Loon 138T Description

The Loon 138T is a kayak brought to you by Old Town Canoe and Kayak. Read Loon 138T reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Old Town Canoe and Kayak
Loon 138T Reviews

Read reviews for the Loon 138T 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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Positive experience: Loon…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/27/2023

Positive experience: Loon 138T has been great for solo paddling on Clear Lake. I load it atop a Jeep XJ: it's sorta heavy but is manageable. When the winds kick up two foot waves, long old Loonie can ably ride straight across them. My daily paddle is between 2 and 5 miles, and this kayak makes them a pleasant workout.


Bought a used Loon 138t for…

Submitted by: Mark_B_in_CT on 9/9/2020
Bought a used Loon 138t for my wife and I to "enjoy". What a HUGE mistake that was! I'm 6"0'. Wife is 5'9". To say adapting the Loon 138 into a 138t was an afterthought would be an understatement. To say the weight is under reported also an understatement. Specs say 58lb. This tub is not an ounce under 78lb! The cockpit width is only 18" and that's being generous. Even moving the rear seat further back than stock and the front seat all the way forward, it was still VERY cramped for my 34" inseam, my knees were still way in the air, and foot position very uncomfortable. No foot pegs for the rear paddler. Had to wrap my bare feet around the back of the front seat. Front passenger can barely get into their seat. Tracking was barely so-so. The only good thing I can say about this kayak is I liked the bungee cords that hold the paddles at the edge. THANKFULLY, I only paid $300 used with one original paddle plus another $50 for a 2nd paddle. After only 5 times out I sold it for $525 and with another $100 bought a Perception Prodigy II 14.5. So glad to be rid of the Loon 138t I can't even put it into words. If you're looking for a tandem, STAY AWAY from the 138t! It is not a tandem.

I found a used 138t all…

Submitted by: paddler461231 on 8/13/2018

I found a used 138t all setup with rudder in a strange green color. Not a camouflage boat but blends in with marsh and forest. I have been using it for duck goose and deer hunting. I removed the rear seat for more room. Even brought deer out with it 3 different times. Shooting over the side has not been a problem even with the magnum loads needed for geese. I can't stand up in it the way some of the sit on top models are being advertised, but I can live with that. Plenty stable for fishing also. I highly recommend this boat. I can't say much about the tandem use except if I had the rear seat back in I would not want someone very big with me. Materials seem durable enough. I have not babied this yak at all. I do have back problems but the seat gives me much better support than any other I have tried. I can't imagine life without this gem after using it for 8 plus years.


138T Loon

Submitted by: paddler385044 on 8/21/2017

138T Loon was my 1st kayak I have logged over 2000 miles in it and never turned it over That is in floods on 40+ mile trips Some class 3 on regular basis Places I was told I shouldn't have been I bought a 120 but turned it over 5 times Still have my 138T Looking for another I have been clocked at 25 miles an hour in floods Took a friend fishing double and the small mouth were biting we fished till dark and had miles to go So I know at 20 mph we hit a rock and came to complete stop It never even chipped it Its tough stable Many good times fishing double I'm 5 ft 9 175 and taken friends 250 lbs Made the paper once in a flood went and got a woman stranded Love it Comfortable That's one boat they got right


Goodness gracious, this thing…

Submitted by: fuzzysoul on 6/25/2015
Goodness gracious, this thing is heavy. It also has a strangely narrow cockpit. And the average 5' 10" male cannot comfortably position their feet in the rear seat. It's also a bear to paddle solo, but, let's face it, that was my fault.

That said, this is a very durable, well-made boat. My kid loves lounging in the comfortable front seat while I labor to keep us on course. It has some decent glide for being such a tugboat.
Still, there are far better used tandem boats out there that can be had for very little money.


Bought my Loon138T used for…

Submitted by: paddler235622 on 6/30/2014
Bought my Loon138T used for 400.00 and what a great little Kayak!! It is a 2000 model and still in great shape Tracks well even without a rudder. Perfect day cruiser with me and my wife here on Lake Chelan and feels quite sporty with just me in kayak paddling.Love the large cockpit and sprayshirts can still be found online for it. Having had several kayaks over the years, I would have no issue using this on a summers long trip down the Yukon with drybags And a skirt. There are faster/better kayaks made,but none for this price. sad is they no longer make these model. Compares quite well with my old EasyRider Tatoosh which was same design but four times the price. Now I will be looking for used single Loon 138 or Loon 16T which would be a bit better for two on weekend camping trip.Comfort is wonderful with our Loon and leg room is not bad for me at 6ft. 250lbs

The OT Loon 138T (now…

Submitted by: paddler234410 on 1/18/2012
The OT Loon 138T (now available only used) is unique: it is simply a large solo kayak (the terrific Loon 138) with an extra seat added to make a very cramped tandem. As such, it is the ONLY TANDEM KAYAK MADE that actually paddles well as a solo. The extra seat increases the weight by about 10 pounds, making the 138T very difficult to handle out of the water; but it's sure handy being able to carry an extra passenger.

My wife and I have had this…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/22/2011
My wife and I have had this tandem for quite a few years now, installed a rudder several years ago to reduce a lack of synchronization issue. Great for flat water. But as stated in other reviews, a real problem if it fills up, as ours did once by Beaufort, NC when a large yacht went by in a narrow channel. Luckily the shore was nearby!

As we are getting older (mid-late 60's) now, the weight is becoming bothersome in getting it on/off the car or truck roof, so we are looking at selling it and getting two smaller, lighter kayaks, that can (almost) fit in the back of the pickup, and that I can maybe tie a rope between so my wife can still relax...


I purchased this boat three…

Submitted by: paddler233955 on 4/20/2011
I purchased this boat three years ago. My wife is afraid to let my grand daughter out by herself, so we take the green 138t. She loves to kayak. She sets in the front so I can lay back and take it easy once in a while. It is very stable, so my wife is good to go with the little person and me kayaking. I tried to solo in it one time.....sat in the wrong seat....I should have sat in the front.

The only thing I would change is the slide locks. They are plastic, and do not hold very well. The boat is pretty quick for what it is. I only kayak for the solitude and a little exercise, I get plenty of both with this little boat. I will be keeping this OT 138T, but I am looking for the 138 solo next


We're happy with our Loon…

Submitted by: paddler233672 on 6/30/2010
We're happy with our Loon 138T after two lake outings. It was purchased used with a few scratches, but otherwise in decent shape. Stability seems good. I risk taking my DSLR camera + expensive telephoto lens with us to photograph shore birds. Front person has plenty of room, but rear seat is a bit crowded for knee space. Easy to get in and out. Hardware seems good quality: footpegs, seats, etc. We like the bungie paddle attachment, it's very handy at launchings! I have yet to try it solo, but the front seat slides on rails to a mid-ship position so I think it will be fine. And by the way, this thing is really fast! When we both paddle consistently, the shoreline just flies by!

As a first time kayak buyer…

Submitted by: FREED on 9/25/2004
As a first time kayak buyer (with a bad knee) I had concerns about getting in and out of a boat. The LOON 138T has been a godsend. With the large tandem cockpit I have plenty of room. I use the boat mainly for solo paddling and find it a joy to be in. It handles well on lakes and slow streams. The POLY-LINK hull is strong and not to heavy. All in all I would, and have, recommended this boat to any person looking for a entry level kayak.
Tracking------8 (It's a rec boat!)

Acquired this "cloud" color…

Submitted by: paddler230782 on 9/8/2004
Acquired this "cloud" color yak at a "end of summer sale" and found it hard to resist the excellent price. The polylink 3 hull holds up well to bumps and scraps. It loads and transports easily on the roof rack of a minivan. In ideal conditions, two people are needed to load/unload the yak from the roof, but it can be done by one person if needed. I can paddle and steer the yak with confidence, even with a child on board. I've found it to be responsive to steering in lake or slow moving river conditions. The seats are "ok" and I've been comfortable sitting in them for long periods of time. The yak is very stable but will roll under the right conditions. The paddle holders are a nice touch and I store an extra paddle in one of them. There is plenty of storage space in the bow/stern for gear, just make sure you balance the weight for an even ride. I like the ability to slide the front seat into the position needed. With the front seat moved back as far as it can go, there is still room for my legs in the rear position...I'm six feet tall. If you roll the yak, make sure you have a bilge pump or sponge handy. It can be difficult to empty all the water out without those items. All in all, my kids like this yak and we've had fun with it. I would recommend it to friends.

Basically the kayak is…

Submitted by: paddler230619 on 6/11/2004
Basically the kayak is handling well on the lake with light waves. But it is not very responsive on moving water. I was always wondering about the weight so I measured it and it turns out it is ~71lbs. vs. the advertised 61lbs which I consider to be on the heavy side to move it around a lot.

We bought our 138T in 2001…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/6/2004
We bought our 138T in 2001 from LLBean. It was our first Kayak. It is stable, fast, and comfortable with one paddler or two. My family of 5 uses this boat for primarily for recreational paddling on an inland lake. We have never accidently tipped this boat (we have tipped it on purpose and it is a chore). You must have a high capacity hand pump with you if you do tip, the large cockpit fills immediately with A LOT of water! The seat and front footpegs are great. In "tandem" mode it can be a little tight for a big guy like me (5'11", 220lbs), I do prefer using it as a solo kayak. We chose the 138T over the 160T to keep transportation as simple as possible. I would buy this boat again.

I purchased a loon 138T as my…

Submitted by: BMP on 3/19/2003
I purchased a loon 138T as my first kayak and am very pleased with my decision. I have three kids and a wife who were very skptical of even getting into a kayak and the first day out ridded them of any "kayak fears."

I looked at quite a few other kayaks and felt the workmanship and asthetics of the 138T was far superior. Other kayaks were "puckering" right in the show room and the surface finish made them look like they were already three years old.

I use it to cruise rivers in Illinois where depth varies from feet to inches and amamazed at how little water it takes to float this kayak. I took it out for the first time this year while there was still ice on the rivers. The triple layered insulated hull is quiet and insulates from the cold. In the summer, as a single paddler, you can stretch out for that sun tan and "lounge". My teenage kids love to take their friends out in it. I'm currently looking at kayaks for "great lake" type of kayaking. I will always keep the Loon 138T. It is a very good product and would highly recomend it to anyone. As a side note, get the grey smoke color, they don't show the scatches as much. Side note # 2, If you like sneaking up on wildlife, the 138T is very quite and stealthy. I only wish it had a modified skeg or rudder to steer the craft while you have two hands adjusting binnoculars. That wwould be the "cats pajamas."


This is our first kayak (Loon…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/16/2002
This is our first kayak (Loon 138T Polylink). Our first launch was into the Manistee River, Manistee, Michigan. We bought it primarily to fish from. I am amazed by its stability while touring and casting. Plenty of room for paddles and poles. We landed Small Mouth Bass as well as a Brown Trout. It is the perfect boat.

I finally received my green…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/24/2002
I finally received my green 138t from Cabelas. Had to order it and have it shipped because no one local was carrying it. I arrived in excellent condition and I am very happy with it. I changed my mind on which kayak to but at least 5 times but I am glad I chose this boat. Was bought mainly to flyfish out of in Missouri streams and lakes, but wanted to take my young boys out with me also. I love all the space the tandom boat provides for gear when paddling solo. Does everything I need it to do, I gave it a nine because of the difficulty I had turning it in the wind.

Well my new, bright yellow,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/19/2002
Well my new, bright yellow, Loon 138T has been launched!!! Her maiden "voyage" was on St. Patrick's Day… a sunny, 40-degree day in Boston with light to moderate ocean winds. The boat was stable, fast, warm, controlled GREAT and at no point did I not feel compleatly safe. I really did my homework (with the help of paddeling.net) before selecting this boat, and what a GREAT time we all had because of that!!!

So, here goes… review time… I chose the Loon 138T for a host of reasons: Foremost, it was just really important to me to always have the option of bringing a guest along, and for that reason I had to go with a tandem. Mind you, the Loon 138T is not geared towards two tall adults, but my friend and I (she's 5'4 and I'm 5'7) both fit very comfortably. However most trips out will be just the dog (a 20 lbs. Terrier) and me, so it was important that the boat not be overwhelming in terms of its size (the tandem Loon is 13 feet 8 inches.). I also really like the versatility afforded to me by the Loon’s open cockpit, i.e. on hot days I get to feel the sun and air coming off the water, while on cold days I have the option of adding a skirt for protection; what could be better!?!?! If there is a down side to the Loon 138T it’s that it is heavy, at 60 lbs I wouldn’t want to have to walk it a great distance. But hey, that’s what wheel attachments and friends are for, and frankly I wasn’t willing to pay for fiberglass or Kevlar. Which brings me to my final reason for selecting an Old Town Canoe product…affordability!!!

I really love this boat, and feel very comfortable recommending it!


Just bought the 138T this…

Submitted by: NC887 on 1/7/2002
Just bought the 138T this Sept. Only been in the water 3 times. Small lake,1 fast moving class C river & the sound. Great Kayak. The PloyLink 3 seems to be very strong durable. Being my first kayak I can`t compare to others. I like the 18x84 inch cockpit. I don`t feel so confind. It paddles very well solo. I havn`t tried tandem yet. Tracks very good. I`ve ordered the optional rudder. Mainly for at the coast. To date, it seems to be an all around Kayak for me. I think it will do just fine on some of our lakes & at the coast & planning on trying just a LITTLE white water.

Greetings ..I have owned a…

Submitted by: paddler228551 on 12/26/2001
Greetings ..I have owned a 138 loon for about four years now ,Used in rivers ,lakes ,oceans ( try blue fishing in this ) ...I purchased this via owner reviews ....Thinking there might be an even better boat on the market I also purchased a Pungo for my wife (actually so my friends could go with me) now it's a issue on who goes ..Both these boats have it all ,take the abuse rocky rivers dish out ,load capacity,etc..although I highly reccommend skirts for both ..

Just wrapped up a photo shoot…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/20/2001
Just wrapped up a photo shoot for a kayak duck hunting story and was very impressed with my loon 138T. Both myself and the hunter agrred that it handled very well, maneuvered with little difficulty and was very stable. I had a 75 pound Chocolate Lab jumping out of the boat to retrieve ducks without even a notion of tipping the kayak. Roomy enough to accomodate, dog, flotation device, decoys, gun, hunting gear and extra clothes. Only concern was the tie handles on each end could be a little thicker. They tended to dig into your palms when it was fully loaded with gear. Great kayak overall, I'd highly recommend it to hunters and anglers.

The Old Town Loon is not an…

Submitted by: jmcphoto1 on 9/5/2001
The Old Town Loon is not an unsafe boat! The method of attaching the grab loops has been changed on all Loons that are currently being sold, the bow and stern have been pinched so the grab loops go through solid polyurethane. I have a four-year-old 138 that had he old style grab loops. After years and hundreds of times of being used for front tie down line the front holes did get loose and in heavy weather could take drips, though less than from the paddle.(e-mail me if you have an older loon, its easy fix but takes a bit of time to explain) Since the holes are only an inch below the deck the only way I could imagine the rear loop taking on large amounts of water is if the boat was so badly trimmed to the rear the stern was nearly below water. (The cockpit is more than half the length of the boat; so if paddling solo with the rear seat all the way back this is possible). As to the cockpit being too narrow and hard to get in (18" for the Loon, 19" for the Pungo) I have never found a kayak easier to get into or out of than my Loon. The Loon is indeed a foot and a half longer and 10# heavier (5# for a solo 138 to compare apples to apples) than the Pungo. I currently own four kayaks by four different manufactures; the Loon is the most versatile, most comfortable, and most stable and my favorite. I'm sure the Pungo is a great boat, but so is the Loon family of boats. Sure I'd like the Loon to be 10-15#s lighter, but that's the only complaint I truly have, but I'm sure a kevlar Loon would would be beyond my budget.

I bought the Old Towne 138T…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/27/2001
I bought the Old Towne 138T so I could take my dog kayaking with me. I did not like it at all and after one month traded it in for a Pungo (which I love). The 138T was too heavy and long for me to transport to the water. The cockpit is long, but very narrow and I found to be not fun to get in and out of it. Also, in the back of the kayak, there are two holes cut into it for the cord to go through for the handle. I found on windy days with large waves or even waves from large boats that the waves would come up over the two holes and water would get into my boat. Once I had it out on a windy day with decent size waves and I ended up with a large amount of water in my boat! It was very frightening. I thought I was going to sink! After that, I traded it in for a Pungo and I have not had any problems with it. The 138T is not a safe boat! The design of the boat is strange. The handle for the back of the boat should be on TOP of the boat, not below the deck so water can easily get in.

Bought the Loon 138T after…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/27/2001
Bought the Loon 138T after having a 138 Single for a year. The tandem version tracks better than the single and is faster! Never thought I would find anything better than the 138 single in a rec kayak, but I was wrong! Seats are not the same as the 138 single, and cockpit is a bit narrower, but the performance is great! Loads of room for swimming fishing, picnics. Let the young kids have their performance- we aging boomers have our Loons!

It's the best 2 person kayak…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/22/2001
It's the best 2 person kayak I've ever tried. It also works very well solo, better than other I think. I bought one the same day I tried it 3 years ago & have been extremely satisfied with how it handles. It's quality made & inexpensive.

Purchased my 138T because of…

Submitted by: paddler228489 on 3/16/2000
Purchased my 138T because of the reviews it received on this sight. I bought it primarily as a single to hunt and fish in, but it works great as a tandem for my twelve-year-old and me. It is a great yak and it does do it all pretty well. I like it better than my friend's Pamlico Excel. I'ts a smaller boat but ride,tracking and overall performance don't suffer from it's lack of size. I find it to be a great creek boat and it handles well in small swells. I'ts a fun yak and I would highly recomend it to anyone who wants a light duty tandem kayak that doubles as a great single.

I have used this boat as a…

Submitted by: paddler228437 on 1/28/2000
I have used this boat as a single , tandem with my 7 year old son ,taken the rear seat out and loaded it with camping gear for a weeks trip. what more could you ask for in a kayak .the north east has plenty of rocky rivers the 't' has taken it all in stride and still looks good.other boats may do other things better but the 138 t will do alot of things well. great boat for lakes,rivers ponds and just kicking back and having fun.

Purchased the 138 for my wife…

Submitted by: paddler228414 on 1/12/2000
Purchased the 138 for my wife to paddle with the dog. Large cockpit and adjustable sliding seat [Max rear position] provides plently of room and OK trim with the extra canine passenger. Very stable and tracks well. Seat back folds for access but its not truly adjustable in terms of back support. Extra stiff with the 3 layer makeup which gives it a more solid feel. I don't know how forgiving it when its meets some river rocks! A good boat for under $500.

I too, bought a 138T so that…

Submitted by: paddler228411 on 1/8/2000
I too, bought a 138T so that I could take my dog along. Even when she "rocks the boat", it is easy to control. I was surprised at how well it tracks for a recreational kayak. My Loon was used more this year than my regular touring kayak, and I have had little problem keeping up with friends in their singles. If I could get the dog to paddle, we'd be flying! Excellent construction and outstanding value for the money.

I bought the Loon 138 so I…

Submitted by: paddler228385 on 12/7/1999
I bought the Loon 138 so I could bring my dog, Tupper, kayaking with me. I have taken the Loon on lakes, coastal kayaking in Maine (get a spray skirt) and in class II rapids on the Delaware river (with Tupper trying to eat the whitewater). The boat is a bit wide by traditional kayak standards, but it handles quite well. It tracks well, turns easily and is very stable. I am able to haul Tupper out of the water and into the boat without worrying about tipping over. This is a great family boat (my nephew loves to sit in front) and can hold lots of geat for a day trip. It is not meant to be a serious kayak (just look at the size of the cockpit!) I would recommend it for anyone who is just starting out, or anyone who wants a stable boat.

I purchased a Loon 138 in…

Submitted by: seark on 9/9/1999
I purchased a Loon 138 in August as my second kayak - my first being a 120 (see review under Loon 120). I really like the extra room of the 138. I have the single seat model which gives you lots of room for storage. I carry a dry box with my camera, binoculars, lunch, birding field guide, cell phone, etc. and there is plenty of room for it between my feet where it is easy to retreive and take things in and out. Have taken my dog and also children out with me, they can either ride in front of or behind the paddler. The boat is very stable - my Chesapeake Bay Retreiver can climb in and out and hardly rock the boat. It is a little harder to load and unload due to weight and length, but I can and have managed to do it by myself. "Ethel" has a few scratches already, but she does handle falls well.

My family is pleased that we…

Submitted by: paddler228258 on 8/30/1999
My family is pleased that we purchased a Loon 138 (not 138T, the tandem version). We have used Otters and Loon 120 but prefer the bigger, faster 138, clearly the flagship of the Old Town Loon line, for recreational lake paddling.

The 138 handles my 220 lbs. well but is also easily managed by my 10 year-old, 62 lb. daughter. New paddlers are comfortable getting in and out. I have used several other boats and find the Loon 138 the best for my calm lake. This boat is a classic-in-the-making, or so says I. Check out the construction and the design.

1. Tracks well, but others, like Pungo, track better
2. Very maneuverable, especially in shallows
3. Sleek, so cross-winds not a bother
4. Tough shell takes a hit--alas, I found out the hard way
5. Easy to get in and out
6. Fine recreational boat for the money

Borrow a 138, then another in its class. Let me know if you find a better recreational boat for the money. My canoe is a 85 year-old Old Town, still going strong: I have confidence in the company.

Final tip: Spring for the 138 over the 120, which has become scarce anyway. The 138 is well worth the extra money.


Great boat for a relaxing…

Submitted by: paddler228238 on 8/15/1999
Great boat for a relaxing paddle. Handles well. Good value.

I recently purchased 2 Loon…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/28/1999
I recently purchased 2 Loon 138's.I've had them in both lakes,and the ocean,and found it more than capable of either.I had a friend buzz me in his Boston Whaler,to see how it handled the wake,it took it like a champ! I then took it to the ocean,and the waves didn't effect it's great handling at all.I let my 7 year old take it for a cruise in the ocean,and SHE could handle it with ease.My only complaint,once you get in,forget about readjusting the foot pegs,do it on shore,and get it right before you head out.Good luck,and happy paddling.

Just got a Loon 138. I have…

Submitted by: paddler228105 on 6/1/1999
Just got a Loon 138. I have had it in the water several times now and I am real pleased with how well it goes. Also it is light enought that I have no trouble loading or unloading it from my truck and getting it to the water. I mainly use it on calm rivers and lakes. I like to explore water ways and take pictures and just relax. This Kayak works well for me.

I have a loon138 single and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/16/1999
I have a loon138 single and find the loading and unloading a bit awkward but once the boat is in the water. The stability is great. I use mine for large lakes and salt-water day trips ...a great day tripper.

I have a 138 single seater…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/6/1999
I have a 138 single seater and it's a great boat, very durable. Excellent high back seat. Needs more footroom under deck for me. I'm 6'4" 275 lbs. I use mine to fish, duck hunt and for wildlife photography. My only gripe is that they want an obscene amount of money for an optional hatch cover that should have come with the boat as standard equipment.

Two seat, single cockpit…

Submitted by: paddler228001 on 2/14/1999
Two seat, single cockpit polyethylene construction. Weight 59 lbs. Purchased to use mainly as a saltwater craft for bay fishing. Have had it in the water two times so far, both times with a stiff wind creating a good (12" to 16" chop) The first time out was solo, the second time out was with my wife as a passenger. Kayak handled well, tracking with just a little effort. Drifting sideways with the wind while fishing I stayed nice and dry, the waves that did break onto the hull were turned back nicely by the cockpit flare. The boat will, I believe, evolve into a very nice fishing platform as I do occasional mods to it, plus it will serve well as a nice day tripper with another passenger aboard. Solo it can carry a fair amount of gear, although it can be a bit awkward accessing it when stored aft. Hull seems to hold up pretty good, with only minor abrasions from contacting the many oyster reefs in our bays around here.

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