We purchased two Old Town Vapor 12XT Kayaks for our family and friends to use at our cottage about 5 years ago. The kids love them and take our dog with them at times. So lots of room in this model as our dog is not a small breed. (Collie Shepard) Even our dog loves kayaking! Love the click seal hatch to keep things dry, the molded-in paddle rest for floating down the river! The molded-in cockpit tray comes in handy to set my portable speaker on to listen to music while I am kayaking. The drink cup holder built into the seat is great to keep me hydrated while on the river. And I love the built in carry handles, some of my friends do not have these on their models and I must say not only do they come in handy to carry but to anchor the kayak down when needed when I have to transport my kayak on the back of a truck. You will not be disappointed with this model!
Got one last spring. Just love it . Haven't found anything that I can not use it for except more then class II rapids. Because of its size it may take me a bit longer to do a touring run. But because of what I can carry I don't care. Even on windy days on big lakes I've never felt out of control.
Great smashes what it is designed for, being in Michigan there are many calm rivers and lakes to take it on. It is a rec yak so with that in mind don't try to use it somewhere like lake Michigan or away from a bay. Otherwise it is extremely stable and tracks well. Easy to get in and out of. So great for what it is designed for.
Also just as a post note, not sure what another reviewer was talking about with it leaking... it is made from a single mold design of thick plastic; unless punctured it somehow it isn't going to leak like a cheap two piece you'd get from a hardware store as he described it.
Beginning of this season I purchased my Old Town 12XT angler, at first was very stratified. After the 5 month's of use I noticed I started taken on a little water here and there. Yesterday my wife and I went out with in the first hour and a half I find myself pulling over and draining out about an 1" 1/2 of water. Decided then to head back in and leave. Bybthe time we docked yet another 1" 1/2 of water. Now mind you I found it odd the dealer suggested I coat my kayak with the Old Town recommended sealant but I did. The dealer also recommended I not drag it and to purchase a kayak cart which I did. My kayak is always out of the sun and indoors other when in use. Yet I cannot get a full one season out of a $700 kayak! Ridiculous!!! I thought stepping it up from my $75 Walden Experience I purchased from a friend 21 years ago was a good idea. I was wrong! I've taken my Walden Experience kayak everywhere, it was dragged over anything and everything, left out all year long, hell it even has flown out of my truck at 60mph. Yet that kayak still not one flaw! I will recommend to anyone that ask to look at better kayaks than Old Town not worth the money.......
Had it out this weekend on a mountain lake with light winds and just a little chop and it did fabulous. It was stable and easy to turn, tracked just as well with the dog as without. Of course the USA label was a bonus as well. I'd definitely recommend this for a beginner (as I am). I did get a Malone Seawing rack for the van so loading isn't as much of a problem (just couldn't afford the fancy Thule). I did add some velcro tabs inside to secure my bilge pump and extra paddles in the back.
The only reason it didn't get a 10 was I am going to need to put some foam protectors on the bars of the foot pegs so I don't get scraped up on them. Will also be adding a splash deck for when I am "dog-less".
I added a seal sneak spray skirt to the boat and have taken it through numerous rapids of class III designation and lower (although I would certainly start small and work up to class IIIs if you are new)
This is a wonderful rec boat, it handles well on flatwater, and does well in mild whitewater. I have taken it over 4 foot ledges, and 5 foot haystacks and never felt it would let me down.
I have taken this boat on a 35 mile flatwater overnight trip and felt it was comfortable the entire way.
The only things this boat loses points for is that the dashboard is very tough to reach (I'm 6 feet 185) for me but the between the legs beverage holder works well. The thigh pads are also quite thin but that can be easily remedied by spending a few dollars at the hardware store. Also I would recommend installing a drain plug in the boat.
In conclusion, if your into big whitewater, get a whitewater boat. If your big into sea kayaking or touring, get the appropriate boat. If you are new to kayaking and don't know what you want or you'd like to try aspects of everything, this is a good boat to start out on. I would recommend getting 240cm paddles as the boat is quite wide as well as a decent skirt if you plan on doing anything bigger than class I as the boat's massive cockpit allows it to take on a lot of water quickly.