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, pockets...room 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.
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 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.
A follow-up on my previous Loon 111 review: I had the Loon…
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.
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.
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.