Trailhead has a long history of providing the ideal canoe for northern river expeditions. Since 1976, the Ottawa-based retail shop has produced their own canoes, used by tour operators on classic expeditions like the Nahanni, Wind and Coppermine rivers.
Trailhead released new designs in April 2016 with new designs, debuting new-to-North-America hull material Armerlite. This durable thermal composite has been used in Europe for a decade in canoes as well as rec and whitewater kayaks.
So, what is Armerlite? It’s composed of interwoven glass fiber and polypropylene plastic. The material is layered in a canoe mold, vacuum bagged and cooked in a large oven where the polypropylene and fiber melt together to create a solid bond. The result feels strong and durable. After our testing we have to agree with Trailhead’s claim that Armerlite is an ideal material for wilderness tripping and river running.
To put the material through its paces we chose a handful of shallow and rocky runs for our brand new and fully outfitted 17-foot Regen. The runs...