Best Canoe Reviews 2018- Top Rated Canoes For Recreational,Fishing & More!

Are you a fishing enthusiast who would love to spend the entire day fishing at the nearest river or lake that promises a good catch? Or are you a nature lover who would love to spend some quite time alone or with your dearest one on a long winding river on a lazy Sunday? Or are you interested in water sports and want to try your hand at something new? Well then, canoeing is something that can fulfill your desires. Whether it be for fishing, racing or simply recreational purposes, canoeing can add a lot of fun to your daily boring life. But to enjoy canoeing to its fullest, you need the best canoes that would suit your purpose. And this guide would help you get exactly what you are looking for with the best canoe reviews!


Think First The Below Questions When Buying A Canoe:

  • First, What Are Your Paddling Plans?
  • Type of paddling comfortable to you?
  • Do you prefer day trips or longer trips?
  • How many persons you want with you in canoe?
  • How many accessories do you want to bring with you?

What is a Canoe?

Canoes are lightweight and narrow boats with tapered ends. It is propelled with the help of single bladed paddles, by one or more paddlers who may sit or kneel at the sides of the narrow boat. Over the time, canoes have been used for a number of purposes including transportation and even sports. Therefore, the design and structure of a canoe can vary significantly depending on the purpose of use and manufacturing brand to some extent. Today we have cover all the different types of canoes available in the market.

Top 5 Canoe On The Market Comparison Chart

  • Old Town Canoes 146
  • Product Type : Recreational
  • Size : 13.2
  • Weight : 79 lbs
  • Paddlers : 2
  • Sevylor Coleman Colorado
  • Product Type : Fishing
  • Size : 19.2
  • Weight : 41 lbs
  • Paddlers : 2
  • Sun Dolphin Mackinaw
  • Product Type : Fishing
  • Size : 18.5
  • Weight : 104 lbs
  • Paddlers : 2
  • Old Town Canoes 147
  • Product Type : Recreational
  • Size : 19
  • Weight : 82 lbs
  • Paddlers : 2
  • Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Loon 111
  • Product Type : Recreational
  • Size : 14
  • Weight : 45 lbs
  • Paddlers : 1

Best Recreational Canoe Reviews

There are a number of canoe brands manufacturing all different types of canoes. Recreational canoes are those that are strictly meant to be used over lakes and slow-moving rivers. Such canoes have a shorter and wider body as compared to the ones for expedition. They offer a greater stability and easier to paddle for the beginners. They can be excellent for day trips as well as weekend excursions.  To make sure you are getting hold of the canoe for the money you are investing, make sure that the structure and the materials used are the best quality so that you may also use the canoe for camping. They should be made of lightweight and durable materials and should be able to move through the water effortlessly. User reviews suggest that the following recreational canoes in this category:

#1 Old Town Canoes And Kayaks

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 146 RecreatioThermos formed polyethylene has been used for its construction which makes it durable for a longer period of time. There are two seats with two paddles and is perfect canoe for a family vacation. The total length of the canoe is 14 1/2′ and the weight is around 79 lbs. The canoe can endure weight up to 700 to 750 pounds which is good for two persons. The canoe also has a compartment for goods to keep while paddling the canoe.


  • The canoe is perfect for a family. Have good capacity.


  • Heavy for its size and capacity.

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#2 Old Town Canoes And Kayaks 147 Recreational Canoes

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Guide 147 RecreationaThis canoe is a made while keeping in mind about its durability hence three layers of polyethylene are used to make it more durable. The material of the canoe helps it to be more stable in water and gives you peace while paddling. The canoe has two comfortable seats with backrests which can be adjusted. Length of the canoe is 14 7′ and The canoe can endure weight up to 875 lbs.


  • The material is very durable and remains stable one water.


  • Less capacity compared to its weight.

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#3 Old Town Canoes And Kayaks Loon 111 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Loon 111 RecreationalThis kayak weighs as less as 45 pounds which makes it one of the lightest kayak range. The seats in the kayak are adjustable and come with adjustable footsteps. The dimensions of the kayak are 133×28×14 inches. The cockpit of the kayak is very comfortable and can adjust according to your need. The durable material gives your kayak an additional strength.


  • The seats and almost all the features are adjustable.


  • The feature of the kayak do not go with its retail price.

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Top Fishing Canoe Product

Usually, a small 2 person canoe is the right one for fishing trips. The two of the most important things to look in a fishing canoe are smooth tracking and superior stability. Apart from that, a fishing canoe should have a low center of gravity so that the fishing gears placed over the canoe do not displace its center of gravity. Furthermore, canoes for fishing should have enough room to hold fit in at least two people along with the items required for fishing. The top three canoes for fishing are:

#4 Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing KayaThis kayak is one of the best fishing kayaks for two persons. With extra durable layers and tough material, the kayak has a very limited risk of cracking in an accident. The kayak comes with 18 gauges PVC tough bottom. The seats can be adjusted while paddling to ensure your comfort and safety. The kayak is very easy to drive and have a compartment to keep your belongings while paddling.


  • Stable and durable in comparison to many other kayaks.


  • Peaks from the front when driven at high speed.

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#5 Esquif Pocket Canyon T-Formex Canoe.

Esquif Pocket Canyon T-Formex CanoeThis canoe will suit best for the playful people who love fishing in the water. The canoe comes with two seats and adjustable features. The canopy helps you to get a dry drive even in high waves in the water. The canoe remains stable in high water and gives a rough use allowance to the user. The canoe perfect for catching fishes in not so deep waters. The canoe weighs 69 pounds.


  • Do not let water Into itself in very high waves too.


  • The canoe is not very stable on the water.

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#6 Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6 Foot Canoe.

Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6-Foot CanoeThe canoe is long and can carry three people in itself. The canoe is made in a way that it can even run on the motor. The motor does not come in the package though. The canoe comes with fishing rod holders which makes it easier for the fisherman to rest his rod in the canoe. The canoe comes with built-in cooler and storage compartment.


  • The canoe comes With two years warranty which is rare in these products.


  • The canoe do not come with complete gear that it can use.

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Ideal Whitewater Canoes Reviews

Whitewater canoeing is a very thrilling sport. The canoes used for the sport can vary considerably depending on the experience level of the paddler. Regardless of whether you have gained good experience with canoeing or if you are just an amateur, it is always better to have a better knowledge about the various canoes on the market so that you can get hold of the right features available for whitewater canoes. Speed, tracking and stability, canoe seat and canoe paddle are some of the things you should keep in mind, while looking for the most stable canoes. The following canoes are the best buy for anyone interested in whitewater canoeing:

#7 Esquif Pocket Canyon T-Formex Canoe.

Esquif Pocket Canyon T-Formex Canoe (1)The esquif pocket canoe is best for a playful canyon trip into Whitewater. The canoe is a multiple use canoe which can be used for trips and even for fishing or just a playful sightseeing in the lakes. The canoe will not let the water come in as long as the waves are unbearable. The canoe looks very sporting with its edged corners. The material of the canoe is very durable and strong.


  • The edged corners give you extra balance in high waves.


  • The shape of the canoe is not for high speed.

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#8 Esquif Vertige T-Formex Canoe.

Esquif Vertige T-Formex CanoeEsquif is an easily controllable canoe with good responsive features. The canoe has good carrying capacity which makes it suitable for full day trips where you can carry enough food and essential for the whole day. The shape of the canoe compliments its stability in high waves and wild water which is a necessity while you’re in wild waters where the waves are high. Weighs only 48 pounds.


  • The shape gives extra stability to the canoe.


  • The design of the canoe have been built for only high carrying capacity but not comfort.

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Supreme Racing Canoes

While buying a canoe or kayak for racing, the most important consideration should be its weight. Canoe manufacturers usually opt for lightweight and durable materials such as Kevlar and Graphite for building a lightweight canoe that is most suitable for racing. They also have a slightly different design as compared to regular canoes. For better speed and performance, they are built to be narrow and longer, so that it becomes easier to cut through the water and propel forward with greater speed. One should be specific while looking for the best racing canoe. Adding in a few canoe accessories may also be quite helpful. It is more risk-free to opt for the canoe brands that already have a strong presence in the market. However, make sure that you go through the best canoe reviews for each one of them before settling down for the purchase. These following canoes can be the pride of any race enthusiast:

  • Wenonah J-203 Racing Canoe
  • Savage River JD Pro 2 Racing Canoe
  • Clipper Freedom Racing Canoe

Perfect River & Lake Canoe Product Reviews

Canoes for rivers and lakes have a slightly longer body than the whitewater canoes. Since canoeing rivers are usually swift and full of rapids, you get a lot of sprays from the river water while paddling. Therefore, you should be looking at those with flared sides so as to deflect maximum water and stay dry as much as possible. There are also a number of popular canoe brands specializing in inflatable canoes. These tend to be the ideal canoe for beginners mainly owing to their lightweight and easier navigation. The design of these canoes allows for a more agile and quicker tracking while actually moving down the fast waters. the following river & lake canoe are:

#9 Wenonah Argosy Tuf-Weave Solo Canoe Ivory.

Wenonah Argosy Tuf-Weave Solo Canoe - IvoryThis canoe for single persons to explore in lakes and rivers. The canoe is strong enough to endure the high currents of water in the rivers and lakes. The canoe is made for experienced paddlers who are good in paddling canoes. The canoe leans towards the side you want to turn very quickly and easily. The canoe only weighs 46 pounds. The lightweight helps the canoe to turn easily.


  • The canoe is light in weight hence it is easy to take turns.


  • The canoe comes with an only single seat at such a high price.

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#10 Wenonah Wee Lassle Ultra light Canoe - Natural Finish.

Wenonah Wee Lassie Ultra-Light Canoe - NaturalWenonah wee is an ultra light canoe which makes it easy to carry from place to place. The canoe perfectly suits small lakes and rivers. The canoe comes with a natural finish which makes it look even more attractive in lakes. The canoe is best for exploring small lakes at slow speed and constant movement. The canoe only weighs 25 pounds which makes it easy to paddle and turn.


  • The canoe is best for high-speed paddling due to its lights weight.


  • The canoe do not perform well in large water bodies with high-speed water current.

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How To Choose A Canoe?

To make sure that you have a smooth canoeing experience, you should consider everything from the design to the exact conditions under which you are going to be canoeing. Before moving on to how to choose a canoe, you should get very clear about your paddling plans. Simply opting for the top canoe brands does not mean that you are going to have a refined experience. It can be helpful to consider as many brands of canoes as possible before you can finally settle for the one that best suits your need.

Various Kinds Of Canoes That You Can Find In The Market

The canoe types are based on their purpose of use which also determines the material used in the construct as well as the design of the structure. There are solo canoes as well as canoes for families. However, the most people is a small two person canoe which also tends to be the most stable canoe due to the small and sleek design. The five different types of canoes have been discussed below.

Sprint canoes are as a racing canoes. More than often, a canoe for two is used for sprinting. The small surface allows for a narrow and long hull which gives a better tracking and agility during racing. Although a two-person canoe is most commonly used in racing, there can be races using 4 to 5 person canoe.

Marathons involve racing over long distances. There are different requirements for different marathons. The IFC has it that canoes used for C1 and C2 races should weight no more than 10 and 14 kgs respectively. There are pre-determined criteria for the length, width, and depth of the canoes used during the marathon.

General Recreation
The canoes used for recreational purposes usually have a flat or an arched bottom and are very stable. They easier to row and makes for excellent canoes for fishing. If the hull space is wide enough to hold in the camping gears, they can double up as camping canoe.

Camping And Touring
Paddling a camping or touring canoe requires a great deal of skill on the part of the user. These should be made out of very lightweight materials and should offer enough space for holding all the canoe camping gears.
The freestyle canoes are designed for putting up with plays and tricks on whitewater. These are similar in appearance to flat-bottomed tandem kayaks and are paddled with the help of single blade paddles.

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Different Ways To Use Of Canoe

Canoes are used for various purposes. Some of the most common uses are mentioned below.

Being small, narrow and easy to navigate, canoes serve as excellent companions while fishing. One would require stable canoes for fishing and therefore should opt for lightweight building materials.

Canoeing in rivers can be a very fun and exciting experience. You can choose your canoe depending on whether you are going to be canoeing in swift or calm waters. A lake canoe is best if you are looking to have a canoes camping.

Canoes are also popularly used for expeditions. They can provide a very different experience as compared to touring on land. Solo canoes and two person canoes are best used for expeditions.

Recreation could mean anything from canoe sporting events to going on solo canoe camping. The canoes used for these purposes have a slightly different build and are designed for better tracking and swiftness while paddling.

What Kind Of Hull Design Should You Choose?

The hull design, basically, centers on the length, depth and the beam of the canoe.

While considering the length of a canoe, the measurement is usually taken from the tip of the bow to the tip of the stern. The measurements are quite simple; however, they can have a huge impact on the performance. Longer canoes offer faster rowing and are easier to keep in a straight line as compared to the shorter ones.

The beam is the measurement taken at the widest part of the canoe. Stable canoes have a wider beam. However, they are not very swift when it comes to the speed of propulsion. Most canoes manufacturers have three different beam measurements – the waterline, the gunwale and the widest point. If you are strictly looking for speed, you may have to compromise it for some degree of stability.

Similar to the beam, the depth, too, is measured in three different places of the canoe – the stern, the center, and the bow. Most canoes for beginners tend to have a greater depth so as to offer more stability during rowing. However, greater depths make the canoes heavier and reduce their responsiveness especially in swift rivers and windy conditions.


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Different Types Of Hull Profile

It is the hull profile that determines the actual responsiveness of a canoe over the water. All the canoes fall into either one of the following five categories.

Flat Bottom
Just as the name suggests, flat bottom canoes have a truly flat belly. This shape of the hull gives them a better stability as compared to other hull shapes. However, they makes it difficult to balance the canoe in case of wind and strong currents. If the stability of the canoe gets disturbed somehow, it is difficult to save it from capsizing.

Round Bottom
These canoes have a highly curved bottom which gives them a better speed and efficiency during paddling. However, this design makes it difficult to maintain the stability. These canoes need a high level of experience in paddling and are not recommended for beginners.

Shallow Arch
These canoes stand somewhere in between the flat bottom and the round bottom. The arch-shaped bottom gives them a better stability and better control while rowing. They are popularly used for canoe camping trips and are best used as touring canoes.

Shallow Vee
Shallow vee canoes are another type of cross between the round and flat bottom canoes. In addition to an arch, they have a very shallow V shape at the bottom. This gives the canoe a better initial as well as secondary stability. The large surface area makes them the perfect family canoe with enough room for an entire family along with the belongings. However, the larger area occupied by them over the water surface reduces the efficiency to some extent.

Keels are not a category of the hull shape. However, they do form an important part of the hull structure. There are two different types of keel designs – the tee keel and the shoe keel. These are incorporated into the hull in order to hold the structure together. They are known to add efficiency to paddling and keep the canoes from tipping over.

3 Different Unique Canoe Design

Canoe profile is also determined by the shape of its sides. There are mainly three types of profiles – the flare, the tumblehome and the straight side, each one of which has been discussed below.

These are the canoes with sides that flare above the water line. Because of this, they remain very stable over the water surface and do not tip over easily. Many paddlers find it very inconvenient to paddle a flared canoe as it requires one to reach out over the sides for paddling.

These canoes have a smaller gunwale width as compared to the waterline width. Therefore, they are slightly easier to paddle, do not cause much deflection while paddling and therefore are popularly used in racing.

Straight Side
Unlike the flared or tumble homes, these canoes have a straight side. These do not have any particular benefits as such but are still popularly used in various canoe designs.

What Materials Are Used To Make A Canoe

Fiberglass canoes are made using fibers that are formed using molds and then mixed with resins. They go by the name of composite canoe and form the hull structures. Fiberglass canoes are made using many layers of fabrics woven together with resin and fiberglass. The fabrics are strategically cut to bring out a proper shape in the canoe. Composite canoes are very light weight and durable. However, you should be wary of the amount of fiberglass used in the composite as a very high percentage can increase brittleness.

Kevlar is a very tough and lightweight fabric. They are almost 10 times stronger than steel and 20 times lighter as compared to fiberglass. Kevlar can be used alone, or it can be mixed with graphite and fiberglass. Due to the extremely less weight, Kevlar makes for excellent portage canoes. They are also very easy to repair in case of damages.

Polyethylene And Royalex
Polyethylene and royalex both are made using plastic and withstand use in rugged condition. These materials are very low cost without any compromise on the strength and durability. They can be used in whitewater as well as dangerous rapids. However, the drawback is that they may change their original shape with use and are not very easy to repair.

Wood is one of the oldest materials that have been used for building canoes. Most handcrafted canoes are made of wood. These are very time-consuming to build and require a very skilled hand. The wooden canoes can differ from each other upon the choice of wood. With proper care, they can give a very good lasting.

Aluminum canoes can be lighter than wood. However, they are not very popular in the current market due to the low stability offered during paddling. Even then, aluminum canoes are highly durable and are perfect to be used in areas where there is a high chance of hitting against rocks. They are also easy to repair through welding.

The Extras
A canoe can offer room for anywhere from one person to 4 or five people. If it is for solo use, the seat is placed in the middle for a higher stability. However, if it is to be used by a greater number of people, the canoe chair is arranged in the middle of the hull so that the arrangement offers the highest stability while paddling. The seats can be made of woven cane or plastic so that the water drains off easily. You should take into consideration the thwarts while buying a canoe. These are struts that brace the sides of the canoe and allow for easier portage. Gunwales along the sides can make it easier to grab the canoe and allow for easier paddling.

Advantages Of Canoeing

Canoeing is a highly effective cardiovascular exercise that targets various muscles across of the body. It gives a full body workout, mainly targeting the muscles at the back, arms, abdomen, hips, and legs. Some of the benefits of canoeing have been highlighted below.

Calorie Burn
While canoeing, the paddler is required to push forward the canoe at speeds of 3 to 5 miles. This can burn up to 400 calories which is far greater as compared to biking.

Impact-Free Activity
Paddling consists of very smooth movements which continues in a rhythm and is completely impact-free. As a result, there are highly reduced chances of injury.

Excellent Strength Training
Paddling requires you to have a great degree of strength and endurance, mainly in the muscle of the upper body. It can be perfect for working out the arms, shoulders, chest, back, torso, and legs.

Better Joint Flexibility
Since rowing is completely impact-free, it does not put any kind of pressure on the joints. As a result, the joints are allowed to achieve a greater degree of flexibility.

Closer To Nature
Canoeing is a very natural way to exercise the body. It brings you closer to nature and also helps to relieve stress.

Time Saving
Since paddling exercises the entire body all at once, you will not be required to take time out for exercising different muscles around the body in an isolated manner. This can help you save a great deal of time. You can have your share of fun and recreation, while also exercising the entire body at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canoe

Ques 1. How Will You Be Using Your Canoe?
Ans. Canoes are used for a variety of purposes including fishing, sporting, touring, camping and expeditions. However, the build, design and the material used have a lot to do with the usage of a canoe.
Ques 2. How Many People Can Ride In A Canoe?
Ans. The most popularly used canoes are those with single or double seats. However, there are also family canoes that can provide seating arrangement for up to 5 people.
Ques 3. What Are The Main Water Conditions You Canoe On?
Ans. Sporting, touring and camping require the canoes to be used in still waters. However, canoeing is also done in swift rivers with plenty of small rapids.
Ques 4. What Are Features That I Cannot Live Without?
Ans. The seats, gunwale, struts and the right paddle are some of the most important features without which canoeing can get pretty challenging.
Ques 5. What Age Must Children Be To Ride In A Canoe?
Ans. Children above the age of three years and who can swim a distance of 25 meters are allowed to ride a canoe.
Ques 6. How Far Can I Canoe In 1 Hour?
Ans. It is possible to canoe a distance of up to 3 miles in one hour.
Ques 7. How Do I Carry Loads In My Boat?
Ans. To carry your loads in the boat, you should make sure that the boat has a deep hull so there is enough room to store all the items without disturbing the stability.
Ques 8. How Do I Find The Serial Number On My Canoe?
Ans. The serial number of a canoe is printed on the inside of a canoe over the stem.
Ques 9. Is There A Weight Or Size Limit For A Canoe?
Ans. There are no limits on weight and size canoeing except in the sporting events. Even people weighing around 400 lbs can comfortably ride a canoe. However, it may be advisable to consider the size and weight for one’s own safety.


Canoeing can be a very exciting and enriching experience if you know how to choose the right canoe. Since the design can vary considerably depending on the purpose of use, even slight differences can greatly affect the rowing experience. When you have chosen the right canoe, canoeing can be quite fun. It is a great way of relaxing the mind and exercising the body. Also you can read out our new article What Type of Kayak Anchor on the market? Thanks for the reading our