I have wanted a kayak for a few years and have decided that this spring will be the time I finally buy one. I have been looking at all different boats and think I have narrowed it down to 2. I’m looking at the Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 and the new Old Town Loon 120/126. Whatever boat I buy will be used for paddling lakes and streams in and around the Adirondacks in upstate NY. A big factor in my choice of kayaks will come down to my size. I’m just slightly bigger than your average paddler at 6’4" and about 260lbs so I will definitely need a boat with a pretty big cockpit. Any input on the kayaks I’m currently considering would be greatly appreciated. Also any other suggestions for boats I should look at would be welcomed as I want to make sure I end up with the best boat that I can get for someone my size that falls into the price range of the Pungos and Loons.
I’d rent a few kayaks that you might like first, lots cheaper to find out a rental isn’t what you want than to find that out after you bought it.
Then look for the one you really like.
I would check in with Lake George Kayak in the Spring – they carry a range of kayaks and have both demos and rentals and they are right on the lake, so you can test paddle them. You may find at your size that you don’t comfortably fit in some of the models.
I am guessing from your forum nickname that you are a fisherman. Any particular reason you are leaning towards a kayak? Canoes are generally more useful for fishing in northern waters. You might want to keep your options open for a pack canoe, which has aspects of both a canoe and kayak (you sit low inside the hull and paddle with a double ended kayak paddle.)
What Willowleaf said
Check with Ike at Lake George.
Try out some pack canoes (category not a brand/model).
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Pungo 140 if you can’t wait
If you’re not in a hurry, do as the other folks said and wait until you have a chance to test-paddle a few boats.
If forced to choose between those two, I’d get the Pungo 140. It’s a good big person’s boat.
The Pungo is on my list
of kayaks for fat paddlers. It is a great choice for what you want to do and there are other choices to consider here:
Even though it looks like you are more tall than fat, I think the list will work well for you too.
The Old Town Next pack canoe is the same list price as the Pungo 140. Perhaps you can check one of those out as well.
This is a good idea nm
On what your plans are, fishing or just paddling? The best thing about paddling in the Adirondacks is the ability to pond hop along with exploring all the channels that often connect them. Some times you may want to carry between different bodies of water for an interesting paddle. In Addition the put in can be some distance from where you park. I would suggest renting from the two outfitters in Saranac Lake in the heart of the Daks. Adirondack Lake and Trails and St. Regis outfitters are great people.
This boat will be used strictly for paddling. I have no plans to fish from the kayak. I’m mainly looking for another way to get out away from everything. I solo hike every chance I get just as a way to get out away from all the noise. This kayak would be used for the same thing. I would be looking to get out on the quiet backwater that most people don’t go to. If I do anything else from the boat it would probably be photography, but that would probably be on a rare occasion.
At your size IMO, you don’t want a 12’
anything. It would be a be a barge to paddle.
Look for something used on Craigslist. Pungo’s are pretty popular. Something in the 12-14’ range would be a good boat. That would be a cost effective way to get your feet wet in Daks. You may find out down the road you want a different boat especially if you want to get to some of the more remote ponds which often require a carry.