Used Mad River solo canoe?

I’m looking at a used canoe listed online. The owner thinks it’s a Mad River Freedom Solo but isn’t sure on the model. The HIN starts with MADJX, which from other posts on here indicates a Slipper. It’s a 1986 kevlar, looks in good shape from the one pic. Owner reports it’s 40lbs and 14ft long.

  1. Is this a good solo canoe for flatwater and lazy rivers? Pros/cons? Primary/secondary stability? Wind/wave worthy? Moving water (up to class 1)? Lots of rocker? Track well?

  2. What’s a fair price for this puppy, assuming condition is good for its age?


Slippers are great boats (in my opinion), if that’s what it is. The Freedom is a different model than the Slipper. Slippers are longer than 14’, somewhere around 14’7" or 14’8", but the 40 lbs would be right for a kevlar version. Freedoms are more river-running oriented, but also nice boats. For flatwater, I’d prefer the Slipper. The Freedom used to be called the Guide, and before that the Courier (I think).

Thanks for the reply, that’s useful info! I’ll have to bring a tape measure with me with I check out the boat, thought perhaps the lack of rocker with confirm is as a Slipper and not a Freedom.

Whether Slipper or Freedom Solo, I’d be extremely happy with either. As long as you’re not dealing with rocky streams, the Slipper might be the better option, but you’ll have fun no matter which of those boats it turns out to be.

As for price—since COVID, boat prices have skyrocketed. It’s more about what you’re willing to pay rather than what the canoe would have sold for prior to the pandemic.

Mad River did not make either the Guide or the Freedom Solo in the 1980s.

Sounds like it’s most likely a Slipper then, thanks.

I’ve been paddling mostly solo in a Wenonah Heron and Old Town Pack. Sounds like this would be a step up on both, even if it’s a step back in time.

The Courier was a much different hull design than the Guide/Freedom Solo.

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Yes, the Slipper is a nice, sleek hull that should be much more efficient than an Old Town Pack. The Slipper has only a little rocker but if you learn to heel it you can maneuver it on moving water.

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1990 catalog listing


Nice, thanks for posting. Seems like a very nice boat - unfortunately I never heard back from the seller so I guess it’s gone already.

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