-- Last Updated: Nov-01-16 9:29 AM EST --

I am considering a PakCanoe 160. Need something that can haul two people and gear or that I can use solo. Can anyone give me some insite on the ease/difficulty of paddling this solo? Thanks.

better source for feedback
Have you posted your question at the folding boats forum?

You do have to set up a profile to post but it’s painless and non-intrusive. There is a general questions forum and also one specifically for PakBoats. You may even find some exchanges in their archives about solo paddling the PakCanoes.

You can also call Pakboats USA headquarters in New Hampshire directly. They are a small outfit and I have talked to them several times over the years (I’ve owned 3 Pakboat kayaks). Half the time I have actually talked to the owner of PB, Alv Elvestad, but the other folks that work there are also happy to share information and answer questions.

Other sources
Thank you Willowleaf, yes I have posted on Really just looking for someone who may have first hand experience.

I only had a 170
and we got it for easier transport by bushplane to Arctic rivers.

It paddles quite unlike a hardshell. The hull is quite flexible. The frame flexes. So its rather more like riding a raft.

This is an asset and perhaps a detriment. The boat will ride up over waves instead of plowing through… at the expense of a kind of logy ride on the flats.

Have you considered the Pakboat XT-17?
Perhaps you’re already familiar with it, but the Pakboat XT-17 kayak can be converted to solo or tandem. With the peel off decks, their kayaks are easy to pack for tripping. My ex had the XT-15 (same design, just shorter and solo only) and it was a nice boat.

Had one for a while…
I didn’t paddle it all that much, but enough to get a sense of how it handled under various scenarios. It paddled surprisingly well as a solo. But tandem paddling was weird if you weren’t carrying a load. Having a person on either end and not much weight in the middle made the flex of the hull extremely pronounced. We paddled some nice wave trains on the Yellowstone River with it on day floats, and it was like it conformed to the shape of the waves as it rode over them. Like I said, that felt very weird, but actually it handled the waves well. On the other hand, if you put some weight in the middle, the hull flex was far less pronounced and it felt more like a typical canoe.

All in all, I liked it okay, but with the other canoes I own I just very seldom paddled it. I bought it in order to take it on long trips, even airline flights, but only used it once in that kind of situation. It was just more trouble to set up and break down than it was worth for me…I never got better than about 25 minutes at getting it put together.

Did not see your ? on other forum
Kathie, Where did you post your question on the Folding Kayaks forum? I was just on there and did not see it under General Questions or under Pakboat.

You do have to register a profile on there in order to post. If you would prefer not to do that, I could copy your question on here and post it for you. You don’t have to join to read responses.

I have a 150
I have not used my boat tandem yet, but think even the 150 would work for a tandem trip if you don’t pack too heavily - kind of depends on how many days you are packing for. For myself, i would have no problem going tandem with my normal gear loads.

I have only used it solo on 2 longer trips - Yukon River with 16 or 18 days of food (460 miles); and Wind River with 20 days of food (300 miles)- that was typically carrying 3 to 5 gallons of water also - I do pack light however.

for whatever reason (probably because they are modular), there are 5 clips across the bottom of each cross rib to hold the rods on the floor, but only 3 rods there when I set up my boat - the chine rods are too high up the sides to fit those clips - so I just went to home depot and picked up some lightweight plastic piping (for lawn sprinklers? I think) that I cut into 2 sets of 3 sections that I can join together that I use in the vacant clips - that helps stiffen the hull somewhat and I could get even stiffer tubing if I wanted to use the boat empty. that is an easy and cheap “fix” if you find the boat too flexible. It is certainly stiff enough for me to pick it up and carry the boat on my shoulders without a lot of flexing.

since the 160 is only a foot longer, I doubt that there would be much difference paddling it solo as compared to the 150