If you’re going to get just one canoe for your home, it makes sense to get a versatile boat that can be paddled tandem or solo. Versatility is the common denominator of the six canoes reviewed here.

They are are constructed of five different materials. Two, the Old Town Kineo and Mad River Explorer, are made of rotomolded polyethylene. The Clipper Tripper S is fiberglass, the Wenonah Kingfisher is made of Kevlar, the Ally 811 is a collapsible folding canoe, and the McFarland Cheemaun is a classic wood-and-canvas design.

I Wanna See the Boats!

Old Town Kineo; Mad River Explorer; Clipper Tripper S
Wenonah Kingfisher; Ally 811; McFarland Lake Cheemaugan

In addition to the brief descriptions that follow, each of the boats was graded on a scale of 1 to 5 for speed, maneuverability, stability, and overall comfort (the general “feel” of the boat). Although the designs and construction materials vary somewhat, “recreation” is a broad category, and different paddlers may have different ideas as to what constitutes the ideal recreational canoe. Therefore, these ratings are not directly comparative but are instead based on how each boat would be perceived by the average canoeist.