07-24-2009Submitted by: S. Harris
Reviews for Loon 100 Kayak by Old Town Canoe
Based On: 43 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Loon 100 is my first kayak. I am 5'4" and 135 lbs, just to give you perspective on my review. The boat does not track great on open lakes, but rides wake waves very well. I recently took it on a high, double generated river and it handled the fast current, constant swells and several class II, maybe one or two class III waves.
It feels tippy at first, but if you let your body relax and let the river do the work, the boat is extremely stable. The only time I can close to flipping it was when I leaned over trying to incorrectly turn it and was careless. Even then, the boat quickly recovered. I was able to paddle it around obstacles without much prior experience and manhandle it out of the current with heavy paddling. I thoroughly recommend it as a versatile kayak.
05-10-2009Submitted by: flxpain
- Rating: 10 of 10 The 100 loon is a very good boat. It tracks "ok" and is perfect for rivers. It FEELS a little tippy for some newcomers, but the stability is actually very very good. It may feel like you could tip easily but it takes a lot of effort to overturn this boat. We have a few different kayaks, and though the stability isn't what the Dirigo or Otters are, it is still a great boat for river running, fishing, and lake cruising. I actually added deck rigging and more options and now I prefer this boat over any of the other ones we own, or that I have used. If you get the loon you won't be disappointed.
05-30-2008Submitted by: MLM
- Rating: 8 of 10 Took the boat out for the first time yesterday. The boat is comfortable, tracks DECENTLY but not perfect. Isn't quite as fast as some of the other boats I've been in but for a 10 footer, it's pretty good. I traveled about 6 miles in 3 hours.
I was originally going to buy the WS Pungo 120 for about $350 more, but at the last second I bought the loon. The Pungo 120 is a great boat, but the Loon 100 can keep up just as well. For the money, this boat is a lot of fun. Old Town makes some quality kayaks.
03-25-2008Submitted by: Joe
- Rating: 9 of 10 I took my Loon 100 out today for the first time today. It was surprising how well it performed for the price. It was stable enough for me to fish out of. This being my first time ever in a kayak and fishing from it I can say that it is not tippy. And its pretty quick. I would like a little more room but I cant complain I bought a 10' boat.
03-12-2008Submitted by: notyomonky
- Rating: 9 of 10 A friend donated a Loon 100 to my cause and I have been happy ever since. I took it on a three day river trip which included class II-III rapids. Realistically, this boat is way too small for that trip, but I made it, never spilled, and got all my gear and myself there. I find it to be very stable and responsive - a good balance between mild whitewater action and touring comfort. Definitely the perfect dayboat.
01-04-2008Submitted by: mtbkski
- Rating: 5 of 10 Quick to respond to turns. Seat that is extremely comfortable. Front bungees to far forward to put anything that you will need while paddling.
This was my 3rd kayak. And I was really disappointed in the stability. I like to paddle local rivers, running lots of small class 1 rapids. This boat had me working continuously to keep it upright. I felt like I rode to high up out of the water. Even my friends said I looked like I was sitting really high out of the water. I found myself swimming twice after encountering class 1 rapids.
After years of paddling. I expected a bit more stability out of this craft. It is getting sold and I am looking for something a bit more stable. I want to run rapids, but I also want a stable craft since I'm not a young kid any more. Way to tippy for me.
08-09-2007Submitted by: kevin
- Rating: 10 of 10 This kayak is very fun, I had an Otter when I was 13 and got rid of it after a year once I grew out of it, I am now 6' 4" and 18 years old, and that left 5 years of not kayaking, and the Loon is very stable... I've gone through class II rapids within the hour that I purchased the boat, and without a single drop in it without tipping... I give this boat a 100% for the price and quality!!
07-07-2007Submitted by: Rick Allen
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just got a Loon 100 with the dry storage compartment. It rides faster than my old Lobo Kayak. Yet it is noticeably less stable. I weigh 185 lb and after 5 trips I am just getting confident in water that is slightly choppy. It really wants to start tipping and rolling instantly when I hit a little turbulence. The trick is gaining skill in balance.
First time out I would react instantly to tipping and the thing would be come more unstable. Now I balance the thing by shifting my weight just a bit and use the oar to stabilize. It takes practice.
If you are new to kayaking and lacking agility, I would suggest a kayak with a flatter bottom and thus more stable. The flatter bottom kayaks also require more work because there is more drag. (My non professional opinion) Unlike all previous Loon 100's, this new 100 has a great dry storage compartment with a quick release hatch. I now can bring my camera and wallet etc. The old Loons did not have this. For what I paid, about $500, I believe this is a good package. The boat has attractive chiseled lines and a handsome rise from front to opening. The adjustable Ergonomic seat is way way nice. Bravo Old Town! I can raise the soft rubber seat up and down and too and fro with the pull of some quick set straps. No tying etc.
The boat sides do not get in the way of Oar action, no hitting etc. And the giant opening is easy to get into.
I would recommend this for lake, quiet river and flat water ocean bays, etc. For large inland bays with afternoon choppy conditions and stiff winds, this is not recommended unless fairly skilled at balance and oar work.
07-03-2007Submitted by: Jill
- Rating: 10 of 10 This kayak is perfect for a new, 50-something, out-of-shape kayaker like me. The large "cockpit" makes me secure that I will not get stuck in it upside down (a very important issue to those of us who have never kayaked before).
You can balance in this kayak without a problem if you can ride a bike. I fell out once and the kayak did not turn over, although it did take on water while still floating. I could have hung on the side of it for hours if I had needed to await rescue. If you are afraid to fall out of a kayak, don't go kayaking. Always wear a life vest just in case you need it.
My only problem is it has rained a lot here since I got my Loon and I have only gotten to go kayaking three times. I wake up every day wondering if I will get to take my Loon out.
04-10-2007Submitted by: Ben
Speed -- how would I know, I have nothing to compare it to.
The Loon rocks!
- Rating: 8 of 10 Overall a pretty good kayak for what it is (a short, fat recreational boat). Not as stable as I had expected given its width, but still very stable even for absolute beginners. My old version has no flotation built in, so remember a bag or other means to stay afloat if swamped. It's slow of course, but tracks half-decently, is very maneuverable and only draws less than 2" of water with me (145lbs) in it. This makes it great for exploring shallow coves, wrecks etc. It also helps that it's plastic and cheap, i'd never have any fun in a fiberglass boat because i'd be afraid of smashing into a rock or a chunk of an abandoned dock or some other submerged maritime debris.
It makes a good platform for photography, but I've also gotten used to photography in a sea kayak without much trouble.
Wind isn't any fun, but I've managed decent waves and large wakes on large lakes without incident. spray skirts aren't necessary on flat calm small waters, but on a chop the bow throws tons of water at your face and the huge cockpit could swamp quickly from an unexpected wake.
I'm 5'9" 145, I feel the boat floats well with me on board, but despite the enormous cockpit, larger folks actually seem to make the boat less stable (I think it's only rated for 250lbs).
Remember though that you'll want a longer paddle for this WIDE boat than you'd want for a regular narrower touring hull.
09-25-2006Submitted by: Sean
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought the loon100 about the end of July and have really enjoyed it. I've used it on Class I and some Class II rapids (I guess). About a week after i got it i took it down some rapids with no sprayskirt(not a good idea) and dumped about 6 or 7 times. I do have a sprayskirt now and it works great. At one point i had the front of the kayak pinned between two rocks/boulders. The water was rushing and i was really stuck. After being in the water the hatch got filled completely filled. This is not a typical case, but dont think that it is compeletly water tight. I wouldn't recommend buying the sprayskirt until you go down some rapids and wish you had one, that way you really appreciate the next time. I've read that people claimed to roll in it, but i haven't tried. Its probably not impossible but i can imagine very diffictult. Overall, I'd say its fun on the lake (if you like that). Someone else wrote it is quick on the lake, which it is definatly not but i'd say its average. It runs very straight, compared to my friends boat and was really easy to get accustomed to. I've gone on lake and have gone down rapids, and have had fun doing both. BTW i'm 6'2 190 lbs, and fit with plenty of room. Its definalty a big boat.
08-21-2005Submitted by: MMP
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased 2-Old Towns Loons 4 years ago and have taken them extensively on camping trips. I have a Yellow Loon 100 for me, and a Green Loon 111 for my girl friend.
I use them on flat water inland lakes and love the comfort, speed, and stability. I have rigged an anchor system that works flawlessly for Fishing on both boats.
We usually have a 3rd passenger "Peaches" our toy Poodle who loved Kayaking as much as we do. These boats are easy to pull up alongside and pass her between us or grab a soda etc.
Talk about great video moments or Digital Photo memories. Extremely stable no camera glitter and crystal clear.
One word of caution, I purposely capsized Mr Loon 100 in 4 feet of water to see if I could flip it back upright full of water, unlike a canoe, it doesn't work. The best I was able to do was get the boat 1/2 empty and attempted to get back in, which I did with no problem. But at this point the boat became completely unstable and continually rolled on either side with paddle horizontal to water it dumped me out every time. I always wear a PFD, but incase of mishap I always carry 4 extra cushions I wedge 1 in the Bow and 3 behind the seat for extra flotation in an emergency. If you dump along ways from shore and want to stay with the boat until help arrives, it wonít sink just grab onto the bow or stern handle and just relax. The Cushion behind seats works great for throwing to a swimmer or boater in trouble as well.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GET BACK IN, and as for trying to Pull or Tow the boat to shore while swimming, just remember there is 400-800 pounds of water in it preventing this from happening.
05-31-2005Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Loon100 is my first kayak. I am new to owning a kayak but have used other peoples quite often. I don't think anyone can go wrong in the Loon100. It's a quick little boat and much more stable than the pungo i was used to. If you are just starting out and want an economical boat that can get you places, this is the one for you!!! I have taken it fishing, toured with 14 footers and even taken it into some rapids. Great little boat. Would be nice to have had a little dry storage, but that's minor-nothing a dry bag cannot take care of. I am looking forward to getting the most usage out of this boat. Go Paddle!!!
05-30-2005Submitted by: Dan Hall
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had a loon 100 for about 4 years, and I have loved this boat the entire time. Many other people have commented that it is very tippy for a rec. boat, and while that is true, I also have been places with it that I would not go in other rec boats, such as my friends Perception Caspia. I have shot class 3 water and been out inlets in my loon, plus Iíve taken it surfing off the NC coast many times now.
If you are looking for a boat to grow in and improve your skills, this is def. the boat for you. I am looking to upgrade to a Necky Eloha DS, but I donít feel any rush. And in terms of it being tippy; I can use a skulling brace and get the keel line out of the water, I also can do successful half rolls and have almost completed a full roll; I just need better hip pads.
If youíre looking to get into the world of kayaking and things like whitewater, touring, and surfing, this is the boat to learn your basics in. If you want to paddle with the kids, take pictures, or fish, then this boat may not be for you.
04-21-2005Submitted by: Lee H.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I read the other reviews, and I'm baffled how anyone could find the Loon 100 too tippy. We bought a pair of them last summer for our then 8 and 10 year-old children, who took to them like ducks to water. Very early on, we put the kids in water over their heads (near shore, PFDs on, of course), held a tether rope to keep the kayaks from drifting away, and told the kids they had to figure out how to climb in by themselves. They quickly learned how, and despite all sorts of gymnastics, neither one ever managed to flip either kayak.
The younger one (60 pounds) was able to just reach across the cockpit and pull himself in. The older one (about 100 pounds) discovered she had to crawl in over the stern so she wouldn't roll off, but the excellent secondary stability kept the kayak from flipping over, even when she tried to pull herself in from the side.
My husband and I also spent quite a bit of time in them. With more weight, the Loon 100 does ride lower, and tips a bit more easily (and quicker), but it's only rated for 250 pounds. Neither one of us ever came close to flipping. We bought ours from LL Bean, and they came with padded seats. The "same" kayak at a local discount sporting goods store had a much harder seat, which I did not like at all.
Because the Loon 100 is a fairly wide craft, we found we needed longer paddles than would otherwise be expected for kayaking.
This is an excellent kayak for calm waters, and is probably best for small to medium sized adults as well as for children. If this boat is too tippy for you, and you are in the middle of the weight range (i.e., not 200 pounds or over), I would strongly recommend supervised instruction (group or individual lessons), because you are going to need help addressing balance and technique issues. I would not recommend simply switching to a kayak with higher primary stability, because if you don't resolve the balance issue, you'll flip those boats too, with much less warning. Sure, you'll feel more stable -- right up to the second you turn turtle. Our experience with the Loon 100 has been thoroughly positive.
12-17-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 Loon 100 was too unstable for me. I am going to sell my loon 100 & upgrade to a loon 111.
10-21-2003Submitted by: JIM
- Rating: 9 of 10 Recently bought two thanks to the info. found here and to a sale. In open water with a good steady breeze, the Loon 100 will turn to upwind otherwise it gets up to speed easily and tracks straight. One boat did need extra drain holes in the seat- a problem Old Town knows about and hopefully has fixed. Otherwise, quality construction is exhibited on the boats. Do however save your money by NOT buying Old Town's spray skirt with the built-in bungie cord. It's a real pain to put on and then it does not stay on.
09-20-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love my Loon 100. It handles class 1-2 rivers with ease. It also tracks well in flat water. It's a great all around boat. If you can only have one kayak, it's the one to own.
08-27-2002Submitted by: davidsumpter
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have used the Loon 100 year round on small to large rivers, and for occasional outings on a large lake. I am 6'1" and 230lbs and have had no problem with the capacity of the boat. This is a very straight ahead boat. In a strong wind (up to 30kts) the boat tends to turn slightly up wind, but is stable unless it comes into contact with a hard object. If the boat tends to become unstable 5 seconds of not paddling will let the boat settle down. On an 8.5 mile round trip in 5kts wind I averaged 3.5kts/hr. on a GPS. This is fast straight ahead boat for its length.
10-22-2001Submitted by: S. O.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I'm new to kayaking, but not to canoeing/sailing. I wanted something easily transportable in the back of my Ford Ranger pickup. The Loon 100 was on sale at REI coop for $369, and I've been really pleased with it. I'm about 190 lbs and 5' 10". I use it in the marina at Marina Del Ray, CA and also out on the ocean for coastal cruising. It works just fine for that, although the spray skirt is necessary to avoid wave slops getting inside. Even though new to kayaking, I had little if any difficulty keeping it on an even keel. No spills of any kind so far, even in wakes from (slow moving) 90-100' motor cruisers and fairly heavy chop at the marina breakwater. In a word, I would say "ideal". REI advised I try a 230 paddle, and I'm very glad I didn't get something shorter. I would like, in fact, to try a longer paddle.
08-07-2001Submitted by: Tom Bartolotta
- Rating: 10 of 10 My wife and I bought 2 loon 100's in early July. We are new to kayaking and choose the loon above the Otter for it's superior tracking. We find them stable, easy to paddle and tons of fun.
08-06-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have used the Loon 100 for 2 summers and love it. It is stable and tracts very well. Friends say that it tracks better than the Old Town Otter model. I use it for lake paddling and recommend it highly for begginers and intermediate users.
08-06-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have just tried the Loon 100 and didn't really care for it all that much at first, but I've only tried the Otter and then this one and found that once you get the hang of the balance and the way The Loon needs to be contolled it will go through some tough stuff. But I don't recomend this boat for any beginner.
07-24-2001Submitted by: carroll
- Rating: 10 of 10 I LOVE my Loon and I agree with those who find it steady and sure. For me it tracks great and is the absolutely most comfortable recreational kayak I ever sat in. When I consider another kayak big enough to accommodate my big dog it will be another Loon. Plus it just looks great.
06-06-2001Submitted by: RB
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm only fifteen and have this boat for about two years. This was the first kayak I ever owned. It was perfect. I don't know how you guys got it to flip. It seems impossible to flip except on some big waves in the ocean. It tracks excellant and can take on some big water (nothing over IV). On the flip side it was kind of hard to turn on some the technical whitewater spots. Finding a tight fighting skirt may be hard to find, I had to search about a year. But when you do find one it makes whitewater a whole lot more fun. EXECLLENT BOAT FOR BEGINNERS!!!
02-21-2001Submitted by: Gary
- Rating: 9 of 10 We bought a Loon 100 for my wife, I have a Necky Santa Cruz. The Loon 100 seems stable enough so far, although we have paddled mostly flatwater since purchasing it. Her one complaint is that the fasteners for some of the rigging stick through the shell a good 3/4 or 1" and are right where her knees brace under the gunwale/deck. I am going to try gluing some foam over it and see if the relieves some of the pain when bracing! Other than that one flaw, it seems well constructed.
11-15-2000Submitted by: Jeff D.
- Rating: 10 of 10 In July of 2000 I bought two Loon 100s. My wife and two sons have been sharing them. (Along with several friends I allowed to try them out.) I personally have been out 26 times since July 7. (I keep a log.) Had I read some of the above reviews I might not have purchased them, this is what brings me to write this review. I strongly suggest that some people should stay on land. There is a thing called a sense of balance some of the above people donít seem to have. If they feel compelled to leave the safety of the couch and go out on water might I suggest a nice stable ocean liner. O. K. enough. The point is the loon 100 is a nice stable kayak which also tracks very well for itís 10 ft. size. We have yet to flip one, even under windy conditions or wakes from motor boats. The loon 100s are also extremely easy to carry and load because of their size and weight.
10-17-2000Submitted by: Brad
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have taken my Loon 100 in San Diego harbor and on Lake Vincinte. I find it to be fairly fast and smooth. I did not find it any more tippy than the Hobie Pursuit which is 12 feet in length. It handles boat wakes with ease.I am 5'9" and weigh 180. The loon accomodates my 23 pound dog and myself with ease. I throughly enhoy the Loon 100.
08-02-2000Submitted by: Dave W
- Rating: 5 of 10 I purchased a Loon 100 and tried it once in quiet water. It may be the most comfortable seat in an kayak that I've tried but it's also the easiest to fall out of. The Loon 100 is too unstable for a recreational kayak....I returned mine to the dealer the following day.
06-27-2000Submitted by: TimW
- Rating: 7 of 10 My spousoid and I bought a Loon 100 after her brother took an icy swim Easter weekend, trying to borrow my Wilderness Systems Alto. We'd thought we would get a Wildsys Rascal as our guest boat, but found the cockpit too tight for big butts. I won't say who provided the test butt. The Rascal is a high-performance pumpkin seed, but the bigger cockpit of the Loon made our decision for us.
The scary comments about stability in a couple of reviews here worried me. I have since checked the boat out. Here is my report: Initial stability is low for a small kayak. Bear in mind that this is really more of a partially-decked solo canoe. If you want the speed of a slimmer hull, you will lose tabletop stability. However, if you don't freak out at the initial tip, the secondary stability is adequate. After a couple of wobbles when I was purposely careless embarking, I found I could lean right over and dunk the gunwale without overbalancing. Ten feet is pretty short. This will compromise seaworthiness. A willing paddler can learn to make anything work, but a short, stubby boat with a big cockpit and catchy bilges is sort of the worst of both worlds, neither excellent in current nor born to big water. Appreciate the Loon 100 for what it is: compact, convenient, inexpensive and fairly versatile on small water and benign waves. If your paddling skill leads you to enjoy conditions beyond that, you have done well at mastering this simple craft. If you hate it after trying it, just try a different one. It's nobody's fault, not yours or the boat's.
05-17-2000Submitted by: spirit_dancing
- Rating: 7 of 10 I own both a Loon 100 and a Loon 111 The only fault i can find with the Loon 100 is it has a harder time handling the ocean waves. In smoother waters it was great. I would warn anyone that is thinking about using this in the ocean to spend the little extra and buy the next size up.
04-24-2000Submitted by: john hurd
- Rating: 4 of 10 This boat tips very easily compared with others I have used. My wife had the same experience. She was just turning in calm water and it flipped. I was reaching over to get the paddle from the dock and it flipped. We are (needless to say) very unhappy with this boat and will look for something more stable.
02-10-2000Submitted by: Jimbob
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have rented this a couple times in North Carolina and totally enjoyed the stability and tracking. My wife also enjoyed the experience. I was passed by a few fishing boats leaving good wakes and had no problems staying up. I also enjoyed fishing from these in the sounds fo the Outer Banks. I have since purchased a Loon 120 and love it. Has anyone tried the new Castine by Old Town?
11-27-1999Submitted by: Rich Dalasio
- Rating: 7 of 10 The Loon 100 is my first kayak. I wanted a beginner/intermediate kayak and although I'd tried a few others, I liked the Loon because I thought it was a little quicker. I use it mostly for river kayaking with up to Class 2 rapids. The only performance problem I've had is tracking in the wind. I gave the kayak a 7 overall due to some problems I initially had with its construction. The molding at the cockpit was not installed very well. Gaps allowed water collect inside the internal shell. I notified the dealer and Old Town, but did not feel their support was very good. I instead drained the kayak, replaced the original molding (which was cut too short on original installation and wouldn't fit properly), and sealed it with silicone caulk.
10-26-1999Submitted by: Karen
- Rating: 9 of 10 My husband and I bought two Loon 100's this past spring. Because Old Towne has such a great reputation, we bought them without even trying them out. We have used them on lakes in our area and on the ocean in Maine. The Loon handles very well in calmer water with not too much wind. Tracking is somewhat difficult in high winds. All in all, I absolutely love my Loon and recommend it highly to anyone who loves to explore lakes and rivers.
10-16-1999Submitted by: Kathy
- Rating: 7 of 10 We almost bought one...until we put it on the water. A little wake and you could be in the drink. The Dagger Bayou or Delta and the Perception Aradia are a much better choice unless you will be on perfectly smooth water.
07-12-1999Submitted by: bob
- Rating: 10 of 10 Great boat for lake and rivers in No.Va.
07-09-1999Submitted by: Jim
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is my first kayak. I am 6 feet tall 180 lbs. It fits well, is stable, easy to load inthe back of a pickp. I use it for fishing in calm waters and am not interested in whitewater or covering vast distances. as a beginner I can find nothing to complain about.
07-05-1999Submitted by: Eric Gervais
- Rating: 7 of 10 WARNING; This is not a big/Tall persons boat. It is fine for the 170lb and shorter than 5'8" crowd. The foot area is cramped for those taller than 6' with size 11's or better. It has a nasty instability for big and/or tall folks (very little freeboard with that weight also). Kids (short and light) will probably not need a spray skirt but anyone in class II and more will wish they had one. The 'V' bottom on this boat acts stable in calm water but will transform into a narrow 'catchy' surface when leaned. Look to flatter bottom boats if you are looking for more of a 'solid' feel less likely to tip (Dagger Bayou, Delta, etc). I had two members of my kayaking family swear they would never paddle it again (6' 200lb and a 5'10 180lb). My daughter loves it for its speed and comfort (she is 5'6" and 140). Big folks and those looking for a higher and drier ride should stick with the bigger Loons (120 or 138) or Dagger Delta (my family fights over that boat!).
06-21-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am a woman in my late 40's who had the urge to try something new. I've had the Loon 100 for about two weeks, and although I hadn't paddled before, I found this kayak to be easy to handle on the lake where I live. From my first venture out to my now nightly excursions...it's just a great way to be out on the water!!! It does feel a bit heavier than I expected, so be sure to buy wheels to assist in transporting it on land. ENJOY!
06-17-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have been using the loon 100 this spring on some class 1 to III rapids on the New River in Giles County. It is an excellent tracker and takes the rapids and waves without any trouble. It turns good and I can fish anyplace from it. The only problem is if you need to keep the shirt on in some difficult splashy rapids. It was also difficult to find a skirt. It is a price you pay for the extra room in the cock pit.
06-12-1999Submitted by: Chris & Chris
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great on flat water, very good on rivers and streams. TRACKS better than most 12-15 footers. Can't wait for the Loon 111.
04-17-1999Submitted by: Jerry Malone
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just bought two 100 Loons for my sons,ages10&11.They can handle them easily(small streams&lakes)and liked the idea that they don't have to have the same colors.
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