05-24-2013Submitted by: solocanoe67
Reviews for Pack Canoe by Old Town Canoe
Based On: 102 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 Still have the same OT Pack - still think it's the greatest boat - price to value to usefullness I have ever had the joy to paddle. Many canoes and kayaks have passed thru life over the decades... the OT Pack will be with me to the end of my time. With my lowered seat and Sitbacker set up, my double blade paddle... I'm good for Duck Hunting, Fishing, Tripping, Pleasure paddling with the 'yakers in my group, Camping, etc... the OT Pack do in all.
05-19-2013Submitted by: eqlzr
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just picked up a used Pack 12 that is about 18 yrs old. It has several signs of use but not really much abuse at all. Worked like a charm in a fairly high wind situation while I was sitting on the canoe seat and using a double-bladed kayak paddle. Really happy with it so far. Only a mild sensation of tippiness that quickly goes away after a little paddling around.
03-26-2013Submitted by: mastinmb
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned two Old Town Pack canoes. Both were excellent. My favorite feature is that I can carry the canoe all by myself, and I am a small woman who never goes to the gym! Both of my children learned to paddle in the Pack, and could do so when only four or five years old.
12-13-2012Submitted by: davidmichael
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my Pack Angler for five years now. We haul it around on our 27 foot Class C motorhome during much of the year and then place it on our Honda CRV for the summer. It's a good, all-around, solid boat with the use of a single kayak paddle. We also have two 14.4 foot Necky Kayaks we use for rivers and lakes and Bays, but for fishing I prefer the Pack.
I recently purchased foot and thigh braces to make it more comfortable on longer day trips for fly fishing. It would be great if Old Town top added these braces as that's about the only thing it lacks. At age 76, I haul it around like I was 30 years old. One of these days we'll trade our kayaks in for a Kevlar Canoe but my wife loves that kayak. Went down the Green River to the Colorado last year and camped out 10 days on our own. It was a kick. Loving the West and the freedom of the Rving lifestyle!
12-10-2012Submitted by: Rev Dennis
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had a Pack for 3 years. I was lucky to find a tan one. It is incredibly light. While I prefer a single paddle, this canoe is probably best suited for a kayak paddle due to the short length and tracking issues. For a single paddler I am glad I purchased this canoe.
12-06-2012Submitted by: moriverrat
- Rating: 10 of 10 Some harsh and unwarranted reviews on here against the Pack. In October 2010 I repeated the 340 mile float from St. Joe to Hermann, MO in just 5 days. The Pack can easily carry a paddler plus supplies and provisions for extended solo trips in excess of a week. It easily handled the currents and conditions of a major river, and some extreme barge wakes, while loaded in this capacity. My rotor cuff repair in the summer of 2011 put the kibosh on a third trip, and the drought and heat wave saw to it there'd be no expedition in 2012. My duties as a single father, to a daughter born April 5, 2011, have also kept me off the water somewhat. I have however taken her out on a large lake in the front of the Pack, and it was a fine introduction to canoeing for her. I have recently added a Reflection Dagger 15 to the stable, and I'm going to rig it for a Summer 2013 solo run of the length of the Missouri River as it flows through the state of Missouri, some 550 miles. Had I not obtained the Dagger, I would not hesitate to employ the Pack in the role I pioneered for it.
11-26-2012Submitted by: JDC
- Rating: 8 of 10 I'm 6'5" and 220 lbs. The Pack is tippy for me if I sit on the seat with my feet flat on the floor. Just stretching my legs out in front of me alleviates most of the tippy feeling. Kneeling gets the center of gravity low enough to give me good stability. All of my paddling has been on a local river. Tracking while powering up stream is poor if I use a canoe paddle. Once I started using a double bladed Kayak paddle I am able to go upstream well. The light weight allows easy portaging around the rapids that I can't paddle up.
08-08-2012Submitted by: Alan Crook
The size and weight makes transporting/portaging easy.
Stability is a lot more sensitive to your center of gravity than any of the other canoes that I have used.
Tracking on calm water is good with proper paddling technique. If you try to put too much power into your stroke the tracking is poor, but using a double bladed paddle allows alternating power from side to side to keep you pointing where you want to go.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently purchased an Old Town Pack after reading the reviews on this site. I also have a 17' Maine Guide (1943) and have been canoeing seriously for more than 35 years.
I was more than pleased by the stability of this canoe, its tracking, and its maneuverability (the Guide has a full keel, so that wasn't hard to beat!). I would recommend this canoe to anyone with reasonable solo experience, or those with good tandem experience and a mentor.
06-20-2012Submitted by: Mike
- Rating: 8 of 10 The canoe is great. Light and room for equipment. Trying to lower seat so I can use a seat with a back
06-17-2012Submitted by: Bucky
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just got back from my Old Town Pack Angler's maiden voyage... on Harpswell Sound, Orr's Island, Maine. Using a 240cm kayak paddle, the boat handled like a champ. Stability was good, too (leaning on a gunwale hardly dipped the side). Tracking was very good once under way. Not quiet as good as my Lincoln Chebeague 14.5-foot coaster kayak (34 lbs), but not far behind. I paddled out to a group of kayakers, and, after a brief visit, left them easily behind. (Maybe they were novice paddlers?)
The wx was overcast, 10-12 mph winds on the open water, with a slight chop and the occasional wake from a lobster boat. The Pack performed well within my paddling ability to handle these conditions.
Now the real reason I bought this boat: At 33 lbs, it's incredibly easy to get on and off the Yakima racks on my pop-up pickup camper. (I returned the Pack's stablemate, the Guide 119, to Dick's Sporting Goods because it's actual weight of 46.2 lbs was just too much loading and unloading; see my review.)
I just turned 65. My weight is 210 at 5' 8" (lost 2.5 inches in height already, sheesh!) I'm comfortable in canoes and kayaks. The We-no-nah Fusion, Vagabond, and Prism were on my radar, too, but I think the Pack is gonna do me nicely for paddling on the Maine coast and haulin' in big bass from a favorite North Carolina pond.
I'm not ruling out a bigger solo boat some day, but, honestly, I don't feel at all compelled to get one now after my Pack's maiden voyage in saltwater. I highly recommend this boat to anyone looking for a little "all-rounder" canoe for under $1,000.
06-12-2012Submitted by: wasone51
- Rating: 10 of 10 On my recent buying of a Pack Angler canoe had my wife wondering if I had lost my mind! I am over six two and lets say to proud to push myself away from a good meal. I was going to sink! I am more than happy this is the best canoe I have ever had. Granted you can't move around in it like a larger canoe it is Ideal for fishing. And if you stay on smaller lakes I would rate this canoe one of the best. I my never get in a full size boat again.
06-05-2012Submitted by: Nature_Boy_1
- Rating: 10 of 10 Tippy? Well after all, it is a canoe, isn't it?
I come from years of paddling a 17' tandem aluminum with a standard keel and I'm very impressed with the stability of my new Pack. My second trip out was on a medium sized river with a relatively easy current. Paddling upstream with my two year old Cairn Terrier on her maiden voyage and using a kayak paddle for the first time in my life, along with trying to get some photos of my pup without the camera taking a swim had its own challenges, but keeping the decks up and the keel down was no problem in this little craft. Oh, and did I mention the wind was blowing?
Coming in at 63 years of age, I am not the most agile, but I must say, I am very impressed with the stability of my Pack canoe. And much like Greywolf, it was a dream to tie the pup to my belt, pick up my drybox in one hand, and snatch up that canoe with the paddle lashed to the thwart and seat, and head to the roof rack with it... Those folks at the picnic table a ways off just looked on with amazement.
Admittedly, the Pack is not for everyone, but it fits well in my stable alongside my Camper 15' tandem.
05-29-2012Submitted by: Greywolf
- Rating: 10 of 10 I don't know what folks are talking about when they say this boat is tippy, maybe they haven't been on the water much. I have had a Discovery 119 which I loved but eventually sold to get a kayak. Always missed the 119 so when they came back out bought one. I ended up giving that one to my son and bought a used Pack. Folks I'm 57 and in good shape but do most of my boating solo and 33lbs on my shoulder is a charm. This canoe handles like a dream. I'm hoping the royalex is as tough as the polylink since I'm on the Susquehanna most of the time and it gets pretty rocky in places. If your a seasoned canoe/kayaker this boat flies with a yak paddle. Aces all around.
04-09-2012Submitted by: CASE
- Rating: 5 of 10 I have been canoeing for 50 years and have been in several dozen brands and styles of canoes. Being older and wanting to solo and portage I bought the lightweight and small PACK canoe. I am very dissatisfied with its performance and stability....going to sell it asap. The PACK will tip easily and overturn without much warning. Stay away from this one if safety matters to you.
01-23-2012Submitted by: Larry
- Rating: 3 of 10 The Pack 12 is very tippy and tracks poorly. It is very light, so it's good for getting onto your vehicle and for portaging, but terrible for canoeing even on small lakes. I have a Penobscot 17 that my wife and I use, now there's a canoe that is steady and tracks like a dream. I just bought a Penobscot 16 for long solo trips and shorter tandem trips. So I love Old Town, just not the Pack 12.
11-14-2011Submitted by: paddlegirl
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is my 2nd year with my Pack. Still the first boat I select when heading out. Early this year I added the BB 260cm double bladed canoe paddle to my kit. Carry this and a single but the double is perfect for making time, heavy conditions, and very shallow water. From the kneeling position with either paddle I am locked in to the Pack and can work the canoe to whatever is presented.
Overnighting aboard is next for my Pack. I've done this in my kayaks (folders) but the Pack needs some additional prep. Step one was to fit loops to the hull/rail fasteners. Second was to run a perimeter cord around boat through the loops. Then it will be off to the sewing machine to make about the equivalent of a bivy rainfly. I'll tell you about the finished product next year...
07-27-2011Submitted by: PDP
- Rating: 8 of 10 Great, lightweight canoe, perfect for ponds, slow rivers and small lakes. Not great in wind, but good craft for fishing calm waters and wind protected water, quite stable with minimal gear.
07-07-2011Submitted by: JFL
- Rating: 8 of 10 Bought my Pack 13 years ago because of its wonderfully light weight that I can handle alone and carry on a small car top on the factory rack--still the 2 features I like best. Have used it on small ponds to huge lakes, initially for paddling & fishing, and most recently for paddling my 2 dogs (90 lbs total + my 150 lbs) around exploring the lake. I much prefer using a kayak (double-bladed) paddle--saves a lot of course correcting and speeds paddling.
Surprisingly stable for such a small boat, even with a squirming, nervous dog on board--have never accidentally capsized, even in heavy wind when I thought we might swamp. But, unlike a full-size, 2-man canoe, I cannot climb back into it on water if I jump out to swim. Not good in heavy wind/waves, but I didn't expect it to be. Have never tried it on a river--afraid to attempt any whitewater in such a small, open boat until I read some of these other positive reviews--maybe with extra flotation bags. Never thought of lowering the seat as some reviewers suggest, but when the water's rough, I do kneel to get my center of gravity down lower.
06-04-2011Submitted by: Matt
- Rating: 8 of 10 I'm really enjoying my new Pack Angler so far. I purchased it for fishing and exploring small lakes, rivers, and creeks here in Kentucky. It has plenty of room for all of my gear, room to stretch and be comfortable, and is light enough for me transport/portage considerable distances. I just purchased a BB Slice 260cm paddle, and it really helped increase my speed on open water and when wind picks up. I know many prefer a traditional stroke with a canoe paddle, but the yak paddle can really extend your range which helps me a ton with fishing. The stability is ample for uses so far, and you simply need to get used to the canoe is a safe place (like any other, for that matter). Highly recommended!
05-08-2011Submitted by: Mutt
- Rating: 10 of 10 Having read all the reviews on this site I went ahead and placed an order for a Old Town pack canoe. Went and picked it up from the local REI the other day and after getting it licensed and legal I headed to the lake. Took me only a few minutes to get my balance right, and before long I was on my merry way. I paddled for about an hour and half and then had to attend to other business. Today I took it out again and paddled around two different lakes in my area. Absolutely no complaints.
What a dream it is to lift onto the roof of my vehicle and portage to the launch. Has not taken me long to develop confidence while handling this boat. Is it tippy? Well, it is a canoe and not a John boat, but I have to say for a canoe of its dimensions it ain't too bad. I've tried kneeling and sitting on the seat. So far sitting on the seat with my legs out before me balances me best and doesn't make my ankles go to sleep.
I plan to use this canoe for fishing, duck hunting and perhaps deer hunting in the Boundary Waters this Fall. If you are in the market for a solo canoe that's darn near bomb proof, and doesn't make you feel for a third nut every time you portage it, then the Old Town Pack is for you.
04-18-2011Submitted by: kg
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just took my brand new Pack out for maiden voyage. Seven hours of flat water on Prime Hook Creek NWR. Generally exceeded expectations. I'm happy with the purchase.
Good stability while paddling on stock height web seat. And I do mean rock solid stability. I plan to lower the seat 2" later this spring. More on that later. Actually surprised by stability compared to my 25 year old Katahdin 12 by Old Town which is a barge with 40" beam.
A telegram for Mr. Paddler
One demerit for the possibility of the boat to send you a rare emergency telegram. Here's what I mean: over the seven hour trip, the boat gave me one or two of those "I'm going over" telegrams. Not bad for a boat like this IMHO. I got the main message when I turned on the stock seat 45 degrees to the left in order to cast my rubber worm at a log deadfall. Whoops! Remains to be seen how close I actually was to buns up in the drink, but it was a wake up. Lesson learned - rotating hips and buns off center on the stock seat disrupts center of gravity. As long as I kept hips face front at midline on the seat - not a single hint of this tipping telegram. Again lower seat may help.
Lightness of Being Carried
I made an optional portage to an adjacent pond that I would never have considered except that the Pack is LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT! Shouldered the boat with fishing rod inside and carried about 150 yards to the pond. Delighted! Car topping is easy with his boat. I use those clip-on foam bricks and it's night and day compared to the old 80 lb. barge I've been using for the past umpteen years.
03-08-2011Submitted by: trekkerforrest
I'm happy after one seven hour trip and the boat worked well for fishing. Don't turn sideways and fling a lure without a little forethought. Will try lowering the seat. Very light. Delighted.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my Pack for 30 years and although we have other canoes in our fleet this is the one I use 90% of the time, from river and creek cruising to the Boundary Waters to exploring the coastal waters of Virginia and the Carolinas.
I bought the Old Town skirt and flotation bags and installed the snaps and tie-downs. I take it down Class II and III and have never rolled it, and take it across Burntside Lake and the other big lakes in the Boundary Waters when the wind is up and whitecaps racing, and have never had a problem. I installed the Old Town oarlocks and on big lakes or coastal waters often I'll turn and row it for greater power against the wind or waves. Occasionally we do use the Old Town sailing kit and on Burntside Lake, Pamlico Sound, Chespeake Bay or Kentucky Lake we can really fly.
As did most of you, I lowered the seat and paddle kneeling most of the time. I cemented in the kneeling pads and straps which help a lot in whitewater. I added the Old Town padded yoke, which makes portaging in the Boundary Waters a piece of cake. Without the flotation bags I can carry enough for a seven day trip with no problem. I never bought a kayaking paddle or double ended canoe paddle; I just use my Bending Branches canoe paddle with a J or C stroke. I do disagree with some who indict its stability. I can roll the Pack over to the gunwale and paddle it all the way across a lake on windless days. We have a lot of tight creeks and small rivers in our area and the Pack out manuevers a lot of supposed whitewater canoes and kayaks. Being designed for whitewater, they have obvious advantages, but the Pack is so quick I can thread around a lot of the problems they need their advantages to deal with.
I did add the folding back padded canoe seat I bought in Ely and during those long river pools or quiet lake days when I get tired of kneeling it sure makes life nice. I added the Old Town skid plates, we take care of the hull, we store the Pack out of the sun, and after 30 years the Royalex is still in great shape. It's not really even faded much, despite the annual saltwater trips.
All considered, I think this is one of the great canoes ever made, and one that gets a lot less publicity than it deserves.
10-05-2010Submitted by: paddlegirl
- Rating: 10 of 10 Well, it has been a year with my Pack and about that much time since my first post. My Malecite, though a great canoe, is still hanging from the rafters.
I have switched to a canoe paddle. It seemed that kayak paddle technique bothered my hands and wrists whereas traditional canoe methods did not. It must be that advancing age thing. Found I lost some speed in the change from 3.25mph to 2.5. Tracking is within reason with good technique.
Disturbed; sorry the Pack did not work for you. Let me repeat, I paddle the Pack essentially backwards from the kneeling position. I use the seat as a work surface and the thwart as a brace for my behind. I use my thermarest (rolled in a stuffsack) under my ankles as a kneeling rest. I also use some kind of 1" X 2'X 3' ethafoam to kneel or sit upon. I would say I kneel 80% of the time.
For my touring load I use several Seal Line drybags and duffle and a Pelican hard case for my pantry. The Pelican fits under the seat and the drybags at the ends. When properly packed I still have room to rotate myself around, slide my legs under the thwart and then sort of up and around the aft dryduffle permitting me to laydown in the canoe. It is quite comfortable. There is nothing like laying down in a canoe on a cool but mostly sunny fall day watching the clouds float by. I have often fallen asleep on such outings. Soon, I will try overnighting like this once I make up a deck cover.
I still find the Pack to be a reasonable package in a small lightweight canoe that has worked for me.
09-27-2010Submitted by: mdemarr
- Rating: 10 of 10 Excellent canoe. Very stable, and easy to paddle with a Kayak paddle (240cm). I use a backrest and have the seat lowered 2 inches. Have taken the kids out on the lake and paddled on a few rivers. Not the fastest canoe but who cares it only weighs 33lbs and can be carried anywhere (however it will keep up with a tandem with little effort). Besides if its speed you want buy something known for speed, this canoe is known for its light weight and versatility.
09-10-2010Submitted by: Greg1109
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Pack about 15 years ago and it's been one of my favorite investments over the years. I live in the city and don't get the chance to use it often enough. I mentioned that because when I say that I've never felt uncomfortable in it, I didn't want to give the impression that I'm constantly in the water and just used to it. It's a stable little boat. Last year I took her into the middle of a large lake and felt totally at ease after not being in a boat of ANY kind for over 4 years. Being as this is the only canoe I've ever owned, I don't have any complaints about the tracking. So far as I have always known, if you paddle a boat on one side, you'll go in a circle if you don't compensate somehow. Right? I can paddle my Pack on one side all day long and all I do is turn my wrist at the end of my stroke and use my paddle as a rudder to make her go where I want. I'm not up on all the lingo, so I don't know if that stroke has a name. For reference, I am 6'0" and weigh about 155 and use a 56" wide bladed paddle. I did not lower the seat but I made an Adirondack style seat back that folds down for storage/transport. I put my pfd on it and it's very comfortable and with my feet up on the center support I can lock myself in place and paddle all day. I did buy a breakdown kayak paddle this year after getting stuck in the wind last year and the previous reviews are correct about the amount of droplets into the canoe. Since I prefer the single paddle over the double, this won't be an issue as I only got the yak paddle for wind emergencies. No complaints at all, and I wish there was an 11 I could give it.
08-04-2010Submitted by: geetsbay
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned the Old Town Tripper, Discovery, Guide, and Pack canoes and have found the Pack to be the most versatile, fun, and easy to use. I'm 6 feet 200 pounds and learned quickly its capabilities and limitations. Perfect for what it is designed for; lightweight, shallow water solo paddling with a variety of purpose for the experienced paddler!
08-02-2010Submitted by: Lindsey
- Rating: 10 of 10 I use the pack for floating rivers and ponds for duck/goose hunting. When solo I take a bag of decoys and dog (90lbs) and just move along with no problem. I use a single blade paddle with no problem. I don't hunt out of it but great for getting away from everybody.
When using to get across the river with my friend it is loaded with both of use and the decoys and the dog just swims along. I've used this canoe in the early dark hours of the morning with no concerns of tipping. However, you just need to become familiar with the personality of you boat. My friends who use the conventional duck sciffs wished they had a pack
In the spring I run a few class 2&3 rivers and manage to pry my cheeks apart after the day is over and the pack is doing fine.
07-19-2010Submitted by: disturbed
- Rating: 3 of 10 Despite the shining reviews of others, I really dislike this canoe. I am 6' tall and 200 lbs. and find this canoe to be very unstable. Although I've never dumped it, it is a constant worry. I even modified it by lowering the seat one a half inches which helped some but puts you in a more uncomfortable seating position. I hate the seat also. It could have been built with a wider frame but was not. The two side pieces of the frame are right against my hips and not comfortable at all. I am selling it and looking for something better
06-08-2010Submitted by: paulm1
- Rating: 10 of 10 Finally snatched out of the local classifieds for $450, hardly used. This boat is sweet! For reference, I'm 6'3, and 250lbs. I find it to be stable while kneeling (yes, my size 14's fit under the seat, although it's tight), and a little less stable when sitting. I would definitely not call this boat "tippy". I added a deep dish Nova Craft yoke for comfort on the back woods portage, this boat is a dream to carry. I find that this boat tracks as well as one would expect for this style of boat. Using the J stroke, it's not bad at all. A kayak paddle can really make it move too! This really is a great boat, 10 out of 10!
05-26-2010Submitted by: tg
- Rating: 10 of 10 I responded to an ad in a local paper and inspected a Pack, with no knowledge of this model. As someone who had primarily paddled Clipper fiberglass canoes with rigid hulls, and felt that was what I preferred, I was reluctant about buying the Pack. I was not impressed with the seemingly flimsy flat floor and the less than sleek hull shape; however, it was not advertised in the right places, so I had the opportunity to keep coming back to it. The weight of the Pack and my desire for a solo boat were the reasons I was still interested. After reading reviews at this site and negotiating the price for a barely used boat to $260, I purchased it.
I have found this boat to be a pure joy. I paddle it with a single blade in tight situations and a 9' double blade paddle from Spring Creek Outfitters in the open. With the double blade it is easy to keep tracking straight and at a good pace. For me, it is a little slow and tedious with a single blade. The longer double blade helps to keep your ride dry and much faster.
Having read the reviews from this site before the purchase, I was anticipating an unstable canoe that would require lowering the seat. I was completely surprised by the initial stability of this craft. I have paddled this craft solo, as well as with my 50# daughter and her 5# puppy in a bow seat mounted on the floor. I have not severely tested the secondary stability of the boat, but I have felt that this boat is very stable with the factory seat height.
At this time I am unable to paddle the Pack, as my 13 year old son grabs it and the double blade paddle and leaves my wife, daughter, and I far behind in our tandem.
This canoe is not sexy or impressive to look at, it is just fun to paddle and lightweight. Not perfect for everything or everyone, but it is still a 10.
03-11-2010Submitted by: Wookford
- Rating: 10 of 10 Ditto. I decided on this boat because of the reviews here and the kind of creeks and rivers here. I can paddle in half-a-blade depths. I am a beginner and find it to be rather forgiving compared to the Guide 147, which I tried first.
I knew that as a newbie, I would abuse any boat. So, I was looking for low cost. This is the lowest new boat price around. I bought mine through the outfitting co-op to which I belong at Old Town's MSRP. I missed the holiday sale, but get a dividend and don't feel bad about paying full price because instead I'm out in the creek.
For reference, I'm 6' and heavy at 265, 10.5 shoe. I fit just fine kneeling or sitting, though find sitting on bench less stable. Able to paddle upstream in rain-swollen current with 230 cm double-bladed paddle. Shorter is better in these shallow, rocky creeks of north Texas. Also carry a 54 inch aluminum and plastic single, likewise built for abuse. The double breaks down and tucks into the seat and I use the single against the inside as a grip handle so that all the weight is not resting on my shoulder; comfy.
The little creek near home is extremely rocky and shallow with many obstructions like fallen trees. The little Pack turns easily in the current even for ignorant fools like me.
I give it a 10 because it's exactly what I wanted: low-cost, lightweight, tough. The royalex hull flexes over rocky creekbeds. It dents and scuffs but hasn't gotten gouged in my first few attempts.
If you are a beginner, expect to get wet while you learn. I expected that would be the case with any boat. Expect portages with any boat. At 33 lbs. you might mind them very much, and when you're done for the day you still will have strength to flip up onto the roof rack. I was on the fence between the Pack and the dealer-recommended, more-expensive Wenonahs. Fell off on the Pack side and so far no regrets...
11-17-2009Submitted by: paddlegirl
- Rating: 10 of 10 Thanks to all you previous reviewers.
Recently bought my Pack to primarily take the place of my Mad River Malecite and a kayak. Like Jack with his Lamoille, my 62lb Malecite had become too much for me to handle to and from the car. It has been sitting for several years because of the hassle in handling. The kayak was just to confining for me.
Most of my activities are on bigger waters and I have found the Pack quite capable. I was in 1-2' waves yesterday and though busy maintaining control all went well.
I use my adjustable kayak paddle (BB Glide) set at 240cm. This works fine for kneeling but for sitting a 260 might be better. One of the reasons I went from a kayak back to a canoe was so I would have a choice in either sitting or kneeling.
I paddle my Pack backwards so to speak, bracing against the thwart and using the seat as a surface for my compass, camera, and other things. I contacted customer service to confirm the Pack was symmetrical, it is.
11-12-2009Submitted by: moriverrat
I really love the weight, or lack of it.
- Rating: 10 of 10 A few weeks ago I set out from St Joe, Missouri in my trusty Pack. My destination was the town of Hermann, 340 miles down the Missouri river. In addition to my nearly 200 pound 5'10" frame, my indomitable Pack also carried 8 5 liter water cans, 2 coolers, 2 duffel bags and other assorted gear. I used an 8' kayak paddle and on the best day made 70 miles.
09-08-2009Submitted by: David
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had the Pack canoe (Angler edition) for two years now as we travel with our motorhome around the USA. This is a sweet boat at only 33 pounds. It's on top of the motorhome on a special canoe/kayak rack custom made, and I just slide it down to the ground by a line with a carpet on top to protect the paint finish. Reverse it for placing back on the top. Very easy since it is so light to handle.
We have been in large and small lakes, streams and rivers, even ocean bays. Primarily I like it for flyfishing on small bodies of water or in streams/small rivers up to class two. I moved the fishing rod holder closer to the bow front away from my action/sweep of the kayak paddle. Note that with the kayak paddle I have no problem with tracking. Easy! I use about a 240 paddle because of the boat width.
I am now building new anchor holds for bow and stern using a small pyramid anchor for each, with wood mountings that extend beyond the canoe for easy use of the anchor lines. Last week I was fishing for trout in Central Oregon and my anchor line didn't reach bottom and when it did, wouldn't hold because of the wind. The anchor that comes with the boat for the Angler's edition is too light in my opinion. By time I finish modifications this will be one great canoe for fishing.
By the way, although this canoe does fairly well in wind, it is no match for a kayak which is much lower and better designed for speed. I do carry a Necky Manitou 14 kayak with us and a Cayuga 13 kayak for my wife. These are great in the wind and I do use them for fishing when the wind gets too bad. Mostly though the kayaks are for exploring which is limitless here in the Northwest. I love my Pack canoe as well as the Cayuga 13 kayak, both made by Old Town. This means I can paddle a variety of waters in different conditions.
07-29-2009Submitted by: Jack
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've been looking for a smaller canoe for awhile now. This year I turned 60 and pressing my 18'4" Mad River Lamoille overhead onto the car rack is now getting to be more struggle than fun.
The Indian or North Woods Stroke allows one to paddle infinitely on one side or the other and works just fine for the Pack. Others have been critical of the Pack's tracking. I've found with a bit of heel to the side of the paddle the turning pressures are balanced out and the result is a nice, straight and surprisingly quiet glide. Very pleasant.
I'm 6'3" and 250# so to lower the center of mass I kneel to the turn of the bilge with my butt against the leading edge of a thwart which replaced the seat. I had a problem with lowering the seat. Size 13 feet make it hard to tuck my legs under so my solution was to replace the seat with second thwart mounted at the rear of the two seat attachments. For cushioning I use a foam gunwale support for cartopping and it is just enough to take the pressure off. A split, hollow core swimming noodle or neoprene pipe insulation would also work. In combination with the front thwart, the second thwart allows for two different paddling positions. If more weight is wanted forward, use the front thwart and paddle facing aft.
For double paddling, I have one of those camp chairs or stadium seats with a seat and attached back and sit on the bottom propped against the rear thwart which puts the center of weight in the same fore and aft position as the seat only much lower. I've been using an 8' double paddle and I agree a bit more length may be better. Initially I was concerned about elbows hitting on the gunwales, but this is not a problem - nice surprise.
I believe the designer chose dynamic over static stability. This will never be a boat where one stands up and admires the view, but once under way the tipsiness experienced while sitting still smooths out for a stable, smooth ride. It takes a while to learn the dressage of moving about or changing positions, but with a bit of perseverance this is accomplished.
Overall the Pack is a first rate boat. Low weight for portability, rugged/low maintenance materials and reasonable performance for a relatively short hull make this a winning design.
07-26-2009Submitted by: Bernoulli
- Rating: 10 of 10 A local outfitter got hold of several of these canoes after buying a trailer for his rental business that had some rarely used but sun-damaged Packs on it from a local university field geology department. My wife got it for me for father's day at an outrageously cheap price and I couldn't be happier with the boat.
I'm used to portaging an Old Town Discovery 158 so the 33 pound Pack is just amazing in comparison. It tracks very well with a standard J-stroke and is plenty fast enough for enjoying the river. Obviously, I don't keep up with my kayaking companions when out with fellow paddlers while using my 54" paddle but that could easily be remedied by getting a yak paddle - but I like the art of paddling more than racing the canoe.
As others have done, I lowered the seat by purchasing 6 inch long stainless steel screws and brass pipe sleeves. I would rather kneel in the canoe but the standard seat placement made that difficult, as it wasn't easy to jam my feet under the seat so lowering the seat that amount seems to work well for me. I can't tell you how nice it is to throw the Pack up on my shoulder and portage it - I think it weighs less than most of my paddling friends' kayaks. What a great boat!
Oh, and about the "tippiness" - it's a solo boat so it's more narrow. Once you get used to getting in and out of it and determine where to put your feet, it's just like any larger canoe.
07-21-2009Submitted by: DGW
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my Pack for several years; I love it. I agree that the tracking is a challenge with the Pack, but then I could just stay home as an alternative. It's tough to have tracking and maneuverability built into the same boat. I use ONLY a traditional straight beaver tail because I'm in it for the experience, not how fast I can go. If you see a solitary paddler tracking straight across open water, you know they have invested the time to learn how to really paddle. The sign of an expert paddler is a kayaker who leaves his kayak paddle at home and uses a single blade canoe paddle.
I bought the Pack for it's low weight, but agree that the seat could be more comfortable..... but I keep having the same thought: if comfort is your main goal, a recliner is your answer...
05-08-2009Submitted by: wekayakfish
- Rating: 10 of 10 Update on Pack.
I don't know WHY I thought I needed it, but I ordered the pack angler seat kit recently. I lowered the cane seat with some longer bolts (8") from Lowe's and some brass sleeves from plumbing dept a few years ago...then I use the sit-backer seat (does it weigh a pound even?) so I figure I'm about 4" lower than where I started(net) this set up has served me well for a long time.
Anyhow - I got the Pack Angler Kit - and it didn't work for me - I'm used to the comfort of the sit-backer on bottom, and I think I'd miss my camp chair always being with me. :) So, I called Old Town - expecting to hear something about restocking fees, or some such normal thing. Guess what? no problem - they even set it all up for me have the box picked up AT MY PLACE by Fed-Ex. all FREE! and 100% of what I paid for it is coming back to me.
Guess this is more a review of Old Town than anything...but they sure are nice to deal with! very nice - makes me even more proud of my Pack! I put it all back the way I had it...and love it all the more.
05-04-2009Submitted by: DMC
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have been looking all over for something to get into those tight, off the beaten path places to fish and I've finally found what I've been looking for. I stumbled across this canoe at a local dealer, noticed how light it was and thought I better come here and check the reviews. After reading the reviews, I bought it.
I took it for a spin this afternoon. (in spite of the rain) It is all that everyone says it is. It's super light, tracks a lil crazy and is "spirited" in stability. I love it and I can't wait to fish it in dozens or places, take it camping, you get the idea. It's a breeze to load onto my 4dr jeep by myself, I walked it into the woods about a 12 minute trip, stopping in between to switch shoulders. (pool noodle or some kind of foam is very nice to have for this)
I think it would be nice to lower the seat at least 2 inches for slightly better stability, though it's not really necessary. The minimalist seat gets a lil hard on the rump after a couple hours so I may do some tweaking here. Above all I want to keep her as light as possible.
I can clearly see where a double bladed paddle would be handy for covering a lot of water but for now I am going to buy a nice wooden 54" paddle and enjoy it for what it is. I used a heavy aluminum one today in the same size.
04-29-2009Submitted by: Wildbuc
For reference, I am 6' tall and weigh about 210 pounds.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I own both the Pack and 119.
I took my Pack out today for the first time and it was a joy. I removed the seat and replaced it with a homemade seat resting on the floor. This provided much improved stability and comfort. Using a double paddle, the Pack was easy to track, but did require attention to direction. The light weight was a tremendous advantage. I give it a 9 because of mild tracking problems. A great value!
03-03-2009Submitted by: fellinthedrink
- Rating: 10 of 10 I actually have the old version of this canoe. It is called the Hunter not the Pack. It's set up as a 2 seat but handles much better spun around as a solo. I got it for my 13th birthday and still paddle it year around. Great little vessel. Sweet for getting into back swamps for bass and pike fishing.
03-02-2009Submitted by: pbw
- Rating: 10 of 10 I was given this canoe by my uncle. He kept it outside for 8 or so years so it was dirty. After I washed it and put two coats of carnuba wax it looked great even with the tire tread marks down the side from it falling off my uncles truck driving down the highway. So its tested tough.
I use it as a solo canoe or take out the seat and cross member, load it up with gear for 10 to 15 day camping/fishing trips and tow it to an island behind my kayak. It's light and I think stable. I plan on doing some white water this summer with it. I do recommend putting the Kevlar skid pads on it or any canoe; keeps the bow and stern protected. All in all great canoe highly recommended.
02-17-2009Submitted by: Lorax
- Rating: 7 of 10 Great little canoe. I lowered the seat on mine 1.5". I've done a few multi-day trips with it and it holds a lot of gear. I've even taken my 42 lb dog with me on occasion.
It's a great little canoe as long as you don't push it with a single blade. With a double blade, it easily handles wind and gets up to a good cruising speed very quickly. For the value and what it can do, it scores high. For finesse... not so much, but for what I use it for, the ease of handling, the gear hauling capability, the stability of the platform for various activities, this little gem can not be beat.
I'm thinking about adding some adjustable foot pegs to mine to lock myself in a little better when river running or digging in against the wind.
01-14-2009Submitted by: Rocketray
- Rating: 10 of 10 I give the Pack canoe a 10 because its exactly what I wanted. A light 33 lbs. and in tough Royalex. Using the Solo-C stroke it goes straight and as fast as I need. On flat water it goes about 4km./Hr.(walking speed). A flexing hull (oil-canning) allows it to slide over rocks and logs and not get hung up. I did lower the seat 2" (kneeling puts my legs to sleep) for a stable sitting position. It fits nicely on my ATV and allows me access to those remote lakes. I use a 68" Cherry paddle for most of my travels but thinking of getting a Yak paddle for upstream and into the wind.
12-29-2008Submitted by: solocanoe67
- Rating: 10 of 10 Can't say enough great things about my Pack.
We have WS Tarpon's (100 and 120) and love 'em, but the Pack canoe is just SO handy. Duck hunting, canoe camping/fishing trips, even quiet paddles - if we take extra folks, I always volunteer to use the Pack - they can use my kayak.
Shallow water stream fishing- no worries about rock, just fish. We bought the stabilizers - use 'em at times (awesome!) and then just lowering the seat a few inches and a LONG double bladed paddle... it's an awesome, versatile, easy to load and carry boat! Ours has been from the Gulf to MN, from FL to CO. Best value in all of boating, IMO. Kayak's are getting better and better, but my Pack will be with me always.
11-21-2008Submitted by: dk
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Pack for 7 years and have taken over 100 trips. I'm love this canoe. A kayak paddle is my usual companion but I also use a bent shaft for short trips and a regular plastic paddle for white water. The hull is strong but if you hit a rock head on, it will crush the royalex. Both front and rear of my canoe have dents now but it's still working fine.
If you're single, this is your canoe. I take mine with friends who kayak all the time and I can keep up and still get a tan. I used to be a kayaker but the confinement wasn't for me. I've done lots of creeking with it. You only need about 4 inches of water. Kayaks are always getting stuck but I just "hop" off the rocks and keep on going.
On open water, it does great if you put some weight in the front. Of course the big plus is the low weight. I carry mine one handed and haul my gear with the other. No multiple trips to the truck.
11-01-2008Submitted by: Josh
- Rating: 7 of 10 Picked up the Field & Stream Kay-noe / Old Town Pack Angler at Dick's Sporting Goods. Caught it on sale for $349. Taken it out once or twice so far, and have not had any problems whatsoever. One real complaint....I like the idea of the seat with backrest, but I keep sliding off of it and I get cramps in my rear due to the material. This will be resolved by spring time.
To reiterate what everyone else has stated, the boat is difficult to track straight with single blade. It was no problem paddling as long as I could pry the double blade paddle away from my girlfriend on her kayak. But it didn't take her long before she threw the single blade back at me.
All in all, for the money it is a good boat if you want get in the water for low cost to paddle, fish, and haul plenty of gear for 1 or 2 people. Just don't expect to be intercepting any bassboats or anything.
10-15-2008Submitted by: derekp
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have used my Pack on 4 fishing trips down rocky rivers. The upper Saluda SC and the lower Broad SC. It is perfect.
Yes, you must be careful and covering any long flat water a 240cm kayak paddle is not optional. A 280cm, which I tried on 2 floats, is much better.
10-07-2008Submitted by: Randy
- Rating: 10 of 10 After reading the reviews, and looking and looking, I found one here in the Houston area. Before I even bought it, when I lifted it up, I loved it. 33 POUNDS what a dream.
The first thing I did was add 4 inch drops to lower the seat and added adjustable foot rests.
Then I tried 2 different seats, the Crazy Creek canoe seat and the GCI sit backer seat. Hands down it was the GCI seat for comfort and back support. Paddling it with my Day-Tripper kayak paddle was a breeze.
I really like this little rig.....
08-18-2008Submitted by: dph
- Rating: 10 of 10 I found the Pack is just what the doctor ordered for the price. Yes, it isn't the best at tracking but if you have some experience and don't rush it, it does what you want it to. The light weight makes it a great canoe for us older guys who find lifting larger canoes difficult. It gives me the freedom that I'm looking for in a Pack Canoe!
08-15-2008Submitted by: Roger
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am a 62 year old man and I weigh 262 pounds. I have fished all my life and have considerable canoe experience. My wife and I had a Guide model (Old Town) and she opted to get a solo kayak to facilitate her outdoor photography.
I was initially drawn to the Pack model canoe because of its light weight (like most other people) but have since then been very impressed by other traits as well. It fishes very well, and although I didn't purchase the Angler Model, I did send for the Angler Model seat, available from Old Town. This seat lowers my considerable weight approximately five inches and for those who understand canoeing, that is a significant stabilizing impact. The canoe is much more stable and seems to track better as well.
I still use a single bladed wooden paddle because I like the romance of keeping things as simple and in character with canoeing as possible. I like this canoe a lot. I recommend it to most people.
07-22-2008Submitted by: SC
- Rating: 10 of 10 I wanted to write something here because this site was so useful when I was trying to decide whether to buy a Pack.
This a fabulous boat. No reason to duplicate all the kudos - maneuverable, light... it's a joy. Yes it's a bit tippy but you get used to it quickly. And yes tracking is a challenge. But thanks to reviews here I bought a long kayak paddle (I have a Wave from Cannon) and it makes paddling the Pack a joy. No more tracking troubles, light and easy paddling - I highly recommend trying a kayak paddle.
06-17-2008Submitted by: Chris O\
- Rating: 8 of 10 PROS: Very stable out of the box. Fast. Maneuverable.
CONS: The seat.
The seat is terrible. I was out for 3 hours and my a$$ was still aching a couple of hours later. I have to find out how to pad the stock seat or I may have to build my own seat. The fact that the seat has a back makes things worse, not better, because you can't move around as much. I may replace the seat with just a slab of wood. The hard, metal seat on my 17' Coleman is much better than this one.
05-23-2008Submitted by: David
- Rating: 9 of 10 I recently purchased the Angler edition of the Pack canoe. I love it!
Having had the Old Town Tripper for 30 years or more (which I think is the best canoe ever made), I grew weary of trying to portage this 80 pounder on long camping trips. Now at 72, I have a 27 foot motorhome and place the Pack on top without any problem because it is so light. I had a custom canoe/kayak rack made for the Lazy Daze motorhome to support a canoe and one or two kayaks.
I especially like this 12 foot wonderboat for its ability to do well in lakes, rivers, and small streams. I am looking forward to trying it out on our Oregon rivers up to Class II when I return next year from the East Coast.
I have a 240 Aqua-Bound cabon shaft paddle that works great. I am now looking for a cushion to soften the hard plastic seat on the angler edition. It gives a low center of gravity for excellent balance but it's hard on the backside after three or four hours in the water. I totally recommend this canoe!
05-22-2008Submitted by: moriverrat
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Pack is my first canoe, but I've been a river rat (rafting) for many years. I found the canoe in the classifieds and upon seeing it I had to have it.
My first attempt to enter it found me sitting in the water beside my swamped canoe, but then again I am used to rafts. The other day I took it on a day float on the Platte river and although it seemed a bit wobbly (also I am a novice) I was very impressed with its maneuverability. Also with 2 bad knees and a frozen shoulder I still had no difficulties getting the Pack up a steep rocky river bank at the takeout.
Before my float today on the Missouri river I read the reviews here and found them extremely helpful. I fashioned a kayak paddle by joining 2 spare raft oars with a coupler, and was very impressed with the improved speed and tracking. However it just didn't feel right so I practiced my J-stroke with the beavertail paddle and that also improved the tracking.
I am sure that stability and trim will be improved when I pack it with a weeks worth of gear for an extended float trip, which I cannot wait to do in this gem of a canoe.
04-25-2008Submitted by: gruman
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have enjoyed a 17' Grumman square stern for 40 years. However, for Father's Day 2007 my sons gave me an Old Town Pack. It would be difficult to expand or improve on the functional attributes described in the previous Pack reviews.
The Pack is flat out a quality craft. We did change out the seat and move the new seat forward 3" to trim the craft out and bring the bow down slightly. A frequent comment in many of the Pack reviews is the time and energy spent keeping the Pack moving in a straight line. One weekend I tried a 220cm kayak paddle and decided a kayak paddle was the way to go. However, due to the width of the Pack and the seat position relative to a kayak, it was obvious a longer kayak paddle was needed. To shorten the saga of the search for a longer kayak paddle -- Just go to the Bending Branches web site, call the the sales department, ask how much it costs (minimal given the net results) for a special order 270cm Slice kayak paddle and then go to your local paddling store with the information to have them place an order. On a 270cm paddle, the Slice blade will yield a slightly longer shaft than the Glide blade, a real plus for reaching over the side and for keeping drips outside the craft. The 270cm Bending Branches Slice paddle is a welcome performance addition to the Pack.
03-05-2008Submitted by: oregonpaddler
- Rating: 10 of 10 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.
02-26-2008Submitted by: dg
- Rating: 10 of 10 I had a pack canoe. I sold it about 10 years ago. I've had many kayaks/canoes since. I currently have 4 crafts. I'd just about give all 4 in trade for ONE pack canoe! So easy... sooooo easy to use; simple. One of mine is a 15 foot Old Town Discovery Sport, squareback. I never use it... extremely hard to load, carry, etc.
I truly miss my pack canoe... looking hard now.
02-02-2008Submitted by: BNMorris
- Rating: 9 of 10 O.K. I am a little late on reviewing a canoe that has been around as long as the Pack. I loved the Pack and found it well suited to my tripping needs. Loading up a backpack, and fishing gear, the Pack was just the right size and weight to carry through those long wooded portages balanced on my backpack frame.
It is a great canoe to fish out of, and get you in and out of thin water, and tight spots. I am a big guy 6'2" and never felt crowded. Properly loaded and trimmed out the Pack is very maneuverable. One of the worst days of my life was the day I sold my Pack. But I can tell you the guy I sold it to was all smiles as he paddled up river.
I notice a few of the reviewers concerns about the boat not being stiff enough, as an old wood and canvas canoe owner and restorer, all I can say is that's the way a canoe should feel. A canoe should flex and glide through the water, not slam into it like the harder fiberglass, or aluminum boats.
07-03-2007Submitted by: Barry Kade
- Rating: 9 of 10 I think perhaps I'm being a bit conservative in giving the Pack a 9. It seems it could be better, but I'm not sure how. The boat is very stable, easily maneuverable in windy conditions, and moves along at a good clip for the energy expended.
This is the first solo I've ever been in. When using a single canoe paddle, it seems I'm spending 1/2 my energy correcting. It may be my (lack of) technique. But, when using a kayak paddle (which I've extended by almost a foot) she moves right along and is easy to maneuver, even in fairly strong winds.
Another plus for me is low maintenance. There are 2 pieces of wood; the cane seat and the gunnel. Everything else is vinyl surfaced. The Pack comes only in Royalex, I believe. Wood is good, but vinyl is final.
I look forward to packing gear for a week camping trip. I weigh 185 and figure I can safely take another 70 lbs of stuff.
06-12-2007Submitted by: Shirley
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a first for me. I'm a 135 lb, 50 year old woman who had very little experience in a canoe. I bought this one because it was lite enough for me to lift onto the top of my car.
I love this canoe. I've only had it out 5 times now for a couple of hours at a time, ...and only in fairly calm water, but I love it. It's easy to maneuver and I don't find it very tippy. I did lower the seat and got a sit backer chair though. The only thing I struggled with was when the wind would make it hard to go straight, but I learned to use the wind and zig zag to where I want to go.
I'm really looking forward to a great summer learning to paddle and exploring new places in my Pack.
04-25-2007Submitted by: Mike
- Rating: 9 of 10 I wanted a canoe to take anywhere and not have to fret with a battery or motor. I wanted a canoe easy to move around dangerous rapids and easy to get on top of my Cherokee. I wanted a small canoe that will carry me and enough stuff to see me thru several days. The Pack is that canoe. If there's a downside to the pack, it's the two trips it took me to get accustom to it's length. It turns RIGHT NOW when you nudge it in a different direction. Also, if you tilt it to the gunwale, it's going over. There is no "secondary stability," whereby one might save himself from getting wet by quickly righting the canoe--it the gunwale is at the surface of the water, there's no stopping it from going over. I found that out not by having an accidental spill, but by deliberately leaning to one side to see how far she'd go without dunking me. I would not take this canoe thru mean water, but for mild rapids and a good traveling canoe for one person, it's the best you can buy. My last trip was 10 miles downstream on calm water; the pack got me home safely and without wearing me out. Buy it, but don't expect to master it immediately. It took me about two hours to feel comfortable in the Pack.
04-02-2007Submitted by: HIlger Hertell
- Rating: 10 of 10 I got it a couple of months back and have used it for duck hunting and fishing. I am 200 lbs and I have not needed to lower the seat; it seems tippy but that goes away after a couple of trips. Just caught a 9 lb snook that would have been scared away by a bigger boat or a motor - he almost pulled me back into the cover I hooked him in. Also literaly nudged a fifteen pounder which I thought was just a log until he moved. On another trip had a small 8-9 lb tarpon jump right into the canoe and had to wait for it to tire before I could throw him back. This is the most fun of all my four boats. Ducks are not too alarmed by the canoe and will allow me close enough, and even if they fly off they'll settle down close by, but the canoe has to be positioned as rapid movement plus recoil might throw me off balance. There's just nothing better for the soul - nobody else goes to the places I get to in this little canoe, and the fish I find have had little or no fishing pressure.
11-13-2006Submitted by: R. Stevenson
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a Pack last spring and paddled on 4 wilderness trips, dozens of fishing trips and a few hunting trips so far. I weigh 250 lbs and carry two portage packs on a wilderness trip. The heavy one in front and the light one behind, plus fishing gear. I can go for a week or more. I use American Trader Otter Tail paddles. I can paddle canadian style when needed in this boat. It has become my first choice for solo trips. The hull is tough enough to use around rocks; it handles waves well; and mild rivers are no problem. It is not a white water boat. The seat does need to be lowered 1.5 to 2 inches though!! (I used new fir dowels and 1/4 inch hardware.) A seat back is needed (at least for my back). I used Cave Creek for light weight with modifications for stiffness. It is a good fishing and hunting boat; it will carry a deer, if you take only one pack with you. It is a stable shooting platform, if you have lowered the seat, and use good judgement. It is sweet to paddle and portage. I would not recommend it to a beginner to paddle; you need to know how to J-stroke and C-stroke. For the experienced paddler, who is looking for a light solo boat for hunting, fishing, trapping, or exploring, and willing to give up some speed for stability, this is a fine choice. Now, if you elect to keep the seat where it is when you buy it, this is a twitchy, witch of a boat that will roll you right out in rough conditions if you aren't careful! It may be more kind to lighter paddlers, I really couldn't say. Have fun. Stay dry!
08-28-2006Submitted by: paddle-n-fish
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a really fun little canoe to paddle. Lightweight, only 33 lbs. so it gets used more than my other canoes. It's size makes it easy to go exploring up little feeder creeks off the main lakes and perfect for fishing little beaver ponds. You can spin it on a dime and turn it around in the tightest spots in the backcountry. Pretty stable, but a bit more twitchy than my 16 and 18 foot tandems. Not surprising as it has less beam, no problem once you get used to it. It makes a great fishing canoe...all your gear close at hand. Being highly maneuverable also means it's not the best tracker. However, a good J-stroke will keep it fairly straight and it responds to pries and draws real well. I tried a double blade with mine and it improves the speed and handling, but not enough to make me want to give up my single blade. I have done a few solo trips out of it from overnighters to a 5 day trip. Very pleasant to use in that capacity. Two packs and a small cooler plus fishing gear fit well for me. This canoe would be great for someone looking for an inexpensive, lightweight solo canoe.
01-18-2006Submitted by: ricksanders
- Rating: 10 of 10 This canoe is the single best purchase I have ever made. For getting out on my own its light weight makes it possible to portage it anywhere to access water. It is very stable. I took the seat out and added a thwart with thick padding to rest my back against in addition to my life vest. I sit on the bottom and use a kayak paddle (about 6.5 ft long). The double bladed paddle makes this canoe very maneuverable and fast. It is also quiet and sneaky. I use this kayak for duck hunting and often take my 80 pound dog who sits behind me. I have never tipped it even while shooting from the canoe. I did not see any reviews from hunters, but if this is your sport I can hightly recommend this canoe for that purpose. I own a 15 foot canoe and two Jon boats 10 and 12 foot. This canoe is simply the best all purpose boat I have ever come across. I give it a solid 10. There is absolutely nothing wrong with owning one of these.
12-24-2005Submitted by: scott
- Rating: 9 of 10 Sold my Old Town 13' Sport Discovery (too heavy to car top by myself at 90 odd lbs.) & bought a 12' Pack canoe. Paddles fine single or tandem, my bride & I are both under 150 lbs. Better than a kayak for fishing - more room, less chance of gear going overboard, but just as light. I lowered the seat & added a stern anchor mount. A tethered, kayak paddle provides plenty of go. The Pack canoe’s light weight & foam blocks make cartopping a breeze, I’m on the water in no time. A milk carton fitted with cart wheels holds my gear. Buy 2 Pack canoes for the price of the Kevlar or ‘glass solo canoes and have some money left for accessories...
11-27-2005Submitted by: marsarie
- Rating: 9 of 10 I got mine brand new from Bass Pro for $549 (with promotion and a discount for couple of minor scratches) - I am a happy camper! It's everything that 95% of you have been sharing on this board (thanks for your honest evaluation!), easy to navigate, light weight, light weight, light weight, and oh, did I say light weight? 33 bls makes a hell of a difference, also makes you want to take it out and paddle more often.
The reasons I didn't give it a 10 because (1) for those who are not experience paddlers, you may need to be careful at first, leaning over too far may find yourself in the water, after 2-3 total hours of paddling, you should be OK, and (2) the seat should had been designed about 2" lower, which I adjusted and made a whole lot of different.
With that in mind, go try it, you'll love it!
10-17-2005Submitted by: mesten
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a used Pack and love it. I've used it on the Delaware River in recent flood conditions (not recommended for inexperienced paddlers) and on the Oswego River in southern NJ during drought conditions. It is an amazingly versatile, stable boat even with my 80 lb dog in the bow who can't sit still for 5 seconds.
After my youngest went off to college, I got this to replace an Old Towne Guide, which I don't enjoy loading and unloading solo. At about 30 lbs., the pack is a breeze to handle by myself.
Buying this boat is a no-brainer if you need a light-weight all-purpose boat. I give it a 9 because a 10 is ideal for everything, and no boat is.
06-20-2005Submitted by: FISHON
- Rating: 10 of 10 Old Town Pack Canoe: Just purchased a new Pack. First thing I did was drop the seat down 2" and installed an Old Town Sitbacker seat. The best thing about the Pack to me is the light weight. It's effortless to load and unload from the bed of my pickup. It was very stable and not the tippy canoe I was concerned about. I use a 240 kayak paddle and it tracks pretty well. Not as fast as my Tarpon 160 but is very responsive. Just a fun, easy to transport, easy to enjoy canoe. I am pleased with my Pack and would surely recommend it to anyone looking for a light weight solo canoe. Just some final info... I weigh 190lbs and am 6'2" and the fit is fine for me.
06-14-2005Submitted by: gbh
- Rating: 10 of 10 My 12ft Old Town pack canoe update. I bought a 2nd pack and left this one unmodified. I also own a third canoe a Souris River 18ft Wilderness, which I use for BWCAW trips and threesomes. My two packs fit great upside down in the 6 -1/2 ft long pickup truck box, which has a fiberglass topper. This gives me a total of 24 ft of canoe or 800 lbs of max floatation. An adult on the main seat with a Coleman back rest and a 1 inch thick closed foam hunting seat plus a young adult can sit on a throwable life preserver and a closed cell foam pad for a thwart backrest in the bow -- the low center of gravity in the bow gives you a more stable primary float. I use this dual canoe setup for up to four, e.g., two adults and two 12 year olds. We fish or sightsee, depending on the plan for the day.
I also prefer a longer bend paddle (12 degrees), I use a grey owl brand, and I feel it give me more speed, endurance, and steering control. If the front paddler wants to help paddle, I give them a youth size straight paddle and which I can also carry as a backup paddle. I figure 2 to 3 dips per side and control force will keep you on track to your chosen shore landmark, I do not use the j-stroke. I have paddled with current on 128 miles of the Mississippi River and maintained full control, even during one flood level stage. I like my packs 33 lbs weight and it portability, meaning no trailer. I recommend it for the purpose it is used for, after work fun.
05-20-2005Submitted by: DMC
- Rating: 10 of 10 What a great little package. At 33lbs and 12', this little canoe has a lot going for it. It handles surprisingly well for such a short and light boat. I find it very stable whether fly fishing or just exploring. If getting there is half the fun, then you'll have a great time with this little jewel.
10-18-2004Submitted by: kayakangler
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have wanted a solo canoe for quite a while. The Pack and a Mohawk Solo 14 were the two I was most interested in. I came across a used Pack at an excellent price and I snapped it up. I've had it a bit over a month and have really enjoyed it. I got it primarily for the light weight and ease of handling. When I go solo it's much easier to cartop and portage than my Penobscot or Loon, I just carry it over my shoulder. I had expected this little canoe to be relatively tippy with only a 32" beam but find it incredibly stable. Initial stability is excellent and its secondary stability is quite good. I can hold the canoe on its side near the gunwale quite easily from either the sitting or kneeling position. It is a highly maneuverable canoe. I've paddled it with both a single blade and a double. I prefer the single, though it means slow going and the canoe doesn't track as well. A double blade improves its speed and tracking significantly. I was using my 230 cm kayak paddle and found the paddle drips inside the boat annoying. A longer paddle would definitely help and I'll probably get a 240 cm or 250 cm just for this little canoe as it does respond much better with the double blade. With a 400 lb. capacity I can take along all I want for long day trips and fishing expeditions. It does oil can a little and the bilge flexes a bit with water flowing under the hull. Overall, this is a fun and easy to paddle little canoe. Great for exploring out of the way waters and fishing trips.
04-02-2004Submitted by: Adam Henderson
- Rating: 8 of 10 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.
09-08-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Double Paddle Update!! I've owned my Pack for 3-1/2 years and have no regrets, aside from the wear and tear it is beginning to show because I use it too much. I've been using a double-bladed paddle, and have recommended its use, but I dislike the water dropping onto my feet and I missed the canoeing pace that a single-bladed paddle provides.
However, last week I picked up a 247 cm paddle that comes up to my chin and I was amazed. I can now use a single-bladed paddle with my Pack as the longer paddle allows me to actually spend time on my pulling storke moving the boat forward, unlike the shorter paddles which force me to spend most of my stroke on steering instead of keeping the boat moving along. Try it, you'll like it!
08-13-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Pack on a friend's recommendation and haven't been disappointed. Tough, lightweight, amazingly stable for its size, responsive and quite fast with a 2-bladed paddle. Not a whitewater boat but can handle surprisingly rough water and waves. Excels on small creeks and long portages. I am buying another for my wife!
08-04-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 The most used boats of my fleet. I own two Packs which I use for basic instruction as well as my own relaxation. I removed the seats and put in nicely shaped thwarts. I play with all sorts of paddles; both single and double. Sometimes I kneel but mostly I sit. I have installed non -slip stair tread strips in the bottoms. They fit inside my van and are easy to carry around. Hull is highly efficient. I was going to buy a third but the price went up.
05-21-2003Submitted by: grizzman
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently purchased a Pack canoe after studying a number of models. The reviews I read here were the clincher for my decision. My first time out I thought I had made a terrible mistake. "Tippy" But as the previous reviewer stated, a couple more trips and I'm totally comfortable. Having owned a larger heavier canoe that was great when I had kids at home who wanted to go along but when they all went their own ways, the canoe sat for months as it was too heavy to load and I got tired of trying to find someone to go along. Now I drive to the parking area, put the Pack on my shoulder and walk to where I want to launch. No waiting in lines or not going to a particular place because the launch area is too far from the parking. I use a five and a half foot paddle and go anywhere I want but do agree, if you want speed, a kayak paddle would be better. I'm grateful for those who wrote the previous reviews for helping me make the right decision and to be able to be on the water again.
05-05-2003Submitted by: Scott
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had mine for 2 years now and love it. It's a great, lightweight, one person canoe for recreational paddling, exploring and fishing. When you first try it out in the water you'll think it's incredably unstable and your bound to get wet. Relax and play around a bit, after 30 minute to an hour of getting used to it the first time you feel perfectly comfortable. (you'll only roll if your afraid and stiffen up) I've used mine on river, streams, small trout lakes and Boundary Waters canoe trips. It's my favorite of the 4 canoes that I own (an ancient fiberglass tank capable of crossing Lake Superior, a 15' Old Town, and a Winona Sundowner - my BWCA workhorse for more than a decade) for just going out an having fun paddling. Definately use a long kayak paddle, you sit up higher than a kayak so you need the extra reach or you'll bring a lot of water into the boat. It tracks amazingly well for a 12' canoe. And without packs in the Pack you won't have too much trouble keeping up with the Kevlar speedsters loaded down on a BWCA trip.
04-22-2002Submitted by: Jeff
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought my Pack to replace an aluminium bass boat. Used the bass boat once last year due to the hassles involved getting it out and putting it in, and then getting it out again. Thought about a Stillwater 12, but thought it might be a little awkward to move around by myself, and then just wouldn't want the hassle. So, the wife thought I should try the Pack. Bought it from the local outfitter with a paddle and pads for the car. Read some of the reviews and went and bought a double bladed paddle. Use the Pack for fishing and just paddling around the local lakes. Love it, can't say enough about it. It is easy to move, easy to paddle, and easy to rock. Not really stable for a newbie, but it is soooo easy to use and launch and take out that I am extremely pleased with it. Haven't used the single paddle yet, but think I might try it as I get very wet with the double blades. By the way, glad I got the "take-apart" paddle, as when I am fishing, I take it apart and use one end to guide my if I drift a little. Next, need to buy and anchor bag. Thanks to all who submitted reviews on this wonderful craft. They really helped me decide.
02-18-2002Submitted by: crowwing
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my "Pack" for about 5 years. Have used it from the BWCA to the gulf of Mexico. ANYONE who is considering this canoe can do no better! Don't even think about using this canoe without a Kayak paddle. I wouldn't trade mine for anything....I also own a 16ft. Penobscot.
01-23-2002Submitted by: GBH
- Rating: 10 of 10 I customized my Royalex 12 ft old town pack canoe by making a wood bow passenger seat with woven nylon webbing and doing a factory mount. My 8-year-old grandson sits there. You do have to be careful if using a single paddle not to splash the bow passenger's back. On the center factory seat I mounted an aluminum plate with a "Wise" folding plastic chair bolted to it, with the thin padding on the back and seat. We have gone up to BWCA 2 times in this configuration, we stay for 3 nights. I weight 190 lbs and my grandson 90lbs. The portaging is a bit difficult, I fold and snap strap the seat, I rest seat edge on my life preserver. Our gear is stuffed in an East German army duffle bag with shoulder straps, upright in the stern and the rest in cascade river clear plastic tube bags. The lightweight and shallow draft has made this my favorite niche canoe. I use it extensively for fishing and paddling on city lakes. I do not care for the oil canning, but that is my trade off. I have gone 120 miles on the Mississippi river in it, I do trust it's stability and have not yet dumped, although I did lower the center seat to improve stability. I recommend it for it's convenience and for after workday fun.
11-07-2001Submitted by: tapelgan
- Rating: 10 of 10 More on my Pack: tried the closet pole stiffener in the bottom, found it created a keel effect which made it VERY wobbly. 9' kayak paddle works great.
10-15-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 In reading the comments about the PACK mentioned above, I happened across one lightly used & priced to sell with my name on it. Added into the equation, was the web type backrest & 8 1/2' foot kayak paddle. Before I could get my wife to understand my mentality of buying yet another canoe,(we have an 18' Sawyer that I can't solo-load & portage well) we were off headed to a quiet stretch of river near our home for the maiden voyage. She forgave me after seeing the smile on my face once she shoved me off, (before I was ready).
I found the light weight to be such a surprise, the agility, and turning is fantastic. It did very well in gusty winds without too much bother thanks mostly in part to the kayak paddle keeping it in stride. Once the voyage was complete and back home, I packed my usual assortment of camping/fishing equipment into the little boat and found that it holds just the right amount for several days paddling.
If your not in a hurry, and have the patience to find the limitations of the design it's a terrific little canoe. After lugging around & soloing in my cruiser for so long, the PACK seems to be a hot-rod!
09-05-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Pack for two years and it has served me very well. It is mainly used for fishing on local (central MN) lakes. Yet, earlier this summer I took it to the BWCAW and had no problem tripping with it. The light weight makes it easy to put on and take off the Yakima rack system on my truck. It is a great canoe for an "old man" with a bad back. I highly recommend it.
06-27-2001Submitted by: Peggy
- Rating: 9 of 10 Have had my Pack for just a month now and have been very happy with it. Had a Clipper Prospector fiberglass tandem canoe 74lbs. but couldn't find a compatable paddling partner and couldn't manage it by myself, so sold it and got the Pack. It's the perfect weight for me to load onto the car and then haul down to the water with it thrown onto one shoulder. Have had a blast fishing out of it in the little local lakes around town here in Anchorage. Was just looking for a boat to dink around in on flat water and so far it's been near perfect. Only minor complaint is the tracking, while not bad, will try the kayak paddle as suggested by most others here. Love my boat!
06-14-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is a great little canoe for ponds, small lakes, and slow rivers. The small size and weight makes it easy to load / unload. A new paddler may find that it feels a little tippy as they enter, but once in, it is very stable. Tracking is reasonable for such a short, wide canoe. Still, most beginner to intermediate paddlers will find that it is much easier to control using a kayak paddle.
The Pack is not a great boat for all types of water. It can be difficult to paddle in a heavy lake chop because the hull does not cut through waves, instead, it rides over the tops killing most of your forward momentum. It is also a challenge to paddle on swift rivers since its flat bottom makes it very difficult to lean the boat as you turn in and out of eddies. Waves over Class I will quickly fill it with water. A large float bag in front can help, but this is not a boat designed for running rapids.
In summary, this is a great boat for quiet water. If you are looking for a boat that can handle big lakes or swift rivers, you would be better off with a different model.
05-30-2001Submitted by: tapelgan
- Rating: 10 of 10 These reviews sold me on the Pack, and I have NO regrets. I'm too old and stiff for a kayak any more, and can't lift my 66 lb Easy Rider up any more, so this is just right. I've used kayak blades twice, and am now looking for a 9 foot 2-piece. as shorter ones get too much water in the boat and up my sleeves. I'm also thinking of a foam saddle, but have no experience with them. Are they tricky to install, are they uncomfortable for hours of use? I'm also experimenting with the pole-in-bottom concept to reduce oilcanning.
03-26-2001Submitted by: Fisherman
- Rating: 10 of 10 This canoe is everything O.T. says it is and more, but it is NOT a beginners boat, you can't stand and piss off the side if you have not had a few years experience with more stable boats. It is still and probably always will be the best single seat fishing craft made. do use a kayak paddle when the wind is bad, and love paddling and working on my strokes when it's not. It gets me on ponds that most people only dream about fishing. NUFF SAID!!!
10-03-2000Submitted by: Russ
- Rating: 8 of 10 The OT Pack has provided several surprises over the past few months. First of all, I bought the Pack because of its weight (33 pounds) and small size; something I could handle with advancing years and an aging back. The best surprise was the agility with which the canoe maneuvers on the water. On a quite pond or slow current, it can turn quickly and easily with a minimum of effort.
Going straight, as mentioned by many others before me, can be a different story. I have found that a single paddle, combined with a focused effort, can get the Pack to track fairly straight on quiet water. I plan to acquire a double bladed paddle shortly and develop some skill in propelling the Pack with a bit more grace and efficiency.
Another reviewer described the Pack as "a wiggly little boat." I have to agree, the Pack can be a little touchy, particularly at put-in or take-out. If you forget to balance across the top of the canoe or do not think about keeping a low center of gravity as you board, it is quite likely that you take a swim. This boat does will (re)teach you the subtleties of balance, poise, and patience.
All together the Pack is a fun little canoe. It provides a good fishing platform for ponds and lakes, it is easy to rack on top of my vehicle, and satisfies my need to get on the water. And that was exactly what I was looking for.
08-16-2000Submitted by: Mike
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is from the perspective of a total novice, not used to "wiggly little boats" or any canoes at all. I got my Pack as a damaged/repaired markdown that was a great deal. I wanted something to get me into canoeing that I could put on and off the car by myself and also carry to the water. In that regard, it is wonderful. I believe if I can learn to paddle this little thing, I can paddle anything. There seems to be no secondary stability, and the initial stability is balanced on a knife edge. The boat may be a bit small for me (6'2, 250#).
I have found the best approach, is to sit on the seat with my legs crossed indian-fashion. There is not room under the seat for my size 13s, so kneeling is out. I will look into a foam saddle. The boat is highly maneuverable, but begs for a kayak paddle. Wind has minimal effect. My properly-sized single paddle (58cm) seems about 3"-4" too long, though, and I suspect a narrower-bladed beavertail will be best. Perhaps time will tell. In summary, a great little boat to get you out in the water, but don't make any sudden moves or hard paddle strokes! I suspect there are much better choices for the beginner.
07-19-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I ran the technical class 3 St. Francis river in MO. Keeps right up with those kayakers. I'm 6'1" 185 lbs. I used a single bladed paddle. Floatation bags.
05-18-2000Submitted by: Dirk Woestenburg
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have owned a Pack canoe for the past six years and use it mainly for fishing. I removed the conventional seat and replaced it with one of those plastic patio chairs, available at any hardware store. I cut off the legs and bolted it in place with the seat right on the bottom of the hull. I paddle with a two piece kayak paddle. The result is a stable boat that's easy to paddle. There's plenty of room for my gear plus a fifty pound dog. This boat was buried under 23 feet of snow during a long winter. When I dug it out it had collapsed. Following the owner's manual, I left it out in the sun for a few days. Viola, it popped right back into its original shape.
05-15-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a beautiful, uncomplicated little boat that will get you on the water. I have used my Pack since 1990 or 1991 on everything from the Little Bighorn in Montana to New England estuaries to the Gulf of Mexico (lived to tell about it, but this was stupid). The Pack has lots to recommend it, if you are accustomed to the nature of canoes. It is a pleasure to handle both in and out of the water and is just plain pretty. It is quiet, reasonably fast for a boat its size and incredibly agile: an accomplished paddler can sneak around in the most restricted swamps or streams in one. The short length, shallow hull and keel also make it very easy to handle in high winds. The same things that make it so wonderful for a good paddler are drawbacks for novice adult paddlers, though. It does not have very good secondary stability when heavily loaded and does not track that well. It also oil cans (hull bottom flexes back and forth) badly in a chop. Nevertheless, a quality kayak paddle takes care of the tracking problem in open water (a canoe paddle and a J-stroke is more than adequate in protected waters) and stability is not a big deal if you can stay low in the boat, avoid standing or turning around suddenly and use care in getting in or out of the boat. Keeping these things in mind, I would give it an 8 for someone not used to wiggly little boats and a 10 for skilled paddlers. I personally like mine so much that I am considering buying a sistership and mothballing it in case Old Town discontinues the model!
04-30-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Truly a play boat, I have other canoes but this one gets the nod when I want to just fool around. Handles okay when you get up to speed. If you don't know your J and C strokes when you start off you will sure want to learn them quickly with this canoe. I'm trying other paddles, shorter, narrower to cut down on the correction strokes. Don't put to much muscle into it or you'll do circles. I still love it.
04-12-2000Submitted by: Bill
- Rating: 10 of 10 Bought a Pack on impulse two days ago. My nearest "outdoor" store also carries auto parts, which are in the back of the store. Walking past the boating section I fell in love on sight. I've always wanted a Wee Lassie and here was Old Town's version sitting prettily on display, calling out to me. My wife said my eyes bulged out like a little boy's! Two days later I get off work early and head for Northern California's famed Smith River, less than a mile from my home. I'd "retired" from kayaking years ago, but the river still calls to me; and I'm far too old to pack my OT Discovery 164's 80 lbs. by myself, so the Pack's light weight really appealed to me.
I agree with everything written here. The only disagreement appears to be in the tracking. Upriver in strong currents, eddies, and Class I rapids, I wasn't comfortable with a single paddle. When Old Town's promotional literature says it is: "well suited to the use of a double-bladed paddle" I believe they mean "highly recommended for river running." However, when I reached the river's estuary I found that I could get 2-3 strokes per side, more if I used a J-stroke. This compares with 3-4 strokes on my 164. Once I figured it out, it was great! And when I was done, I easily made the one-quarter mile portage back to my car, threw it on the roof, strapped it down, and went home.
A great boat. Buy one today. Forget about talking your wife or friend into going canoeing, just put it on top of your car and go! Scoring? 8 with one paddle; 10 with two!
02-13-2000Submitted by: TMC
- Rating: 8 of 10 I must beg to differ on the Pack tracking straight! It does if you use a J stroke on every dip of the paddle. I love using it in tight streams, this canoe turns on a dime and has its place but please! Keeps up with a kayak? I have a Sawyer cruiser that might do the trick, not a 13 foot pack. In fact I was able to purchase it from an hunter who bought it for squirrel hunting. He drilled 2 holes in the thwart for a U bolt for his gun barrel. He wanted to sell it because the "thing" just won't go straight. I love mine but be honest.
06-18-1999Submitted by: Dan Creighton
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently put my Old Town pack through it's paces on the Schuylkill River sojourn in PA. I found the boat to be extremely adgile while tracking well once up to speed. The PACK floated through much less water than did other canoes and kayaks in the group and I had little trouble keeping up with and even leading the better kayakers in the group. This boat can handle class III water with an experienced paddler in the boat. I used it sitting on the cane seat in class II water and had no problem with instability at all. For solo paddlers looking for a boat that can split the difference between a canoe and a kayak this one fits the bill perfectly. I truly love mine.
06-01-1999Submitted by: PJF
- Rating: 9 of 10 I agree the Old Town Pack is great for mesing about but the flexibility of the hull bothered me. I cut a closet pole to about 8 ft, posisitioned it along the keel inside and after drilling appropriate receiving holes glued in 3/8" dowels from the pole up to both the thwart and seat. This added amazing stiffness to the hull and it performs much better.
04-06-1999Submitted by: krenov
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the Pack based solely on its size. I already own a Penobscot but wanted a boat I could just grab and go.The pack has been great for this ,because of its light-weight and short length I just shove it in my van and head for the water. I only use it on flat water with a two-piece kayak paddle.
01-12-1999Submitted by: Forrest Brownell
- Rating: 10 of 10
Light (only 33 lb) and agile, this little boat is perfect for exploring small streams and remote ponds. Paddled from a kneeling positionfolks with big feet will want to raise the single cane seat or replace it with a foam saddlethe Old Town Pack responds best to "traditional" technique. Practice your J- and C-strokes, get yourself a properly-sized beavertail paddle, and jump in. You'll discover that this short canoe tracks surprisingly well. And don't be fooled by the shallow, molded keel. The Pack maneuvers with ease and grace. You can turn the boat to either side in its own lengthwithout once having to reach your paddle across the gunwale.
The Pack isn't a boat for whitewater, of course, though you can run Class I and even short, easy Class II stretches if you're careful. Nor is it an expedition craft, though it will carry food and gear for a week or more.
What is the Pack's forte, then? Messing about, just messing aboutuncomplicated, undemanding exploration of out-of-the-way waters, near and far. The Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame's famous story was right. There's nothing half so much worth doing, and this is as good a boat as you'll find anywhere for doing it.
11-30-1999Submitted by: R.BAREFOOT
- Rating: 8 of 10 Mr. Brownell was right, this is as good as it gets. I live only a hundred yards from the river. The boat is used mostly for fishing. I have a backrest and use a kayak paddle. It has led me through class 2 water, and has served as a floating bed on slow days. It's not a racer, or a whitewater boat. Just a good, No, make that great boat for Messing About.
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