So yeah, we own a foldable canoe. And it turns heads, to say the least. There hasn’t been a single time that we’ve taken it out and NOT gotten stopped by someone wanting to know if we were in fact unfolding an entire canoe.
MyCanoe launched on Kickstarter in March of 2020. We purchased the “Pop” version on a preorder and it was delivered in July. I wanted to write this review because as a startup it’s not easy to find information on their product and I thought people might want to hear about our experience. Here’s how we landed on the decision to get a folding canoe.
We live in a small 1-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis and don’t have anywhere to store a full-size canoe or kayaks. But we also live near four small motor-free lakes and really wanted something we could take camping. The MyCanoe folds down and fits in the trunk of my Chevy Cruze, which is so helpful for storage purposes. (Pictured below in the back of a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.)
Another thing that was important to us was being able to take my dog Audi out with us so that meant an inflatable boat was off the table. I mean, look at this girl. I can’t ever leave her behind.
We also purchased the foldable paddle from MyCanoe and picked up some basic life jackets at the local hardware store. In total, we paid around $1,100 with the preorder special. That’s still quite expensive but it’s a very unique item and one of the few things that would fit our lifestyle.
The canoe is 14.5′ long and has two seats. They say that it takes 5 minutes to set up but it took us a while to get a handle on the assembly. We struggled at first and had to watch and re-watch YouTube videos that weren’t in English but after 3 or 4 times, we started to get better. Folding it back down is a little easier than setting up but we always get stuck on the last major fold that turns it back into the suitcase-looking object. Truthfully, I’d say it takes us about 10 minutes to set up and 10 minutes to tear down now. Here’s a video of us struggling to disassemble this thing:
It comes with a dry bag to carry the gunwale bars and paddles. I usually strap the life jackets onto this and carry it down to the lake (along with our fishing poles or adult beverages.) My boyfriend Glenn then carries the folded main body of the canoe weighing in at 38 lbs.
They say that the “custom manufactured polypropylene hull is rated for 20,000 fold cycles” but we’ve already noticed the fold lines in the plastic are starting to show wear after about a dozen uses.
How does it handle?
I won’t lie, it does feel flimsy. They say it can hold 460 lbs but with two grown adults weighing in at a combined 300+ lbs, we sometimes feel like we’re riding really low in the water. We took it out on a bigger lake with motor boats once and the waves made it a little scary but we stayed dry.
We were pretty nervous to bring our 50-lb dog along but finally got brave enough to take her out and float around for a while. We all survived but I don’t think we would take her out in anything less than ideal conditions because she likes to move around a lot.
It’s not the easiest thing to paddle and it doesn’t glide in the water like a normal canoe but it gets the job done.
With all that said, it is a pretty great invention for casual canoers like ourselves and it’s so amazing that it fits in the car and can be taken anywhere. I’m not sure I can say that the value is there unless you are like us absolutely have to have something that is portable and stowable. We’ve really enjoyed it so far and I hope that it holds up for years to comes.