Good things come in medium-sized packages. Isn’t that the age-old wisdom? Its certainly true of the PakCanoe 170 by Pakboats. Rolled up, this 58-pound folding canoe measures about the size of a large camping cooler, but it’s a gateway to untold miles of adventure.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the 170 has a rich and proud history on northern rivers in Canada and Europe, and has become a go-to model for paddlers who want bombproof reliability on fly-in adventures.
Pakboats claims that with practice you can set their canoes up in 30 minutes, however in our experience you should factor in double the time. Thirty minutes to set up the canoe and 30 more to field the questions of gawkers who invariably wander over to ask what’s it made of, how long it takes to build and if they can touch it. If you’re using this canoe solely to fly into isolated northern rivers, you’ll find your set-up time much improved.
Constructed out of an ultra-tough PVC fabric skin paired with aluminum ribs and shock-cord poles to create gunwales and chines, the PakCanoe’s soft shell is a boon in rough conditions, riding up and...