Adventure 16

by  Mad River
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Adventure 16 Description

The versatile canoe for getting started; great for sportsmen and families, the Adventure 16 is an amazing value. The multi-chine shallow arch hull design provides smooth tracking and comforting stability and is constructed with polyethylene for superior durability. The Adventure 16 also offers more cargo room and speed than the smaller Adventure 14. Packed with features like comfortable, padded molded seats with adjustable backrests, standard center seat, and plenty of space to store drinks, coolers, and cargo, this low-maintenance canoe is perfect for busy paddlers on-the-go. The rugged and versatile Adventure 16 is great for getting away from it all on lakes, ponds, and slow rivers. Designed for easy trolling motor installation.

Adventure 16 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Seating Configuration: Tandem
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Mad River
Adventure 16 Reviews

Read reviews for the Adventure 16 by Mad River as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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My father, brother and I used…

Submitted by: CDeVries on 4/2/2020
My father, brother and I used this canoe for forty plus years. It has been a great work-horse and it still competes with more modern designs. The kevlar construction makes it very light and easy to portage. Many modern canoes don't have keels, I like the keel on the Adventure 16 as it aids in tracking on big open water. The canoe has been in the Boundary Waters, Quetico, Isle Royale, Kentuck and has always performed well in big water and river conditions.

OK...are you ready for…

Submitted by: paddler478535 on 11/30/2018

OK...are you ready for this?? I traded a large Ocean Kayak for this used Adv. 16. -- I wanted a canoe that would fit me and two kids comfortably, with gear. Sooo...on my first trip out, I loaded the canoe onto the top of my van...all ship-shape and ready to go; er, well, not quite...what happened next tore my heart out: I had not secured the bow painter I had attached to it, and the rope dangled onto the ground as I backed out of my parking space. The result was that the painter was captured under the rolling front wheel of the van, and this action literally rolled the painter under the wheel (it did not spindle the rope, the diameter of the tire itself, did the job, as it rolled over the rope) --which by this action, bent the canoe in half, at a near-90-degree angle, by the time I caught on and stopped the van. True; it happened. I got out and saw that the only thing I could do was roll forward again to release the painter under the wheel, and attempt to salvage what was left. I was, as you can imagine, totally bummed out. To say the least. As i rolled forward, the canoe returned to its normal shape. It did. Really. The only evidence of the mishap was some denting along the bend line. I took a heat gun and tried to smooth them out, achieving a good degree of success. The canoe was fine, and I continued on my trip. I think what saved the canoe was the high Georgia summer temperature that day, which made the plastic somewhat pliable...I dunno...but I was glad it was so hot. That was two years ago, and I will never part with this canoe. It has been most excellent in all venues, even 25mph winds on a large choppy lake.
Buy this'll get years of good, hard use out of it. I hope you will be as happy as I am. :)


I bought this canoe mainly…

Submitted by: ronin on 7/25/2018

I bought this canoe mainly for the square stern to mount an electric trolling motor. I paddle a Wilderness Systems T140 kayak but age is catching up with me and my shoulders ache if I paddle too much. I thought that since WS and Mad River are related that the canoe would be just as reliable as my tarpon 140. What a mistake!!

I followed the manufacturer's specs to keep the motor below 54 lbs of thrust and used a 45 lb motor. It's been stored indoors and I haven't used it more than a half dozen times but the transom cracked. It is still under warranty so I contacted Mad River through the distributor who took pics and acted as intermediary. Mad River's response is that the cracks are not a result of a manufacturer's defect with no additional explanation. So I am now the owner of a $1000 piece of plastic junk.

The only reason for a square stern is to put a motor on it. If the stress of a motor causes the transom to fail, then the canoe is improperly designed for a motor. The bunny logo embossed on the transom is cute but results in woefully thin areas as well as a very irregular contact surface for the motor mounts. There is a block of plastic bolted to the molded transom to provide rigidity to make up for the thin plastic hull. However, the bolts holding the plastic block go right through the logo and that is where the transom cracked.

The ultimate irony is that Mad River's email denial of warranty service provides a link to youtube videos on how to weld plastic and other links on where to buy epoxy and a patch kit. Yeah, failed when it was intact but it'll work fine after you glue it ;-)

Maybe it paddles well for others but if you want to use it for a motor, look elsewhere.


Great little canoe for the…

Submitted by: paddler236391 on 7/27/2015
Great little canoe for the price. Cruises pretty good with a 40lb thrust trolling motor. One issue: After 3 hours on the brand new boat, my 12 year old daughter and I broke both back rests on the seats. Not too pleased with that.

LOVE this canoe! comfortable…

Submitted by: paddler236324 on 7/2/2015
LOVE this canoe! comfortable seats, not tippy, glides over rocks and logs easily without damaging. plastic seat bridge did crack, put a log under for support and works fine.

Great canoe, I have seen some…

Submitted by: paddler236135 on 2/12/2015
Great canoe, I have seen some strange reviews on this canoe that nearly put me off it. I am so glad I bought it. this is my first canoe and I find it stable, fast and a delight. it can be heavy to load and unload but so far for me this is the only down side.

I can stand in it and fly fish with out any fear of tipping in. I paddle it solo by kneeling between the stern and middle seat and this balances well. very happy customer.


We purchase a used Adventure…

Submitted by: paddler236008 on 9/22/2014
We purchase a used Adventure 16 last year. I read the reviews about the canoe being "tippy". After a year of using it and buying a second Adventure 16, I must say that I find it to be very stable. We have never tipped it nor come close.

I have been so impressed with the seat comfort. I bought new seat and backrest pads for both canoes. We, wife and I, just paddle creeks and lake shore lines but the canoe does all we want it to. Tried a kayak but at 53 I like the comfort and easier in and out of a canoe. Attach a trolling motor and enjoy a longer cruise around the lake when feeling lazy.


I bought this canoe two and a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/3/2014
I bought this canoe two and a half years ago. Me and my wife were looking for a new hobby to get outdoors and stay in shape. This is my first canoe though I am forty five. Though we are beginners I have to say that this canoe as exceeded my expectations.

I bought this canoe to do some fishing in ponds and swamps. What was supposed to be a hobby has turned into an obsession. It can carry two adults, ice chest for fish, small lunch box, tackle box, homemade bait bucket with aerator, landing net, four fishing poles (I built pvc fishing pole holders) and a small anchor with ease.

I never feel unstable and have gotten out of some pretty tough situations with the wind and waves. Like I said we are beginners and I do not have anything to compare this canoe with but I do not look at other canoes or kayaks and wonder if it could be better.
Happy Happy Happy.


Very much a beginner at…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/24/2013
Very much a beginner at canoeing. Wanted something that myself and my wife, both around age 50, could enjoy while camping. Neither of us are in great shape. Have only canoed and kayaked a handful of times. Bought a used Adventure 16 in really good shape, and used it for the first time this past weekend at Danforth Bay/Lake Ossipee in Freedom, NH.

First time out was with my daughter, who is in good shape. From the moment we launched it was a joy. I was nervous from the few reviews saying this was an unstable canoe, but we had no problem whatsoever. I wouldn't want to try to stand up in it, but never once did I feel it was overly unstable while sitting and paddling, or getting a stuff from a bag on the floor of the canoe. We were hit multiple times by wakes from passing powerboats from the front and side and at worst we just rocked gently.

As far as comfort this canoe rocked! The seats and adjustable seatbacks are just plain luxurious compared to any canoe or kayak I've been in. And as far as paddling, the canoe just moved right along. The lake was filled with Kayaker's and not a single one was moving faster than us and we weren't trying to go fast.

Our first day out I spend about 3 hours paddling with my wife and daughter and have absolutely no regrets about our choice. They both love it as well.

The only cons would be that the Canoe is on the heavy side, and that that the rim does trap a little water from draining when tipped upside down. Both of these are minor issues for us.


I have owned my Mad River…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/9/2013
I have owned my Mad River Adventure 16 for about five years. I have an older version that has a symetrical bow and stern. Overall I think it does a pretty decent job for what it is designed to do: paddle winding rivers and calm lakes on day trips. Its whitewater capabilities are better than one might think- class II and III rapids are possible by experienced paddlers.

It lacks a strong sense of initial stability. While a section of the hull bottom is flattened and grooved the ends of the boat are veed. The result is a boat with great secondary stability but only so so initial stability. This is somewhat surprising for an entry level boat. My wife, who is a novice paddler, complains that the canoe feels tippy to her compared to some other canoes we have paddled. It is precisely this quality that makes the boat a joy to paddle. No, not because I like terrorizing my wife, but because the boat can be heeled and turned at will, which experienced paddlers will enjoy.

The plastic is quite durable but heavy. The molded in seats and cupholders make it difficult to kneel in the boat or paddle comfortably solo from the bow seat. The boat has no thwarts for portaging. This is best done with wheels or not at all. It will take two healthy adults to load the canoe onto the roof of a car. The seat backs are nice but I think the seats are too high to instill confidence for novice paddlers or for paddling in rough conditions such as whitecaps.

So what you get is a canoe designed for intermediate paddlers but that is marketed and made with materials that you would expect in an entry level boat. Overall its a good performer if you're looking to do tandem day trips. Overnights are possible but there are better suited canoes for that endeavor since the freeboard and handling is greatly reduced.

I've paddled this canoe on section one of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in NY and on the New, Greenbrier, and Coal Rivers located in WV. In GA I've paddled it in the Okefenokee swamp. It has done admirably in all of these venues considering I picked it up on clearance (it had a ding in it) from Dicks Sporting Goods for $350.00 Expect to pay a bit more than that for a newer unblemished model.


The Adventure 16 by Mad River…

Submitted by: drbloomster on 3/23/2013
The Adventure 16 by Mad River Canoe is a great recreational canoe. It's built in contoured front and rear seats and center bench seat make it easy and comfortable to use. It is very durable and stable. It tracks reasonably well and is only held back by it's weight which is significant when lifting it to transport.

Well Folks, it's Chuck again…

Submitted by: Facklerrebel on 12/13/2012
Well Folks, it's Chuck again to continue the rave about his Mad River Adventure 16. I have owned this canoe for nearly four years and love it to death! Lots of room, easy to paddle when I am by myself, tracks good and is tough as nails. I get on my favorite river in North Alabama, the Flint, a lot and love to get on it right after a 2-3 inch rain. Once I got out of position and was running in some heavy current, got sideways and here comes a tree. I knew it would fold in half but it bounced off with no damage whatsoever. The only thing negative is the 82 pound weight. Once I get it loaded on my boat rack on my little Ford Ranger it's all downhill from there. Best 499 dollars I ever spent.

My wife bought this boat for…

Submitted by: paddler234858 on 12/10/2012
My wife bought this boat for me as a gift. I am an experienced paddler and over the years I have owned canoes from a few makers and of various materials to include fiberglass, royalex and now finally this plastic boat. I have now taken it out a few times solo and can comment on it. It weathervains quite a bit in a good breeze with just one guy in the back. It tracks okay otherwise. It is not really tippy in my opinion. It is ok per speed. It handles ok with one guy.

The seats are comfortable. The cup holders are usable. The mesh pouches are great for ziploc bagged camera and cellphone storage. The boat looks ok and is holding up well to getting dragged over brush and submerged logs here in my coastal marsh area.

I think it is every bit as capable as any other boat of it's general type...and for less money. I believe it is a good deal for the money.


this thing is great. I saw…

Submitted by: paddler234694 on 8/5/2012
this thing is great. I saw some review say "no room for gear" but we put plenty of stuff in and go anywhere and have never flipped this. if it is tippy for you you must be overloading it; super stable in fast or slow water. I used to flip every canoe i ever had but doubt i will ever flip this beast

This is my first canoe and I…

Submitted by: paddler234534 on 5/21/2012
This is my first canoe and I am definitely a newbie...but I have researched canoes on this website for months before making my decision on the Adventure 16. My other choice was going to be something like the Old Town Camper, but I am quite sure I made the right decision with the Adventure which seems to track very well compared to aluminum rentals I've experienced in the past.

First, it is basically a plastic canoe with a few molded cup holders,etc...nothing fancy or elegant. But, for an entry-level canoe it is fantastic as far as I'm concerned. Yes, it's little heavy, but hey, no one is going to manufacture a 50 pound kevlar "entry-level" canoe for 2 grand, it just wouldn't make sense or sell, and that's fine.

Second, I was able to take it for a test drive at a local lake before buying it and I have to say it is extremely stable in my opinion. The initial stability is just fine, and the secondary stability is definitely there...if the paddler just relaxes a little and let's it happen, instead of over reacting and panicking.

Anyway, very happy with it and I plan on taking it out very soon on some slow bayous and lakes in the area and I'll update my post.
Oh! And the back-rests are a very nice touch!


I'm an avid white water…

Submitted by: paddler234345 on 11/4/2011
I'm an avid white water kayaker, but the adventure 16 was the first canoe I ever owned. That being said, some of my first memories are canoeing the Adirondacks of upstate new york where i was born. I have paddled many different styles of canoe, but the adventure 16 takes the prize for all around best. Some people say its tippy, I guess they think a canoe is a jon boat. I can stand in my boat to fish or paddle in the back. All in all, great all around boat, I've had it in class 2s, back rests are a life saver, great to camp or fish out of.

Love it! I used to haul a…

Submitted by: paddler234258 on 8/29/2011
Love it! I used to haul a sit-on-top kayak and double/triple with my sons in rivers/lakes/ocean around WA. Now that they are growing up, the kayak cannot handle our weight any longer so I set out looking for a canoe where our whole family can go together, especially my older son can now help me load/unload. Being a value shopper (read cheap), I canvassed Craigslist and was open to all types and price ranges but never seemed so sure on a particular one. When I saw a listing for an Adventure 16, I came here for the reviews and right away I knew this was what I want. Thank you guys and gals! The kids and the wife have proven themselves somewhat water savvy with the kayak so I disregarded the tipsy part.

Went on the lake yesterday with the kids and it was wonderful. We used both canoe and kayak paddles and with the kayak paddle in action, it almost glided as a kayak. Those of you who have not tried it with a kayak paddle should. You may shelve your current paddle! The kids loved riding the waves from the speed boat wakes. Next, we will practice some re-entry as my sons do want to use the canoe as a swimming platform that they were used to with the kayak.

The only negative bit is the weight.


My Mad River still impresses…

Submitted by: Facklerrebel on 7/24/2011
My Mad River still impresses me! Tough as a tank and speedy too. I keep up with kayaks even when I am alone. Tons of room, comfortable seats, and I think she is pretty too. Best 499 dollars I ever spent! This canoe is so stable. Love it to death. Going out on the Flint River this weekend. Nothing more fun than paddling my canoe.

My wife and I purchased the…

Submitted by: paddler233880 on 12/3/2010
My wife and I purchased the Adventure 16 for its versatility. We cruise around the marina with and electric motor in the evening and it functions as our dingy for our liveaboard. In November we took it to the Okefenokee for a Wilderness trip. The water was low and we had to use a push pole to navigate over fallen trees and cypress nobs.

This thing is like a tank. The low water meant a congregation of alligators. Counted up to 60 a day, some very large. We felt quite safe in this canoe. It carried all our gear comfortably and and was very stable. My wife and I are long time kayakers and the initial stability issue that some speak of made us feel right at home. The old swivel hip technique becomes a right brain thing very quickly.

The hull design provides great forward speed, from 6 to 10 miles a day in a swamp with very little effort except when we had to break out the push pole.

By the way, for you fishermen, I mounted a Hummingbird fish finder in the boat with an in hull transducer. A little marine goop on the floor under the middle seat and 24 hrs later its there to stay. The wires and the personal water craft 12 volt battery cannot be seen. It also provides about 14 lbs of ballast. I fish out of it by myself quite a bit and I like to paddle from the stern seat. I put a collapsible 5 gal water container in the bow and it makes solo paddling in the wind a non issue. Great boat!


We bought this canoe…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/3/2010
We bought this canoe specifically for the longer deeper profile since we live on the ocean but neither of us likes sitting in a kayak position for any length of time. We do a lot of shellfishing so cargo and weight ratings were important also. I couldn't be happier with the stability and tracking in the ocean, or the comfort of the seats and tumblehome. We both use 240cm kayak paddles and we just fly in this boat. We also have an Old Town 15' fiberglass and it just gets pushed around in the wind. You have to work twice as hard to maintain position in that. Love my adventure 16!

I used my canoe for the first…

Submitted by: paddler233735 on 8/3/2010
I used my canoe for the first time in three years of ownership on moving water recently and could not be happier. I am a very large person, 6'3" and 340 pounds, my wife and my youngest son 4 years old were with me also. some extra storage room would be nice, but that is the only thing I have to say bad about this product. It handled the class 1 Elk River in Tenn. great. I would recommend this to anyone.

I really like this canoe.…

Submitted by: paddler233637 on 6/8/2010
I really like this canoe. Just returned from 4 day trip to the New River. Canoe was loaded down with enough gear for two people and I go around 250lbs while other is around 150. Initially the canoe feels unstable but it is pretty tough to roll. Rolled on the first day (lack of exp.) and the canoe did not sink even with the weight. Rolled on c-2 the last day and boat ended up upside down. With one quick push boat was righted. Tough as nails. Highly recommend getting two NRS Lash kits as this boat seems made for them.

I bought this the canoe 2…

Submitted by: paddler233576 on 5/10/2010
I bought this the canoe 2 days ago and I was able to take it out yesterday with my 9 year old daughter for a test drive and it felt good. So we came back in to pick up my wife and 10 month old daughter and still had no issues with tipping or it feeling like it was going to tip over. This is my first canoe and I would recommend it to anyone. The one thing I would recommend is getting a canoe dolly because it is a little heavy. Oh yea and everyone was wearing a life jacket even though the deepest part we were in was 3ft deep.

great seating; good price;…

Submitted by: paddler233516 on 3/30/2010
great seating; good price; too tippy because of seats too high and nowhere to kneel... I'm installing retractable pontoons so I can stand and fish... can't wait to try them!

An update on my Mad River Adventure 16. This past season I…

Submitted by: Facklerrebel on 2/4/2010
An update on my Mad River Adventure 16.
This past season I spent a lot of time on one of our local rivers, most of the time by myself. The canoe continues to impress me, with it's stability and spacious room. When me and the wife go, we take lots of stuff, chairs for the sand bar visits, cooler etc. When I go by myself, usually, I got me a 7 foot kayak double blade paddle and I can make my canoe move smartly down the river. LOVE IT!

Bought the Adventure 16 and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/4/2009
Bought the Adventure 16 and took it our last month to a local lake and I was VERY impressed. With myself, my husband, and our two medium sized dogs we cruised all over the lake with ease! This canoe is very stable, even with our dogs moving around. Never once did it feel tippy, except when we were climbing in. I can't say enough good stuff about this canoe, it's awesome!

I LOVE THIS BOAT!!!!! I will…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/11/2009
I LOVE THIS BOAT!!!!! I will be honest, it is the first canoe that I have ever owned, but not the first I have ever been in. I have canoed with my friends for several years now, but never owned my own boat. I bought this boat because of the comfortable seats and storage capacity for gear. I did find out that there wasn't as much storage space when compared to traditional canoes, but the comfort and stability with a load makes up for it. I did discover that the boat will tip constantly if both passengers are leaning back against the backrests and they are adjusted like a Lazy Boy Recliner. If some of these people who are talking about the boat flipping would just tighten up the straps and adjust them to where they were sitting upright, the boat would be perfectly stable. It is a canoe on the river, not a piece of furniture in the living room! Suck it up and enjoy the great outdoors, if you get wet...who cares. Put your gear in a dry bag and strap it to the boat.

As for the handling of the boat, if the person in the front will steer the boat in the right direction by paddling forwards on the opposite side of the direction you want to turn, followed by the person in the back using the paddle like a rudder to help the boat make the turn faster followed by the person in the back paddling on the opposite side to speed up, the handling is fantastic. I have gone on a trip, where the person in the front of the boat was trying to control the boat like they were the person in the back and the boat handled awfully! DO NOT USE THE PADDLE IN THE FRONT LIKE A RUDDER, THE BOAT ONLY STOPS!!! Good communication helps!!!

Overall, this is a great boat and I have enjoyed the 20+ trips I have made in the 5 weeks that I have owned the boat!


Not a bad canoe...especially…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/10/2009
Not a bad canoe...especially for the price. I've had it for about 2 weeks now and have taken it out 6 or 7 times.

It handles great solo with a 250 lb person in the center seat; very stable. With 2 on board (180lb front, 250lb rear) it started out tippy, but we soon found our center and have had no problems with it at all. With 3 on board (180lb front, 150lb center, 250lb rear) it was a wreck, literally. We didn't make it 30 seconds before we tipped it. I don't think it was necessarily the weight, but the high center of gravity; all 3 of us are 6'+ and those seats are pretty high (the center seat is lower). We finally got as much of our mass as low as possible, but it just wasn't a pleasant experience. Maybe we'll try it again with some heavy gear on board to see if that will lower the center of gravity.

I like the poly construction better than I thought I might. I've bounced and banged it over rocks and stumps without any negative effects. It also seems to hold up well to being drug through the grass and dirt to the river's edge.

Overall, I like the canoe and still give it a good 8 out of 10 since we never really planned on using it with 3 people in it.


My wife and I went on a 5 1/2…

Submitted by: paddler233180 on 6/19/2009
My wife and I went on a 5 1/2 hour trip down the Mississippi in Central Minnesota and had the time of our life. This being our first trip in the new canoe and having read some reviews I was somewhat concerned, but soon after hitting the water it was great.
Love this canoe and will be recommending too all.

Well, I've made several trips…

Submitted by: Facklerrebel on 6/15/2009
Well, I've made several trips in my canoe, and continue to love it, and marvel how STABLE it is.
To the gentleman that said it was to tipsy, and no room for storage: Last weekend me and my wife made a run down the Flint River in Alabama. We had a cooler, two camp chairs, and our picnic gear and had room for more. Don't have any idea about what he was talking about. If you want a great canoe for just a few bucks, then this is the one.

Me the wife, kids and…

Submitted by: Facklerrebel on 4/26/2009
Me the wife, kids and grandkids got our nearly new Adventure 16 out on Madison Lake today. I had to keep assuring the wife and grandkids that it wasn't going to tip over. The last time I had been in a canoe was 30 years ago in February. Even by myself, sitting in the rear, I was able to make good speed with killing myself. The only problem I had was with a strong prevailing wind. But hey, it was pushing the son-in-laws kayak, and he's in a lot smaller craft and has a much lower profile. I love this canoe. It looks good, rides good in chop because of that triple chin. I got mine used one time, no joke for 499. I am tickled to death. If you think this canoe is squirrley, then I don't think you need to be in a canoe.

I have owned the Adventure 16…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/24/2009
I have owned the Adventure 16 for going on three seasons, and love it. It is tippy with inexperienced paddlers, and requires you to "find your center" and kind of go with the flow. Once you are accustomed to this canoe, you will not tip. My regular canoe partner and I have never tipped this boat, and can pretty much dance down the river in it. It's a great looking boat, and we get lots of compliments on the river. It is also pretty heavy, though with a few tricks I can load it on top of my Jeep by myself (probably not recommended).

If you want a canoe that may take a little skill development to get used to, this canoe is for you. If you are looking for a "canoe for dummies," you may want to keep looking.


This canoe is fantastic. It…

Submitted by: paddler233048 on 3/22/2009
This canoe is fantastic. It even looks cool (I got the red one). Although it SEEMS tippy, I have yet to roll it accidentally. It's stable enough for a 6'2" man to kneel in the seat, spin around on his knees, and whiz off the stern. As for rapids, who wants to take a 16' canoe down rapids? It's great for fishing.

We purchased the Adventure 16…

Submitted by: paddler232888 on 9/17/2008
We purchased the Adventure 16 to replace an old Penguin Explorer that we have used for years. After a short ride on the Adventure, we decided to returned it. I agree with all the users saying how tippy this boat is. We loaded it with me, my wife, my son and dog on a dead calm day and constantly felt like we were going over. I think it is a combination of high seats, narrow width and round bottom.

Another problem with this canoe is the poor placement of the plastic supports for the seats/floor. These get in the way and limit the potential space on the canoe. You could not kneel in in this canoe because there is no way to get your feet under the seat. Spread out, kayak style, and there is no room for any gear.


I live on a rather shallow…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/12/2008
I live on a rather shallow river with both slow moving & whitewater and have had an Adventure 16 for the past 3 years. Its been subjected to heavy use and been bounced off rocks and dragged through shallows countless times. The bottom looks like crap but this boat is extremely durable. It is also very comfortable. My wife prefers it to the other canoe, kayaks and jon boat we keep since we can travel further with less fatigue. The Adventure is a bit heavy (why it gets dragged as opposed to carried)but is a great boat for our use. We've had it in class III whitewater and the experience was somewhat "whiteknuckle." The boat is a hybrid of sorts with the best (and worse) of both a canoe and kayak. Its not real maneuverable or responsive in fast water nor is it extremely stable given its lack of agility. But it is tough! I see a lot of comments about stability in other posts. I've found the Adventure to be more tippy when loaded heavy at both ends. With my wife (110lbs) in the bow and me (200lbs) in the stern, its very stable but with me and my son (245lbs) aboard it gets kind of skittish. While it feels "tippy" it still seems to take a lot to roll it over. Having some weight amidships makes a big difference. Overall, this has been a fun, dependable and comfortable canoe that serves a lot of different purposes pretty well.

great canoe. i took 2 kids…

Submitted by: paddler232857 on 9/4/2008
great canoe. i took 2 kids out at one time and it never came close to tipping. i felt secure in it the entire time. a little hard to turn in a wind, but seems like a great canoe.

Have had this canoe for about…

Submitted by: Pinner on 8/1/2008
Have had this canoe for about 4 years now. Not sure why half of these reviews complain about the boat tipping over for no reason. Never been concerned unless paddling with a newbie that can't sit still. Even then the boat isn't going over.

This has been fun on flat water and Class I-II rivers. Solo paddling is actually fun with a kayak paddle from the center seat. It's not really a flat bottom boat, so it may feel like it rolls a bit to each side, but it's not going over unless you want it to. With a load (3 people) it sits well in the water.

It's a great beater that can take going over rocks and being dragged onto a rocky shore with no worries. Down side is that the molded cup holders take up the room that you would need to kneel or store extra gear.


My wife and I purchased this…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/16/2008
My wife and I purchased this canoe last week and finally got a chance to use it yesterday. The canoe is very comfortable and tracks well in the water. That being said it is very prone to tipping. We are not expert canoers but we have 50-75 hours in them and we couldn't keep this one upright in a small current. So I returned it and am lookin at Kayaks for us.

I bought this canoe last week…

Submitted by: paddler232651 on 6/13/2008
I bought this canoe last week and finally got a chance to try it yesterday. The canoe is very comfortable and tracks well.
But it is very unstable, my wife and I are not expert canoers but we have 75-100 hours in canoes and had a difficult time keeping this canoe upright. We flipped it once in a small current and it was extremely difficult to get the water out. I had to get the boat on land to get the water out due to the wrap around gunnels. I just returned it the dealer and am going to try kayaking.

I was looking for a…

Submitted by: paddler232582 on 5/21/2008
I was looking for a replacement for our Dolphin Squaw that we retired. I read a ton of reviews on various boats and the Mad River Adventure 16 seemed like it would be a nice fit. I noticed some complaints about it being tipsy but figured it was just initial stability and it would be fine. We have paddled for years and we have a very active young son and a very active 85lb dog so our boats require really good stability.

We took the A16 out on its maiden voyage yesterday with just me and my was miserable. We were on the backwaters of the Wisconsin river...nice and calm with no current. After 5 minutes I told my wife to stop paddling and just sit still because I was constantly fighting to keep this thing upright. There were many times that I stopped paddling and just sat there as still as can be and for no reason at all the boat would come extremely close to tipping us out. Once when my wife bent down gently to adjust her sandal, it was enough to just about put us in the water. I spent the entire time we were out miserably countering the tipping of this boat. When we loaded it back on the car, we drove 2 hours back to where we bought it and we got our money back!

The word stable has no business being with this boat. There is no way I could put my son or my dog in the middle of this boat and feel safe that they would not tip me out.

The seats were extremely comfortable but that was all I liked about it. We went out and bought an Old Town Guide 147 for the rave reviews about its stability. I will report on that one when we get back tonight.


I have the Mad River…

Submitted by: paddler232492 on 3/20/2008
I have the Mad River Adventure 16 and I love this canoe. My wife and I have two small children ages 3 and 6, and I can say that I don't feel like this canoe would tip easily. The kids constantly shift around in the canoe and I don't feel like it is ever in danger of tipping over. The seats are very comfortable, you can paddle many hours in this canoe quite comfortably.

The only drawbacks about this canoe seem to be weight and lack of accessories. That being said, I had spinal fusion surgery 10 weeks ago, and can still get this boat on and off the roof of my Honda Odyssey by myself, and I'm short only 5'7". It's probably too heavy for one person to portage, so not having a center portage yoke makes sense. Everyone likes the cup holders. It has a drain plug so all the water comes out when it is upside down. It has a lipped gunwale like a kayak. I have been looking for a spray skirt for this. If anyone has an idea where to get one I'm interested.


I have had the Adventure 16…

Submitted by: paddler232408 on 12/17/2007
I have had the Adventure 16 for several weeks now. My first trip was with my 14 year old daughter. Both of us are comfortable in boats but new to canoes. We had a great short trip and the canoe has been everything I was hoping to get. Even for newbies, we never felt at risk of tipping.

It is basically maintenance free, relatively inexpensive, and has some nice comfort features. I don't care about weight in my situation. Only issue was that we were paddling in some narrow bayous so we were not so good with the sharp turns (I'm sure at least to some degree our poor technique). I could easily recommend as a fun, versatile, and easy to own canoe.


Buying a Mad River Adventure…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/29/2007
Buying a Mad River Adventure 16 was a terrible mistake. With its seat backs, middle seat, drink holders, etc. its intended use would appear to be fishing and family flat-water paddling. However, it is shockingly and unacceptably unstable for those uses. It is surprising that such a wide and flat-bottomed canoe could be so unstable, but it is. Note carefully all of the ads and reviews talking about SECONDARY stability, OK with sandbags for ballast, a bit tippy, etc. None of that should be necessary in a boat made for fishing and family flatwater, and the A-16 is certainly not good for anything else. It should have good initial stability, and it does not. It's not that I'm a klutz. I have canoed and kayaked for many years in many different boats, both whitewater and flatwater. I can cast standing up in a Mad River Legend 16 or Old Town Discovery series, but can hardly reach for an anchor or tackle box in the A-16 without fear of tipping. It's hard to imagine a more worthless or ill-conceived canoe. The boat doesn't even drain all of its water when turned upside-down because of the lips around the gunnels.

This is by far the best canoe…

Submitted by: paddler232077 on 6/6/2007
This is by far the best canoe I have ever purchased. Although at 81 pounds it is a little heavy. However me and my 13 year old boy love it. It has great maneuverability and tracking on the calm water we ride it on. We live out in North Texas and ride it on Joe Pool Lake mostly. The storage and seating are phenomenal.

Great for lakes, calm water.…

Submitted by: paddler231883 on 11/22/2006
Great for lakes, calm water. Excellent tracking, maneuverability. Folding seatbacks are a dream... BUT the Adventure 16 is tippy in even Class 1 rapids, difficult to kneel in with molded seating. My friend & I are experienced, yet two novices that travelled with us this past summer did better in class 1 & 2+ rapids with their Pelican.

I've had my Adventure 16 for…

Submitted by: paddler231856 on 10/23/2006
I've had my Adventure 16 for about a year and a half, and I love it! It's extremely versatile—from solo paddling to a family cruise. In addition, I've taken it poling up the Skykomish River here in Washington. It's an awesome boat!!

For an entry-level canoe,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/10/2006
For an entry-level canoe, this is the most comfortable, stable canoe I've been in. I've paddled alone (although at 212lbs, the bow rises out of the water) and its very stable in a slow moving river. The first time I took it out, it was just me in the back and my 70lb. lab just behind the front seat. It tracked a little less than desirable, but then again, with me at 212lbs., the bow was, we'll say, less than submerged. It turned on a dime, though, and although a bit tippy, even when the dog leaned over the side to try to get the fish I'd caught, it still wouldn't roll over. A few days later, our whole family went out: Me, my wife (110lbs) my sons (75lbs and 45lbs), and the lab. It was much more stable with the added weight. Again, when the dog tried to lean over for a drink, we would tip to one side, but never felt close to going over. I'd say it handles nearly as well as my kayak at tracking and efficiency with two people. This weekend, my 45lb. 5 year sat in the bow with me in the stern, and it was solid, tracked well, and easy to paddle in the slow moving river I go out on. Even just his 45lbs when all the way in the bow seat made a huge difference than solo.

The seats are very comfortable for hours at a time, and there's plenty of room for fishing gear, etc. I got it at Dick's for $419, but I think it's still a great deal at the normal $599. Great first, and possibly only canoe we'll ever need. If there are any negatives, I suggest you eat your Wheaties if you've got to carry it far or load it yourself. At 80lbs, it's a task to roof top it, but I have managed to do so on my own a couple of times. It's also not the best for solo paddling, but I've got my kayak for that.


I bought my Mad River over a…

Submitted by: paddler231827 on 10/2/2006
I bought my Mad River over a year ago. It is my second canoe. Love it, love it. My wife and I float moving water creeks in south Mississippi and Louisiana. Handles very well in moving water. The only drawback is when heavy paddling is required (ususally in lakes) it is a little tipsy. Very pleased with it.

Took my own advice and added…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/28/2006
Took my own advice and added two 40lb bags of sand on the floor of the canoe just in front of the center seat. The improved stability is very noticable, especially in choppy water or boat wakes. When going solo I move one of the bags of sand behind the center seat and again there is a lot of added stability. The extra weight doesn't seem to affect the performance or speed in any noticeable way, but then again we're just canoeing on an open lake. Hopefully this will prove to be a cheap long term solution to add some stability and peace of mind.

I agree with the review below…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/1/2006
I agree with the review below that the Adventure 16 is a bit tipsy, especially with two men paddling. My brother in law and I tipped for no apparent reason, although I was in the front and could not see what was happening as the canoe tipped over. It could be due to men's higher center of gravity, becasue when my wife and I use the canoe it feels much more stable. You definitely sit higher in this canoe than most others, and once the canoe starts to tip its very difficult to correct or stop. I will probably try the suggestion below of putting some 50lb bags of sand in front and behind the center seat to see if this adds more stability. It is a great solos canoe though and very stable with just one person in the center seat. Other than the stability, I love the comfort and ease of use of this canoe. Anyone else have similar issues, or any other suggestions for improving the stability a bit?

canoe tracks fairly well. if…

Submitted by: paddler231549 on 5/8/2006
canoe tracks fairly well. if high winds come from the side its difficult to turn. mine is set up for fishing. box strapped behing center seat. fishing buddy mounted to the side. can easily move from rear seat to fish and use a conoe paddle; to the center seat to use a kayak paddle when i nee to move. i've had the adv. 16 for about two years and if have been very saticefied with it. its rather have for one person to transport, but a folding cart that fits in front of the front seat is very helpful.

I just recently purchased…

Submitted by: paddler231526 on 4/17/2006
I just recently purchased this canoe, and although it rides very nice with one person, it seems to be a bit tippy with two. I weigh 170lbs, and when I have another paddler almost the same size as me, the canoe seems very unstable. Is anyone else experiencing this? The only thing I can think to do, is to buy 2 50lb sand bags, and place one in the back and one in the front. I think the main problem is that we are sitting to high in the water. If anyone else has suggestions for this, Please let me know.

Great canoe! I took it out…

Submitted by: paddler231519 on 4/13/2006
Great canoe! I took it out that same day I bought it. It paddles very well, is more then stable enough even for the novice paddler and turnes well. I recently took it out on a class 3 rapid in the James River and it did very well. I love the lip around the top of the canoe. It really dose a great job of keeping water out of the boat. The only negitive thing I can say is that I can not find ANY accessories for this boat. I wist there was a web page for Adventurer Owners where we could share ideas on modifications and accessories. If you are thinking of getting an adventurer, go for it, you cant beat it for the price.

Great little boat! The bucket…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/3/2006
Great little boat! The bucket seats & cupholders made this 'luxury canoe' the perfect tool to get me & the wife roughing it outdoors. I actually set out to buy a Spirit II & equip it with seatbacks & cupholders... Saw this one at about one third the cost (already equipped!), and sparkling reviews.

We paddle mostly on a large nearby lake that allows unlimited horsepower, so we've been tossed around by some large wakes. Stays upright and dry, aside from spray of course. Runs over logs & rocks in the shallow alcoves... It's a comfortable seaworthy beater.

Many knock it for being heavy, but it's only ten pounds heavier than the highest rated all-purpose tandems. The problem is not its weight as much as it's awkward -- There is no yoke.

The carry handles are simply web-strap material through a rubber sleeve. They'll break. You can buy fifteen feet of this strap material for $5 at sporting shops & repair easy enough.


I read all of the reviews and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/25/2006
I read all of the reviews and settled on it from a local dealer. My 12 year old son and I love it. As has been said, it's more of a cross between a canoe and kayak. Heavy mother, though, that's the only downside. Another issue is the lack of attachable stuff. Still looking for some rod holders for it - holding them with your feet gets tiring. But the seats, speed and look are unbeatable.

Just took the Adv 16 by Mad…

Submitted by: paddler231406 on 12/12/2005
Just took the Adv 16 by Mad River out for the first time. Me, wife and two small boys on the lake. Nice!!!! The wind was up to 20-25 mph and the temp was around 48F. My wife had never been in a canoe and did quite well. The canoe handles well and cut the wind nicely. I figure we had 450 pounds in the canoe and still made it through the shallow 4 inch areas.

I recently purchased the Mad…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/14/2005
I recently purchased the Mad River Adventure 16; it was a pleasure to paddle. The comfort and design are unmatched. The canoe is constructed from polyethylene and weighs 80lbs. At first I was concerned it would not perform as well as other more expensive canoes or that its design is not traditional, but once on the water all doubt was quickly forgotten. A friend paid $900 for an Old Town canoe and after paddling the Adventure 16 he was surprise by its superior performance characteristics. The center seat is perfect for my two young boys and the bow and stern seats are comfortable. I'm very please with the Adventure 16.

My husband and I are amateur…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/1/2005
My husband and I are amateur canoeists. We love our Mad River Adventure 16. We canoe on a lake so it's very calm but we find the canoe moves smoothly and swiftly. It's so comfortable with the seats and we love that we can tote another adult or two kids on the middle seat. We have been taking lots of different people out on the canoe since we bought it in May 05 and everything has been smooth rowing. For amateurs like us it's quite stable. We also wish it were a bit lighter especially when having to put it back up on the rack, but we manage between the two of us. I do wish we could find out more about accessories for this canoe so if anyone knows about this please let us know. Great canoe.

Great canoe! I found an…

Submitted by: paddler231215 on 7/25/2005
Great canoe! I found an inexpensive canoe seat that works great on the middle seat for adults. I use a kayak paddle and sit in the back seat, my 12 year old uses a canoe paddle in the front seat and wife in the middle enjoying the scenery.

Very happy.

Submitted by: paddler231197 on 7/13/2005
Very happy.

Bought last summer, really…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/14/2005
Bought last summer, really taking it out now though. Great with kids, they can sit in the middle (they don't seem to mind not having a back), while the adults paddle. I use kayak paddles and they seem to work well. Bit heavy, but sturdy. Wish there was a little more info about accessories for it.

I love this canoe - **Comfort - This thing is shockingly comfortable…

Submitted by: paddler231025 on 4/7/2005
I love this canoe -

**Comfort - This thing is shockingly comfortable to sit in, even long distances - The center seat leaves much to be desired, but when paddling in tandem, the seats are excellent - Surprising as they're plastic and not padded.

**Price - At just over $400.00 you come away with a canoe with a capacity of 900 lbs, yet relatively nimble enough to be used in a variety of situations.

**Stability - Overall the stability of this boat is impressive, it's a wee bit tippy/wobbly like any canoe, but it feels solid when paddling, even in rougher waters.

**Construction - Excellent choice with the material, however the center seat is a bit awkward in its design and doesn’t easily lend itself to adding a typical canoe seat for back support - This is really not a big issue, but worth noting (also, it should be noted that due to the material the boat is made of it would take little effort to add eyelets to secure a seat like you would on a kayak) - One issue with the construction I have is with the carrying handle, after a month of solid use, the bow handle broke - This is more of an annoyance than a complaint, but it did help keep me from giving the 16 a "ten"

**Weight - Eat your Wheaties...You'll get a workout moving this beast about, but it's no worse than any other canoe on the market and actually lighter than SEVERAL tandem kayaks - This is the second area that kept me from giving the MR16 a "ten" - Perhaps I'm being too picky, but my thought it that the easier a boat is to top/portage the more it'll get used...

**Agility - Let's not lose sight of the fact that it's a canoe, being the most nimble creation on water it ain’t, but it's not bad either - In fact, it tracks very well, turns easily and can handle unexpected changes to water conditions easily.

All in all, if you're looking for a canoe that is going to be used for recreational purposes and easy on the wallet you ABSOLUTELY should consider the Mad River Adv 16.


I now own three canoes, one…

Submitted by: paddler230937 on 1/30/2005
I now own three canoes, one Folbot, a Mad River Explorer, and now the adventure 16, nice job Mad River. Finally someone has put a hybrid together that works great, yea, its a little heavy but what fun, I use kayak paddles and this boat cruises, and the seats give it more comfort and performance. I use this for day trips mostly but would not hesitate to take on overnighters and short portages. I'm going to have a spray skirt made for it this summer and try a river or two.

This is a wonderful canoe… This past weekend I had four people in…

Submitted by: paddler230850 on 10/24/2004
This is a wonderful canoe…
This past weekend I had four people in this canoe and it performed very well. This is the most comfortable canoe I have ever been in. The seats are the best part. I agree with the other reviews about this been a cross between a kayak and canoe. It is great for the price.

We find it to be an excellent…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/6/2004
We find it to be an excellent canoe for the money, stable and fast enough to keep us happy.

I bought My Mad River…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/27/2004
I bought My Mad River Adventure 16 a few weeks ago and I too was ready to spend a lot more. I have to say I love it. I was torn between buying a Kayak or a Canoe. Purest won't see it this way but this boat is as close as you can get to both worlds. Its mamma must have been a canoe and its daddy a kayak. It paddles and handles like a canoe, with all the room of a canoe but the seats and it roto molded material and its design makes it appear to have kayak features. In my opinion its a little more than an entry level boat. Its a lot of fun.

I set out to purchase a much…

Submitted by: paddler230689 on 7/19/2004
I set out to purchase a much more expensive canoe but once at the dealer I kept eyeing the Adventure 16 and after much deliberation decided to purchase it. The seats are what sold me and I did like the somewhat different look due to the rotomolded material. Some canoe purist might think it is down right ugly. I use it for fishing in a mangrove estuary (Estero Bay, FL) and it is working out great. The seats are even more comfortable than they look and the canoe is very stable, albiet a tad on the heavy side. Considering I don't need to portage the canoe or put it on a car rack, it is the perfect canoe for fishing and hacking around the mangroves. Also, it is real easy to install fishing rod holders due to the rotomolded material the canoe is constructed from.

My first canoe and I'm very…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/28/2004
My first canoe and I'm very happy with it. Great meeting of price, stability, versatility and durability. Of course it could be 20 lbs lighter but if you want light you gotta pay!

One experienced paddler - one…

Submitted by: paddler230622 on 6/14/2004
One experienced paddler - one not. A great canoe for us. Tracks exceptionally well. Stable. Easy to paddle. And, the seats - well, they are heavenly. A bit heavy for portaging, but the perfect canoe for cruising around rivers and lakes. We LOVE it.

My first canoe and I really…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/31/2004
My first canoe and I really enjoy it. Little heavy at 90lbs. But no one else is making roto molded canoes.

Remarkably stable boat.…

Submitted by: paddler230504 on 4/7/2004
Remarkably stable boat. Paddles very well. Tracks well. The most amazing feature is the adjustable seat backs, extremely comfy. Definately recommend!