A Folding Canoe? Yes! Here are Your Options
You may or may not have ever heard of folding canoes—but they’ve been around since the 1970s. They may be a great option for you! Here’s the scoop…
Why go with a folding canoe? The obvious reasons are easy storage and portability. Most of these can be checked as luggage on an airplane, and fit in the back seat or trunk of your car. You can store it in a shed, garage, your basement or a storage unit.
But there are other advantages you may be interested to know:
- Folding canoes are tough—just as tough as rigid canoes…
- Many of them are as light as some of the kevlar models out there…and yet the price points are lower—quite a bit lower, in fact…(with one exception, the York, shown below)
- Their performance can rival that of high-end rigid canoes on both flat and whitewater, as well as for wilderness expeditions.
Here’s a broad overview of the current manufacturers that make folding canoes:
Pakboats is a family business based in New Hampshire. Originally a distribution business for folding canoes from Norway, Alv and Linda Elvestad began designing and making their own folding canoes in 1995. The PakCanoe was born.
All six of their canoe models are built for expeditions, but will be just as at home at the family cabin. Some are specialized for river canoeing.
PakCanoes are built with a combination of a PVC “skin,” an adonized aluminum frame and inflatable tubes. When folded, each PakCanoe fit into its heavy-duty 35″x18″x14″ storage bag. PakCanoes come in lengths from 14-17 feet, weighing 38-56 pounds. They range in price from $2,025-2,380 (2019 prices).
Based in Tennessee, MyCanoe is an “origami” folding canoe. As of this writing, they offer just one model—a 14.5-foot white and aqua blue weighing 36 pounds.
MyCanoe is constructed of a custom polypropylene that’s super tough. It’s rated to 20,000 foldings—probably much more than you'll ever be able to do, even if you let all your friends us it, too!
MyCanoes can be adapted for fishing, sailing, a trolling motor, standing and is dog-friendly. They run from $1,290-1,490, depending on the accessories.
Bergans of Norway: Ally Canoe
Bergans of Norway has been around for over 100 years, and is based, obviously, in Norway. They have one model of folding canoe, the Ally, which they’ve been manufacturing since the 70s.
Designed for speed and performance, the Ally comes in six different models, in lengths from 15-18 feet and weights from 39-46 pounds. Some are better for whitewater, others better for flat-water. All are made with an aluminum frame and PVC-coated woven fabric skin.
Two noticeable differences with Bergans: The carry pack comes separately—they offer either a soft Packsack or a framed backpack. They also sell each individual piece of the canoe separately, in case you need a replacement part.
The Ally ranges in price from $1,751-$2,051 (USD).
Long Haul Folding Kayaks: York Canoe
Long Haul, a Colorado company founded by Mark Eckhart, makes one canoe model, the York Canoe. Handmade locally of a wood frame, stainless steel fittings and a rubber/fabric skin, the two York Canoe models carry the highest price point on our list: $5,411 and $7,627. The price includes packing bags and other add-ons, depending on the model.
Each model is highly adaptable for 1-3 paddlers, and the Commando model is specialized for fishing. The website doesn’t specify length or weight for these canoes, unfortunately.
A word of advice for all folding canoes from an Instagram follower: “Practice setting it up and packing it away at home a few times first!” (@polargaelstorm)
Do you have canoe paddle questions? Contact our helpful Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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