An Inflatable Canoe? Why Not?

4-minute read

Inflatable kayaks and paddle boards are everywhere—but an inflatable canoe? It’s worth considering if space is at a premium both for storage and transport but you love canoeing.

Ken Whiting paddles the Sea Eagle inflatable Travel Canoe

Our friend Ken Whiting of Paddle TV reviews Sea Eagle’s inflatable Travel Canoe. It’s a viable option for those who love the idea of storing a canoe in a closet and transporting it in your car’s trunk. Watch Ken’s review below:

There’s no denying canoes take up a lot of space, even solo models. It’s one of the biggest challenges to owning one.

Folding models have been on the market for several decades. But this is Ken’s first shot at reviewing an inflatable model that’s designed to truly perform like a canoe.

Sea Eagle’s Travel Canoe Specs

The Travel is 16 feet long, 38 inches wide and weighs 64 pounds. Its carrying capacity is a respectable 915 pounds, including people and gear. Its 2023 MRSP is $1,800-2,000 USD depending on the package. It’s designed to be used in all conditions.

This canoe is made of varying materials and offers many nice features:

  • Three separate high-pressure dropstitch chambers, inflation to 10 PSI
  • Plastic bow and stern for durability and straight tracking
  • Removable skeg that aids speed and tracking
  • Traditional wood-and-web canoe seats
  • Inflated floor with non-slip decking pads
  • Floor drains, D-rings, carry handles
  • Rated for up to Class IV whitewater

The Travel Canoe is available in several different packages including without paddles, with paddles, with or without an electric pump, seats for two people or seats for three, and an electric motor option.

inside of the Travel Canoe, seat

How the Travel Canoe Performs

Once Ken gets the Travel inflated and put together he’s impressed. “It really is a canoe!” he says. “But does it perform like a canoe? That’s the big question.” Let’s see what he has to say:

PORTABILITY—In this case, of course, portability is the key benefit. Ken says, “Canoes have a lot of strengths, but portability is not one of them. They’re big, they’re cumbersome, they’re hard to tie on to your vehicle, they’re hard to get around.”

That said, at 64 pounds this is not a light canoe. Depending on your strength, it could be difficult to carry around alone, whether in its bag or inflated, like any 64-pound canoe.

COMFORT—The seats are classic webbed canoe seats which Ken found as comfortable as any other webbed canoe seat. The basic option comes with a bow and stern seat, but you can put a seat in the middle if you like to paddle solo.

STABILITY—“Straight up, this is the most stable canoe I’ve ever paddled,” Ken says. The flat bottom is important for initial stability, but he also found the Travel has excellent secondary stability. That’s especially relevant for canoeists in more challenging conditions like whitewater.

PERFORMANCE—As with any canoe, the factors that give this canoe excellent stability also tend to slow it down in the water. It’s not as fast as canoes with hulls designed for speed. “That’s nearly always the trade-off with portable boats,” says Ken.

FEATURES—As long as you remember to keep them closed when you’re on the water, Ken likes the idea of drain holes in case water gets in the canoe. And because it’s inflated, if it swamps it’ll still ride high in the water and be very easy to get back to shore. All canoes get blown around by a lot of wind, and the Travel is no exception. But having the removable skeg really helps keep it tracking straight.

side view of Ken Whiting solo paddling the Traveler inflatable Canoe

Who Is the Travel Canoe for?

Because of its stability and performance, many people would be happy with this canoe. Beginners would do very well. It has enough durability and cargo space for multi-day tripping. While eite canoeists probably won’t be satisfied with its performance, anyone else considering a canoe purchase should consider it.

At $1,800/2,000+ the price is fairly normal for a recreational canoe of its weight. To get into the really light canoe range you’d need to spend almost twice that. For the added bonus of having many more storage options, the Travel Canoe is a very good value.

See all the details for the Travel Canoe on Sea Eagle’s website.

Photos courtesy of Ken Whiting and Paddle TV.

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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