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Reviews for Wilderness 18 Canoe by Souris River Canoes

Rated: 8.11/10 Based On: 9 Reviews

Wilderness 18 Canoe by Souris River Canoes

Length: 18' 0" - Width: 34.0" - Starting at: $3045.00
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is our first canoe, we bought it for extended lake tripping and it fits the bill perfectly. We've only been on one trip with it but it was 3 weeks so we saw a wide range of conditions. This canoe does a few things very well and most others it is not well suited. If you're looking for a hauler of a canoe this is it, this canoe will go fast and the more stuff you've got in it the better. Including ourselves we had 550lbs in the canoe at the beginning of the trip, the boat responded excellent to a load like this. Unloaded I would not take this canoe out in significant wind, you will find it very hard to control. Solo paddling is next to impossible in wind. I did trust this boat more than any other I've been in. We rounded a point and got committed to a half mile crossing straight into honest 3-4' rolling white caps. This was the most adrenaline I've ever experienced while paddling, luckily we had the boat trimmed well and we both paddled strong. Though it was nerve wracking we didn't capsize. Though I wouldn't recommend this experience it did give me a lot of faith in the big water capabilities of the Wilderness 18. Bottom line if you need a do it all boat look elsewhere, if you need a fast, big load hauling tripper, this canoe is where it's at.
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Submitted by: mr_canoeheadSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I like Souris River as a company for their composite recipe which is strong, durable, and light.

This canoe is good at hauling loads, in a straight line, while maintaining stability and seaworthiness. I was disappointed in the combination of firm tracking and relatively low speed (for a hull of this type). Good for those who appreciate tracking over maneuverability, I suppose, but the Prospector 17'6" is both faster in speed and faster to turn.

The Wenonah Minnesota II is in a whole different league for speed and efficiency, and if you prefer performance to durability it is a better choice.

The Wilderness 18 is a decent canoe, but I prefer others which have either better speed, better maneuverability, or both.

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Submitted by: huiex001
Rating: 8 of 10

     Duralight Souris River Wilderness 18, built 1997. I purchased this used canoe from an outfitter. It had no punctures, 2 layers of skid plates, and single layer delamination of both inside floation tanks. The bow cloth nose cover was worn away, apparently from portage lifts. Structurally it was in good shape, considering the rental use. Myself (195lbs)stern, nephew (270lbs, low center of gravity), and grandson (120lbs)bow, paddled downstream from marine on the st croix river (minnesota) to stillwater in july 02, temp. 98 deg. and sunny, upstream wind (of course). The canoe handled well to the railroad bridge and minimum powerboat wake. The big guy then switched with my grandson and took the bow seat (top heavy). The powerboats after the bridge can use full power. This made me feel unstable and concerned when large waves approached. I angled into them, 90 degree, and rolled. the waves in one place would hit the cliffs and roll back. This stillwater area of the st croix river I would not canoe again. The wilderness is a faster paddle and the primary stability takes a bit getting use to. I am satisfied with its performance and will find out how it handles my next BWCA trip. I rate it a 8. I would rate it higher if I felt more comfortable in 2-3 foot wake waves.
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Submitted by: Dan FlipSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my canoe for one summer and have made 6 trips to the BWCAW. I think it was definitely worth the money. This canoe tracks very well and paddles easier than anything I've ever used. I kept ahead or even going upstream with TWO paddlers in each of the other canoes in our party. I was paddling alone with an older guy who could not paddle. This canoe rode over the current with ease. I still am uneasy with a strong wind and a light load as it catches like a sail and pitches. But I still feel that it's very stable and would not trade it. I don't know how well it would hold up when it hits a rock and hope I never find out.
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     Incredible... Enough said. This boat will and is capable of anything. I have a Penobscot and a Appalachian... the Appalachian never hits the lake, only the Penob. It tracks like a keeled boat and has the speed of a glass boat (within reason). A definite high value boat!
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Submitted by: Matt DeLost
Rating: 2 of 10

     The Adirondack is my second canoe, and I love it. This canoe is stable when leaned ie:Canadian style solo paddling and is a good tandem canoe as well. My wife and I are able to carry 3-5 days worth of gear on trips with good stability and handling. Royalex material is very durable after I got over that "First scratch".
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Submitted by: SGSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a first rate wilderness tripping canoe. It is very straight tracking and incredibly efficient in the water. We were surprised at how easily it is turned for an 18 ft. canoe. The kevlar version is awesome and a breeze to portage. We purchased ours in Thunder Bay from Bruce Hyer at Wildwaters, his prices were considerably better than in the U.S. I would recommend buying a colored model, they seem to stratch much less than other Kevlar canoes.
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Submitted by: Al BjorkmanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just returned from 1 week in Quetico with new Souris River Wilderness 18. It handles like a dream, turning well, cuts through heavy chop, and is very stable. A breeze to portage at 44 pounds. It can carry a huge load. Their brand of Kevlar (epoxy) seems to scratch less than other Kevlars I have used. Truly the best lake canoe I have used. I could hardly get my wife to let me paddle it so I was stuck with my Wenonah Spirit II Royalex at 66 pounds. UGH! Picked it up from dealer in Thunder Bay - Wildwaters ( - who give a great deal compared to states.
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Submitted by: RDL
Rating: 10 of 10

     We've used this canoe for a few years now and it is the best tripping kevlar canoe that I've seen. It isn't a canoe that is designed for racing, as some kevlar canoes are, but one that is practical for using on camping trips. It is very stable, straight tracking (although it has enough turning capacity for anything you'll need while paddling the lakes of the Boundary Waters), and stable. Most people that have reservations about using a kevlar canoe because they are unsure of the stability are very comfortable in the Wilderness. The Souris River epoxy and flex rib system are also by far the most durable kevlar system I have every seen. It is a great canoe.
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