Mad River Guide or Mohawk Odyssey?

I am thinking of buying one, and would like to hear what folks that have or have paddled them think of these canoes. I would like at least one Rx solo for rocky rivers. I have read the reviews.

Have paddled both, owned neither

– Last Updated: Mar-22-14 8:40 AM EST –

I assume you are aware that the Mad River Guide was renamed the Freedom Solo, and that there are two Mohawk Odysseys, a 14 and a 15?

Comparing the MRC Guide/Freedom Solo to the Odyssey 14, both are quite capable solo river boats which seem to occupy the same niche (river tripping including mild whitewater) and both have a following.

From my rather limited experience, I would probably give the nod to the MRC boat by a slight margin but I'm sure others will disagree.

Neither is available new anymore, with the death of Royalex, unless Mohawk happens to still have an Odyssey 14 sitting in inventory, which I doubt. MRC has already removed the Freedom Solo (along with the Outrage and Outrage X) from its on-line catalog and it now appears in the discontinued boat list.

So I would say go with whichever one you find used in decent condition at a good price first.

Both good boats although I favor the Odyssey. Keep in mind Royalex is following the dinosaurs and will no longer be available.

Yes I realize both are not current.
I may have a chance to buy the Guide, and have been watching the used market for a Odyssey 14. Thanks for your input.

If the price is good
I would say get the Guide. The Guide seems to be widely favored over the Freedom Solo by many who have owned both. I doubt that you would find the Odyssey 14 much superior.

It is my purely subjective impression that the Guide is a bit faster than the Odyssey 14 and I like its rocker contour better. On the other hand the Odyssey 14 does have the recurved tumblehome that many Mohawk designs share, which makes verical paddle alignment a bit easier.

My 2 cents…

– Last Updated: Mar-22-14 12:00 PM EST –

I own both a MR Guide, and a Mohawk Odyssey, and have owned a couple of Freedom Solos too.
No doubt in my mind; the Guide has better build quality than the Freedom Solo.
Build quality on the Mohawk is quite good.
Either is capable of doing the low side of class III, but you would be better served by a whitewater boat for that class of water.
In my opinion, both the Guide & the Odyssey are best used on class II/II+, moving water river. Both would be good choices for day floats, overnights, or multi overnight on that type of river. Both will carry a good sized paddler, and more gear than anyone really needs.
The Guide is more manueverable than the Odyssey; the Odyssey has a little more stability.I don't think you can go wrong owing either or both. Guides in nice condition are getting very hard to find; both will probably become difficult to find in coming years.
If I found either boat in excellent conditon, at a low asking price; I'd probably buy it to keep as a "just in case" spare.

P.S. I am not much impressed with the Odyssey 15 as a solo boat.
Probably ok if your intent is to haul a small child, or a fair sized dog, on a class I day float. Or lollygagging downstream, stopping often, and wetting a fishing line.


Thanks All!
I was thinking along the lines of what everyone wrote, but have no experience in either boat. However the price is very reasonable. I have been watching for an Odyssey 14. However the Guide was on my radar. As of now it looks Like I will be getting the Guide.

I have a MH Challenger, a GJensen design later renamed the Odyssey 14 after a few profile mods; but essentially the same boat. Pretty cool canoe. I installed both 1)a foot brace and 2) knee pads so I can sit and switch in the flats, and kneel in the WW respectively. Class 2s with gear are ok, 3s… well, know what you are doing first. With a 53" carbon paddle, sit and switch provides reasonable speed, and surprisingly it rides side wake very well (allows you to stay with big tandems!), and it carves a turn when healed. Extremely fun boat especially in tight quarters. The MR offerings are nice as well, I’ve paddled the Guide and liked it, but I like the Mohawk just a bit more. Considering the extinction of Rlex, either one really; but who knows, a new rock-proof material at half the weight may surface; how about a 45lb Tripper !!.