Submitted: 05-06-2002 by Bill
I haven't had the "pleasure" to paddle a Coleman canoe in years. Do keep in mind that the ratings given here are assigned by first-time canoe buyers who don't know how good a canoe can be. After reading these reviews I can only conclude that those of us who paid 2 or 3 times as much for a canoe that only gets the same grades as a Coleman must be nuts! Granted, you can't beat the price for getting out on the water, but at what cost? When I stepped up to an Old Town (I now own two) I was amazed at how fast it was and how easily it was to paddle.
Whenever I see a Coleman -- which is often because they're inexpensive -- I'm reminded of a group canoeing outing a few years back. On this outing those of us in the upscale canoes were lazily paddling along, leading the pack, while the Coleman canoe crowd was huffing and puffing as if they were in a race, but they were just trying to keep up!
If you want a cheap canoe that'll give you plenty of exercise, this is the canoe for you. For twice the price you can get good looking canoe that'll last you a lifetime and be a joy to use (ask yourself: how many times did reviewers refer to a desire to mount a motor in these Coleman reviews?). Go for quality. You get what you pay for. I'm past the half-century mark and I can envision my heirs fighting over my canoes.