Submitted: 03-11-2010 by Wookford
Ditto. I decided on this boat because of the reviews here and the kind of creeks and rivers here. I can paddle in half-a-blade depths. I am a beginner and find it to be rather forgiving compared to the Guide 147, which I tried first.
I knew that as a newbie, I would abuse any boat. So, I was looking for low cost. This is the lowest new boat price around. I bought mine through the outfitting co-op to which I belong at Old Town's MSRP. I missed the holiday sale, but get a dividend and don't feel bad about paying full price because instead I'm out in the creek.
For reference, I'm 6' and heavy at 265, 10.5 shoe. I fit just fine kneeling or sitting, though find sitting on bench less stable. Able to paddle upstream in rain-swollen current with 230 cm double-bladed paddle. Shorter is better in these shallow, rocky creeks of north Texas. Also carry a 54 inch aluminum and plastic single, likewise built for abuse. The double breaks down and tucks into the seat and I use the single against the inside as a grip handle so that all the weight is not resting on my shoulder; comfy.
The little creek near home is extremely rocky and shallow with many obstructions like fallen trees. The little Pack turns easily in the current even for ignorant fools like me.
I give it a 10 because it's exactly what I wanted: low-cost, lightweight, tough. The royalex hull flexes over rocky creekbeds. It dents and scuffs but hasn't gotten gouged in my first few attempts.
If you are a beginner, expect to get wet while you learn. I expected that would be the case with any boat. Expect portages with any boat. At 33 lbs. you might mind them very much, and when you're done for the day you still will have strength to flip up onto the roof rack. I was on the fence between the Pack and the dealer-recommended, more-expensive Wenonahs. Fell off on the Pack side and so far no regrets...