Read reviews for the Camper 15 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!
I've just returned from a 3 day trip on the River Thames, the second of such trips in 2 years, and the Pathfinder performed incredibly well. She's a great load lugger and even with a stack of camping gear you can certainly get some speed up with tandem paddling. I've no hesitation in recommending the Camper 15 as a great all-rounder. Excellent canoe
I purchased a 15 ft Camper. It is a fine canoe and very stable and leaned over, you can make good time. I LIKE IT. Since I'll be mostly soloing, throwing it up on my Suburban using the yoke is very cumbersome so I removed it and added two thwarts amidship 26 inches apart and what a difference. Better control much easier to load/unload. I believe this boat is the same dimensions as my Old Town Pathfinder that I sold years ago, 36" by 14'10". Anyway, enjoy the outdoors, use your PFDs, stay safe.
This canoe is hard to beat for camping and canoeing. The problem I had was that I like to fish from the canoe. With its short length and slight rocker, it is nearly impossible to paddle slightly and maintain a straight course so I could cast and retrieve. The nimble handling is a detriment to fishing on flat water.
I hated the cheapened look of the nylon web covered seats that Old Town is now offering, (If they would only replace the black nylon with a sand/brown color to compliment the color of the inside of the boat, it would help) so I replaced them with cane seats from Essex Industries before I got her wet. I got the contoured seats and after the first time out, I have no regrets. Wide seating area for the bow and narrow seating area for the stern. (No seat lowering done at this time)
Maiden voyage: Medium flatwater river in Illinois (Rock River)and windy conditions, paddling solo with only a camera dry-box on board. Paddled upstream first and then back down (My normal solo pattern) with a Bending Branches 60" Beavertail paddle. (I'm a 5'-6" male at 165 lbs)
Having no keel, I expected this boat to be more responsive in turning than my keeled aluminums of the past (it was much more responsive). Having upswept, recurved bow and stern, and paddling solo/empty, I expected this to be tough to handle solo in the wind. (It was, from the stern seat, but shifting to the bow seat and paddling backwards worked as expected with a marked improvement in handling) Yes, it still catches the wind more than some of the other styles would, but I'm from the old school and I like the style of the recurved bow and stern and am willing to pay some price in performance to get the look I want.
Having no keel, slight rocker, shorter length, and a hull that's slicker than stuff-on-a-doorknob, I expected a major change in stability as compared to my past crafts. (Not so! This little 15-footer was amazingly stable in a rough chop that was white-capping slightly) I wouldn't hesitate to take small children out in this canoe.
Oil-canning: Something I've never had the chance to witness in my past aluminum hulls, was present but very slightly in the rough chop I encountered. I don't see it as an issue and only mention it here to complete the review.
At 58 lbs, handling to & from the cartop was a breeze. A side lift straight up from the ground level to the shoulders showed that this Camper has perfect portage-balance. With constant pain in my hands at my age, I sprayed the carrying yoke with Krylon Non-Skid Coating (Clear) UPC 724504034001, that came out a very nice satin finish and retained the beauty of the woodgrain. That improved my grip on the yoke ten-fold. Lets face it, trying to lever a 15' long object in the wind by gripping a 2-1/2" wide surface can be challenging. The non-skid coating (Available at Ace Hardware) really improves my odds. I recommend this product for said purpose. Note! Sanding smooth the area that contacts your neck before use is a must. (No, I don't work for either of these, I just am sharing a hint that helps my dry handling of this canoe)
In summary, I cannot speak for long-term dependability, but if this canoe sticks to its initial performance, I will continue to highly recommend it as a good, stable, all-around canoe that handles well in wind and wave. It is in my opinion, a very good looking, classic-styled canoe as well (sans the black nylon web seats).
Always wear your PFD!