Finding the Best Kayak or Canoe for Your Needs

If you're in the market for a new kayak or canoe, finding the right type for your specific needs can be challenging, especially if you are just trying out paddle sports for the first time. We've compiled a list from our experts to help you determine the most ideal model for your needs! 

Best For Fishing: When you want to catch a big one with ease, your go-to single-paddler boat will be the Predator PDL. Hands down this is the most advanced hands-free fishing designed kayak currently on the market. All of your power comes from your legs, and using your left hand for steering, this kayak always leaves one hand free to hold your pole, net, tackle, or any other essential gear. When you need to stop on-a-dime, simply pedal backwards for extremely easy control over your kayak. The Predator PDL's specially-designed hull combines the perfect balance of smooth pedal stroke speed and stand-up ability. With four color combinations to choose from, there is an option for every angler's taste. Learn more about the Predator PDL...

Family-Friendly / Tandem Option: When you want to paddle with a friend or your family, our pick is the Dirigo 155T Tandem kayak. This two-seater boat has room for two adults plus one kids' jumper seat, making it ideal for families. It's never fun having to pick up the slack of your paddling partner, and luckily the Dirigo 155T is one of the most efficient paddling tandems we carry, making it much easier to get where you need to go with superior glide. The Dirigo 155T comes equipped with cup holders, making it an ideal option for the thirsty paddler, or simply offering a quick stash space with easy access to your essentials such as sunscreen. The two non-confining cockpit openings provide comfort you're looking for while exploring the river or lake. Learn more about the Dirigo 155T Tandem...

Long Day Trips / Hauling Gear: When you want to have space for plenty of camping gear or even your dog, or you are looking for extreme comfort for a long day of paddling, turn to

the NEXT Hybrid. This boat paddles like a kayak, but hauls like a canoe. Because of the NEXT's canoe design, this boat offers space for the most comfortable, adjustable seat you could fit in a single paddler boat, while still allowing for easy kayaking-style paddling. If you are hauling lots of gear, the seat can be adjusted forwards or backwards to trim your kayak as well. Get more info on the NEXT...

Best Recreational Kayak: The Loon Series from Old Town is your ideal recreational kayak, offering great tracking and speed for a recreational kayak. The Loon features a removable workdeck providing customizable space for cameras, water and gear. There's even a dry storage and USB charge port to keep your gadgets charged even after long hours on the water. Customers love the Active Comfort System 2.0 (ACS2) Seat that features easy and intuitive adjustments, under-leg support, and premium paddling and flow-through ventilation. The Loon comes in three different sizes to accommodate any type of paddler: 

  • Loon 106: This 10'6" kayak is ideal for smaller, shorter paddlers. Its size makes maneuvering small rivers and small lakes easy. The smallest Loon available, this is also the lightest of the three options for easy transportation. 
  • Loon 120: This 12" version is designed for paddlers who need a little more space than the Loon 106, but don't need the full capacity of the Loon 126.  
  • Loon 126: At 12'6", this Loon handles the most weight of the loon series, with a maximum load capacity of 450 pounds. 

For the Beginners & Children: New to paddling? Looking to pick up a new hobby to enjoy during those warm summer months? We've got the best boat for you. We recommend trying the Vapor 10 from Old Town. The Vapor 10 model is inexpensive for what it offers, including a roomy cockpit, extremely stable design for unsteady or new paddlers, and even works great for anglers. This boat can also handle a lot of weight for its size, with a maximum load capacity of 275-325 pounds at just 10 feet in length.

For youth paddlers under 115 pounds, try the Heron Jr. Parents love that it comes with the tag along system, so you can drag your tired paddler home after a long day on the water. The Heron Jr. was designed to be nimble and maneuverable for the smaller paddler. This extremely efficient kayak is lightweight, glides and tracks well. 

All Around Canoe: The popular Guide 147 canoe from Old Town represents a breakthrough in design and construction, providing a durable, stiff and affordable canoe. This boat features a unique cross-section and stabilizing chines, delivering exceptional stability as well as rugged durability. Paddlers love that it is stable enough for fishing or nature watching, yet versatile enough for family outings. Learn more...

Staff Pick for Best All Around Kayak: Our staff winner for best all around kayak was the Necky Looksha 12. This kayak is extremely fast for a 12 foot boat, offering great speed, tracking, comfort, and plenty of space for all your gear. The Looksha 12 offers two dry hatches for gear storage, and features the comfortable ACS2 seat. The day touring hull design gives this kayak excellent maneuverability and speed, making it a fun choice for inland touring or even coastal exploration. The Looksha 12 features a compact design, yet offers a roomy cockpit, and can handle a max capacity of 250-300 pounds. Check out the Looksha 12 here...