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Vapor 12 Description

The Vapor 12 is a kayak brought to you by Old Town Canoe and Kayak. Read Vapor 12 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!

Vapor 12 Reviews


Read and submit reviews for the Vapor 12.

Old Town Canoe and Kayak
Vapor 12 Reviews

Read reviews for the Vapor 12 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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Kayak reviews need to be…

Submitted by: tcsspitts on 9/7/2016
Kayak reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt and focus on you want from your boat. My cousin was shopping around and based on what he wanted I recommended this model. He purchased it and is very happy, I tried it and like it also.

He wanted on the water cheap and we got this at a local closeout outfitter for about $375. He wanted a beginner boat and easy to get in and out. This covered his basics but when I paddled it around I found it moved easily through the water, at 28.5 inches, it is narrow for a rec boat. The open cockpit is a breeze to get in & out, and as he pointed out he can put his grandson in front of him (or a small to medium dog). He placed the hatch cover on his boat which makes easy covered storage for a cooler and lunch.

The only shortcoming of this boat is the seat. It has the basic seat not the XT so it lacks padding, nothing an aftermarket cushion can't help. This is not a boat for weekend expeditions or whitewater but for his needs it is a great boat.


After having this boat for 4…

Submitted by: BigJim on 4/7/2016
After having this boat for 4 years and using it about a 100 times its time for my review. Likes- Tracks great, handles wind and chop with ease, able to take my 50 pound dog along with plenty of room, plenty of storage under the front deck. A real pleasure to paddle on lakes & rivers. Dislikes - Should have came with some more deck bungee.

This review is actually for a…

Submitted by: paddler236430 on 8/12/2015
This review is actually for a Vapor 12s, which only after I purchased did I find out meant "slim". Since this is my very first kayak, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have bought a slim model, because at first it seemed very tippy. HOWEVER, now that I've gotten used to the kayak, I absolutely love it. One great thing about being a slim model is that this thing is FAST, and that I like. I am a 50yr old woman, in OK shape, and was worried that my arms would get tired paddling. But thanks to having a LONG and SLIM kayak, that has not happened.

This kayak tracks great, has lots of storage space under the hull, I shove 2 dry bags under there and they are not in the way of my feet. I opted to get the "open" storage behind the seat because I plan to put my corgi dog back there for rides. But now I'm thinking of getting a cover for that compartment and just letting her ride inside with me.

One VERY IMPORTANT thing you need to know is that this kayak sinks RAPIDLY if you tip it and try to get back in. I specifically told my hubby I was going to practice this falling out/getting back in manueuver just in case, and so I tried it in 8ft of water. Holy cow am I glad I did, it was sinking rapidly and I was barely able to tug it to shore in time, and by then it was completely underwater. Had I know this, I would've bought a ride on top. But I have this one and except for the potential sinking, I love it. I bought about 6 pool noodles at Walmart and glued them inside the kayak, out of the way. This should at least buy me some time.

All in all, I really like this kayak, its light enough that I can throw it in the truck and get it in the water all by myself; its beautiful in color; tracks great.


I bought the Vapor 12 about a…

Submitted by: JD77 on 6/4/2015
I bought the Vapor 12 about a month ago and since then I have had it on a 3-day trip in Algonquin Park, Ontario and a few day trips in local lakes. I did my homework before purchasing and I am very satisfied with the product. I paid $449 Cdn for this kayak on sale, and it's worth every penny.

Very solid, roomy, tracks nicely, and a pleasure to paddle and fish from. I am a big guy, 5'11" around 250 lbs and I feel super comfortable in this. Yes, it takes a few minutes to get comfortable, but once you do it's a piece of cake.

Only downsides from my perspective is that the location of the drain plug is almost useless, the water does not drain out through it, so you are left turning the kayak upside-down (which still doesn't drain it due to the cockpit lip) or sponge/towel it dry. It is a bit heavy at just under 60lbs, so putting it on top of an SUV etc with it's 12 ft length is tough to do solo but possible. Portaging is a two person job. Other than that, it would have been nice to have a few more gadgets like a trolling rod holder, or a closed storage compartment, but all things that can be added on fairly cheaply. The trolley anchor system is a nice touch. Seat is comfortable, but I may add some padding for added comfort for long days.

For the money, I don't think you can beat the Vapor 12 for a good, solid fishing or pleasure kayak.


purchased this kayak in July…

Submitted by: paddler234459 on 3/18/2012
purchased this kayak in July '10. I paid about 380 dollars for it. This boat tracks and glides pretty easily; effortlessly. This is my first kayak and I think I choose well and feel lucky to have the 12 foot model. I plowed into 1 foot swells down the lower James River this fall during a in coming hurricane agaist the wind. To spite the high wind and rough water i confidently paddled couple miles out of downtown Richmond: felt like Chuck Norris.

After much research and…

Submitted by: paddler234349 on 11/7/2011
After much research and review, I bought this yak... it tracks very well, is easy to maneuver and the seat is much more comfortable than others I had tried (Swifty, Pelican Sundance, etc.) Can't wait to take it out again

I bought 2 of these. Overall…

Submitted by: paddler234294 on 9/21/2011
I bought 2 of these. Overall I am very happy. My ONLY complaints are the seat is not very comfortable and I plan to get some seat cushions, and if you get any water in the boat, it is impossible to get it out.

For the price, I think it's…

Submitted by: paddler234242 on 8/23/2011
For the price, I think it's hard to beat the OT Vapor 12. The cockpit is very roomy. The built-in paddle holders are a nice touch as is the easily adjustable seat back. I velcroed foam cushions to the seat bottom and the seat back and greatly improved the comfort for very little money. The boat tracks fairly well and is very stable. It's a fairly "bare-bones" kayak, but I added deck rigging, paddle clips, and the above-mentioned foam seat cushions to make it a little bit nicer for not a lot of money.

All in all, I'm very happy with my Vapor 12... it's a great beginner kayak without making a huge investment. I feel that we all think nowadays that we just HAVE to have the latest, greatest and most expensive of whatever it is that we are currently "in to" and later on, when the newness has worn worn off, we are left with an expensive "toy" sitting around that no longer thrills us. With the Vapor 12, a little money will get you a lot of enjoyment and you can always upgrade later on if your interest still remains high.

All in all, I'm very happy with my Vapor and would recommend it to others who are interested in kayaking.


We bought this for $349 at…

Submitted by: paddler234205 on 8/9/2011
We bought this for $349 at Cabelas. We use it on Deer Creek and Jourdanelle Reservoirs. It tracks nicely and is easy to use. I did buy the 240 CM oars because it does have a higher side wall and I would hit my knuckles with the 230 CM oars. My wife finds it easy to use also.

The Vapor 12 is our second…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/5/2010
The Vapor 12 is our second kayak. After fishing my wife out of the St. Francis River when our Pamlico tandem capsized last spring, I thought she'd never try the sport again. However, the Vapor 12 is about as stable as it gets. Easy to get in and out and tracks straight. So now we're a couple of happy kayakers again. I use the Pamlico as a single and she joins me in the Vapor. As a side note--tandem kayaking is so over-rated. Don't we all want to be "captain" of our own ship?

I do not own this boat, but I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/8/2010
I do not own this boat, but I recently rented one for a 33 mile overnight trip down the Greenbrier River from Seebert to Keister. I am 6'7" 300 pounds, and I have always had terrible luck with hard boats. I have to say that this was by far the best experience I have had with a hard kayak. There was plenty of room for my large frame, including all my gear. This was an overnight trip, so I had my camping gear, drinks, food, cooler, etc. I could fit everything and still not exceed the weight limit! It was a great experience. I went right through the meat of class 3 Tumbling Rock Rapid with not a problem. Great tracking and stability. After seeing the price, I am sold! I want one of my own!

I got the base model Vapor 12…

Submitted by: paddler233588 on 5/14/2010
I got the base model Vapor 12 at Dick's Sporting Goods. They had the 12 for the same price as the 10, $379. After a $10 off coupon I had the boat for $369. Not a bad deal.
  • Stylish look.
  • Large cockpit, big enough for me and my 2 year old son.
  • Stable.
  • Tracks nicely, even in the wind.
  • Nice fore and aft carry handles.


  • Base model has an open deck well. Carrying a small rubbermaid container will keep things dry.
  • No deck bungees.
  • Thigh padding is almost worthless.
  • Plastic edge along cockpit is sharp.
I placed some rubber auto edging around the inside of the cockpit to soften the edges. My pain concern was my son cutting himself on the plastic. It is also uncomfortable to pick up the kayak with the sharp edge. I plan on doing my own deck bungees and a set of bungees over the deck well.

I like the kayak. For the price I feel like I did pretty good. I was having a hard time finding a 12 foot kayak in my price range that could perform and have enough room for me and my son. If I had to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat!


Traded in my OT Loon 138 as…

Submitted by: rnsparky on 8/6/2009
Traded in my OT Loon 138 as it was getting heavier each year. Got the Vapor 12 basic. This is an amazingly cheap boat, cheap seat, no bungee cords, etc, but exactly what I was looking for. Added a drain hole, bungee cords fore & aft, padded seat, and better cockpit coaming and now it's a pretty decent boat all for under $400.

Tracks well and very stable. Suggest the 12' rather than the 10' sold in most stores, as the 12' tracks better and the extra deck handles waves and mild whitewater so much better.