Bell Morningstar for 2 adults/1 child

I have read great things about Bell canoes and they seem to be well loved. A Morningstar in great condition has come available locally. I know is a small tandem but also good solo canoe.

How would it do with 2 adults and child? I am 6’2 and 175, wife more petite at 5’4 and 110. Daughter is 5 yo. Plan for normal day paddles on lakes, small rivers. Occasional solo paddle.

I realized the Bell Northstar would fit needs better but those can be hard to come by.

Appreciate any feedback for those with experience in Morningstar, thanks!


Should work for you for now… Not so much when your daughter is 12. You are tall enough that it is a reasonable boat to solo.

We have a Morningstar and love it. Not the fastest boat I have had , but very responsive and a joy to paddle. We have the KevLite layup which is only 40 lb. and that makes it much easer for one person to carry and nothing for two. I paddled it solo until I found a Bell Wild Fire.

If the boat is a good price and in good condition you wont regret it. Even if you find out its not right for you they are always in demand and you have a nice boat until you find one that fits.

Yes if you found a clean Morningstar at a good price you should grab it immediately. Good boats sell fast.

With an optimum load range of 250-550 it will handle your current and future day trip loads effortlessly plus it’s even fun solo although a bit wide. Even Royalex Morningstars paddle nicely.

I have no experience with the morningstar but it sounds like a great fit until someone wants their own canoe or kayak. Which would solve the outgrowing issue.

happy paddling


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Thanks for all the feedback. What would you recommend between a Mad River Explorer in royalex vs the Morningstar? Thanks again!

Morningstar is a better fit for your needs (light load, day paddles) and would be easier to cartop and manage off the water since it’s lighter.

The Mad River v hull design paddles much different than the elliptical hull on the Bell.
I much prefer the Bell design.