There are 5 sizes of PakCanoes that run the gamut from flatwater to whitewater, solo to tandem and family fun to expedition ready. These high quality folding canoes have stood the test of time and are considered the best on the market.
If the far north is still in your blood, I think you’ll be happiest with a 17′ Pakboat” … Cliff Jacobson, author of ‘Canoeing Wild Rivers’
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The first PakCanoes were made in 1995. Since then, they have been continuously refined into the rugged wilderness craft they are today. PakCanoes draw on over 30 years of experience with folding canoes in demanding wilderness settings. In designing the PakCanoe our goal was to make a canoe that would be superior in safety, performance, convenience, and aesthetics. We think you will agree that we have been successful. The basic design of PakCanoes remains virtually unchanged since we made the first ones in 1995, but many details have been improved to adapt PakCanoes to demanding wilderness expeditions. Not all PakCanoes go on expeditions, but all PakCanoe models are sometimes used that way, so we build all PakCanoes to expedition specifications. Our customers like to know that their canoes are built to take adventures – and occasional misadventures – in stride for years to come.
PakCanoe hulls are formed by a reinforced PVC skin held under tension by an interlocking framework of tubular aluminum. Seat positions adjust to trim the canoe. Because of their skin-on-frame construction, PakCanoes flex and work with the waves in a way that hardshell canoes can’t. The bow will rise and climb over waves instead of crashing into them and taking on water. This lets PakCanoes run much drier than traditional canoes in storms and whitewater. The canoe will absorb severe impact and usually slide over or by rocks with no damage where fiberglass, kevlar, or aluminum canoes crack or get hung up. In this respect, the PakCanoe behaves much like ABS boats weighing 20 – 30 lbs more.
Because of their skin-on-frame construction, PakCanoes flex and work with the waves in a way that hardshell canoes can’t. The bow will rise and climb over waves instead of crashing into them and taking on water. This lets PakCanoes run much drier than traditional canoes in storms and whitewater.
Disassembled the PakCanoe stores in a 35″x 18″x 14″ bag, small enough to fit in even the smallest car or closet.
Unique “Dual Shape” feature
The 15, and 16.5 foot PakCanoes have the option of two alternative hull shapes. You can have a wide, relatively flat bottom canoe with excellent stability for family use or fishing. By replacing 5 cross ribs in the PakCanoe 150T you turn it into a deeper and narrower backcountry/whitewater solo canoe. Note: PakCanoe 150T is a wide and stable sport canoe. 150, and 165 are deeper and narrower backcountry canoes with great whitewater performance (a 150 was used to run the Grand Canyon). If you’d like both options, a conversion kit containing the needed cross ribs is available.
1) Canoe Skin
PakCanoe skins are made of a heavy-duty synthetic fabric coated with high-abrasion-resistance PVC. Under each frame rod is welded a heavy-duty wear strip to further enhance abrasion resistance. Thinner reinforcement strips are welded over the gunwales. At each cross rib position a reinforcement patch is welded on the inside of the gunwale channel. At each end of PakCanoe skins a stainless steel D-ring is factory installed half way up the stem to provide an anchor point for ropes. The low placement of the D-rings improves stability during lining in challenging rapids.
2) Closed Cell Foam Pad
A foam pad covering the bottom under the frame eliminates pressure points where the skin would rest directly against the frame, and the effect is a great improvement in abrasion resistance. This medium density polyethylene foam is 1/4″ thick and is attached to the canoe skin with a strap at each end to hold it in position. When the canoe is packed, the foam is rolled up with the skin.
Most of the frame parts are made of 5/8″ diameter medium-strength aluminum tubing (really high strength grades are too brittle). Shock corded sections fit together to form all longitudinal rods, and parts are color coded for easy assembly. To minimize the potential for rod connections “freezing” (corroding so they can’t be separated), we have built in a little extra space in the joints. The joints feel a little loose, but this has no effect on performance, and it it is likely to save you some problems. Shock cords are terminated at each end in a way that makes replacement easy if that should be needed.
Cross ribs and stems are bent to shape and have plastic hardware installed with pop rivets. The plastic clips interlock, and in some cases lock to each other. Lockable clips grab the gunwales securely, and latch clips on two longitudinal rods connect to the ribs on the bottom.
The stems are the most vulnerable parts of the frame. From 2011 the stems are made of 3/4″ diameter aluminum that the keel fits inside of. The new larger dimension resists damage much better than the 5/8″ did. Because stems are most often replaced, spare stems are adjustable to fit every PakCanoe we have ever built.
4) Air Tubes
Air sponsons between the skin and the frame greatly facilitate assembly. The frame is easily assembled with minimal tension in the skin. As the air sponsons are inflated they tension the skin and provide rigidity to the hull. Under way, the sponsons act as built-in fenders to protect the PakCanoe sides from damage.
Placement of air sponsons along the sides improves safety by reducing the amount of water in the canoe after a capsize and stabilizing it once it has taken on water. Each sponson has 3 air chambers so a puncture will not affect the canoe’s performance.
5) PakCanoe Seats
PakCanoe seats are similar to seats found in most rigid canoes, except that PakCanoe seats can be installed at several heights, and they are adjustable fore-and-aft.
Other versions of PakCanoe seats are adjustable to support sitting or kneeling positions. The change can be performed with one hand in 5 seconds – in or out of the boat. To trim the canoe, the seats can be moved to several alternative locations.
The efficient yet compact double action pump attaches to the valves and makes inflation easy. You can also inflate the tubes by mouth.
7) Repair Kit
A PakCanoe repair kit includes repair material for canoe bottom and sides as well as easy-to-use contact adhesive.
8) Storage Bag (35″x18″x14″)
The storage bag is made of heavy duty polyurethane coated fabric and closes like a sailor’s duffelbag. The bag’s bottom is padded with a foam pad to protect the rods’ shock cords.
|Model||Beam||Depth||Weight||Length||Capacity||Packed Bag Size|
|PakCanoe 150||33″/84 cm||14″/36 cm||45 lbs/20.5 kg||15’/460 cm||650 lbs/295 kg||35 in x 18 in x 14 in|
|PakCanoe 150T||35″/89 cm||13″/33 cm||48 lbs/21.8 kg||15’/460 cm||650 lbs/295 kg||35 in x 18 in x 14 in|
|PakCanoe 160||37″/94 cm||14″/36 cm||53 lbs/24.1 kg||16’/490 cm||760 lbs/345 kg||35 in x 18 in x 14 in|
|PakCanoe 165||33″/84 cm||14″/36 cm||54 lbs/24.5 kg||16.5’/505 cm||830 lbs/375 kg||35 in x 18 in x 14 in|
|PakCanoe 170||38″/96 cm||14″/36 cm||56 lbs/25.5 kg||17’/520 cm||910 lbs/415 kg||35 in x 18 in x 14 in|
PakCanoe 150 is best if you like to paddle solo but want to have capacity for two people and camping gear for a week. It has good speed and tracks well on flatwater, yet performs well on Class III whitewater.
PakCanoe 150T is identical to the 150 with the exception of 5 cross ribs that add 3″ of beam. The 150T is a stable canoe for family use, fishing, and up to a week of backcountry camping. Like the 150, the 150T is excellent on whitewater.
PakCanoe 160 is the best all-round canoe. With a length of 16 ft. (4.90 m), it has enough space for two people and load capacity to carry equipment for a two- or three-week expedition. On the other hand, it is also ideal for a leisurely day trip on a lake. The boat is available in red or green, each with a black bottom. The 160 can be trimmed by positioning the load as required to perform well on both lakes and whitewater rivers. It is a good family canoe, easily holding two adults and a child. Its solid stability is great for both expeditions and families. The 160 can be outfitted with an (optional) spray cover. A center seat is also available.
PakCanoe 165 as a length of 16.5 ft (5.05 m) and is narrower than the 160 and 170. The boat can be paddled by one or two people and has enough cargo capacity to carry two people and equipment for a two or more week expedition. Due to the narrower design of the 165 in the standard version is comfortable for solo paddling. Like the 150, the 165 can be made wider to add stability by installing a conversion kit which is sometimes desirable for family use. This way, you have two boats in one. By using the Conversion Kit, you can change the width from 33” (84 cm) to 35” (89 cm) and the sideboard height from 13” (36 cm) to 14” (34 cm) on the 165. For solo and expedition use, the standard version is the better choice. If you paddle a lot for two, you can use the conversion kit. For solo paddlers who want to sit in the middle, a bow can be moved to the center. An optional spray cover (soft top) is also available for the boat.
PakCanoe 170 is the wilderness work horse. It can carry two paddlers with gear for a month or more. With a length of 17 ft. (5.20 m) and a payload of up to 910 lbs. (415 kg), it is ideally suited for use on long and demanding expeditions. As a family canoe, it can hold parents with several kids and gear. With its large “foot print” the 170 offers the best alternative for shallow water. Luggage can be distributed well because of the size of the 170, and the 38” (96 cm) beam offers very high stability. The boat comes standard with two bench seats. If required, additional seats can be installed. A spray cover is available. The 170 is available in red or green, each with a black bottom.
Important Features for Expeditions
PakCanoes can often be found on the most remote rivers in northern Canada or Alaska, and it is gratifying that so many expedition paddlers trust their PakCanoes. On a remote river you simply can’t afford to have your equipment fail.