Kayak Recommendation - River Excursion

I do an annual river run by canoe with rented Old Town 169. St. Croix River, boarder of Canada/USA. I would like to Kayak it and do 2-3 days so need storage and able to handle class I, II rapids, there is one class III but it is a small short falls but can get alot of water over front of boat depending on time of year.

Also want something I can take to small local river to do some fishing. I am thinking a tandem so I can take one of the kids fishing (aga 9 and 11).

I live in New Brunswick Canada. I love Old Town Canoes but I don’t know much about Kayaks.

I would appreciate a recommendation on a single and a tandem that would handle my needs of river expedition kayaking with some rapids and some light river kayaking/fishing.

Thanks in advance!

It could be useful to know your approximate size and your budget. Many mid length (14’ to 16’) plastic touring kayaks work fine for open class 1 and 2 rapids (obviously not for tight windy rock gardens). I’ve used my Venture Easky 15 on many such rivers.

I think you are complicating matters by also wanting to allow for room for a child – you want something you can have a reliable spray skirt on for the river trip with rapids and that’s not going to be an option if you choose something with a gaping oversized cockpit set up for tandem use.

I do have one suggestion that is a little outside the box but may suit several purposes for you. The PakBoat XT-17 is a folding kayak that can be set up for solo or tandem paddling by moving the seats and switching from a solo to tandem deck. I’ve owned two Pakboats including an XT-15 (a smaller strictly solo version) and they are great boats, lightweight, strong, easy to set up and have massive amounts of cargo space. I bought the XT from a guy who uses them on guided trips on wild rivers in Patagonia and Alaska and he testified to their durability. I looked at photos of the St. Croix and it looks like the kind of broad open rapids that would be negotiable in one of these. The folders are good in rough water as they flex and absorb a lot of the force rather than being battered by it.

You can check the boats out on their website:



They are a little costly but they actually have a used one for sale on the site right now for $1350 with the solo deck and you would just have to buy the tandem deck, which puts it in the price range of most decent plastic boats. Plus it only weighs 44 lbs and can be packed down into a duffel bag and carried in a car boot or checked as airline luggage, great for traveling to remote locations. The rubberized hulls are tough (like river rafts) and can be easily patched if scuffed or punctured though I have used folding kayaks for 13 years and never had a hole in one. The decks are attached with a perimeter velcro seal so it’s easy to pack gear in them and access it when camping. Take a look at the gallery shots on their site to see the places people have used them.