favorite portage yolk for solo

what is your favorite solo portage yolk?

I am finishing building a Northwest Passage Solo(XL)

and still have to figure out the best yolk and

how I want to do my decks. Obviously with the centre

seat I can not have a fixed yolk it must be removable

hopefully easily. What do you use on your solos?

I prefer the yolk from a moa egg.
Great lift, but hard to find.

“My yoke is easy, my burden is light.”

Been using a lower version of this
for twenty years. It still works and is not broken. I do not have nor want the risers.


Here is way more from the pnet archives also searchable on Google


I haven’t used one for a good while
I have a universal removable solo yoke sold years ago by Voyageur, and more recently by Harmony but I haven’t seen them available for some years. It worked reasonably well, but I got tired of lugging it along in the boat, attaching and removing it.

I usually just balance the front seat frame on the back of my neck and shoulders but if I anticipated a trip with long portages, I might be inclined to take it along.

Although I don’t believe that Harmony Gear sells the yoke any more, Essex Industries sells a yoke that looks similar with what appears to be the same attachment mechanism: http://www.rutabaga.com/Universal-Padded-Canoe-Yoke_p_1148.html

The yoke pad isn’t as nice but you could buy this pad from Harmony and glue it to the yoke: http://www.harmonygear.com/product/441467/8023355/_/Contoured_Yoke_Pad

The lightest is the Grade VI Portage strap from the Bag Lady.

CVCA has a cantilever yoke that may be the best, certainly their pads are the lightest, quickest drying, best available, and laterally adjustable too.

The cups on my yoke wore out
and the whole yoke may have well been made by Voyageur.

I replaced the cups with the CVCA pads. On my sub 40 lb boats there is a good deal of bounce with the CVCA pads though. You can bend the metal struts to induce sag though and prevent bounce.

The clamps are initially annoying and the yoke relatively heavy though with practice placement is easy. Its a small price to pay for comfort.

Next week brings the first northern canoe trip and 8000 meters of portages over three days.

The cloth yoke Charlie mentioned is fine for small boats. It is awful for boats over 35 lbs. It stretches and sags and needs to be retightened every km or so.

cup yokes

I prefer the cup yokes over the CVCA slung pads. With the cups the canoe turns when I turn my shoulders, this is especially helpful on those portages that more closely resemble bushwhacking. I find the CVCA slung pads slide around a lot and do not stay put on my shoulders. I have yet to tried bending the frames as Yellow Canoe suggests, I’m nervous that I may break them.

pack frame
I have one of those cantilevered seat frame yokes for my Wenonah, and a sling yoke on the same boat from Mohawk - both work

but my favorites remain the backpack frame that transfers weight to the hips as well as shoulders

the heavier the boat and longer the portage, the greater the advantage, but I still prefer it even for a 29# solo

I find the front edge of the seat frame to be a painful way to carry, even if I’m wearing the pfd while portageing for a short distance

I carry all my boats on the top a an external frame pack with approite adapters.


Mine (sort of)
I made one of these. Managed to pick up a pair of CVCA pads cheap on craigslist. Bought a yoke from NW canoe for about $20.