Name: Oregonpaddler

Most Recent Reviews

Pros: -Budget price. -Bargain priced all over the internet, selling as used. -Incredibly simple and easy installation and removal on any bar. -Low profile--looks good it that's important to you. -Does not spin on square or aero bars. -Little if any wind noise when they're left on the bars.

Cons: -Tend to spin on round bars when pushing kayak on car from behind. -Small footprint can dent poly kayaks if saddle is on bottom of hull instead of on the curved sides. -When loading from behind (pushing kayak on), grippers on rear saddles grip too much. (Peel the grippy stuff off. Leave it on the front saddles.) -Easy to steal saddles if little "security" screws aren't installed. -Easy to lose the little "security" screws if they aren't installed.

Mesh back keeps the vest from riding up if you have a high back rest type kayak seat. Pockets, pockets, for all I need. Comfortable shoulder straps and a bright color to warn the motor heads I'm on or in the water. Great stitching and over all construction. Highly recommended.

Got my '08 Pygmy Standard (measures 16 foot) in 2016 used at a great price. For an honest review, I can only compare it to similar kayaks I own. I use my Old Town Cayuga 146 and Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16 as comparisons. The wood Pygmy, right off, is of course more beautiful and about 12 pounds lighter, so there. The seat is a simple back band with a Thermarest butt seat and is much, much more comfortable than the Cayuga seat and as good as the aftermarket back band seat in the Zephyr 16. The Osprey is just a bit faster than the Cayuga 146, meaning it moves faster in relation to the effort put into the paddle strokes. The Zephyr 16 is just as "fast", if not faster. The two plastic boats turn easier (less effort) than the Osprey. A stop and turn with the Osprey simply takes more effort than with the other two. The hull shape on the Pygmy Standard is a straight line design with chines, meaning it's great for long days of touring with minimum effort, but the lines on the Cayuga 146 and Zephyr 16 are quite streamlined as well. I'll put the Zephyr 16 on par with the Osprey for "speed" and the Cayuga 146 as close to both. The hatches on the Osprey are not as convenient as the hatches on the plastic boats due to the kit construction, but nevertheless work well. None of the hatches on the three boats are 100% waterproof, no matter what the makers claim, but that's what dry bags are for, so no big deal. I did not put the Pygmy kit together, so have no comments on assembly. It was built by an owner who did it right, and it's gorgeous, but I cringe whenever I scrape a rock. With the plastic boats it's just another bit of plastic curly-cue stuck on a rock. All in all, I will admit to being a proud owner of a beautiful wooden kayak that draws compliments from most folks who see it. The Osprey Standard 16 foot performs very well in most respects except low speed turning and again, that's only compared to the two boats I have for comparison. Every kayak has compromises. If you have the time and talent and garage space to build a Pygmy kit boat, you'll be happy with the end result. I've never seen a bad review on any of their models. I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 because of the slow speed turning effort and that's subjective anyway, so you may as well ignore it. Go out and paddle something. Anything.

I just bought a used 1999 Loon 120 for $400 and consider it a great investment. This is an older Polylink3 boat, circa 2000 or so, not the newer single-layer poly Loon that's currently marketed. As I've written on other reviews, OT's Polylink3 boats were/are extraordinary. They are heavier than the current OT design, but so much sturdier.

This boat tracks well and turns well for a rec boat, has a huge open cockpit, and because of the construction, floats when full of water, due to the foam inner hull. I think OT gave up on this expensive manufacturing process after being bought out by Johnson Worldwide Camping, or whoever they are. Too bad..the older Polylink3 boats will outlast many other plastic boats made today.

If you can find an older Loon that has the Polylink3 construction, or even a Cayuga (very rare), my advice is, Buy It.

I've used all the Yakima and Thule saddles on the market at one time or another and like the Land Sharks best because of price and design. Price factors heavily for me. I've used them on Yakima bars, and even with the hardware tightened as tight as I can get them, the saddles will oftentimes spin on the bars while loading the kayak.

I've since purchased a set of Inno bars, which are the same as Thule (perhaps the ARE Thule), and the Land Sharks stay put. There's the advantage of square bars---nothing can spin on them. The Yak hardware (Snap-Arounds) works with square bars, so that's not a problem. As for discoloration on 'glass boats from the saddles, there are a few suggestions on the previous reviews that will alleviate that problem. My boats are plastic and they all float, so a few scuff marks are just part of the aging process, just like me.

So there's my review... Thule, Inno and Yakima parts together work very well for me... they all have their pros and cons. Take the Middle Ground and compromise and configure a set up that works well for you.

Follow-up on my first review of this product. My old Deck Mate bag lasted about 3 years and 30 trips and the only negative is the zipper. It self-destructed and now I use the bag just for small gear storage in the garage. I purchased another Deck Mate and the zipper construction hasn't changed. I was pretty hard on the first, so am being gentle with this one.

A follow-up on my previous Loon 111 review: I had the Loon…

A follow-up on my previous Loon 111 review:
I had the Loon out a few times and it is rock solid. Initial and secondary stability is great on Class 1 and 11 waters. Is it as fast as my Cayuga 14? No, because it's a shorter boat. Does it turn easier? Yes, because it's a shorter boat. Tracking is pretty good, but again, it's short and does wander just a bit with stronger strokes, but it's not a big issue with me. The seat on my model is on a slider mechanism, but will slide back unexpectedly unless my feet are pressed against the foot braces.

I still believe this is a great value if you can find one. The only caveat is this: I bought a bungee-style Extrasport spray skirt from OT and due to the larger open cockpit,it's a bear to put on. If your seat is in the middle of the adjustment range, it's hard to put the skirt on while sitting in the kayak--you need a helper or very long arms to attach it. On solo trips, if I need the skirt, I clamp it near the front of the cockpit with two small spring clamps and then work the skirt around and to the back. I think this is a problem with many large cockpit openings, regardless of the brand. Also, due to the long stretch the skirt has to go, water will pool a bit right in front of you as the skirt sags.

Other than that, this is a very good little kayak. I believe it's a better buy used than the new single-layer plastic offerings from OT.

Old Town no longer makes the Loon kayak, at least in this configuration. Production costs, marketing, the economy or whatever have changed Old Town. If you can find a used Loon, any length, you should consider it. OT use a patented construction method called PolyLink3, which is a foam sheet sandwiched between an inner and outer layer of polyethylene. The result was a stiff kayak that resisted bending and that floated while full water, with no need for sealed hatches. Anyway, they quit doing it. So if you can find one, like I just did, and the seller is reasonable, my advice is buy it. I paid $400, which is about $100 less than the Loon sold for in 2002.

I sold, rented and paddled kayaks for over a decade at a major sports retailer in Oregon, and in my opinion, OT did it right. The Polylink3 Loon is a recreational boat, not for class III waters or above, unless you're brave, adventurous or dumb, but it is a sturdy, stable and roomy boat that will last for many years. As with any plastic boat, store it out of the sun and you'll still be enjoying it ten years from now. No, I don't work for Old Town or Johnson, their parent company. I just know about kayaks. For it's intended purpose, this is a good one.

This review is for the Enchantment fiberglass paddle...I cannot find it on Carlisle's current website, so they may have discontinued this model. Too bad.

I use this with my OT Cayuga 14 in slow rivers in Oregon as well as an occasional foray into the Pacific. For the money, it's one of the lightest and strongest paddles on the market. A few grams heavier than carbon, but much less expensive and just as good. I've treated in well, but have made the lazy mistake of pushing off rocks with it and the spoon has never cracked. Whenever my paddling friends borrow it they don't want to give it up. Some sites still offer it at around $160.00-180.00. If you can find one, it is worth the full price.

Nice addition to a good Yakima line. I had the Thule version on my older car and it's the same principle. Both work well. With a bad shoulder, it's difficult sometimes to get a 55 pound boat on top of the old Subaru. This pull-out bar helps. The reviewer who gave it a 1 out of ten probably wants a microwave oven installed in his kayak...