PakCanoe 160 Review, Alan Kesselheim Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 August 2010 10:33
160-reviewI admit I was skeptical about this folding canoe's durability, especially on longer trips where you shouldn't need to baby your boat. I was also skeptical about performance. Finally, I doubted my ability to deal with the "easy" assembly. But you can't argue with the advantage of a transportable, expedition-worthy canoe for remote locations. I took the 160 for two weeks on the Yukon River, followed by a month in northern Saskatchewan, then six weeks in Nunavut.
The initial assembly, under insect duress, took less than 30 minutes (kudos to the instructions). I found that despite the inherent vulnerability of fabric hulls and exposed aluminum tubing, the 160 is nearly maintenance-free (I patched the hull once in all those weeks of hard paddling), and it performs on par with hardshell canoes. Pakboats is committed to tweaking design features, from improving seat comfort, abrasion resistance at wear points, and fabric stiffness in the gunwales, to beefing up the foam layer. Inflated tubes line the sides of the hull under the aluminum ribs, adding buoyancy and cushioning at wear points where the skin and frame contact. And there are some advantages to a slightly flexible hull - gliding through waves rather than slamming into them. The hull bends over rocks, and by shifting the load you can adjust its rocker. The 160 defines versatility - it can carry the load for weeks on the trail, tuck into a tight eddy, and downsize for the weekend outing.
Canoe & Kayak Magazine, July 2010
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 August 2010 14:47