Apr 04 2017
Not so very long ago, folding kayaks and inflatable canoes were the paddling world’s unloved stepchildren, widely seen as pool toys or the playthings of eccentric adventurers. But the times they are a-changing. Today’s “stow boats” are eminently practical, do-anything, go-anywhere craft. And that’s why Tamia keeps a couple of them on a closet shelf.
Don’t get me wrong. I like my little Old Town Pack canoe. A lot. And I’d feel the same way even if she weren’t one of the last surviving members of a dying breed now that Royalex is no more. Yet good as she is, the Pack has one glaring deficiency: she’s 12 feet long. Of course, 12 feet isn’t very long as canoes go. My Old Town XL Tripper stretched all the way out to 20 feet. But if you’re hoping to take a bus to your next paddling destination, or grab a cabin on a slow boat to what used to be called Cochinchina, or tow your boat behind a bike … Well, then, 12 feet is something like nine feet too many.
The upshot? Bigger isn’t always better. And there are times when even hardcore hardshell boaters will find that it makes sense to take a stow boat, instead.… Read more…
Originally published at Paddling.com on April 4, 2017
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