Man canoeing in a traditional wooden canoe on a large lake at dawn

The Best Canoe Brands in 2023 For Every Type Of Paddling

Man canoeing in a traditional wooden canoe on a large lake at dawn


Canoeing is a popular leisure activity and its popularity is growing every year. Choosing the right canoe is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. And with so many brands available, it can be difficult to know which one to go for.

To ensure a pleasant and successful experience, it’s important to choose the right canoe for your needs. After all, canoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, so there’s bound to be one that’s just right for your next paddling outing. Whether you’re a recreational or a white water paddler, or just looking for a family-friendly canoe, there are some great canoe brands out there for all types of paddling.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top canoe brands in the market, including Old Town Canoes, Nova Craft Canoe, We-No-Nah, Esquif, Silverbirch, Venture, Sun Dolphin, Sea Eagle, and Grumman. We’ll also examine the advantages of trying out new and lesser-known canoe brands, as well as how to tell a good canoe brand from a bad one.

So, let’s get started!

Old Town Canoes

Old Town Canoes are one of the most well-known and respected canoe brands in the market. They offer a vast range of discovery trips, both for recreational and family-friendly canoes, all with outlets across the world. With their selection of canoes, you can choose from options for tripping, recreational, fishing, family and white water. Old Town Canoes are designed for a balance of comfort, performance, and agility, making them perfect for any kind of paddling. With their strong build and high quality materials, you can be sure that any Old Town Canoe will provide you with a safe and worry-free ride.


We-No-Nah (Wenonah) is a top-end canoe brand, handcrafted on the banks of the Mississippi River. Their canoes are designed for tripping and whitewater excursions. Their signature Tuff Weave and Aramid construction offers durability and strength with a lightweight design. We-No-Nah canoes are popular among experienced and novice paddlers alike, as their design allows for precise tracking and maneuverability. They are a great choice for those looking for a top-quality, handcrafted canoe.


The Esquif brand of canoes has been a renowned leader in the industry since its inception in 1993. This Canadian company is known for their high-quality craftsmanship and use of composite materials, making their canoes some of the lightest and most durable on the market. In addition, Esquif was the first company to start using T-Formex, a multi-layer plastic laminate, for their touring and white water canoes. The T-Formex allows the canoes to be both lightweight and extremely durable, making them perfect for recreational and family-friendly outings. Esquif canoes offer excellent performance and quality that are sure to please even the most experienced paddlers.

Nova Craft Canoe

Nova Craft Canoe is an established canoe brand founded in 1970 and is renowned for its craftsmanship and use of composite materials. Specializing in recreational and family-friendly canoes, Nova Craft Canoe offers a variety of tripping canoes. Their canoes are overall light, strong, and resistant to the harsh elements of the water. Furthermore, their craftsmanship ensures that their canoes are stable and responsive on the water, making them the perfect choice for family trips and recreational paddling.


Langford Canoe is a Canadian-based company that has been around since the 1960s. They offer a variety of canoes from recreational to tripping to fishing models. Their canoes are known for their quality and durability, made using lightweight yet strong materials. They also offer great customer service and a range of accessories to match their canoes. Langford Canoe canoes are designed to handle all types of paddling, from flatwater to white water conditions. They are perfect for those looking for a reliable and versatile canoe that can handle any type of paddle.


Silverbirch is one of the most popular canoe brands for tripping and touring. Boasting a range of lightweight and durable canoes, Silverbirch provides great value and quality for those who are looking for a reliable and comfortable canoe that they can take on long trips. With its striking designs, Silverbirch boats are certainly eye-catching, and they are well suited for those who may not have a lot of experience with paddling. What’s more, the company offers a range of accessories such as seats, paddles, and storage systems, so you can customize your canoe for your exact needs.


Swift is a well-known Canadian canoe manufacturer that produces lightweight and durable canoes perfect for tripping and touring. Their lineup of canoes includes the renowned Prospector models, which offer a great combination of stability, speed and maneuverability. The Prospector is also offered in a range of sizes, making it a great option for solo, tandem or family paddling. For those looking for a more traditional design, Swift also offers the ultra-light, Kevlar-based Shearwater model. They also offer a range of highly-functional accessories like their Sea Stabilizer, which helps to keep the canoe rock-steady in choppy water. Whether you’re looking for a sleek and modern canoe or a more vintage design, Swift has the perfect boat to fit your needs.

Sea Eagle

Sea Eagle is an inflatable boat company that offers a variety of sizes and varieties for all types of paddling. Their boats are made of durable, high-quality materials and are easy to maneuver. Sea Eagle boats also come with a warranty and excellent customer service. These boats are perfect for anyone seeking a lightweight, durable, and versatile craft that is easy to store and transport. Sea Eagle boats are becoming increasingly popular for recreational, touring, and even white water paddling.


Grumman is a brand known for its durable and heavy-duty aluminum canoes. These canoes offer excellent stability and are ideal for families and recreational paddlers who are looking for a canoe that is designed to last. Grumman canoes are available in a variety of colors and sizes to suit different needs. They also offer great value for money due to their low price and durability. Grumman canoes come with a limited lifetime warranty, giving customers peace of mind when selecting one of these canoes for their next paddling adventure.

Happy couple canoeing in a lake in Canada

How to Tell a Good Canoe Brand

When it comes to canoeing, having the right canoe can make all the difference. Those looking for a quality canoe should consider the following factors to determine if a canoe brand is right for them.

The first and most important factor to consider when it comes to determining a good canoe brand is the quality of materials used in the construction of the canoe. A quality canoe should be made from durable and lightweight materials that will last for years to come. It’s important to check out the materials used in the construction of the canoe to determine the quality of the canoe.

The next factor to consider when determining a good canoe brand is the ease of maneuverability. The canoe should be designed in a way that makes it easy to maneuver and control in all types of water conditions. Look for a canoe that is designed with features that make it easy and comfortable for the paddler to maneuver the canoe.

The third factor to consider when determining a good canoe brand is the warranty and customer service. Quality canoe brands should offer a good warranty and excellent customer service. Look for canoe brands that offer warranties that cover defects in materials and workmanship and that provide customer service that is helpful and friendly.

The fourth factor to consider when determining a good canoe brand is the type of canoe being purchased. Canoeing is an activity that can be enjoyed for a variety of different purposes, from recreational canoeing to white water canoeing. Look for canoe brands that offer a variety of canoes for different types of canoeing.

Finally, the fifth factor to consider when determining a good canoe brand is the price. Canoeing can be an expensive sport, so it’s important to find a canoe brand that offers quality canoes at a reasonable price. Look for canoe brands that offer competitive prices and that provide discounts for multiple purchases.

By considering the above factors when determining a good canoe brand, those looking to purchase a canoe can ensure they are getting a quality canoe that is suitable for their level of canoeing and budget.

Advantages of Trying Out New and Lesser-Known Canoe Brands

Trying out new canoe brands can have several advantages. For one, there is a greater variety of options available, as new and lesser-known canoe brands often come up with innovative designs and materials. This can give paddlers the chance to choose from a wider selection of canoes, each with its own unique features.

Another benefit of trying out new canoe brands is that they may offer better deals than more established companies. Many of these small businesses are just starting to make a name for themselves, and they may be willing to offer discounted prices as a way to build up their customer base. This can be a great way for those on a budget to get a great boat without breaking the bank.

Trying out new canoe brands can also be an opportunity to support local and independent makers. Many of these canoe makers are passionate about their craft and are dedicated to creating the best products possible. Buying from these makers is a great way to show your support for their efforts and help them continue their work.

Finally, trying out new canoe brands can be a great way to test out different styles and designs. Whether you’re looking for a light and fast canoe for racing or a heavy-duty one for family outings, you’ll be able to find something that meets your needs from these new and lesser-known brands.

These are just a few of the advantages of trying out new and lesser-known canoe brands. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique than the traditional canoe brands, then this is definitely something that you should consider. With the right research and selection, you can find the perfect boat for your needs from one of these lesser-known makers.

person canoeing on a lake

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the top canoe brands and manufacturers for 2023?

A: The top canoe brands for 2023 include Old Town Canoes, Nova Craft Canoe, We-No-Nah (Wenonah), Esquif, Silverbirch, Venture, Sea Eagle, Grumman, Mad River Canoe, Bell Canoe Works, Souris River, Alumacraft, Pelican and Swift Canoe.

Q: What materials are used to make canoes?

A: Canoes are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon fiber, and polyethylene plastic.

Q: What is the most durable type of canoe?

A: Kevlar canoes are known for being the most durable and long-lasting canoes on the market due to their tough and lightweight construction.

Q: What are the different types of canoes?

A: The different types of canoes include whitewater canoes, touring canoes, recreational canoes, fishing canoes, solo canoes, tandem canoes, and river-tripping canoes.

Q: What is the difference between a fiberglass canoe and a Kevlar canoe?

A: Fiberglass canoes are heavier and less durable than Kevlar canoes. Kevlar canoes are lighter and stronger, making them a better choice for frequent and more intense canoeing activities.

Q: What makes Old Town’s canoes unique?

A: Old Town’s canoes are known for their high-quality construction and innovative designs. They have been producing canoes since 1898 and have a reputation for being one of the best canoe companies in the world.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a canoe brand?

A: When choosing a canoe brand, it’s important to consider your paddling needs and the type of canoe that will best fit those needs. Look for a brand that makes high-quality canoes with durable materials and good customer reviews.

Q: Are plastic canoes a good option?

A: Plastic canoes are a durable and affordable option for beginners or recreational paddlers. However, they are heavier and less efficient than other materials like Kevlar or aluminum.

Q: Can I make my own canoe?

A: Yes, it is possible to make your own canoe with the help of a canoe designer or by following a canoe-building guide. However, this is a time-consuming and challenging process that requires specialized tools and materials.