Since I can remember, I’ve had a passion for the wilderness and adventure. I’ve learned my trade everywhere, from the rock faces of the Himalaya to the wilds of South America and Europe. My vision is simple, to connect more people to the awesome power of the great outdoors.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: November 20, 2021
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Traveling in a canoe on your own can be a wonderful experience, but it seems as though most canoes are set-up for multiple passengers. Finding the best solo canoe can be a little difficult. You want to get the comfort of a large canoe and all the features that you desire. When you’re out there on the water, you want to have confidence in your canoe to enjoy the nature without any worries, and in this guide, we will help you to find the best one for you.
To do that, we have examined more than 15 solo canoes on the market and picked six of them to complete an extensive review of each one of them. We loved the Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman Canoe the most because of its durable construction and comfortable seat. It also boasts rod and ammo holders and provides fantastic stability. If you want to look at something else, we have five other solo canoes on this list.
We have spent countless hours condensing all the key information for you. You need to make sure that you’re getting the right length, width, and weight along with other key considerations such as what the canoe is made from and the capacity and warranty. We have asked expert opinions to create detailed reviews of each product along with a comprehensive buying guide. We have also added FAQs so you can be confident in what you’re buying. Once you’ve finished reading this, you’ll be ready to choose the best solo canoe for you.
If you’re looking for the perfect solo canoe, then you probably don’t need to look much further. This is a brilliant canoe, which will be able to give you countless great adventures. It is made from three layers of polyethylene and provides outstanding stability, and you’ll be able to use it with confidence. Moreover, people love its durable construction.
With three color options, you will be able to choose a canoe design, which is perfect for you. Apart from the aesthetics, this canoe has very comfortable seats with padded armrests that can prevent any aches and pains.
If you love hunting or fishing, then you will be able to set-up this canoe perfectly for your needs. It’s a dynamic canoe that you can customize. You can easily attach the action camera to it if you like, or put your rods or ammo in holders. Unfortunately, it only has one seat, which lowers the versatility, but if you only ever plan to use a canoe for trips and adventures alone or with your dog, that doesn’t matter.
If you want a solo canoe but are worried about having to carry a traditional canoe, then this inflatable model could well be perfect for you. Weighing only 25 lb., you’re will be able to carry it with you wherever you want and inflate it only when needed.
Due to its design, it will only be suitable for still water, but if you’re on lakes and slow-moving rivers, then you’re not going to have a problem. If you do want a little bit of extra power, then you can attach a motor to the canoe, but it is easy enough to push it with the paddle.
If you wanted to take plenty of gear on your fishing trip, then this canoe is brilliant for that as you’re going to have more storage options with mesh pockets. You can also use a rod holder for hands-free fishing. If you’re looking for an inflatable canoe for fishing, then it’s hard to look past this model. It shows excellent performance and is made of high-quality materials.
Here we see another example of a magnificent inflatable canoe for those who prefer to have a larger but still lightweight and portable option. You’re going to be able to easily carry it to the water, especially if it’s not inflated. Although an air pump is required, once you fill it with air, then you are going to enjoy this fantastic canoe.
With an inflatable canoe, the worry is always going to be about the possible punctures since you don’t want to end up having to swim to the shore from the middle of a lake. The best professional inflatable canoes have multiple air chambers. That’s the case with this model, so if one of the sections gets punctured, then thanks to the other chambers, the canoe will still stay afloat.
Where this canoe does fall down is the amount of support that it’s going to give you. Rigid canoes offer more support in areas such as the back of the seat, but the importance of this will often come down to personal preference. This canoe is great for solo traveling, but it also has another seat if you ever wanted to bring a guest along with you on your adventures.
If you’re looking for a canoe with immense durability and sturdiness in the water, this is a great bet. It is only of the heaviest options out there at over 100 pounds, but what you get with that are superb build quality and plenty of features.
With three seats, this canoe is perfect for solo adventures, but also you have the capability of increasing the number of passengers if you want. If you wish to travel solo, then the 800 lb. weight capacity is going to give you more than enough space for a lot of gear. Furthermore, there is a cooler for your snacks located under the middle seat.
As you can imagine, with such a large canoe made from polyethylene, it offers perfect balance and stability. Even with that size, the canoe is very easy to paddle and will give you good tracking ability. It can move like a much smaller canoe, which isn’t always the case with canoes that have this weight capacity. This is the reason why it is a wonderful option for lakes and rivers.
If you’re going to be out there canoeing and challenging the environment, then this could well be your choice. With the high-density polyethylene, it is going to stand the test of time and will be able to last for many years of use.
However, there are some quality control issues, and some customers have reported some defects upon delivery. Thankfully, that is rare, and most people receive the high-quality canoe they expect. The construction is very sturdy, and you’re going to paddle it with a lot of confidence.
The high weight limit here means that you can carry plenty of gear without any worries, even if you take somebody with you. There are fittings for a motor and six rod holders available if that’s what you’re looking for. For longer and more challenging adventures, this is perfect as it can deal with rougher waters, making it a wonderful durable canoe.
There is no doubt that inflatable canoes are going to be easier to carry than solid ones. If you don’t want an inflatable canoe, then you want it to be as portable as possible. With the large handles that this model features and skeg wheel, you’re going to be able to carry it easily despite the canoe weighing nearly 100 pounds.
With three seats, any extra passengers can join you if you wish, but this also works perfectly as a solo canoe. It is fantastic for fishing as well, if that’s the type of adventure that you’re looking for. If you’re not interested in fishing, then this is still a highly versatile and dynamic canoe.
A wonderful aspect of this canoe is that it is very easy to maneuver, and you won’t have to fight it. If you want a bit of extra power, then you can always add a motor. This is another great example of a high-quality canoe for both solo and tandem trips. The high-density polyurethane is can cope with high impacts and will last for several years.
What makes it stand out?
Great for fishing
Easy to carry
Easy to maneuver
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Things to Consider
We have created this buying guide to form a clear picture of what is the best option for you.
With a solo canoe, many features are important. Everything will depend on what activity you plan on doing, how large you want the canoe to be and other key areas such as comfort. There is also the essential factor of whether to get a solid or inflatable canoe. In this guide, we go through all these aspects so that you can make the right choice.
Picking the best solo canoe
As we go through this guide, it’s a good idea to make a note about which of these features are the most important to you and which others you aren’t as fussed about. It could be that you desperately need rod holders, or you might not like fishing at all.
With some of the features, you will need to compromise. Finding the highest durability and wanting an inflatable canoe isn’t possible, but there are some great options. I hope that as we go through this section, you’ll be able to form a picture of what is important to you.
The first thing to think about with a canoe is what type of activity you’re going to be enjoying. If you’re into fishing, then you want to make sure that the canoe is going to be set-up for your needs. This includes the likes of rod holders on the Sevylor Rio 1-Person Fishing Canoe and a place to put your gear.
You might also be looking to attach a trolling motor to the canoe if you want to be heading out on longer adventures. When looking for a canoe, you want to see if it’s going to be set-up for your needs, whether that is paddling on a lake or hunting.
It could also be that you want to take your dog with you. Some canoes will be a lot more accommodating to that than others.
If your preference is to have an inflatable canoe, then you need to make sure it will cope with the activity you’re planning.
Before you buy a canoe, you need to know how the length can affect the action and performance. If you’re going to be traveling long distances, then a longer canoe would be preferable. This is because they are less affected by weather and currents. They are also capable of holding more gear and have increased tracking ability.
For other types of canoeing adventures, a shorter canoe could be a better option. They are easier to maneuver in the water and are more portable. They also weigh less and are easy to carry and store away. The best length for you will depend on what type of canoeing trip you’re planning.
Just as with length, width is going to have a big impact on the performance of your canoe. This will directly affect how stable is it in the water. The wider your boat is, the more balanced it is going to be.
While it might seem as though you want your canoe to be as stable as possible, some see the increased width as a disadvantage.
With a wider boat, you’re not going to have as much mobility, and also it will generally mean that the boat is heavier.
The weight of a canoe is going to be important for two reasons. It will affect how easy it is to carry and also how it performs in the water. That is because a lightweight canoe will be more nimble in the water and more agile.
Before you get a canoe, you have to work out how far you’re going to carry it to bring it to the water. If you face a long walk from your vehicle, for example, then pulling a heavier canoe can become a nightmare.
Inflatable canoes like the Sevylor Rio 1-Person Fishing Canoe are popular choices, as for any people, as these are much lighter than solid canoes and, therefore, a lot easier to carry.
Most solid canoes, such as the Lifetime Kodiak Canoe, are made from high-quality polyethylene, which combines all the qualities that you want in a canoe. It’s lightweight but also highly durable, which means that it can cope with any impacts.
Inflatable canoes are usually made of a mixture of materials, with most hulls being made from PVC. A tarpaulin bottom and a nylon cover will complete the canoe. These materials are very thick and highly resistant to punctures. The reliability will usually be aided by having numerous air compartments.
Number of seats
If you are interested in adventures on your canoe, that doesn’t always mean that you will want just one seat. There are a few different reasons why you’d want two or more seats, as we see with the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS Canoe.
Although you may want to travel mostly solo, there might be times where you’d prefer to have a partner, and having more than one seat will give you that versatility. Also, having more than one seat will mean that the canoe is bigger, and this offers more stability and storage space.
Many people underestimate just how much gear they are going to carry on their adventure. You want to make sure you have plenty of storage space, and this can be done in a few ways.
First, you can get a longer canoe with extra seats. Next, you can pay attention to other features such as side pockets and holders, which will allow you to organize all of your items.
It’s a good idea to make a list of everything that you plan to take on your canoeing adventure, then you will have a clear idea of exactly how much space you’re going to need.
If you’re going to be traveling on an inflatable canoe, then there are some essential things that you need to look for. Firstly, it should have multiple air chambers to prevent it from sinking. This means that if you get a puncture, other chambers will remain inflated, and you will be able to get back safely to the shore. In addition, you want to get high-quality materials, which are thick enough to be resistant to tears. For example, the Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Canoe Combo has both of those features.
If you’re on any type of vessel, you want to take precautions. This involves using a life jacket and also knowing basic safety tips if you ever get into trouble.
Comfort might not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to a canoe, but it is still vitally important. You want to get a seat that gives you back support, and your comfort can be vastly increased by having armrests such as on the Old Town Discovery Canoe.
Furthermore, you want to have features that match your activity. If you plan on fishing, then you’ll want rod holders to be able to give yourself a break. Cup holders and a place to put a cooler are also nice features that make the canoe more convenient.
As with many types of products, getting a warranty is important. This will give you peace of mind that you are getting a top-notch canoe, which can stand the test of time.
However, not all warranties are the same. Some warranties only cover defects out of the box, whereas others cover more should anything go wrong with the canoe during its period. It’s recommended to take a closer look to see exactly what is covered.
The warranty is a perfect way to protect your investment in case anything goes wrong with the product.
As with any product, you have budget options, premium options, and somewhere in between those two categories.
For a budget option, the Sevylor Ogden 2-Person Canoe Combo is a fantastic canoe as it gives you amazing tracking ability while also offering plenty of storage space and the features you need for $250.
If you’re looking for a solid solo canoe, then the Lifetime Kodiak Canoe would be a wonderful option that costs somewhere around $600. You know that this is built to last, and it’s perfect for solo adventures or bringing a friend along. It is highly versatile and well worth the money.
If you are not satisfied yet, you might want to check the Old Town Discovery. This high-end product looks great and will show brilliant performance when you’re out there on the water. It will give you everything you need for a comfortable trip and will cost around $900.
While it is almost always safe to use a two-person canoe given there is enough space, you do want to double-check the weight capacity. Although there are canoes here that have a capacity of under 400 lb., with two grown adults and their gear, this might be not enough.
The additional weight will affect canoe stability. If you put too much weight in one corner, it will be harder to find the balance. Try to distribute the weight evenly, so it will be easier for you to control the canoe. This also will prevent it from occasional rolling over.
The first thing that you need to do is not to panic. Many people flip out of canoes, and if you take the right steps, there won’t be a problem. If you are a confident swimmer, try to flip your canoe back. A good method of doing this is swimming underneath the canoe and using your power to push up one end. If you can’t get back into your canoe, then you can climb on top of it or use it to float.
Once you’ve taken these steps, then you want to return to the shore to get dry. If the water is cold, then you want to make sure you’re out of there as soon as possible. It’s always vital to use a jacket to ensure your safety in case your canoe flips. It’s always a good idea to secure your gear to the canoe so that you don’t lose it.
Canoeing during the wind can be very difficult, and this is where experience will help you to navigate your way through. For those who aren’t experienced, there are a few useful pieces of advice to take on board. In high winds, it’s a good idea to stay closer to the shore as the wind is less likely to be as strong as in the middle.
If the wind stops you, you should avoid getting on the water, as this can drain energy very quickly. Although paddling with a tailwind can be very fun, so you want to try to use the wind to your advantage. Some experienced canoe lovers even attach homemade sails! It’s good to know what to do in different types of wind to make the most of your adventure.
It’s likely that you’re very excited to get started on your solo canoe adventure. The right canoe pick can help you to get the best experience. Here we have our top three favorites.
If you’re looking for an inflatable canoe, then the Sevylor Rio 1-Person Fishing Canoe is going to be a wonderful option. It is very durable, light and portable. There is no need to be scared of getting an inflatable canoe, and this is an astonishing option.
It could be that something else has caught your eye from the list. Finding the best solo canoe for you is all about assessing your needs and getting a canoe that suits you. Once you do that, you’ll be able to head out onto the water and start a new adventure.