If you love to be near the open water and have ample opportunity to do so, then it may be time to invest in a canoe (of course, if you already have a canoe, it does not hurt to look for an upgrade from time to time).

A great canoe can give you a feeling like no other. The sense of tranquility as you move effortlessly through the water. The satisfaction as you transport yourself from one place to another. The amazement as you catch your first fish from the middle of a lake. The smiles on your kid’s faces as they jump into the water and then climb back in.

Having the best canoe can be a great investment for the solo adventurer or the large family. The investment is in your happiness. If you have ever thought about getting your own canoe, you should know that there is a lot to think about, thankfully we have done the thinking for you and prepared this list of best canoes in 2018.


How To Choose The Best Canoe – Buying Guide


Length And Shape

Two of the most important things which you will consider before you even begin to look at the best canoes are the length and the shape. Of course, the length and the shape will determine the size of your boat. The shape not so much, but the length definitely will.

Before buying a canoe, you should have a way to transport your canoe to the water and back. If a canoe is too long for the vehicle which will transport it, then you should be looking for a shorter canoe. If you have a large vehicle, then longer canoes would be fine.

You should also know which type of water you will be taking your canoes out on. Flat-bottom canoes are more stable. If you need a canoe which will sit stationary in the water for a long period of time, then a flat-bottom canoe is the way to go.

Flat-bottom canoes are great for fishing and families. If you have small children walking around, or want to be a platform for kids to jump from and swim, or need a place from which to cast your line, then go for a flat-bottom canoe.

The downside of a flat-bottom is that canoes have a slower acceleration. If you are looking for canoes which will transport you through the water at speed which dodging to the left and the right, then choose a more rounded bottom.

If you are looking for speed, you also need to think about the length. Small canoes with rounded bottoms will get up to speed quickly, but a longer boat will get to a higher top speed, and when they are there, the momentum makes it easier to keep the speed up.


It is obvious that the heavier the canoe, the harder it will be to transport.

If you are embarking on a solo adventure, then you will want to make sure that you purchase a canoe which you can transport and portage by yourself. If you are buying a canoe for group outings, you do not need to worry so much about the weight of your craft.

Take note of how easy it will be to get the canoe onto the top of your vehicle, or into the place it will be transported, and take note of how far you will have to carry your craft to get to the water before you buy your canoe.

Special Features

Generally, the more you spend, the more features you will get. The big question is, what special features do you want or need?

The seats are a big place to start. How many do you need? And what kind of seat do you need? Are you comfortable in any position or do you need a backrest? Do you need your seats to be adjustable?

You should also be looking out for storage. What are you using your craft for? Do you need a lot of storage or not much? Do you need that storage to be covered and water-resistant? Do you need an inbuilt cooler?

Do you want cup holders? What else do you need to make your canoe trip a success? It pays to think about exactly what you need before shelling out the money for your canoe.


When it comes to materials, there are a few things to think about. The type of material will determine the weight of your craft. Some materials are lighter than others. Some materials are more durable. Some materials cost more than others.

Again, you will need to think about the type of canoeing you are doing. Is there a chance that you will hit rocks when you are out on the water? An aluminum canoe may be best for you. Are you worried about the weight of the canoes? You may want to choose a plastic canoe.

Most of the time you will have to make a sacrifice between weight, durability, and price.

Carrying Capacity

Another obvious one, but some people do not think about this at times.

If you are going to be carrying two people, then you need a canoe which will hold two people. If you are traveling as a family, then you will need a canoe which will hold everyone. Most of the canoes are rated for the number of people they hold, and this rough guide will tell you what you need to know.

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. If you check out the canoe information, you will also find the weight it is rated for. Make sure that the combined weight of your passengers fall under this amount and you will be fine.

You will also need to think about how much weight you carry with you. Are you carrying a lot of fishing gear? You will need to ensure that your craft can carry all passengers and the cargo.



Q: How Should Canoes Be Stored?

A: When you come to store your canoes, there are a few things you can do to make sure your canoes lasts:

  • You will want to protect your canoes against the sun. Sunlight can degrade the material and dull the color (if you have aluminum canoes then it is safe from the sun, but I recommend following this guideline anyway). Store your canoes inside or covered completely with a tarp. There are also sprays you can buy which will add a UV-resistant layer to your canoes (check to make sure you get the spray for the appropriate material).
  • You will also want to make sure that your canoes are protected from water. This includes moisture from the ground as well as rain and snow. I would recommend inside storage if possible. If you are storing under a tarp, then make sure that the water cannot get inside, and store on a concrete pad or elevated if possible. If you live in an area that freezes, then heated storage should be thought about.
  • Thieves love expensive canoes. There are some things which you can do to deter thieves from taking your canoes. Make sure that your canoes are hidden from view. It should also be stored on a hard to get to place. A thief should not be able just to grab it and run. Invest in a lock if you have spent a lot of money on your canoe and look into insurance for it.
  • Your canoe can bend and warp if stored incorrectly. Store your canoes on its hull as much as you can. You should also store it horizontally and with the weight evenly dispersed. Do not store any weight on top of your canoes.
  • As with all watercrafts, you should make sure to clean your canoe before putting it into long-term storage. You do not want any salt or moisture getting into the material and eating away at it from the inside.

Q: What Are Canoes Made Of?

A: Plastic and fiberglass are now the most common materials to make canoes from. There are many benefits to using these. They are not lightweight, meaning a lighter canoe. Both of them are inexpensive, meaning a more affordable canoe. Both are easily moldable, meaning there is more variety to the shape and features.

Aluminum was the standard material and is still used in some of the canoes today. Aluminum also makes for good value canoes, but more importantly, it makes for a strong and durable canoe. If you are traversing rapids in your canoe, you will want an aluminum canoe to protect against damage. Aluminum canoes also last for a long time. If you want to invest in a canoe which will last longer than any other, then aluminum is the way to go.

Inflatable canoes are made from PVC. PVC is strong and flexible but is prone to more damage than other materials.

Traditional canoes were made from wood, and you will still find some which are made from this material. Wood is durable and gives some flexibility. If you want something which looks great, then go for a wood canoe.

Q: How Much Do Canoes Weigh?

A: The weight of canoes will be directly affected by the materials and size. On the lighter end, a canoe can weigh as little as 40-50 pounds. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a large canoe can weigh 120+ pounds.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Canoe And Kayak?

A: There are three main difference when you look at a canoe vs. a kayak: the seating position, the paddle, and the design.

When you look at the design of both vessels, you will notice that there are a lot of similarities. Bot vessels are long and slim, and both generally have tapered ends. Canoes most often have a wider body than a kayak, and you will find that the main difference between the two, is that kayaks have closed decks while canoes have a closed deck. Be careful, though, as some of the canoes have closed decks, and they can look very similar to kayaks.

The seating position is usually very different in the two vessels. With a canoe, there are usually raised seats which allow you to take up a classic seating position. You can also kneel in a canoe when you re paddling through the water. With a kayak, you will usually have a hole which you sit in. Your bottom is close to the floor, and your legs stick out in front of you.

With paddles, canoes usually have single blades, while kayaks have two. With a kayak, you are lower in the vessel, so it is easy to paddle with both sides of the paddle. In a canoe, you are slightly higher in the vessel, and it is hard to make, and paddle with, a double-sided paddle with a long shaft. A single-bladed paddle is easier to use.

Q: What Do I Need To Do To Maintain My Canoes?

A: The first thing you should be doing is using your canoe as it was intended. When you are in your canoe, do not overload the canoe with too much weight. You should also try to balance the weight as much as possible. This will stop the canoes from sitting too low in the water, and you will avoid dragging the bottom over rocks. When you are getting your canoes in and out of the water, you should also make sure that you are not dragging your canoes over hard ground. Have a friend help you lift it if you need to.

You should also be cleaning your canoes after every use. This could be as simple as rinsing the canoes off with fresh water. This is especially important if you have been canoeing in salt water. You do not want salt water to be on your canoes for too long as it can begin to corrode it. You should also wash off any organic matter as it can harvest bacteria which can also eat away at your canoes.

Always dry your canoes in the sun before you put it into storage.

Q: How Do I Carry A Canoe?

A: You can carry a canoe by yourself if you use the correct technique. Stand with the canoe on your shins, with the open side facing away from you. Bend your knees and grab the center yoke. Lift the canoe onto your thighs. Grab the other side of the canoe, while keeping one hand on the yoke, and flip the canoe over onto your head.

If you have a friend to help you carry the canoe, then you can carry it suitcase style by lifting an end each and carrying it. If you need to carry it long distances, then you can hoist the canoe up onto your shoulders and carry it that way.

Q: Do I Need Cradles On My Roof Racks?

A: Cradles are ideal to transport your canoe as the weight of the canoe will be on the hull of the kayak. This is the best position to carry your canoe in and will give it the smallest chance of being damaged in transit. If you do not have cradles, then you can carry your canoe on a padded roof rack with the hull facing up.

Globo Surf Overview

Canoeing is one of the oldest methods of traversing water. The feel as you move sleekly through the water is a feeling like no other. Whether you want to move quickly by yourself or slowly with some passengers, a canoe will not let you down. Modern technology has come a long way, and the design and manufacture of the canoes is something to behold. A great canoe can change your life. Life on the water is a new beginning.

More Kayak Reviews:


  1. Canoe Safety, nsc.org

Have you tried one of the best canoes on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Canoes Review

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Sure glad I found your article on Canoes. They have really transformed. Didnt even know there were inflatable ones.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!