PakCanoe 170 is the wilderness work horse. It will carry enough gear for a full scale expedition and is the best alternative in shallow water situations.
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Read reviews for the PakCanoe 170 by Pakboats/ScanSport, Inc. 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!
Be wary of buying a Pakcanoe. I had two C-clips and a locking ring snap two summers ago on a cold day (about 0 Celsius). Apparently the snaps and clips may snap when the temperature reaches 0 Celsius. Have been in contact with Pakcanoe but have not been able to get replacement parts despite many efforts and willingness to pay. Not sure why not. Cancelled a trip last year and this year I will try to go on a trip by using tie wraps and hose clamps. Otherwise a great boat.
Much has been written about this canoes chops as an expedition hero. However, as a father of a young family, living in Europe, where we have very good public transport, I came to the 170 from a very different angle. I wanted something to haul my large family of under 10’s for day trips or overnight canoe camping trips. I wanted to get out of the city quickly and easily using public transport and I wanted to take my wife the kids and all the paraphernalia no one would carry themselves on a hike. I wanted the thrill of being on the water, but I wanted something stable and safe. (Please see my other review for the 165 which I use in a slightly different manner). The 170 excels. It deploys the same massive haulage capacity that made it’s name on first descents in the arctic, to carry up to five kids and two adults and their camping gear. And why not? It is an adventure in a bag.
On the water, I felt more confident. I didn't had to use stabilizers to balance, thus allowing me to maneuver the rivers with ease.
I look forward to getting my own someday..
I had been using a friends kevlar canoe, and the PakCanoe is considerably slower, but seems much more stable in rough water. I purchased the heavy-duty spray cover and was able to easily head out in conditions that would have left me sitting on the shoreline waiting for the swells to subside if using the kevlar. It is well constructed, after being dragged on the rocks for a distance in low water it showed absolutely no damage.
I did have some issues with the seats popping loose, but that was more to my "who needs the assembly instructions" mentality. Once I figured out the correct way to secure the seats and using some zip-ties, I have had no further issues. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes to assemble, and less than 15 minutes to pack it up. The canoe will easily fit in a car trunk or closet, and the bag is well constructed, though it doesn't close unless you lace it with some of your own rope (like an old fashioned military duffle bag).
Be prepared for lots of questions whenever you are assembling or packing up, however. Something about the process seems to draw the curious like moths to a flame!
The boat is light about 52 lbs. The boat slides over rocks much better than ABS and does not abraid as much. The skin is easy to patch, we have developed pin hole leaks in the bottom from sharp rocks especially when we had to drag the boat down the Anniuk river for 60 KM because of low water conditions. But the boat is so easy to patch it is no big deal.
We have had to replace one rib, but we did not even know that it was broken until the end of the trip when we took the boat apart to mail home.
On all our trips we have mailed our boat to the float plane base/or outfitter, and at the end of the trip we mailed it back home. The boat fits inside the plane rather than on the floats. This has saved us thousands of dollars in float plane fees, excess baggage charges and rental fees.
I can't say enough about the boat!
The robust rubber lining on the underside coped well with a lot of abrasion even though we could feel everything through our knees! The alloy frame was a little difficult to build and the clips were reinforced with cable ties during the trip.
Overall I would recommend these boats to anyone.
The boat can easily carry five or six weeks of gear and food.
The skin is easy and quick to patch. The only damage to the skin during the nine years, are pin hole size holes/abrasions due to dragging the boat through shallow rapids that had very sharp rocks. The skin does not tear.
The best thing about to boat is that it can be mailed to the float plane base, or can be carried on commercial planes as excess baggage.
It's a nice driving and security benefit to put your boat in the trunk instead of on the roof rack. The frame uses shock-corded thick aluminum poles for the longitudinal pieces, with aluminum U shaped cross pieces and thwarts. The skin is a tough PVC fabric for the hull bonded to a closed cell foam for the canoe floor. Inflatable sponsons are used to tension the skin and provide increased buoyancy.
The PakCanoe handles very well and it flexes in whitwater which actually creates a drier ride since you're going over the waves instead of slicing through. We have plenty of room and feel secure enough to take our 12 month old daughter on a number of 3-5 day trips. PakBoats is located in New Hampshire and they're very helpful, I think they even offer a 30 day money back guarantee. We love this boat!!!