February 20, 2023 7 min read

Go Lighter, Paddle For Longer

Canoeing in the mountains

Are you wanting to get out and explore in a canoe for longer? Nothing beats epic long paddles, exploring new routes, and venturing into the wilderness. But to paddle for longer, you should consider choosing a lightweight canoe to be your vessel. 

A lightweight canoe means you can paddle for longer and go faster! They are also easier to carry and transport, opening up more travel possibilities. 

We have listed the best lightweight canoes available to buy along with the specific features you need to look out for when shopping around. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find the best lightweight canoe for you! 

What Are Lightweight Canoes?

Lightweight canoes are specially designed for flatwater paddling and day trips, crafted to be as light as possible. They are typically made using carbon fiber or Kevlar. When we talk about ‘lightweight canoes’, we are often referring to a canoe under 50 lbs.

These specialized lightweight boats are generally more expensive than standard recreational canoes or entry-level canoes. This is due to the materials used, entry-level boats are typically made from aluminum or plastic.

Lightweight canoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Choosing between them is ultimately determined by the type of paddling trips you plan to take.

Why Choose A Lightweight Canoe?

Going for a lightweight canoe has many advantages:

  • Paddle for longer as they are easier to paddle
  • Easier to carry on land 
  • More maneuverable in the water
  • Easier to transport

Our Top 3 Quick Picks – Best Lightweight Canoes

Best Budget
Sea Eagle TC16
Sea Eagle TC16

Inflatable and versatile. We love this canoe from Sea Eagle as it ticks all the boxes. You can take it out solo or fit in the whole family for a trip down the river.

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Best Mid-Range
Stellar Dragonfly

Ultralight optimized paddling – this solo canoe can handle windy conditions and still cut through glassy waters at speed.

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Best Premium
MyCanoe Duo

Quirky and unique, this canoe from MyCanoe is perfect for travel. As a foldable canoe, it is a great alternative to an inflatable option and is super lightweight.

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What To Look For When Buying A Lightweight Canoe – A Buyer’s Guide

From solo canoes to ultra lightweight tandem options, you need to know what to look for when searching for your lightest canoes. Let us be your guide to help steer you in the right direction.

Number of Seats

The number of seats makes a huge difference to the weight of a canoe. Most ultralight canoes are designed for solo paddling. As more seats are added the weight will increase – there’s no avoiding this. 

So, before you head out onto the water, make sure you ask yourself whether it's just you or the whole family going out.


A canoe's dimensions are largely influenced by the number of seats and the intended purpose of the canoe. 

Tandem boats are inherently longer to accommodate additional passengers. Expedition canoes are also longer so you can stow all your gear within the boat. You can still get lightweight tandem canoes and touring boats. Solo canoes are often the lightest variants. Solo canoes range from 10 feet to 16 feet, depending on the specific model.  

When we refer to lightweight canoes, we mean any canoe that is typically under 50 lbs in weight but can be heavier if there are more seats.


The lightest canoes are typically made from fiberglass or Kevlar composites. These lightweight materials also offer great durability when in the water. However, the material does affect the price. When buying, you need to find the best combination of materials against the price that suits you. 


  • The heavier end of lightweight canoes
  • Entry-level price
  • Durable and easier to fix at home
  • Good for flat water trips


  • Expensive material
  • Ultralight in weight
  • More delicate than fiberglass
  • Easier to transport and reach hard-to-access points

Best Lightweight Canoes

So here you have it. The showdown of the best lightweight canoes out there! Which will be your next vessel?

Sea Eagle TC16

Sea Eagle’s TC16 is a fantastic inflatable canoe for tandem paddling. The moulded bow and stern of the traditional shape give it a seamless glide through the water. It cuts through wind, waves, and currents, creating lift and reducing drag.

At just 65 lbs, this is a good lightweight canoe that can take the whole family out for a ride. There are strategically placed carry handles on the canoe to make handling the boat easier on land.


Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Traditional canoe shape
  • Comfortable seats that can be removed if fewer people
  • Included non-slip EVA foot pad throughout

What we like:

  • Symmetrical hull
  • Shallow arch bottom
  • Slight rocker

What we don't like:

  • Over 50 lbs in weight

If you are looking for a lightweight canoe option for all the family, then you cannot go wrong with the Sea Eagle TC16. This inflatable canoe is an ideal boat for recreational paddling and camping trips.   

Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman

If you are keen fishermen, the Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman is a brilliant lightweight canoe to consider. It is already packed with handy convenience features, including padded armrests with trays, customizable accessory tracks, a custom tackle box, and plenty of rod holders.

This canoe is both agile and spacious. The contoured and adjustable seat is comfortable and makes long days in this canoe a breeze!


Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Length: 11 feet 9 inches
  • Weight: 56 lbs
  • Material: Three Layer Polyethylene
  • Number of seats: 1

What we love:

  • Comfortable kayak-style seat
  • Handy fishing features already fitted
  • A sleek hull means great manoeuverability

What we don't love:

  • Does not come with a paddle

Choose between two eye-catching colors and get your fishing gear ready! There is an adventure to be had with this lightweight canoe from Old Town.

MyCanoe Duo

If you are keen on fishing from a canoe, the Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman is a brilliant lightweight canoe to consider. It is already packed with handy convenience features, including padded armrests with trays, customizable accessory tracks, a custom tackle box, and plenty of rod holders.

The MyCanoe Duo has been designed with travel in mind. This unique foldable design is perfect for weekend trips away from anywhere. There are no limits! You won’t find another canoe like it.

It takes around 5 minutes to assemble this canoe. The marine-grade polypropylene material is hard-wearing and can keep up with the adventures.

MyCanoe Duo

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Length: 14.5 feet
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Material: Marine-grade polypropylene
  • Number of seats: 2

What we love:

  • Unique foldable design, packing down to 36 in x 27 in x 10 inches
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Easy to assemble and without tools

What we don't love:

  • Very expensive for a portable option

If compatibility and easy transport are what you are looking for, then this ultralight canoe from MyCanoe is perfect for you!

Stellar Dragonfly

The Stellar Dragonfly is one of the most ultralight canoes due to the Kevlar and fiberglass materials used in construction. It is stable and easy to carry. This smooth-running boat is perfect for camping, pond hopping and for wetting some lines at your favorite fishing hole.

The high gunwales and open concept of the pack boat are ideal for packing your gear. Adventure awaits with one of the best lightweight canoes from Stellar Kayaks USA.


Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Length: 11 feet 6 inches
  • Weight: 27.5 lbs
  • Material: Kevlar® and Fiberglass laminate with Nomex® Honeycomb Core
  • Number of seats: 1

What we love:

  • Good beginner-friendly lightweight canoe
  • Stable and smooth paddling
  • Traditional canoe design

What we don't love:

  • High price tag

If you want the best of the best, you have to consider this canoe. Sure, the price is high. But that comes with the territory of Kevlar.

Nova Craft Canoe Prospector 16

The Prospector canoe model from Nova Craft is one of the largest lightweight canoes on the market. Due to the canoes versatility, it allows you to take it on remote wilderness adventures, handly both rivers and lakes.

With experience, the self-righting aspects of the shallow arch hull will become apparent and confidence levels will soar. What's more, it provides a very dry ride in big waves and whitewater.


Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Length: 16 feet
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Material: Aramid Lite
  • Number of seats: 2

What we love:

  • Traditional canoe design
  • Suitable for whitewater paddling
  • Huge carrying capacity

What we don't love:

  • Difficult to handle on land due to size

Nova Craft offers this canoe in a variety of materials (price affected) that will change the weight of the canoe. 


🏆 What type of canoe is the lightest?

Kevlar canoes are the lightest type of canoe available. These ultralight vessels are top-of-the-range and come with an extra cost. For those on a smaller budget, fiberglass canoes are a good option for a lightweight canoe.

You will find different styles have varying weights and will be suitable for various conditions. A lightweight canoe will help you get the most out of your paddling trips.

👍 What is a good weight for a canoe?

The average weight of a two-person wooden canoe is anything between 65-75 lbs. This can be significantly reduced by choosing alternative materials for your canoe. Kevlar, fiberglass, and even inflatable alternatives are great options for lightweight canoes while still giving you a rigid feel. Lightweight canoes are generally between 40-60 lbs..

🏝️ How much does a solo canoe weigh?

Lightweight solo canoes can weigh as little as 27 lbs. These boats are highly specialized and made from more expensive materials. A typical solo canoe made from wood weight will average 45 to 55 pounds.

❓ What is the lightest canoe material?

Kevlar is the lightest material a canoe is made from. This highly specialized material is the most expensive on the market. Fiberglass is a good mid-range material for a well-priced canoe that does not compromise quality.

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

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