Old Town Loon 120 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great glide, quality construction, adjustable seat, ample storage
Cons: Heavy to carry, seat can become stiff to adjust
Manufacturer: Old Town
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Old Town Loon 120
|Price||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Check Price at REI|
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|$1,079 at REI|
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$749.99 at Amazon
|$479.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great glide, quality construction, adjustable seat, ample storage||Very stable, great glide, comfortable outfitting, roomy, lots of storage||Comfortable, easy to paddle, easy to climb in and out, great storage||Extremely stable, great tracking, very durable, comfortable, stackable||Very large cockpit, stable, easy-to-adjust seat, includes storage compartment|
|Cons||Heavy to carry, seat can become stiff to adjust||Heavy, hard to drain, removable deck pod a bit flimsy||Heavy to carry, rudder for tracking has to be purchased as extra||Heavy to carry, no internal dry storage||Sluggish, difficult to load, drink holder is far away from seat, no cover for storage|
|Bottom Line||A very comfortable kayak that moves well on the water and has ample dry storage space to support quite a range of adventures||An overall high-quality sit-in kayak that is comfortable, maneuverable, and accessible thanks to a wide-open cockpit||This well-outfitted kayak allows for many different paddling applications, all in one super comfortable sit-on-top model||A super solid and stable all-around kayak great for any age or ability level at a modestly affordable price||A comfortable and stable kayak ideal for casual days paddling on calm water that comes at a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Old Town Loon 120||Wilderness Systems...||Wilderness Systems...||Ocean Kayak Malibu...||Old Town Vapor 10|
|Glide and Tracking (30%)|
|Construction Quality (10%)|
|Specs||Old Town Loon 120||Wilderness Systems...||Wilderness Systems...||Ocean Kayak Malibu...||Old Town Vapor 10|
|Weight||54 lbs||49 lbs||57 lbs||59 lbs||47 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||375 lbs||325 lbs||325 lbs||360 lbs||325 lbs|
|Material/Construction||Rotomolded polyethylene plastic||Polyethylene||Polyethylene||Singler layer polyethylene||Single Layer Polyethylene|
|Features||Active Comfort System 2.0 (ACS2) Seat, Removable Workdeck with USB, Thigh Pads, Match ACS2 Padding, Support Track Foot Brace System, Quick Seal Hatch with Bulkhead, Bow and Stern Deck Bungees, Bow and Stern Carry Handles, Paddle Clip, Drain Plug, Sharp Keel Line for Performance||Rigid handles, Replaceable skid plate, Orbix hatch with sealed bulkhead, thigh pads, XL foot braces, SlideTrax and 2 mounting platforms, removable dry box, 2 cup holders, lithium battery recess (battery not included), Phase 3 AirPro seating system||Quick-park paddle holder, Rigid carry handles, SlideTrax accessory rails, magnetic water-bottle strap system, removable DryTec dry box, sectioned storage tray, Phase 3 AirPro seating system, Dog-friendly deck||Tri-form hull with an integral keel and sponsons, AirGo molded in seat and seat pad with adjustable AirComfort backrest, molded-in foot wells and calf rest, paddle holders, side/stern/bow carrying handles, molded-in oversized bow and stern tank wells with bungees, Splash resistent QuickStash dry hatch, 2 molded in fishing rod holders, 3 water bottle holder, replaceable skid plate.||Adjustable Comfort Flex seat, Glide Track foot brace system ,Stern day well, Molded-in cockpit tray with cup holder, Molded-in paddle rest, Built in carry handles, Thigh pads, Drain plug, Skid plate|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Old Town Loon 120 is a 12-foot long, 30-inch wide sit-inside-kayak. It has a large storage hatch with a removable plastic lid. The Loon comes with a removable deck pod with space to store your additional gadgets or gear.
Glide and Tracking
Thanks to its length and v-shaped hull, the Old Town Loon 120 excels in gliding capacities, outperforming other kayaks of a similar length. The Loon does not have a skeg, but users did not complain that it was difficult to maintain tracking without this.
The Loon 120 was one of our top choices to enjoy glassy mornings or longer evening paddles. It provides a superior feel when cutting through the water when compared to other kayaks with less refined designs. The Loon is definitely a kayak to enjoy your time on the water in.
The Old Town Loon 120 is easy to pivot but it does take quite a few hard paddle strokes to rotate it a full 360 degrees. This is predominately due to the extra length of this kayak, and also due to its v-shaped hull. Leaning in the opposite direction of your turn will help you turn quicker due to its hull shape.
In moving water, the Loon is able to maneuver adequately down class 2 rapids, however, it's not designed for any quick eddy turns, or navigating rocky rapids. If you do somehow capsize this kayak, it will likely fill with water quickly due to the large cockpit size. This makes it quick to become a large heavy object that is difficult to get to shore.
You could equip your Loon with floatation bags which would prevent it from filling with as much water if it did capsize. This will in turn make it easier to haul to shore and quicker to empty and reset. It has a drain plug on the nose of the kayak that can be removed to further help you empty out the last liter of water.
The Loon 120 is reasonably stable, even for beginner kayakers. It wasn't the most stable and testers didn't fancy jumping up and down inside this kayak, however, we felt comfortable on flat water and in gentle moving currents.
The Loon has decent primary and secondary stability. That means it feels stable when on the flat, and when put on a gentle edge.
The seat and foot beg adjustability help to keep you comfortable when sitting in the Old Town Loon, regardless of your leg length. The cockpit is 53 inches long, giving ample room to get inside without requiring agile legs.
The outfitting in the Loon 120 is among our favorites. Testers particularly appreciated the opportunity to raise the angle of your legs and the ventilation on the seat. The attachable paddle holder also helped deliver a comfortable adventure as paddlers can free their hands for other activities without having to worry about the security of their paddles.
The dry hatch on the Loon is one of the largest both in terms of space and access area. This makes the Loon a great choice if you want to overnight camp from your kayak. The dry hatch was easy to close, a quality we did not find in all the hatches we tested.
The outfitting on the Old Town Loon stands out for its high quality. With multiple points of adjustability on the seat, you can pick your desired height and ensure decent lumber support. The foot pegs are also easy-to-adjust and can be altered from the security of your seat.
The removable workbench is surprisingly secure once locked down and is our favorite out of similarly designed work trays. It feels robust enough for the job and there are a number of compartments that you could use for storing different gear or gadgets. In addition, there is a mountain rail for you to attach equipment that you want to keep at hand. We wonder if the USB charger post is really a necessity or just an opportunity to try to sell users additional accessories.
The dry storage on the Loon was the easiest to access and close shut out of all the dry hatches we tested. However, when swamped by water (i.e. you capsize), this storage compartment was not as dry as some of the other options we tested.
The Loon 120 is not a light kayak and therefore most users won't find it easy to lift on their own. Even if you do have the strength to lift this kayak solo, the large cockpit length makes it hard to find a decent place to lift from.
The retractable toggle T handlebars were appreciated, with padding on their underside to deliver comfort. This kayak is best carried by a pair.
The Old Town Loon 120 delivers a great performance all around. Although it was not an award-winner in the end, it does give some of the other kayaks a good run for their money, particularly with regard to comfort and tracking. This kayak is still well worth its price tag.
If you are looking for an exceptionally comfortable and well-made kayak that delivers superior performance in terms of glide and tracking, then maybe you have found your match. This kayak will take you where you need to go with grace.
— Sara James
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