Canoe Review: Old Town Saranac 146

If you are Looking for a fun and affordable canoe for paddling with your family? Check out the Old Town Saranac 146. This recreational canoe is designed for chill paddling trips on calm lakes and rivers. It’s roomy enough for 2-3 people and has comfy seats and a bench for kids. The flat hull makes it easy to maneuver and stable on the water.

 It’s got built-in rod holders and cup holders for convenience. Storage compartment under the seat to stash your stuff. This rugged and durable canoe is easy to paddle even for beginners. The budget-friendly price means most families can afford it. If you want a stable, family-friendly canoe that won’t break the bank, the Old Town 146 could be a great choice. Keep reading this review for all the details!

Old Town Saranac 146 XT Canoe

Old Town Saranac 146 XT Canoe
LengthBeamWeightMaximum Capacity

The Saranac 146 XT canoe is a good boat that has many things you can use. It has places to hold your fishing rods, your stuff, and your snacks. It also has two seats that are shaped to fit your body and make you feel good. There is another seat in the middle for someone small. You can do many things with this canoe and have fun. It is good for families, people who like to fish, or people who just want to enjoy the water. The canoe works well on the water and does not cost a lot of money.


  • Comfy-shaped seats with backs to lean on
  • Middle seat with storage spaces
  • 6-inch hatch in the middle
  • Built-in rod holders on the front and middle seats
  • Easy-to-grab handles molded on the front and back
  • Molded trays to store stuff
  • Molded rests for paddles on the front and back
  • Built-in cup holders on the front, middle, and back seats

Old Town Performance

On the water

The Saranac canoes are good boats that are steady and cozy. They are good for families, new people, people who like to fish, or people who just want to have fun on the water. The Saranac 14’6” is a small boat that can fit two or three people.

It is easy to move, but it is not very fast or strong. The Saranac 160 is a bigger boat that can fit more people and things. If you have a big family or a big dog, or if you want to go far on the water, you might want a bigger boat.

How stable is the Old Town Sarana?

The Saranac 146 by Old Town is a good boat that does not tip over easily. It has a wide and flat bottom and low seats. It is good for calm water. Old Town made the Saranac 146 for families with kids or pets or people who like to fish. The low seats also let you use a kayak paddle, which is good for windy days or when you are alone or with small kids.

Market and demographics

The Old Town Saranac 146 is a great boat for beginners and casual paddlers, but it does have some limitations. First, the middle seat takes the place of a carrying yoke. So you won’t be able to easily carry the canoe solo on portages. If you want to go on longer camping trips and carry a lot of gear, look at something like the Old Town Penobscot 164 instead.

The Saranac 146 also isn’t designed for whitewater. If you want to start paddling rivers or rapids, you’ll need a true whitewater canoe with specialized outfitting. And be sure to take a whitewater safety course.

The Saranac 146 is ideal for calm lakes and smooth rivers. But if you want to carry heavy loads or run rapids, there are better options. This recreational canoe is best suited to beginners and families looking for an affordable, stable ride for short paddling adventures.

About The Old Town146

Material & construction

Old Town makes its canoes focused on keeping you steady, so they’re great for new paddlers, fishing, or families who want a canoe that feels stable. These canoes are made for comfort and stability more than speed or rough water. They have wide, flat bottoms that feel very steady on calm water. 

This makes them good for kids and dogs, even when carrying the full 750-pound weight limit. The shorter length of this 3 person Old Town canoe makes it easy to steer around river bends or things in the water. So you can get to your favorite fishing places without any problem.

Buying a used Old Saranac 146

Buying a used Old Town Saranac 146

The Saranac canoes are a more affordable option compared to Old Town’s triple-layer Guide series. The single-layer polyethylene is lighter but not as stiff, so the Saranac models won’t handle as well on the water. The triple-layer canoes also have foam between the layers for extra buoyancy. This helps keep them floating if they fill with water. 

The single-layer Saranacs will sink lower when full of water. So it’s best to use them on calmer waters where you can easily reach shore. The Saranacs offer good durability and low maintenance for a lower price. But the triple-layer Guides perform better, though they cost more.

Saranac accessories & outfitting

Old Town canoes are made to last, so buying a used one can be a good option. Look for canoes made before 2014 that say “Royalex” on them – this material is very durable. Canoes after 2014 are made of polyethylene plastic which is also tough.

Check that the canoe is stored properly – inside and out of the sun is best. Look for any damage or fading which could mean it wasn’t stored right. Also, inspect the seats and accessories to make sure they work well. The seller might include extras like life jackets or paddles. Make sure these fit you properly.

How the Sarance 146 Compares

Old Town Saranac vs Old Town Saranac 160

The Saranac 146 and the Saranac 160 are two canoes from Old Town. The Saranac 146 is shorter and lighter than the Saranac 160. It is 14 feet and six inches long, while the Saranac 160 is 16 feet long. The Saranac 146 is good for two people who sometimes want to bring another person or a pet, or who have a small child and need a canoe that is easy to carry. 

The Saranac 160 is faster and can hold more weight than the Saranac 146. It is good for families with kids, three big adults, or big dogs. A 14-foot canoe can get too tight with three people in it. If you want more space for longer trips or bigger people, you should think about getting the Saranac 160.

Old Town vs 146 DLX

The Saranac 146 DLX is a fancy, tricked-out fishing version of the regular Saranac 146.

What do you get for the extra $150 bucks? The DLX has a couple more rod holders, some accessory tracks for mounting fishing gear, and cushier seats with orange accents.

So if you’re hardcore about fishing from your canoe, the extras on the DLX might be worth it. But for most paddlers, the standard 146 has everything you need for a day on the lake or river.

Unless you plan on entering some big bass tournaments, you can probably skip the DLX upgrade. 

Old Town 146 vs 146 XT

Old Town Saranac 146 vs 146 XT

Over time, Old Town has sold the Saranac 146 and the Saranac 146 XT. These two canoes have the same seats, materials, and hull shape – they are identical except for the name. Old Town’s website now just shows the Saranac 146. But if you are looking at used canoes, the 146 and 146 XT are the same canoes. You can think of them as the same model. The only difference is the name.

Old Town vs Old Town Discovery 16

The Discovery and Saranac both have wide, stable hulls great for recreational paddling. But there are some key differences. The Discovery 158 has removable bench seats and a carrying yoke for portaging. This makes it better for extended trips with lots of carrying. The Saranac 146 has molded plastic seats that don’t allow for gear storage.

The Discovery is made of triple-layer polyethylene so it handles better and is more durable. The Saranac uses single-layer polyethylene which is lighter but not as stiff or resilient. The Saranac 146 costs $899, while the Discovery 158 is $1,349. 

The Saranac is a good choice if you want an affordable canoe for calm waters. It can also fit 3 people easily with its molded seats. But the Discovery 158 is the better pick for wilderness trips where performance, durability, and portability matter.

Where to buy the Saranac

 buy the Saranac
old town 156

The Old Town Saranac 146 is a very popular canoe you can find at many outdoor stores like REI or Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can also buy it directly from the Old Town website.

This canoe is a great option for the price. It has handy features like rod holders, storage trays, and seats with comfortable backs. There is space for 2 adults in the contoured seats and a bench in the middle for a child.

The Saranac 146 works well for many uses – families, fishing, or recreational paddling. It performs smoothly on flatwater and rivers. The design is versatile from front to back for bringing gear or pets.

Overall, the Old Town Saranac 146 is a well-rounded canoe with lots of functional features. It’s a great choice for people looking for an affordable all-purpose recreational canoe. The wide availability makes it easy to find at local and online retailers.


  • Budget-friendly price – won’t break the bank
  • Stable and flexible – good for family trips, fishing, paddling with your dog
  • Nice size for 1-3 people
  • Comfy contoured seats so your back doesn’t get sore


  • Molded seats limit how you can sit
  • No middle yoke to help you carry it solo
  • The plastic can warp or dent if you don’t store it right
  • Heavier than fancier composite canoes

The Saranac 146 is a great choice if you want an affordable, versatile canoe that’s easy to paddle for casual trips. Just don’t expect to carry it long distances or tackle whitewater rapids. For the price, it’s a stable, family-friendly recreational canoe that covers the basics.


The length of the Old Town Saranac 146 canoe is 14 feet and six inches.

The width of the Saranac 146 canoe is 36 inches at its widest point.

The Old Town Saranac 146 weighs 79 pounds, making it relatively heavy for its length. However, this added weight contributes to its durability, allowing it to withstand repeated impacts.

The Saranac 146 canoe can carry up to 750 pounds, including paddlers and gear. If you have three full-size adults, you might want to consider the Old Town Saranac 160, which has a higher weight limit of 850 pounds.

The Saranac 146 is priced at USD 899.99, according to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

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