Best Canoe

When you look at all the canoes out there it can be difficult to understand just which one is really going to get you what you’re looking for. They all tend to look the same, and finding the right one becomes complicated, but we’re here to help.

The Best Canoe

Finding the best canoe is going to depend on a few different things, but namely it’s going to look at the price and the material that you’re looking for in that canoe. These two things will help you figure out what type of canoe you’re going to have and what type of quality it’s going to have.

We’ve found that two of the best canoes you can find are the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe and the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6-Foot Canoe.

These two canoes are designed to help you and your entire family have a good day on the water. They’re also designed to last a long time because they’re made with quality materials that will keep out the water and keep you going.

Best Overall Canoe

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Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6-Foot Canoe

This is the best canoe for most people who are looking to head out onto the water with their family or friends.

The best aspect of this canoe is the durable style and the ability to hold three people easily for a trip down the river. It is made with a heavy polymer so it can resist water easily and stays upright without a lot of movement.

There are three seats built right into the canoe that come with built-in cupholders as well so everyone has their own drink. Under the center seat is also dry storage and even a built-in cooler so you can always have plenty more to drink as well.

This canoe is 15.6 feet from bow to stern and ties down with eyelets onto your vehicle. It has built-in handles for transporting it from the vehicle down to the water as well.

  • Holds 3 people easily
  • Includes dry storage/cooler
  • Individual drink cups
  • 2 year manufacturer warranty
  • Seats are not padded
  • Heavy to carry from car to water
  • Weak primary stability

Best Budget Canoe

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Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe

The Old Town Family Canoe is a budget option that can still get you anywhere you want to go on the water at a lower price.

The best aspect of this canoe is that it’s made with a thermoplastic hull that resists not only the water but also any type of abrasions or impact. It’s also extremely quite while it’s cutting through the water.

There are three built-in seats to this canoe, each with a built-in storage tray. The two outside seats even have backs to make them more comfortable for a long ride.

This canoe is 14 ½ feet from bow to stern and has integrated handles to make it easier to carry. While out on the water you can also set it up with rods and an anchor to enjoy fishing.

  • Holds up to 750 pounds
  • Seats with backrests
  • Storage trays and rod holders built in
  • Holds up to 3 people
  • Needs more than one person to carry
  • Difficult to move around with backrests
  • Starts to fade in direct sunlight


The Importance of Finding the Right Canoe

If you and your family want to head out into the open water you definitely want a canoe that can help you do it. You want something that is durable, stable and entirely waterproof to keep you floating as long as you want.

Canoes are made with anything from highly engineered plastics and polymer to fiberglass and aluminum. You can find out about the different types and what their benefits are right here if you aren’t sure which one is for you.

Canoes may have different features that go along with them. Where some canoes might be hallowed out hulls, others may have specially molded seats, cupholders, rod holders, coolers and other storage areas built in.

If you and your family are looking for a canoe that you can take out for a long period of time, a more extensive canoe with added features is probably the best option. These canoes are more comfortable and help you store everything you might need.

The best way to carry the canoe is important in choosing one as well since some canoes can be carried over the shoulders and others require multiple people to use handles. If you are going to be carrying the canoe alone you should keep in mind how it can be carried.

Look also at how many people and how much weight the canoe can hold. The number of seats will tell you how many can comfortably sit, but the poundage is going to be even more important.


In short, the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw seems to be the best option. It is somewhat more expensive (around $650 instead of around $500 for the other) but it has more features and seems better suited to most needs.

This canoe is made with polymer, which is entirely waterproof and it is more stable to walk in while floating. It also has molded drink holders and dry storage/cooler built right in.

This canoe is large enough to hold three people and up to 800 pounds. It weighs about 95 pounds on its own and can be heavy to carry with just one person.