I have had the Old Town…
I have had the Old Town Adventure XL 160 for ten years now. I use it exclusively for expedition kayaking, trips of at least a week in duration. The boat has proved to be a battleship as it has absorbed bangs, scratches, gashes and being dragged over sharp rocks. The other aspect that I love about this boat is that it is built to haul gear. I have loaded it with up to 14 days worth of gear/food/clothes/photo equipment/etc and it takes it all in stride.
The boat is wide and sits higher in the water when not loaded. The initial stability is very solid and the secondary stability is barge like, very stable. It is also a bit slow due to the width of the boat. The boat sits higher so it is a bit susceptible to weathercocking in higher wind, but it shines when loaded down. The boat has always tracked straight for me and I only use the rudder in windy conditions.
The reason for one star is the hatches are a bit flimsy. They close with a lever. They have only leaked in heavy seas when the deck was awash. Aside from that, the keyhold is big to accommodate big paddlers and the seat is high backed and pretty comfortable, I added a gel pad due to the duration of my trips. I'd recommend this boat highly!
Good canoe for the price,…
Good canoe for the price, fairly heavy but lifting it easy for two people. It travels true if paddlers are in sync. Roomy and seats are fairly comfortable. Very durable. Easy entry.
What I know about Kayaks is…
What I know about Kayaks is zilch. My first experience, as week ago in a 9'8" Emotion was enough to get me hooked. But taking out an Old Town 16XL spoiled me! Wow, I covered about 2.5 miles briskly, yet when I took a break to drift in a quiet river & nosh, I had the stability to relax. So, knowing what I do about 'displacement' (and being 6'2" & 235) has me shopping for my first kayak in at least the 13-14' range. However, if I had a house by a lake & could 'stock' some very safe & easy to paddle kayaks for guests, they'd all be Old Town Kayaks.
At 6'3" 240lbs. and a novice…
At 6'3" 240lbs. and a novice to the sport, I'm partial to sit on tops but I'm glad I rented this boat. It was really awesome because it made me feel like I could go out in any condition and have a great time. It was stable and fairly fast with a nice glide. This boat is so damn capable, it just feels it is part of your body right away. If you are a larger guy new to the sport and looking for some trouble I'm sure you'll find this boat worthy of your adventures. Too bad they don't make them anymore.
I just bought a used( hardly,…
I just bought a used( hardly, once on the St Croix river) Adventure 160 XL. My rating is conditional in anticipation of putting the boat in the water. I have been paddling a Nantucket for 6 or seven years and the Adventure seems to be a longer version of that. The Nantucket has been great but was built in one of those years that the boats came out of the factory a bit heavier than advertised. The Adventure 160 I just bought is actually lighter than the Nantucket. My old boat has a rudder, the new one does not but I will probably add one.
I paddle almost exclusively long days on the coast of Maine and the rudder has come in handy. I have talked to some of the snobs who snicker at OT kayaks, but I have tried other brands and am happy to stick with OT. I even like the hard plastic seat in my Nantucket. The soft seat in the Adventure is liable to ruin me.
I just upgraded from my…
I just upgraded from my Dirigo 120 after a short salt water paddle. The boat performed pretty well. However, I found it to be a bit uncomfortable due to the foot pegs being designed for those with small feet (I have size 13). The foot tilt needed to sit somewhat correctly causes stress on the knee which become uncomfortable after a half hour. This has been an issue with most kayaks I have been in. Wish mfrs would consider this in their designs. Otherwise the boat is great, fun in seas up to 3-5 ft. Great transition boat.
This article is quite long…
This article is quite long but I feel it is worth reading. I have, since writing this, received the rivets mentioned in this email. But, I have not yet received a response to this feedback email, as I was told by the customer service department.
I have corrected all of the workmanship problems myself and now enjoy using my XL160 frequently.
The mail just came and I still have not received the parts, I had been told, would be sent to me ASAP, one week ago. I called the 207-827-5514 number and again asked for Brian, my original contact. I was connected to a message system and was asked to leave a message. Feeling I had waited long enough, I chose to speak to the operator again.The operator connected my to a woman who listened to the reason for my call. She disconnected from me for a short time and said she had spoken with Brian and he was still “waiting for parts” and he had not shipped them.
I explained to her that I felt waiting a week for ASAP was not reasonable and that I was now short on time to prepare for a 100+ mile river sojourn. I need to be prepared for the sojourn on Friday I felt as though I had done enough to get the parts I needed, to do the work my self, to be ready in plenty of time, keeping in mind the parts I needed were coming “As Soon As Possible”. This time I was told I would have the parts in a couple days. My first choice would have been to return the kayak to the dealer where I purchased it, but that would cost $50 in fuel and another $10 in tolls and from what was explained to me, I would be on-my-own to negotiate having a dealer closer to my home area perform the repairs.
The reason for the problem with my kayak is;
1) The pop-rivets were not properly ‘set’. Scrap plastic from drilling thru the boat was not removed before the flange was fastened in place. That plastic was pinched between the cockpit rim and the fixture when the rivets were ‘set’ in place.
2) The plastic ‘rim’ was not fully seated into position on the cockpit rim of the boat. I have not removed the cockpit rim yet, but from what I can see under the edge of the rim, at least one of the rivet holes has torn out of the edge of the boat.
3) The plastic rim fixture and the cockpit rim may not fit together well because they are not properly sized.
4) The pop-rivets did not perform properly. Of the three rivets that came apart, only one of them held the head of the pull pin in place. The inner part of the rivets did not expand enough to engage the outside sleeve.
Please feel free to use this information to improve your production process.
FYI I am a retired Industrial Maintenance Supervisor with 35 years experience in a production environment.
Please feel free to respond.
Below is the original email I wrote on 5/30/07.
I must say, after owning a 138 Loon for about 8 years, I was looking forward to upgrading kayaks, keeping in mind my Loon has been an excellent boat for me and has suited my needs very well over the years. My Loon has survived class three rapids and day after day of class two and class one rapids, loaded with a bunch of camping equipment and it never let me down anywhere along the 400+ miles of river that I enjoy each year.
If not for a tree falling on my kayak, when it was loaded on top of my truck and caused a crack across the inside of the front deck, I would not investigated a replacement.
I considered my most prudent course of action in seeking a replacement and did my homework on the internet to find out as much information as I could before I hit-the-road and added the cost of gas to the purchase price.
After doing all the investigative work and paddling a few for feel and fit, I decided to purchase the Adventure XL 160.
At about the 10th mile I noticed a rivet lying in the bottom of the boat, so I checked the remaining rivets and found another rivet had come apart and more were very loose.
Needless to say my pride of ownership was slipping badly, but it wasn’t a show stopper.
About mile 15 I felt a light pop at my feet and discovered I no longer had control of the rudder.
The cable had pulled out of the crimped sleeve and was not repairable on the water.
Was this kayak made in America?
I was connected with Brian when I called for help at the phone number listed in your literature. He assured me he would send the parts we agreed I needed ASAP.
It would appear the balance of ‘craftsmanship/business’ has shifted to far from center.
I bought my XL160 in July,…
I bought my XL160 in July, 2003 from the factory store in Old Town, Maine as a "third" (no warranty) and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. The following month a group of 7 paddled the Allagash in northern Maine. Two of us took kayaks...me in the XL and a friend in a Loon 138. On the lakes we were like sports cars compared to the 20 ft. canoes but once we hit the river we both got wet several times. No harm done but neither of these boats are made for fast water. At 6'3" and 280 pounds I've had no problems getting in and out of the XL. It's very stable and tracks well even in windy conditions. I haven't seen a need for a rudder as the boat is so easy to turn with a little lean. if a skeg were available I would consider one as I tend to push with my legs as I paddle so I want the foot braces to be rock solid. The only problem I can think of is the way the spray skirt fits. The cockpit is really too large for a skirt to hold well so I don't bother using it and pump out when I can in heavy waves. I see Old Town has upgraded the seat so I may have to look into replacing the molded rock I sit on now (even with foam pads). I mentioned earlier that I bought the kayak with no warranty. While on the Allagash one of the foot braces broke and had to be wired together for the rest of the trip. On the way home I stopped in at the factory store to buy a new one..mentioned to the clerk what had happened and was given a replacement at no charge.
What are you looking for? If…
What are you looking for? If you are looking for a 21" wide fast fiberglass kayak you are in the wrong area. If you are looking for a stable kayak that tracks well and is afordable this is a fine kayak. I fly fish and do photography from this kayak. I wanted a very stable kayak with little or no chance of tipping or rolling. I am 6'1" and 170#. I thought this kayak would be a bobber when it was just me and no gear, but I have been able to control this kayak very well in windy and calm conditions. This is my first kayak and my first summer of kayaking. I have used this kayak on Level I rapids and it has gone well. The plastic hull takes a beating and is very forgiving with a new kayaker. My kayak has some marks on the bottom but the integrity of the hull is not at risk. I have taken it on lake Michigan in 2 foot swells with a wind chop on top and it was a blast. The wind does make tracking a little more work, but I found that I have not needed a rudder yet. I have taken it on a trip on slower moving rivers for 45 miles. I averaged 4.5 miles per hour and that was with taking pictures and taking in God beautiful creation. This kayak performed well and that was with a full three day load. Even with me and all my gear I was still floating in 3 inches of water. This kayak is not a fiberglass or kevlar, it does not have a fancy name, but it does perform well for what it was made, and is very afordable, well made, and fun. I rated this kayak an 8 because I believe a 10 is a kayak that is awesome fast, costs $300, does not tip unlass you want it to, does not need a rudder unless you like them, can carry a ton, tracks and turns perfect, and weighs 30#. Basically, I am suggesting for my purposes this is a very nice kayak. God bless and happy kayaking.
I've been paddling this boat…
I've been paddling this boat for a few months now and have fell in love with it. I usually paddle a large river for a few hours but have done some full days on larger lakes. I love the Loon-like stability but the additional speed and storage room is great. The new Extrasport seat is very comfortable once you get it set where you want it.
The hatches are completely waterproof and could not be easier to use. If you bend them to far back and they snap off, they snap back on just as easy.
The Polylink 3 hull is almost indestructable. I have it on a couple of rough take outs and put ins and the hull barely got a mark.
The boat is fairly quick (it's wide) and tracks and glides quite well. It's also great for big guys, I'm 6'6" 270 and it's an easy fit and easy to get in and out of.
If you are looking for a longer touring boat on a budget then I would seriously consider this boat. I got it brand new for a little over $800.00
I would like to amend my…
I would like to amend my previous rating of the Old Town Adventure XL160. Give it a "10." Why? I just got back from a vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine. Since I did not have my own kayak, I decided to rent one. As I mentioned before, I'm a short fat man (230 lbs.). I tried a couple of rental places on the coast. Both offered Poly-material kayaks. I do not remember their brand names. What I do remember is trying to shoehorn myself into their cockpits (somewhat along the line of 10 lbs. of something into a 5 lb. bag). I didn't fit. I got into a couple, but was cramped to the point of being uncomfortable; uncomfortable, too, about my chances of getting out if the thing capsized. The building material of these poly-kayaks was thin and less than rigid -- nothing like the rock solid Polylink material used by Old Town. I gave up without renting one.
At a rental place in the National Park area, beside of Long Pond, I found an old Old Town Heron. I could fit in this one, though not nearly as well as in my XL160. The discontinued Heron's lines were not as visually or functionally pleasing as those of my XL, but the Heron tracked like a battleship on a mission (it paddled like one, too -- I expended about twice the energy as I use paddling the XL). My XL does not have a rudder system; the Heron did. The Heron's rudder was more trouble than it was worth; I had thought about adding a rudder to my XL, but the trip on Long Lake made me decide against it. The Heron weighed a ton, or at least it seemed heavier than my XL.
So, after careful consideration based on my recent experiences, I want to change my rating from an 8 to a 10, since what I most want in a kayak are stability, roomy cockpit, relatively good tracking and ease of paddling, and a functional and aesthetically pleasing design.
I really like the Old Town…
I really like the Old Town Adventure XL160. But (ever notice that there always seems to be a "but")...it is heavy. I'm a short fat man, and getting that behemoth on and off the top of my full-size van is nothing short of strenuous. In the water, it is ponderous and less than speedy; it tracks o.k., but has a tendency to want to wander off course. And the foam bulkheads leak.
My old man once told me that if you are going to say something bad about someone (thing), always be able to say something good. Here goes: it's stable -- I doubt that you could capsize the thing; it's easy to get in and out of (with a little practice); it's safe -- if you did turn it over, you could exit easily and self-rescue without too much difficulty; it's roomy and easy to move around in (an especially good thing, since the seat is less than soft); it paddles easily for its weight (although, because of its width and design, I use a 240 paddle instead of a 230); it's virtually indestructible.
If you have to pay list price for it, don't buy it. Look around; you can find these in the $600 range, and at that price, it is a bargain.
The XL160 is everything I…
The XL160 is everything I needed in a kayak. Storage, stability and roomy. At 6'2" and 220 lbs this has all the room I need. The tracking is great. Even without a rudder. I use it for fishing on the river. It works perfectly.
I've had my Adventure XL 160…
I've had my Adventure XL 160 for a year and I absolutely love it. It paddles easily and fast considering its width. It is great in all types of condition; I mostly paddle on lakes and less frequently on the ocean and rivers. Polylink 3 is one of the reasons I purchased it. I recently had my Adventure XL 125 and a Necky Zoar Sport fall from my roof rack at 40 mph (don't ask how this happened!). The Old Town bounced on the pavement end over end, with only minor scrapes that you would see in normal paddling. The Necky needs repairs. I'm definitely an Adventure XL fan.
I had tested a Wilderness…
I had tested a Wilderness Systems Cape Lookout 155 for 3 weeks. Felt all along that the boat was unstable (tipped twice), but contributed it to the lack of skills on my part. Finally, I decided to trade up to Old Town's Adventure XL 160. Great move. The Old Town is a dream, very stable even on a choppy lake with tons of motor boats. Very easy to get in and out, and while just a tad slower than the Cape Lookout 155, it's worth the compromise. I'm 6'3" and 240 lbs. I recommend this boat to anyone, especially large size beginners to have a good time, even under adverse conditions.
I purchased this boat this…
I purchased this boat this weekend and have used it three days running. It was what I expected after researching numerous other options. Here is what I've learned. If you're looking for speedy sea kayak, look elsewhere. Boat tracks well, even w/o rudder, but is too ponderous (65lbs.) to keep up with experienced sea kayakers in narrower, lighter craft. Boat sits kind of high, even though at 230, I'm no lightweight, but it doesn't make boat tippy, as wide beam keeps you stable. It cuts through headwind rather well, but gets slowed down considerably by crosswind. As I mentioned although no lightweight, the stability & huge cockpit(I can draw my knees up out of cockpit to releive cramping) make this boat a must try for large paddlers. Poly 3 is bulletproof & seems to insulate paddler from water, which will make 4 season paddlers like myself able to regulate body temp. better. Fit & finish are A1. All the snobs that turn their nose up at this OT will hopefully keep availability high for the rest of us. At $1000, this may not be a deal, but I found a 2003 leftover for a huge savings. Boat fully loaded draws just the right amount of water. Even though boat is wide, well sculpted front rises at just the right angle to break 2-3 foot swells, and deck sheds water, and combing keeps cockpit dry. Having paddled Current Designs Sirocco(great boat,better secondary than primary stability), Wavesport Super EZ(playboat), Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT(great all around beginner sit on top), and currently still using Current Designs Speedster(great surfski & race boat), and Alden shell, I've been very plesed with overall performance/potential of Old Town, and I think it will beat anything comparable( except in weight) up to $1500, and well beyond. If I didn't research I'd give it an 8 as a sea kayak(weight and sluggishness) but knowing what I know, I'd say it's fit the bill. So it's a 10. Definately try this boat.
I purchased my 160XL this…
I purchased my 160XL this spring and have had it in ocean and a couple lakes. By my experience the 160XL is a good boat. I am 6' 1" tall and have a knee that gives some trouble. The large cockpit allows me to get in and out easily. The boat is rugged, stable and not excessively heavy (about 60 lbs with a rudder). I recommend the rudder, it's good to have when the wind picks up. I am pleased with the quality. The seat is comfortable, the mold lines clean and the hatches tight.
I bought my Adventure XL 160…
I bought my Adventure XL 160 last spring. It is my first solo kayak. (I have used a Loon 160T for a few years.) I don’t have a lot of experience in kayaks, but I really like this one. It is very stable, has a roomy cockpit, and plenty of room for camping equipment. The boat is very stable, and tracks well without a rudder. On a three-day trip last summer I had the boat loaded with gear. The first day was very windy, a 20-25 mph steady headwind, with 2’ waves. The boat rode the waves with no problem. At no point did I feel the least bit concerned with stability, rolling, or spinning. I was surprised that it tracked as well as it did. A rudder would have been nice to have, but I really didn't have a problem without one. That day was a real test of the hatch covers, as they were being constantly splashed and soaked by the waves. When we landed, the hatches were bone dry. The hatch covers are a little hard to get on and off, especially when they are stiff from the cold. I was a little concerned with the seat as it is molded plastic with no padding, but I found it to be very comfortable. I would highly recommend this kayak to anyone looking for a stable, reliable, predictable, solid, well-built kayak. It’s a little on the heavy side, or I’d rate it a 10.
My wife and I purchased both…
My wife and I purchased both the xl160, and the xl139 for her. We find them to be very stable, fast, and a pleasure to be in. We are both in our 50's and have not been in kayaks very long, but have paddled canoes for 30 (or more) years. We live in the Northeast kingdom of Vermont, and are looking forward to many more trips down the connecticut river. Come and join us, and possibly envy the way these kayaks perform for two "older" kayakers.
Sold my Dagger and purchased…
Sold my Dagger and purchased the XL160. So far, I'm very happy with the switch. I've been out in a variety of conditions from fairly heavy winds and chop to dead calm lake paddling. Stable, responsive, and predictable.
I sold my Loon 138 and bought…
I sold my Loon 138 and bought an Adventure XL160 to increase speed and performance. I then took a sea kayak course at LL Bean-one of the best days I've had lately. I have paddled up to five miles on two ocassions in flat calm water and in wind plus 2 foot swells, and did not think a rudder would have been useful. The stability, room, response, and straight tracking confirms my decision to buy this kayak.
I also love my new Adventure…
I also love my new Adventure XL 160. It's very stable (got rid of my Eclipse because either it or I wasn't in it) and tracks like a dream. Not the barge I feared it would be. My first experience with Old Town - - and I know some snobs don't like the brand, but I absolutely love this boat.
Traded my Adventure XL139 for…
Traded my Adventure XL139 for the new XL160. Very happy with the trade. The XL160 is a bit faster and feels just as stable. Got mine with the rudder. Seems to help in wind and light chop. Also purchased a new Old Town Castine for my wife. Very happy to say from what I've seen the Old Town quality is back to the high level of quality it once was. I am 6'2" weigh 190 lbs. and at 53 good condition. Kayak is a bit heavy but the polylink 3 is tough as nails and shows no evidence of oil canning. Just an all around comfortable kayak for someone who wants the sea kayak amenities with out the more frequent wet exits and rolls possibly associated with the "put it on and wear it" style sea kayak. Mine is cloud blue and looks super.