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Reviews for Pathfinder Canoe by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 8.58/10 Based On: 24 Reviews

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09-05-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     We had a Old Town Pathfinder 15' Royalex canoe. It was a bit too shallow and tippy for us, but would be a great fishing canoe for one person though.
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04-04-2012
Submitted by: PaulSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Pathfinder in 1981 and have used it well over the years. Two years ago, I replaced the cane seats and yoke with heavy-duty (and thus heavier) ash units from Vermont. That extra four pounds, and my extra 30 years, have made it harder to lug around so I bought a 16 pound Hornbeck. Very different paddling experience but the most serendipitous thing resulted from solo-paddling (front seat facing rear) the Pathfinder with the two-bladed Hornbeck paddle. Much faster than one blade, just as maneuverable and I don't have to rely on my partner's busy schedule anymore for gear-laden trips. Old Town, take notice.
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02-03-2011
Submitted by: AmazonSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We bought the pre-Royalex Pathfinder USED from a canoe outfitter in Ely in 1981 (30 years ago). And it is still one of my favorite canoes in a stable full of 9 canoes and kayaks. It is not fast, nor track straight as an arrow like a good tripping canoe. I like it because it is very comfortable, stable, great for fishing and tough as nails (compared to any fiber composite).

This past summer it was my go-to canoe for a trip to some islands in Lake Superior. It is safe, secure and plenty seaworthy in an ice cold lake.

This is my favorite canoe when I don't have to cover lots of miles quickly. It is a joy to take down twisty rivers and handles nasty weather nicely. The wide flat bottom gives it great initial stability for fly fishing, photography and friends that don't canoe. Don't try to use an electric trolling motor for the same reason, the flat bottom will just get you spinning in circles.

I don't use it for Boundary Waters canoe tripping, but love it for every day use. This is a great canoe to have around the cabin for everyday use, for kids to use, bouncing down a rocky river (not serious rapids) or someone looking for a stable fishing canoe.

Unfortunately the old canoe made Oltonar (sp? - plastic predecessor to Royalex) weighs over 70 pounds, or I would use it even more. On the other hand, it still has at least another 30 years of hard use left in it without any need for repairs. No kevlar canoe could take the abuse this canoe has seen over the past 30+ years and still be floating without patches and a few major repairs.

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12-15-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought my Pathfinder new back in 1993, so I've had 15 years of solid use on which to base my opinion. Have paddled this great canoe both solo and tandem. Have fished from it and used it as a great platform for wildlife photography. It has taken me all over the New Jersey pine barrens, the Adirondacks and into the interior of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. I have paddled it deep in the wilderness and it has performed beautifully on expansive lakes as well as rivers.

The tough Royalex hull is durable and has never been punctured after 15 years sliding over rocks in wild rivers. I have used it in class II whitewater, but that may be the comfortable limit for this versatile craft. On big lakes, its higher profile requires skill to keep it quartered into the wind. For solo paddling it is a little wide (36 inches), but I have learned to live it by hugging one side and not switching too often.

The Pathfinder has exceptional initial stability, and moderate secondary stability, considering it's flat bottom. The 14'10" length coupled with the 820 pound load capacity make it a great solo wilderness tripper. At 57 pounds, it's not tough on the shoulders when portaging.

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08-11-2008
Submitted by: TG HarknessSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had the Pathfinder for 8yrs. I continually take it out on Puget Sound (in protected waters) in the northwest. I have used this canoe for overnighters, hunting, lake fishing, wildlife viewing, setting/retrieving crab pots, and salmon fishing in protected waters. It's true it does not track well in the wind, but when I am out in waves it does well as long as you're not side ways with the waves too long. With this canoe being my first I don't know how I have ever lived without one.
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07-08-2008
Submitted by: Larry FiedlerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my boat 15 years ago from a man who thought it was jinxed. My wife and I have paddled lakes and rivers all over the Alaska road system. I have sank it in Portage River, AK twice. Once it was wrapped around a rock and left till morning, after it was winched out it went right back into shape. I've pulled it behind a 4 wheeler full of decoys through the brush. Last weekend I took my wife and our 2 kids fishing in it on Lake Lois AK and had a great time.
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06-03-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just traveled 350 miles round trip to pick up a used one. Been out on a small lake and a winding creek. Canoe handled very well tandem especially since I'm a beginner. Was able to get into and out of tight areas of a shallow creek and able to track well enough to go across a small lake. At 57 pounds, it's a piece of cake for my wife and I to throw it up on the roof of our minivan. Ours is green and in excellent shape with cane seats that are surprisingly comfortable. All in all I am extremely pleased with this canoe as my hours & hours of research really paid off. If you are looking for a versatile canoe, this is probably as close as you are going to get. Lightweight, good stability, large enough for trips, small enough to solo, wide open or tight places and very nice looking too.
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08-09-2007
Submitted by: whtSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have used this in lakes, rivers, streams and duck sloughs. I have fished from it, duck hunted from it, hauled a kid and a golden along w 80 pounds camping gear, and used a trolling motor on it. Above all, it's lightweight, I can throw it over my head with my frame pack on and do a 200 rod portage without too much problem. It's now paddling through its 23rd year for me. Not too many out there this versatile.
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02-05-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My first canoe. I owned this boat for 3 years. I fished out of it and you can consider doing overnight trips but keep the weight down as you loose manuverability. It is lightweight and durable. Easy to paddle even for one person and tracks pretty well but is also rather agile. I used it with a 50# trolling motor with an aluminum motor mount on the back. Performed pretty well. Decided it was too small to take two anglers our regularly. Traded for an OT Camper.
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08-03-2006
Submitted by: C PSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have been using this canoe for river tripping with my dog.80lbs of black lab. Using it for transportation,while fly fishing for steelhead. I paddle it solo, turned around, so I can use the wt of the dog for trimming out the boat. I paddled a 17 mile section of the Deshutes river in Oregon,last week and only lined the boat around one class three rapid. It scouted,and ran the class one and two rapids ,as long as I stayed out of the big rollers. I am going to make a fitted, partial spray cover for this boat , and take it through the rollers no problem . very stable canoe. It does not track well, but is teaching me to refine my paddleing techniqes to keep it straight. Next I will try some overnight river trips in it.
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01-23-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had a Pathfinder for many years; regularly paddle grade 4 water in it and have run grade 5+ with full buoyancy and thigh braces. Great boat, but being flat it tend to slide off big haystacks into the trough and swamp. I might change it for a 15' Legend if it was still available in the UK, but otherwise I guess it will see me out!
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05-27-2004
Submitted by: CBHSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The royalex pathfinder is very stable and durable. I bought mine used with skid plates allready installed. I dont think it effects the performance much as its a slow canoe anyway. I use it solo. at 57 pounds, I have no trouble getting it on and off my chevy s-10. this canoe can turn on a dime but does not track well in a solo situation. in open water even with the slightest breeze it can be a workout. weight distribution becomes critical.I have not had this canoe out in any type of moving water yet. only lakes. but i cant wait to try, Im sure thats where this canoe would excell.lazy river trips!
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03-01-2004
Submitted by: GFBSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Royalex Pathfinder for nearly 15 years. I use it for fishing, camping trips, some mild whitewater and lake paddling. I've even had it out on the ocean on a very calm day. I can take my wife, daughter and dog on a flat water paddle, and I've soloed it full of camping gear across a whitecapped river. Sure, with that flat bottom it tracks like a drunk, but if you're in a hurry you should be paddling something else. A high quality all-rounder - now if I could only find a kayak that does all this.....
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04-07-2003
Submitted by: W L KellerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I have had our Pathfinder Royalex Canoe for 4 years.During this time we have paddled the Scarborough Marsh ,various small to medium size Maine lakes all with excellent results.We have also been down the Royal River in Yarmouth out to the closer Islands in Casco Bay,out of Portland Harbor , again to the islands of Casco Bay.By proper trim and direction of paddeling we found the wind to be less of a problem then some other revies stated but can understand that point of view.We give it a 10 as it does all it should and a bit more.
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01-03-2003
Submitted by: RBI,Jr
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have paddled my Pathfinder for 5 years throughout the Adirondacks and the Tug Hill plateau. I have been very pleased with it's performance as an ideal all around boat. It handles well as a solo boat and as a boat for my wife and myself with gear for short trips. It does not perform as well on large lakes with strong winds, especially solo.(But of course that's not what it is designed for!) For someone looking for a nice, high quality all around performer, I definitely recommend the Pathfinder.
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07-22-2002
Submitted by: S.RussellSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I chose the Pathfinder after trying several different manufacturers' canoes. I made my final decision on the basis of portage weight and cargo hauling capability always taking in mind the handling chacteristics. The Pathfinder is the supreme touring/camping canoe in my estimation. I would have no problem with purchasing another should it ever be necessary or recommending to a friend. Really a sweet boat.
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04-23-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I think a description is better than a rating in this case. This canoe does much more than I thought it would. I have had it 10 years and used it on lakes for shore fishing, open rivers for float trips and on the South Branch and GreenBrier in WV and Slippery Rock and Casselman in PA. I load it down for 5 days of canoe camping. It is very good in shallow water conditions, moves well enough to keep me out of trouble and dodges rocks too. It is very stable and I can fly fish from it. I am 5'10" 160 lbs and it it a perfect size solo. When I bring the nephew along, I have to cut back on some luxuries (chair, cold beverages, but we still have a great time. On a lake it is not too much fun in a wind and it does not have much glide.
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11-24-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I'm in my second year with the Pathfinder and find that it suits my need for fishing, short camping trips with a lot of gear and wildlife photography. It is ideal for the blackwater swamps and rivers of Eastern North Carolina. Easily handled by one person, very stable and manuverable. It fits my budget and it is can take some rough handling without damage. I highly recommend it for slow and flatwater paddling. Great utility canoe.
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09-18-2000
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I love my Pathfinder. I can manage it solo both on land and onthe water, and yet when I want to bring a friend along, no problem. It is a great small water boat, light enough to be paddled for hours without tiring, manouverable for coves, fast or slow creeks, canals, and all the great places for seeing wildlife up close. I use a long shafted paddle with a long thin rectangular blade. I do not like it as well for big water such as large lakes because the wind quickly becomes a factor in handling (at least when soloing). But I think it is great for float trips, fishing, and wildlife watching.
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05-22-2000
Submitted by: J. MashburnSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     The Pathfinder is a great multi-purpose boat that is very responsive. It is great for weekend getaways, solo daytrips, or exploring. Fairly light weight and easy to handle for the whole family. I have enjoyed mine for over four years.
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03-01-2000
Submitted by: PKSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I was looking for a canoe that will take me on three day river trips through class I whitewater, and this is not the one. It rides low to the water and gets completely swamped in the waves.
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10-06-1999
Submitted by: JEFSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Look, I know it's a little tubby, kind of heavy and kind of slow but it's also a great fishing platform, great on small rocky streams because it's responsive, a nice solo whether on flat or moving water, especially if you've got time. It's very stable and can haul a fair amount of stuff. It also has a rugged lay-up so it will take a good amount of abuse. I think the Pathfinder is a great general rec boat.
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07-21-1999
Submitted by: Jeff CountsSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just returned from a solo camping trip along Lake Superior, the Pictured Rocks area. The canoe was stable in some heavy water in the the big lake. It was also large enough to hold all the camping gear I needed for five-days out. It was stable enough to allow me to use it for fly-fishing at the mouths of rivers in Superior. I'm now planning to take it to Isle Royle National Park in Lake Superior for a week of camping and fishing. It's a sable canoe that holds plenty of gear and is easy to handle.
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03-15-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     An all purpose boat. It is durable and fairly light. Priced well as are most Old Town products. Can be paddled solo from reversed bow position. Tends to be blown in stiff breezes. Remember when dealing with an all purpose type of boat, it will not do all things well,but this is a stable family canoe that can be used on lake or slow moving stream, has a relatively good capacity so camping with it is not out of the question. It is not the prettiest boat of the lot, but it is serviceable for many things.
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