Canoeing is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors as a family and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. It is an activity everyone in the family can participate in and enjoy. For kids, it is a fun, healthy, and educational adventure. Investing in a family canoe is a great way to get the family out of the house and onto the water often.

You will want to get the best family canoe that has plenty of stability, is big enough for the whole family to fit in comfortably and has storage space and capacity for all the food and gear you will be bringing along. It should also be sturdy and durable so you can get years of enjoyment out of it.

Below, we’ve reviewed five canoes that fulfill these criteria and are perfect for canoeing as a family. All you have to do is check them out and choose the best one for your family. Speaking of choosing, below the reviews is a buying guide with what qualities to look for when buying a family canoe.

How To Choose A Family Canoe – Buying Guide


The best canoe for your family will depend on how many members are in it and what sort of adventures you plan to go on. Below are the most important considerations when choosing a canoe for family:


The ideal canoe size will depend on how many people it will be carrying. Before you order a canoe, make sure it is roomy enough to accommodate your whole family and all your gear and that you have storage space for it at home. Check the weight of the canoe to ensure that carrying and transporting it won’t be a challenge.

The wider the canoe, the more stable it is. The narrower the craft, the more efficient it is to row. Longer canoes paddle faster once they get up to speed while shorter canoes tend to be easier to maneuver and well suited for exploring narrow streams.


One of the qualities that make canoes great family vessels is their stability. However, not all canoes are made equal when it comes to stability. Wide, flat bottom canoes have excellent initial stability and don’t tip easily. They are the best for flatwater paddling, fishing and general canoeing on calm bays, lakes or slow-moving rivers.


Make sure you get a top quality canoe that is made of high-quality material, offered by a reputable brand, backed by an impressive warranty, and highly rated by canoeists for its quality and performance. Such a top-quality canoe will offer the best experiences on the water and offer the best value for your money.

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A tough hull material that can withstand abrasions and bangs is essential. The best family canoes reviewed here are made of high density polyethylene, which is one of the best materials for canoes. It is rugged, doesn’t scratch or cut easily, withstands harsh elements well and is lightweight.


Durability is vitally important in a family canoe. Kids will definitely be rough on it especially if they will be helping row it. Look for a canoe made using a tough material with high abrasion and impact resistance such as polyethylene and aluminum. Read its reviews to ensure it is a top rated canoe for family for its ability to hold up well when dragged up and down the beach and on rocky bottoms.

Weight Capacity

You want a canoe that can handle the weight of the whole family onboard without tipping over or becoming difficult to handle. Have the total weight of every member of your family and the amount of gear you will be carrying on your trips in mind and go for a canoe with a maximum weight rating well above your weight requirement.

Safety and Minimal Age

Safety is a key concern when you’re going to have kids on board. Ensure that you choose the best Canoe for family that is stable and offers a safe paddling experience on the water. There is no minimum age for canoeing. The only requirement is that kids should be old enough to wear a personal floatation device (PFD). The smallest PFDs are sized for infants (8-30 lbs.).

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


With both paddle crafts packed side by side, the most obvious difference between a kayak and a canoe is the cockpit and gunwale design. A canoe has an open cockpit and gunwales rising above the waterline. A sit-in kayak has a closed cockpit with gunwales very close to the waterline. A sit on top kayak has an open cockpit but the gunwales are also near the waterline. On the water, a kayak is paddled with a double bladed paddle while a canoe is usually paddled with a single bladed paddle.

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Q: Is There Age Restriction For Kids On Canoe?


No. The only requirement is that children on a canoe should wear a correctly fitted life jacket. This means that kids on canoe should at least be old enough to wear a PFD. The smallest PFDs are sized for infants weighing 8 – 30 pounds.

Q: Should We Wear A PFD of A Canoe?


Everyone in the canoe, including infants, must wear a PFD. The most important requirements are that the PFD must be correctly fitted and Coast Guard approved. If you can get life jackets for canoeing that are compatible with canoe seats, even better for comfort.

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Canoeing is one of the best outdoor family activities. Canoeing with kids is also a way to instill a love of the outdoors in young ones. The best family canoe is stable, spacious, and durable. We hope that our family canoe reviews and guide will help you find the perfect canoe for your family that will be a great source of fun for the whole family for years to come. Happy paddling!

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