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Reviews for Adventure XL 139 Kayak by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 9.05/10 Based On: 37 Reviews

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03-20-2014
Submitted by: M. A. WarnerSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have only kayaked 2 1/2 seasons. The second season I sold my 10 footers and bought 5 Old Towns. One 10 footer and four 13' 9". The reasons: Was told Old Town were good quality.

This was a good mid-range length and a bit wide but good for beginners. I do like the rudder option but a lot of the time I do not use them through very handy coming in to a wharf or busy beach. The turn and lock hatches I do like alot. We have done 5 and 6 hour trips so far and never got tired. We are planning a 2 day trip this year.

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08-02-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Love this Yak. Big good stability it can carry a ton. I have even taken this creeking - not designed for that of course, but I am telling you it is a good versatile boat.
I would highly recommended & would purchase again.

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07-31-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Adventure XL 13.9 with its poly link samwiched hull has been a great step up since the Loon 12 which my wife is using today, with plenty of room for a few crabs behind the seat until they start crawling up my back then I bank the boat and move them to one of the 2 hatch areas.

Didn't think I would use the rudder but with the winds and tides on the Oregon coast it has been very nice to use. Only thing wearing out has been the plastic trim around the cockpit has become loose and wish the foot pegs were a bit larger. Well off to fish sea run cuts.

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07-29-2011
Submitted by: SBRSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been a avid canoeist for years, making numerous week-long, 100-mile trips on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway with my OT Tripper. I bought myself a OT Adventure XL and my wife a Loon 138 a number of years ago. BTW, my wife never cared for canoeing, but loves kayaking, to the point of actually complaining when I suggest we call it a day after being out on the water most of the day!

We have kayaked tidal estuaries along the NE coast, and spent a week paddling both Prince Edward Island,and Campabello. Needless to say we loves these boats! I've used the Loon a few times, but for me there is a noticeable difference in the two. The Adventure XL is a more responsive boat, at least for me.

After 30+ years in canoes, to experience the advantages kayaks offer is amazing. I've been on the water in conditions I wouldn't even consider attempting with my Tripper, and felt completely at ease while using my spray skirt. I'm contemplating a ultra light solo trip to the Allagash with the Adventure XL, this summer doing the flatwater portion.

Both my wife and I love our respective boats. But my vote definitely goes for the Adventure XL.

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06-11-2010
Submitted by: Nick O.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had this boat for 5 years and have never had an issue, it tracks nicely and is very stable. I mainly got it because I'm a big guy, 6'0" 250 lbs. it holds up great. I paddle in almost any bit of water I can fit it in, but I mainly stay to slow rivers and open lakes. It is a little heavy to get back on top of my jeep, but I wouldn't trade it for any other model.
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03-24-2010
Submitted by: Rob ArtinianSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have traveled for 3 years in my 13.9 and everywhere I go people ask how I like my kayak? I respond with a simple "Love It" This boat performs well in many moderate condition and is great for a beginner to an experienced boatman. It may be heavy but it's solid!
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06-30-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Very happy with this kayak. Pluses - very stable and comfortable, easy to paddle get in and out of, adjustable foot pedals make it easy to change knee position, rear hatch large enough to fit fold-up cart.
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11-04-2008
Submitted by: cbinflSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned this kayak since 2003.
I use it 4-5 times a month on average in fairly open water (St Joseph's Sound, west coast of Florida) and it is an Excellent boat. Good speed for a plastic 55+ lb. boat and fairly dry and buoyant in boat wakes etc. It tracks well. Only negative is it gets a little heavy putting it back on the truck at the end of the day, but I'm almost 70 so ??

I like the slightly larger cockpit for wiggle room. Years back I had a Perception kayak and a buddy had a OT Loon. Used his a few times and when it got time to change boats I went with OT and have never been sorry.

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06-28-2007
Submitted by: TonySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've paddled my Adventure XL 139 for three summers now and I'm still very happy with the purchase. My wife paddles the same boat in the 125 size. It is a great all around boat for doing lots of different things. It does fine in rivers with mild whitewater and is equally at home on lakes. We have rudders and have found that they are certainly not essential and they were pretty expensive. The polylink material is tough as nails. We have bounced off off rocks and scraped bottom plenty of times with no harm done. The only slight drawbacks are weight and leakage in the supposedly water tight compartments. I wish Old Town would sell me the new foam seat but they won't. It's a big improvement.
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09-21-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We purchased an XL 139 and a Nantucket in May 2005 after demoing them for a couple of hours. Both tracked extremely well, but based on previous reviews I would not buy an Old Town plastic kayak without first testing it in the water under somewhat adverse conditions (wind, chop, etc.) if possible.

Both kayaks have performed admirably for us in conditions for which they were clearly not intended. These are wide, heavy yaks meant for river and protected coastline, but they have proven to have much better secondary stability than we had expected. In the first summer of use, when we were complete novice paddlers, we put on 500 miles, mostly in Long Island Sound and its CT rivers. We surfed 5-6' waves and were caught in 25 knot winds in heavy chop and the kayaks always pulled us through. They have taken considerable abuse from rocks and oyster shells, a staple of L.I. Sound, and after almost 1000 miles now are still in good condition. The best feature are the twist-knob hatches, but they may not make them anymore.

Now the negatives - they're heavy, our XL 139 is about 56 lb.; it's wide, about 28" and therefore edges like a tank. Fortunately, it turned pretty well with minimal lean. The hatches have stayed quite dry, but the bulkheads are situated too far astern and aft, so there is way too much volume in the cockpit and too little in the bulkheads. If you take on water, which I did once when I missed my roll, there are about 50 gallons of water to pump or dump out. Finally, with all that weight and width, the XL has a cruising speed of about 4 knots over the long haul (4-8 hours). Anything more than that requires a considerable increase in effort.

Having said that, for a recreational/touring kayak it is a good choice with reasonable storage, good tracking, great initial stability, and a great kayak for calm cold water paddling with the PolyLink3 fitup. It really does keep you warm.

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07-31-2006
Submitted by: K LSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had mine a few months, tracks great, plenty of room. Has been on rivers, lakes and most recently lake Superior..Pictured Rocks. The big lake was pretty calm (1-2ft sea)The Adventure XL handled the BIG pond great. Most fun I had had in years...great kayak.
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06-07-2006
Submitted by: Rick WSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have owned a Old Town otter for years and have a lot of hours in it fishing and exploring small bodies of water. It was great. That was untill I tried the longer boats. I weigh 220, that is near the max of the otter. I didn't realize how great it would be to step up to the XL. I did a lot of reading and took some test paddles. I picked the XL because of the larger cockpit. I fish from my boat, and do wildlife photography so I wanted a boat that had larger access for gear and was stable. I have taken two paddles in the new craft covering about 9 miles. It rides like a dream. I am large but I was able to paddle 4 mph for an hour, much faster than my otter. I love the seat and the dual bulkheads. I wish it was a 40 lb boat but it isn't, but for the money I truly like my new ride. I know it won't be as fast as the slim touring boats, an not as light as an expensive Carbon composite boat. It is stable, comfortable, and rides like a dream, for my needs its a ten.
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03-23-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had a 139 for several years. I have used in creeks, rivers, large and small lakes, and the Gulf, and have found it to be fun and reliable in all situations. I am planning to get one for my grandson. Enjoy.
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08-17-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just purchased the OT Adventure XL 139 from Cabelas Outfitters in Hamburg, PA, for $740. Thanks so much to all who wrote their reviews here at paddling.net; this site is a fantastic resource and I found a great deal of info here that helped me make my final decision...

At first I had my eye on the Wilderness Systems Cape Lookout 15.5 w/rudder that a local outfitter had for the same price (marked down from $1049. as a scratch & dent), but alas it was too big for me to store at our house. I also loved the Perception Carolina 14.5 but ultimately I let my butt make the decision and it was strongly in favor of the Adventure XL.

The XL is far and away the most comfortable cockpit I've found. Entry and exit are utterly without challenge. I am 6 ft. and 205 lbs of reasonably athletic build for my 45 years. This yak feels snug enough to have a sense of control and yet roomy enough to stretch the old gams and change positions when my sciatic nerve starts screaming obscenities at my lumbar vertebrae.

The footpegs are not as easy to adjust as the Wild. Sys sliding arrangement, but they are easy enough to work as long as you can reach them. Also, the seatback in the XL doesn't raise and lower like the phase 3 setup in the Wild. Sys yaks, but it is comfortable just the way that Old Town built it, so no problem there. The seats in the Carolinas have a short back, which is probably superior for technical proficiency but doesn't feel like it will be comfortable after an hour or two. I prefer the high-back seats for their lower back support. (Now if somebody would just commission La-Z-Boy to design a kayak seat...)

We took the boat up to our local lake and threw it in tonight to christen it. My stepson (6'1", 185 lbs), his wife (5'5", 130 lbs.) and my wife (5'4", 145 lbs. with very short legs) all took turns in the boat.

None of us has any appreciable experience with kayaks (I've paddled canoes for many years though) and it was truly marvelous to see how quickly we all went from trepidacious to comfortable to confident to downright cocky with this smooth, comfortable and stable yak. If kayaks were cars, I'd say this boat would be a Mercedes S Class; big and roomy but with a solid feel and predictable handling that makes you feel like a better driver than you actually are.

It is very easy to cruise at a nice clip with light and smooth paddling strokes and all of us could turn the boat on a dime with minimal effort. I even tried putting the seatback in its most reclined position and putting both my legs up on the deck in the classic sunbathers position. No problem. We sailed it out of the lake and up a small (10' wide) tributary stream and found that we could make very tight turns even when the yak just fit into the brook's turning radius.

It is certainly very quiet in the water - due, I'm sure, to the Poly 3 foam core material that only Old Town seems to use. I snuck up on a great blue heron and got within 20 feet of her before she got nervous about the guy floating on the funny green log. I can't wait to take it out again.

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08-07-2005
Submitted by: G. OlsonSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     After 30 years of paddling a canoe, I bought my first kayak several weeks ago: an Adventure XL 139. Since I live on the shore of Lake Superior, one of the premier kayak spots in the world, I was drawn to the full-fledged sea kayaks that ply the unpredictable big water of Superior. The thing is that I didn't want to start out by spending $2,000 for a yak that might not get used. Instead, I found an XL for $500, bought a really good fiberglass paddle (don't skimp on the paddle - I found a really light glass one for $120.)

I've had it out several times on inland lakes and on the St. Louis Bay on Superior. This boat has great final stability, although the initial rocking was much greater than the canoes I'm used to.

The boat also has a fairly high degree of weathercocking, a tendency to turn into the wind. From my sailing days, I recognize this is not the worst thing. You want your boat to point into the wind and waves without a great deal of effort. Nevertheless, it is a bit of a chore to keep it pointed where you want in a crosswind. A little paddling adjustment is needed, but this yak tracks darn well.

At 56 lbs, it is not difficult to get it on and off the roof rack which is critically important to me. I would not want a boat much heavier than this. The easier it is to throw on the car, strap it down, and take off the more it will get used.

I'm sure it is not the fastest boat around, but you also don't need a rudder. My second time out I covered 3 miles paddling easy in about 45 minutes - that's 4 miles/hr. Knowing Old Town, I am confident this little yak can handle heavy weather if the paddler is up to it.

I ordered the spray skirt to keep some of the water from the paddle out of the cockpit. Next week, I am taking a kayak technique and rescue class on Lake Superior. I think some instruction in kayaking is really essential to get the most out of the sport.

I may upgrade eventually, but for me personally this Kayak is a "10." I have to rate it 8 because of the compromises that had to be made to make a short yak with a lot of stability for larger people. I'm 5'10" and 200 lbs, built more like a wrestler than a Pillsbury doughboy, but still not a small guy. This a very good recreational day touring choice and a great buy.

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07-25-2005
Submitted by: JECSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Tested my Adventure XL 139 tonight and it performed GREAT. We had a storm go through which made the lake choppy and windy - no problem - after the storm passed, the water calmed down and it was terrific paddling. I was with a group of 12 and did not have any problem staying with the pack, even though I am a beginner...

I tested various boats "PUNGO 120", "Dirigo 120", some SOTs from Wilderness, etc. and I am convinced that I got the best boat for my needs... cruising and fishing. The boat is very stable and comfortable, and at 13'9" is not hard to handle on land. It tracks very well and its speed is adequate.

Only reason I gave it a 9 is that I did get a little bit of water into the bow compartment - I will add some more silicone around the bottom of the bulkhead and I think this should keep it bone dry. No problem with the stern compartment.

All in all, a great boat. Thanks to all those who replied to my questions.

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07-08-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Cabela's gave me this Kayak free for Credit Card Points last year and it has been a good kayak. It is very stable and I like the larger opening and room being a husky kinda guy. I did some fishing in it at Craig Lake state park and was very stable. I was able to keep pace with other kayak in crew and I love the positive lock hatches. My only regret is I did not get the 15 foot one for longer trips, such as Isle Royale next year, but all in all a good kayak.
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06-10-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     After taking this kayak on slow moving creeks and open lakes, I have found that this kayak has excellent stability and handles waves great. This would not be a great boat to portage. The kayak has a lot of room and I like to large storage space. I however, do not like the way it is put together. It seems to be made of two pieces that are not put on strait. This kayak does not track well at all. This kayak moves fast as long as you paddle but as soon as you stop paddling, the kayak stops. The glide is terrible. The Adventure can take a beating and has great stability. Overall, I would suggest getting a kayak that will glide and will track better if you want a touring kayak.
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05-26-2005
Submitted by: acaSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     On second season with boat. Mostly lake and river use. Poly link 3 a winner. Weight not a problem, and nice stiff hull. Great tracking, no need of rudder as responds well to lean. Only complaint front compartment not water tight leaks on floor. Hatch covers a winner with twist lock. Seat very comfortable on long trips. Cockpit roomy enough, with useable space behind seat.
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01-17-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Adventure XL139 for about two years. I paddle mostly lakes and slow rivers in North Carolina and Tennessee. This boat has turned out to be everything I hoped it would and more. It has plenty of room for my camping gear on weekend trips, and is great for daytrips of fishing and shooting pictures. I am 6'-1" 240lbs and have no trouble entering and exiting the boat. The small space behind the seat is good for a soft lunch cooler and water storage. The boat tracks well yet is still easy to turn in small creeks and coves. The quality of construction is very good and so far has been extremely durable. This kayak is perfect for the type of paddling I like to do. If you like plenty of room and comfort and just plain fun on the water then take a look at this boat. Paddle Safe, God Bless.
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01-11-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Adventure XL 139 for a couple of years now, and I think it is a very good boat. Seems to have real good stability and tracks well. I have mostly had it on class 1 and 2 in Southern Missouri, no whitewater (the boat isn't really made for whitewater anyway). My boat doesn't have the new cam locking hatches or the newly padded seat, but I guy I know bought one of the new ones and he says that they are a pretty good improvement.
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12-08-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     For over 50 years I had rowed, sculled, sailed and paddled all sorts of small craft. Tried several other boats similar to the XL 139, but having a Loon 138 and being very happy with it gave the nod to the XL. After two seasons of extensive paddling on over a dozen large lakes here in Ohio and under all sorts of wind, water and weather conditions, I am delighted with this boat. Only wish I could add the newer hatch covers, but, alas, that can't be done. While the top speed might, in theory, be somewhat slower than a narrower boat, at realistic paddle speeds (about 3 mph) find I have no problem staying with other boat that though longer and narrower likely have greater wetted surface area. I am over 60 years of age and am 6' tall and 208 lbs, have no trouble loading and unloading this boat to the top of my Xterra. All in all a really great boat! Stable, reasonably fast, comfortable, safe and good looking, what more could you wish?
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07-12-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently bought an Adventure XL 139 as a move up from the Loon 138. I really enjoyed the Loon but my wife has become interested in paddling so I gave her mine and bought a new one. Not a bad deal. I find it easier to handle and quicker than the Loon. I love the stability of the boat and the roominess of the cockpit. Very easy to get in and out of. Have had it on rivers protected ocean bays and lakes and has handled very well. I think it is a great deal for the price.
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07-12-2004
Submitted by: pjSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Old Town XL139 is a stable ,good looking kayak. Itest paddled several kayaks in this price range and found the XL139 best for me. It is on the heavy side and not that fast but tracks well. Its well constructed but I do notice some waveyness on the bottom and some small pin holes along the outide chine (only on the outside layer) All and all a good recreation kayak.
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07-12-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Love the kayak. Just bought it 2 days ago after test paddling at Rutabaga. Tried the XL 139, Kestrel HV, and Prijon Calabria. The XL 139 was the slowest of the three boats. Found the Calabria to track not too great (without the rudder), but this may be due to my limited paddling experience (several months). Also heard from others that the Calabria weather cocks severaly without the rudder. I decided I didn't want to deal with extra hardware on my boat, cross the Calabria off the list. The Kestrel was a touch faster than the XL but it only had one hatch and was 1.5 feet shorter for tracking purposes. Kestrel felt like rock solid construction as well as the XL did. Both boats have comfortable high back seats.

The XL tracks well and turns decent. It does respond to a lean during a turn to speeds things up a bit. I got a great deal on my boat at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. $650 for a 2004, including a $50 Old Town factory rebate. The new cam lock hatches on the 2004 models rock. Easy to open hinges and you can "feel" them seal when they lock shut, although I have not submerged them yet for the real test. Had the boat out yesterday for a 2-hour paddling on a lake with a lot of motor boat chop. In 1-2 foot swells/chop the swept bow of the XL sliced through the waves paddling into them. Very stable ride paddling parallel to the waves as well. The Polylink 3 hull is very stiff and feels extremely tough. This boat will last for years. The 2004 XL has a padded seat and back rest. The back rest is high and comfortable, although almost too high to fit a normal my PFD (a Lotus Lola). The foot pegs are great since the adjustment arm extends toward the paddler so one can easily reach it for peg adjustments on the fly (although one does not function properly, see below). The cockpit size is extened but I found it not so ridiculously large as the Loons. Cockpit has plent of space for gear and room to circulate fresh air on your legs. I'm 6'1" 215 lbs. and the boat fits me perfectly.

Probably not the fastest boat I could have bought but it will serve well for fishing harbors and rivers of Lake Michigan, camping the Wisconsin River, and general day paddling, and I could not beat the amount of boat and features I got for the price. I can really rig this baby up as a kick butt fishing machine too!

Improvements that would have earned the boat a 10: Come with a paddle holder (will have to install paddle clips), a small (nickle size) dent in the hull bottom (not very bad so I am ignoring it), and the right foot peg adjustment tab does not lock in place properly on its own, you have to manually push it into the hole otherwise pressure from your foot will shove the peg all the way forward.

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06-10-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     My review due to my limited experience: This boat is my choice after test paddling several at a local paddlefest, my first time ever in a kayak. I've been reading reviews and visiting manufacturers websites since last fall. My primary intentions for it is fishing local lakes as well as Lake Erie near shore, and saltwater fishing and day tripping when we RV(travel trailer) spring and fall. I've had it out 4 times. It tracks well, fishes well, is very stable, and has decent speed. The Polylink 3 hull is very solid compared to other plastic boats. It has front and rear deck rigging, two bulkheads, two camlock hatches, padded seat, adjustable footpegs, and very nice sharp bow entry and stern. I considered and paddled the Loon 138 and found it to be slightly more stable, but it took more effort to paddle and it didn't glide when you stopped paddling. The Pungo was very nice to paddle, but seemed cheap by comparison. The two bulkheads were important, considering my intended uses. You can swamp this boat and only fill the cockpit. As far as the camlock hatches, I can't believe there are still pop off rubber hatch covers on so many boats. These things get an A+ !! The front hatch is rather small with a nice storage area under it. It's where I'll store the sonar battery when I install one. It is not reachable from the cockpit. The rear hatch is large with a lot of storage underneath. I keep a softsided cooler in it with drinks and snacks. It is easily accessible from the cockpit. There is space behind the seat as well, where I store in a mesh bag, bilge pump, rope, D flag, ect. I'm 5'10", 195lbs., it fits me very well. So far with this boat, I've fly fished for panfish on a med. sized lake, smooth conditions. Loved it. I Walleye fished on a large lake on the Ohio/Penn. border, winds SW 10-15 kts. + boat chop(limited to 20hp). Loved it even more. It was actually more fun in a chop than flat water, especially trolling upwind! Even with my limited experience, it never felt unstable. I've installed 3 Scotty rod holders and the OT bungee paddle holder. Pretty much the basics for fishing. Absolutely no regrets on this boat. In fact, soon we'll be getting an identicle boat for my wife. She thinks I'm obsessed, when I leave the firehouse in the morning, I can't wait to get it to a lake!
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06-02-2004
Submitted by: mpSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The XL139 is a great boat. The Polylink-3 hull material is strong, insulates you from the cold, and is very quiet through the water. The material itself has foam in it, making the boat extremely boyant (will not sink - period) The finish is a bit delicate though, I have accumulated quite a few scratches on the hull surface, but nothing detrimental to the strong structure. Since the hull is so strong, there is no need for any type of fram spars to get in the way. The seat is very comfortable and the back is adjustable from a very upright position, to a very laid back position. The fixed seat bottom is good but could use some padding for the much longer trips (a piece of closed cell foam works wonders). I really like the big, open cockpit especially for venting in hot weather. I can move my legs into several different positions, avoiding any stiffness or cramping. The footbraces are designed with the lock tabs up towards the paddler, allowing easy adjustment from inside the boat - no getting in and out until you get it right, and nice for variation on longer paddles. The real deal on this boat? Storage-storage-storage! You cold put enough gear in this thing for three or four paddlers. A sealed bulkhead in front and back, tons of room between your feet and the front bulkhead, and a generous space between the seat and the back bulkhead. Plus shock-cord deck rigging front and back. This is a great boat for long trips on class 1 or 2 rivers, big lakes, and along medium-calm coasts. Not a good boat for any kind of whitewater though. Turns fast for an almost 14' boat... but still too slow for rapids. Don't waste your money on the optional rudder, the boat tracks perfectly. The boat is "built for larger paddlers," but I wanted all that storage space and the quality material & construction. I'm male, 5'8" and weigh about 155 lbs., and I have no problem fitting in, and paddling this boat. If you don't mind giving up some cockpit space, the Castine is the exact same boat, just about a foot shorter (mostly removed from the cockpit area - bulkheads are about the same size) and a couple of inches narrower. I got a good deal on mine, $550 brand new, because someone ordered it and never returned to get it. It did not have the advertised paddle holder rigging, but the dealer threw in a kit for free. All in all, this is a great boat. Good for recreation and extended trips. Quality materials, quality construction, quality design, and very enjoyable. Now shut off that computer and get paddling.
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01-08-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my xl139 last year and what a great deal! I love all the room and i even swing my legs out and hang them on either side on rest them on top of the boat and paddle on the lake that way and can spend many hours on the lazy river how peaceful. When i need speed i have had no problem keeping up with my experianced husband matter of fact he says he has had to paddle hard to keep up and in case you are wondering he has paddled in many types of water and has been paddling for 10 years or so. He is no whimp of course my 6'03" frame could help my ability to paddle this boat so comfortable (for those who had trouble with keeping up in this boat please note it was made for larger paddlers) i love this boat and so did my sister so much so (she is 5'08") that she bought 2!! Thank you old town for seeing the need for a larger cockpit and the comfortable high seat back and understanding that all we kayak lovers are not 5' 7" to 5' 9" and 140-175 lbs!
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10-27-2003
Submitted by: GCSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I'm new to kayaking, and still have not bought one. The XL139 was the third boat I've tried on a day trip. The large cockpit was welcome, given that I'm none too limber these days. Very good initial stability.

I thought it was a fairly speedy boat - until I tried to keep pace with a few other people in my group, who were in sleeker boats. They were paddling at probably half my effort, and were 100-300 yards in front of me within minutes. When just drifting after a stroke, they kept on going, and the XL139 quickly ran out of momentum. At the end of 2 1/2 hours I was feeling the soreness in my arms. Legs and butt were not that comfortable either in terms of the seating.

Although it was an improvement over the Loon 138, and has more speed and somewhat less resistance, it's still too heavy and slow for anything but recreational paddling.

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06-19-2003
Submitted by: Ted PSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I purchased XL last year and Kayak is good, although the hardware which holds the handle to the boat has fallen off, the nuts came loose, while carrying the kayak, and the kayak fell to the ground. I lost the hardware in the sand / water and then called Old Town for replacement hardware. The Service person gave me a real hard time, acting surprise about the hardware. He basically had a bad attitude on this issue. After I got a little huffy, he decided to send me the lost hardware. Two months LATER AND NO HARDWARE!!!!. Why am I the Old Town Quality Control Department ? This hardware should never come loose, and the hardware to hold this handle in place should be re-designed ! A very un happy Old Town Owner.
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05-21-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased an Adventure XL 139 last year. I had previously owned a Loon and the XL has proved to be a much more enjoyable kayak to paddle. It has plenty of room and storage space for any overnight trips. I am especially pleased with the stability of the boat. I would recommend this model for anyone who is thinking of geting involved in kayaking but they do not want to spend a great deal of money.
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08-30-2002
Submitted by: BruceSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased the Adventure XL at the beginning of summer and I am very happy with the purchase. The boat is very accomodating to older and larger paddlers while providing the looks and feel of a touring kayak. I concurr with the previous reviews which are very accurate. Especially the Loon 138 / XL comparison - this really nails the differences if your trying to decide on only one.

I bought a 138 just before the XL was introduced. Fortunately, I was converting from a tandem to two solo boats and had justification to also buy the XL. This has been a nice pair of boats which has accomodated every outting/person this summer.

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08-19-2002
Submitted by: Todd TaitSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Adventure XL for about 6 weeks now. This kayak is great for big people. I'm 6'5" and weigh 260lbs, I would say I'm the maximum for this model. Just enough leg room, some times my right leg falls a sleep if I don't move it around. At my size, I was concerned with stablity since a lot of weigh is above the boat. The Adventure XL is stable, fast and a lot of fun. I have the rudder to help, because most of my paddling is on the ocean off the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and a lot in the Bay of Fundy. Great looking too. A great pick.
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05-09-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My brand new Adventure XL by Oldtown is a fabulous kayak for rivers and lakes. Its bulkheads and storage portholes are air tight but unaccessable from the 19"X40" cockpit. It has a very comfortable, but not adjustable seat (and I have tried many), and is easy to get in and out of. At 13'9" it doesn't require a rudder and tracks like a dream. Also fast!! The 28" wide cockpit means I can put my legs in three different positions and it is still plenty stable. I have OsteoArthridtis of the lower spine and must change leg postitions frequently. I can put my knees up (supported by the cockpit) and still paddle leisurely on quiet waters or cross them and paddle like crazy. In rough waters I assume the standard position and found the positioning of the footpads to be ideal. I do use my own thigh supports, which did not come with this model. It is so easy to manuvere and did so beautifully the other day when my partner and I got caught in large capping waves on a return trip through a local lake. We had paddled to a favorite spot and taken a break. When we had to go back it was extremely windy (couldn't keep a hat on) and kinda scary; but, once I experienced the complete stability of the Adventure XL, and its responsiveness to leaning and quickly turning, I felt like king of the waves. We had a tough time paddling against the wind and current for the first hour back, but near the end - the current went toward our destination and we rode the waves like surfers! You could hear the swish of the waves cutting along the bow. It was exhilarating! After four hours of paddling, we bobbed in a shallow inlet to the bay and caught our breath... When can we go again!!!! :-) I must mention, when I first took this baby out, into the marshes to bird watch, I kept thinking I was gonna hit ground, but was amazed to find what a tiny bit of water is required to remain afloat. It has been pure paddling pleasure, not to mention the visuals this kayak has made possible for these eyes. I am obsessed!
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05-02-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I had a local shop order a rudderless red Old Town Adventure XL for me. I received it last weekend (after a 3 week wait) and have had it out on the water twice now. I am a big guy; 6'2" with a wide girth. This kayak is made for larger people and I have no trouble entering and exiting the Kayak by myself. (Getting me into a normal sized kayak cockpit takes 2 other people and some butter!).

Let me state that this kayak is comfortable. I was able to paddle it comfortably for 4 hours the first day and 3 hours the next. The boat was responsive and did not need a rudder. Cruising speed was rewarding if not rocket fast and the boat handles well in light chop and waves. On flat water the boat is simply a joy to cruise in. The boat has a pleasant upturn at the bow and stern. This upturn makes the boat look very nice in the water and also facilitates fishing. Some boats have grab-lines that dangle off the stern or bow. These grab-lines can easily catch fishhooks on a retrieve. The Adventure XL's grab handles are positioned so that they do not flop in the water and pose a fishing hazard. Can you imagine how annoying it is to have 'caught' your bow grab-line and have to disembark from the Kayak to fix the trouble because you can't reach the bow from the cockpit?

The hatches and extra bungies on the XL are useful and appealing. The hatches on my boat came factory installed, were tight and looked good. So far, the bulkheads and hatchcovers are water tight. The hatches can not be accessed while sitting in the cockpit.

It is probably appropriate to compare the XL to the incredibly popular Loon 138 model from Old Town. My brother-in-law has a Loon 138 and was kind enough to help me compare the two models. Interested readers can go to the Old Town (www.oldtowncanoe.com) website to see the obvious differences between the two kayaks. I will describe the differences that are not obvious from looking at the catalogue:

First, the Loon 138 has a movable seat and the Adventure XL has a fixed seat. For those of you who thought you could re-claim lost legspace in the Adventure XL by moving the seat back, you can't. However, the legroom in the XL and the Loon 138 appear to be about the same if not identical and both use the same footpegs. Second, the Loon 138 comes with a paddle holder and the Adventure XL does not (even though it says it does in the catalogue). Third, the XL has appealing contours on the upper decking and the Loon is basically featureless. Finally, the Adventure XL rides nearly 3 inches lower in the water than the Loon 138 (measured from the upper coaming of the cockpit to water level) which may allow unwary novice paddlers to swamp their boats.

When I compared the two kayaks in a paddling test, the Adventure was less stable than the Loon. But everyone knows that Loons are as stable as US battleships so I was not very surprised or concerned. The Adventure XL is a bit faster and 'feels' like it cuts into turns better.

Based on the above, both the Loon and Adventure are good choices for a novice. Why choose the Adventure XL over the Loon 138? Mostly for looks, hatches, and extra bungies. You get those when you buy an Adventure XL but you also give up a movable seat (a nice feature), a paddle holder (essential equipment), 200 more dollars from your wallet, and some stability. But, if you ever intend to camp with a kayak (as I do) then going for the watertight hatches and more bungies is the way to go. It is also easier to add a rudder to the Adventure XL because the rudder post hole comes standard on the XL.

Overall, as a larger, novice paddler, I am very impressed with the boat. It is comfortable, easy to transport and paddle. Maybe with all of the paddling I intend to do, I will be able to fit into a regular kayak cockpit sooner rather than later!

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04-29-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Got my new for 2002 OT Adventure XL several weeks ago, and had it on the water 3 times.

Good points -- finish workmanship from OT is excellent, boat has great styling and good outfitting, tracks OK in 10-15 mph wind & chop [see no need for rudder], and adequate speed for this relatively wide stable boat. Hatch covers are teathered to reduce liklihood of loss, fit good and should be secure in anything but extreme weather/wave conditions. Foot pegs are adjustable while paddling.

Not so good -- OT marketing info is not accurate: boat does not have paddle holder as advertised. Published cockpit measurements are not accurate, cockpit is actually longer but narrower. I also doubt the boat weighs the cited 54 pounds!

In all, a very good light tourer, suitable for most large guys [but not too big in the butt!]. It appears OT has a real winner with this boat, being a very good compromise of stability, speed, storage, and larger than normal cockpit size.

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03-19-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a brand new model by Oldtown in the daytripper category. I was looking for something shorter than my ocean kayak for lakes and rivers and this is a nice step down. It still has bulkheads and storage portholes but at 13'9" doesn't require a rudder and also has a cockpit of 19"X40". This makes it very comfortable to get in and out of and being 28" wide is plenty stable. I thought it would be slow but to my surprise its ok, not a rocket but good speed and easy to manuvere. My only coplaint is I wish Oldtown offered thigh supports as an option. They have told me that none of their plastic boats have them. To bad. Otherwise anyone of good size should look at this boat for quality is excellent and the price is only 719.00 without rudder. I wouldn't spend the extra 150.00 for the rudder the boat responds very well to leaning.
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