Guide 119 Description

The Guide 119 is a canoe brought to you by Old Town Canoe and Kayak. Read Guide 119 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

Old Town Canoe and Kayak
Guide 119 Reviews

Read reviews for the Guide 119 by Old Town Canoe and Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I love this canoe. Some have…

Submitted by: Walkswithdifficulty on 9/4/2019

I love this canoe. Some have said it's unstable or tippy, but at 6'2" 200 pounds, I have no problems. I believe those people probably do not have much experience with canoes/Kayaks. I did place a wedge shaped cushion on the seat to make it more comfortable.


I have always liked canoes…

Submitted by: paddler450954 on 7/9/2018

I have always liked canoes better than kayaks but wanted a smaller canoe that would be easier to load and unload because I have back problems. Someone stole my discovery 158 a few months ago and I wanted to try a solo canoe. I bought the 119 guide and have been very satisfied. It tracks well, it isn't tippy, it paddles with a single paddle very well and is extremely maneuverae which is great in the small cover choked creeks that I fish. I can see someone using a kayak paddle with it but I haven't tried it because I like the easy of getting a single paddle out of my way. The plastic seat is the only con. It would be great too if the front was elevated a little. Your bottom tends to slide forward some. Maybe a shim or something could be put under it. The back rest feels fine also. Plenty of room for gear, I cant say anything bad really, nice craft. The only thing I would like to see is a yoke for portage. I really like it and would have give 5 stars if the seat didn't let my butt slide forward.


Decent single person canoe.…

Submitted by: paddler415027 on 6/19/2018

Decent single person canoe. I personally didn't like the black plastic seat it came with, so I replaced it with a more traditional wooden seat that had a built-in yoke cutout for easier porting.

That said I took it out once with the original seat, and while getting it to the water with one small person sans cart was tricky, the seat wasn't entirely uncomfortable. (This was a mild day tho, results could vary on a hot day.)

The boat itself is great though! Holds plenty of stuff for a day of fishing, maneuvers well in tight, small creeks. Relatively stable against boat wakes and small waves, although it certainly felt tippier in those situations than my old kayak, but it was conversely -less- tippy kneeling on the bottom to wrangle a particularly grumpy fish.

I've been paddling it with a long double-bladed paddle, and while it occasionally hits the sides, and requires a wider grip than I used for my kayak, it is doable from the seat. I'd recommend going single bladed if you think you'll need to kneel in the boat for stability. Not a bad idea to carry both, since you'll have room!

This canoe is also short enough that it is a perfect fit on top of my RAV4. The bow and stern handles make it easy to tie down.

Overall, I would recommend this little boat. I've already taken it on several adventures in different types of water, and have more planned for the summer.

I will edit this review with more relevant information as I experience it.


I bought my guide 119 in the…

Submitted by: paddler413436 on 1/8/2018

I bought my guide 119 in the spring of 2012. I have paddle it over a 1,000 in MS, AR, LA, AL. My husband and I paddle all year round and do several camping trips a year. (3-5 days up to 50 miles at times) I pack my guide 119 to the max with camping gear and still have plenty of room. I have paddled easily in class 1 and class 2 rapids with my packed canoe. It tracks well and I use a single blade 4 foot paddle. I am 5' 7". I love my "Little Red Canoe" and I am refered to as "The Lady in the Little Red Canoe" My husband paddles a dugout canoe he carved out of a poplar tree. He is referred to as "The Man in the Dugout Canoe" He is the one that recommended the old town guide 119 to me. We log all of our trips on Fb The Man in the Dugout Canoe.


I bought my guide 119 in the…

Submitted by: Dugoutdrew on 1/8/2018

I bought my guide 119 in the spring of 2012. I have paddle it over a 1,000 in MS, AR, LA, AL. My husband and I paddle all year round and do several camping trips a year. (3-5 days up to 50 miles at times) I pack my guide 119 to the max with camping gear and still have plenty of room. I have paddled easily in class 1 and class 2 rapids with my packed canoe. It tracks well and I use a single blade 4 foot paddle. I am 5' 7". I love my "Little Red Canoe" and I am refered to as "The Lady in the Little Red Canoe" My husband paddles a dugout canoe he carved out of a poplar tree. He is referred to as "The Man in the Dugout Canoe" He is the one that recommended the old town guide 119 to me. We log all of our trips on Fb The Man in the Dugout Canoe.


The 119 is relatively new to…

Submitted by: kocho on 10/23/2017

The 119 is relatively new to me. Bought used 2011 model. It is well-made and sturdy for the most part. The material is thicker and considerably more stiff than the flimsy-feeling Royalex on the Old Town Pack canoe. The Pack has tons of flex when on the water, like the entire bottom flexes up a lot, where the Guide feels fairly rigid. The "penalty" is that the 119 is a little heavier. The Pack has lower sides and is easier to paddle because of it. The 119 has more protection from waves, being a bit taller above the water.

Neither tracks well. Unless using a J stroke, you pretty much need to switch sides every stroke or two. Indeed , these boats are better suited for a double bladed kayak paddle. J stroke works fine, as long as you are happy to zigzag forward at a snail pace (which could be enjoyable if one is after after a rather slow and relaxed paddling experience). A double-bladed paddle needs to be quite long, mainly because otherwise it needs to be held more vertically, the top blade crossing over the open canoe, and dripping a lot of water inside. For this reason (and because of the somewhat taller than ideal for doublebladed paddling gunwales I prefer to use a single blade with the 119.

The 119 is short and wide, so it is not fast by any standard. But at slow speeds seems to glide nicely and goes straight when I stop paddling, so it is nice to paddle.

The factory seat is too low to allow my feet to go under it comfortably for kneeling (even barefoot). The front of the seat flexes down and causes sliding forward. A comfortable position that does not cause sliding is cross-legged. The high back rest is sturdy and comfortable. The bottom of the seat is also comfortable, but the front needs to be shimmed up to prevent the sliding. I plan to raise the seat an inch or two and rise the front maybe 1/2" higher than the rear to eliminate the sliding. And add kneeling pads. There is plenty of stability for me to raise the seat and not feel tippy.

I am 200lb, 6'4" and I can stand-up on flat water in the 119, but it feels a bit too lively to trust it to paddle upright or do anything else standing. Maybe a short person could be more stable standing. As a reference, I stand-up paddle board on a slightly narrower SUP that feels more stable. And I am comfortable paddling 19 " wide surfskis. I can see how a novice paddler might feel the 119 is a bit lively at first or even flip it by leaning to the side in a way a self-respecting kayaker would never attemput:). Sitting down, the stability is very good for me, both initial and secondary. When the weather warms-up I will test the tipping point and if I can paddle it standing up with a SUP paddle.

If stored upside down in the sun, the bottom will form a concave line along the keel front to back, so best to store this kanoe in the shade or handing down from the front and back handle to keep it straight. Careful heating with a heat gun and loading to straighten the bottom reduced that concavity, but it is hard to completely undo what several years in the sun had done to my particular canoe.

The gunwales are sturdy and do not flex much.

The stock seat position I think is about right for me, even though the trim is a little lighter in the front this way. Moving the weight forward, I think worsens the tracking as it rises the stern and let's it wander more than ideal. I only paddle the 119 unloaded, so with added weight this might change.

I had a chance to buy a Pack for a very reasonable price just after I bought the 119. Test-paddled both, and kept the 119 - feels sturdier, more freeboard for rougher days, not that much heavier. I felt the Pack paddled ever so slightly nicer due to the lower sides, but the overly flexible construction with bottom that popping-up forming a concave surface with the water was not confidence-inspiring and a put-off for me.


Have owned for 4 yrs. Use on…

Submitted by: docz on 8/10/2016
Have owned for 4 yrs. Use on creeks, small rivers, ponds, lakes. I did alter (increase) the seat height so I could get on knees and fit feet under seat for lower center of gravity when navigating rapids. I don't especially like the 'side carry' so I purchased a wooden carry yoke, found the balance point, cut the yoke to length, drilled holes, installed SS bolts with wing nuts, so I can do a quick on and off for portaging. I secure the yoke when not in use with a small bunji cord along side the seat. I still like the single paddle, although it responds well to a 'kayak paddle'. It carries a good load with the 13.5" freeboard. I have 2 other canoes and 2 kayaks and for the purposes described like this one best. I have the drab camo finish, so it 'ain't pretty', but it performs well. Rating: 10

I have owned my Guide 119…

Submitted by: paddler236905 on 6/30/2016

I have owned my Guide 119 for two years now. I've had it out on the water 7 or 8 times. Before the 119, I was solo paddling an OT Discovery 158. Since the 119, I've gotten a OT Camper 15 and a couple of kayaks. Now the 119 is kind of the odd-man-out. However, I do plan to take it out next time.

Initial stability is ok, secondary is pretty good. I had it out on the river and was casually chatting with my buddy as I looked over my shoulder. Well, the bow wasn't pointed directly downstream, the keel caught a rock just under the surface, and I got dumped. In shallow rivers, it's important to always stay alert in the 119.

I took the 119 out in some class III rapids. There was one wave train about 75 yards long. When I got to the end, the boat was 1/3 full of water and I had a hard time getting it to shore and keeping it upright at the same time. Fortunately, my friend was already on the bank bailing water out of his Guide 119. Mine was much worse since I had the cooler and I weigh about 50 pounds more than him.

Overall, it's a good boat and easy to paddle all day. I would keep it in the class I-II water, and preferably deep enough to keep the keel off the rocks, or at least keep it pointed downstream in shallow water.


I got to paddle the Guide 119…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/18/2016
I got to paddle the Guide 119 recently, and I must say that I was quite impressed with this canoe! Being a "kayak guy" I was pleased with the handling and stability of this canoe. Granted, the seat could use some improvement, but overall, I liked this canoe! Now if I can find one, I'll be buying the Guide 119 so I can be on the water with my fishing, hunting, and camping gear! My kayaking days seem to be cut short due to weather conditions, but with the carrying capacity of this canoe, I'll be able to stay out in nature a lot longer! I hope this little review helps! Now I have to go to Dick's Sporting Goods and pick one of these sweet canoes up for myself!!!

I purchased my Old Town Guide…

Submitted by: 1964curt on 7/2/2015
I purchased my Old Town Guide 119 last year for fishing, great stability, easy paddling, just loads of fun. planned a trip to Moab, Utah to canoe down the Colorado river in my old town guide 147, but had a problem with the 147 and took my old town guide 119 instead. I was extremely surprised at how well the canoe did, fully loaded with my camping gear and food for 4 days I set off with six other old town 147 canoes, the guide 119 handled all the rapids with ease, class 1 through 5, at 6 ft 2 a little tight with gear but managed very well.

Old Town is in the process of helping me with the guide 147. Old town is a great product and I will continue to use old town as my canoe of choice.


I just received my Guide 119…

Submitted by: paddler236218 on 5/11/2015
I just received my Guide 119 the other day. I like it so far... There are plenty of reviews on the seat being bad. I agree. First thing I did was sit in the seat and others are correct. I started to slide out immediately. I went to the hardware store and purchased two 1/4" and two 1/2" nylon spacers, lowered the seat 1/4" in front and 1/2" in rear. This helped my sliding issue great. I took it to the lake and tested it for about an hour. The adjustment works.

While paddling I did not feel tipsy. I did feel a little tipsy sitting still. I believe this is normal until you get used to any boat or canoe - muscle memory or something.

Now the bad, well not really bad just more of of a thing for me. Before I lowered the seat it was much easier to stand up and get out. I do feel like I am in a kayak again but it is something I will get used to. One day in the near future I will ditch the plastic seat for a flat seat and move it forward a bit and raise it again.

Pros: plenty of room even for a big guy like me, feels stable enough for a canoe, light weight, tracks well, plenty fast enough with kayak paddle, there is more...

Cons: the plastic seat does stink for the fisherman but since this is really a recreational boat it does what it is designed for - getting around and going down rivers.

These are my observations and opinions listed above. I am far from a professional. I have experience in several types of boats. I have canoed on and off for the last 15 years. This is my first canoe I have owned and over the last 5-6 years I have owned kayaks.

This is a great little boat and I look forward to keeping it on the water


This boat is a little…

Submitted by: ouremailinbox on 9/17/2014
This boat is a little sweetie. It tracks superbly thanks to its formed-in-hull keel, yet turns quickly due to its length, or lack thereof. It is a great downstream craft. At 42 pounds, it is lighter than most recreational kayaks, yet capable of carrying much more payload. Its poly construction makes it very sturdy indeed--probably on a par with a rotomolded kayak. It can be paddled with a single blade, but frankly it's too much work; a 250cm or longer kayak paddle is a better choice.

Three mods will make this boat a pleasure to paddle:
1) We-no-nah adjustable footbrace
2) a flat strip of wood cut to fit under the gunwale at the boat's widest point, serving as a center thwart and allowing for a solo lift
3) a wedge of wood or plastic lumber which will drop the seat back 2", making for a more ergo seat and better paddling posture.


I recently purchased a Old…

Submitted by: patch on 7/24/2014
I recently purchased a Old Town Guide 119 canoe from Dick's Sporting of Erie,Penn. I had researched many brands and types of canoes before buying an Old Town. I am 57 years old and my biggest concern was the weight of the canoe. At 43 pounds, the Guide 119 was by far the main reason for purchase. I am also impressed with the material the canoe is made from (Polyethylene) as I find myself in not so still waters and also Portage a lot when I am camping and making River Runs.

This Canoe is much more than I had expected and I can honestly say that it will be the last boat/Canoe that I will ever need to purchase. It handles like a dream on lakes and the local rivers in my area. I bought it on July 4th, 2014 and in the 3 weeks I've owned it, I have used it every 2 to 3 days. I can just pop it on top my car and go. There is more than enough room for my camping gear and fishing gear.

I have owned many types of boats and Canoes in my life, and by far this has to be the one I enjoy most.
Thanks Old Town


Got this boat for Father's…

Submitted by: ridgw003 on 7/20/2014
Got this boat for Father's Day. I have had the opportunity to take it out several times. Love it because it fits in my pickup well. I lowered the seat about an inch in the back and it feels much better. I have seen many reviews saying that it works best with a double bladed paddle, I disagree. A good straight shaft paddle and a decent J stroke moves me along just fine.

This a great zero-maintenance…

Submitted by: paddler235708 on 7/5/2014
This a great zero-maintenance solo canoe. Perfect for fishing, exploring, bird watching and even camp cruising. At around 45 pounds, I can load it into the bed of my small pickup with ease. This makes it perfect for quick trips after work with no excuses. The seat is comfortable and seat bracket has holes for clipping dry boxes/bags to for easy access on the water. It is very stable and tracks well (I'm around 240 pound). Great value and the camo color I have looks good too.

I bought the 119 so that my…

Submitted by: paddler235676 on 7/3/2014
I bought the 119 so that my wife and I could do overnight trips and be in our own boats. I have traveled several Ozark creeks and rivers with out a bit of trouble. With a full load of gear or just me and my paddle and fishing pole, the 119 has not let me down.

I bought this canoe at Dick's…

Submitted by: kayakman2020 on 8/7/2013
I bought this canoe at Dick's and it has been the best solo canoe I have had. Easy to paddle and it tracks well. My only complaint was the seat. I removed the factory seat and replaced it and lowered it. It's very comfortable and I can stay out all day and be comfortable.

I'm 71 years young and wanted…

Submitted by: dlfred1 on 7/27/2013
I'm 71 years young and wanted a canoe that I could handle easily. The Guide 119 is near perfect for my need. It weights about 40 lbs and easily mounted and dismounted from my vehicle top. It's stable and has plenty room for solo canoeing. I would strongly recommend this canoe.