Submitted: 03-05-2008 by oregonpaddler
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.