01-07-2013Submitted by: Logan M.
Reviews for Loon 120 Kayak by Old Town Canoe
Based On: 32 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 Coming from a Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable kayak package, I needed a kayak that was able to tow a good amount of weight and give me reliable storage for overnight and 2 night slow river excursions - this Loon 120 has definitely matched my expectations in that field!
The sealed stern supplies storage for my 10L and 20L dry bags, as well as room for my 15L compression bag (packed tightly with a couple shirts and pillow). Thus far, I haven't noticed any leaking from the sealing material but I could see that in the future I may be inclined to "re-caulk" around the edges. I have a small two person tent that I pack behind the seat and a few small ammo crates that hold some fire-starting gear and "bagged" dinners are able to sit on the floor of the kayak in front of my feet.
Ranked at 325lbs max I was worried that my weight of 240lbs and the weight added from camping gear would be too much for the kayak, but I was wrong. All of this gear, (carefully packed for proper weight distribution) as well as myself are kept afloat by the Loon 120 with ease.
As far as foot and seat comfort goes, I'm 5'11" and have men's US 13 sized feet. The foot rails slid into position perfectly and the seat adjusted to the proper back height with no problems. The kayak is comfortable and I definitely recommend it to anyone similar in size.
11-15-2012Submitted by: Donald Hazel
- Rating: 9 of 10 Purchased 2 Old Town Loon 120's last yr. in FL. We used in the canals, ocean, lakes & rivers. It is slightly heavy @52lbs, and add gear. Can't keep up with Sea Kayaks, but on our groups trips, I can lead or take the rear guard positions. We had up to 28 kayaker's on our trips.
It is actually pretty stable in sea waves, being buffeted crossing open harbors. Never capsized, no spray cover, but have blige pump and sponge for water issues. I think the Loon 120 is a very good purchased for what we use it for. Bought 2 for $750.00. I am thinking of purchasing 1/2 spray covers. The Loon 120's are made of polyurethane. We took them in water less that a foot deep to ocean deep water. Bottoms got scratched from some underwater obstacles.
Overall on a one to ten rating, they rank a nine.
08-09-2012Submitted by: vascikr
- Rating: 10 of 10 used my 120 Loon all summer; rivers, lakes and small streams. Tracking can be tricky out in the open but with a little practice I learned to counter react with my strokes. Would like to get in a 138 to see if there is a difference with the tracking, but for now I am very pleased. I'm 6'3" 225 lb and fit with room to spare...never felt cramped even after a long day on the water. Seat is very comfy.
06-30-2011Submitted by: Jeff F
- Rating: 9 of 10 I own 5 kayaks and a Loon 120 is one of them. I am not a rich man, I am a family man. My Loon is a very good kayak for the money. It is easy to paddle and very stable. Watch for the sales you can find them around $400.00.
I love it!
07-06-2009Submitted by: Mac
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased the Loon 120 mainly for casual paddles on slower rivers but also with the idea of using it on the occasional extended trip. For the most part, I was not disappointed. I found the boat stable and responsive, and tracking was about on par with the other 12 foot yaks I had tried. There is no hard keel, so it was a little more wiggly than some, but it was also more maneuverable.
My only real complaints were the somewhat heavy weight (a polyethylene material at 52 lbs) not bad, but lighter boats always made me envious. Also, the storage and carrying capacity on longer trips was a bit if an issue. While there was room for a weeks worth of food and gear--it was tight, and I had to make liberal use of the topside bungees. And, of course, gear stashed topside invariably acted like sails which is not a friendly setup in strong winds!
Overall, though, a more than capable craft and I thought it was a good value for the money.
09-07-2007Submitted by: sk
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned a 138t for 9 years, it was great for the tandem seating while my kids were under 14. Now I've removed the 2nd seat. Been a terrific boat, with the rudder I can handle strong winds. I use an umbrella as a sail on the way back with the wind (just for fun).
08-29-2007Submitted by: MJ
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love this kayak! Some reviews say it should not be used in the ocean but I think it works great in the ocean. I have taken my kayak out 7 times already and it still looks and maneuvers like the day I bought it. Great kayak for the money. Would recommend.
02-05-2007Submitted by: steve6225
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have owned a Old Town Loon 120 for two years. The Loon120 is a well made, quality kayak. The seat is comfortable, ergonomic, and adjustable, the foot pegs can be adjusted with your foot or your hands, and the deck rigging is adequate for a recreational boat. The stern hatch cover is well designed and watertight. The cockpit is very roomy and the 17.5” X 42.5” cockpit opening is very easy to get into. (I’m 6’-0” Tall Male, 195 lbs; size 12 feet) The Loon tracks well for a 12 foot boat, yet it is still quite easy to turn, and is reasonably fast considering its length and width.
The glued-in Minicell Foam Bulkhead leaked some water into the stern hatch. I repaired this by using clear silicone RTV to reseal the joint on both sides of the bulkhead. A welded in plastic bulkhead would be leak free and much more reliable. If I use a low angle stroke, even with a 230cm paddle, I sometimes hit the knuckle of my thumb on the deck. Rounding the joint between the deck and the hull somewhat would solve the “Skinned Thumb” problem.
Overall this is a great boat to putter around in, fishing, photography, exploring small rivers, lakes, and ponds. However, this boat is not suitable for open water unless you can stay in sight of the shore. The cockpit and cockpit opening is so large that when you capsize, you fall out, “Wet Exits” are very easy, but this boat is not “rollable”. For its intended use, I would buy another Old Town Loon, In fact, I did, I bought a Loon 100 for my son.
08-07-2006Submitted by: matt
- Rating: 10 of 10 This review is for the new 2006 Loon 120. This is my first kayak, "stepping up" from canoeing. I did a lot of research before I bought it and I feel I got the best boat for my needs. I needed a kayak that could carry me (200+ lbs) and 70 lbs of gear for a week long camping trip. Light enough to cartop and portage. Stable enough to take a kid for a ride or go fishing. And finally, it had to fit my meager budget.
The Loon 120 has exceeded my expectations: First off, it's made out of Polylink 3, a foam/plastic sandwich, which means it has built-in floatation, and doesn't require space-robbing foam block inserts. With its rather bulbous bow and rear space hatch, you can pack a ton of gear into this thing and still have room for your feet. The Dirigo, for instance has a flat bow and a cup holder which intrudes into the space, making it useless for cargo. The Loon 120 is rated for a 290 lbs capacity. I think that’s conservative. I’ve had it loaded pretty close to that and it handled it very well. The Pungo 120, which has similar hull dimensions, is rated for 400 lbs.
At 52 lbs, the Loon 120 is much easier to handle than my 80 lbs Guide 160, but less weight is always nice. It this point though, losing 15 lbs would cost you an additional $1,000 - $1,500, so I can live with it.
It’s very stable; I think you’d have to really try to tip it. Coming from a canoe I had visions of spending a lot of time learning wet exits, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve even taken a few jaunts in Lake Superior it’s handled just fine. It’s also fast and effortless to paddle. This is, again, coming from a canoe guy. It might be a slug compared to a 17’ ocean kayak, but there’s not a canoe that can touch me, ergo, keeping up with your canoeing buddies is no effort.
Finally, at a price of $599, it’s not cheap, but it's not expensive either. There are a lot of choices in this price range, but I feel I picked the best design for my purposes.
10-10-2005Submitted by: nickman
- Rating: 10 of 10 The 2006 Model Year Loon 120 has been redesigned, I'd like to say it’s a totally new boat, but that would be lying. The new Loon is molded from the exact same cast as the 2005 Casco 120 (which was a smaller dealer orientated boat, a Maine Series Kayak). However now that it is going to a national launch under the Loon name, I think this boat should do well. I own a 2005 Casco 120 and it is superb, you can find the review under the Casco tab. I found the 2006 Loon 120 for sale at Gander Mountain for $599.00, it should become more widely available in the coming months. It features a space hatch, deck rigging, and an adjustable foam seat.
03-14-2005Submitted by: DavidARobinson
- Rating: 7 of 10 I have owned a Loon 138 for about five years. Have used it extensively for about three years. The comfort with the tall back rest and wide seat is great.
It's fantastic for lakes, slow moving rivers and tidal streams. I paddle tidal inlets and back backs bays with no problems. I even paddled the Delaware Bay a mile off shore in three foot chop. It is NOT designed for the ocean and I personally would not take it there. It has great stability and moderate speed. My one regret is the cockpit is completely open. If you tip, pray that you are in shallow water. The kayak might submerge about a foot below the surface without flotation. Always use flotation bags in open water, which take up space. I had a dealer install a rear hatch and he could not figure out how to make front and rear bulkheads. The kayak is heavy at 56 pounds empty, and the plastic is showing gouge marks from scraping on rocks, boat ramps and gravel parking lots. This kayak will handle the weight, I am 320 and my gear another 20 pounds. Fantastic kayak for beginners, as a loaner, or your mother in law.
12-11-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 We had a Twin Otter as our first kayak, and I selected the Loon 120 for when I am out by myself. I love it. It handles well and gets me where I want to go. We bought the Loon 138 for the spouse's solo yak.
08-05-2002Submitted by: mitch
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just bought a 120. Haven't been in a kayak in 15 years, and wanted to get back into it. Have used on class 2 and open water - love the stability and speed. I am 5 ' 9" and weigh 190, and it works fine. My 2 kids have taken out on flat water, both did fine (9 and 12 years old). So far, so good.
06-12-2002Submitted by: Shawn
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought 2 loon 120s two years ago and love them. I have caught a 7+lbs. largemouth and a 27 1/2" striper in 3' foot seas can't say enough about it's stability. As for it's toughness it ended up going down the rapids without me(my screw up) and saw it fly up in the air and crash back end first filled with water onto a rock.They found it down stream the stern was cracked and the top popped open like a pop top about 10" got it patched by my local dealer(Mountain Road trading post NH.) have to throw George a plug awesome guy. and still use it almost everyday. keeping it but buying a Millenium 174 for more ocean use I'll let you know how that one hold up By the way I'm 6'-230lbs.
07-16-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 The Loon 120 was the first kayak I ever bought, now I have 3 kayaks. The loon is a receationak kayak. Which means its built for short trips and is not built for speed. These is the type of kayak you would want if you were a beginner or if u wanted to feel very stable (like say you were fishing). Its not a good kayak if you are looking for tracking, speed, and distance. It is a great kayak to learn on. I used it for 3 years in a row. But if you really enjoy kayaking and move into day long, and multiday trips your gonna need a different boat. My recommendation, if are willing to give up a little stabilty and want to add speed and dry hatches (which will allow you to carry items and keep them dry, such as a tent) for a little more money (usally about a $100.00 US difference) you can get the Loon 138 which is slightly longer and more narrow which means greater speed to. But look into and most places have a try before you buy (paddle in they call it) where you can try the boats out before you buy them and its usually Free or a very small $5.00 cost. Hope I have been of some help. If u have any questions or comments, u can e-mail me
05-01-2001Submitted by: none given
- Rating: 9 of 10 To start with, I have been bass fishing from Aquaterra Keowees since 1989. I plan on using the loon 120 as a freshwater fishing boat. (Lakes and large rivers)
First impressions: I received the boat from the shipper in good condition except for one small gouge on each side. I did not find and casting or symmetry problems. The high gloss finish looks more like fiberglass than polyethelene. (We'll see how long that lasts.) All hardware was solidly attached. Really noticed the extra 2 1/2 feet when moving in a confined area.
First paddling: I first paddled it on a small lake. It is a very stable boat. Tracking is better than the Keowees and top speed is much better. It is not as easy to spin as the shorter kayaks. Foot pegs are easy to adjust in water. Comfortable seat! It was very stable pulling in the first fish, and pulling up my anchor. I was able to scratch up the hull pretty well in a sunken brush area. Hull seems a little softer than the Keowee. I am very pleased with this kayak.
01-23-2001Submitted by: robbob
- Rating: 10 of 10 As this is my first kayak its hard to rate it. If enjoyment, easy handling and easy transport are the keys then I guess it deserves a 10.I have used it on lakes and small rivers. Tracks and turns well.As far as other reviews stating it needs extra floatation,I disagree its very stable.
01-04-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 As this is my first kayak I must admit I don't have much to compare it to but I do love my Loon 120. I can't imagine a boat more stable. And it has truly held up well to my abuse scraping it in and out of every boat ramp on the Virginia Peninsula. My only fault to find would be the trim around the "pit" coming off a little to easily. I'm very impressed after my first summer of use.
08-17-2000Submitted by: Ron D.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I call this kayak the "Volvo" ..., it doesn't do anything exceptionally well, nor does it do anything exceptionally bad. It does do everything I want in a very controlled, comfortable way. The initial stability is rock solid. Secondary stability is almost as good and very repeatable. Manouverability is more like a 10' while tracking is on a par with the 14 footers. Big cockpit allows for easy entry/exit. Bad points: the seat is mounted by for screws that are pre-destined to fail (easily fixed) and, the trim around the cockpit is shoddy, at best. All in all, a great boat for the money.
06-26-2000Submitted by: Randy
- Rating: 8 of 10 For a first kayak, my OTC 120 has been a gem. Bought it in March and have had the occassion to be out in cool (almost cold) weather and very rough open water, and stayed warm and dry when using a spray skirt. I found total stability to be acceptable, even while wind-whipped waves broadsided me or broke over my bow while paddling upwind. Even though most of my use is on local inland rivers, I've probably exposed my Loon to conditions outside of it's intended use and have had a very high level of confidence in it's seaworthiness. It tracks very well, it's manueverability is legendary, and it actually shows some decent acceleration and sustained speed capability. Although it will never be a touring kayak, the 120 has excellent multi-function capability, far beyond it's classification of "recreational". The cockpit is roomy enough for me to put my 4 year old son between my legs, and we can paddle for about an hour comfortably. At 6'0 and 210 lbs, I haven't experienced the problem a previous reviewer discussed about raising my knees. Since the temp has warmed this summer, I leave the spray skirt behind and find myself with my knees up quite often, and at times I'll even lift my legs out and rest them on the deck when I'm taking a break. I also haven't experienced any of the QA problems of other reviewers. In dealing with OTC, I have only good things to report: I ordered a cockpit cover, and when it didn't arrive in the prescribed time, I called their order department and they shipped another one, free of charge, no questions asked. I do agree that the hull is showing signs of shallow water obstacles, much more than my friends boats that are single-layer plastic. But all in all, this an extraordinary craft that has already provided me with some great experiences on many types of water (including some class II), and has been a great teacher for this wonderful sport.
06-24-2000Submitted by: Marty
- Rating: 8 of 10 For a person in the 175 lb. range the 120 is much better turning than a 138 and still is fast for a boat that is suitable for small rivers. The material handles dull impacts well but direct hits into sharp sticks and rocks show deeper cuts than a harder plastic single-layer boat would. If you are used to paddling other Loons and recreational kayaks the cockpit may seem small(the shape keeps me from lifting both knees up). If that's not an issue, you would probably enjoy the boat.
06-17-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 Great design and performance for what it is intended (fast, stable, tracks well). Quality control could be better. Also, needs a cup holder.
02-10-2000Submitted by: Jimbob
- Rating: 9 of 10 I started by renting Loon 100's. I enjoyed them and purchsed a Loon 120 and really enjoy this kayak. It is very stable and comfortable. I have had it on a larger lake, small lake and a local river and always enjoyed it. Old Town does seem to have quality problems. I can't complain about the customer service. I purchased my 2nd canoe from them and my Loon 120 and they both had minor problems. Not so bad that I wouldnt consider another kayak by Old Town. Has anyone tried the Castine yet?
01-27-2000Submitted by: Paul & Brenda
- Rating: 9 of 10 We recently purchased 3 loon 120's and 2 loon 100's for family kayaking. For first time yakkers we have found the 120 to be a great all-round kayak for lakes and rivers. We are all under 6 feet and find them to be stable for people of average size, and fairly fast on quiet waters. We like the wide cockpit for comfort as well. * Our experiance with the dealership were we bought them was great and informative. It's a great kayak for cruising along or just kicking back and catching some sun.
01-20-2000Submitted by: Niels Blaauw
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a Loon 120 two years ago to replace my double foldable Pouch. Paddled it for a year, then upgraded with two other boats: A whitewaterkayak and a seakayak. Although these other boats are more suitable for extreme conditions, the Loon still is my favourite for spending summerdays on the Dutch lakes and canals. (Holland is where I live). Other boats may be faster, more manouvrable or better looking, the Loon is the only one where you can throw out an anchor, get a softdrink from the cooler in the back and just float around for an afternoon, take a sunbath on the rear deck, take a swim and reenter by climbing on the rear deck. Great boat.
01-17-2000Submitted by: Alan and Linda
- Rating: 9 of 10 As noted in my previous review my wife and I purchaced 2 loon 120s. The one kayak always seem to turn to the left. When viewed from behind you could see that the kayak listed to one side.
We then realized that the seat was not inserted squarely. As a result, the weight was not evenly distributed. I spoke with Old Town and they have agreed that this is amanufacture defect and are in the process of re-installing a new seat. It was a pleasure to work with the Old Town customer service rep.
10-27-1999Submitted by: M.C.
- Rating: 9 of 10 Loon 120 is an ecellent yak for a beginner. Primary stability is great. It is bulletproof. Tracks very well for its length. Definitely a kayak for the smaller paddler. My husband (200 lbs.) looks like a stuffed sausage in the pit!
09-09-1999Submitted by: seark
- Rating: 9 of 10 Respectfully disagree with Linda and Allen - Extra floatation won't hurt but it isn't necessary. My Loon 120 sits right where its suppose to even with a full load. Speaking of which, I just bought a second kayak, a Loon 138, solo model. It has much more stowing capacity than the 120 - nice for fishing tackle, camera, binoculars, etc. The difference in length however does make it harder to carry and load onto a rack - especially if you are travelling solo! The 138 doesn't feel quite as easy to manuver as the 120, but it is slightly faster and tracks perhaps a little better. If you are trying to decide between the two - PADDLE THEM BOTH FIRST. The fit is different and I've found that friends have formed a quick and definite personal preference between the two. I like both, depending on where I'm going and what I'm taking with me.
08-01-1999Submitted by: Craig
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned my Loon for over a year in the Florida Keys now and have found it to be a VERY stable kayak with good tracking. The stability is all primary, due to the relatively wide (28") design. I have used this kayak in flat water as well as in 1-2 foot whitecaps. This boat is a cork when used with a sprayskirt. I agree with Linda and Alan that the cockpit edging comes loose often, but if you're going to pick a problem with a kayak, this isn't so bad. I like the Loon's agility and speed also, but have recently been hampered by the weight restrictions for longer trips (I am 6'2", and while this kayak fits me well, I weigh 200 of the 250 lbs max, making camping trips unlikely). I highly recommend this boat to anyone thinking of purchasing a day-tripping kayak for the first time.
07-26-1999Submitted by: Spauld
- Rating: 9 of 10 After trying out several different kayaks in this same class, I found the Loon 120 to be the best overall kayak for stability and quality of construction. My wife tried out this kayak and absolutely loved it. I have owned the boat now for about 6 months and am already in the market for another one so I can go boating with my wife and friends! It is more comfortable than most of the others I have tried out (better seat) and it's easy to get out of in case of a capsize. It seems to have plenty of built in floatation so no need to purchase additional floatation devices. The Loon is also MUCH stiffer than most other polyethylene kayaks, so it won't warp when you strap it to your roof rack!
07-07-1999Submitted by: seark
- Rating: 9 of 10 After trying several kayaks over the past six weeks, I decided on an Old Town Loon. I am paddling it on lakes and flat rivers. It is stable, maneuvers well and is a convenient size for cartopping or tossing in the back of the pickup. It has a little more initial stability than an Acadia and feels stiffer and a little faster than the Pungo or Manteo. The price also compares favorably.
06-29-1999Submitted by: Linda and Alan
- Rating: 8 of 10 My wife and I are first time kayakers and purchased two Loon 120s this spring. We have found them to be a safe,stable kayak that tracks pretty well. The quality control needs some improvement. The two kayaks while they are the same model do not match up, screw and washer placements, logo, and edging around the cockpit is not secure. While the kayak will float at water level you still need to purchase bow and stern floation devices.
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