Exploring the Old Town Loon Kayak: A Classic Reinvented

If you’re in the market for a new recreational kayak, chances are you’ve come across recommendations for the popular Pungo 120. While it’s undoubtedly a great option, I want to share with you an alternative that deserves some attention. Enter the Old Town Loon Series, a new contender in the world of recreational kayaks.

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard much about the Loon Series before. Despite its recent release in 2016, it hasn’t garnered as much discussion as its competitors, especially the Pungo 120. With limited user reviews available, finding an unbiased comparison can be challenging. The closest reference point is the Loon’s predecessor, the Camden. However, it wouldn’t be fair to judge the Loon solely based on its older counterpart.

Undeterred by the lack of third-party feedback, I decided to narrow down my choices to two options: the Pungo 120 and the Loon 120. To make an informed decision, I visited my local REI store to personally assess both kayaks firsthand.

Aesthetics and Refinement

When it comes to style, the Loon kayak impresses with its sleek lines and refined appearance. The overall aesthetic exudes a sense of sophistication and attention to detail that sets it apart. The subjective fit and finish of the Loon contributes to its appeal, making it an attractive choice for those who appreciate elegance in design. Additionally, the Loon’s seat stands out, offering a more refined look and feel. Its intuitive controls and supple material make it a comfortable companion for extended rides. The Pungo, on the other hand, falls slightly short in terms of refinement, with some random cords and distractions.

Further reading:  Exploring the Tranquil Beauty of Trillium Lake

Usability and Comfort

Considering usability and comfort, I must acknowledge that individual preferences play a significant role. As someone who stands at 6’2″ and weighs 240 lbs, I found the Pungo kayak slightly wider in the hip and thigh area, providing a more comfortable fit for my feet. However, the Loon’s streamlined design seemed to perfectly mold to my body, creating a snug and secure seating experience. Moreover, the stern hatch of the Loon offers a superior watertight seal compared to the Pungo.

Another standout feature of the Loon is its front tray, designed to hold water bottles, devices, and other essentials. Its intuitive placement makes access more convenient. In contrast, the Pungo’s front dry storage hatch, positioned behind the water bottle area, proves difficult to open with one hand—a potential on-the-water usability concern.

While the Loon includes a USB port, which may prove useful to some for charging devices or capturing moments on the water, I personally find it unnecessary. The potential obsolescence of USB technology makes it a questionable long-term investment. Nevertheless, the Loon’s thoughtful addition of a bungee cord to secure devices within the workdeck deserves praise.

On-Water Performance

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to test both kayaks on the water yet, let’s delve into their expected performance. Based on their similar dimensions and V-shaped keel lines, it’s reasonable to assume that their on-water performance will be comparable. As an owner of the Loon, I’m more than happy to provide an on-the-water review if there’s interest. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a comprehensive review of the Loon like the one available for the Pungo by this YouTube creator: UpStreamPaddle.

Further reading:  The Ultimate Guide to the Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak

Ultimately, the Old Town Loon kayak presents a compelling option for recreational paddlers looking for an alternative to the tried-and-true Pungo 120. With its refined aesthetics, improved usability, and promising on-water performance, the Loon offers a fresh take on a classic. So, whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a beginner venturing into the world of paddling, it’s worth considering this exciting contender in the realm of recreational kayaks.