Best Solo Canoes In 2023 – A Complete Buying Guide

Solo paddling is great when you want to spend some time alone, or your partner isn’t available to go with you.

It is a great thing to do to spend some quality time in the water. With a solo canoe, you can travel light and fast. 

But you have to choose a Canoe which will be perfect for you. We spend hours researching to find the best solo canoe, which will be perfect for a solo trip.

 In this buying guide, I’ve gathered different types of solo canoes. You can choose one based on your needs.

First Look

Best Overall:Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe at Amazon

“Old Town Discovery 119 solo canoe is our winner.”

Best for Professional: Old Town Next Canoe at Amazon

“Great for professional use.

Best Wooden Canoe: Wooden Canoe, 18-Feet, Real Canoe at Amazon

“Excellent Wooden canoe for solo canoeing.”

Types of Solo Canoe

Canoes are specially designed to meet certain demands. Not all canoes you can use in every condition. So, you need to know in which condition you will go to paddle. I’ve described briefly different types of solo canoes here.

Recreational Solo Canoes

Recreational solo canoes are designed for beginners. They are cheap and easily controllable in the water. They are designed for paddling in the calm water, lake, or pond. This type of canoe is good for you if you are not adventurous and don’t want to go in the challenging water.

Sporting Solo Canoes

Sporting canoes will be the right choice If you want to participate in canoe sports. They are narrow, lightweight, and very fast. This type of solo canoes offers stability and versatility in the rough water. Sporting canoes can be rowed and paddled.

Expedition Solo Canoes

If you are planning to go on a canoe expedition and want to spend a couple of days, then expedition canoe is for you. It is designed to carry your supplies in your canoe without any problem. You can smoothly navigate more rough water conditions even in the whitewater. They have unique features that are essential for a successful canoe expedition.

Wilderness Tripping Solo Canoes

It is used for an expedition into the wilderness. They are quite stable, long and very efficient in the water. These canoes are the right choice for an experienced paddler. You can paddle in the clanging water more efficiently and smoothly.

River Tripping Solo Canoes

This canoe is specially made for river tripping. River tripping canoes are usually lighter than most solo canoes. The distinguishable feature of this type of canoe is the bottom of this canoe is flat.

Whitewater Solo Canoes

Kayak is best known for whitewater paddling, but there are some canoes that you can use in whitewater. You can also use these canoes for outdoor activities and other challenging expeditions.

Solo Canoe Buying Guide

Before you buy a solo canoe, you should read this section carefully. In this section, I’ve talked about what you need to know before selecting a canoe for you.


You need to buy a canoe, which is comfortable for you. Make sure seats are comfortable enough to sit. It will help you to paddle for a long time without having back pain. You should check if you fit comfortably in the canoe. Check how much effort you need to put when you paddle. If it is tough to paddle, then you should avoid that one.


Price is an important thing to check before you buy yourself a canoe. Cheap canoe doesn’t provide quality features. You will find paddling very hard. After a few hours, you will be exhausted. It doesn’t mean you need to buy an expensive high-end canoe. Buy a canoe with features you need on your budget range.


Check what type of material is used for the canoe you are choosing. Usually, a lightweight canoe is easy to carry and paddle on the water. For recreational purposes, you can choose plastic or poly canoe. If you want to go in the rough water, an aluminum canoe is the best option. You can also choose a wooden canoe, but it’s more expensive than the others.


Usually, a longer canoe tends to move faster than the shorter ones. You will also get more space in the longer canoe for your travel gear or foods. But if you are going solo, choose the shorter canoe. Shorter canoes are lightweight, and you can move easily.

Straight Vs Bent Canoes

The straight canoe is a universal paddle. You can use it on both flat water and river.

 It is easy to maneuver your canoe around rough water. You can paddle from both sides of you. If you are not a beginner and you know the techniques and can move your canoe on the water, you can go for a straight paddle.

And If you are, then a bent canoe is the best option for you. You don’t need to paddle harder. You can go quicker with this type of paddle. It is the best option if you are not on the technical river or tough water. You can also purchase this canoe if you are going on a trip to a lake rather than in the sea. You can not easily paddle from both sides of your canoe, and also you will find it challenging to maneuver your canoe in the tight water.


Width is measured at the widest part of your canoe. It is also known as a beam. The wider the canoe, the easier to handle. Wider model is best for new paddlers. On the other hand, the narrower the canoe, the faster your canoe will be. It is also tough to maneuver. A narrower canoe is for fast water and sports.


Depth determines how fast and stable your canoe will be. Short depth canoe is very fast but hard to control on the water. On the other hand, long depth canoes are easy to control and large carrying space. If you are planning for a short tour or you will paddle on the tight water then a short depth canoe is for you. If not, you can choose a longer depth canoe.

Canoe Features Worth Considering

There are some features you need to consider before you buy a solo canoe. There are lots of features available, but you need to know which features you will need. I’ve briefly discussed some features you will see in a canoe.


Your safety is very important. Check if there are any safety options available. Remember, You will paddle alone if you are buying a solo canoe. No one wants to find themselves on a wild river without proper safety options. If you are a beginner, It will be a wise decision to go out with a group.


A lightweight canoe is easy to transport and best for whitewater. You can carry your canoe a long distance. Though, If you are going to paddle on a river, It isn’t a good option. On the other hand, weightier canoes are better to paddle on a lake or river. Also, weighted canoes are built with high-end materials.


Versatile is an excellent option to have. You can use your versatile canoe in a different condition or different purpose. Some canoes have a removable seat option, which is very useful sometimes. Meaning you can use it with your friend and also you can paddle it alone. You may consider an all-rounder type of canoe.


If you can customize your canoe as your requirements, then you can enjoy your canoe ride more efficiently. For this, you should look for customizable features. You can change your sitting position and more yolks. Some canoes have more customizable features than others.


It’s not only how fast you can reach your destination from your starting point but also how far you can go after every stroke. It’s very important if you are going out for a couple of day’s tour. Speed is dependent on many factors, such as width, depth, height, and weight. How fast you can change your direction is also very important to know. Usually, narrower and longer canoes move faster on the water.


If you have your camping gear or fishing gear with you, you will need space to keep those gears. You will also need space to keep your food if you are going out for days. Some solo canoes have enough space for extra 1-2 people.


If you are on rapid water, you will want to maneuver easily. For this, you will need a canoe that you can maneuver very easily.


Stability is important if you want to paddle on the technical water. The rounded bottom is less stable, and flat bottom canoes are more stable.

The Bottom

Rounded bottom canoes are much ideal for the quick turn. Though, you will feel this rounded bottom type canoe less stable. Not very suitable for entry-level paddlers.


There are two types of canoes you will see most of the time: solid and inflatable. Solid model canoes can go right into the water and inflatable model canoes you need to pump to blow up before you take it into the water. Solid model canoes are made with different types of material to enhance its performance.

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