Kayak or Canoe

I am wanting to do some lake touring/camping. I will be with others, but each will paddle our own craft. We are looking at 2-6 night trips.

My question is would it be worth my time to start working with a touring sit in or SOT? I currently paddle a 15ft canoe and if it is windy I end up paddling backwards to stay straight.


in short
yes. however remember that in a sink or Sot you need to micro-size your gear. not a problem if you are a backpacker. but some canoeist I know bring cast iron pans and full old school Coleman multiburner stoves.

I practice Ultralight backpacking so my base load is around 10-12lbs depending on season


This canoe could care less about


what model of canoe do you own?
I have both a touring kayak and a solo canoe. Used to camp out of a dual hatch (old school) Scupper Pro sit on top kayak. The newer SOT kayaks don’t have dual hatches so you end up having to bungie stuff on back deck tankwell.

Wind does not really affect me in my solo canoe and I can easily control the boat. By adding a cover like those sold by Cookes Custom sewing the solo canoe would be very much like my kayak. It’s more comfortable and easier to pack. The kayak is best for larger bodies of water and the rough stuff. I guess what I am trying to say is it depends on the type of lake you are paddling and typical weather conditions you encounter. This would be my method of making a choice as to what craft to use. Comfort and ease of packing plus wether or not you will have to do alot of portaging is yet another very important consideration. The solo canoe is lighter than my touring kayak as it does not have a deck or hatches. The plastic SOT kayaks on the market are VERY HEAVY.

I have a 15ft Dagger Cahaba. it is not too heavy, but not light. I would be paddling lakes only with some wind. I would paddle in rain if I had to on a trip.


Whatever boat floats you…

For what it is worth:
I paddle both canoes and kayaks and have a bunch of each.

If I were going on a multiday camping trip and it was on open windy lakes and I was going solo, I would want a sit in kayak.

If it was a strictly river trip, I would want the canoe.




the big problem with canoes if you are on a multi-day trip with friends, they will inevitably want YOU to carry some of their gear!!

But just think
You are in demand !



You don’t mention if you’re paddling
a tandem or solo canoe. It must be a tandem since there is no way I could sit backwards in my solo canoe. Anyway, you should sit backwards in a tandem when paddling it solo; otherwise, the bulk of the canoe will act as a weather vane. I do that when I paddle my MR 15 ft Explorer solo. I bought an Odyssey a dedicated solo canoe which makes paddling solo much more enjoyable. It’s much narrower and easier paddling. Anyhow, I don’t have too much of a problem with my Odyssey in the wind.

It is a Tandem, I have a kneeling thwart that I use for Tripping, but it is not very comfortable on flat water, great for the class 1-3 I hit on the river. I am thinking about buying a Touring kayak paddle and sitting in the bottom next to my kneeling thwart.


tandem canoe
Try a dedicated solo canoe before making a decision. Lot’s of different models on the market and I promise you it is NOT at ALL like paddling a tandem solo! I really get depressed when I have to pick my kayak over my touring solo canoe for a trip.

jackl got it right…

try a dedicated solo canoe
I prefer solo canoe to kayak, largely because I get uncomfortable in the L-shaped position that most kayaks force you to assume. In a solo canoe, my butt is higher off the floor, so my legs can assume a more comfortable angle. Also, you have multiple positions for your legs (tucked under the seat or stretched forward, in various combinations and variations).

– Mark

Which one
Which solo canoe should I look at for touring/camping? I have looked at the oldtown pack but it seems wide for what I want…maybe not though.


Should I go with the Kayak paddle? or something more like an ottertail or bentshaft


Old Town Pack
That is not a touring solo canoe. The pack canoe is a sit on bottom canoe designed to be paddled with a double blade. There are pack canoes on the market that can be used for touring and in my mind the best ones are designed and built by Placid Boatworks:


I don’t know how tall you are or how much you weigh. Solo canoes to look at are many and I have tried the following with good results:

Wenonah Vagabond

Wenonah Prism

Bell Merlin 2

Hemlock Kestrel

There are others on this board with more experience than I have and will probably chime in with more recommendations.