Submitted: 07-18-2002 by mscantlebury
This is a great canoe for river trips. And you can take it places you can't take your regular canoe. Like the Noatak River in Alaska, which is why I bought mine. The canoe is light enough (45 lbs) and packs just small enough that you can ship it by mail to your destination and you'll have no trouble getting it on a float plane for the final ride in. Get the Ally Packsack (a huge drybag with shoulder straps) and you can pop the folded boat on your back and take off even farther in the woods. You can pack a lot of gear into the thing-we packed 3 weeks worth of provisions for two into it. An added advantage: if you pack the heaviest stuff in the center, you create rocker and the boat becomes even more maneuverable in whitewater. In Alaska, we had only a few Class II rapids to contend with and the boat, fully loaded, was very stable and maneuverable through all of them. We also had several days of flood conditions with strong currents and swells, and I felt as comfortable in the Ally as any of my other canoes. The way the boat flexes actually seems an advantage. The one thing I didn't get to try and still haven't, is taking it through something with a lot of rocks. Though after 3 weeks of landing and taking off from gravel bars, and scraping through shallows, the Ally's skin showed no damage or even scars. It's the same stuff whitewater rafts are made of. One piece of advice: Get it with the trapper seats. That gives you the option of kneeling which is very comfortable in this boat because the floor of the canoe is a big piece of dense foam that your knees sink into and add to your stability in going through rough water. I'd give the boat a 10 except I've only had it for a year and don't really know the durability of the thing. Some of the plastic pieces that clip parts together aren't as beefy as I'd like them to be.