The Coolest Canoes Currently Afloat

best canoes of 2016
Driveway Canoe 1
My Wife And I Forgetting About The Water Component of Canoeing

Let me just come right out and say it at the start: yes, I am a canoe owner and I’m proud of it. And yes, I am probably biased against non-canoe people, but let’s remember that tolerance means acceptance, not necessarily embracement. So if you are not a canoe person, that’s OK, we’re still cool. But not as cool as the wonderful, bizarre, and mildly ridiculous canoes we’re talking about today. I have scoured the globe (via the internet and some articles I read… and via canoe) and come up with a collection of canoes that run the gamut from fanciful to practical to downright odd. Meaning awesome.

Related: Summertime Hikes

While some are a bit hard to track down (good luck locating one of the ten person canoes in a store near you), any one of these keen craft could be yours; all you need to do is throw enough money at them. Need is the operative word there; in case you were not previously aware, as it turns out you do, in fact, need to own not just a canoe, but a crystal clear canoe that lets you see down into the water. Then you will be happy at long last.


So you only have a storage space measuring 35″ by 17″ by 13″ available in your home? No problem! You can easily fit a canoe in that small space. Just take the time to fold up your canoe first. You might question the stability and durability of a folding canoe with a hull made out of PVC “skin,” but that’s just because you’re naturally skeptical and can’t see that all you really need to do is let them love you, dammit. Ha! How off topic! Anyway. There are several different models of PakCanoe available, each with different weight carrying capacity and size, but let’s take their midrange PakCanoe 160 as an example. It can be used on flat water, in rivers, and even in Class III rapids, and it has a maximum weight limit of 760 pounds. That’s more than three Arnold Schwarzeneggers, FYI.


Crystal Kayak’s Crystal Explorer canoe is more of a canoe/kayak hybrid, being of kayak-esque dimensions and shape, but having that open bodies charm of a good old canoe. The hull of this transparent boat is made of a durable “GE Lexan polymer” that is only six millimeters thick, and is optically clear. That means that while paddling along in this boat, you can enjoy an amazing view of the coral reefs, shoals of fish, circling makos, and horrid sea monsters that ply the waters just beneath your soft, inviting flesh! Your floating view into the depths will set you back about $1600, but it’s money well spent if you love studying the world beneath the waves or if you want to avoid an aquatic sneak attack.


The Traveler canoe from Aire can easily carry two paddlers across lakes, down rivers and streams, and out into the bay or the sea, provided the whitecaps aren’t up. It’s a stable boat with great tracking and an optional rowing frame and trolling motor attachment, and yes, it’s inflatable. Can you really trust an inflatable canoe to stay afloat? Well, the company offers a ten year long no fault warranty, so apparently they think you can. Tuck your deflated canoe into the trunk, head out to the water, and see how the Traveler performs for yourself. But inflate it again first.


For the ultimate river and lake paddling fun, grab ten or eleven of your buddies and hop into a massive canoe. That’s right, there are canoes out there that can safely accommodate as many as ten or twelve passengers, also known as around 2,000 pounds of human being. While you might want to charter one of these boats for an afternoon of fun rather than spending the thousands of dollars an ultimately wildly impractical canoe will cost you, if you have a big family, a lot of friends, and you’re kind of nuts, then go ahead and get yourself a massive canoe.

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