Looking for day tripper - Escape and Polaris

Hi folks, As indicated, I’m looking for a new tandem for just day trips. About 340 pounds paddler weight and a cooler with lunch/drinks, along with the occasional fishing gear. These two are on the radar - the Wenonah Escape, because we already have a MNII that my wife loves, but is a Tuffweave model and trying to go lighter and a little shorter, and the Polaris because it gets really good reviews as a day tripper.

Anyone have experience with either of these? I’d love to hear your impression especially regarding calm and rough water performance.

Also should say this is for flatwater or lake use only, no moving water, no solo paddling and no overnight trips.


Kayaks have distinct advantages, but the description of your paddling needs seem perfect for a quality canoe. I think it would be cheaper, more convenient, carry gear more efficiently, allow more freedom to move about, and place you higher for a better view. Unless you feel the tandem fits you ideal.

Excuse my intrusion. I thought of kayak when you mentioned tandem, then I researched your consideration - as Gilda would say: “Never mind.” Excellent idea. Good luck!

I have a Polaris so I’m biased. Everyone seems to like it. It’s efficient and the handling is great. It works fine in rough weather and moving water as well as flatwater. I looked at the Wenonah description of the Escape and it’s strength is efficiency (speed/glide Wenonah-ness). It may well be slightly faster on flatwater than Polaris but (like my Advantage solo) I bet the Wenonah gives up handling and bad weather capability in comparison.

I’m actually considering both of these boats for multi-day wilderness trips and day trips around town. I used to have a Sundowner 18 which fit right between the MNII and the Escape. They all go straight fast with lots of glide. However I’m leaning towards the Polaris as my gear has become considerably lighter. I also like the idea of the solo kneeling thwart. That way if either my bow man or me wants to fish when the other wants to chill in camp we will be able to do both. I also have a NWSolo and have developed an appreciation for the Yost hulls although I do enjoy the speed of the Cichanowski hulls. The other one worth considering is the Swift Keewaydin 17 which is also a Yost hull.

Thanks folks - appreciated. I understand that some folks like handling/maneuverability, but we spend the majority of our time going straight and have had no issue turning the Minn2. I do like the looks/feedback on the Polaris tho and need to get in one and experience it for myself.

Always the best plan…