Know you’d like to do a canoe trip, but not sure which canoe will work best for you? There are several types of canoes out there, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. At Golden Eagle Lodge, we rent aluminum, Royalex, and Kevlar canoes. Below we’ve listed some information about each of these in hopes that it helps you, the canoeist, find the right fit for your needs.
Aluminum – With a weight of about 80lbs, the aluminum canoe is the sturdiest and most stable on this list. It’s a great watercraft for fishing and touring around the lake, however, it is not the most enjoyable canoe to portage. This type of canoe is recommended for beginners who do not plan to portage from lake to lake, though it can be used for this, the lighter weight canoes available are much more desirable. The aluminum canoe also has a keel that runs along the hull which allows it to track a straight line much easier but at the cost of precision maneuverability. The stability offered by the aluminum canoe is the main selling point for this design.
Royalex – Weighing in at 68 lbs, the Royalex canoe is a good, all purpose canoe. It is made of a hard, flexible plastic and is much quieter than the aforementioned aluminum canoe. For the average canoer, the Royalex is a great canoe for short portaging and short BWCA day trips. It is more robust then the Kevlar design and a bit more stable. Although it weighs only 12 pounds less than the aluminum, the Royalex is more balanced on the shoulders. The Royalex does not have a keel which makes turning and steering much more responsive.
Kevlar – The lightest weight canoe of the bunch, Kevlar canoes weigh between 40 and 50 pounds, depending on the model, paint job, and interior braces/seat design. The Kevlar canoe is the ultimate “BWCA canoe trip” canoe. Their lightweight design makes them a breeze for portaging and the most popular choice for overnight BWCA trips. Like the Royalex, the Kevlar does not have a keel, and that coupled with its even lighter weight gives the Kevlar canoe the most amount of maneuverability, speed, and precision of any canoe on the water. Extra caution must be taken with kevlar canoes at portages and landings. Do not stand or sit in a kevlar canoe while it’s on shore or resting on a rock.