11-15-2011Submitted by: Bill Hines
Reviews for Loon 111 Kayak by Old Town Canoe
Based On: 59 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Loon 111 for 8 years and still love it. As a large paddler 6'4" and 205 I like the extra large cockpit and adjustable seat. It is very stable but I can travel all day long at 3 MPH. I use my Loon weekly running some class II rapids on the Great Miami River and my skirt helps keep out the water but I normally only use the skirt in the winter months.
I have used the boat around the Outer Banks and Lake Erie Islands and it handles 4' waves well. I use it for long distances paddles since it carries gear very well. I can put a 30 liter bag with a 20 liter and my cooler behind the seat. In August we ran the top 65 miles of the Great Miami, the Bass Islands in Lake Erie and the 50 miles of the Tennessee Blueway. It has taken very ruff treatment over rock and oyster beds and the triple layer hull has held up. Great all around boat.
09-16-2011Submitted by: DY
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a great kayak for all paddlers, had mine for 6 years of river running (class 1, 2 rapids). Still holding up strong, fish out of it for large mouth bass aprox. 50+ times a year. Just a little hint if you want a new 1 look up Dimension Voyager 111, almost identical. Dimension kayaks and Old Town kayaks are both owned by Johnson Outdoors.
10-06-2010Submitted by: oregonpaddler
- Rating: 10 of 10 A follow-up on my previous Loon 111 review:
I had the Loon out a few times and it is rock solid. Initial and secondary stability is great on Class 1 and 11 waters. Is it as fast as my Cayuga 14? No, because it's a shorter boat. Does it turn easier? Yes, because it's a shorter boat. Tracking is pretty good, but again, it's short and does wander just a bit with stronger strokes, but it's not a big issue with me. The seat on my model is on a slider mechanism, but will slide back unexpectedly unless my feet are pressed against the foot braces.
I still believe this is a great value if you can find one. The only caveat is this: I bought a bungee-style Extrasport spray skirt from OT and due to the larger open cockpit,it's a bear to put on. If your seat is in the middle of the adjustment range, it's hard to put the skirt on while sitting in the kayak--you need a helper or very long arms to attach it. On solo trips, if I need the skirt, I clamp it near the front of the cockpit with two small spring clamps and then work the skirt around and to the back. I think this is a problem with many large cockpit openings, regardless of the brand. Also, due to the long stretch the skirt has to go, water will pool a bit right in front of you as the skirt sags.
Other than that, this is a very good little kayak. I believe it's a better buy used than the new single-layer plastic offerings from OT.
09-15-2010Submitted by: oregonpaddler
- Rating: 10 of 10 Old Town no longer makes the Loon kayak, at least in this configuration. Production costs, marketing, the economy or whatever have changed Old Town. If you can find a used Loon, any length, you should consider it. OT use a patented construction method called PolyLink3, which is a foam sheet sandwiched between an inner and outer layer of polyethylene. The result was a stiff kayak that resisted bending and that floated while full water, with no need for sealed hatches. Anyway, they quit doing it. So if you can find one, like I just did, and the seller is reasonable, my advice is buy it. I paid $400, which is about $100 less than the Loon sold for in 2002.
I sold, rented and paddled kayaks for over a decade at a major sports retailer in Oregon, and in my opinion, OT did it right. The Polylink3 Loon is a recreational boat, not for class III waters or above, unless you're brave, adventurous or dumb, but it is a sturdy, stable and roomy boat that will last for many years. As with any plastic boat, store it out of the sun and you'll still be enjoying it ten years from now. No, I don't work for Old Town or Johnson, their parent company. I just know about kayaks. For it's intended purpose, this is a good one.
03-17-2010Submitted by: mbowker
- Rating: 8 of 10 I am just getting into kayaking. I enjoyed using my wife's Loon 111 so much, I bought 3 more used ones so each person in my family can go.
Plus: fairly light weight, 40-45#. My wife or I can lift onto car solo, verses canoe. Keeps kids entertained as their hands on the paddles, not bothering each other. Being used, I got fair price, 3 for price of 1.25.
08-06-2008Submitted by: Curt
I've only paddled canoes and a Walden Kayak. Much more fun.
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my first Yak. I am 6 foot 5 240lbs, this is a ROOMY cockpit, just for reference, this is 11'1" and I have slid my entire body into the cockpit, my head resting on the seat, amazing.
I feel like I am laying down in this one, I can sit low on this yak, its stable, fun and strong. My friend has the Pelican Persuit 100, no comparison, he is a little faster but that's it, not as stable, he wiped out last week on a stretch I breezed through.
I sit all the way back, the rear sits low when I really crank on it, he says its almost underwater, might affect my speed but on down river I don't care.
-Roomy for tall big guys
-short for cockpit size
-stable, secure, comfortable(14 miles without getting out, no pain)
-Polylink is worth it
quality control - mine has a superficial crack inside, it seems like they repaired this, its a strong repair, but rotomolds are not going to be perfect, this should have been a factory second, I called LL Bean and complained, they offered a replacement, but seemed a nitpick to me so I passed.
-The seat can be adjusted on the track, doesn't always stay in place, one of the reasons I sit all the way back in the yak.
Those are my only complaints, its a great boat, not super fast, but way better than low end pelicans, non Polylink's, great for rivers, Yough, simple, a little heavy but not outrageous, and finally without any foam its got TONS of space.
06-19-2008Submitted by: Jersey Matt
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am 6'2" 250 lbs. I am a recent college grad with a low budget. I bought my Old Town Loon 111 Classic because
a) it's an Old Town,
b) it was in my price range and was an Old Town,
c) could hold my weight and is an Old Town, and
d) it has the Poly Link 3 material by Old Town.
It was either this 111 classic, the Loon 120, or possibly the Wilderness Systems Pungo. A friend of mine has the Pamlico and rides very low to the water (friction increased water spillage a greater possibility). So I nixed the Pungo.
I chose the Classic 111 because it was shorter and I want to be able to cruise down ANY river skinny and wide. The 120 does have a more comfortable seat though. My decision was not easy. I still wonder if I should have gone for the 120 because it may also be faster on lakes ( I live on a lake in Joisy) This is my first boat and my next one will be the Old Town Adventure Series or of the like.
All in all, I went for durability; a kayak I can hand down to my children.
I kayaked faster against the wind than a couple walking (for exercise). Took it for a test run on my lake about 10 miles with and against the wind. I was very impressed!!!! I made equal time on the back 5 miles. Going the 10 miles, took me about an hour and a half but that time also included me crossing the 1/2 mile wide lake and checking out houses.
I have read reviews that it does not track well -FALSE, tracks very well.
Thought I wanted the 120 for speed! but I believe you only get more leg room and a hatch but then you lose storage for foam blocks. You want speed? Get a touring Kayak that also stores more. If you get the Loon 111 Classic it is because you want to take long day trips and maybe over night it and you want to hit some skinny fast rivers. Also its great for a short day run for exercise or to explore.
Pros: Cuts through the water!
Stable in choppy water (psyched for bigger waves!)
Tons of leg room! (I'm 6'2")
Tons of storage! (no foam blocks polylink3)
Does not come with un-necessary storage hatch (dry bag it) and does not waste knee room for a cup holder like the Dirigo.
Cons: Does not offer the extra comfort seat option like the Dirigo and other Loons. Not that I care about a seat. No beer holder (cup holder).
08-24-2006Submitted by: shogun555
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have always been a canoeist and built my own stripper canoe, "Sidartha", back in 1989 and loved paddling "indian" style, kneeling with the canoe heeled over. Unfortunately, my knees gave out and back problems from an old injury made it difficult to paddle from a sitting position. I rigged my stripper with an adirondack-style seat amidships a few years back and paddled it kayak-style with a home-made double-paddle. Finally, I "bit the bullet" and did a lot of research on kayaks. I settled on the Old Town Loon 111 because of its large cockpit, it's fully adjustable very confortable seat, its seaworthy design, trackability and manageable weight, and its maintainance-free construction. Honestly, I would have preferred a 17' sea kayak because I paddle mostly on Lake Erie which is 60' from my front door, but my wife wanted something she could carry and handle too so after all my research, this Old Town Loon 111 offered the best compromise. Well, when all is said and done, it really is no compromise because this little kayak tracks exceedingly well, paddles like a dream, is easy to get into and out of because of its large cockpit, will allow me to fish out of it comfortably, is light enough to carry and under most conditions is a "dry boat". It is not a class IV whiteater boat or a serious long-distance sea kayak but is the perfect boat for general all-around light-cruising/fishing/playing/getting-out-on-the-water use. Very easy to move the seat forward/backward within the cockpit to keep proper trim when carrying extra load such as gear/child/pet.
For the purposes this boat was intended for, impossible to imagine a better design of boat. The only regret I have is that I waited this long to buy one. Now that I have, I fully intend to make up for lost time and use this boat at every available opportunity.
At the price these things are going for, if you're looking for a general-purpose light-touring recreational portable virtually indestructible playboat that behaves like a "real" kayak, well, what are you waiting for? Buy one!
07-07-2006Submitted by: Daniel V.
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought my Loon 111 six months ago and really love it. This is my first kayak and it seems great for begginners/ rec. paddlers. The larger cockpit is great & even fits my six year old when she is up for the outings. Like other reviewers, I do wish it had a drain plug and a dry storage compartment.
All in all a great boat!
11-04-2005Submitted by: Paul H.
- Rating: 10 of 10 As far as the Loon 111 is concerned, it can do whatever you want it too. Last summer I took it on the Centennial stretch of the Snake River. A good friend of mine is a river guide. Water levels were high and so were our egos... LOL. We ended up taking my Loon 111 and Kiwi Kayak model out on roughly 4-4.5 river sections due to the extremely high flow. I'm very impressed with how it did. This Kayak is by far not even close to designed to handle this...however, I only went swimming about 50-60% of the time. Next time I'll take the perception but I wanted to break in the new YAK. On flat water its a dream. All I'm saying is that this model is durable and can handle a lot of abuse (trust me on that one). I can't wait to go out kayaking during thanksgiving week. I'm planning a 2-3 day trip on the snake. It will be a blast. Good luck with our choice of kayaks... Iíve made mine.
09-13-2005Submitted by: Biff
- Rating: 8 of 10 Nice boat. I purchased this model used and got a great deal with the paddle included. I like the comfort and stability. I wish the beam wasn't as wide as it is. Still, not too much difficulty in paddling. Storage is ample as long as you don't mind getting your stuff wet. A skirt is a must if you use this boat in faster rivers, etc. It's not terribly fast; yet, it's a decent balance for longer trips. I hate that it doesn't have a drain plug or storage berth. Oh well, it's meant to be a summer-fall boat...don't need to pack the kitchen sink. Durability has been fair. Hull scratches easily. I would highly recommend buying used for your first kayak. Don't take the depreciation hit with a new model. Especially since resale numbers are quite poor.
09-09-2005Submitted by: jbechtold
- Rating: 9 of 10 After doing a lot of research (this site was most helpful), we bought a Loon 111 this spring and discovered that my wife and I both loved the way it handled and how easy it is to load on and off the car. After taking turns and sharing for a month, we decided we both liked it enough to get another one.....we had to shop around to find the color she wanted, but eventually found the yellow one she wanted.......oddly, the seat was of the older, non-padded variety (mine was padded and we noticed a number of other differences in seat attachment and foot peg location. All appear to be attributable to the fact hers was made in Canada and the other was Made in USA.
We have used them extensively for exploring lakes and wetland areas and our old canoe just sits in the basement. We find we can fit both of them securely on top of our standard Dodge Caravan and it just takes a few minutes to load/unload with some quick-release straps and foam padding. We found very good directional stability, especially in windy conditions, compared to a number of kayaks we had rented during our research. A little care in flipping the carrying handles up over the end of the boat avoids the annoyance of hearing the handle gurgling along in the water behind you. Ours are both the Polylink 3 material and it seems to be pretty durable with the exercise of reasonable care in launching, etc.
07-05-2005Submitted by: osias
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased two Loon 111ís this spring for funny ride and fishing kayak. Iím living in Quebec and my house is near the Rabbit River, and I play on water all the time. This yak have a very large cockpit and itís easy to entry or exit, in the big waves he work very well and heís very stable.
It is a great boat for little river and pond and if you want "rig" your yak for fishing it is very easy cause the polylink is a good material and make holes inside itís not a big job...(and you can save big money).
Iím a canoe racer to and I practice in this little yak with my single paddle, itís very fast and itís easy to turn on dime when I adjust my footbraces for that. Iím very happy and for the beginner or advance paddler itís a great boat and heís not heavy to put on your car...Oh the last thing, he have a great look like a real sea yak.
I canít give 10 because the perfection is not in this world but 9 itís very good.
02-05-2005Submitted by: Bill Hines
- Rating: 10 of 10 I got my Loon 111 3 years ago. I got it for the lakes and rivers in Ohio. I do headwaters to the mouth trips and needed a kayak that could carry my camping gear, take a beating, be maneuverable enough to get around the strainers on some of the Class II streams, and move at a good pace. Iíve found that it would ship a little water from the sides in the more challenging water but I got a skirt to fix that. Iím 6í4Ē 210 and itís a great fit. With the sliding seat I can balance my load easily. I put shock cord on the front and have a cord attached from my handles to keep them from dragging. I have the older seat without padding so I use 2 closed-cell foam stadium seat pads. These will keep me comfortable on a 12 plus hour paddle. The 111 has an added advantage in that when Iím out with my wife and sheís fishing I can push the seat back, rearrange my seat cushions and stretch out and take a nap inside. I use 2 heavy clips with a cord between and just clip to a tree limb and to the cockpit rim during naps. I have used my Loon to annoy alligators in Apalachicola and in the choppy waters of Pamlico Sound and it has performed well. With hundreds of miles on it without ever disappointing me, I would give it a 10 out of 10.
12-12-2004Submitted by: retphoto
- Rating: 8 of 10 Great beginner yak. For some they won't need any other yak... for others this is the first of several, tracks like a touring, and yet is short enough to give you a sample of the WW play boats. Its large cockpit, is a plus and minus. It makes getting in and out easy, and will hold lots of gear (but don't plan on learning to roll). If you're NOT sure what type of kayak to get....this is the one. This is definitely a teaching yak, you'll learn real quick.
09-08-2004Submitted by: flashart
- Rating: 8 of 10 I purchased this boat a few weeks ago (along with its OT Sport twin the Kruzer) and have taken it out 4 or 5 times, under windy conditions as well as calm, on small ponds, medium sized lakes, and mild rivers, and have not found much to complain about. The seat is very comfortable. The length of the 111 allows for easy steering, while the V hull keeps it always pointing in the direction I wanted.
I am 6' and 225 and am very comfortable in this boat. I have carried kids (6 to 8 year olds) with me and the boat maintains its stability very well with the additional weight.
The issues I found are minor annoyances. There is a black ring of plastic on the inside rim of the cockpit which comes loose very easily. It can be reseated just as easily, but I do not think it should have to be done regularly.
Another annoyance that I found across the board on the OT models that I looked at was that they have no drain plug. I found the part for a few dollars on the internet and will be putting it in over the next few weeks, another thing that the manufacturer could and should offer as a standard option.
The last item is that the rear T handle drags in the water which creates some extra noise when paddling. All are minor issues that are easily lived with, for the versatility and stability that we have found with these boats.
07-30-2004Submitted by: boater1953
- Rating: 8 of 10 We've had our loon 111 for several years (our second kayak & umpteenth boat) -- 3 of our 4 family members prefer it to our Sandpiper (also O Town -- a sitontop version of the Otter). On teenager much prefers a sitontop. A very good all around kayak. Not particularly fast but comfortable and good for knocking about in. I got is over the 12' as the cockpit is larger in the 111 -- I thought that the 138 was okay but it felt too much like our 17' canoe (which never gets used now that we have kayaks).
07-28-2004Submitted by: ginkirk
- Rating: 10 of 10 Love this Loon. It's our first, & we'll probably get more loons down the road. We got the removable kid seat, which has been so. much. fun. with our 3 or 9 year old daughters. If you have little kids, I'd recommend it. The opening is large enough to comfortably accomodate a kid and an afternoon's gear. The regular seat has a nice high back & is well padded. I am 5"3' with a bad back, & can manage the kayak on land easily. On vacation we mostly stuck to the flat water of Maine ponds, but we LIVE in Maryland so we have plenty of opportunity to get it on the river some time soon too.
06-04-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love my Loon 111. My best friend got one too and she and I have had so much fun on the Columbia River. So then our husbands each got Loon 138s, but I think that we have more fun with our 111's (of course it might be because we aren't as worked up about politics and the price of the yen as they are, also we are much more hilarious than those two.) Anyway, now Mom is going to get one and we may all change our names to Loon.
05-20-2004Submitted by: rjd
- Rating: 10 of 10 I LOVE MY LOON 111, just ran a class III creek in it and had no problems until i tried to surf (its too long for that)great boat very stable.mostly fish and camp out of it. i can hual everything for my campsite plus some of the other guys stuff aswell in it. Editor's Note: The Loon 111 in not intended for class III whitewater.
04-19-2004Submitted by: charlie
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great boat I used it on the st croix river all the time it worked great mostly class 2 rapids with 1 small class 3. The mattawamkeag river got the best of the kayak.i sheered the nose off in a class 3 rapid. repaired it & bought a perception mirage & the 111 became my wifes boat witch she enjoyed for 3 more years. this year i bought her a new adventure xl 160.
08-04-2003Submitted by: AlanBrileyRN
- Rating: 8 of 10 I obtained my Loon 111 from my sister when she moved away this year. I had only kayaked on the Intracoastal Waterway in the past, and I found that using the Old Town Loon 111 on the Bannister River was much easier. (Less current!) My grandsons, (ages 9, 9, 10, and 12,) have no problem with this kayak on slow moving water. They even fish from it without stability problems. While very stable, it does tend to track to the right, and it turns like a barge. I work as an Emergency Department RN, so I don't get a lot of physical exercise at work. This kayak allows my to work off stress, while at the same time enjoy viewing the kingfishers, mallards, canadian geese, pintails, egrets, whitetail deer and other wildlife. I am looking to pad the seat, and I obtained a sprayskirt so I can paddle year-round. The polylink-3 construction insulates from both hot and cold, so it should be comfortable year round. I plan on obtaining a touring kayak for longer trips, but I will keep this kayak for family fun. I carry it and load it in my Ford Ranger 4x4 truck without difficulty. If it tracked straight and turned easier, I would rate it higher, but 8 out of 10 isn't bad!
07-03-2003Submitted by: JBJ
- Rating: 8 of 10 Bought the loon to do fishing on small lakes and ponds. Something I can toss on top of the car and head out for an hour or so. Price and ease to load and unload were two of my main criteria. Price was right. The 111 cartops well on my VW and is easy for me to load and unload. The Loon is stable and handles well on windy days. It doesn't paddle or glide like my 17 ft. sea kayak, but I didn't expect it to. The seating I have had to work on. It is ncomfortable for me to sit in for more that an hour with the seat it comes with. I have adusted the seat and may replace that seat later on with some other type. I wanted the larger cockpit of the 111 cause I wanted easier access for my tackle box and fishing rods. The loon 138 might be a slightly better choice but the extra weight is more than I wanted to handle. If one wanted a boat for touring I would probably consider a larger boat. The loon 111 is a nice starter boat and good for just knocking around. Not for serious kayaking; for that you would need a larger boat and budget. Overall I have been satisfied with the loon in the application I bought it for.
06-21-2003Submitted by: raddog1
- Rating: 8 of 10 This boat was my reintroduction to kayaking. I had been a class 3 river runner in the 80's, but reluctantly left the sport. I bought the loon 111 after trying a couple other similar sized rec boats. For it's price point it met my needs. I have run the Loon 111 in class 2 white water but it's mostly my flat water hunting (duck) and fishing craft. It is very stable for shooting out of, the poly-link material is very quiet, and the size is easy to man-handle. I can drag it easily into beaver ponds where other boaters might not travel. I made a camo cover for the boat, and the deek bag sits on the back behind my seat. The below deck storage is roomy but I can't fit more than a 3 or 4 decoys behind my seat, so I put dry cloths etc in a dry bag back there.
I now own a w/w boat, and am looking for another, a 17 foot long sea kayak which I'm thinking I might sell ( the loon is fine for most of my touring/exploring needs). For an all around little boat it's been a great craft. I use a bent shaft canoe paddle as my "spare"/ sneak paddle, and the typical kayak touring paddle for getting from point A to point B and beyond.
06-06-2003Submitted by: Max Loudenback
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned several canoes over the years, including an Old Town Discovery. The 15'7" Discovery Sport didn't get used much because it was just too heavy for me to load and unload by myself anymore, so I bought the Loon 111 to paddle some local ponds and slow moving creeks and rivers and do some fishing. The boat is fantastic. I can easily load it on my little Ford Ranger pickup by myself. It tracks straight and paddles easily, and is so comfortable that you feel like you are paddling a recliner. The open cockpit is great for fishing and you don't have to drop flopping catfish into your crotch. I wish I'd bought this boat ten years ago.
05-06-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a Loon 111 last year. My first recreational kayak. It fits my needs perfect. I shopped around for a large opening. This kayak was great. I'm actually looking to buy a second.
03-31-2003Submitted by: Scarpmorgan
- Rating: 10 of 10 Woweee, this kayak rocks! Can you say "Loonalishish" Forget about turning on a dime, this sexy kayak turns on rails. Great for fishing for bass and trout. With only one drawback, i caught a 4lb largemouth and was pulled for miles. Pffsstt, heck with a opening this big, you can carry a 30 pack of PBR'S, or small pony keg. Thanks old town, you've made my summers complete. "YEESSHAAA"
01-06-2003Submitted by: somalley
- Rating: 7 of 10 The Loon 111ís width and huge cockpit make it great for beginners or for taking a small child out for a leisurely flatwater paddle. At around 45 lbs, itís also easily carried and loaded on and off a car. Just don't expect the Loon 111 to go fast or turn very well. In fact, I'm continually amazed at how much this boat actually resists turning--a full sweep stroke will only turn it maybe 15 or 20 degrees, and the second you stop paddling, the boat stops turning. The phrase ďhandles like a pigĒ goes through my mind every time I step into this boat.
Still, Iíll probably never sell this boat. It requires next to no skill to propel in quiet water, holds one adult and one child, and is nearly indestructible. I suppose a solo canoe would be more versatile, but Iíd hate to put an unskilled guest or a rambunctious child in a solo canoe. Plus, a good solo canoe costs at least twice what our used Loon cost us. Thus, itíll always have a place in our garage as a family cruiser and/or guest boat.
10-14-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned my Loon 111 for a year now. During that time I have paddled over 400 miles in it. I paddled rivers ,lakes ,creeks and swamps. It handles them all. I had a rudder kit for a Loon 138 added to it. It now turns on a dime and makes fishing a dream. The Loon PFD works great. We have a Loon 120 for my wife and I have just bought the Old Town Castine. I live 30 miles from Canada. We have some cold winters here but I paddled up to Dec.19th last year and back on the water March 3rd. of 2002. These boats are great.
10-10-2002Submitted by: max72118
- Rating: 9 of 10 It's easy to get your money's worth out of this boat - a great boat for general recreation.
My purchase was based on four factors: quality of materials, back support, large cockpit at a good price and the Loon 111 scores on all counts. The quality of the hull seems far superior to anything else in this price range - sturdy, insulated and should survive more wear than most others. The high back seat can be adjusted fore and aft within the large cockpit - accomodating paddlers of various sizes - and well suited to life-long back problems - only the Phase 3 seating of Wilderness Systems exceeds this seat. The large cockpit allows plenty of room for my 7 year old daughter to ride with me. The salesman thought that she was near the top end of being able to ride there, but I think we will get 2-3 years of being able to ride together. The list price of this boat is currently $499, but is available through some sources at a 10% discount.
Finally, it has been mentioned that some 111s have manufacturing flaws. My model (2001) has no such flaws and tracks reasonably well. I rate the boat a 9 only because the highly stable design limits speed somewhat.
08-21-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently purchased this kayak and have had it out about 4 times so far. So far, so great! This is a super starter boat and I found that is offers a nice size, decent speed, great tracking ability, nice size cockpit (no worries about getting out if necessary), very comfortable seat, and reasonable price point. Workmanship on mine was excellent with no problems. Came with a paddle holder installed which was a nice touch. If you're looking for a great starter boat to spend some quality time in, take a hard look at this one. At 40 some pounds, it's easy to pick up and load as well. I would suggest getting the Loon PFD if your dealer carries them as well as they have a thin back which fits the seat on the Loon 111 perfectly. Pick up a sponge for sopping up a bit of water that tends to get into the large cockpit while paddling when the sprayskirt is not attached. You will enjoy this boat!!
07-18-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is the perfect boat for the use I had in mind - which is just getting out and enjoying the water with my kids. The large cockpit is plenty roomy for myself and one of my kids. In fact, if I'm willing to hold the paddle above a toddler's head, which I am, it's plenty roomy for me to take TWO along for the ride, which I frequently do. If you're not looking to take a child or pet along, I don't know what need you'd ever have for such a huge cockpit - and you may, in that case, favor something with a smaller cockpit, which would be easier to seal well with a spray skirt, should you ever want to get into surf or whitewater.
This boat has all kinds of primary stability. My kids will both suddenly lean way over, and the boat leans that direction, of course, but there's nothing those kids can do to tip that boat if I don't want to. It feels very stable, and is reasonably fast. In waves, I find that the high-volume bow hardly ever lets any water onto the deck. You'll slow down - the boat does sorta pound into those oncoming waves, as opposed to slicing right through - but you'll stay dry. That's just what I want; I usually have my camera along, and the kids probably wouldn't like it nearly so much if they didn't feel secure.
The bungees on the rear deck are perfect for shoes in case you walk through mud or sand on the way to the put-in, and don't want to get the seat and inside of the boat too dirty.
I'd originally set out to get the 138. For cartopping on my small car, I am glad not to have the additional weight and length, and I don't think I'll ever miss the length (which would offer improved speed and tracking) on the water either - I didn't buy this boat to tour.
I think I would have been equally happy with a Pungo (or better yet, the Pungo superlight/ultralight/whatever they call it) but that boat was 100 - 200 bucks more, and was not available locally on the day I was ready to buy!
Bottom line, this has proven to be the ideal first boat for me. Now I'm hooked on the sport, and am looking to get a sea kayak in the Spring, but that's a different story...
06-24-2002Submitted by: Mark
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm just getting into paddling; I don't even have my own boat-yet! I've rented the Loon 111 from Griggstown Canoe Rental and Princeton Canoe Rental, and that's how I know this boat. I figure that it'll be cheaper to own my own boat in the long run... :)
The boat tracks well. It is stable, even for a big guy like me; I'm 6'2" @ 245 or so. The high backed, movable bucket seat is great! You can adjust the trim of the boat, even underway. Properly trimmed and proplelled with decent paddling technique, this boat will haul the mail!
Due to space considerations, I shall probably go with a folding kayak. However, if I were to buy a hard shell boat, I would HEARTILY recommend the Loon 111. Due to my size, I would probably opt for the Loon 120. The Loon 111 is a great, all-round boat that'll do many things well. You can't go wrong by buying one.
06-24-2002Submitted by: Bernie/CNY
- Rating: 8 of 10 I didn't buy this boat but liked it a lot. It handles much better than its big bro the 138.Overall it doesn't track quite as well but very good nonetheless. It's narrower width allows it travel along about as fast as the 138 and turns much better. Of course you give up some storage space but its just much more fun to paddle around. The seat is great and slides on rails allowing you to adjust the trim a bit. Overall a very nice boat and a great value.
05-20-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 My father has been an Old Town fan since before his on-site factory purchase of a hand made "Trapper" canoe in 1967. During the factory tour, I watched a seventy-plus year old man hammer more than 100 nails per minute into the canoe ribs. Although I was only 8 years old at the time, remembering the tour and riding for 34 years in that canoe has left me with an appreciation for Old Town's pride in their quality and craftmanship.
Our kayak interest started a few years ago from watching the many groups of kayaks heading past our cottage on the weekends. There are so many Loons going by that I think I'm at an Old Town convention. I'd be willing to bet that 80% of them are Old Towns and most of them are Loon 111's. That should tell you something. We do have other brand dealers avilable in our area, but with all the Loons floating around, I wonder how they stay in business.
Watching this parade every week got my wife interested in trying out a kayak. My uncle had always been the kayaker in the family, so I never knew much about them. After we traveled all over the countryside looking at different makes and models, we made a trip to the Old Town dealer. As soon as she sat in the first seat, she looked up at me with a big smile and told me to bring the truck around so I could load up her new Loon 111. She loves it so much that I've lost my riding partner in the canoe. She was never much of a "river- rat" until she got her Loon. Now, she's always out there riding around.
Last weekend, my friends brought their kayaks (both Old Towns) down for a float trip. Since my wife was working, I gladly went along with hers. This was the first time I was in the thing longer than 20 minutes and on this trip we were on the water more than 5 hours before getting out of the seats. I couldn't believe how comfortable they were. Neither my back or my butt gave me any problems. So.... now that I feel so out of place in our canoe, I'm currently looking for another boat. Yea, you guessed it - it will either be a Loon 111 or the 138.
05-03-2002Submitted by: captainseaweed
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Loon 111-after canoeing for 30 or more years, both of us going the same place (usually the place chosen by the person in the rear) and both of us getting older (67 and 71) and tired of carrying our heavy OTCA wood/fiberglass 17 footer, we decided to go with individual craft and selected this one. Why you ask? The high back adjustable seat. The longer than usual cockpit and a size and weight that each of us is able to handle on the portages that used to take both of us to carry and, later on, to trail on our cart. It tracks well enough to use it on the "little rivers" of the Pine Barrens National Reserve in NJ and to take on Barnegat Bay heading for the small islands scattered here and there. Not to mention our favorite NYS canoeing place, the St. Regis area. It's fun and agile and our latest "play toy". The Loon 111 is a great boat and we're delighted that Old Town offers it!!
04-18-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the Loon 111 last year after getting a little experience with a borrowed 138. The 111 is smaller and easier to deal with by myself. It's very stable and roomy for doing camping trips and fishing trips. After 3 practice runs down the mild Boise River my father and I took them down 11 miles of pure white water fun on the Salmon River which had two class 3 rapids one of them with sideways rolling waves. I've never been so scared in my life, but I only sunk it 3 times, two of which could have been avoided if the skirt could had held out a full force water dump in one of the class 3 and a class 2. A removable hard top type skirt would have probably got me through it. Since then Iíve taken it down the Snake River avoiding anything class 3 or above. Love the boat and I'm getting my money's worth out of it. The class 3 I lost the boat on is documented on my homepage, play the slide show in reverse www.angelfire.com/id2/bmc
01-07-2002Submitted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is the 2nd year that I have had my Loon 111. I really like the seat that moves so the boat can be trimmed properly ( even underway ) I also like how everything is within easy reach , even when out on the water, no need to pull to shore to get something out fron the front of the boat. Ultimate stability!!! Very easy to car top! Very light and easy to carry. I had it out last week ( I live in CT, so there was ice on the river , and with the 3 layer poly I never felt the cold water thru the hule, GREAT!!!. I can't say enough about this Kayak for someone who wants to just have fun , fish , be safe on the water. Everyone that owns an Oldtown product that I talk to really love their boats.I am 5'6" tall,185 lbs and am 55 yrs old and with this boat I am looking for at least 10 more years of good times.
01-04-2002Submitted by: kayakersue
- Rating: 10 of 10 Am new to the sport of kayaking so I wanted a very stable boat. The Loon 111 fits the bill. Easy to transport on the top of my truck. The 3-layer construction makes the kayak feel well made. The seat with high back is very comfortable. I like that you can move the seat forward or backward. Have paddled the lakes in the Adirondacks with no problems. The more I go out in the Loon, the more confident it feels. Tracks well. Easy to paddle. Would recommend the Loon 111 to anyone that is just starting out. I rate it a l0. No complaints so far.
12-03-2001Submitted by: duggae
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased a Loon 111 early in September. It's been on a bunch of mountain lakes and ponds in Colorado, local ponds, creeks and lakes here in mid Missouri and down the Current river in southern Missouri since then. I got it for fishing and because it fits nicely on the roof of my Jeep Wrangler. It tracks well, is stable and is fast enough to get me to the next fishing hole! My tackle box, a soft tool bag, fits in the cockpit and is easy to access. In short, I just love this boat!
11-13-2001Submitted by: Mer
- Rating: 10 of 10 After a month of research and shopping, I bought a 111 last Sunday for my roomate as a first Kayak. We had a blast on the lake and are fast becoming addicts. We have two dogs, and each of them got to take a ride in the new boat. It was stable even with a weiner dog wagging his tail full speed. I was so impressed with the whole experience, that I am going to the shop tomorrow to pick one up for me!
09-17-2001Submitted by: janetmae
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just wanted to say that as a new paddler I am very excited to have received this as a gift from my grown daughters for my 50th birthday! They were so excited that I enjoyed Kayaking with my oldest daughter in her Perception, that I tried out a couple of other kayaks on rental, and loved the Loon! Good tracking on lakes, nice large cockpit and comfortable high backed seat made this perfect for me! Any one interested in meeting me at Mansfield Hollow, CT for some kayaking???
09-14-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my second season with the Loon 111 and it was my 1st kayak. (I purchased a Perception Carolina Expedition this spring as my 2nd kayak). The Loon is a great recreation kayak that tracks exceptionally well for it's short length except in strong winds when it tends to head upwind. It's very stable and I have set mine up with rod holders for fishing and even video taped a few of my paddles with a tripod mounted camcorder lashed down in the cockpit. The Polylink3 construction /finish and stiffness is better than my Carolina. It's easy to car top and I switch back & forth between it and my other kayak depending on conditions and type of paddling I'm in the mood for. I am very happy with the Loon and would recommend it for anyone looking for an easy to paddle, car topping recreational kayak with extra room for for a small child or dog to keep you company.
08-28-2001Submitted by: CK
- Rating: 9 of 10 After owning canoes for a number of years I decided to try a kayak and purchased a Loon 111 , I could not be happier, It's roomy with the large cockpit, paddles well is very stable and also is easy to carry and place on top of a car.
07-03-2001Submitted by: m j leaf
- Rating: 9 of 10 This my second summer with it. I bought the Loon for solo fishing after I found I could not get my OT Discovery 133 canoe (with oarlocks) on and off my van without wrenching my back or dropping it more often than not. I can easily lift and slide the loon into the van, so do not need to take the time with roof racks and the like. It may not be quite as fast as the canoe with oars and it has less room, but I can see where I go, it is extremely stable, much less wind sensitive (hence better in more kinds of weather), and with a little adjustment of my kit I find I can fish with it very effectively. Only steering problem is that if I am quartering wind-driven waves of maybe 15-20 knots it seems to want to turn into the wind. Haven't used the skirt, but find that a towel is all I need to keep the bottom dry from water that drips or splashes in (mostly drips).
07-02-2001Submitted by: Neil
- Rating: 9 of 10 Addition to previous comments. The Loon PFD makes a huge comfort difference. Most Life Preservers are too thick in the back and tilt you forward with the loons high back seats. The Loon PFD is thin in back. Highly recommended purchase.
06-21-2001Submitted by: Bob Bennett
- Rating: 10 of 10 We purchased two Loon 111 in Austin and tried them out on Lake Travis. Three days later we put them on top of the Xterra and drove to Lake Dillon, Colorado. We have used the boats everyday for almost two weeks now and love them. They are stable, sea worthy, fast, light, large cockpit, and very tough. The sliding seat is a giant plus. The boat is stable enough we fish from it with our legs on the outside. There is plenty of room. I am 6'2"and weigh 245 pounds and have ample room to do what I need to be doing. I usually take a hospital pee bottle with me so I can pee while far from land. I will usually have a thermos of coffee and stay out greater than 4 hours. No problems. I am very, very happy with this wonderful little boat. By the way, the fishing has been great. We took 5 trout really fast yesterday. All from the boats. Fun, fun, fun.
05-31-2001Submitted by: Neil
- Rating: 9 of 10 Very stable, excellent tracking kayak. Terrific for going out with a child for a paddle down lake or river. Somewhat difficult to turn on a dime, this property comes in handy to track across a lake. Wind doesn't bother at all, and its nice not to be jammed into a tight cockpit.
05-22-2001Submitted by: craig
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought this kayak sight unseen from an ad in a small paper. We live and boat in Central Washington State and wanted something to play around in. The Loon 111 is used by my wife, my daughter (who paddles her Alaskan Husky in it), my son and his pals, and anyone who wants to go paddling from the lake house where we keep it. As a first boat for recreational use I highly recommend it. It is comfortable for almost any size adult, you can seat a toddler in front of you (or dog), you can pack camping gear for an overnight. We have tried other rec. kayaks and have never paddled anything in this size range that glides or moves as easily as this one does. It turns well (especially if put on an edge) and it is VERY comfortable with a high seat back. We use this kayak for first-timers all the time and they take right to it. For my son's (18) first kayak ride, I put him into the boat while it was on the dock, and then pushed him off the end and into the water. He wobbled for a second, and then paddled away... yelling "COOOOOOOOL".
04-17-2001Submitted by: Charlie
- Rating: 8 of 10 Great 1st boat i tried out a lot of the old town kayaks before buying the 111, the spray skirts are not the best they only keep out about 60% of the water, track very good handle great in lakes & rivers just stay below class 3 i was in a class 4 & ended up breaking the nose off win some lose some!! its fixed now still a great boat well worth more then i paid got a great deal in Lincoln,ME wish i knew the phone no. to give saved me $ over buying it from old town canoe the place is called rivers edge.
02-23-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Bought a Loon 160T last year. Loved this kayak. For fishing, cruising around in the bay with the kids, it's fantastic. However a bit too heavy to lug on and off my PU's ladder rack. So I got a Loon 111. Outstanding kayak to cart around, stopping off at any out of the way lake or inticing pond on the way home. Large cockpit is great, kayak handles like a dream. I'm 6.1" at 265lbs and I have no problem with this vessel. Even at this weight, the kayak handles great. I would highly recommend this kayak to anyone. The best $425 I have ever spent!
02-15-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I love the large cockpit of the 111 Loon. One of my criteria was that I be able to paddle with my feet dangling in the water ( trolling for gators, my friends say) Here in Florida the weather is usually plenty warm for this type of paddling. Not very efficient but very comfortable. I found that, for the price, the 111 suited my needs very well. I have not tried a ton of boats but I do like the seat construction of this boat as well. It is comfortable and folds forward allowing easier access to the rear storage area.
07-30-2000Submitted by: Shane
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am very pleased with my 111! The boat tracks well, even though I use it in tidal waters (Puget Sound). Its stable and easy to control. Its easy to cartop, takes lots of abuse, and is a great first boat. My only complaints are that the combing around the cockpit could be better (I cant get the spray skirt to stay on), and I wish I could find a better quality skirt to fit the odd cockpit (I take in lots of water through the skirt when its rough). Best $450 I ever spent!
07-27-2000Submitted by: Liz
- Rating: 10 of 10 I want to thank the Staff of the Old Town, ME Outlet Store for steering me into the right direction. At the age of 48 I really wanted to explore water ways that I grew up near. Thinking that the Otter would be prefect for this, I was wrong. After talking to someone who had knowledge behind the product, the Loon 111 was the one that would suit my needs. He was right! The first time I tried the Loon 111, it was like a loon taking to water. I never had a lesson or been in a kayak before. In two days I could fish and paddle without any problems. It's reassuring to know that Old Town's Staff is as good as it's product!
07-12-2000Submitted by: Dan
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Old Town Loon 111....I sort of bought this boat on a whim....upon paddling a rental 100, and I'm glad that I spent the money on this boat. It's a great first kayak for a medium sized paddler...if that's what I am. I live in the Sarasota, FL area where there is an immense amount of paddling possibilities, most of which this boat will handle and make the paddler not regret the choice of boats. I have to this point only paddle canoes, so imagine the change for me. The boat is not a light-weight for an eleven foot boat, but it's not heavy compared to a canoe, either. With it's adjustable seat and foot pegs, you can easily trim the boat for better tracking or for easier turns. But, it turns very well when put on edge. I read a review by someone who has tipped a couple of Loons and is looking for something more stable....whoever you are, I have news for you. Ain't gonna happen, my friend. This kayak is stable as they come. It's not the fastest boat out there, but it's certainly not the slowest kayak, either. A lot of boat for the money, that's for sure. I've handled 2' seas easily with this kayak, although be sure that you're willing to do some work when you're in rough conditions....but that should apply to any sea kayaking, for sure. This is a good, all around kayak that will handle most moderate sea conditions with a competent paddler.
07-06-2000Submitted by: MPP
- Rating: 8 of 10 I recently bought this kayak, my first, and can only add to what the other reviewers have said, stable, strong, comfortable. I took it out on the ocean, had no problems going out, rolled over coming in and realized that the white opening has its disadvantages in certain situations, will need to keep a pump close by.
05-07-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I enjoy the loon 111 immensly. The boat is great for both lakes and mild rivers. It is the most comfortable kayak I have been in due to it's seat (with back support) and large cockpit. Not recomended for whitewater class 3 or above but great for virtually everything else.
04-26-2000Submitted by: MJL
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just got it, and have had it out twice on a 21k acre local lake (Lavon, in North Texas). Got it for two main reasons, after considering and sitting in but not paddling the Loon 100, 120, Dagger Bayou and Delta: it is short enough to fit in my van and the cockpit is the largest available on a kayak that can do so. Have been using an Old Town discovery133, rigged with oars, mainly to fish, but at 75 pounds it is just a bit too heavy to get on and off my van by myself comfortably. The 111 is about as fast as the canoe, but I get to see where I am going (but cannot turn around to see where I have been), stable, no problem at all to load and unload through the back door, and once I get adjusted will almost certainly hold everything I need. Seems to track well in a mild wind (maybe 15knots), and is fine in light wind.
04-06-2000Submitted by: spirit_dancing
- Rating: 10 of 10 I loved this kayak.. I am only 5' tall and can easily carry this myself.. I found it very steady..and easy to handle..the design is great and comfortable.
Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
90,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!