Finding the Best Canoe for Big Guys is easier than you think. Here’s a rundown of our favorites for big dudes, including our top pick - the Old Town Next Canoe.

best canoes for big guys

So, you’re a big guy looking for a canoe. My husband recently found himself in this position a few months ago and asked me to find the best canoe for a big guy. And, since I find, test, and review products for this blog of mine, I was up for the challenge.  This was no easy feat since my man is both super tall and husky. Thankfully for us and you, canoes have come a long way with durability and build and now more suitable for big guys.

Whether you’re a recreational paddler or into canoe fishing, we’ve got your back. Let’s take a look at my top five finds for best canoes for big guys. But first, let’s go over a few things consider before actually buying a canoe.

Things to consider when looking for the best canoe for big guys:

  • Types of Canoes: Depending the type of canoeing you will be doing, you’ll need a specialized vessel for that style:

o   Recreational canoes: the perfect beginner boats. They are easy to maintain, and offer decent maneuverability and stability on the water. However, they may not perform as well at specialized tasks.

o   Sporting canoes: a bit more maneuverable and a bit more stable. They can be rowed, paddled or motored, and are suited for many water activities. They are, however, a bit smaller than recreational canoes.

o   Tripping or expedition canoes: the biggest of the bunch. They are meant to take more people and more load with them. They are also built to be maneuverable and to withstand a lot of punishment.

  • Weight capacity: Now that you’ve selected the type of canoe, you need to consider its weight capacity. This is very important because riding in a vessel which weight limit has been exceeded can be very dangerous – the canoe can flip, or sink altogether.

Well, that’s all you need to know for now, so let’s get on with the list.

Old Town Next Canoe

best canoe for big guysHolds Up To 450 lbs

Our top pick is the Old Town’s Next canoe, with a weight capacity is rated at 450 pounds. Old Town is one of the most famous and best-regarded companies that produces canoes, and the Next stands as a textbook representative

This boat is one of the most stable on the water, thanks to its flat bottom. However, Old Town hasn’t forgotten about maneuverability, so they added a subtle curve to the rocker, thus decreasing the boat’s turning radius.

On top of that, the canoe has been built with elements of a kayak, further increasing its responsiveness on the water. The canoe’s low profile enables easier paddling – it takes much less movement of the body and much less stretching for the paddle to reach the surface of the water.

Finally, you get a seat with the canoe. This seat is removable, so you can change the experience of riding this canoe – from leisurely paddling while hanging back it the seat, to full canoe rowing experience. My husband absolutely loved this canoe and it is perfect for big guys.

Here’s what other users are saying:

  • Holds 450 pounds of persons and equipment.
  • A very maneuverable canoe.
  • Excellent tracking helps beginners row in a straight line.
  • A very stable boat.

Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6-Foot Canoe

best canoe for big guy

Holds Up To 800 lbs

Our second pick for the best canoe for big guys is the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw canoe. Just like Old Town, Sun Dolphin is an established company, best known for producing excellent kayaks, canoes, and boats otherwise.

This Mackinaw is a hybrid sporting canoe with a square rear end, allowing a motor to be fitted. It is rated for up to three people and includes fishing rod holders, making this canoe a good choice for some lazy fishing outings with some bros, but it can also be used solo if desired.

The canoe comes also with a cooler storage and dry storage built in the seats. The hull is made of UV-stabilized polyurethane, making it lightweight. The boat has a flat bottom for improved tracking on the water, making it more beginner friendly.

Here’s what other users are saying:

  • Rated for 800 pounds of persons and equipment.
  • If you’re going to use an electric motor, be sure to balance it well.
  • Excellent tracking.
  • The canoe is very stable on the water.
  • Very spacious and can haul a good bit of stuff.

Grumman 12′ 9″ Solo Canoe 

best big guy canoe

Holds Up To 585 lbs

This is the lightest canoe you have ever seen, considering its weight capacity. The Grumman Solo Canoe is rated for a maximum weight capacity of 585 pounds and weighs only 50 pounds. How is this possible? Well, by utilizing Grumman’s special recipe of lightweight aluminum.

This canoe is a bit on the pricey side, but for its performances, it’s well worth it. Excellent stability and maneuverability. The canoe has a flat bottom for increased tracking, and is very low profile, making it very friendly toward paddlers because they don’t have to sway side to side to reach the water with the oar.

On top of that, the canoe has been made extra durable. Some customers report having used this model for twenty years, and their canoes are still in perfect shape. All in all, if you get this canoe, you will certainly not regret it.

Here’s what other users are saying:

  • Excellent maneuverability.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Can carry a lot of load with ease.
  • Excellent tracking.

Old Town Recreational Family Canoe

best canoe for heavy guys

Holds Up To 750 lbs

Like the name suggests, this is a the Old Town family canoe, so it is suitable for more people (specifically, three). The boat features the same hybrid design as the other Old Town canoe on this list. It features removable seats and plenty of room for a cooler and other equipment.

The hull of the boat is made of thermoplastics, making it very durable and resistant to all forms of damage. The boat features a very wide shape, allowing for great stability on the water. It also features a flat bottom for increased stability and tracking. This canoe is rated for 750 pounds of persons and equipment, making it one of the best canoes for big guys. The boat also features rod holders for those who would like to do some fishing in this boat.

Here’s what other users are saying:

  • Very stable, hard to tip.
  • Tracks excellently.
  • Very spacious.
  • Excellent weight capacity.

Coleman Rio Canoe

best canoe for big guys

Holds Up To 350 lbs

And as the icing on the cake, we have the Coleman Rio canoe. This is a one-man inflatable canoe designed for fishing. This means that the canoe is extra stable and comfortable, and has a large storage capacity.

The boat has been built with some kayaking elements to improve its handling. It also comes with a raised bucket seat for greater comfort when fishing. The canoe is made of 18-gauge PVC and 420D nylon for extra durability. It also comes with a reinforced bottom, to avoid puncture in case you get marooned, or when dragging it out of the water. The hull has raised bow and stern for extra stability in rough waters.

Here’s what other users are saying:

  • Rated for 350 pounds.
  • Very maneuverable, even in rough waters and narrow paths.
  • Excellent durability.
  • Superb stability.
  • Inflates very quickly.