Old Town Saranac 160 XT ReviewJuly 24, 2012
- Very comfortable.
- Lots of extras, such as cup holders, rod holders and molded-in storage trays.
- The price.
- Not a true expedition canoe in comparison to others in the test.
- Built-in storage compartment got in the way of carrying larger items.
- Upgrade in comfort was not matched in cruising ability.
The mini-van of long trip canoes, the Saranac 160 XT more than made up in comfort what it sacrificed in cruisability.
The Saranac 160 XT is an expedition canoe built with an emphasis on comfort and features.
While not the “trippiest” canoe in the Old Town fleet, the Saranac, for our purposes, was the most comfortable (and the one my wife gravitated to). One tester dubbed it “the mini-van of the lot—comfortable and heavy.” It comes with two contoured seats with cushy back rests, which became a premium as the trip wore on, as well as mini-cooler/center bench seat which was forbidden to carry kids’ drinks.
On the paddling front, you’re so comfortable you almost don’t care how it paddles; you’d get to camp just in time for cocktail hour regardless. “Luxurious, good tanning platform,” quipped one lily-dipper. But by narrowing its shape and lowering its seats—and giving it a flat bottom, straight sides and moderate rocker—Old Town has created a series that paddles better than most rec canoes on the market.
And you can’t argue with the price…less than a third than that of some of the other offerings. Which means more money to invest in the mini-cooler contents.