You love canoeing, but you don’t want to challenge yourself carrying a large, heavy canoe and thinking of all these storage and transportation issues. Yet, you want to buy a reliable and durable boat that will have great performance in the water. We know that and we decided to review the best lightweight canoes for the situations when portability, versatility and storage matter.
Our Picks for the Best Lightweight Canoes
|Best Lightweight Canoes||Weight||Rating|
|Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Canoe – Top Pick||27 lbs||4.5|
|Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe||49 lbs||4|
|Sevylor Rio 1-Person Fishing Canoe||25 lbs||4|
|Sea Eagle 370||32 lbs||4|
|MYCANOE 2.5 Origami Folding Canoe||52 lbs||3.5|
Benefits of Lightweight Canoes
One of the major pains for most of the canoeists is the weight and size of their boats. It is a significant consideration when choosing your canoe. While canoeing is fun and relaxing, moving the heavyweight boat to the water could be a nightmare. Racking it to your car or finding space to store it also. So, definitely, having a lightweight canoe is a significant benefit for every paddler. You will not be tired of moving your canoe before even get into the water.
Better Control in the Water
On the other hand, lightweight vessels are easier to control in the water. They also require fewer efforts while paddling and maneuvering. So, you will be able to spend more time in the water without getting tired.
Best Lightweight Canoe Reviews
Sevylor Ogden is one of the lightest canoes on the market with its weight of only 27 lbs. No matter it is lightweight it has a durable heavy-duty PVC construction with polyester cover for ultimate protection from punctures. The boat also features multiple air chambers. In case one of the chambers is punctured, this system will allow the other chambers to stay inflated and get you to the shore.
This compact boat is 10 feet 3 inches long and has a width of 33 inches. And, a maximum weight capacity of 355 lbs. With these specifications, Sevylor Ogden can comfortably accommodate up to 2 adult canoeists. And, it has secured bungee storage areas where you can store your gear.
When deflated the boat is extremely portable and easy to store. For convenient carrying, it comes with handles. Actually, inflation and deflation are also an easy task with the Boston Valve System and hand pump included in the package. And that’s not all. Sevylor Ogden features two adjustable, elevated seats with backrest for excellent back support. There are also 2 paddles, a carry bag and pressure gauge making this inflatable canoe really suitable for canoeing beginners.
This canoe is mainly designed for use in rivers and lakes. When in the water, the boat is stable and easy for paddling and control. It is quite fast. And, comes with a skeg for better tracking.
All at all, Sevylor Ogden is the lightest boat in our selection that comes at a really affordable price. It is versatile and easy to store, but yet performs perfectly in the water. So, it is not a surprise that it is our best lightweight canoes top pick.
- Very good stability and tracking
- Easy for transportation and storage
- Suitable for only two people
- Not so spacious
Old Town Discovery 119 is an amazing solo canoe that deserves a place in the best lightweight canoes list. It has a weight of 49 lbs, which is very low considering it is a hard-shell boat. Actually, the material used for the hull is extremely durable three-layer molded polyethylene. Maybe this is the reason why this vessel made in the USA comes with a lifetime hull warranty.
The body of the canoe is compact and has a length of 11 feet 9 inches and a width of 32.5 inches. So, transportation is painless with the carrying handles.
The sleek build of this versatile canoe is perfect for exploring, recreation, fishing or hunting. The boat is fast and easy to handle. It allows you to paddle with both traditional canoe paddles or with double-sided kayak paddles. However, it also features a wide beam for excellent stability in the water.
Old Town Discovery 119 offers an excellent maximum load capacity of 500 lbs. And, it provides plenty of space to store your gear, coolers and dry bags. For the comfort of the canoeist, it comes with breathable nylon-webbed seats suitable for all-day trips. However, the seats are UV-resistant and very durable.
- Lightweight for a hard-shell canoe
- Excellent tracking
- Not so suitable for tough water conditions
Looking for the best lightweight canoe available on the market in 2020, we just cannot miss Sevylor Rio. This vessel has a really low weight of only 25 lbs, but it is still very durable. Its hull is made of tough 18-gauge PVC and has a thick 1000D tarpaulin bottom and a tough 840D nylon cover. And, it also features multiple air chambers so if one is punctured, the others will remain inflated.
Sevylor Rio has a design of inflatable solo canoe-kayak hybrid for fishing. It has a compact size when inflated – length of 9 feet 9 inches and a width of 36 inches. And, has a weight limit of 350 lbs. So, it is not so suitable for big guys. But when deflated it is really portable and transportation and storage are an easy game.
In terms of performance, we can say that Savylor Rio performs pretty well. It is stable, which is typical for a boat aimed at fishing. The tracking and control are also very good. A minor drawback of this vessel is that it is not very fast, but this is not one of the most important characteristics of fishing canoes.
Inside the canoe, there is an adjustable seat with backrest for maximum comfort of the canoeists. Anglers will like Berkley Quick Set Rod Holder and the handy mesh pockets where they can store fishing gear. Also, this inflatable canoe features D-rings and convenient paddle holder.
- Lightweight and portable
- Good tracking
- Some customers state the seat is not very comfortable
- Not so fast
- Not so suitable for big guys
Sea Eagle 370 is another great choice for canoeists looking for a lightweight boat with its weight of 32 lbs. This inflatable boat is also a hybrid that combines canoe and kayak characteristics. So, it could be paddled with both double-side kayak and single-side canoe paddles.
No matter this canoe is lightweight, Sea Eagle has managed to make it very sturdy from rugged 38-millimeter PolyKrylar. The I-beam floor is designed for extra rigidity and stability in the water. Actually, the boat also comes with 2 molded skegs for improved tracking and speed. And, it is suitable for whitewater conditions up to Class III. Very useful features for whitewater paddling are the self-bailing drain valve and inflatable spray skirts.
Sea Eagle 370 has a maximum weight capacity of 650 lbs. and comfortably accommodates 2 adult paddlers and a kid. This inflatable canoe comes with 2 comfortable Deluxe seats with very good back support and 2 kayak paddles. The inflation and deflation are fairly easy with the one-way valves and the foot pump included in the package. When deflated the canoe could be packed and transported with the handy carry bag included.
Based on the above, we can conclude that Sea Eagle 370 is a versatile canoe-kayak hybrid that comes with nearly everything you need for your canoeing trip. So, we can say it is one of the best lightweight canoes for beginners.
- Lightweight and portable
- Excellent tracking and speed
- Not so good tracking
- Not so stable in windy conditions
As you can imagine from its name, MYCANOE 2.5 Origami is a folding canoe. It is made of custom UV-treatment polypropylene rated at 20,000 folds and the design allows it to be folded in a case with dimensions of 37 x 8 x 25 inches. And, no matter its durable hard-shell construction, this canoe is very portable and has a weight of 52 lbs.
When unfolded, the boat is 14 feet 7 inches long and 35 inches wide. The maximum weight capacity of MYCANOE 2.5 Origami is 440 lbs. And, it comes with 2 seats included in the package. So, it is a great choice for a family canoe. However, the manufacturer recommends not load it with more than 400 lbs if you want maximum stability. If you need to load it up to the weight limit, the best option is to add the separately offered stabilizers.
The performance in the water is also very good. The boat tracks well and it is easy to paddle. The speed and maneuverability are also on a satisfactory level.
- Very easy for transportation and storage
- Hard to assemble until you get used to it
- A bit pricey
How to choose the best lightweight canoe?
The durability of your canoe is a major consideration when choosing one. When you are buying such a product you want it to last long. And, you need to pay attention to several key aspects here. First, it is better to look for a canoe made by a respected brand with established quality control procedures.
Another important factor here is to choose what kind of boat you prefer – hard-shell canoe, inflatable canoe or maybe a folding canoe. Each one of them has positive and negative sides. Even more, not all hard-shell canoes have the same high quality and durability. And, the same relates to the inflatable and collapsible boats.
Generally, the classic hard-shell vessels are considered as the most durable and long-lasting. But in nearly all of the cases they have higher weight compared to the inflatable canoes. At the same time, the inflatables are vulnerable to punctures and wear. But they provide you with the option of easy and convenient transportation and storage. Actually, the foldable canoes are somewhere in the middle. They have sturdy hard-shell construction but are still very portable. However, they are not as lightweight as the inflatable vessels. And, maybe not as durable as the hard-shells due to the folds.
Stability is a key safety consideration when we are talking about canoeing. Tipping over is not something you want, when in the water. So, you should pay attention to the stability your canoe provides. Nowadays, most of the canoes are designed with stability in mind, but they are not equal in their performance. You need to find a boat with an optimal balance between its own weight and stability it offers.
Another key factor when choosing the best lightweight canoe for you is its maximum weight capacity. It is highly recommended not to exceed the canoe weight limit as it will negatively affect its stability and performance in the water.
However, the best lightweight canoe for you will provide you maximum weight capacity that comfortably exceeds the sum of the weight of the people on board and the weight of your gear.