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Old Town Canoe and Kayak
Pack Reviews

Read reviews for the Pack by Old Town Canoe and Kayak 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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This boat allows me to get…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/27/2023

This boat allows me to get out on the water more often. Full stop. It is so easy to load (33 lbs) and so easy to handle in the water. Tracking and speed aren't the best - the boat is only 12 ft long - and yet overall it is easy to handle. This boat has brought me so much joy because I can paddle the Connecticut River whenever I have a few hours free...


This is an update. I have…

Submitted by: BradBJB on 9/27/2021

This is an update. I have had the pack about 8 years. Today I did some mods and then took the pack out on a local lake for a few hours. I thought I would try lowering the seat as many others have done. Just for fun. I had some spare riser dowels so for about $3 at Home Depot I bought 6 inch bolts. No, they aren’t stainless and this is just an experiment. Since the gunwales are 1 inch thick, my 4 inch dowels were too long for the bolts. I cut them down to 3 inches, so it lowered the seat 1 1/2 inches from stock. The seat is now a bit under 7 inches clearance to the deck. When removing the seat, I realized that the web area of the seat was only 13 inches from outside of frame to frame in length, so only 10 inches of webbing. I had a spare seat that was 18 inches, so I cut it to fit the pack. As far as stability, I can’t tell the difference in the new lowered seat. With the longer web area it is more comfortable.

I brought along some paddles to test the pack. I started with a carbon fiber BB double in 260 cm length. I used this paddle sitting on the seat. Next I tried a BB beavertail, 57 inches. Last, I tried a 63 inch ash ottertail that I made. I used the solo paddles from the seat and also kneeling on a foam pad. I am far from being an expert paddler, so I can only report what worked for me. Using the solo paddles in the pack did not work for me. My tracking was poor and I felt like I wasted my energy in correction strokes. I have no doubt an expert kneeler could make this work, but my 70 year old knees don’t like it. The solo paddles from the seat were not any better. For me, the double paddle keeps the pack tracking decently straight with about 6-8 inches of bow wiggle.

i want to be honest about the Pack. It does not track as straight as my 16’6” Wenonah. How could it, it is only 12 ft long. It is not as fast either. Again, how could it be? As a total package, the Pack is terrific. It is so easy to handle out of the water. In the water it is impervious to bumps and bruises. It turns very quickly. It was comparatively inexpensive, as I paid $990 new. My Wenonah is up to $3400! The Pack is fairly tippy when getting in, but once seated I find it plenty stable. Another plus is that I can throw it in the back of the pickup truck, tie it to the bed with four ropes, tie a red flag on the back and away I go. The Wenonah has to go up on the rack, with lots of ropes and pads. Much more work. I understand that Esquif in Canada is making a Pack replacement from T Formex. It is a bit heavier at 39 lbs, but may be the closest yet to the Royalex Pack, which is 33. In conclusion, the Pack is utilitarian, fun, and easy. Great for us older folks and people who don’t want to lift heavy boats.


This is an update. I posted a…

Submitted by: Elkhunt on 8/31/2020
This is an update. I posted a 3 day trip I took down the Willamette (Harrisburg to Salem 100m) and the Pack worked fantastically, both in handling and gear capacity. Stable and handled the rare "whitewater" with ease. Last week I took it from the "headwater" of the Willamette to Eugene, about 15 miles, with much more current and white water. Again it worked great and kept me on top during the 4 hour trip. Great boat with, but must have a kayak paddle.

Believe it or not I bought a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/5/2018

Believe it or not I bought a Pack new as a leftover about 6-7 yrs ago. Kept it for a couple of years and then sold it to a very happy buyer. Went on to a 14' Blackhawk which is a great canoe. As time marched on I realized the selling of the Pack was a BIG MISTAKE!

A primary advantage of the 12' Pack is that it fits within a full size van so the regiment involving rack mounting is eliminated. Just load and go.

I recently found a used one (not as nice as the one I sold) and the seller was astonished to see me load it within the van.

Also, I am another that paddles the Pack backwards. I am a canoe paddle kneeler and brace against the thwart. My preferred paddle is a Grey Owl Ottertail which seems to be a perfect match for me and the Pack. I also use the seat as a work surface.

At 64 yrs young; lesson learned.


After paddling an Old Town…

Submitted by: Kendal on 7/30/2018

After paddling an Old Town 115K for years, I decided to get a Pack, and found a used one for a reasonable price. I love it, as my main purpose for paddling is to kill time and enjoy the scenery. The Pack is a great canoe for my purposes, but mine was already pretty well used when I got it, and I'd like to find one in better shape to replace it. If anyone knows of one for sale please give me a heads up. Thanks.


I know this canoe has a…

Submitted by: Out_of_Line on 4/10/2018

I know this canoe has a great following, and being a solo canoer I felt I had to have one (not so much I would pay the gouging prices some folks are charging since they discontinued it). I kept it one season, and feel it has a place, but not for me. The awful plastic gunnels and trim puts it one step above a Coleman (the constant creaking would scare away the fish!). The width was just a little to much for a short guy to clear with either a single or a kayak paddle (255 cm). Yes, it was both light-weight and stable (it would have to be with a flat bottom and 34 inch width) but I could not keep with the rest of my group. If you can get one cheap enough, it might work for you, but at the prices they are asking these days for used ones, I would opt for a quality composite canoe.


Functional and Easy to Transport

Submitted by: SoloCanoe on 10/9/2017

I use the pack daily on my local river. I throw it on the car before work in the morning, lock it up with a bike lock near the trail that runs beside the river, park the car, go for a quick 3 mile jog, then canoe a few more miles back to the car. On days I get to canoe with friends, the pack is easy for my 105 pound frame to throw around on one shoulder and keep up with the guys. Nobody ever needs to assist me with my boat, which I like. Now that I've been paddling different sections of the river daily, I feel I may be outgrowing it. I wish it had slightly higher gunwales, and more rocker. It does turn well, despite the flat bottom, if you know what to do with the paddle. I can maneuver in currents around all sorts of obstacles, some of which I have banged right into while learning. The royalex was wonderful to have while learning to avoid logs and rocks on the river, but I'm probably ready for a lightweight Kevlar boat with more performance. On lakes the pack seems sluggish until I just really get my paddle strikes going. Sometimes I sit on the side, like Becky Mason, which helps with speed. The pack is a wonderful boat for someone who just wants to be able to transport the boat easily and get on the water. The pack has been the perfect entry level canoe. I will always love it's simple, functional design.


Stock seat makes sense

Submitted by: John_G on 7/18/2017

I bought a 2001 Pack about three months ago and have used it about six times. I use the seat in what I think is the factory position, which is with 1.5" drop-downs from the gunnel. The original 1.5" drop-downs were cracking, so I made some from a 3/4" diameter birch dowel. Like others, I found that it likes to be packed full of camping gear--tracks better, sits lower in the water for better handling with wind, and is more stable. This canoe is multi-purpose for sure, but I think the ultimate use is for packing gear for camping. The high seat position allows you to store more under it, and the high position also gives you better leverage for paddling. I'm not a super experienced paddler, but I've found that with that seat position, a 54" wide-bladed Bending Branches paddle gives more power and speed than a kayak paddle. That position and the short, 12 ft. length are insurance against high winds, which are pretty standard in the Oregon Cascades. A Crazy Creek canoe seat helps keep you centered and balanced.


Join the Pack, if you can find one!

Submitted by: barry2112 on 6/26/2017

I just latched onto a used ’88 Pack canoe for $400, and now know what everybody is raving about with this boat! So glad I didn’t bite on the last few new Packs in Waterport at $400 over list! I didn’t lower the seat, as many have done here, but did replace it and move it forward to about 3” behind center. This is very close to where the seats on my other solo canoes (Moccasin, Serenade, Ladybug) are set for my size paddler to get optimum trim when unloaded, except for me! Tried the boat out today and had a blast, steady as a rock, not tossed about in the wind, and tracked fairly well with both a straight and double paddle. Would have stayed out longer but was chased off the water by a thunderstorm. I can only guess that many of the criticisms expressed here about tracking and stability of the OT Pack are due to users not properly trimming the boat, either with load or by adjusting the seat position forward. With the stock seat location, the average paddler will find the bow much too high resulting in a ‘tippy’ and poorly tracking canoe. Don’t blame the Pack!


Great Canoe for This Old Guy...

Submitted by: BradBJB on 11/29/2016

I have two canoes, a Wenonah Escapade and the Old Town Pack. The Pack is a terrific canoe for when I go solo. I am 66 years old, 6'1" and weigh 175 lb. I just got back from a week long trip in the NY Adirondacks with the Pack. It easily carried my camping, fishing, and photography gear. It paddles easily with my 260 cm kayak paddle. It is very stable and I don't understand those who think it should feel like a raft. I have also used this canoe with a grandkid on the deck in front of me, no problems. It is, however, not a tandem canoe and people should not expect it to be one. I have not lowered the seat and find it just fine as it came. You can get lighter solo canoes but they are usually kevlar and very expensive and fragile. The Pack does not require the careful treatment that I have to give the Escapade, which I use when I want to go tandem. Of course longer canoes are faster, it's physics. But the Pack does perfectly what it was designed to do, be a solo, easily transported and paddled canoe at a great price. I think I bought one of the last ones made since Royalex is no longer available. I wouldn't sell it for any price!


At 33 pounds easy loading.…

Submitted by: jfleming on 6/6/2016
At 33 pounds easy loading. Plenty of room for fishing gear and/or weekend camping. Maneuverability is very good. Owen my Pack for about 10 years will never sell or trade. I understand the Discovery solo boat is a bit heavier than the original Pack.

My reason for buying this…

Submitted by: RikJohnson on 12/29/2015
My reason for buying this canoe was to do the Green River in Utah. With all that muck in the water, filtering would be problematical at best so we'd need to haul a gallon/day for the week and none of my kayaks could haul that much water. I still have not done the Green but I did do the Lower Colorado below Hoover Dam.

Packing was simple, toss my gear into two waterproof duffles, toss one in the bow and the other in the stern. A half-size ice chest fits behind the seat and a 3-gallon water can under the seat. With the capacity of that boat, I was able to haul enough gear to camp in comfort while all the kayakers were struggling with space for their gear. I fit 5 interlocking foam (dance) pads on the bottom to keep my dog and my knees happy and used those pads between my tent and the rocky ground so was very comfortable. It is amazing what you can pack in a canoe over a kayak.

We did hit weather after a few days so I spent those days kneeling to keep my center low. Still, even with a bean wind, the Pack tracked well and I had no problems keeping on course. It feels tippy but never gave me any real concern.
Again, the more I use this boat, the more I love it!


I have had my Old Town Pack…

Submitted by: richardpinney on 9/12/2015
I have had my Old Town Pack for about 20 years, and it has served me well. The light weight (~33#) means I can carry it on one shoulder, with paddle, life jacket, and a few odds and ends, to the water in one trip by myself, a definite plus for a small solo canoe. The Royalex construction is nearly indestructible, and essentially impervious to UV. My Pack once spent a couple of years continuously on the top of my truck with no apparent adverse effects. After about 18 years of use, and abuse, the cane seat finally gave out, and I purchased a replacement with artificial fiber webbing. I kept the frame of the cane seat, in case I can have it re-caned some day. The canoe did sustain a slight dent in the bow, but only because I hit a rock "hard", and square-on, in some light white water. This canoe will swamp, and it just barely floats when full of water, but it is not really a white water boat anyway, particularly considering the slight keel. It paddles well while sitting, and extra stability can be had by using a "kneeling from the seat" position. I have not taken this canoe camping, but it does just fine with enough gear for fishing and day trips.

I love this little boat! My…

Submitted by: milemaker13 on 9/8/2015
I love this little boat! My first true solo canoe I have paddled the local forest preserves, Lake Shabbona, Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. The mighty Miss was a little wild, couple waves over the bow. Still had a great time, didn't swamp. This boat does not track well empty. It does alot better when loaded, but I still need a correction before and after the power stroke. I start with some thing like a C, then finish with a J, rudder or pry as warranted. This boat is made of royalex, but still only weighs 33lbs! Go for it!

My son and I took my kayaks…

Submitted by: Elkhunt on 9/1/2015
My son and I took my kayaks fishing in a Cascade lake last a couple weeks ago, and after two days in my Hurricane Tampico 140L I reached the conclusion it's not made for fishing. Too cramped, no gear or rod holders and lots of lower back pain. I have used a 16' Grumman for 30 years, but it's just too big to haul by myself and too hard to get into some of the water we boat. So I came back home open to other options, and started surfing Craigslist only to find a like new OT Pack.

Frankly I'd not heard of this boat and came to this site only to learn it's beloved by most of you (thanks for the advice). So I zipped across town made an offer ($500) and bought the little Pack, that still wore factory stickers and the clear plastic on the emblem! I live on water, so I came home and took it for a test drive. I loved it immediately, my old Werner Skagit 240 moved it along at a smooth clip and it tracks fairly well, with only a little bow wiggle on power strokes but nothing annoying. I tried my favorite canoe paddle... that was frustrating, in my opinion it's not designed for a single.

I chose the Pack for all the reasons you've already read, with it's light weight leading the list. I did not find the seat too high, but I ordered a sitbacker so I did lower it about 3" and that worked great. My paddle was throwing a little too much water on board, so I picked up a Bending Branches Slice 280, the boat now stays nice and dry and no shaft knock on the gunwales even at a fairly relaxed angle.

I like to tinker, so I drew up a plan for a new front thwart/foot brace/rod holder/tackle shelf/bungee deck. I dropped $10 on Ash and went to work. The new thwart came out great and only added 5#. I can now lock my feet in and it has firmed my paddle stroke up nicely. See picture 1, picture 2 on Photobucket

The little craft is far more maneuverable than any of my Kayaks, it turns on it's axis and is responsive without being unstable. I will add an anchor trolley and then take it to a new steelhead hole my son found on the MacKenzie (I can carry it upstream of the hole and drift in). Living in Oregon, with lots of great options, I needed a boat I could manhandle by myself and a seating position that did not aggravate my lower back, I have found that boat. Besides fishing, I am sure I will camp out of it, backpacking gear will be an easy load with lots of room to spare. I don't see the Pack or my old Grumman ever leaving my fleet.


I recently purchased a used…

Submitted by: StevoG on 7/7/2015
I recently purchased a used Old Town Pack canoe after having looked for one for quite a while. I wanted a solo canoe so that I could easily load it on my small sedan. It turns out they are hard to find used in my area since they are no longer made, and in Royalex for that matter. After having used it a couple of times, I think I love it. < P> I am 5'7" and 150 lbs (not a big guy), and unlike other reviewers, I have not felt the need to lower the seat, which I understand to be common for many Pack owners - though I will say that lowering the seat from the factory standard would make it more conducive to paddling with a kayak paddle. If your center of gravity is higher, you may want to think about lowering the seat. But I love this canoe for its ease of loading/unloading from atop a vehicle, lightness, carrying capacity for my gear and simplicity.

While it does not track the best due to its short length, it's great for calm lakes or downriver floats. I had been looking at the Old Town NEXT recently but was glad to find a used Pack. So I was able to save a little money in the process and got a great boat out of it!


For what it is, it is a great…

Submitted by: Old_Paddler on 4/22/2015
For what it is, it is a great canoe. It is a lightweight solo canoe for a leisurely paddle. She is NOT a tandem canoe, and I can't picture using this short boat as such. I scored a nice used one lately and added her to my fleet (5 other Old Town canoes - each different). As with my other boats, I lowered the seat 2" - not sure I won't raise it back up.

Today was the first time on the water, and after a short time getting used to a rhythmic j-stroke, she performed well. With one of my kayak paddles, she handled well. I'm glad to have her in the fleet - along with 2 other Royalex canoes and 3 classic wood canoes (1 restored, 1 in process and another in queue).

She won't be my "daily driver," or the one I take on trips, but on the days I just want a slow paddle - she fits the bill


Additional notes to previous review [07-16-2014]: A couple weeks ago we headed out…

Submitted by: RikJohnson on 1/14/2015
Additional notes to previous review [07-16-2014]:
A couple weeks ago we headed out for our annual Yule paddle with Jeff and 1-year-old Rowan in my Pack canoe. We tried sticking the baby in the dry-hatch of my Dirigo kayak but his mother probably would have killed us.
The trip across the lake was safe with no worries about the kid, though both my daughter and I stayed near. Then we saw some guy struggling. His IK had sprung a leak and he was stranded! We moved all the gear from the stern to the bow, had Jeff kneel against the forward thwart and put the fisherman in the stern while I carried his gear and boat on my Dirigo 12 and Cerridwen staying close to the canoe just-in-case.

The Pack dropped maybe an inch with all that extra weight but once we got it trimmed, all went well and we got the stranded fisherman to the marina safely.

Yes, the Pack has exceeded all my expectations, the only thing left is to do a week down the Colorado River living out of the boat


I got this canoe 3 years ago,…

Submitted by: paddler236059 on 11/19/2014
I got this canoe 3 years ago, second hand, but in nearly perfect condition. My wife wanted a canoe she could load and launch herself. Also, after using a sit ontop kayak for a few years, she wanted to stay dry. This canoe works for her on both counts.

The only drawback was that it was not as stable as our 2-person canoes. I think the seat is mounted too high. I lowered the seat 3" with longer SS bolts and hardwood spacers. This gave much better results and I highly recommend doing this.


Good boat. This review is…

Submitted by: paddler236044 on 10/24/2014
Good boat. This review is more for people considering using this as a tandem. Long story short: It can be done calmly, but it gets cramped after a while and I personally will be buying a second canoe eventually for when I go canoeing with a friend.

Tracking is a little off probably because of it's short length but it's still easy to paddle along. Can take it up swift creeks until it's too shallow without feeling uneasy the whole time and across a windy reservoir without wanting to give up.

Now I've used and abused this boat and have used it to it's limit. I've had 3 adults in it (combined weight around 450#) and we even went up a creek a ways exploring with the water line safely above the gunwhales but it was cramped and it took a bit of work movin. It also scared the heck out of my crew when they would shift their weight around but we never came close to taking in water.

I've also used it canoeing with myself and pops (under 400 pounds for the two of us combined) and about 100 pounds of gear for a week of portage wilderness camping and the boat preformed well except that we were CRAMPED. We both had to sit on float pads on the floor of the canoe with my feet into the stern and he kept his back into the bow and feet under a pack balanced on the crossbeam but we just managed to fit ourselves and gear with the boat paddles backwards. It was only 2-3 inches from the waterline to the gunnel but we made it. We found that while you can do it it's really not what the boat is designed for. We moved slow and steady and navigated with little trouble in the wind and rain. The two of us were able to do some lively fishing the whole time but had to stretch our legs every few hours.

Overall I am happy with this boat. Get along well with it and can even occasionally be stressed with a partner in the bow but I would put it's weight capacity for realistic canoeing at 500 pounds as your max.

Would recommend to anyone but try it out first to see if you like it. Also don't expect it to handle any serious type II rapids unless you like being swamped!!


When you take a solo canoe…

Submitted by: paddler234336 on 10/19/2014
When you take a solo canoe and use it as a tandem, you can't expect great results. It's not the total weight; it's the distribution. I love my Pack; but when I took my wife for a ride sitting in the front, it handled like a tugboat. I routinely put the same amount of weight in the canoe without trouble, but I distribute it.
Oil canning? That's how a good canoe gives a nice smooth ride.

The Pack 12 canoe ruined our…

Submitted by: paddler229385 on 10/6/2014
The Pack 12 canoe ruined our canoeing this summer. After 40 years tandem paddling Old Town Oltonar 16 and 18’ canoes, we decided to downsize to a Pack 12’. We loved our 16 and 18’ Old Towns, but could no longer easily lift their 60 to 75#s. The 33# pack with 550 to 600# usable capacity seemed the perfect answer. Our tandem weight was barely 300#, easily within the Pack’s capacity. We dismissed reviews that said the Pack was tippy and tracked poorly. We were experienced lake and river canoers, all kinds of water, difficulties. We found the Pack to be horribly tippy, even sitting on a lowered seat and kneeling. So we bought Spring Creek ethafoam floats. These prevented tipping but also caught waves, splashed water into the canoe and interfered with paddling. The Pack tracked much worse than expected, solo and tandem. So we bought 260cm kayak paddles. That didn’t help tracking much and the shafts hit the gunnels and dripped into the boat. In tandem paddling (300#) we had way too little freeboard. The Pack also oil canned much more than previous larger Old Towns; actually kind of scary how flimsy the bottom was. So after a ruined summer trying to get used to the Pack 12, we got rid of it. We then bought a 42# Ultralight Wenonah. Our love of canoeing was reborn with the Wenonah. It’s beautiful, stable, light, comfortable, fast, tracks like a dream, absolutely no oil canning. So if you’re looking for a lightweight lake or class I-II river canoe, learn from our mistake. Buy an Ultralight, not an Old Town Pack!

I am a woman in her 60's,…

Submitted by: paddler236023 on 9/28/2014
I am a woman in her 60's, 5'4", and strong, but no Amazon. I can put this canoe on my car and then carry down the path to the shore all by myself, which is why I bought it!

Other reviewers mentioned the issue with portaging. Thanks to a hint I read on line somewhere, I marked the center of gravity on the gunnels with tape (with the help of a strong young man who patiently tried various spots). I wrap a compression strap around the canoe, which is sufficient, but I added a swimming "noodle" for more cushion. When I get to the lake, I take it off and throw it in the boat. Works like a charm for me.

I had the seat angled for kneeling, and that has made this a very comfy ride, indeed. Next year I will add knee braces, I think. I am still learning how to be more efficient paddling. The canoe is so short that the width in the middle makes it almost diamond shape, instead of the sleeker shape of a longer vessel. I am experimenting with angling the blade slightly and starting my stroke farther away from the gunnel than I normally would.

Speed is not an issue for my purposes, so I am just very happy to be able to get on the water without an entourage!


Just got mine and took it out…

Submitted by: waterdog49 on 9/14/2014
Just got mine and took it out for a quick paddle. Very light and easy to carry with one hand - exactly why I bought it. Very squirrely with my weight up high. I weigh around 280# and I NEED to lower the seat! This is in the works and I expect it to get better after. Will repost when mods are done...

This is a wonderful solo…

Submitted by: paddler235932 on 9/4/2014
This is a wonderful solo expedition canoe as it is light (about 35 lbs.) and small. It's made of Royalex and can hold a lot of gear. Portaging is a breeze. It also handles well because it's only 12' long.

I purchased my Pack Canoe…

Submitted by: paddler235884 on 8/26/2014
I purchased my Pack Canoe back in 1986 and have used it for many years on all types of water bodies, in all weather conditions,for easy recreational use, and for extended canoe tripping. I own 2 other tandem canoes, and have used many different brands of tandem and solo canoes for guiding trips and for recreational use so I feel qualified to give a fair assessment of the Pack canoe.

The Pack canoe can be used for just about any use by an experienced paddler who knows how to overcome its limitations (with the exception of rapids above class 2 - it's possible to run a class 2 rapid in the Pack canoe, but I don't recommend it). Its best use is for fishing, paddling streams and small ponds/lakes. It requires skill to handle safely on larger lakes under windy conditions and also requires a good working knowledge of canoe strokes to appreciate, and enjoy, how it moves through the water.

Despite what has been written by other reviewers, this is NOT a straight tracking canoe. Every stroke usually ends as a J stoke and precious forward momentum is lost. If you want a straight tracking canoe, look at the Wenonah solo canoes. After 28 years with the Pack canoe I finally gave in to peer pressure and used a 2 bladed paddle. I found it to be a much better match for this canoe. As a result, during my last canoe trip, I was able to make an average speed of 3mph, fully loaded, against a headwind on a 13 mile long lake. But still, it requires care to stay upright in larger waves. I still take along a single blade paddle to navigate twisting streams.

On streams, the Pack canoe can usually out-perform, in speed and turns, most other, if not all, comparable solo canoes, and is a real joy to use. I prefer the Pack canoe to a Hornbeck boat on all streams and smaller bodies of water, especially while canoe tripping. And, the price is 1/3 the cost of a Hornbeck boat.

This boat is most stable with a pack placed under the front thwart and with knees placed on the bottom of the canoe. My preferred position in unstable water conditions is to kneel so that the hull does not bend and flex upward. Otherwise I am most comfortable with my legs crossed in front of me. Despite the load range recommendations, I would never exceed 350 pounds in this canoe. To exceed that weight places more of the bow and stern in the water, as opposed to the wide flat bottom, and makes the boat much more tippy. A 350 pound weight limit is more than enough capacity for any back-country canoe trip lasting 7-10 days. You cannot find a Royalex canoe on the market today that will carry this much weight and still weigh so little.

Despite its low weight, I do not enjoy portaging this canoe while canoe tripping. I much prefer my larger 42 or 58 lb. tandem canoes. It is very difficult to place a yoke- and in the case of the Pack canoe it must be a clamp on yoke- on center and still find enough room to fit ones pack and head on either side of it up in the canoe. Whether carried bow, or stern first, the seat or thwart obstruct vision and can bang against ones head and face. For portages lasting less than 1/4 mile it is often easier to carry on the shoulder and to use the painter line lashed back to the seat for extra support.

Unlike other reviewers, I actually raised the seat from its original position in order to better fit my legs underneath it for kneeling. I found that it put less strain on the back of my knees and was easier to get my feet under the seat. Additionally it was much easier and safer to get out of the canoe. Raising the seat did not raise the center of gravity because it helped me to kneel and actually lowered the center of gravity.

After 28 years of use I am having to do my first patch job on an interior crack, obtained while shooting over one of the 30+ beaver dams on the Oswegatchie river. This canoe is tough, and it is fun. It fits into so many places that a larger canoe wouldn't, and with an experienced hand, will go most places that a larger tandem canoe can. And it is a keepsake that I hope to pass on to my son.


Purchased a 2015 OT Pack. As…

Submitted by: paddler235790 on 7/29/2014
Purchased a 2015 OT Pack. As with any canoe paddled from the middle with a single blade the proper strokes need to be learned. I like the look, weight and feel of the boat. I sit and knee and had plans to lower the seat but now don't think it is needed. I have had three other solo canoes and like this one the best for tracking, stability and turning. Will be using for fishing, trapping, overnight camping trips and to take along on our paddle club outings. It's a fun boat to own!

Although I've paddled for…

Submitted by: RikJohnson on 7/16/2014
Although I've paddled for many years, my first (purchased) boat was a Coleman Ram-16 canoe. Unfortuinatly, neither my daughter nor I like being in the same boat and the Ram-16 was too large for me to solo so we switched to kayaks, the Coleman sitting in my boat-barn, mostly unused.
BUT, I like the idea of a canoe for base-camp paddling and love Old Town boats. Unfortunately at $1080 (on sale for $850) they were out of the range for a single father.

I found an ad for a OT Pack for $200 so rushed out, looked it over and handed over the cash. It needed minor work. the forward thwart needed to be replaced, some hull scratches to patch but nothing I could not easily do.

I cut a new thwart, added eye-bolts to keep my gear IN the boat, made a deck-pad for my dog and took it on the local lake for a test-paddle. I forgot to bring the GPS so could not check hull speed but I easily kept up and passed Odile in my WS Mallard kayak.

Paddling was easy! Initially rocky, I soon adjusted to that and tested secondary stability to be excellent.

The Pack easily accepts my mods, foam pads on the bottom to protect the hull and keep the dog happy. pad-eyes around the gunnels for tie-downs, I'm making some waterproof boxes to put between the cane-seats and hull.

But the canoe paddles well, tracks well and at 12' turns well. Plus, at 33#, is easy to haul to and from trailer-to-lake and much easier to enter-and-exit than a kayak.

Later when I do a test-camp, I'll add to this review but for now, I am very happy with the craft.


Just an update on my recent…

Submitted by: Welzar on 7/3/2014
Just an update on my recent purchase of a Pack canoe. Took it for a 3 day float trip on the Delaware River. This canoe just swallows gear. It held all my gear and a cooler and fishing tackle etc and still had room for more.

Very stable with a full load, tracked reasonably well and handled Class I and II rapids with no problem. I'll keep this canoe until I can't canoe anymore. It does everything you ask of it.


I am the proud owner of an…

Submitted by: chefcj on 7/3/2014
I am the proud owner of an older Old Town Pack canoe. It is not my first canoe but it has been my favorite. It's weight, at just 33 lbs, and size make it easy for me to access water that has escaped in the past. Portaging is a one step process with the ability to carry my gear and boat in one go. I fish frequently from my Pack canoe, spending many hours on the water without issue. Stability, even in windy conditions, is no problem and boat control is made simple by using a kayak paddle (mine is a Werner, 250cm).

My canoe has seen many years of loving use and will certainly see many more before I replace her. My thanks to those who provide such quality products at a price point the average enthusiast can endure to enjoy the outdoors from the water.


I've wanted an Old Town Pack…

Submitted by: mtnstryder on 7/2/2014
I've wanted an Old Town Pack since I first saw one. I've owned Mansfield, Mowhawk, Elieght, Coleman and and a few kayaks and one power boat. Now my Pack is my only boat, it's great for anything I want to do on the water. It's stable even with my 68lb. dog in the front. Wind and boat waves are no problem. Better then any kayak. I'll never sell it!

Awesome little boat. Have…

Submitted by: paddler235613 on 6/24/2014
Awesome little boat. Have owned mine for 17 yrs and she's still in good shape. I've never modified it. I sit to paddle and use a good canoe paddle, if I need stability I kneel. Great in sheltered water. Of course there are better boats in the wind but what do you expect from a little 12' boat with minimal keel? It's very stable for an experienced paddler. Main use has been for fishing on class 1 to 3 whitewater and sheltered flat water. It's a very maneuverable boat.

As currently configured, my…

Submitted by: paddler235584 on 6/11/2014
As currently configured, my OT Pack would rate a 10/10, but as supplied, it has some issues, and I gave it a 7 out of 10. First of all, I knew to drop the seat a few inches for stability. I tested the Angler version of the Pack, which has a dropped seat, but it is not nearly as comfortable as the webbed seat with a sit-backer. So I bought a seat drop kit (best price I found was $9.99 + s/h at and lowered the seat by 2 inches (note of warning – most seat kits have 4-inch dowels, but you will need to cut them down to 3-1/2 inches to fit the Pack). The dropped seat was an improvement, but the aft (rear) factory seat location is a serious buoyancy, navigation and wind problem, especially for taller/heavier folks (I am 6'2", 220 lb). I knew I could add weight to the bow to offset this – but I bought this boat for it’s light weight, so it offends me to have to carry extra weight that shouldn’t be needed!

OT likely located the seat to allow kneelers to be more weight-centered in the boat. Due to my bad knees, I am a sitter, and unfortunately there is no seat adjustment or "sitter" model that you can buy to fix this. So modification #2 was for me to move the seat forward. Since the middle of the canoe is wider, you can't simply move the seat forward – you need to buy a whole new seat and cut it to fit. Thank goodness for eBay, where you can get a quality webbed seat for just $19.99 + s/h. I moved my seat about 11 inches forward (and moved the bow/front thwart forward just enough for knee room, and installed a new stern/rear thwart using the rear-most holes from the prior seat location). In retrospect, another inch or two forward for the seat may have been even better, but this is splitting hairs – the new seat location is 100x better than the factory location.

The third and final modification I made to the Pack was to add some foot pegs (I chose the Yakima pegs after reading of problems using the all-plastic pegs). Yes, it hurt to drill holes through a new canoe for this, but I made sure these were all well above waterline, and siliconed the bolts for good measure. Being able to "lock yourself in" with the footpegs makes all the difference in the world, and with the centered and lowered seat, the Pack feel like an entirely different canoe from what I originally bought.

I've had it out on several multi-day overnights – handles all my gear easily, and I am not a light packer! Sturdy fishing boat – I had no problems pulling in a 28" northern pike while fishing in it (though the pike did tug the Pack around a bit before he tired and I could get him in the boat!), and I have also had the canoe out on large lakes in more wind than I like (25-30 mph), and was surprised how stable it handled.

Note that you WILL need a long kayak paddle – especially for those windy lakes! You cannot survive with a single blade paddle under those conditions. I use a 260cm kayak paddle that suits me well.


I wanted to update a review I…

Submitted by: rickasanders on 5/27/2014
I wanted to update a review I made back in 2006 [01-18-2006] regarding the Old Town Pack canoe. I still have that canoe - I bought it used and used it extensively for 8 years hunting and fishing. I finally wore it out - it developed a crack in the bottom - which I patched with some super good epoxy and fiberglass mesh. I used it for another year but in the interest of safety it has been retired and I purchased a new Old Town 119 in camo. Even though these seemed similar - The Pack was a better canoe. Lighter being the main reason (33 lbs vs about 45 lbs). It may not seem like much but 10 lbs is a difference maker when you get older (55).

The Royalex material on the Pack is really tough. I took the seat out and use a plastic fishermans seat purchased at Walmart on the floor of the canoe and a double bladed high quality paddle - The same set up works well in the 119 but better in the pack. Extremely stable.

I found out that recently they quit making Royalex so I purchased a new Pack canoe from the local REI store - it was the last one in stock.
The Pack canoe is truly the best and most enjoyable purchase I have ever made.


I bought a Pack after reading…

Submitted by: Welzar on 5/6/2014
I bought a Pack after reading the reviews here. I'm 61 and my 17' Old Town Canadienne was just getting to be too much for me to load and unload. So with mixed emotions I sold it after 23 years of use.

I couldn't be happier with the Pack. The weight is what drew me towards it, but it is more than the weight. I'm an experienced paddler and canoe is a pleasure to paddle. I use a Bending Branches Beavertail most of the time, I like the process of paddling but I did buy a 240 cm kayak paddle for getting across big lakes quickly. It is stable for a small canoe and once moving it is easy to control. It holds all my gear for camping and is a great platform for flyfishing.

It is a joy to load, unload and portage. It has bought back the spontaneity to canoeing that I missed. If you want a great solo canoe that does everything, this is the canoe for you.


The O.T.Pack canoe is my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/31/2014
The O.T.Pack canoe is my first. I bought it because rental companies in the Asheville area didn't permit me to bring along my trusty canine companions for fear of what?..I don't know. Anyway, the BEST investment of my life. I have paddled from Rosman to as far as The Wedge in Asheville...always with my dogs aboard and once with my sister even though they say its a 1 person canoe you can have 2 smaller people plus dogs in it if the 2nd person willing to sit on floor in the front.

Old Town states the canoe can handle up to 550lbs so just don't go over. It's light to portage and get on and off the roof of a sedan with foam blocks at a light weight of about 35lbs. I've encountered a fair amount of fallen trunks and rocks hidden just under the water and the RX materiel seems to bounce right back if you don't mind a few scratches. I've done over 40 day trips in it on rivers and maybe only 3 on lakes and really have to say I've more than got my money's use of it.

I love kayaking and had never really canoed before this boat but the ability to include my big dogs with me was the main reason I went with the canoe. Everything is more fun with them...even when they jump off or tip the canoe to chase cows that are bathing in the River.

Great canoe esp for women as you can portage it on your own and a nice small size of only 12ft. Snap a dry bag to the seat and put your dogs in the middle/front. I use a canoe paddle. Despite what the Old Town and REI sales people say...I bgt & tried a few times to use the canoe with a long kayak paddle..It was awful with the kayak're just too high from the waterline to use it comfortably even if you kneeling the boat is too wide. The boat is great with the right paddle a very comfortable ride down a moderate river. It takes on dings from rocks and trees just fine with no need for repairs and the RX material bounces back into shape. Amazing strength and durability for such a light canoe. Whenever I exit the river at a park people come over to check it out & pick it up and after talking to me tell me they are making it their next purchase. Store it inside and you'll have many years of enjoyment.


I picked this boat up for my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/31/2014
I picked this boat up for my wife from a fellow that had too many canoes. Don't know how that is possible but he seemed like an honest man. Anyway, love this canoe! My wife can load it herself and feels like it is solid on the water. Plenty of room for her and the German Shorthair Pointer.

Word of warning: I left this canoe too close to a lightbulb when I hoisted it up to the ceiling of the boathouse. Made a huge blister on the outer Royalex layer. I thought I was a dead man! I could not believe how forgiving she was about my mistake. Slapped on some pink duct tape it was good to go! Still no issues after two years.


Have had my Pack since 2007 -…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/11/2013
Have had my Pack since 2007 - I knew to lower the seat and did so immediately with some copper tubing and longer bolts and nuts from Lowe's. I LOVE this boat after that!
Duck Hunting, camping, or just out for a paddle, the Lab and I are very comfy in the OT Pack. In/Out/over the sides, even bags of decoys and/or camping bags for all fits great and paddles like a dream.

I use a sit-backer seat I got from LL Bean and a double bladed paddle 95% of the time. If it's just me and no camping gear, I usually load some weight in the front of the boat - water, etc...and it doesn't windcock.

I've had and sold off some of the best ideas the SOT world has come up with...I kept coming back to the OT PACK - now I don't even and my Pack canoe are a perfect match. I was SHOCKED at the 'end of Royalex' - I need to get another OT Pack as a backup for the next 30 years...the Guide is only 10 pounds heavier...but it doesn't paddle exactly like the Pack.

When my kids were younger, we sawed the legs off a plastic lawn chair and put them in the bow. Now it's just Lab's spot - she hangs out on a rubber suction cup shower mat, so she can get traction to pace and jump. It's just like a mini-van this can be whatever you want it to be that day.
I rigged up an anchor trolley I can add, plastic crate for fishing stuff if that's the days activity, and when my wife just wants to go for a paddle, she sits up in the bow area on a short legged folding chair I bought for turkey hunting.

Hooking up a trolling motor to this boat seems terrible...but man!, is it ever fast and even with a 20 year old 30lb thrust runs all day with so much speed. Great for large bodies of water if I am trying to cross for fishing or hunting...or running miles up the river to get to a spot.

I also can't believe how FAST this canoe paddles (with a double blade) compared to the SOT kayaks...I can paddle all day with my buddies in the SOT's and usually have to slow for them.

In short - and to me - this is THE BEST value in all of the boat world!


I have been looking for a…

Submitted by: paddler235352 on 9/25/2013
I have been looking for a used Pack for a number of years no; had a tough time locating one. Finally was able to pick one up, and very pleased.

Light as expected and very easy to car top. Paddles nice, and yes it is a canoe, and yes it is "tippy". Maiden voyage at local creek, paddled great with long single paddle. Standard model with the webbed seat, nothing fancy. One issue, not really fond of the shoulder carry, and thwarts not really set up for a normal carry. Any suggestions or modifications to carry overhead like a normal canoe? My 12 YO daughter loved padding it. Looking forward to getting to know it better, possible mods include lowering seat, and some way to modify for overhead transport.

Looks like a pretty good fishing platform, I checked out for some really creative and useful modification ideas, thanks for sharing! I had a SOT Kayak set up for fishing, but never enjoyed the wet butt in colder water. This may become my new fishing platform.

Currently own 3 other OT canoes, Camper, Penobscot, and Tripper (ranger model) so very familiar with these tough canoes. The Pack will not replace the others for long trips or camping, but will be really nice for easy paddles in small water.


I bought my Pack in 2008 and…

Submitted by: paddler235332 on 9/9/2013
I bought my Pack in 2008 and have maybe 100 river trips on it. I have used it mainly in rocky easy class 1 - 2 stuff. One thing I did was build a custom seat that is positioned about 6" forward of original. This leveled out the boat and increased stability to the point that I raised the seat directly under the gunnels. I use a Sitbaker on top of that so my butt is dead even with the top of the gunnels. It is more stable than in stock config. Since the boat is level, it is less affected by wind and makes an awesome fly fishing platform.
Here are some mods I have made including the seat construction:

The Old Town Pack is one…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/19/2013
The Old Town Pack is one tough little boat! At 12', it's a little small to fit a standard commercial canoe trailer. On one such shuttle out of Boiling Springs Campground, Dixon, Missouri, the Pack was put on the rack, and trucked down I-44 at highway speeds. When we reached the put-in, the Pack was nowhere to be seen. The bus driver was the campground owner, and he turned noticeably green on discovering this. A few minutes later, the Pack showed up, now in the bed of an aluminum jonboat being hauled by one of our party.

"I saw that boat go flying," the man said. "It came down on the front bottom, and skidded down the highway. We knew it came off the trailer so we picked it up." My brother, owner of the Pack checked it over. No damage, and our float began as if nothing whatsoever had happened.

It made a believer of the canoe livery owner, as he just kept shaking his head in relief at the sight. "I guess I'll have to get some of those boats," he said.


Have the 12' Pack.…

Submitted by: bubbabecca on 8/8/2013
Have the 12' Pack. Polyethylene material. Very nice canoe for one person or a second lighter person up front. Easy to maneuver. Fairly stable. Light and easy to transport. I've taken it out on still water with mid-sized child and had great times. Solid canoe.

I recently purchased an Old…

Submitted by: PaddleGirl on 7/26/2013
I recently purchased an Old Town Pack Canoe. I have had a 16' Mad River for years and wanted something I could load by myself. Being a smaller woman 5'4", 130lbs. it needed to be light. I love that the Pack was a light but stable boat. I use a 240cm. kayak paddle and my dog and I have been going out each weekend. It is a really nice canoe that I think will give me many years of enjoyment.

My first canoe was a Mad…

Submitted by: paddler235151 on 7/24/2013
My first canoe was a Mad River St. Croix which was a 2 person model that weighed over 70 lbs. This shows the importance of research before you buy. While a great product,the St. Croix was just to much weight to handle by myself. A year later I got the Old Town Pack and no regrets, it's a joy to move around.

At 33 lbs I can carry it to the lake with one hand. After one dumping in a cold lake trying to stand up, I lowered the seats with some wood spacers from Old Town and the stability was improved greatly. I also use a double bladed kayak paddle. Since I only paddle alone I have not had the St. Croix out again.

The 12 ft. royalex Pack is a unique boat that fills a niche. I need to get rid of a couple of boats but the Pack will not be one of them.


I purchased my OT Pack last…

Submitted by: paddler235132 on 7/23/2013
I purchased my OT Pack last summer. Since then I have paddled it most weekends. Typically I paddle on slow moving rivers. I purchased this Canoe due to the fact that I paddle most times alone can portage/car top the car with ease. The Canoe at 33lbs replaced my 54lb Kayak.

So far I have taken the canoe down class II rapids on the Delaware River in PA and White River in VT. Although this is a recreational canoe I had no issue in these mild rapids. I have hit some rocks getting only a few minor scrapes. I typically paddle with a single blade but have purchased a Bending Branches 260cm double blade which helps in the wind. I have brought my son and daughter (one at a time) along no problem and the dog as well.

I would recommend this canoe to someone looking for ease of use for mild rivers. The boat does exactly what is expected of it and I look forward to enjoying it for years to come.


I have owned 2 OT Packs, as…

Submitted by: paddler232837 on 7/1/2013
I have owned 2 OT Packs, as well as a large number of other canoes and kayaks. For my purposes of fishing in calm water and general paddling it is ideal. About stability, I have never considered leaving the seat in its original position. I always lower the seat or install my own with solo canoes. It makes the boat much more stable and comfortable. What I usually do is to remove the seat, and then place a homemade removable seat (with back) on the floor of the canoe. I can vary my leg position, sometimes sitting cross legged and at other times with legs out stretched. I have never had the slightest stability problem. For best results before I put my seat in the boat I put down a small rug with rubber backing to stick to the floor. It makes for a quiet and secure ride. I use a kayak paddle for covering large distances but sometimes when at a good fishing spot I also use a short paddle for maneuvering. Very satisfied.

Still have the same OT Pack -…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/24/2013
Still have the same OT Pack - still think it's the greatest boat - price to value to usefullness I have ever had the joy to paddle. Many canoes and kayaks have passed thru life over the decades... the OT Pack will be with me to the end of my time. With my lowered seat and Sitbacker set up, my double blade paddle... I'm good for Duck Hunting, Fishing, Tripping, Pleasure paddling with the 'yakers in my group, Camping, etc... the OT Pack do in all.

I just picked up a used Pack…

Submitted by: paddler235007 on 5/19/2013
I just picked up a used Pack 12 that is about 18 yrs old. It has several signs of use but not really much abuse at all. Worked like a charm in a fairly high wind situation while I was sitting on the canoe seat and using a double-bladed kayak paddle. Really happy with it so far. Only a mild sensation of tippiness that quickly goes away after a little paddling around.

I have owned two Old Town…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/26/2013
I have owned two Old Town Pack canoes. Both were excellent. My favorite feature is that I can carry the canoe all by myself, and I am a small woman who never goes to the gym! Both of my children learned to paddle in the Pack, and could do so when only four or five years old.

I have had a Pack for 3…

Submitted by: paddler234855 on 12/10/2012
I have had a Pack for 3 years. I was lucky to find a tan one. It is incredibly light. While I prefer a single paddle, this canoe is probably best suited for a kayak paddle due to the short length and tracking issues. For a single paddler I am glad I purchased this canoe.

Some harsh and unwarranted…

Submitted by: paddler231954 on 12/6/2012
Some harsh and unwarranted reviews on here against the Pack. In October 2010 I repeated the 340 mile float from St. Joe to Hermann, MO in just 5 days. The Pack can easily carry a paddler plus supplies and provisions for extended solo trips in excess of a week. It easily handled the currents and conditions of a major river, and some extreme barge wakes, while loaded in this capacity. My rotor cuff repair in the summer of 2011 put the kibosh on a third trip, and the drought and heat wave saw to it there'd be no expedition in 2012. My duties as a single father, to a daughter born April 5, 2011, have also kept me off the water somewhat. I have however taken her out on a large lake in the front of the Pack, and it was a fine introduction to canoeing for her. I have recently added a Reflection Dagger 15 to the stable, and I'm going to rig it for a Summer 2013 solo run of the length of the Missouri River as it flows through the state of Missouri, some 550 miles. Had I not obtained the Dagger, I would not hesitate to employ the Pack in the role I pioneered for it.

I'm 6'5" and 220 lbs. The…

Submitted by: paddler234845 on 11/26/2012
I'm 6'5" and 220 lbs. The Pack is tippy for me if I sit on the seat with my feet flat on the floor. Just stretching my legs out in front of me alleviates most of the tippy feeling. Kneeling gets the center of gravity low enough to give me good stability. All of my paddling has been on a local river. Tracking while powering up stream is poor if I use a canoe paddle. Once I started using a double bladed Kayak paddle I am able to go upstream well. The light weight allows easy portaging around the rapids that I can't paddle up.

Bottom line:
The size and weight makes transporting/portaging easy.
Stability is a lot more sensitive to your center of gravity than any of the other canoes that I have used.
Tracking on calm water is good with proper paddling technique. If you try to put too much power into your stroke the tracking is poor, but using a double bladed paddle allows alternating power from side to side to keep you pointing where you want to go.


I recently purchased an Old…

Submitted by: paddler234704 on 8/8/2012
I recently purchased an Old Town Pack after reading the reviews on this site. I also have a 17' Maine Guide (1943) and have been canoeing seriously for more than 35 years.

I was more than pleased by the stability of this canoe, its tracking, and its maneuverability (the Guide has a full keel, so that wasn't hard to beat!). I would recommend this canoe to anyone with reasonable solo experience, or those with good tandem experience and a mentor.


The canoe is great. Light and…

Submitted by: paddler234605 on 6/20/2012
The canoe is great. Light and room for equipment. Trying to lower seat so I can use a seat with a back

Tippy? Well after all, it is a canoe, isn't it? I come from…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/5/2012
Tippy? Well after all, it is a canoe, isn't it?
I come from years of paddling a 17' tandem aluminum with a standard keel and I'm very impressed with the stability of my new Pack. My second trip out was on a medium sized river with a relatively easy current. Paddling upstream with my two year old Cairn Terrier on her maiden voyage and using a kayak paddle for the first time in my life, along with trying to get some photos of my pup without the camera taking a swim had its own challenges, but keeping the decks up and the keel down was no problem in this little craft. Oh, and did I mention the wind was blowing?

Coming in at 63 years of age, I am not the most agile, but I must say, I am very impressed with the stability of my Pack canoe. And much like Greywolf, it was a dream to tie the pup to my belt, pick up my drybox in one hand, and snatch up that canoe with the paddle lashed to the thwart and seat, and head to the roof rack with it... Those folks at the picnic table a ways off just looked on with amazement.

Admittedly, the Pack is not for everyone, but it fits well in my stable alongside my Camper 15' tandem.


I don't know what folks are…

Submitted by: paddler234551 on 5/29/2012
I don't know what folks are talking about when they say this boat is tippy, maybe they haven't been on the water much. I have had a Discovery 119 which I loved but eventually sold to get a kayak. Always missed the 119 so when they came back out bought one. I ended up giving that one to my son and bought a used Pack. Folks I'm 57 and in good shape but do most of my boating solo and 33lbs on my shoulder is a charm. This canoe handles like a dream. I'm hoping the royalex is as tough as the polylink since I'm on the Susquehanna most of the time and it gets pretty rocky in places. If your a seasoned canoe/kayaker this boat flies with a yak paddle. Aces all around.

I have been canoeing for 50…

Submitted by: paddler234484 on 4/9/2012
I have been canoeing for 50 years and have been in several dozen brands and styles of canoes. Being older and wanting to solo and portage I bought the lightweight and small PACK canoe. I am very dissatisfied with its performance and stability....going to sell it asap. The PACK will tip easily and overturn without much warning. Stay away from this one if safety matters to you.

The Pack 12 is very tippy and…

Submitted by: paddler234414 on 1/23/2012
The Pack 12 is very tippy and tracks poorly. It is very light, so it's good for getting onto your vehicle and for portaging, but terrible for canoeing even on small lakes. I have a Penobscot 17 that my wife and I use, now there's a canoe that is steady and tracks like a dream. I just bought a Penobscot 16 for long solo trips and shorter tandem trips. So I love Old Town, just not the Pack 12.

This is my 2nd year with my…

Submitted by: PaddleGirl on 11/14/2011
This is my 2nd year with my Pack. Still the first boat I select when heading out. Early this year I added the BB 260cm double bladed canoe paddle to my kit. Carry this and a single but the double is perfect for making time, heavy conditions, and very shallow water. From the kneeling position with either paddle I am locked in to the Pack and can work the canoe to whatever is presented.

Overnighting aboard is next for my Pack. I've done this in my kayaks (folders) but the Pack needs some additional prep. Step one was to fit loops to the hull/rail fasteners. Second was to run a perimeter cord around boat through the loops. Then it will be off to the sewing machine to make about the equivalent of a bivy rainfly. I'll tell you about the finished product next year...


Great, lightweight canoe,…

Submitted by: paddler234174 on 7/27/2011
Great, lightweight canoe, perfect for ponds, slow rivers and small lakes. Not great in wind, but good craft for fishing calm waters and wind protected water, quite stable with minimal gear.

Bought my Pack 13 years ago…

Submitted by: paddler234111 on 7/7/2011
Bought my Pack 13 years ago because of its wonderfully light weight that I can handle alone and carry on a small car top on the factory rack--still the 2 features I like best. Have used it on small ponds to huge lakes, initially for paddling & fishing, and most recently for paddling my 2 dogs (90 lbs total + my 150 lbs) around exploring the lake. I much prefer using a kayak (double-bladed) paddle--saves a lot of course correcting and speeds paddling.

Surprisingly stable for such a small boat, even with a squirming, nervous dog on board--have never accidentally capsized, even in heavy wind when I thought we might swamp. But, unlike a full-size, 2-man canoe, I cannot climb back into it on water if I jump out to swim. Not good in heavy wind/waves, but I didn't expect it to be. Have never tried it on a river--afraid to attempt any whitewater in such a small, open boat until I read some of these other positive reviews--maybe with extra flotation bags. Never thought of lowering the seat as some reviewers suggest, but when the water's rough, I do kneel to get my center of gravity down lower.


Having read all the reviews…

Submitted by: paddler233975 on 5/8/2011
Having read all the reviews on this site I went ahead and placed an order for a Old Town pack canoe. Went and picked it up from the local REI the other day and after getting it licensed and legal I headed to the lake. Took me only a few minutes to get my balance right, and before long I was on my merry way. I paddled for about an hour and half and then had to attend to other business. Today I took it out again and paddled around two different lakes in my area. Absolutely no complaints.

What a dream it is to lift onto the roof of my vehicle and portage to the launch. Has not taken me long to develop confidence while handling this boat. Is it tippy? Well, it is a canoe and not a John boat, but I have to say for a canoe of its dimensions it ain't too bad. I've tried kneeling and sitting on the seat. So far sitting on the seat with my legs out before me balances me best and doesn't make my ankles go to sleep.

I plan to use this canoe for fishing, duck hunting and perhaps deer hunting in the Boundary Waters this Fall. If you are in the market for a solo canoe that's darn near bomb proof, and doesn't make you feel for a third nut every time you portage it, then the Old Town Pack is for you.


Just took my brand new Pack…

Submitted by: paddler233951 on 4/18/2011
Just took my brand new Pack out for maiden voyage. Seven hours of flat water on Prime Hook Creek NWR. Generally exceeded expectations. I'm happy with the purchase.

Good stability while paddling on stock height web seat. And I do mean rock solid stability. I plan to lower the seat 2" later this spring. More on that later. Actually surprised by stability compared to my 25 year old Katahdin 12 by Old Town which is a barge with 40" beam.

A telegram for Mr. Paddler
One demerit for the possibility of the boat to send you a rare emergency telegram. Here's what I mean: over the seven hour trip, the boat gave me one or two of those "I'm going over" telegrams. Not bad for a boat like this IMHO. I got the main message when I turned on the stock seat 45 degrees to the left in order to cast my rubber worm at a log deadfall. Whoops! Remains to be seen how close I actually was to buns up in the drink, but it was a wake up. Lesson learned - rotating hips and buns off center on the stock seat disrupts center of gravity. As long as I kept hips face front at midline on the seat - not a single hint of this tipping telegram. Again lower seat may help.

Lightness of Being Carried
I made an optional portage to an adjacent pond that I would never have considered except that the Pack is LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT! Shouldered the boat with fishing rod inside and carried about 150 yards to the pond. Delighted! Car topping is easy with his boat. I use those clip-on foam bricks and it's night and day compared to the old 80 lb. barge I've been using for the past umpteen years.

I'm happy after one seven hour trip and the boat worked well for fishing. Don't turn sideways and fling a lure without a little forethought. Will try lowering the seat. Very light. Delighted.


I've had my Pack for 30 years…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/8/2011
I've had my Pack for 30 years and although we have other canoes in our fleet this is the one I use 90% of the time, from river and creek cruising to the Boundary Waters to exploring the coastal waters of Virginia and the Carolinas.

I bought the Old Town skirt and flotation bags and installed the snaps and tie-downs. I take it down Class II and III and have never rolled it, and take it across Burntside Lake and the other big lakes in the Boundary Waters when the wind is up and whitecaps racing, and have never had a problem. I installed the Old Town oarlocks and on big lakes or coastal waters often I'll turn and row it for greater power against the wind or waves. Occasionally we do use the Old Town sailing kit and on Burntside Lake, Pamlico Sound, Chespeake Bay or Kentucky Lake we can really fly.

As did most of you, I lowered the seat and paddle kneeling most of the time. I cemented in the kneeling pads and straps which help a lot in whitewater. I added the Old Town padded yoke, which makes portaging in the Boundary Waters a piece of cake. Without the flotation bags I can carry enough for a seven day trip with no problem. I never bought a kayaking paddle or double ended canoe paddle; I just use my Bending Branches canoe paddle with a J or C stroke. I do disagree with some who indict its stability. I can roll the Pack over to the gunwale and paddle it all the way across a lake on windless days. We have a lot of tight creeks and small rivers in our area and the Pack out manuevers a lot of supposed whitewater canoes and kayaks. Being designed for whitewater, they have obvious advantages, but the Pack is so quick I can thread around a lot of the problems they need their advantages to deal with.

I did add the folding back padded canoe seat I bought in Ely and during those long river pools or quiet lake days when I get tired of kneeling it sure makes life nice. I added the Old Town skid plates, we take care of the hull, we store the Pack out of the sun, and after 30 years the Royalex is still in great shape. It's not really even faded much, despite the annual saltwater trips.

All considered, I think this is one of the great canoes ever made, and one that gets a lot less publicity than it deserves.


Well, it has been a year with…

Submitted by: PaddleGirl on 10/5/2010
Well, it has been a year with my Pack and about that much time since my first post. My Malecite, though a great canoe, is still hanging from the rafters.

I have switched to a canoe paddle. It seemed that kayak paddle technique bothered my hands and wrists whereas traditional canoe methods did not. It must be that advancing age thing. Found I lost some speed in the change from 3.25mph to 2.5. Tracking is within reason with good technique.

Disturbed; sorry the Pack did not work for you. Let me repeat, I paddle the Pack essentially backwards from the kneeling position. I use the seat as a work surface and the thwart as a brace for my behind. I use my thermarest (rolled in a stuffsack) under my ankles as a kneeling rest. I also use some kind of 1" X 2'X 3' ethafoam to kneel or sit upon. I would say I kneel 80% of the time.

For my touring load I use several Seal Line drybags and duffle and a Pelican hard case for my pantry. The Pelican fits under the seat and the drybags at the ends. When properly packed I still have room to rotate myself around, slide my legs under the thwart and then sort of up and around the aft dryduffle permitting me to laydown in the canoe. It is quite comfortable. There is nothing like laying down in a canoe on a cool but mostly sunny fall day watching the clouds float by. I have often fallen asleep on such outings. Soon, I will try overnighting like this once I make up a deck cover.

I still find the Pack to be a reasonable package in a small lightweight canoe that has worked for me.


Excellent canoe. Very stable,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/27/2010
Excellent canoe. Very stable, and easy to paddle with a Kayak paddle (240cm). I use a backrest and have the seat lowered 2 inches. Have taken the kids out on the lake and paddled on a few rivers. Not the fastest canoe but who cares it only weighs 33lbs and can be carried anywhere (however it will keep up with a tandem with little effort). Besides if its speed you want buy something known for speed, this canoe is known for its light weight and versatility.

I bought my Pack about 15…

Submitted by: paddler233809 on 9/10/2010
I bought my Pack about 15 years ago and it's been one of my favorite investments over the years. I live in the city and don't get the chance to use it often enough. I mentioned that because when I say that I've never felt uncomfortable in it, I didn't want to give the impression that I'm constantly in the water and just used to it. It's a stable little boat. Last year I took her into the middle of a large lake and felt totally at ease after not being in a boat of ANY kind for over 4 years. Being as this is the only canoe I've ever owned, I don't have any complaints about the tracking. So far as I have always known, if you paddle a boat on one side, you'll go in a circle if you don't compensate somehow. Right? I can paddle my Pack on one side all day long and all I do is turn my wrist at the end of my stroke and use my paddle as a rudder to make her go where I want. I'm not up on all the lingo, so I don't know if that stroke has a name. For reference, I am 6'0" and weigh about 155 and use a 56" wide bladed paddle. I did not lower the seat but I made an Adirondack style seat back that folds down for storage/transport. I put my pfd on it and it's very comfortable and with my feet up on the center support I can lock myself in place and paddle all day. I did buy a breakdown kayak paddle this year after getting stuck in the wind last year and the previous reviews are correct about the amount of droplets into the canoe. Since I prefer the single paddle over the double, this won't be an issue as I only got the yak paddle for wind emergencies. No complaints at all, and I wish there was an 11 I could give it.

I have owned the Old Town…

Submitted by: paddler233740 on 8/4/2010
I have owned the Old Town Tripper, Discovery, Guide, and Pack canoes and have found the Pack to be the most versatile, fun, and easy to use. I'm 6 feet 200 pounds and learned quickly its capabilities and limitations. Perfect for what it is designed for; lightweight, shallow water solo paddling with a variety of purpose for the experienced paddler!

I use the pack for floating…

Submitted by: paddler233731 on 8/2/2010
I use the pack for floating rivers and ponds for duck/goose hunting. When solo I take a bag of decoys and dog (90lbs) and just move along with no problem. I use a single blade paddle with no problem. I don't hunt out of it but great for getting away from everybody.

When using to get across the river with my friend it is loaded with both of use and the decoys and the dog just swims along. I've used this canoe in the early dark hours of the morning with no concerns of tipping. However, you just need to become familiar with the personality of you boat. My friends who use the conventional duck sciffs wished they had a pack

In the spring I run a few class 2&3 rivers and manage to pry my cheeks apart after the day is over and the pack is doing fine.


Despite the shining reviews…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/19/2010
Despite the shining reviews of others, I really dislike this canoe. I am 6' tall and 200 lbs. and find this canoe to be very unstable. Although I've never dumped it, it is a constant worry. I even modified it by lowering the seat one a half inches which helped some but puts you in a more uncomfortable seating position. I hate the seat also. It could have been built with a wider frame but was not. The two side pieces of the frame are right against my hips and not comfortable at all. I am selling it and looking for something better

Finally snatched out of the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/8/2010
Finally snatched out of the local classifieds for $450, hardly used. This boat is sweet! For reference, I'm 6'3, and 250lbs. I find it to be stable while kneeling (yes, my size 14's fit under the seat, although it's tight), and a little less stable when sitting. I would definitely not call this boat "tippy". I added a deep dish Nova Craft yoke for comfort on the back woods portage, this boat is a dream to carry. I find that this boat tracks as well as one would expect for this style of boat. Using the J stroke, it's not bad at all. A kayak paddle can really make it move too! This really is a great boat, 10 out of 10!

I responded to an ad in a…

Submitted by: paddler233607 on 5/26/2010
I responded to an ad in a local paper and inspected a Pack, with no knowledge of this model. As someone who had primarily paddled Clipper fiberglass canoes with rigid hulls, and felt that was what I preferred, I was reluctant about buying the Pack. I was not impressed with the seemingly flimsy flat floor and the less than sleek hull shape; however, it was not advertised in the right places, so I had the opportunity to keep coming back to it. The weight of the Pack and my desire for a solo boat were the reasons I was still interested. After reading reviews at this site and negotiating the price for a barely used boat to $260, I purchased it.

I have found this boat to be a pure joy. I paddle it with a single blade in tight situations and a 9' double blade paddle from Spring Creek Outfitters in the open. With the double blade it is easy to keep tracking straight and at a good pace. For me, it is a little slow and tedious with a single blade. The longer double blade helps to keep your ride dry and much faster.

Having read the reviews from this site before the purchase, I was anticipating an unstable canoe that would require lowering the seat. I was completely surprised by the initial stability of this craft. I have paddled this craft solo, as well as with my 50# daughter and her 5# puppy in a bow seat mounted on the floor. I have not severely tested the secondary stability of the boat, but I have felt that this boat is very stable with the factory seat height.

At this time I am unable to paddle the Pack, as my 13 year old son grabs it and the double blade paddle and leaves my wife, daughter, and I far behind in our tandem.

This canoe is not sexy or impressive to look at, it is just fun to paddle and lightweight. Not perfect for everything or everyone, but it is still a 10.


Ditto. I decided on this boat…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/11/2010
Ditto. I decided on this boat because of the reviews here and the kind of creeks and rivers here. I can paddle in half-a-blade depths. I am a beginner and find it to be rather forgiving compared to the Guide 147, which I tried first.

I knew that as a newbie, I would abuse any boat. So, I was looking for low cost. This is the lowest new boat price around. I bought mine through the outfitting co-op to which I belong at Old Town's MSRP. I missed the holiday sale, but get a dividend and don't feel bad about paying full price because instead I'm out in the creek.

For reference, I'm 6' and heavy at 265, 10.5 shoe. I fit just fine kneeling or sitting, though find sitting on bench less stable. Able to paddle upstream in rain-swollen current with 230 cm double-bladed paddle. Shorter is better in these shallow, rocky creeks of north Texas. Also carry a 54 inch aluminum and plastic single, likewise built for abuse. The double breaks down and tucks into the seat and I use the single against the inside as a grip handle so that all the weight is not resting on my shoulder; comfy.

The little creek near home is extremely rocky and shallow with many obstructions like fallen trees. The little Pack turns easily in the current even for ignorant fools like me.

I give it a 10 because it's exactly what I wanted: low-cost, lightweight, tough. The royalex hull flexes over rocky creekbeds. It dents and scuffs but hasn't gotten gouged in my first few attempts.

If you are a beginner, expect to get wet while you learn. I expected that would be the case with any boat. Expect portages with any boat. At 33 lbs. you might mind them very much, and when you're done for the day you still will have strength to flip up onto the roof rack. I was on the fence between the Pack and the dealer-recommended, more-expensive Wenonahs. Fell off on the Pack side and so far no regrets...


Thanks to all you previous reviewers. Recently bought my Pack to primarily take…

Submitted by: PaddleGirl on 11/17/2009
Thanks to all you previous reviewers.
Recently bought my Pack to primarily take the place of my Mad River Malecite and a kayak. Like Jack with his Lamoille, my 62lb Malecite had become too much for me to handle to and from the car. It has been sitting for several years because of the hassle in handling. The kayak was just to confining for me.

Most of my activities are on bigger waters and I have found the Pack quite capable. I was in 1-2' waves yesterday and though busy maintaining control all went well.

I use my adjustable kayak paddle (BB Glide) set at 240cm. This works fine for kneeling but for sitting a 260 might be better. One of the reasons I went from a kayak back to a canoe was so I would have a choice in either sitting or kneeling.

I paddle my Pack backwards so to speak, bracing against the thwart and using the seat as a surface for my compass, camera, and other things. I contacted customer service to confirm the Pack was symmetrical, it is.
I really love the weight, or lack of it.


A few weeks ago I set out…

Submitted by: paddler231954 on 11/12/2009
A few weeks ago I set out from St Joe, Missouri in my trusty Pack. My destination was the town of Hermann, 340 miles down the Missouri river. In addition to my nearly 200 pound 5'10" frame, my indomitable Pack also carried 8 5 liter water cans, 2 coolers, 2 duffel bags and other assorted gear. I used an 8' kayak paddle and on the best day made 70 miles.

I've been looking for a…

Submitted by: paddler233268 on 7/29/2009
I've been looking for a smaller canoe for awhile now. This year I turned 60 and pressing my 18'4" Mad River Lamoille overhead onto the car rack is now getting to be more struggle than fun.

The Indian or North Woods Stroke allows one to paddle infinitely on one side or the other and works just fine for the Pack. Others have been critical of the Pack's tracking. I've found with a bit of heel to the side of the paddle the turning pressures are balanced out and the result is a nice, straight and surprisingly quiet glide. Very pleasant.

I'm 6'3" and 250# so to lower the center of mass I kneel to the turn of the bilge with my butt against the leading edge of a thwart which replaced the seat. I had a problem with lowering the seat. Size 13 feet make it hard to tuck my legs under so my solution was to replace the seat with second thwart mounted at the rear of the two seat attachments. For cushioning I use a foam gunwale support for cartopping and it is just enough to take the pressure off. A split, hollow core swimming noodle or neoprene pipe insulation would also work. In combination with the front thwart, the second thwart allows for two different paddling positions. If more weight is wanted forward, use the front thwart and paddle facing aft.

For double paddling, I have one of those camp chairs or stadium seats with a seat and attached back and sit on the bottom propped against the rear thwart which puts the center of weight in the same fore and aft position as the seat only much lower. I've been using an 8' double paddle and I agree a bit more length may be better. Initially I was concerned about elbows hitting on the gunwales, but this is not a problem - nice surprise.

I believe the designer chose dynamic over static stability. This will never be a boat where one stands up and admires the view, but once under way the tipsiness experienced while sitting still smooths out for a stable, smooth ride. It takes a while to learn the dressage of moving about or changing positions, but with a bit of perseverance this is accomplished.

Overall the Pack is a first rate boat. Low weight for portability, rugged/low maintenance materials and reasonable performance for a relatively short hull make this a winning design.


A local outfitter got hold of…

Submitted by: Bernoulli on 7/26/2009
A local outfitter got hold of several of these canoes after buying a trailer for his rental business that had some rarely used but sun-damaged Packs on it from a local university field geology department. My wife got it for me for father's day at an outrageously cheap price and I couldn't be happier with the boat.

I'm used to portaging an Old Town Discovery 158 so the 33 pound Pack is just amazing in comparison. It tracks very well with a standard J-stroke and is plenty fast enough for enjoying the river. Obviously, I don't keep up with my kayaking companions when out with fellow paddlers while using my 54" paddle but that could easily be remedied by getting a yak paddle - but I like the art of paddling more than racing the canoe.

As others have done, I lowered the seat by purchasing 6 inch long stainless steel screws and brass pipe sleeves. I would rather kneel in the canoe but the standard seat placement made that difficult, as it wasn't easy to jam my feet under the seat so lowering the seat that amount seems to work well for me. I can't tell you how nice it is to throw the Pack up on my shoulder and portage it - I think it weighs less than most of my paddling friends' kayaks. What a great boat!

Oh, and about the "tippiness" - it's a solo boat so it's more narrow. Once you get used to getting in and out of it and determine where to put your feet, it's just like any larger canoe.


I've had my Pack for several…

Submitted by: paddler233242 on 7/21/2009
I've had my Pack for several years; I love it. I agree that the tracking is a challenge with the Pack, but then I could just stay home as an alternative. It's tough to have tracking and maneuverability built into the same boat. I use ONLY a traditional straight beaver tail because I'm in it for the experience, not how fast I can go. If you see a solitary paddler tracking straight across open water, you know they have invested the time to learn how to really paddle. The sign of an expert paddler is a kayaker who leaves his kayak paddle at home and uses a single blade canoe paddle.

I bought the Pack for it's low weight, but agree that the seat could be more comfortable..... but I keep having the same thought: if comfort is your main goal, a recliner is your answer...


Update on Pack. I don't know WHY I thought I needed…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/8/2009
Update on Pack.
I don't know WHY I thought I needed it, but I ordered the pack angler seat kit recently. I lowered the cane seat with some longer bolts (8") from Lowe's and some brass sleeves from plumbing dept a few years ago...then I use the sit-backer seat (does it weigh a pound even?) so I figure I'm about 4" lower than where I started(net) this set up has served me well for a long time.

Anyhow - I got the Pack Angler Kit - and it didn't work for me - I'm used to the comfort of the sit-backer on bottom, and I think I'd miss my camp chair always being with me. :) So, I called Old Town - expecting to hear something about restocking fees, or some such normal thing. Guess what? no problem - they even set it all up for me have the box picked up AT MY PLACE by Fed-Ex. all FREE! and 100% of what I paid for it is coming back to me.

Guess this is more a review of Old Town than anything...but they sure are nice to deal with! very nice - makes me even more proud of my Pack! I put it all back the way I had it...and love it all the more.


I have been looking all over…

Submitted by: paddler233103 on 5/4/2009
I have been looking all over for something to get into those tight, off the beaten path places to fish and I've finally found what I've been looking for. I stumbled across this canoe at a local dealer, noticed how light it was and thought I better come here and check the reviews. After reading the reviews, I bought it.

I took it for a spin this afternoon. (in spite of the rain) It is all that everyone says it is. It's super light, tracks a lil crazy and is "spirited" in stability. I love it and I can't wait to fish it in dozens or places, take it camping, you get the idea. It's a breeze to load onto my 4dr jeep by myself, I walked it into the woods about a 12 minute trip, stopping in between to switch shoulders. (pool noodle or some kind of foam is very nice to have for this)

I think it would be nice to lower the seat at least 2 inches for slightly better stability, though it's not really necessary. The minimalist seat gets a lil hard on the rump after a couple hours so I may do some tweaking here. Above all I want to keep her as light as possible.

I can clearly see where a double bladed paddle would be handy for covering a lot of water but for now I am going to buy a nice wooden 54" paddle and enjoy it for what it is. I used a heavy aluminum one today in the same size.
For reference, I am 6' tall and weigh about 210 pounds.


I own both the Pack and 119. I took my Pack…

Submitted by: paddler232837 on 4/29/2009
I own both the Pack and 119.
I took my Pack out today for the first time and it was a joy. I removed the seat and replaced it with a homemade seat resting on the floor. This provided much improved stability and comfort. Using a double paddle, the Pack was easy to track, but did require attention to direction. The light weight was a tremendous advantage. I give it a 9 because of mild tracking problems. A great value!

I actually have the old…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/3/2009
I actually have the old version of this canoe. It is called the Hunter not the Pack. It's set up as a 2 seat but handles much better spun around as a solo. I got it for my 13th birthday and still paddle it year around. Great little vessel. Sweet for getting into back swamps for bass and pike fishing.

I was given this canoe by my…

Submitted by: paddler233030 on 3/2/2009
I was given this canoe by my uncle. He kept it outside for 8 or so years so it was dirty. After I washed it and put two coats of carnuba wax it looked great even with the tire tread marks down the side from it falling off my uncles truck driving down the highway. So its tested tough.

I use it as a solo canoe or take out the seat and cross member, load it up with gear for 10 to 15 day camping/fishing trips and tow it to an island behind my kayak. It's light and I think stable. I plan on doing some white water this summer with it. I do recommend putting the Kevlar skid pads on it or any canoe; keeps the bow and stern protected. All in all great canoe highly recommended.


Great little canoe. I lowered…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/17/2009
Great little canoe. I lowered the seat on mine 1.5". I've done a few multi-day trips with it and it holds a lot of gear. I've even taken my 42 lb dog with me on occasion.

It's a great little canoe as long as you don't push it with a single blade. With a double blade, it easily handles wind and gets up to a good cruising speed very quickly. For the value and what it can do, it scores high. For finesse... not so much, but for what I use it for, the ease of handling, the gear hauling capability, the stability of the platform for various activities, this little gem can not be beat.

I'm thinking about adding some adjustable foot pegs to mine to lock myself in a little better when river running or digging in against the wind.


I give the Pack canoe a 10…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/14/2009
I give the Pack canoe a 10 because its exactly what I wanted. A light 33 lbs. and in tough Royalex. Using the Solo-C stroke it goes straight and as fast as I need. On flat water it goes about 4km./Hr.(walking speed). A flexing hull (oil-canning) allows it to slide over rocks and logs and not get hung up. I did lower the seat 2" (kneeling puts my legs to sleep) for a stable sitting position. It fits nicely on my ATV and allows me access to those remote lakes. I use a 68" Cherry paddle for most of my travels but thinking of getting a Yak paddle for upstream and into the wind.

Can't say enough great things about my Pack. We have WS…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/29/2008
Can't say enough great things about my Pack.
We have WS Tarpon's (100 and 120) and love 'em, but the Pack canoe is just SO handy. Duck hunting, canoe camping/fishing trips, even quiet paddles - if we take extra folks, I always volunteer to use the Pack - they can use my kayak. Shallow water stream fishing- no worries about rock, just fish. We bought the stabilizers - use 'em at times (awesome!) and then just lowering the seat a few inches and a LONG double bladed paddle... it's an awesome, versatile, easy to load and carry boat! Ours has been from the Gulf to MN, from FL to CO. Best value in all of boating, IMO. Kayak's are getting better and better, but my Pack will be with me always.

I have had my Pack for 7…

Submitted by: paddler232948 on 11/21/2008
I have had my Pack for 7 years and have taken over 100 trips. I'm love this canoe. A kayak paddle is my usual companion but I also use a bent shaft for short trips and a regular plastic paddle for white water. The hull is strong but if you hit a rock head on, it will crush the royalex. Both front and rear of my canoe have dents now but it's still working fine.

If you're single, this is your canoe. I take mine with friends who kayak all the time and I can keep up and still get a tan. I used to be a kayaker but the confinement wasn't for me. I've done lots of creeking with it. You only need about 4 inches of water. Kayaks are always getting stuck but I just "hop" off the rocks and keep on going.

On open water, it does great if you put some weight in the front. Of course the big plus is the low weight. I carry mine one handed and haul my gear with the other. No multiple trips to the truck.


I have used my Pack on 4…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/15/2008
I have used my Pack on 4 fishing trips down rocky rivers. The upper Saluda SC and the lower Broad SC. It is perfect.
Yes, you must be careful and covering any long flat water a 240cm kayak paddle is not optional. A 280cm, which I tried on 2 floats, is much better.

After reading the reviews,…

Submitted by: paddler232913 on 10/7/2008
After reading the reviews, and looking and looking, I found one here in the Houston area. Before I even bought it, when I lifted it up, I loved it. 33 POUNDS what a dream.

The first thing I did was add 4 inch drops to lower the seat and added adjustable foot rests. Then I tried 2 different seats, the Crazy Creek canoe seat and the GCI sit backer seat. Hands down it was the GCI seat for comfort and back support. Paddling it with my Day-Tripper kayak paddle was a breeze.

I really like this little rig.....


I found the Pack is just what…

Submitted by: DPH on 8/18/2008
I found the Pack is just what the doctor ordered for the price. Yes, it isn't the best at tracking but if you have some experience and don't rush it, it does what you want it to. The light weight makes it a great canoe for us older guys who find lifting larger canoes difficult. It gives me the freedom that I'm looking for in a Pack Canoe!

I am a 62 year old man and I…

Submitted by: paddler232823 on 8/15/2008
I am a 62 year old man and I weigh 262 pounds. I have fished all my life and have considerable canoe experience. My wife and I had a Guide model (Old Town) and she opted to get a solo kayak to facilitate her outdoor photography.

I was initially drawn to the Pack model canoe because of its light weight (like most other people) but have since then been very impressed by other traits as well. It fishes very well, and although I didn't purchase the Angler Model, I did send for the Angler Model seat, available from Old Town. This seat lowers my considerable weight approximately five inches and for those who understand canoeing, that is a significant stabilizing impact. The canoe is much more stable and seems to track better as well.

I still use a single bladed wooden paddle because I like the romance of keeping things as simple and in character with canoeing as possible. I like this canoe a lot. I recommend it to most people.


I wanted to write something…

Submitted by: paddler232760 on 7/22/2008
I wanted to write something here because this site was so useful when I was trying to decide whether to buy a Pack.

This a fabulous boat. No reason to duplicate all the kudos - maneuverable, light... it's a joy. Yes it's a bit tippy but you get used to it quickly. And yes tracking is a challenge. But thanks to reviews here I bought a long kayak paddle (I have a Wave from Cannon) and it makes paddling the Pack a joy. No more tracking troubles, light and easy paddling - I highly recommend trying a kayak paddle.


PROS: Very stable out of the box. Fast. Maneuverable. CONS: The seat. The seat…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/17/2008
PROS: Very stable out of the box. Fast. Maneuverable.
CONS: The seat.
The seat is terrible. I was out for 3 hours and my a$$ was still aching a couple of hours later. I have to find out how to pad the stock seat or I may have to build my own seat. The fact that the seat has a back makes things worse, not better, because you can't move around as much. I may replace the seat with just a slab of wood. The hard, metal seat on my 17' Coleman is much better than this one.

The Pack is my first canoe,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/22/2008
The Pack is my first canoe, but I've been a river rat (rafting) for many years. I found the canoe in the classifieds and upon seeing it I had to have it.

My first attempt to enter it found me sitting in the water beside my swamped canoe, but then again I am used to rafts. The other day I took it on a day float on the Platte river and although it seemed a bit wobbly (also I am a novice) I was very impressed with its maneuverability. Also with 2 bad knees and a frozen shoulder I still had no difficulties getting the Pack up a steep rocky river bank at the takeout.

Before my float today on the Missouri river I read the reviews here and found them extremely helpful. I fashioned a kayak paddle by joining 2 spare raft oars with a coupler, and was very impressed with the improved speed and tracking. However it just didn't feel right so I practiced my J-stroke with the beavertail paddle and that also improved the tracking.

I am sure that stability and trim will be improved when I pack it with a weeks worth of gear for an extended float trip, which I cannot wait to do in this gem of a canoe.


I have enjoyed a 17' Grumman…

Submitted by: gruman on 4/25/2008
I have enjoyed a 17' Grumman square stern for 40 years. However, for Father's Day 2007 my sons gave me an Old Town Pack. It would be difficult to expand or improve on the functional attributes described in the previous Pack reviews.

The Pack is flat out a quality craft. We did change out the seat and move the new seat forward 3" to trim the craft out and bring the bow down slightly. A frequent comment in many of the Pack reviews is the time and energy spent keeping the Pack moving in a straight line. One weekend I tried a 220cm kayak paddle and decided a kayak paddle was the way to go. However, due to the width of the Pack and the seat position relative to a kayak, it was obvious a longer kayak paddle was needed. To shorten the saga of the search for a longer kayak paddle -- Just go to the Bending Branches web site, call the the sales department, ask how much it costs (minimal given the net results) for a special order 270cm Slice kayak paddle and then go to your local paddling store with the information to have them place an order. On a 270cm paddle, the Slice blade will yield a slightly longer shaft than the Glide blade, a real plus for reaching over the side and for keeping drips outside the craft. The 270cm Bending Branches Slice paddle is a welcome performance addition to the Pack.


Absolutely, without question, the best value in the canoe world. Ok, having…

Submitted by: Oregonpaddler on 3/5/2008
Absolutely, without question, the best value in the canoe world.
Ok, having said that, here are the negatives:
Tracking is only fair, stability is lacking for a beginner, but no problem for an experienced paddler. That's it. Tracking and stability is lacking due to the short length, wide beam and hull shape, and that's the compromise for having a VERY lightweight and VERY durable solo canoe that is excellent in flat water, acceptable in up to type III whitewater (my experience and opinion), and is so EASY to car-top and portage.

I have loaded my Pack with five days worth of provisions, including a reclining lawn chair, for a summer trip down the John Day River in Oregon. I alternated days in my Old Town Cayuga 14 kayak, and the Pack canoe is so much more fun and much easier on my legs than the Cayuga (also one of the best values on the market.)

The bottom line is this: for the price, you get a bomb-proof Royalex hull, an incredibly light 33 pound lift and a fun, responsive canoe that'll carry all you need for a week of calm water or class 11 to 111 touring, depending on your talent/experience. Beginners need to practice a bit. You should take the Pack out on your favorite pond or lake and learn it's limits. Tip it over, get wet, have some fun. Experiment with 240cm or longer kayak paddles. Quicker strokes equal better tracking on this short canoe.

If you can afford only one boat, this is worth considering. If you want another boat to add to your fleet, the Pack is a great value. You'll be using it more than you realize.


I had a pack canoe. I sold it…

Submitted by: paddler232461 on 2/26/2008
I had a pack canoe. I sold it about 10 years ago. I've had many kayaks/canoes since. I currently have 4 crafts. I'd just about give all 4 in trade for ONE pack canoe! So easy... sooooo easy to use; simple. One of mine is a 15 foot Old Town Discovery Sport, squareback. I never use it... extremely hard to load, carry, etc.
I truly miss my pack canoe... looking hard now.

O.K. I am a little late on…

Submitted by: paddler232436 on 2/2/2008
O.K. I am a little late on reviewing a canoe that has been around as long as the Pack. I loved the Pack and found it well suited to my tripping needs. Loading up a backpack, and fishing gear, the Pack was just the right size and weight to carry through those long wooded portages balanced on my backpack frame.

It is a great canoe to fish out of, and get you in and out of thin water, and tight spots. I am a big guy 6'2" and never felt crowded. Properly loaded and trimmed out the Pack is very maneuverable. One of the worst days of my life was the day I sold my Pack. But I can tell you the guy I sold it to was all smiles as he paddled up river.

I notice a few of the reviewers concerns about the boat not being stiff enough, as an old wood and canvas canoe owner and restorer, all I can say is that's the way a canoe should feel. A canoe should flex and glide through the water, not slam into it like the harder fiberglass, or aluminum boats.


I think perhaps I'm being a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/3/2007
I think perhaps I'm being a bit conservative in giving the Pack a 9. It seems it could be better, but I'm not sure how. The boat is very stable, easily maneuverable in windy conditions, and moves along at a good clip for the energy expended.
This is the first solo I've ever been in. When using a single canoe paddle, it seems I'm spending 1/2 my energy correcting. It may be my (lack of) technique. But, when using a kayak paddle (which I've extended by almost a foot) she moves right along and is easy to maneuver, even in fairly strong winds.
Another plus for me is low maintenance. There are 2 pieces of wood; the cane seat and the gunnel. Everything else is vinyl surfaced. The Pack comes only in Royalex, I believe. Wood is good, but vinyl is final.
I look forward to packing gear for a week camping trip. I weigh 185 and figure I can safely take another 70 lbs of stuff.

This is a first for me. I'm a…

Submitted by: paddler232093 on 6/12/2007
This is a first for me. I'm a 135 lb, 50 year old woman who had very little experience in a canoe. I bought this one because it was lite enough for me to lift onto the top of my car.

I love this canoe. I've only had it out 5 times now for a couple of hours at a time, ...and only in fairly calm water, but I love it. It's easy to maneuver and I don't find it very tippy. I did lower the seat and got a sit backer chair though. The only thing I struggled with was when the wind would make it hard to go straight, but I learned to use the wind and zig zag to where I want to go. I'm really looking forward to a great summer learning to paddle and exploring new places in my Pack.