The Pack is ideal for what I use it for. It is light to carry and easy to paddle with a double blade. The low slung seat helps it feel very stable. It's not for long distances, but very easy to drag over beaver dams to fish the next pond. The Royalex lives up to its reputation. Sad that its on its way out. The little canoe does what it's designed to do quite well.
I recently purchased foot and thigh braces to make it more comfortable on longer day trips for fly fishing. It would be great if Old Town top added these braces as that's about the only thing it lacks. At age 76, I haul it around like I was 30 years old. One of these days we'll trade our kayaks in for a Kevlar Canoe but my wife loves that kayak. Went down the Green River to the Colorado last year and camped out 10 days on our own. It was a kick. Loving the West and the freedom of the Rving lifestyle!
The wx was overcast, 10-12 mph winds on the open water, with a slight chop and the occasional wake from a lobster boat. The Pack performed well within my paddling ability to handle these conditions.
Now the real reason I bought this boat: At 33 lbs, it's incredibly easy to get on and off the Yakima racks on my pop-up pickup camper. (I returned the Pack's stablemate, the Guide 119, to Dick's Sporting Goods because it's actual weight of 46.2 lbs was just too much loading and unloading; see my review.)
I just turned 65. My weight is 210 at 5' 8" (lost 2.5 inches in height already, sheesh!) I'm comfortable in canoes and kayaks. The We-no-nah Fusion, Vagabond, and Prism were on my radar, too, but I think the Pack is gonna do me nicely for paddling on the Maine coast and haulin' in big bass from a favorite North Carolina pond.
I'm not ruling out a bigger solo boat some day, but, honestly, I don't feel at all compelled to get one now after my Pack's maiden voyage in saltwater. I highly recommend this boat to anyone looking for a little "all-rounder" canoe for under $1,000.
We have been in large and small lakes, streams and rivers, even ocean bays. Primarily I like it for flyfishing on small bodies of water or in streams/small rivers up to class two. I moved the fishing rod holder closer to the bow front away from my action/sweep of the kayak paddle. Note that with the kayak paddle I have no problem with tracking. Easy! I use about a 240 paddle because of the boat width.
I am now building new anchor holds for bow and stern using a small pyramid anchor for each, with wood mountings that extend beyond the canoe for easy use of the anchor lines. Last week I was fishing for trout in Central Oregon and my anchor line didn't reach bottom and when it did, wouldn't hold because of the wind. The anchor that comes with the boat for the Angler's edition is too light in my opinion. By time I finish modifications this will be one great canoe for fishing.
By the way, although this canoe does fairly well in wind, it is no match for a kayak which is much lower and better designed for speed. I do carry a Necky Manitou 14 kayak with us and a Cayuga 13 kayak for my wife. These are great in the wind and I do use them for fishing when the wind gets too bad. Mostly though the kayaks are for exploring which is limitless here in the Northwest. I love my Pack canoe as well as the Cayuga 13 kayak, both made by Old Town. This means I can paddle a variety of waters in different conditions.
To reiterate what everyone else has stated, the boat is difficult to track straight with single blade. It was no problem paddling as long as I could pry the double blade paddle away from my girlfriend on her kayak. But it didn't take her long before she threw the single blade back at me.
All in all, for the money it is a good boat if you want get in the water for low cost to paddle, fish, and haul plenty of gear for 1 or 2 people. Just don't expect to be intercepting any bassboats or anything.
I especially like this 12 foot wonderboat for its ability to do well in lakes, rivers, and small streams. I am looking forward to trying it out on our Oregon rivers up to Class II when I return next year from the East Coast.
I have a 240 Aqua-Bound cabon shaft paddle that works great. I am now looking for a cushion to soften the hard plastic seat on the angler edition. It gives a low center of gravity for excellent balance but it's hard on the backside after three or four hours in the water. I totally recommend this canoe!