5 Best Canoe For Rivers – 2021|Buying Guide

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Exploring in water is a wonderful and thrilling experience. Thanks to the canoe that ensures a comfortable way to get into calm lakes and rivers due to its stealthy nature.

However, it is critical to purchase the best canoe that will help you float slowly on the river or glide smoothly across a quiet lake.

Normally, purchasing a new canoe for the first time is similar to buying a new car. You ought to be careful about aspects like shape, resale value, size, materials, purpose, and performance


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Best Canoe For Rivers Reviews:

Old Town Discovery 119

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Made by Old Town Canoe and Kayaks, this is one of the bestselling options available in the market. It is a solo model weighing 49 pounds, hence easy to carry in and out of the water.

The canoe is ideal for long trips and has enough space to store gears. Its construction design includes straight sides, shallow arch bottom, and a moderate rocker.

It has vinyl made gunwales and the other part is made of polyethylene or lightweight relay. Its seat is a web seat that lacks back support. Overall, it is a stable option and easy to handle, however; it is not ideal for fast river or whitewater conditions.


It is lightweight, hence easy to carry in and out of the water.

It is ideal for calm waters.

It is a stable model, hence easy to handle.

It has a slim profile, making it appropriate for a double-bladed canoe paddle.


It is a solo model.

It is not ideal for fast river or whitewater conditions.

Sun Dolphin Mackinaw

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Made by Sun Dolphin, this model is long to accommodate enough space inside. It is a great option for anyone considering a model for a family.

However, it is heavy hence, not easy to carry around. It has ample storage space features, both uncovered and covered.

It also includes a built-in cooler, special snacks feature for kids. The good thing about this option is its low price option. With several individuals and cargo in the canoe, it is critical to remain away from the shallow water.


It is a long canoe to accommodate enough space for people and cargo.

It is large enough, hence good for a family adventure

It has awesome storage and cooler features.


Its long size doesn’t fit everybody’s preference.

It is heavy, hence not easy to carry around.

Grumman River Canoe

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Made by Grumman, this model is best described by the word Elegance. With a sleek modern look, the canoe comes in different color options with a retro touch. Although it is a solo canoe, it can accommodate two people. It is made of light aluminum making it durable and portable at the same tie. Overall, it is an expensive option but worth it touring for long without issues.


It is made of durable aluminum material.

It has an outstanding design.

It provides enough space for solo travelers.


It is an expensive model.

MYCANOE 2.5 Plus

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Made by Coovy, MYCANOE 2.5 plus is an exceptional model for the design enthusiast. It comes in a carry case that measure 37″ x 8″ x 25″. This carry case is foldable, making it an appropriate hard-shell choice on the market. Interestingly, it is a breeze to disassemble and assemble. It is also easy to store in the closet. Once it gets into the water, it works just like a traditional model. Designed for two individuals, it can accommodate up to 440 pounds.


It is lightweight, hence easy to carry in or out of the water.

It is easy to assemble and dissemble.

It has a perfect design for design lovers.

It is easy to store.


It is relatively expensive.

Mad River Adventure 14

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Made by ViiAN, this canoe has exemplary performance characteristics similar to those of a bigger canoe though it is somewhat light compared to other long models.

Its overall small size enhances its stability on the water and easier handling when doing it solo.

It is made for adventure, with adjustable backrests, low-maintenance hull, molded seats, and enough space, making it a multipurpose canoe for novice and those that love the greater adventurous experience.


It is ideal for a novice who likes to adventure in the water.

It is comfortable to use on slow-moving rivers and lakes.

It is lightweight, hence easier to carry around after a busy adventurous day on the water.


Its design isn’t as attractive as some traditional canoes; however, it offers a comfortable and smooth ride.

Final thought And Recommendation

When comparing these 5 canoes for rivers, we’ve tried to consider features that perform best. Comfortable seating and storage capacity are the two major aspects in selecting the best canoe for rivers.

Ruggedness and maneuverability also play a significant part in selecting the appropriate canoe for your needs. That’s said, we recommend Old Town Discovery 119 and Grumman River Canoe for solo or family use.

Not only are they ideal for rivers, but they are also easily outfitted for hunting, fishing, and camping.

What To Consider Prior To Purchasing Best Canoe For Rivers:

  1. Size of the canoe

The length, width, and depth are a critical consideration that determines the carrying capacity and the ease of use.

–  The length

The commonly used canoes have a range of 16-17 feet. They provide an exemplary combination of manageability, speed, and carrying capacity. It is easy to paddle the long canoes over a long distance when they are at a considerable speed. They also remain on the course well and accommodate more items/gears. Shorter canoes are portable, easier to transport, and are not much affected by wind. They are ideal to get into narrow inlets and streams. If you require a canoe for long touring, then you need to consider the one with at least 17 feet long for more stability.

–  Width/beam

Simply put, the wider the canoe, the more stable it is. The narrower the canoe, the easier the paddling and the more efficiency. Narrow canoes are somewhat tippy, however, they are easier and lighter to maintain on the steady track.

–  Depth

This is the distance between the bottom of the canoe and the side rails. Deep canoes have tall sides that assist to keep water out and boost the carrying capacity. If the sides are tall, it means that wind will probably affect the canoe. The shallow options are less affected by wind, however, they can let water in.

  1. Construction types

Due to modern developments, canoes have been made with the latest technology and materials. On one side, it can be constructed using animal hide, bark, and wood. Currently, aluminum, fiberglass, and other new plastic technologies make ABS and Polyethylene canoes.

  1. Type of the canoe

There are several types of canoe designed for a particular purpose.

–  Versatile canoe

These are designed to handle everything whitewater rivers to calm lakes. Basically, they provide great capacity and maneuverability.

–  Recreational canoes

It is enjoyable and easy to paddle in flat water. They are easy to control, stable and hard to flip over. Usually, they are appropriate for photography, paddling, birding, and fishing.

–  River canoes

These are specifically designed for paddlers who like negotiating rivers and running rapids. They are abrasion-resistant and their high sides deflect splashes.

  1. Special features

Usually, the more you are willing to spend, the more the features you will enjoy. So, which special features are these? Start with the seats. How many do you require? Which type of seat do you prefer?

Do you require a backrest seat or you are just fine with any type? Should it be adjustable? Well, you should have these answers according to your preference.

Additionally, consider the storage. Do you require much storage? Should it be water-resistant? Do you need a cup holder? Well, you should consider those aspects before paying for the canoe.