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Best Folding Canoe – Fold Up and Easily Carry for Your Next Canoeing Trip

By: Kayak Guru
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As any paddler or canoeist knows, a good folding canoe can be a must-have for those who love the outdoors but don’t always have the room to transport a full-sized canoe.

But with so many different folding canoes on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. So we’ve put together this guide to some of the best folding canoes out there.

Happy paddling!

11 Best Folding Canoes Reviewed

PakCanoe

PakCanoes have been around since 1995 and have been continually developed to improve their durability and performance in wilderness environments.

These are tough folding canoes that are designed for wilderness expeditions, with reinforced hulls with five heavy keel strips and closed-cell foam on the bottom for added abrasion resistance.

The canoes also benefit from having cross ribs that are locked to the gunwales for added rigidity. There are inflatable tubes on the sides, adding flotation and improved stability, as well as acting as a fender.

The aluminum components are anodized for corrosion resistance even in saltwater conditions.

1: PakCanoe 150

  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 650 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 15 foot (33 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 35 x 18 x 14 inches

The PakCanoe 150 is a 15-foot folding canoe that’s designed for a solo paddler but can also be a great option for two people, with enough space for camping gear for a week’s trip.

It’s crafted to perform well on both flatwater and whitewater, with a Class III whitewater rating. It can offer decent speed on flatwater and has good tracking performance, making it easy to paddle both solo and with a partner.

This folding canoe also has the option of being made two inches wider with the use of a conversion kit (sold separately).

2: PakCanoe 150T

  • Weight: 48 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 650 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 15 foot (35 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 35 x 18 x 14 inches

The PakCanoe 150T is the same as the 150 version but is a couple of inches wider in the beam for improved stability. This has similar performance qualities as the 150, including the excellent tracking on flatwater and the Class III whitewater rating.

With the added width, this can be a good folding canoe for fishing or week-long camping adventures.

3: PakCanoe 160

  • Weight: 53 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 760 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 16 foot (37 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 35 x 18 x 14 inches

The PakCanoe 160 is a 16-foot all-round folding canoe that can be great for two people on a three-week expedition. It can also be equally ideal for family day trips.

The 160 can handle both flatwater and whitewater, making it a versatile craft. There’s also an optional spray cover available (sold separately) and an optional center seat (not included).

4: PakCanoe 165

  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 830 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 16 foot 6 inches (33 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 35 x 18 x 14 inches

The PakCanoe 165 is a longer, narrower version of the 160. This can make it easier and more comfortable to paddle solo, with improved speed. However, it’s also compatible with a conversion kit (sold separately) if you want to increase the width from 33 to 35 inches.

This can be an ideal expedition canoe for one or two people. It has a generous capacity, with enough space to carry camping gear and equipment for at least a two-week trip.

5: PakCanoe 170

  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 910 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 16 foot 6 inches (33 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 35 x 18 x 14 inches

The PakCanoe 170 has a huge capacity and plenty of space for a month-long trip or longer. It’s designed for two paddlers on long expeditions. However, it can also be great for families, with ample room for two adults and two or more children, with adequate space for gear.

This is a large canoe, with a wide beam, offering excellent stability. It comes with two bench seats as standard but extra seats can be installed (sold separately). It’s also compatible with a spray cover (not included).

Ally Canoes

Ally Canoes are manufactured by Bergans of Norway. These folding canoes are made to be strong. They have corrosion-resistant aluminum frames and flexible construction featuring durable PVC fabric that’s reinforced at the bottom.

Ally Canoes are designed to be easy to fold, like tent poles, and come in two types: all-round and flatwater.

Video: Bergans ALLY canoe build: Foldable canoe

1: Ally 15 DR

  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 683 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 15 foot (37 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 44 x 16.5 x 19.7 inches

The Ally 15 DR is an all-round canoe that can be ideal for river trips. It has a slightly curved keel with a curved bow and stern to improve performance and maneuverability. This can be particularly useful for whitewater paddling but the Ally 15 can also perform well on flatwater lakes.

It’s a very stable canoe that can be great for a solo paddler on a longer trip or for fishing. It can also be suitable for two paddlers or a family of three for shorter trips.

2: Ally 17

  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 860 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 17 foot (35 inches)
  • Size when folded: 44 x 16.5 x 19.7 inches

The Ally 17 is a 17-foot flatwater canoe that is designed for speed and stability. It has a narrower beam than some of the shorter canoes and this can help improve paddling efficiency. It’s built to withstand crosswinds and track straight in waves.

This can be a great expedition canoe for up to three people, with ample room for camping gear. It can also be paddled by a single paddler.

MyCanoe

MyCanoe is a US-based company making folding recreational canoes that are inspired by the Japanese art of origami. There are two models of folding canoe: a solo canoe and a two-person canoe.

The canoes each have a fold cycle rating for up to 20,000 folds and the products come with a one-year warranty. They also feature a 15-year UV treatment for added durability.

1: MyCanoe Solo

  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 330 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 10 foot (32 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 45 x 21 x 12 inches

The MyCanoe Solo is designed for a single paddler with enough room for a small dog. It’s built for recreational paddling so it can be ideal for flatwater lakes and slow-moving rivers.

It has a wide, stable hull that can make it suitable for beginners and anglers, with its compact design adding to its maneuverability. It’s also incredibly lightweight so it can be easier to carry.

2: MyCanoe Duo

MyCanoe DuoPin
  • Weight: 43 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 480 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 14 foot 6 inches (35 inches wide)
  • Size when folded: 36 x 27 x 10 inches

The MyCanoe Duo is a two-person canoe that’s designed for flatwater paddling. It can be ideal for two people plus a dog.

It has a lower capacity than some of the other folding canoe brands but can be ideal for shorter trips and recreational paddling. It’s designed to be easy to fold and unfold and can be assembled in around five minutes.

Long Haul Canoes

Long Haul Canoes are handmade in Cedaredge, Colorado. The canoes feature wooden frames crafted from Ash and Birch with a rubber hull and acrylic deck. The company started out making handcrafted wood-frame folding kayaks over 26 years ago.

There are two canoe packages offered by Long Haul, with different accessories included with each.

1: York Classic Canoe

  • Weight: 89 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 900 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 17 foot (35.5 inches)

The York Classic Canoe is designed for up to three people but can also be paddled solo. It has a generous capacity that can be ideal for multi-day excursions and family camping trips.

With a wooden frame, it’s not as lightweight as some of the other folding canoes on the market. But it is built to last, with improved strength and durability. This canoe can perform well on a range of waters and can be a good choice for fishing.

It also comes with three packing bags and a Longren packing sleeve.

2: York Commando Canoe

  • Weight: 96 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 900 pounds
  • Size when assembled: 17 foot (35.5 inches)

The York Commando Canoe is similar in style to the Classic Canoe, being the same size and capacity. But it has additional features such as a set of keel strips, two sponsons, a spray cover, bow and stern grab handles, and other accessories.

Like the Classic version, this can be paddled in a variety of conditions and can be ideal for up to three people on a camping trip.


How To Choose A Folding Canoe

Size

Folding canoes are designed to be more portable than standard canoes, so size will likely be an important consideration. This will be especially important when it comes to the size of the canoe when it’s folded and packed away.

Most folding canoes will be compact enough when folded to fit in the trunk or the backseat of a small car. Many of them can also be easily stored in a closet or under a bed at home.

The other size you need to think about is the size of the canoe when it’s assembled. This can give you a better idea of how many people can fit in the canoe and how much gear you’re able to bring.

Longer canoes will generally have more space for both people and gear. And they can also be quicker on the water as they are often narrower.

Shorter canoes may be more suitable for solo paddling or beginners and they can be easier to maneuver. Wider beams can also feel more stable for beginners and families, and can also provide a little more space. 

Weight

With folding canoes being designed primarily for portability and ease of transportation, weight can be an important factor to think about. Weight will likely be more important if you plan to carry the canoe over a longer distance, for example, if you plan to hike into a more remote area before setting up.

Not all folding canoes are lightweight and some can weigh a considerable amount, almost as much as some standard canoes.

Capacity

Weight capacity is another thing you should take into account when choosing a folding canoe.

The larger the canoe, usually the more capacity it will have. This means larger canoes can be better for expeditions where you need to have room for extensive camping equipment and food supplies. Or if you’re canoeing with the family.

Unless it’s a very compact or solo canoe, there will often be space for two people plus some gear. The size and capacity of the craft will determine how much gear you can bring or how long a trip you can take.

Type Of Hull

Generally, you’ll probably find that folding canoes have either flat bottoms or more rounded bottoms.

Hulls that are flat underneath can provide more initial stability, making it feel more stable on flatwater. This type of hull can be ideal for beginners and families looking to paddle on calm lakes and other flatwater environments. It can also be great for fishing.

A rounded hull can have more secondary stability, which means it can be less likely to tip over in rough water. This can be an ideal hull shape for canoeing in rivers or open water where there may be waves or currents.

These rounded canoes can also be faster. Round hulls can be better suited to more experienced paddlers.


Folding Canoes: Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Folding Canoes Last?

Most folding canoes are designed to last for several years.

Some are rated for fold cycles so the higher the number of fold cycles, the longer the canoe can be folded and unfolded.

Other folding canoes feature aluminum frames with an outer skin that may last longer than a single piece of foldable fabric.

Are Foldable Canoes Stable?

Yes, foldable canoes can be very stable and can often have similar performance qualities to a standard hard canoe. The shorter and wider the canoe, the more stable it should generally feel.

Foldable Vs. Hard Canoes: Which Is Better?

Both folding and hard canoes have their advantages and disadvantages. A foldable kayak can be easier to transport and store at home.

A hard canoe can be more convenient if you live next to the water and want a boat that’s ready to go with no set-up.

Folding canoes can sometimes be more expensive than hard shell canoes at the lower end of the price scale. But with a folding canoe, you won’t need to spend extra money on a trailer or a roof rack to transport it.

How Should You Store A Foldable Canoe?

Foldable canoes should be stored in a dry place out of direct sunlight and away from extreme temperatures. They should be clean and dry before they are folded and stored and they should be kept inside their carrying case.


In Conclusion

The best folding canoe, in our opinion, is the PakCanoe 160 because it has adequate space and capacity for two adults plus gear for at least a two-week excursion. It’s also compact when folded and can be great for family trips as well.

Another excellent option, and our runner-up, is the MyCanoe Duo because it’s lightweight, quick and easy to assemble, and is easy to maneuver on the water.

Our top picks may not necessarily be the best canoes for you so it can be important to check out each product for yourself. Think about the type of paddling you want to do and the length of trips you want to take so that you can narrow down your options.

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