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Folding Canoes

Top Picks

How we choose: The best folding canoes highlighted here were selected based on 3 reviews of 2 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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If you've used a folding canoe that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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Ally Canoes Model 811 16.5' DR

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Anyone who travels, but loves canoeing, knows how hard it is to transport your favourite canoe, especially in Alaska, with so few roads and so much plane-accessible wilderness. Federal aviation laws prohibit the carrying of hardshell boats strapped to the plane struts if there are passengers. It can make for an expensive trip. The Ally 811 solves the problem.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable neoprene fabric and aluminum parts
  • Made in Norway so excellent quality
  • Flexes and moves gracefully in white water

Reasons to Avoid

  • Carry bag is too snug

Like so many boats made in Europe, the attention to design has resulted in a product that has not had to change in many years. It's still a good design. The boat comes in a big box and you can buy a bag to carry it in. The carry bag has backpack straps and while it holds all the aluminium parts, I'll be damned if I can easy get the entire boat, including foam and skin in the bag. I wish the company would provide instructions on how to pack it. That aside, the instructions for assembling the boat are complicated and it really takes one to read and use the visual provided, while the second person gathers up the correct pieces.

Read more: Ally Canoes Model 811 16.5' DR reviews (2)

Bergans Ally 17 Flatwater

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1 review)

A lightweight, sturdy folding canoe that performs well on flat-, quick-, and easy whitewater. Packs down small enough to take on a plane as special luggage. Will take a moderate beating and is readily repairable with hull patches and a full range of spare parts. You're on your own if you want to add a yoke for portaging.

Reasons to Buy

  • Efficient flatwater performance in a very lightweight, foldable design
  • Durable PVC coated skin and aluminum frame with tough nylon joints
  • Reasonably durable for a folder
  • Multipurpose floor mat provides skin tensioning, flotation, knee padding, and insulation
  • Skin on frame is very quiet on the water

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hard plastic seats need extra padding
  • Assembly requires time, experience, and a rubber mallet
  • No yoke option (build your own)
  • Lukewarm customer service as of 2020
  • (Disorganized web site, unclear about availability)

When we moved to Norway from Vermont way back in 2002, we loaded up a shipping container with a substantial proportion of our worldly belongings mounded up at one end, and our six-year-old Subaru wagon (the Vermont State Car!) with our two single kayaks on top strapped down at the other. One thing that didn’t fit in was our tried-and-true Old Town Penobscot 16.5 canoe, a wedding present from a big group of outdoor-minded friends. That old boat had seen a lot of paddle-and-portage in the Adirondacks and Canada, a lot of it with two young girls between the thwarts.

Read more: Bergans Ally 17 Flatwater review (1)

Other Types of Canoes

Find more canoes reviewed in these related categories:

Recreational Canoes

Touring Canoes

Tripping/Expedition Canoes

+2 more types

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