9 Best Canoes For 2021

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

Discover some of the best canoes of the year from Nova Craft, Sea Eagle, Old Town, Swift, Mad River and Wenonah. Whether you’re looking for a canoe for a month-long canoe tripping adventure, a speedy boat for winning races or a solo canoe for enjoying nature, Paddling Magazine‘s top picks are sure to please.

Find the best canoes among those below.


Cruiser 14.8 by Swift Canoe & Kayak

Price: $3,095

If you spend your backcountry adventures traveling light and fast, the Cruiser 14.8 provides the speed of a touring kayak with the volume of a solo canoe, allowing you to pack without worry and portage with ease. Snappy on the turn when leaned over, and more than capable if the waves come up, the Cruiser 14.8 is designed to handle whatever your adventures may entail.

Watch Paddling Magazine‘s video review of Cruiser 14.8 specs and features.

Travel Canoe from Sea Eagle

Price: $1,649-$1,999

The original inflatable, all drop stitch canoe goes from car trunk to water in just nine minutes. High-pressure drop stitch sides and floor form an incredibly rigid, stable and lightweight canoe that’s just 60 pounds. It inflates to 16 feet by 38 inches and holds three people, or up to 915 pounds. Take the Travel Canoe fishing, paddle lakes or run class IV rivers. Bow and stern molds help slice through the water for paddling speeds up to five miles per hour.

View all Sea Eagle canoes.


Price: $899.99

Combining the best of both worlds, Old Town delivers the ideal grab-and-go watercraft for anglers and hunters alike. Offering the simplicity and utility of a classic solo canoe with the agility and sleek handling of a kayak, the Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman hybrid canoe is a stable, lightweight boat that is easy to handle on and off the water.

View all Old Town canoes.


Price: $1,429-$3,259

A timeless classic. Affectionately known as the workhorse of the Canadian north, Nova Craft’s Prospector 16 feels most at home loaded with gear on a remote wilderness lake or river. While it is best suited for river tripping, it remains versatile enough to be a good all-around canoe. The versatility of the hull design makes this canoe a bestseller season after season. Also available in 15-, 17- and 18-foot lengths.

Read Paddling Magazine‘s review of the Prospector 16 and review of the Prospector 17 TuffStuff Expedition. View all Nova Craft canoes.


Price: $3,699

The Explorer 16 is a do-it-all canoe with a timeless design that makes it a competent fishing, camping and cruising canoe. What’s that—you also want to push the limits of exploration? Made of durable T-Formex material, the Explorer can do that too, able to withstand more rugged conditions and its fair share of abuse.

Read Paddling Magazine‘s review of the Explorer 16. Watch our video review of Explorer 16 specs and features. View all Mad River canoes.


Voyager from Wenonah

Price: $2,699-$3,699

Designed for a solo paddler with big plans, the Voyager is at home on large lakes and rivers. If you’re looking for a solo that’ll take on the Great Salt Lake, Lake Powell, the big reservoirs of Tennessee, or any waters like them, this is your canoe.

This hull is the solo version of the legendary Minnesota II’s incredibly efficient design; it’s straight tracking and capable of carrying two weeks’ gear.

Price: $1,229-$2,859

Nova Craft’s Fox 14 is an ideal choice for solo paddlers looking for independent adventures on flatwater lakes and lazy rivers. The Blue Steel layup (shown), is a combination of aramid and carbon fibres, and offers incredible stiffness for efficient performance. At only 36 pounds, it’s also a pleasure to portage.

Read Paddling Magazine‘s review of the Fox 14 Solo. Watch our video walk-through of Fox 14 specs and features. View all Nova Craft canoes.


Price: $1,529-$3,359

A versatile family canoe people can grow into. Beginners will find its steadiness reassuring and as paddlers become more advanced they will appreciate the faster hull and easy glide. The Haida‘s roominess and stability means it is an ideal canoe for families who want to enjoy some tripping with young children, whether for a weekend jaunt to a favourite park or a wilderness adventure.

View all Nova Craft canoes.


Price: $999

Nova Craft’s Outfitter Series canoes are reproductions of the iconic Prospector design rendered in a super tough three-layer polyethylene plastic called SP3. Built to take hard knocks, these canoes can withstand years of use with little maintenance. The Prospector 15 SP3 is ideal for canoe liveries and rental shops since it will provide many years of faithful service at an attractive price.

View all Nova Craft canoes.


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