to make it super easy to paddle along.

This inflatable canoe includes a pump, two paddles, a carry bag and a pressure gauge.
The Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery Canoe is ideal for serious tripper looking for speed and efficiency. For a more leisurely canoe, check out the Old Town Saranac Family Canoe.
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 158 Canoe with Lightweight Polyethylene & Ash Yoke – Available in 3 Colors

Old Town Canoe 01.3005.0164 – Red


Features
The folks at Old Town Canoes & Kayaks are all about craftsmanship. They have a long tradition of creating efficient, durable canoes and kayaks – but they're not afraid to innovate. That's why they use unique materials and building processes to create a variety of rugged canoes and kayaks. They have models built for casual family use and fishermen along with plenty of classic tripping boats.

This minimalist canoe is built for efficient lake and river tripping. Its lightweight design is especially useful for longer trips when you might be carrying the boat and your gear over land. The canoe is made with three-layer, roto-molded polyethylene for a rugged shell you won't have to repair for years to come. The yoke in the center lets you carry the canoe on your shoulders. The gunwales are made with durable vinyl and the end caps have convenient handles so you have another option for carrying the canoe.

The Discovery Canoe is available in red, green and camo.
MyCanoe's award winning Origami Folding Canoe changes the game, making it almost unbelievably easy to take your canoe on the go. If you're more into fishing than tripping, check out MyCanoe's Foldable Fishing Boat.
MyCanoe Origami Folding Canoe with Award Winning Design, 10 Minute Assembly

MyCanoe Canoe MC25


Features
MyCanoe is a passionate little company from Knoxville, Tennessee. It took them 4 years to produce their high innovative foldable canoe so that it fit their high standards. They were backed by two well-established sporting companies – Coovy Sports and ATHLETE Beyond.

When MyCanoe unveiled their unique canoe, they won a series of awards including the Top 5 Innovative Product Award (GK International Boat Show, 2014), Boat of the Year (International Boat & Sailing Expo, 2014), Good Design Award (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, 2015) and Coolest Gear of the Show (Paddle Expo, 2015).

Most users are immediately surprised by how sturdy the portable canoe feels in the water. Its lightweight design makes it fast and maneuverable in the water. The custom polypropylene construction is rated to last through 20,000 folds, so you know you can trust this canoe to last.
The Lifetime Emotion Wasatch Canoe is a highly reliable recreational canoe, featuring comfortable seat-backs and fishing rod holders. Looking for something more versatile? The Lifetime 10' Sport & Fishing Kayak fits 1 to 3 people comfortably.
Lifetime Emotion Wasatch Canoe with Quick-Release Seatbacks, Carrying Handles, Rod Holders

Lifetime Canoe 90561


Features
The Lifetime Store offers a huge range of products for life necessities and recreation. They create high quality furniture, playgrounds, gardening equipment and canoes and kayaks. Their main mission to offer great value for a variety of needs.

This heavy duty and reliable canoe is great for recreation and fishing. It has three seats, two of which have quick-release seat backs for support and comfort. The UV-Protected blow-molded high-density Polyethylene is highly durable. This boat is made for casual use, mostly in lakes. Central rod holders make fishing convenient and the included motor mounting bracket means you can take all the work out of paddling and get straight to fishing.

Get the Best Canoe of 2018!

It’s our hope and desire that this review has offered you invaluable information and buying tips that you’ll apply when buying a canoe. Better yet, we hope that you’ve spotted an ideal canoe to paddle away in on your next adventure. The expert brands featured herein have many more options for you to choose from, if need be.

Our Top Choice
Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS Recreational Canoe
Best Value
Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Inflatable Canoe
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 158
MyCanoe Origami Folding Canoe
Lifetime Wasatch 3-Person Canoe