Multisport Skills

The Best Beginner Canoeing Gear of 2015

This starter setup costs less than $1,300 and will last for years.

Canoe Camping Gear for Beginners

Canoeing can be a great way to explore the backcountry and get out in the wilderness without the challenge of walking with all your gear on your back. It’s a great choice for families, folks with back trouble, or even just a luxurious switch from backpacking. For your first trip, you’ll probably want to rent gear from a local outfitter, but if you’ll be going out more often, it’s time to invest in some gear of your own.

We asked the former editor-in-chief of Paddler magazine and his crew of testers to recommend the best new starter setup for backpackers looking to invest in their own canoeing gear. After extensive testing 2015’s new canoeing gear, we zeroed in on the best product in each category: a tough, affordable Mad River canoe made from a brand new material; a comfy, no-frills life jacket/PFD; a simple, light, wooden canoe paddle; and a map case and waterproof pack that will help keep your gear both dry and accessible. Put together, it’s the best beginner canoeing gear of 2015. And be sure to check out our water sports skills channel for more on how and where to use your new digs!

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