Submitted: 04-02-2004 by Adam Henderson
I have taken the Old Town Pack down Indiana's Whitewater river many times, for many miles, in many varied conditions. At normal stage, the Whitewater offers everything from deep, strong flowing rapids in tight curves, to long, meandering, pond-like stretches, to rock-filled riffles. I have canoed the Whitewater in a Pack in very low stage, requiring tight manuevering to stay in floatable water, and I have also canoed it in a Pack at floodstage ... very dangerous, heavy water ... and at all stages in between. I have paddled peacefully all day in the Pack, fought to stay alive in a Pack, and even rescued three teenage girls pinned against a strainer in a Pack!
Having said all that, I can say that in no way did Old Town's Pack ever fail me. I never even had a spill in it ... but I am an experienced paddler. The Pack is not the perfect, dedicated design for any purpose ... but it is an excellent "piddling" boat ... suitable for all kinds of fun in the hands of a novice, and sufficient for most everything else in practiced hands. It's not a whitewater boat, nor a lake boat, nor a cruising boat ... it's an all around boat, tough as nails, lightweight, and fun.
If you're interested in a Pack, particularly if you don't know much about canoes or paddling, by all means buy one ... and don't let all the tech talk keep you from it. You'll never know the difference, you'll save money, and you'll have fun.
I give the Pack a solid 8 ... not a 10, because it's not ideal for everything, and not 6, 'cause it's not bad for anything. They do "oil can" some with heavy paddlers.
Paddle the Pack kneeling, with a long paddle, or a kayak paddle ... and enjoy.