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Gear Guide 2012: Old Town Saranac 160 XT Canoe

This budget-friendly boat made from durable thermoformed polyethylene offers a plush ride for everyday paddling.
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This budget-friendly boat made from durable thermoformed polyethylene offers a plush ride for everyday paddling. One tester called it the minivan of canoes—“comfortable and fully-loaded but heavy.” It’s geared toward relaxed daytrips and short overnighters. And the loaded part?

The two contoured seats have cushy back rests; cup and rod holders are ideal for afternoon float-and-fish sessions; molded storage trays on the sides keep snacks and fishing gear within easy reach; and a mini-cooler (big enough for a cold sixer) in the center doubles as a bench seat for a third paddler. (This compartment restricts the boat’s ability to carry large cargo items like expedition-size drybags, but the boat can hold up to 850 pounds.) The 16-foot-long craft has a narrow shape and a flat, stable bottom with a moderate rocker. “It handles quite well compared to other recreational or entry-level boats,” says one tester. And you can’t argue with the price. $750; 89 lbs.; oldtowncanoe.com

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