In recent years, the world of canoeing has seen a significant shift. With the rise of urban living and the challenges of storage and transport, the folding canoe has emerged as a game-changer. As we sail through 2023, the demand for these innovative canoes has skyrocketed. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a newbie, this guide will help you navigate the waters of choosing the best folding canoe for your adventures.

Best Versatility

PakCanoe 160

Two canoes on a white background.

The PakCanoe 160 stands out as the best in versatility, effortlessly adapting to both solo and duo paddling adventures across varied terrains.

Best Explorer

Ally 16.5

A green canoe with two seats and a paddle.

Seeking to conquer challenging waters? The Ally 16.5 is the top choice for rugged expeditions, ensuring durability and performance even in the harshest conditions.

Best Lightweight

MyCanoe Solo 2

A kayak with the words solo 2 on it.

Weighing in as the best lightweight solo option, the MyCanoe Solo 2 offers solo paddlers an agile and efficient canoeing experience without the bulk.

Best Duo Choice

MyCanoe Duo

A white kayak with the word duo on it.

For those who cherish shared adventures, the MyCanoe Folding Duo is the top pick for duo paddlers, combining space and performance in a foldable design.

Best Handcrafted

York Classic Canoe

A red canoe with the words york canoe.

Embodying craftsmanship and tradition, the York Classic Canoe is celebrated as the best-handcrafted design, merging aesthetics with top-tier functionality.

Why Choose a Folding Canoe?

The allure of the open water, the tranquility of a quiet lake, or the thrill of navigating a challenging river – these are experiences that many outdoor enthusiasts crave. However, traditional canoes, while offering a range of benefits, come with their own set of challenges, especially when it comes to transport and storage. Enter the folding canoe!

Key Advantages:

  • Portability: Foldable canoes are lightweight and can be easily transported from one place to another. They can fit in small cars and can even be checked as luggage on an airplane, making them an excellent option for travelers who want to explore new waterways.
  • Space-saving: One of the most significant advantages of a foldable canoe, in my opinion, is that it can be easily stored in small spaces, such as a closet or a car trunk. This makes it an ideal option for people who live in apartments or have limited storage space.
  • Convenience: No need for specialized equipment or racks to transport.
  • Durability: Most foldable canoes are made of high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and rough waters.

Potential Cons: 

  • Less stability: Foldable canoes are slightly less stable than standard canoe models, which can be a significant problem for paddlers who are not experienced or confident in their skills.
  • Assembly time: Folding and unfolding a canoe can take some time, which can be frustrating for some users. It’s important to practice assembling and disassembling the canoe before heading out on the water to avoid any issues.
  • Cost: Foldable canoes can be more expensive than traditional canoes due to their unique design and materials. However, they are often worth the investment for those who value portability and easy storage.

Best Folding Canoes Reviewed

Navigating the vast world of canoeing can be overwhelming, with so many brands and models to consider. While this article may not encompass every option out there, we’ve meticulously researched and curated a list of standout choices. We believe this review offers a comprehensive insight into some of the best foldable canoes suited for your adventures. Use this guide as a starting point to streamline your decision-making process. Happy paddling!

PakCanoe Series

PakCanoe has been a trusted name in the world of folding canoes since its inception in 1995. Over the years, they have consistently delivered on their promise of durability, performance, and innovative design.

Key Features:

  • Durability: Reinforced with heavy-duty materials to withstand challenging terrains.
  • Performance: Designed to glide smoothly over both calm waters and challenging whitewater.
  • Design: Unique interlocking system for easy assembly and disassembly.

Models Overview:

  • PakCanoe 150: A solo paddler’s dream, this canoe is agile enough for Class III whitewater adventures.
  • PakCanoe 150T: A wider version of the 150, offering enhanced stability for those who prioritize balance.
  • PakCanoe 160: Perfect for a duo, this canoe is spacious enough for a three-week expedition.
  • PakCanoe 165: A longer and narrower variant, suitable for solo or duo expeditions with ample gear.
  • PakCanoe 170: The behemoth of the series, designed for long expeditions with a large carrying capacity.

1. The PakCanoe 160

Best Versatility
Two canoes on a white background.

PakCanoe 160

  • Length: 16′
  • Width: 37”
  • Depth: 14”
  • Weight: 53 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 760 lbs
  • Packed Size: 35″ x 18″ x 15″

In the diverse world of canoeing, the PakCanoe 160 stands out as a top-tier choice. After thorough research and testing, it’s clear why this model is a favorite among paddlers. Combining durability, performance, and portability, the PakCanoe 160 is ideal for both beginners and seasoned paddlers. Whether it’s a tranquil lake day or a challenging 2 or 3-week river expedition, this canoe ensures a memorable experience.

The PakCanoe 160’s design emphasizes compactness without compromising on space. Crafted from a robust synthetic canvas with a high-abrasion-resistance PVC coating, its structure is reinforced by an interlocking aluminum skeleton and inflatable air pockets for added rigidity. Expect assembly to take around 45 minutes.

On the water, it promises stability and maneuverability. Its design allows for efficient packing, accommodating weeks’ worth of gear. Adjustable seats and foam kneepads enhance comfort. While it’s perfect for short trips, the PakCanoe 160 is also built for extended adventures, even those tacking remote journeys, with its flexible hull navigating waves to keep you dry.

For those paddling solo, the PakCanoe 150 is a recommended alternative, tailored for individual adventures. However, the versatility of the PakCanoe 160 allows for both solo and duo paddling, with extra storage for solo adventurers taking longer excursions, making it a standout and our top choice of folding canoe.

Ally Canoes by Bergans of Norway Series

Ally Canoes, imported to the U.S. by Bergans of Norway, are renowned for their unmatched convenience without compromising on performance. These canoes have been trusted by world-class athletes on challenging expeditions and are also favored by weekend paddlers for their portability and performance.

Key Features:

  • Durability: Constructed with heavy-duty materials to endure rigorous conditions.
  • Performance: Engineered for smooth navigation in both calm waters and challenging whitewater.
  • Design: Unique aluminum frame and PVC-coated fabric design for easy assembly and disassembly.

Models Overview:

  • Ally 16.5′ Foldable Canoe: This model is the go-to choice for those requiring a large carrying capacity of 835 lbs. It’s designed for optimum performance in diverse conditions, from family outings to technical river adventures.
  • Other Models: Ally Canoes offers a range of models, including 15’, 16.5’, 17′, and 18’. Each model is crafted with the same construction and portability features, making them revolutionary in the folding canoe market.

2. Ally 16.5′ Foldable Canoe

Best for Rugged Expeditions
A green canoe with two seats and a paddle.

Ally 16.5′ Foldable Canoe

  • Length: 16.5′
  • Width: 37.5″
  • Depth: 14″
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 835 lbs
  • Packed Size: 42″ x 24″ x 18″

The Ally 16.5′ Folding Canoe stands out for its large carrying capacity and exceptional performance in all water conditions. It’s lightweight yet offers stability in still waters, rivers, and even heavy whitewater. The canoe is constructed with an aluminum frame, dual-density closed-cell foam mat, and a durable PVC outer fabric. This combination not only absorbs shocks and impacts but also ensures the canoe is versatile and easy to paddle.

The collapsible design of the Ally 16.5′ makes it convenient to carry and store. Its length, combined with a width of 37.5 inches, ensures ample space for gear and passengers. Whether you’re planning a day out with the family or gearing up for a technical river adventure, this canoe is up to the task.

The materials used in constructing Ally Canoes are of the highest quality. The Norwegian-made 6082-T6 aluminum tubing forms the canoe’s backbone, providing strength, rigidity, and the necessary flexibility. The skin of the canoe is made of a lightweight yet robust PVC-coated woven fabric, ensuring durability and resilience.

Assembly of Ally Canoes is straightforward, with the first-time setup taking anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. All that’s required is the rubber mallet supplied with the canoe. The various hull shapes available cater to different paddling needs, from open-water cruising to white-water adventures.

MyCanoe Series

MyCanoe has revolutionized the canoeing experience with its origami-inspired design. These folding canoes are not only compact and easy to transport but also offer durability and performance on par with traditional canoes.

Key Features:

  • Durability: Crafted from premium materials, MyCanoe is built to withstand the elements and deliver exceptional maneuverability.
  • Performance: Despite its lightweight design, MyCanoe offers stability and is suitable for both calm waters and Class II rapids.
  • Design: The unique origami-style design allows for quick assembly in just five minutes, making it ideal for spontaneous adventures.

Models Overview:

  • MyCanoe Solo 2: This model is designed for the solo paddler. It’s lightweight, weighing only 19 lbs (8.5 kg), and can hold up to 300 lbs (136 kg). It’s perfect for those who want a quick and easy setup without compromising on performance.
  • MyCanoe Duo: Accommodates two paddlers and their gear, with a weight capacity of up to 520 lbs (235 kg). It’s designed for versatility, suitable for both calm waters and challenging whitewater conditions.

3. MyCanoe Solo 2

Best Lightweight Solo Option
A kayak with the words solo 2 on it.

MyCanoe Solo 2

  • Length: 9.5′
  • Width: 31″
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Packed Size: 43″ x 11″ x 18″

In the ever-evolving landscape of canoeing, the MyCanoe Solo 2 emerges as a noteworthy contender. After meticulous evaluation and hands-on experience, it’s evident that this model has carved a niche for itself among canoe enthusiasts. Marrying a lightweight design with space-saving features, the MyCanoe Solo 2 is a boon for both novices and experienced paddlers. Whether you’re planning a peaceful day on a serene lake or gearing up for a weekend adventure, this canoe promises an unparalleled experience.

The MyCanoe Solo 2 is a testament to modern engineering, prioritizing portability without skimping on space. Made from a durable marine-grade polypropylene material, it boasts a design that’s both lightweight and sturdy. The canoe’s origami-inspired structure ensures ease of assembly, typically taking under 10 minutes, making it one of the quickest setups in the market.

On the water, the MyCanoe Solo 2 offers a blend of stability and agility. Its design is optimized for space, allowing paddlers to carry essential gear without feeling cramped. The canoe’s lightweight nature doesn’t just make it easy to transport; it also ensures a smooth paddling experience.

The MyCanoe Solo 2 is an affordable and easily assembled option, making it an excellent choice for day trips. However, it might not cater to everyone’s needs. For those seeking extended adventures or requiring more storage space, other models might be more appropriate. For solo paddlers prioritizing a lightweight, space-saving, and affordable canoe, the MyCanoe Solo 2 is hard to beat, making it a top pick in its category.

Get everything you need with this Solo 2 Adventure Set!

4. MyCanoe Folding Duo

Top Pick for Duo Paddlers
A white kayak with the word duo on it.

MyCanoe Folding Duo

  • Length: 14.5′
  • Width: 35″
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 520 lbs
  • Packed Size: 36″ x 27″ x 10″

If you like to travel with a companion or are looking for more space, The MyCanoe Duo is crafted for two paddlers and their gear, boasting a weight capacity of up to 520 lbs (235 kg). It’s designed for versatility, suitable for both calm waters and an adventurous weekend on winding rivers. This canoe delivers an experience to remember.

The MyCanoe Folding Duo is a masterclass in innovative design, focusing on space efficiency without sacrificing utility. Constructed from a resilient marine-grade polypropylene material, it offers a balance of lightness and strength. The canoe’s ingenious foldable design ensures a hassle-free assembly, typically completed in just 15 minutes, making it one of the most user-friendly models available.

Crafted with premium materials, they are built to withstand the elements and deliver exceptional maneuverability. The unique origami-style design not only ensures compactness and easy transport but also guarantees resilience and durability. Whether you’re planning a day out on a calm lake, gearing up for a challenging river adventure, or anything in between, the MyCanoe Series is up to the task, ensuring a seamless blend of convenience and performance.

Bundle and save with this Duo Adventure Set!

Long Haul Canoes Series

Long Haul Canoes, handcrafted in Cedaredge, Colorado, are celebrated for their meticulous design and unparalleled performance. These canoes are the epitome of craftsmanship, ensuring that paddlers, whether beginners or seasoned experts have a memorable experience on the water.

Key Features:

  1. Durability: Made with top-tier materials, ensuring longevity even in the most challenging conditions.
  2. Performance: Precision-engineered for seamless navigation across both tranquil lakes and turbulent rivers.
  3. Design: Crafted with an emphasis on aesthetics and functionality, ensuring easy assembly and disassembly.

Models Overview:

  • York Classic Canoe: This model is the quintessential choice for those seeking a blend of performance and capacity. It’s versatile, suitable for both serene lakes and challenging river rapids.
  • York Commando Canoe: A variant of the Classic, this model comes with additional features, making it a favorite among seasoned paddlers.
  • Other Models: Long Haul Canoes boasts a diverse range of models, each tailored to cater to specific paddling needs and environments.

5. York Classic Canoe

Best Handcrafted Design
A red canoe with the words york canoe.

York Classic Canoe

  • Length: 17′
  • Width: 35.5″
  • Weight: 89 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 900 lbs

The York Classic Canoe by Long Haul Canoes is a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality and performance. Lightweight yet robust, this canoe offers unparalleled stability, ensuring a safe and enjoyable paddling experience. Constructed with a blend of modern materials and traditional craftsmanship, the York Classic is versatile, catering to both leisurely lake outings and adrenaline-pumping river adventures.

The collapsible design of the York Classic makes it a breeze to transport and store. Its dimensions ensure ample space for gear, provisions, and passengers. Whether you’re embarking on a tranquil fishing trip or navigating challenging rapids, this canoe won’t disappoint.

Long Haul Canoes’ legacy is rooted in its unwavering commitment to quality. Each canoe is a masterpiece, handcrafted with precision and passion. The materials used are handpicked, ensuring durability and performance. The brand’s emphasis on innovation, coupled with its respect for traditional canoe-making techniques, makes it a favorite among paddling enthusiasts.

How to Choose the Right Folding Canoe

Selecting the perfect folding canoe is not just about the brand or the design; it’s about understanding your needs and ensuring the canoe aligns with them. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Size: Both when folded and when assembled. Ensure it fits your storage space and meets your on-water needs. Luckily these foldable canoe options are all meant to store in small spaces, travel in small trunks, or get checked with your luggage.
  • Weight: A lighter canoe is easier to transport but might compromise on stability. If you often travel alone, consider weight and ease of construction. If you have a canoeing companion, this might not be as important.
  • Capacity: Determine the number of people and the amount of gear it can accommodate. Are you a solo traveler or someone who likes to travel with a partner? Also, consider your longest trip and how much you need to pack. Check out our ultimate guide on How To Pack A Canoe for Camping.
  • Type of Hull: Flat hulls offer more stability, while rounded hulls are more agile.
  • Materials and Durability: Look for canoes made of corrosion-resistant materials, especially if you’ll be in salt water.
  • Ease of Assembly: Some canoes can be set up in 10 minutes, while others might take 45 minutes or longer. Are you taking day trips or planning on longer excursions? This might be a factor into your decision!
  • Price: Set a budget and try to find the best canoe within that range. Remember, the most expensive isn’t always the best for your needs.


With proper care, a folding canoe can last for many years. Materials like marine-grade polypropylene offer a lifespan of over a decade.

Absolutely! Many folding canoes are designed with stability in mind, suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

While hard canoes might offer slightly better performance in some areas, foldable canoes win in terms of portability and storage convenience.

Store in a cool, dry place. If possible, keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent UV damage.


The world of folding canoes is vast and varied. Whether you’re looking for a solo adventure with the PakCanoe 150 or a duo expedition with the MyCanoe Duo, there’s something out there for everyone. Remember to consider your individual needs, do thorough research, and, most importantly, enjoy the serene beauty that canoeing brings. Happy paddling!