Ascend H12 vs Old Town Next

I was pretty set on the Ascend H12 as it seems to be pretty much ideal for my purposes (slow rivers, medium to large lakes, multi-day trips, some fishing), but before plunking down the money I’m trying to weigh all my options. The hybrids appeal to me for the cargo space to go kayak camping. Is there anything the Old Town Next can do better than the Ascend H12 to justify spending the extra $300?

I’m 6’7" 300lb with an absolute max budget of $1000. As I said, I will be paddling lakes ranging from as small as 200 acres to as large as 115k acres. I would also like to paddle some of the larger rivers in the area. Class 1 at most. Am I on the right track with my choices? Im definitely open to suggestions at this point.

Well now you are a big guy and I would not recommend either of these little boats for your purposes. Multi-day, and medium-large lakes also suggests a larger boat with room for more gear and the capability to handle a little wind/waves/boat wakes when encountered. If you are DEAD SET on buying new then you may be quite limited with a budget under $1000 for a decent quality boat that you will be happy with. I would suggest looking into a good used boat of much higher quality than what you have listed above. Paddling a nice quality larger solo or even a tandem by facing the stern in the bow seat is more preferred IMO. Are you an experienced paddler? What part of the country do you live? Will you ever have another person come along? (Hence the versatility of a tandem) Are you limited on boat weight (loading and unloading the boat) by physical disabilities or are you as strong as an OX and can lift lots of weight without problems? This last question directly reflects the price range of possible boats because weight is generally inversely proportional to price for the same size/type boat. When you give us a little more info, we can certainly help with boat choices.

I strongly prefer new. I’ve owned a few canoes in the past, but that was quite a few years ago so I would still consider myself very much a novice at this point. My 5 year old will be going with me until he is mature/skilled enough to paddle on his own, but I have no need for a tandem boat. I’m located in east texas and will be using a trailer so weight is of little consequence. I need to be able to fit the boat in my shed for storage so a length of less than 14’ is a requirement. Another option I’m looking at is the wilderness systems commander 120. Just to clarify, when I refer to overnight trips I’m using backpacking gear so probably not more than 50lb additional weight.

No need for a tandem boat? Five year old ; 50 lbs and getting bigger. You 300 lbs… Archimedes was the ultimate boatbuilder. You need more volume of boat. The boat will displace 350 lbs or 400 lbs of water( or with backpacking gear 450) . That means a short boat sinks lower in the water. You need longer and wider and probably mininum of 15 feet.

This is not an option. You are taking a child out there and floating sufficiently high to ensure adequate freeboard is not a nice to have. Its can be a matter of life threatening importance in case waves kick up on that big lake.

Something has to be altered. You are a tall guy so its not you. ( Tall guys require more width and volume as they are top heavy…the head has a lot to do with staying upright. Even a small lean over the side from way up there will have consequences.
Budget seems not to be alterable
It is no sin not to buy new… I have bought many canoes and seldom buy new.

Your shed could probably accommodate a rack and a cable locking system

Frankly for your needs have you looked at a 15 foot aluminum canoe? Its downfall might be it will be hot.

YES on everything kayamedic just said! Try not to look at all the limitations as your criteria for buying choice. Most all highly knowledgeable and experienced canoeist (that aren’t wealthy) buy quality used whenever they have a chance. I am FROM East Texas and if you have a good shaded outdoor shelter away from the sun and (not so importantly) rain, maybe you can dispense with the “gotta fit in the storage shed” limitation. I store many boats outside here in SC (similar climate) but 100% out of sun and most rain exposure. You would be way better served with a 15-16ft tandem that can be secured (locked) for security. I highly suggest you actually do a TEST paddle in a small boat like the NEXT on a choppy windy lake with a 50lb load to simulate either a camp setup or a small child and then decide! I think you will come around to realize the advantages of a larger boat for your size requirements. I am 5’11" and 190lb and own a Mohawk Solo 14 which is similar (but bigger) than the NEXT and love it for sheltered waters, creeks, swamps and running rivers but if I were out on exposed lakes where wind and waves could happen very quickly, I would rather be in my 15-16 ft boats with more freeboard and tracking ability. Plus bringing my grandson is out of the question in my SOLO 14 whereas the tandems are more capable.

I appreciate the suggestions. I’m considering a canoe, but having already owned a couple in the past I kinda want to try a kayak this time. I don’t have a garage and my shed is the only secure space I have large enough to fit something that size. It is just a hair under 15’ corner to corner. I’ve redirected my research toward tandems that have a center seat options for days I want to take a trip down to the lake by myself while my son’s in school.

Here’s the list I came up with…

Feelfree Corona
Perception Cove 14.5T
Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T
Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL
Hobie Odyssey
Malibu Pro 2
Old Town Discovery 133

I’m heading down to ACK tomorrow to see if they have any of these models to check out. One of the biggest issues is going to be legroom with my 37" inseam. My son and I rented a perception tribe 13.5 at the state park a few weeks back and even the furthest foothold was way to close to comfortably use.