We chose the two piece paddles over the three piece simply for the more sturdy nature (less joints, so less stress points). I am sure the 3 piece are just fine, but it's more parts and more places to break. Our friends had the three piece paddles and I just didn't like the extra clip you had to set to put it together. . . . . Plus, I think it may make it easier to introduce weather inside the shaft (but I could be wrong about that). The two piece seems solid and light and the only joint is I don't have to mess with clipping three pieces together, which I like. The one down side is that the two piece does not break down as small, so packing it on a plane may be more difficult.