Read reviews for the Adventure 14 by Mad River as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
Good tracking, decent speed. I use a Kayak paddle. The seats are awesome I can fish for hours in comfort. This is a great rugged canoe. After 4 years, I'm still in love with my Mad River
I was looking for a canoe I could take the wife and two kids (2yrs, 5yrs), and the added stability, storage space/seating of the Saranac outweighed the better tracking and speed that the Adventure offers. The Adventure is made out of a hard plastic material vs fiberglass with the Saranac, so I would say the Mad River is more durable. But my Saranac has held up to quite the beating.
The main thing that stood out to me was that the initial stability seemed less than desired, likely due to the rounded hull shape. The secondary stability does seem to make up for it some.
The version I have paddled is from a few years back, and it appears that newer versions may have improved the hull shape some for stability.
I like it pretty well, and especially for the price. We've hit some waves that were 1-2 feet head on and never taken on water. From the side, it would take a pretty good wave to get in as well. We usually turn straight into them though to avoid finding out.
My only tiny complaint is the cup and rod holders do not have holes in the bottom so they will hold water in the rain. A petty gripe that the seat backs, handles, pouches and good construction more than make up for.
With that said it is a little "tippy" it is easy to get close to tipping but it is still hard to roll completely over if you are alert/sober. In fact there was a stretch of a few miles that I stood up and paddled for about a half hour. We encountered a barge and when many got off the river we decided to take on the 4' waves head on and this thing conquered them it was a blast. So I think it is very stable.
The seats are awesome and after a 340mi float my rear end was pain free with a the help of a stadium cushion. This thing is a little heavy and not easy for two of us to load. It also holds a lot of weight, we had 3 guys and gear and it handled well. It is a plow in the water and for the race it was a huge handicap but is great for recreation. I think there is like 6 cup holders for a tandem? Seems excessive. Also didn't get a chance to use the rod holders but they don't seem deep enough.
It seems pretty well made. Some people say it bends in the middle, the only time it would bend is when it was straped/racheted on top of the car unsupported, but it would pop back to normal. Overall I would buy again but now I'm looking for a one person kayak.
We just took it out for the first time today and I can assure you that while there is some initial instability (which seemed similar to other canoes I've been in); you have really got to try pretty hard to tip this canoe. I rocked it to the point of almost allowing water over the gunnels, but it resisted tipping. I sat on the back seat and at 6'1 and 210 lbs, the bow was out of the water, but it was still stable. I stood up in it in the center on still water and paddled it, still stable.
Pros- The seats and seat backs are great. It's stable, tracks well, and is efficient to paddle for it's price range. The tumblehome allows fore and aft paddlers to use a long kayak paddle.
Cons- The lack of a yoke makes it hard to load solo, but it can be done if you've got good core strength.
All in all we're very pleased with our decision so far.
This canoe with the back rests is a joy for fishing and just cruising along.
Some other guy rates it low because it won't do level 3 rapids? U serious? It's not that kind of a boat! Class 3 are considered "Moderately difficult". I'm not taking a canoe like this on those....go buy a canoe made for that.
As for the guy who says his is "bowing" in the middle, how is it being stored? The manual specifically states "store it upside down on blocks or sawhorses." How is this guy storing his canoe? Sitting out bottom down on black asphalt in the hot sun all day long? I wonder, but I will sure let you know if mine does that. I follow instructions and store it like they said to store it. I read many reviews of this canoe like 5+ years old. Not one mentioned bowing. Will see.
I love it, I take my 3 sons fishing in it, (tippy, if 3 young boys have yet to tip us all out of this boat, how does one guy manage to do it?)
Its tan color allows us to fish on top of the fish without scaring them as much as my old bright aluminum boat. We could not get near the fish with that bright noisy thing! Wohoo! I smile every time I sit back against my back rest and prop my feet on the sides of the middle seat! AHHHHH! Talk about comfy, no more knees to my chest, prostate crushing, back rest lacking, hard flat-seated torment for me! I'm serious, I smile every time I get in this thing!
My brother came to visit (an avid boater, jet-skier, everything water kind of guy) took it out by himself, came back and stated "Man, you got a winner here, this canoe is just great!"
I rate it an 8 as it could use some better rod holders (if that is even what those holes in front of the seats are) and a built in cooler might be nice, no? Good job mad river, Me LIKE! (and I'm a really picky kind of guy)
Ok enough about that and now about the canoe. I love this boat. I have taken it out at least ten times since purchasing it and most times I take it out on my own. I was also concerned with how I was going to handle getting it up on my jeep by myself. After some research I purchased a single person canoe loader that mounts to your trailer hitch. It's two steel bars that look like a "t" when mounted. The vertical bar is height adjustable so that the top can be flush with the height of your roof. The horizontal bar swings 360 degrees that is the genius of this device. Forget the bungee strap that comes with it because it is not sturdy enough to hold your canoe in place if your on a slant or hill. Get yourself an extra ratchet strap or clip strap to hold one end of the canoe on the swivel bar. Lift one end of the canoe up and place it on the t bar (practice this at home a few times to get used to doing this step yourself) and use the strap to hold the end in place. The one I purchased has guide holes for this purpose. Once the end is secure to the t bar, walk to the other end of the canoe, lift up and walk/swing the canoe around and place on the top of your vehicle. Keep on mind that in this step you will need about 15 feet of clearance on the swinging side so plan ahead. Then go ahead and strap on the adventure 14 with whatever method works best for your vehicle. I highly recommend this process for loading and unloading and it reduces the stress of wondering if your be able to get the canoe on and off your vehicle when you don't have a second set of hands around.
I have so modified the canoe slightly by adding two flush mount rod holders in the stern. About 15 bucks each at dicks and well worth it. It took about an hour to install both but it looks great and keeps your rods behind you and out of the way when not in use. The integrated rod holders work fine but they will be in your way which is why I went ahead and installed the flush mounts. I also installed a small plastic cleat on the inside of the gunwale for the small anchor I purchased. If you are using an anchor, there are not many options to tie onto which is why I installed the cleat. I'll warn potential buyers that this canoe (like most) will swing around even in a slight breeze especially when you have found the perfect fishing spot :-) so buy a small anchor to hold your boat in place. It's made a world of difference for me.
Agree the seats are very comfortable and are a major selling point for this boat. Took a few others out for several hour trips with zero complaints and only praise for the comfort. Be sure to secure the straps before loading on your vehicle or they will flop around on top of your vehicle which to me was a major annoyance. Just stuff them in the seat back and you'll be all set.
Stability is great. I have stood up and fished several times. You do need to get your balance at first but one you realize that it's not going to tip you just get more confident as you go. I have really loaded this boat up!! My wife in the front and me in the back, two kids on the middle seat and even put my youngest on a small stadium seat on the floor in front of me. 5 people no tipping. This was a short ride (45 minutes) but we all had a blast and really had no issues with stability. I don't recommend that setup for long trips for obvious reasons. Next spring I plan to take my dog for his first ride. He's about 70 lbs and should help weigh down the front of the canoe.
Not much more to say about the Adventure 14. It's a great fishing canoe that fits the bill for a reasonably priced boat for fishing solo or with the family. You will be less hesitant to modify it than a boat that you spend 3 or 4 times more for so modify away!! Next year I also plan to install a small trolling motor for times when I feel lazy about paddling!!
I bought this canoe because it is rugged and also because of the seats with the back rests. The back rests mean you can stay in the canoe all day with no problems. If I damaged this canoe, you can repair them easy, too bad to be fixed then I would buy another one.
After using it for the past couple of years, I couldn't be any happier with it. It's not the speediest canoe in the water but its ease of control and maneuverability make it an amazing canoe for this tricky places. Me and a friend of mine were able to swing it around and over a fallen tree that other people were having to jump out and drag the canoe over without themselves in it.
It is a bit awkward to load by yourself, but can be done (I hold it up to drain the water right behind my suv and simply lift it up and let it fall over my head onto the roofrack). Fished out of it with no problems, never had too much of a problem with it tipping. I've only flipped this canoe once while teasing a friend who had a bad tendency to lean to the side.
My only complaint about this canoe is the formed floor and middle seat make it difficult to float with a large sized cooler for overnight trips, but I've learned how to make due. Love this canoe, and would recommend it to anyone!
Some people say it's "tippy" but I don't agree. Any canoe or kayak is "tippy" to some degree, but I've had a 50 lb dog and a 2 year old moving all about in this thing (my wife was also in the canoe) and it was a great platform to paddle and fish from. Of course, fishing with a dog and a 2 year old (not to mention a wife who's patience was growing slim) did not have the same appeal as just myself and another buddy...what can I say?
Anyhow...I paddle this on lakes and in rivers...rocky rivers...that's why I bought it...I go places where I know I'm going to scrape bottom at times and (not by choice) bounce of the odd rock or two. I wanted a canoe that could take a beating and still survive. I found this canoe to be easy to paddle solo or with another person.
The only reason I gave it a "9" is because of the weight, which is hard to hand solo. I made that tradeoff when I picked a canoe that could take a beating, so I'm NOT complaining.
All in all...this is a great canoe and it'll handle everything you can throw at it.
Just recently we went to Paddle at the point in Downtown Pittsburgh (Breaking a World Record) and saw a Mad River 14ft Adventure. I checked out all of the features and wanted it. I searched the area Sporting good stores and found one at Dicks Sporting Goods. I sold the Pelican and got the Mad River Adventure. Me and my wife have paddled it at several paddling events in all sorts of water conditions and LOVED IT.
We have been paddling in lakes and rivers and it is very Stable and Comfortable. You can do everything from chillin out Floating, Fishing, to Paddling hard and hitting some smaller rapids. We give this canoe a big thumbs up.
Good job Mad River keep making great canoes and kayaks.
I can not say enough about the seats! I felt like I was canoeing in a lounge chair the whole day. I have a bad lower back and after canoeing all day, I did not have any discomfort. I did have to go out and buy two new canoe paddles to fit the canoe better. It sits quite a bit lower to the water than my other canoes. I would buy this canoe again in a heart beat!
I've heard some folks say this is a good canoe for calm rivers but stay out of the rapids. Baloney, this canoe loves moderate whitewater. The key is, if you are going solo, right before you get to anything tricky is get your knees on the floor right behind the middle seat. This way you can lower your center of gravity if needed, you can oar with more power and you can even maneuver the boat slightly with your legs. I took the Mad River down Etowah Falls (Class IV) smooth as silk using this technique.
And the boat is comfortable, the seats are the reason my wife let me get this boat, and they delivered as promised. I've taken the whole family down the Metro Hooch, me in back, the wife up front and my two little girls in the middle. I've gone on long trips with buddies, and long trips with a dog, and ever mammal that has been in the canoe for any length of time loves it (and usually ends up thinking of getting one).
If it sank today – I'd go out and buy the same boat tomorrow.
I think I have have found a way to one-mandedly get that heavy canoe off and back on the top of my jeep. What it involves is ropes inside of fire hoses draped over your front and back windows and around our precious canoe, and one man (or woman) can hoist it up and onto the jeep's roof (or whatever your rooftop carrying vehicle may be!) I am used to a canoe that I can carry with one hand, like the light 16 ft. Grumman aluminum canoes they used to make. Or even Adirondack guide boats that you could carry around with a yoke, but this Adventure 14 is much too cumbersome to carry around with other than being towed on wheels.
I have come up with a system of lifting my A 14 in the rafters of my garage, above my jeep. I have outfitted my A14 with stainless steel Mauri lifting rings on the bow and stern, penetrating both the polypropylent skin and plastic heavy outer skin of the buoyancy blocks.
My Adventure 14 now rests above my jeep, waiting to be taken out soon in this beautiful fall weather, or awaiting spring, or ..... whatever.
I love this boat.
We took it out on a fairly calm lake & shared space with jet-skiers & motorboats so lots of wakes. Easy to paddle, easy to turn, nimble, light, & quick. I stood up, just for fun, no problem, not scary at all. My girls & I took turns jumping out into the water, & then crawling back in, just to see if it would tip. Nope, no tipping. For me, this boat was well worth the investment. Very pleased.
This is the first canoe I have owned and my 10 yr old son and I use it to fish and paddle lakes and rivers (class 2 rapids max.) and we love it. It is very stable, makes a great family canoe, plenty of room, and works great for over-nighters on the river. If you want more room, get the 16 ft. version.
This canoe is awesome. A little heavy, but my son and I can put it in the bed of my truck easily. The "responsiveness" of the canoe is amazing. It will turn on a dime. Very easy to maneuver. I Love This Canoe.
This is a great purchase for the price and for a family that wants a starter canoe.
Plenty of room for canoe camping as long as you realize you can't take the whole house with you. Tracking is good solo with a little weight in front ie. small cooler works for me. I always float solo in mine and it works great.
The only real thing I would think about to tell Mad River about would be to put some form of a grab handle at the center of gravity for those who paddle by themselves to lift and carry easier. Other than that I recommend this craft for most. For the type of paddling this canoe is built for it fits the purpose and the pocket. Since I have purchased mine, 4 of my buddies have bought one as well. We had people thinking on a river one time that we went through an outfitter we had so many of these canoes.
Added a motor mount with salt treated 2x4 + 1/4" bolts with those really big washers so the plastic doesn’t warp and some of those locking nuts with the plastic inside. Small 2 stroke two horse power motor is pretty cool and it weighs about 20 lbs with gas. Also have a 30 Lb electric and that works very well too. Never fished in it but it has built in outriggers on the inside. Wish the design was more intuitive to allow storage under the middle seat. Also went out in a calm lake with 200 Lb man in the front, 200 Lbs man in the middle + deep cycle battery, and 190 Lb man in the back with one of those red Colman that hold 54 beers full of ice and beer. It was tippy but we didn’t fall out. I took out the foam in the front and the rear that is designed to keep the canoe afloat in an emergency so I can store more stuff.
This canoe is a good value when purchased on sale. Would not purchase for 600 dollars. All that being said I really like this Cadillac.
I've paddled it with other people and by myself. Paddling alone in the center seat the boat seems very nimble. With two people is cruises right along. Tracks great.
The backrests are really nice for long days and can be folded down if the person in front wants to turn around. The plastic seems really durable too. I've been using the boat for fishing and have no problem casting from the boat. The rod holders work great for trolling, and the cup holders are nice for a can of my favorite beverage.
The boat is a little heavy to carry around by myself, but I can manage if I have to. At first glance storage looks limited, but there's actually quite a bit of room under the seats. I don't think it would be any problem to load this boat with enough gear for two people to go on a 2-3 day camping trip.
Overall, it's just a great boat and does everything I need it to do and more. Can't imagine how it could be better for the money.
I really like it. I am glad that I ended up with the smaller of the two. I didn't really feel like paying an extra $200 for only two extra feet anyway. It is easy for me to carry around by myself and get on top of a SUV. Today was the first day I put it on the water. I brought my dad, my younger brother and my dog. I first went out by myself just to see how tippy it was going to be. I was surprised, it was actually more stable than I had originally thought. I was able to sit in the way back seat or in the middle and paddle around and turn on a dime by myself.
I first brought my little brother out and it was great. Then my dad wanted to give it a try, so we went. He is a bigger fellow, 6'2" and about 280 pounds. He sat in back and me in front. I am 6'1" 215 pounds. and it did seem a little more tippy with him in it. I think it was mainly because he was a little scared and stiff because he is big, he thought he might end tipping it. We didn't.
The canoe was great, I especially like taking it out by myself. Next I plan to take it fishing. Overall I am very pleased. Great canoe for the price... plus my employee discount.
I found this canoe to be very tippy if you take it out by yourself. I noticed most of the other reviews don't say that, but I see just about all of them had others with them. I decided it must be tippy due to the fact I had no weight in the front. I believe with a sand bag or a person would reduce this problem a lot. I must admit I had thoughts of selling or returning it to the store after my first voyage, but after I thought about it I didn't want to give up on it.
I am going to purchase a set of canoe stabilizers so that I don't have to worry about taking an unwanted dip in the water. I believe with either the front occupied by weight or a person (or if I have side stabilizers) that I will like this canoe more. I just would not recommend taking out alone.
The 14' Adventurer is more affordable yet as versatile as all but the Bell, and much more comfortable to paddle. The seat and seat back are simply awesome. Tracking is exceptional. Stability with the elliptical cross section is absolutely superb.
Don't believe reviews saying this canoe is not stable - while canoeing down the Oconee River in South Georgia today my friend and I experienced 30 mile winds with gusts of ferocious intensity. We were able to keep the boat on track into the face of the wind without too much effort. Advancing in the face of the wind however did take tremendous effort. Were able to keep up enough speed to avoid being swept around or beached on sandbars. At the end of the day we were pretty well shot and attempted to put the canoe on the top of my explorer. The canoe is heavy but hoisting it up is quite doable even for 55 year olds. Did Ok until a burst of wind lifted the canoe off the explorer and on top of me. I was knocked into the river while the canoe bounced off the concrete ramp like a rubber ball. The Adventurer had a good scrape on the rudder but no splits or serious damage. I am worse for wear but am still alive to write this note. This is a tough little canoe.
Two more points about this canoe: I also took it out in a small pond with a skiddish lady friend. She was afraid to move because canoes seem unstable to her compared to the ski boat she is used to but it really paddled well and was quite stable. Finally this canoe is easy to paddle backwards in rivers when un-snagging fishing lines
Major pluses – Comfortable molded Seats, adjustable well positioned seat backs, middle seat for tackle box, soft carrying handles, canoe tracking (thanks to two longitudinal grooves on floor of boat), tying off an anchor from soft handle (center line of boat so no rocking), elliptical canoe cross section so hands don’t scrape on side while paddling, Stability (drove right through white caps, motorized boat wakes didn’t phase us). Part of reason boat is stable is that you sit in center of molded seats so two paddlers can’t shift weight suddenly side to side and rock boat. 14 foot boat fits in pickup with out too much weight overhang (boat does not bounce). "cabin" for front paddler is quite spacious.
Plus – cup holders – (too wide for coke bottle – need koozie or spacer) – rod holder – (not deep enough – need PVC extension ) . Can add tarp around boat lip to keep rain out.
Minus – It is difficult for front paddler to turn around and grab stuff behind him. Not to much of a problem in 14 footer because back paddler can hand it forward. With molded seats aimed forward and the stern rudder shape a solo paddler cannot sit in front seat turned backward to better distribute weight like you can with a canoe with cane seats and two pointy ends. Only choice for a single paddler is sit in back and put a weight on front seat. (Can use two gallon jugs filled with water which is fifteen pounds ). Needs a couple of holes drilled in molded seats pieces for tie downs. There are no thwarts to tie coolers and clothes down in case boat swamps. Forget an overnight campout with a lot of gear. Space is a premium. Canoe will never match three ply polyethelene for toughness – get over it.
Hard to clean out canoe because when it is turned upside down the lip holds water. There is a small drain plug over stern rudder so you can empty water slowly.
Overall the canoe is great. Bought this one at Dicks sporting goods for a friend. It was missing one of the plastic seat hinge pins. Mad River answered phone in person and sent replacement the same day.
But, I really like the length of the canoe - it's easy to put in the back of my pickup with the tailgate down. I like the seats a lot. I like how well it tracks. And having a middle seat makes it valuable for families.
I would definitely recommend this canoe to a family that is on a budget, but loves family outings.
Great tracking, especially for a 14' canoe and was very easy to keep in a straight line. Was easy to turn as well. The seats are a dream. Of course, as it is a 14' boat, you're not going to be getting all that much gear in for extended trips (short ones would be easy), but day trips are a blast. It's making me wonder what the 16' version would be like. I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted a fun little rec or day touring boat--it's easy and fun.