I’m thinking of getting a folding two-person canoe for an Alaskan trip, but also for casual use around home. Can anyone offer a comparison of these two leading brands? What are their main differences in construction and performance?
try the folding boat forum
In addition to posting here, you might also try the folders forum, http://www.foldingkayaks.org
It’s not as active as p.net but you might be more likely to find folks with wxperience with both brands there. There are sub-forums for each brand and general question categories. You can search on the subject too .
maybe no help
I was just on the Folding Kayaks site and could find no reports on Ally canoes and very few on Pakcanoes. Sorry that won't be much help. Might still get some feedback on here. I have experience with Pakboat kayaks but can't help you with the canoes.
My sense has been that the two brands are extremely similar in design and durability. You would probably be happy with either. Allys (made by Bergans of Norway) seem to be more popular in Europe and Pakboats in the USA. I did know a guy who use the Pakboat version for guided fishing trips in Alaska and Patagonia and was satisfied with them even for white water in shallow gravelly rivers.
I know there are quite a few YouTube videos of people using folding canoes, so it might be helpful to look those up to get a sense of how they handle in various waters. I've found that to be useful in assessing folding kayaks before I bought them. Some are in foreign languages but at least you can see how the boats perform.
For what it is worth;
I can’t help you on the PAK canoe, but in my estimation you can’t go wrong with An Ally Pak canoe.
If I were to want a fold up canoe, I would get one in a heart beat.
We used them on a 15 day trip on the Noatak river in the Arctic circle.
It takes one time to learn how to put them together.
Once together they are very strong and can take a beating.
They will flex going through rapids which is quite interesting.
They break down to a back pack which makes for easy portaging.
Good luck on your decision.
owner of boats by both
There is a review of Pakboat’s open deck kayak, the Puffin II, which uses the same materials and similar frame and sponson design as the Pakcanoes, by an owner who also has a Bergans Ally folding canoe. He seemed to be impressed and satisfied with the Pakboat and mentions it is comparision to the Ally a couple of times: