REVIEW: Old Town Loon
20 years ago Old Town Canoe launched the Loon, a kayak that changed the way people thought about taking to the water. This year Old Town Canoe changed the way people thought of a kayak. The Loons re-introduction could be called the most modern kayak on the water today in my opinion.
Meeting today’s demands from kayakers and anglers Old Town has introduced a removable dash that has a USB connector that can be powered with a 12-volt power supply to keep your phone, camera or blue tooth device going for hours. The compartment is waterproof and has a holder that has a bungee to hold your phone securely. Convenient trays for the angler and at bottle holder underneath and a recessed holder on top. This tray easily removes by just flipping two levers to the unlock position and off it comes and just as easily installs. Once locked I actually was able to lift up on it and pick the kayak up without the dashboard coming unattached or loosening.
The next demand of todays kayakers and anglers was a seat that is not only comfortable, but is the most advanced seat on the market and will allow you to enjoy your time on the water for hours. They introduced the Active Comfort System 2.0 that looks like an expensive sports car seat. While sitting in the driver’s seat you can adjust your back forward and back with levers on each side. The seat pulls up to allow you to keep knees bent by pulling a lever between your legs and lifting up or letting down. The back also adjusts very easily and quickly by loosening a knob to make your adjustment and tighten. The flow through ventilation keeps you dry and if wet you can dry quickly. On the top sides of the cockpit is padding to protect your arms while paddling.
Separate dry storage in the front and back with click seal locking hatches. During our testing we never took on any water in any part of the hull. So a dry bag would be an option when using the storage areas, but you can never be overly cautious. Plenty of leg room and pedals that adjust to make your days ride fun and comfortable.
The tri layer polyethylene hull design makes for a very sturdy hull and the Angler 126 Series we reviewed has a very spacious hull measuring 23” X 56” and only weighing 58 pounds, but this kayak can hold 450 pounds. The three-layer hull design allows this kayak to weigh less but carry more. We found the hull to be very stable and never once felt it flex getting in, getting out or even when carrying it.
The hull design also makes this kayak a dream to paddle. On a calm day on a small lake one stroke of the paddle you seemed to glide forever. It had great speed and turned easily. The secondary area of the hull design really adds to your stability and also allows as a secondary catch when leaning in the kayak. This is something you would need to experience and get a feel for.
The wind dynamics are everywhere on this kayak. Starting at the bow with the bow of the kayak to even the bungees going across the stern designed to make air flow easily across to cut down on wind drag. The stern slops downward like a loon for the purpose of cutting down on wind drag as well, keeping the kayak from turning sideways in the wind. On a fairly windy day we took the kayak out and was really impressed by how well this design works. My sit on top was getting turned while the Loon stayed straight. The sharp keel line keeps this boat straight on course.
Also part of the angler package are two flush mount rod holders designed to hold your rods at a tight angle for river fishing and an anchor trolley with anchor included. Bungees on the stern and bow allow for carrying gear, securing your paddle or reentry should you tip. Well-designed handles on the bow and stern make it very comfortable to carry to and from the lake.
A couple of recommendations for future Loon models:
The Loon comes in:
Loon Angler 106
Loon Angler 126
Review written by Gary Elliott