Whether you’re interested in getting a new canoe or already have one, you should know that canoes can be cumbersome. However, some canoes made with lightweight materials can be much more manageable, so it’s always best to know what to expect before you buy one.
A canoe’s weight depends on how long it is and the materials it is made out of. On average, canoes weigh between 20 lbs (9.07 kg) and 80 lbs (36.3 kg). Carbon fiber canoes are usually the lightest, while wooden and plastic canoes are significantly heavier than the rest.
So, let’s discuss the details and talk more about how much a canoe weighs. I’ll break down the weight differences between all of the most common canoe materials and compare them to help you weigh out the pros and cons of each one.
How Much Does a Carbon Fiber Canoe Weigh?
Carbon fiber is one of the most lightweight canoe materials available on the market, and carbon fiber canoes are generally the easiest to carry and move on your own.
A 16-foot (4.9 m) carbon fiber canoe usually weighs anywhere between 20 lbs (9.07 kg) and 33 lbs (15 kg), making carbon fiber the most lightweight canoe material available. However, since carbon fiber is the lightest material, it can also be the costliest.
Carbon fiber is also incredibly durable, and it will last for quite a long time, even after many years of use and abuse.
Still, even with all the benefits of this material, there is usually one significant downside. Most carbon fiber canoes are top-of-the-line products that come with a hefty price tag.
How Much Does a Kevlar Canoe Weigh?
Kevlar is a common canoe material, and it is also impressively lightweight.
Most 15 foot (4.6 m) tandem kevlar canoes weigh between 45 lbs (20.4 kg) and 50 lbs (22.7 kg). Kevlar is one of the lightest materials used to make canoes, and it has an affordable price tag, but it’s only suitable for some canoeing conditions.
Although they’re easy to lift and have a reasonable price point, kevlar canoes are usually only appropriate for flatwater boating, and they aren’t that durable.
Kevlar canoes usually have a fantastic lightweight design that makes them easy to maneuver in the water, but their thin bodies aren’t suited for rapids, rivers, or ocean canoeing.
So, kevlar is the perfect material if you want a light canoe for lake or pond canoeing.
How Much Does a Fiberglass Canoe Weigh?
A 16 ft (4.9 m) fiberglass canoe usually weighs around 65 lbs (29.5 kg) to 70 lbs (31.8 kg). These canoes, made with resin and fiberglass fabrics, are relatively lightweight and highly durable.
Fiberglass is one of the most long-lasting materials used in canoe manufacturing, and it’s also an affordable material that won’t break the bank.
Because of their low cost, longevity, and moderate weight, fiberglass canoes are the ideal mid-range canoe for people who plan on using their craft for many years.
How Much Does an Aluminum Canoe Weigh?
Aluminum is one of the lightest metals, making aluminum canoes relatively easy to carry and lift but still durable enough to withstand scrapes from rocks and the force of heavy waters.
A 16-foot (4.9 m) two-person aluminum canoe generally weighs around 70 lbs (31.8 kg), making it about the same weight as a wood canoe. However, aluminum canoes are cheaper and more durable than wood canoes, making them a perfect utility option.
Aluminum canoes won’t rust, and they’re hard to ding and scrape up, so they’re generally one of the best canoes for tricky, rough terrain. However, they can also rattle, which makes them unsuitable for fishing and hunting.
That said, it’s also important to note that aluminum canoes come at a low price point, so they’re excellent for people who don’t want to spend too much money on a brand new canoe.
How Much Does a Wood Canoe Weigh?
There’s nothing more classic than a wood-strip canoe. These canoes have been around for hundreds of years longer than any other canoes, and although they can be very weighty, they have their benefits.
A 16-foot (4.9 m) wood strip canoe usually weighs about 70 lbs (31.8 kg). They’re some of the heaviest canoes out there, and they require a bit of maintenance, so many people avoid them. However, they’re aesthetically pleasing, which also makes them desirable.
Wooden canoes are heavy, and they aren’t very durable. When you use them in rocky waters, they have a high chance of breaking. You also have to varnish your canoe annually to keep the wood from rotting, which adds extra maintenance and costs to having a wooden canoe.
Wooden canoes can also be expensive since they’re usually only made by hand.
That said, wooden canoes are stunning, historical, and completely biodegradable, making them a top pick among some people who are willing to compromise on weight and durability for aesthetics and canoers who want to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
How Much Does a Plastic Canoe Weigh?
Durable plastic canoes are easy to find, and they usually come at a low price, but there’s one con to using a polyethylene canoe. These babies are heavy, and they’re always the heaviest canoes on the market.
A 16-foot (4.9 m) plastic or polyethylene canoe weighs around 75 lbs (34 kg) to 80 lbs (36.3 kg), making plastic the absolute heaviest canoe material available on the market. However, polyethylene canoes are usually very durable and very cheap, which might make up for their bulky weight.
Plastic, or polyethylene, is a flexible, durable material that doesn’t break easily, although it’s very dense and heavy. Lifting a plastic canoe can be very challenging, and most people will need a team to put it on the portage.
Still, polyethylene is the cheapest canoe material, and its invention has made canoeing much more accessible to people who want to boat on a budget.
So, if you don’t mind some heavy lifting and want something cheap and durable, plastic canoes might be the right pick for you.
So, on average, canoes weigh around 60 lbs (27.2 kg), but the materials they’re made of can make a huge difference in their weight. Carbon fiber is the lightest material by far, while the heaviest, and cheapest material, is plastic. Still, every material has its pros and cons, so you’ll have to weigh them out to determine which canoe is best for you.