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Reviews for Loon 138T Kayak by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 8.88/10 Based On: 33 Reviews

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06-30-2014
Submitted by: Monte DodgeSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought my Loon138T used for 400.00 and what a great little Kayak!! It is a 2000 model and still in great shape Tracks well even without a rudder. Perfect day cruiser with me and my wife here on Lake Chelan and feels quite sporty with just me in kayak paddling.Love the large cockpit and sprayshirts can still be found online for it. Having had several kayaks over the years, I would have no issue using this on a summers long trip down the Yukon with drybags And a skirt. There are faster/better kayaks made,but none for this price. sad is they no longer make these model. Compares quite well with my old EasyRider Tatoosh which was same design but four times the price. Now I will be looking for used single Loon 138 or Loon 16T which would be a bit better for two on weekend camping trip.Comfort is wonderful with our Loon and leg room is not bad for me at 6ft. 250lbs
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01-18-2012
Submitted by: brSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The OT Loon 138T (now available only used) is unique: it is simply a large solo kayak (the terrific Loon 138) with an extra seat added to make a very cramped tandem. As such, it is the ONLY TANDEM KAYAK MADE that actually paddles well as a solo. The extra seat increases the weight by about 10 pounds, making the 138T very difficult to handle out of the water; but it's sure handy being able to carry an extra passenger.
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04-22-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My wife and I have had this tandem for quite a few years now, installed a rudder several years ago to reduce a lack of synchronization issue. Great for flat water. But as stated in other reviews, a real problem if it fills up, as ours did once by Beaufort, NC when a large yacht went by in a narrow channel. Luckily the shore was nearby!

As we are getting older (mid-late 60's) now, the weight is becoming bothersome in getting it on/off the car or truck roof, so we are looking at selling it and getting two smaller, lighter kayaks, that can (almost) fit in the back of the pickup, and that I can maybe tie a rope between so my wife can still relax...

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04-20-2011
Submitted by: IcemanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased this boat three years ago. My wife is afraid to let my grand daughter out by herself, so we take the green 138t. She loves to kayak. She sets in the front so I can lay back and take it easy once in a while. It is very stable, so my wife is good to go with the little person and me kayaking. I tried to solo in it one time.....sat in the wrong seat....I should have sat in the front.

The only thing I would change is the slide locks. They are plastic, and do not hold very well. The boat is pretty quick for what it is. I only kayak for the solitude and a little exercise, I get plenty of both with this little boat. I will be keeping this OT 138T, but I am looking for the 138 solo next

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06-30-2010
Submitted by: AndySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We're happy with our Loon 138T after two lake outings. It was purchased used with a few scratches, but otherwise in decent shape. Stability seems good. I risk taking my DSLR camera + expensive telephoto lens with us to photograph shore birds. Front person has plenty of room, but rear seat is a bit crowded for knee space. Easy to get in and out. Hardware seems good quality: footpegs, seats, etc. We like the bungie paddle attachment, it's very handy at launchings! I have yet to try it solo, but the front seat slides on rails to a mid-ship position so I think it will be fine. And by the way, this thing is really fast! When we both paddle consistently, the shoreline just flies by!
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09-25-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     As a first time kayak buyer (with a bad knee) I had concerns about getting in and out of a boat. The LOON 138T has been a godsend. With the large tandem cockpit I have plenty of room. I use the boat mainly for solo paddling and find it a joy to be in. It handles well on lakes and slow streams. The POLY-LINK hull is strong and not to heavy. All in all I would, and have, recommended this boat to any person looking for a entry level kayak.
Construction-10
Comfort------10
Tracking------8 (It's a rec boat!)
Fun----------12

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09-08-2004
Submitted by: MDSHikerSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Acquired this "cloud" color yak at a "end of summer sale" and found it hard to resist the excellent price. The polylink 3 hull holds up well to bumps and scraps. It loads and transports easily on the roof rack of a minivan. In ideal conditions, two people are needed to load/unload the yak from the roof, but it can be done by one person if needed. I can paddle and steer the yak with confidence, even with a child on board. I've found it to be responsive to steering in lake or slow moving river conditions. The seats are "ok" and I've been comfortable sitting in them for long periods of time. The yak is very stable but will roll under the right conditions. The paddle holders are a nice touch and I store an extra paddle in one of them. There is plenty of storage space in the bow/stern for gear, just make sure you balance the weight for an even ride. I like the ability to slide the front seat into the position needed. With the front seat moved back as far as it can go, there is still room for my legs in the rear position...I'm six feet tall. If you roll the yak, make sure you have a bilge pump or sponge handy. It can be difficult to empty all the water out without those items. All in all, my kids like this yak and we've had fun with it. I would recommend it to friends.
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06-11-2004
Submitted by: JSSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Basically the kayak is handling well on the lake with light waves. But it is not very responsive on moving water. I was always wondering about the weight so I measured it and it turns out it is ~71lbs. vs. the advertised 61lbs which I consider to be on the heavy side to move it around a lot.
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05-06-2004
Submitted by: TMC
Rating: 10 of 10

     We bought our 138T in 2001 from LLBean. It was our first Kayak. It is stable, fast, and comfortable with one paddler or two. My family of 5 uses this boat for primarily for recreational paddling on an inland lake. We have never accidently tipped this boat (we have tipped it on purpose and it is a chore). You must have a high capacity hand pump with you if you do tip, the large cockpit fills immediately with A LOT of water! The seat and front footpegs are great. In "tandem" mode it can be a little tight for a big guy like me (5'11", 220lbs), I do prefer using it as a solo kayak. We chose the 138T over the 160T to keep transportation as simple as possible. I would buy this boat again.
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03-19-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased a loon 138T as my first kayak and am very pleased with my decision. I have three kids and a wife who were very skptical of even getting into a kayak and the first day out ridded them of any "kayak fears."

I looked at quite a few other kayaks and felt the workmanship and asthetics of the 138T was far superior. Other kayaks were "puckering" right in the show room and the surface finish made them look like they were already three years old.

I use it to cruise rivers in Illinois where depth varies from feet to inches and amamazed at how little water it takes to float this kayak. I took it out for the first time this year while there was still ice on the rivers. The triple layered insulated hull is quiet and insulates from the cold. In the summer, as a single paddler, you can stretch out for that sun tan and "lounge". My teenage kids love to take their friends out in it. I'm currently looking at kayaks for "great lake" type of kayaking. I will always keep the Loon 138T. It is a very good product and would highly recomend it to anyone. As a side note, get the grey smoke color, they don't show the scatches as much. Side note # 2, If you like sneaking up on wildlife, the 138T is very quite and stealthy. I only wish it had a modified skeg or rudder to steer the craft while you have two hands adjusting binnoculars. That wwould be the "cats pajamas."

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07-16-2002
Submitted by: TC & MC
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is our first kayak (Loon 138T Polylink). Our first launch was into the Manistee River, Manistee, Michigan. We bought it primarily to fish from. I am amazed by its stability while touring and casting. Plenty of room for paddles and poles. We landed Small Mouth Bass as well as a Brown Trout. It is the perfect boat.
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04-24-2002
Submitted by: Craig
Rating: 9 of 10

     I finally received my green 138t from Cabelas. Had to order it and have it shipped because no one local was carrying it. I arrived in excellent condition and I am very happy with it. I changed my mind on which kayak to but at least 5 times but I am glad I chose this boat. Was bought mainly to flyfish out of in Missouri streams and lakes, but wanted to take my young boys out with me also. I love all the space the tandom boat provides for gear when paddling solo. Does everything I need it to do, I gave it a nine because of the difficulty I had turning it in the wind.
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03-19-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Well my new, bright yellow, Loon 138T has been launched!!! Her maiden "voyage" was on St. Patrick's Day… a sunny, 40-degree day in Boston with light to moderate ocean winds. The boat was stable, fast, warm, controlled GREAT and at no point did I not feel compleatly safe. I really did my homework (with the help of paddeling.net) before selecting this boat, and what a GREAT time we all had because of that!!!

So, here goes… review time… I chose the Loon 138T for a host of reasons: Foremost, it was just really important to me to always have the option of bringing a guest along, and for that reason I had to go with a tandem. Mind you, the Loon 138T is not geared towards two tall adults, but my friend and I (she's 5'4 and I'm 5'7) both fit very comfortably. However most trips out will be just the dog (a 20 lbs. Terrier) and me, so it was important that the boat not be overwhelming in terms of its size (the tandem Loon is 13 feet 8 inches.). I also really like the versatility afforded to me by the Loon’s open cockpit, i.e. on hot days I get to feel the sun and air coming off the water, while on cold days I have the option of adding a skirt for protection; what could be better!?!?! If there is a down side to the Loon 138T it’s that it is heavy, at 60 lbs I wouldn’t want to have to walk it a great distance. But hey, that’s what wheel attachments and friends are for, and frankly I wasn’t willing to pay for fiberglass or Kevlar. Which brings me to my final reason for selecting an Old Town Canoe product…affordability!!!

I really love this boat, and feel very comfortable recommending it!

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01-07-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just bought the 138T this Sept. Only been in the water 3 times. Small lake,1 fast moving class C river & the sound. Great Kayak. The PloyLink 3 seems to be very strong durable. Being my first kayak I can`t compare to others. I like the 18x84 inch cockpit. I don`t feel so confind. It paddles very well solo. I havn`t tried tandem yet. Tracks very good. I`ve ordered the optional rudder. Mainly for at the coast. To date, it seems to be an all around Kayak for me. I think it will do just fine on some of our lakes & at the coast & planning on trying just a LITTLE white water.
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12-26-2001
Submitted by: DougSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Greetings ..I have owned a 138 loon for about four years now ,Used in rivers ,lakes ,oceans ( try blue fishing in this ) ...I purchased this via owner reviews ....Thinking there might be an even better boat on the market I also purchased a Pungo for my wife (actually so my friends could go with me) now it's a issue on who goes ..Both these boats have it all ,take the abuse rocky rivers dish out ,load capacity,etc..although I highly reccommend skirts for both ..
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11-20-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just wrapped up a photo shoot for a kayak duck hunting story and was very impressed with my loon 138T. Both myself and the hunter agrred that it handled very well, maneuvered with little difficulty and was very stable. I had a 75 pound Chocolate Lab jumping out of the boat to retrieve ducks without even a notion of tipping the kayak. Roomy enough to accomodate, dog, flotation device, decoys, gun, hunting gear and extra clothes. Only concern was the tie handles on each end could be a little thicker. They tended to dig into your palms when it was fully loaded with gear. Great kayak overall, I'd highly recommend it to hunters and anglers.
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09-05-2001
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Old Town Loon is not an unsafe boat! The method of attaching the grab loops has been changed on all Loons that are currently being sold, the bow and stern have been pinched so the grab loops go through solid polyurethane. I have a four-year-old 138 that had he old style grab loops. After years and hundreds of times of being used for front tie down line the front holes did get loose and in heavy weather could take drips, though less than from the paddle.(e-mail me if you have an older loon, its easy fix but takes a bit of time to explain) Since the holes are only an inch below the deck the only way I could imagine the rear loop taking on large amounts of water is if the boat was so badly trimmed to the rear the stern was nearly below water. (The cockpit is more than half the length of the boat; so if paddling solo with the rear seat all the way back this is possible). As to the cockpit being too narrow and hard to get in (18" for the Loon, 19" for the Pungo) I have never found a kayak easier to get into or out of than my Loon. The Loon is indeed a foot and a half longer and 10# heavier (5# for a solo 138 to compare apples to apples) than the Pungo. I currently own four kayaks by four different manufactures; the Loon is the most versatile, most comfortable, and most stable and my favorite. I'm sure the Pungo is a great boat, but so is the Loon family of boats. Sure I'd like the Loon to be 10-15#s lighter, but that's the only complaint I truly have, but I'm sure a kevlar Loon would would be beyond my budget.
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08-27-2001
Submitted by: Karen
Rating: 1 of 10

     I bought the Old Towne 138T so I could take my dog kayaking with me. I did not like it at all and after one month traded it in for a Pungo (which I love). The 138T was too heavy and long for me to transport to the water. The cockpit is long, but very narrow and I found to be not fun to get in and out of it. Also, in the back of the kayak, there are two holes cut into it for the cord to go through for the handle. I found on windy days with large waves or even waves from large boats that the waves would come up over the two holes and water would get into my boat. Once I had it out on a windy day with decent size waves and I ended up with a large amount of water in my boat! It was very frightening. I thought I was going to sink! After that, I traded it in for a Pungo and I have not had any problems with it. The 138T is not a safe boat! The design of the boat is strange. The handle for the back of the boat should be on TOP of the boat, not below the deck so water can easily get in.
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06-27-2001
Submitted by: Joe
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought the Loon 138T after having a 138 Single for a year. The tandem version tracks better than the single and is faster! Never thought I would find anything better than the 138 single in a rec kayak, but I was wrong! Seats are not the same as the 138 single, and cockpit is a bit narrower, but the performance is great! Loads of room for swimming fishing, picnics. Let the young kids have their performance- we aging boomers have our Loons!
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05-22-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     It's the best 2 person kayak I've ever tried. It also works very well solo, better than other I think. I bought one the same day I tried it 3 years ago & have been extremely satisfied with how it handles. It's quality made & inexpensive.
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03-16-2000
Submitted by: R SchillySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Purchased my 138T because of the reviews it received on this sight. I bought it primarily as a single to hunt and fish in, but it works great as a tandem for my twelve-year-old and me. It is a great yak and it does do it all pretty well. I like it better than my friend's Pamlico Excel. I'ts a smaller boat but ride,tracking and overall performance don't suffer from it's lack of size. I find it to be a great creek boat and it handles well in small swells. I'ts a fun yak and I would highly recomend it to anyone who wants a light duty tandem kayak that doubles as a great single.
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01-28-2000
Submitted by: DanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have used this boat as a single , tandem with my 7 year old son ,taken the rear seat out and loaded it with camping gear for a weeks trip. what more could you ask for in a kayak .the north east has plenty of rocky rivers the 't' has taken it all in stride and still looks good.other boats may do other things better but the 138 t will do alot of things well. great boat for lakes,rivers ponds and just kicking back and having fun.
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01-12-2000
Submitted by: Randy J.Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Purchased the 138 for my wife to paddle with the dog. Large cockpit and adjustable sliding seat [Max rear position] provides plently of room and OK trim with the extra canine passenger. Very stable and tracks well. Seat back folds for access but its not truly adjustable in terms of back support. Extra stiff with the 3 layer makeup which gives it a more solid feel. I don't know how forgiving it when its meets some river rocks! A good boat for under $500.
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01-08-2000
Submitted by: JulieSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I too, bought a 138T so that I could take my dog along. Even when she "rocks the boat", it is easy to control. I was surprised at how well it tracks for a recreational kayak. My Loon was used more this year than my regular touring kayak, and I have had little problem keeping up with friends in their singles. If I could get the dog to paddle, we'd be flying! Excellent construction and outstanding value for the money.
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12-07-1999
Submitted by: DSUSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought the Loon 138 so I could bring my dog, Tupper, kayaking with me. I have taken the Loon on lakes, coastal kayaking in Maine (get a spray skirt) and in class II rapids on the Delaware river (with Tupper trying to eat the whitewater). The boat is a bit wide by traditional kayak standards, but it handles quite well. It tracks well, turns easily and is very stable. I am able to haul Tupper out of the water and into the boat without worrying about tipping over. This is a great family boat (my nephew loves to sit in front) and can hold lots of geat for a day trip. It is not meant to be a serious kayak (just look at the size of the cockpit!) I would recommend it for anyone who is just starting out, or anyone who wants a stable boat.
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09-09-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased a Loon 138 in August as my second kayak - my first being a 120 (see review under Loon 120). I really like the extra room of the 138. I have the single seat model which gives you lots of room for storage. I carry a dry box with my camera, binoculars, lunch, birding field guide, cell phone, etc. and there is plenty of room for it between my feet where it is easy to retreive and take things in and out. Have taken my dog and also children out with me, they can either ride in front of or behind the paddler. The boat is very stable - my Chesapeake Bay Retreiver can climb in and out and hardly rock the boat. It is a little harder to load and unload due to weight and length, but I can and have managed to do it by myself. "Ethel" has a few scratches already, but she does handle falls well.
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08-30-1999
Submitted by: WayneSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My family is pleased that we purchased a Loon 138 (not 138T, the tandem version). We have used Otters and Loon 120 but prefer the bigger, faster 138, clearly the flagship of the Old Town Loon line, for recreational lake paddling.

The 138 handles my 220 lbs. well but is also easily managed by my 10 year-old, 62 lb. daughter. New paddlers are comfortable getting in and out. I have used several other boats and find the Loon 138 the best for my calm lake. This boat is a classic-in-the-making, or so says I. Check out the construction and the design.

Advantages:
1. Tracks well, but others, like Pungo, track better
2. Very maneuverable, especially in shallows
3. Sleek, so cross-winds not a bother
4. Tough shell takes a hit--alas, I found out the hard way
5. Easy to get in and out
6. Fine recreational boat for the money

Borrow a 138, then another in its class. Let me know if you find a better recreational boat for the money. My canoe is a 85 year-old Old Town, still going strong: I have confidence in the company.

Final tip: Spring for the 138 over the 120, which has become scarce anyway. The 138 is well worth the extra money.

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08-15-1999
Submitted by: G.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great boat for a relaxing paddle. Handles well. Good value.
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07-28-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently purchased 2 Loon 138's.I've had them in both lakes,and the ocean,and found it more than capable of either.I had a friend buzz me in his Boston Whaler,to see how it handled the wake,it took it like a champ! I then took it to the ocean,and the waves didn't effect it's great handling at all.I let my 7 year old take it for a cruise in the ocean,and SHE could handle it with ease.My only complaint,once you get in,forget about readjusting the foot pegs,do it on shore,and get it right before you head out.Good luck,and happy paddling.
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06-01-1999
Submitted by: RandySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just got a Loon 138. I have had it in the water several times now and I am real pleased with how well it goes. Also it is light enought that I have no trouble loading or unloading it from my truck and getting it to the water. I mainly use it on calm rivers and lakes. I like to explore water ways and take pictures and just relax. This Kayak works well for me.
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05-16-1999
Submitted by: Kathy
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have a loon138 single and find the loading and unloading a bit awkward but once the boat is in the water. The stability is great. I use mine for large lakes and salt-water day trips ...a great day tripper.
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03-06-1999
Submitted by: Dennis
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have a 138 single seater and it's a great boat, very durable. Excellent high back seat. Needs more footroom under deck for me. I'm 6'4" 275 lbs. I use mine to fish, duck hunt and for wildlife photography. My only gripe is that they want an obscene amount of money for an optional hatch cover that should have come with the boat as standard equipment.
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02-14-1999
Submitted by: ScottSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Two seat, single cockpit polyethylene construction. Weight 59 lbs. Purchased to use mainly as a saltwater craft for bay fishing. Have had it in the water two times so far, both times with a stiff wind creating a good (12" to 16" chop) The first time out was solo, the second time out was with my wife as a passenger. Kayak handled well, tracking with just a little effort. Drifting sideways with the wind while fishing I stayed nice and dry, the waves that did break onto the hull were turned back nicely by the cockpit flare. The boat will, I believe, evolve into a very nice fishing platform as I do occasional mods to it, plus it will serve well as a nice day tripper with another passenger aboard. Solo it can carry a fair amount of gear, although it can be a bit awkward accessing it when stored aft. Hull seems to hold up pretty good, with only minor abrasions from contacting the many oyster reefs in our bays around here.
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