Top 7 Best Canoes for 2023

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Wouldn’t you like to get out on the water and do some paddling? If you live anywhere near a body of water that allows boating, then having your own lightweight canoe that you can take out could be a nice option. Whether you have owned a canoe in the past or you are just now considering getting one of these great little boats, you will find that there are plenty of options available to meet different needs and different budgets. Of course, because there are so many options, this often means that it can be difficult to find exactly what you need.

To help make your search go a little bit easier, we’ve provided a list of the seven best canoes that are on the market right now. Check out the options below, and then learn more about why having a nice lightweight canoe can be such a good idea, and how to make sure you are choosing the right one for you. A nice canoe could be one of the best investments you make in your life.

Table of Contents

The Best Canoe

Sun Dolphin Mackinaw Canoe

This is a nice looking canoe that is large enough to seat three people comfortably, making it a good option for a family, as well as a couple, or someone who likes to head out with some friends or on their own. Beneath the center seat, you will find that there is a storage compartment and a cooler. Another one of the nice features of this canoe that is sure to make you happy will be the drink holders that are molded into every seat. The bow and the stern have tie-down eyelets, and there are built-in transport handles.

The canoe does not come with any paddles, so you will want to buy one or more separately. The canoe weighs less than 100 lbs., which will make it easy to carry for many people. However, those who are looking for something that is a bit lighter might want to try something smaller, as this one is 15.6’ long. The hull is durable and made from polyethylene.

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Sun Dolphin Scout SS Canoe

Here is another option from Sun Dolphin that might suit your needs. It is slightly lighter than the above option, and a bit smaller. This is still a three-person canoe, though, and it can be a good option for many who are looking to get out on the water with friends or family. The canoe has a reputation for optimal stability and tracking. You will also note that it offers a square stern design. This is not just an aesthetic choice. It actually means that it is possible to provide a nice transom for a motor if you would like to add one.

The canoe features a durable high-density polyethylene hull. The seats are comfortable, and they can even add flotation. Another one of the nice features is that there are rod holders right in the seats, which make this a good choice for those who like to get out and go fishing.

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Old Town Canoe Discovery 133

The Discovery 133 has a three-layer molded polyethylene hull and keeled design. The canoe is large enough to accommodate three people, and it feature three comfortable seats. These seats are durable and breathable, UV-resistant, and have nylon webbing. The webbing is nice, as it allows for airflow, which can help to keep you comfortable. The boat is capable of holding up to 800 lbs. Not only will it be a nice option for those who want to take out friends and family, but it can carry a lot of gear for those who might want to head out on a multiday paddling trip.

Another one of the nice features of this canoe is the motor mount. This can be handy for those who might not want to paddle all the time, or who might have a need to move a bit faster across a lake. The lightweight canoe has carrying handles, and it is a durable, beautifully crafted option to consider.

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Mad River Adventure 14 Canoe

This canoe offers some nice comfort features. It is a good option for those who are taking out some of the family for a paddle trip, and those who are heading out on an overnight trip. The hull design is stable and provides excellent stability and tracking. Of course, the polyethylene hull is also durable. It is also easy to transport the boat, as it is one of the lightest of the lightweight canoes on this list.

The seating system in the canoe is adjustable, and it is capable of providing enough room for up to three people. The seats themselves are very comfortable, and they have backing. The extended decks are able to provide some additional protection from sun and spray. The design of the gunwales help to ensure more rigidity and stability in the canoe.

The canoe has multiple beverage holders, as well as multiple storage trays. The design of the boat means that it could be paddled with canoe paddles, or with kayak paddles just as easily.

Old Town Saranac 160 Canoe

The Saranac 160 is a high-quality canoe that is a bit larger than the ones discussed on the list so far. It is made from thermoformed polyethylene and vinyl, and it features low seats, as well as a wider body than many other similar canoes. This provides the boat with more stability, which can make it easier to move around if needed. The flat bottom can help with this, as well.

The seats of the canoe are very comfortable. The backs on the seats can make it much easier on your body when you are out paddling for most of the day. There are also molded paddle rests at the bow and stern. The canoe is large enough that it can hold up to three people. The overall weight capacity for the boat, including people and gear, is between 800 and 850 lbs.

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MYCANOE 2.5 Plus

When it comes to lightweight canoes, this is the lightest you are going to find on this list. It also happens to be one of the most interesting boats out there. It is also a smaller option, as it is a 2-person canoe. This is a folding, portable canoe, and the Plus model comes with a rowing system. It has everything that you need to get out on the water.

The canoe is made from a custom type of polypropylene that is built to last. It has a 15-year UV treatment, and it is rated for 20,000 folds. This lightweight canoe, when not in use, will actually fold up into a case that is 37” x 8” x 25”. It only takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and the disassembly will take even less time – about five minutes.

Since it can fold up so small, this means that even more people will be able to start enjoying the canoe life. You no longer need to have a truck, SUV, or camper to haul the canoe along with you. It is a nice, small canoe that could be just what you need.

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Grumman 15’ Sportboat

Grumman might not be a name that someone would necessarily correlate with canoe brands, but this option is truly one of the best and more durable out there. It is 15’ long, but it does weight substantially more than the other options on the list, which could make it a bit more difficult to take along on trips that will require portages if you are alone.

You will notice that the back of the canoe is squared off, so it could also use an outboard motor for those who wish. It could also be rowed or paddled. The Bulb T helps to provide more strength and stability to the canoe.

One of the other things that makes this canoe among the best, is the material from which it is made. It is made from special age-hardened, stretch-formed aluminum. This makes it a tough boat that has the ability to stand up to many years of use. The maximum capacity for this boat is 450 lbs.

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Benefits of Having Your Own Canoe

Now that you have seen some of the great canoe options that are out there, it is time that you convince yourself that now is the perfect time to buy one. Take a moment to think about all of the various ways that you might be able to use a canoe and the things that you could do.

Perhaps you like the idea of getting back to nature and you want to take some photos or videos out in the wild. A canoe will help you reach areas that would be difficult to get to otherwise. The canoe can be a perfect choice for those who want to head out and catch some fish, as well. Those who want to go camping, and who might want to visit some of the local waterways while they are doing it will find that a canoe is a nice option.

Whether you are paddling the rivers, lakes, or ponds, a canoe is a great option. They are easy to learn how to use, you can find options that are relatively lightweight and easily portable, and they truly are a lot of fun. Most people who love the outdoors will find plenty of reasons to have a canoe.

Tips for Choosing a Canoe

These canoes are available at a range of price points, and it should be possible to find one that will fit your needs and budget. However, you can’t simply choose just any canoe that you happen to find and like the looks of; you need to find the option that is right for you. This means that you need to consider a few things before making a purchase. Let’s look at the most important elements to keep in mind.

The length of the canoe will be very important. The length of the canoe that will be right for you will depend on several things. You will find that the vehicle that you will use for transporting the canoe will play a role. You do not want a canoe that is too large for your vehicle to haul it safely.

However, you should also remember that canoes that are on the longer side, such as those that are 16’ and above, will be more difficult to navigate and turn in many areas. However, when they are out on open water, they tend to be quite fast. Shorter canoes will be easier to maneuver, but they might not have the same carrying capacity for people or weight as the larger options. Keep in mind that the size of the canoe will affect the size of the paddle that you choose, as well.

lightweight canoes

Of course, related to the size of the canoe is the weight. You want to find lightweight canoes that will be relatively easy for you to manage. This is especially true if you plan to be traveling on your own. You want to have something that you will be able to carry and get into the water without breaking your back. Ideally, you will always have someone around who can help, as this tends to be the safest way to be out on the water.

Always consider what you will be doing with the canoe and where you will be taking it. This will factor into what types of features you might want. Do you need to add a motor to the canoe? If you want to troll on a large lake, then you might. Do you need to carry camping gear with you? Do you need storage space? What type of tiedowns are needed? Would you like to have integrated rod holders? If you have equipment and gear from a previous canoe that you owned, will that gear work with the new canoe? The carrying capacity is important, too. Will you be traveling alone, or will you be traveling with family and friends? Figure out how many people the canoe can hold.

The price is important for many, as well. Naturally, you want to find a good deal on the canoe, but remember, a cheap canoe might not always be the best solution. Instead, it makes sense to find a canoe that has everything that you need and to spend a little bit more rather than just choosing the first cheap canoe option you can find.

Find a Great Canoe Today

Now that you have a better understanding of the best canoe options that are on the market today, and you know how to choose a great canoe, it is time to make your choice. Find the one that will let you and your family and friends get out and enjoy the water this year.