After contemplating many different canoes, I decided on the PakCanoe 170 and have been very happy with it. So far I have taken it on several day trips, 2 weekend trips and a week long expedition in Maine. The canoe can easily haul 2 adults and several weeks worth of gear and supplies.
I had been using a friends kevlar canoe, and the PakCanoe is considerably slower, but seems much more stable in rough water. I purchased the heavy-duty spray cover and was able to easily head out in conditions that would have left me sitting on the shoreline waiting for the swells to subside if using the kevlar. It is well constructed, after being dragged on the rocks for a distance in low water it showed absolutely no damage.
I did have some issues with the seats popping loose, but that was more to my "who needs the assembly instructions" mentality. Once I figured out the correct way to secure the seats and using some zip-ties, I have had no further issues. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes to assemble, and less than 15 minutes to pack it up. The canoe will easily fit in a car trunk or closet, and the bag is well constructed, though it doesn't close unless you lace it with some of your own rope (like an old fashioned military duffle bag).
Be prepared for lots of questions whenever you are assembling or packing up, however. Something about the process seems to draw the curious like moths to a flame!My wife and I have paddled our 10 year old 17 ft Pakcanoe on many Alaska rivers. The trips were all three to five weeks long, for a total of 5 or 6 thousand miles.
The boat is everything you would want in a wilderness canoe. It easily carries five weeks of food and gear. Is extremely dry (we do use a spray cover) as the bow floats over waves rather than through waves. Extremely maneuverable. We used to use an old Town Tripper and the pakcanoe handles as well as or better and is a much dryer boat.
The boat is light about 52 lbs. The boat slides over rocks much better than ABS and does not abraid as much. The skin is easy to patch, we have developed pin hole leaks in the bottom from sharp rocks especially when we had to drag the boat down the Anniuk river for 60 KM because of low water conditions. But the boat is so easy to patch it is no big deal.
We have had to replace one rib, but we did not even know that it was broken until the end of the trip when we took the boat apart to mail home.
On all our trips we have mailed our boat to the float plane base/or outfitter, and at the end of the trip we mailed it back home. The boat fits inside the plane rather than on the floats. This has saved us thousands of dollars in float plane fees, excess baggage charges and rental fees.
I can't say enough about the boat!I paddled a Pakboat on the Bloodvein River earlier this year and I loved it.
Despite initial reservations, I soon felt at home in the boat. It held a lot of baggage as well as two people, tracked well and maintained a good speed with little effort. Initial and secondary stability are good with little wobble or flexing being noticed fully laden or empty. On moving water it proved to be a stable, predictable and nimble craft that stayed dry even when one of our group made a complete cockup on one of the rapids!
The robust rubber lining on the underside coped well with a lot of abrasion even though we could feel everything through our knees! The alloy frame was a little difficult to build and the clips were reinforced with cable ties during the trip.
My wife and I have used our 17 foot Pakboat on nine, month long expeditions in Alaska, Yukon and NWT. The boat is amazingly dry, stable and maneuverable and very light (50 lbs.) We like the boat better than our 17 foot Old Town Tripper that we used for our other 16 expeditions.
Overall I would recommend these boats to anyone.
The boat can easily carry five or six weeks of gear and food.
The skin is easy and quick to patch. The only damage to the skin during the nine years, are pin hole size holes/abrasions due to dragging the boat through shallow rapids that had very sharp rocks. The skin does not tear.
The best thing about to boat is that it can be mailed to the float plane base, or can be carried on commercial planes as excess baggage.If you have a need for a folding canoe, look no further than PakCanoes. I've owned many folding kayaks (mostly Feathercrafts) and the PakCanoe fills the same niche (expedition boat that collapses and can be checked as luggage). The PakCanoe 170 is a 17' expedition folding canoe, weighs 53 lbs and has a >900 lb capacity and takes 20-30 minutes to assemble. The PakCanoe 170 packs into one large duffle bag that can be checked as airline luggage (often without overweight charges).
It's a nice driving and security benefit to put your boat in the trunk instead of on the roof rack. The frame uses shock-corded thick aluminum poles for the longitudinal pieces, with aluminum U shaped cross pieces and thwarts. The skin is a tough PVC fabric for the hull bonded to a closed cell foam for the canoe floor. Inflatable sponsons are used to tension the skin and provide increased buoyancy.
The PakCanoe handles very well and it flexes in whitwater which actually creates a drier ride since you're going over the waves instead of slicing through. We have plenty of room and feel secure enough to take our 12 month old daughter on a number of 3-5 day trips. PakBoats is located in New Hampshire and they're very helpful, I think they even offer a 30 day money back guarantee. We love this boat!!!