Best Canoe Stabilizers of 2021

Canoeing should be fun, and canoe stabilizers can greatly increase your enjoyment out on the water. We decided to try out as many canoe stabilizers as we could. We wanted to check out the ease of installation, all the features, and of course, how it performs on the water.

The Winners

Best Canoe Stabilizers Overall

Bold Ivy Canoe Stabilizers

Bold Ivy has hundreds of 5-star reviews, and it’s for good reason! For quality, manufacturing, and ease-of-use, we vote Bold Ivy as the best canoe stabilizer on the market.

Find out Why

Best Canoe Stabilizers on a Budget

YakGear Canoe Stabilizers

YakGear has designed another great canoe stabilizer. We love the potential of the add-ons that are available and how easy it is to use while out on the water.

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Honorable Mention

Brocraft Canoe Stabilizers

Brocraft has designed a very nice canoe stabilizer. Its simplicity is why we’ve decided to give it honorable mention, and it’s a great option for those not needing one as full-featured as Bold Ivy.

Find out Why

Our Criteria

We base our reviews on 4 very simple criteria: installation, quality and craftsmanship, available features, and overall performance..

Canoe Stabilizers Reviews

Best Canoe Stabilizers Overall

Bold Ivy Hydrodynamic Canoe Stabilizers

Once the Bold Ivy Canoe Stabilizer arrived, we knew right away we had a winner. The craftsmanship was easily the best that we reviewed. We received free fast shipping directly from their website, and the Bold Ivy website was easy to use.

Some of our favorite features of the Bold Ivy set were the 4 different sized bridges that they provide, with no up-charge for wider bridges. This allowed us to buy the perfect sized bridge for exactly our canoe. All of the installation gear is anodized aluminum, and the Bold Ivy Canoe Stabilizer floats were the best floats we reviewed. They are extremely hydrodynamic with super streamlined lines and curves. Moving through the water was effortless and actually made the ride more enjoyable.

Features

  • Each set contains 2 floats, a horizontal bridge, canoe clamps, and extension arms.
  • All parts made of anodized aluminum, and floats made of high quality polyethylene plastic.
  • 5 different colors and 4 different sized bridges to choose from.
  • Optional add-ons for kayak that easily transform the canoe stabilizer into a kayak stabilizer.
See it Here Read Customer Reviews

Bold Ivy Results

Overall

9/10

Installation

9/10

Quality

10/10

Features

8/10

Performance

10/10
Best Canoe Stabilizers on a Budget

YakGear Canoe Stabilizers – Generation 2

We were really impressed by YakGears Canoe Stabilizer. They have really done a great job manufacturing every piece and it all works well together. Their floats have unique shapes and option add ons, something no other canoe stabilizer that we’ve reviewed allows. One immediate downside to their system is there is no telescoping of the arms, so you’re stuck with either 22″ of extended stabilization – or nothing.

Like Bold Ivy, they offer additional parts if you’d like to use your canoe stabilizer on a kayak. In the water, the floats float real nicely, and it’s nice not having to deal with inflatable floats that can decrease or increase in pressure depending on the temperature, or worse, puncture.

Features

  • 2 adjustable Outrigger arms and floats, 2 Ralblaza Starport HD mounts, and all stainless-steel installation hardware.
  • Strong durable floats, but canoeing in reverse is slightly troublesome due to the design.
  • Quality hardware with optional add-ons for cameras, etc.
See it Here Read Customer Reviews

YakGear Results

Overall

9/10

Installation

8/10

Quality

9/10

Features

9/10

Performance

8/10
Honorable Mention

Brocraft Canoe Stabilizers

Brocraft did a great job at making a pretty simple canoe stabilizer. They used quality parts by using PVC and aluminum, but frankly, it’s just not that pretty to look at. Reading reviews, you’ll see people have had to rig up crossbars to make it work for them, and that’s something that Bold Ivy and Spring Creek have a solution for.

It’s simple to add and remove, or adjust when necessary. But lack of colors or not being able to adjust the width of the stabilizer is a downfall, and for its premium price, we thought their were better canoe stabilizers on the market. At the same time, they have a lot of reviews on Amazon so they are doing something right. But it wasn’t our favorite.

Features

  • Tough, durable molded PVC yellow floats.
  • Can work on canoes or kayaks.
  • All mounting hardware is stainless steel.
See it Here Read Customer Reviews

Brocraft Results

Overall

8/10

Installation

9/10

Quality

7/10

Features

6/10

Performance

8/10

Spring Creek Manufacturing

Spring Creek Manufacturing makes a very good canoe stabilizer, though it’s quite expensive. In fact, it’s the most expensive canoe stabilizer we’ve tested. Similar to Bold Ivy Canoe Stabilizers, it has 4 different sizes for its bars, or what they call universal receiver, but unlike Bold Ivy, they only offer 3 colors.

One major disadvantage to Spring Creek is they are very slow to ship. Their stock levels are inconsistent and there’s no way to indicate their backorder status. They have good customer service, but they will only contact you after you order to indicate an item is out of stock. So if you’re looking to use your new canoe stabilizer this weekend, it’s best to go for a different product unless you have time to spare.

Features

  • Three different colors and 4 different sized “Universal Receiver.”
  • Canoe Stabilizer floats made of polyethylene plastic, and everything else made of aluminum.
  • Extendable up to 22″ in each direction.
  • Made in the United States.
See it Here Read Customer Reviews

Spring Creek Manufacturing Results

Overall

8/10

Installation

9/10

Quality

9/10

Features

7/10

Performance

8/10

Scotty Canoe Stabilizers

Scotty makes a very good canoe stabilizer overall. We were really impressed with all the hardware provided. Our personal preference is not having to inflate our floats, and so we had a difficult time rating them higher. But if you’re in the market for a canoe stabilizer with inflatable floats, Scotty is the one you’ll want.

Features

  • Inflatable floats that offer over 30 pounds of buoyancy.
  • Anodized Aluminum Stabilizer Arms that are 28″ long
  • Works on canoes and kayaks.
See it Here Read Customer Reviews

Scotty Results

Overall

7/10

Installation

7/10

Quality

8/10

Features

7/10

Performance

8/10

Meter Star Canoe Stabilizers

Anytime a product comes with four (FOUR!) repair patches, buyer beware. Meter Star has designed floats that are inflatable, and it’s no secret that we do not prefer inflatable canoe stabilizer floats, but either way, once inflated, they do work. But it’s the installation and quality of the set that we can’t get behind. Installation requires screwing into your canoe or kayak, and all parts are made of plastic.

Features

  • Comes with four repair patches.
  • Inflatable and lightweight design.
  • Horizontal bar sold separately.
See it Here Read Customer Reviews

Meter Star Results

Overall

6/10

Installation

6/10

Quality

6/10

Features

6/10

Performance

7/10

How to Choose Canoe Stabilizers

Stability

How stable is the canoe stabilizer? Is it difficult to tip over?

Stability, or instability, is probably the main reason one would want to buy a canoe stabilizer. It might be difficult to base a purchase off something so important when testing it will be almost impossible pre-purchase. So what factors should you be looking for? When we were deciding which canoe stabilizers to review, we were drawn to stabilizer sets that had the ability to widen or telescope, similar to the functionality found in Bold Ivy Canoe Stabilizers and Spring Creek. Both those brands allow the floats to slide in and out of a horizontal bar placed on the canoe, and because of this, you can control the placement of the floats. If the water is calm, you can keep the floats closer to the canoe, or even out of the water. If the water is bumpy, you can extend the floats to make it near impossible to tip over.

Float Types

Are the floats made of durable plastic or are they inflatable?

There are basically two types of canoe stabilizer floats. The first would be inflatable; the second would be hard molded plastic. Once again, we naturally gravitated towards floats that were manufactured in hard durable polyethylene plastic. The reason for that is because those floats could take some abuse. We didn’t want to worry about throwing the floats in the trunk, on rocks, or even paddling through rocks. Inflatable canoe floats are cheaper, and that might be an advantage, but keep in mind you’ll have to inflate and deflate the floats, not to mention, the constant worry of puncturing the float or change in pressure because of outside temperature. Finally, how smooth do the floats glide through water? Bold Ivy has perfected the design of the float – it’s extremely hydrodynamic so has very little lag while paddling, and because it’s manufactured with polyethylene, it can take abuse both on the water and off.

Mounts & Installation

Is mounting hardware made of plastic, aluminum or stainless steel? Is installation easy? Do you need to screw into your canoe for the install?

Installing a canoe stabilizer shouldn’t take all day. Taking one off shouldn’t take all day either. When comparing canoe stabilizers, you’ll find options that permanently place mounting hardware on your canoe, and in some cases, this requires screwing into the canoe. Other installation types allow you to remove the entire set off the canoe. In our experience, none of the stabilizers we tested had difficult installation. And on a side note, we would always prefer mounting hardware that is made from aluminum, as it’s lightweight and extremely strong and durable.

Price

How affordable is the canoe stabilizer? Does the price justify the features and build-quality?

Certainly you could head down to the hardware store and make your own DIY canoe stabilizer. Should you? That’s up to you! We reviewed canoe stabilizers that cost up to $350 and those that are closer to $50. You definitely get what you pay for. You shouldn’t expect that the $50 canoe stabilizer will work as well, or as long, as one that costs $350. When looking at prices, think about what features are important to you. If you simply want to throw some milk jugs on the water and call it a day, you’d probably be better served building your own. But if you want a set that will last for years and will be easy to use, spending a couple hundred is a good investment. If having additional add-ons or being able to extend the floats matter, again, buying a higher-end premium canoe stabilizer should be a priority.

Brand

Is it a reputable brand? Can you trust them? Do they have a return policy? A guarantee?

When we entered the market for a canoe stabilizer, we hadn’t heard of a single brand. After research, you can see that Bold Ivy is a reputable brand with phenomenal reviews, but so is YakGear and Scotty. If we could offer any advice on choosing a brand – first, don’t buy cheap Chinese knockoffs off Amazon. Secondly, read customer reviews. Does a company stand by their product? Is shipping free? Are there happy customers? Are there angry customers? We tend to feel that a brand is almost as important as the features you’re looking for. Hopefully you can find a canoe stabilizer brand that you trust, and you’ll be happy with the product!