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Yeah, it's that good.
Taking design elements from kayaks, the Old Town Next Canoe will change the way you paddle. By combining the openness of a canoe with the maneuverability of a kayak, Old Town has created a truly unique paddling experience that paddlers of all skill levels will enjoy. The open design provides plenty of storage space for equipment and gear and has that timeless, organic feel of an old school canoe. The Element seating system lets you make adjustments for complete comfort on the water, or it can be removed all together if you opt to paddle on your knees. A slightly rockered bow allows the boat to track well across flat water, and the boat's pronounced tumblehome results in a more efficient paddle stroke that will excel on big, open waters.
- Three-layer polyethylene hull
- Subtle rocker
- Removable, Element seating system
- Pronounced tumblehome with low profile
- Item #JOP002D
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have taken the next out about 20 or so times now. Had it on large swells, windy chop, but mostly smooth water. I have had zero issues. The seat fits great, and allows comfortable paddling for several hours at a time. The boat....is quick, agile, smooth, and paddling it after work is the highlight of my day, just about every day. The boat and I would be out right now but the wind is pushing the rain sideways, so I'll just sit by the fire and finish this review. My thanks to Backcountry for shipping to SE Alaska. It's a bummer I early birded and bought before the sale, but i have no regret spending the $999. Great deal, great boat. Thanks backcountry
Old Town Next Canoe Review
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Purchased September 2015, and had it out on several local lakes already. The Old Town Next canoe succeeds in everything it is designed to do - but don't expect it to do much else. The same way a sports car isn't great at hauling plywood and a city bus won't impress in the quarter mile, this canoe does what it is supposed to and does it well - but it will not be all things to all paddlers. The Next is intended to be a single person, highly maneuverable, well-tracking, stable, fun, canoe that can handle still lakes up to moderate rivers, and it succeeds on all points. It turns on a dime, accelerates easily, tracks beautifully, and is reliably stable for entry and exit. It is also surprisingly comfortable with an exceptional seating system and adjustable footpegs. The design of the hull allows the paddler to choose between single bladed (canoe) and double bladed (kayak) paddles and use either to great effect. It seems very sturdy and, at a claimed 53 lbs can be handled with relative ease by a single person. All that said, why the caveats? Well, it really is a one-person canoe. There is plenty of room for gear - even light overnight gear - and it can handle a pretty large weight load with ease, but adding another live and shifting body throws the boat's dynamics and handling for a loop. Even the movement of a large canine passenger was enough to substantially affect tracking. It can be compensated for, but the experience becomes more of a fight than an elegant glide. I've read some people have modified the seat to a lower position to good effect to affect the center of balance and feel more stable, but I haven't felt that necessary at all. I've also read several complain of the seat slipping from its grooves, but I have not experienced anything like that either. If you choose a kayak, you sacrifice some ease of use and a lot of cargo capacity. If you choose a canoe, you sacrifice some mobility, maybe some short distance speed, and maybe some fun. The Next makes a really great compromise between the two. Like most compromises you end up with some of the best of each, but not all of the best of both. That said, if you are looking for a boat that will take one person almost anywhere you want with comfort and ease, this is a great choice.
Some other random impressions:
Easily ceiling mounted to garage hoist (about $20). Small enough to fit in 2 car garage without taking any space otherwise needed.
Seems to have a VERY shallow draft - I think I was gliding through 3 inches of water without scraping bottom with about 250 lbs on board. Unless you like to portage, this is awesome.
Backcountry was great to deal with - they didn't ship as soon as they could have and when I inquired they waived all shipping for me. The delivery company only delivered on business hours on weekdays which may be an issue for those who have to be at work but want to inspect on delivery. That's nothing to do with the canoe, but just to be aware of.
We went through a 5 foot wide drainage tunnel to access a finger of one lake with complete confidence. The Next was completely instinctive in handling and maneuvered easily. Fairly fast as well, and glides easily.
My 10 year old was able to handle the Next just as easily as her adult sized old man.