Loon 160 T vs. WS 145 T

I’m looking for a tandem kayak for photography, will be used on flat water almost exclusively, possibly some river use. I’m trying out a 145 T this weekend hopefully, but I thought I would get some opinions on here. Which is the better made boat of these two and does one track better than the other, faster? If I paddle down a river i’d like to know that I could paddle back up. :^) I thought of getting two pamlico 140’s, but i’m not sure the wife is going to enjoy kayaking.


WS 145T vs OT
I demoed three kayaks with my wife last weekend. The Pungo 120, which my wife did not like because her elbows kept hitting the top of the kayak. The Tsunami 140. We both liked it but it would be aprox $2,000 for two kayaks. When we tried the 145T, we loved it. No rudder, and it still tracked straight in moderate chop and a strong wind. I could paddle it all day long with my wife as a passenger. I tried it solo and it paddled staright and fast. We bought the 145T today, and can’t wait to take it out this weekend. I have not tried the Old Town.

I had a Loon 160T
It should do fine for your intended use. The seats slide to adjust for trim. I took it down river solo with a group of tandem canoes and solo kayaks and had no problems keeping up. It should go upstream reasonably well also. I thought it handled pretty nice as a solo and pretty well as a tandem. It was plenty comfortable for a couple hours of paddling.

I sold it this spring because at 74 lbs, it was too heavy for me to load back on the car after a couple hours of paddling. My wife can’t help me load the boat due to neck & back problems. We now paddle tandem in 60 lbs royalex Wenonah Solo Plus canoe. It’s much easier to carry and load than the Loon 160T.

I’ve never paddled a W. S. 145T, so I can’t comment on it.


– Last Updated: Aug-08-05 2:00 PM EST –

it is on the heavy side, and tough to handle alone, not impossible. But it is stable, you would have to work to flip it over on flat water.
My wife and I have both been leaning way over the same side and where not even close to going over.
I just paddled it solo for the first time, lets just say that it moved gracefully, but with great ease.
I also had a ten year old girl standing on each deck, in a word, STABLE.

Put many miles on my Loon 160T
It is a very stable boat. I often go snorkeling from the boat, and easily re-enter it from the side. Never came close to tipping it over.

I’ve taken multi-day trips, packing it like a barge. Even take a folding chair and tiki torch. Ridiculous but fun.

It IS heavy, but that’s what the little carts are for. Get or make one and you’ll do fine.

Tracking depends on trim [balance]. It tracks fine if in trim … if not, then you’re constantly correcting, like any kayak. There is a rudder available, but that’s $150 more, I believe.

I often paddle up river against the current. As long as the current is reasonable. It’s not a sea kayak. Three hours up, three down.

Local liveries rent these. Check out some in your neck of the woods. Also, check the reviews.

Sorry, no experience with your other choice.

Good Luck!

I had a cart for my Loon 160T…
It was great for getting the boat between car and water, but I had great difficulty getting it back up on the car by myself after paddling a couple hours without hurting myself. I hadn’t invested in the Thule bar extender to help load. That probably would have made loading easier. All this was moot after I bought a 49 lb Phoenix Vagabond tandem kayak.

Tried both
I’ve tried both and currently own a 145t. I think the 145t is a lot more versatile. But I do think it is limited to smaller adults or a larger adult with a smaller passenger.

The 145 is more efficient while the 160 is a tad more stable - the 145t is very stable as well.

Like some of the others said, going solo in a 160 isn’t as easy. The 145 almost paddles better solo.

for Two Adults the 160 is more spacious. I have a 160 and its just fits me & the wife. BTW NEVER paddle down stream FIRST!!! always always go up stream first, trust me on this…

Here’s how I load/unload it myself

– Last Updated: Aug-05-05 9:34 PM EST –

Regarding my Loon 160T

The biggest problem loading/unloading by yourself is the danger of the kayak sliding off the roof during the process. I know; I dropped mine several times before I came up with the following idea.

I have a Plymouth Grand Voyager van. No roof rack. I use foam blocks with straps. The stern tie down straps attach to holes in the frame.

When unloading the kayak, I loosen the stern tie-down straps all the way [they pass through the stern carry strap]. Then, I lift up the stern a little while I slide one of those pool noodles under the kayak. Now, I carefully "roll" the kayak off the roof and place the stern on the ground. The loosened straps are just the right length to keep the kayak from sliding along the ground, and crashing to the ground. The kayak is now resting at an angle with the stern on the ground and the bow above the tailgate. It is now a simple matter to slide the bow off the tailgate and place the kayak on my cart. The entire process takes about a minute.

To get the kayak back on the roof, I "sort of" reverse the process. I position the kayak [on the cart] along the side of the van, angled with the stern lined up with the middle of the van. I attach the fully extended stern straps to the stern carry strap and move the kayak back until the stern lines are taut. Now, I lift the bow of the kayak and slide it up against the tailgate. It is now in the same position listed above, resting at an angle with the stern on the ground and the bow above the tailgate. I now position the pool noodle on the roof, lift up the stern, and "roll" the kayak across the roof. Remove the pool noodle and you're ready to secure it to the roof.

Without using the stern tie-down straps to hold the kayak in position during loading/unloading, it would be nearly impossible to handle the kayak myself. With them, it is quite easy.

This works for me. And I suffer from three herniated discs. [Not from the kayak!]

That’s a cool idea to use the stern tie
downs to keep the stern from sliding during loading and unloading. Unfortunately, that approach won’t work on my Bonneville because the trunk lid gets in the way. I might have been able to use a variation of that approach to keep the bow from sliding while I was trying to get the boat up on my shoulders. Thanks for sharing that approach, it’s very creative.

160T and solo paddling
My wife who is 5’2", 120 lbs, was paddling the Loon 160T solo, just fine on our vacation, albeit it was on flat water ponds. I have had the Loon out on the Hudson and on lakes and ponds. It handles just fine solo and glides surprisingly well for such a wide boat. It also holds two large adults so you don’t have to have a smaller second passenger. Can’t deny that it is heavy, but there are ways to deal with that.


Luis Leon

plymouth voyager
do you rest the kayak on top of the factory racks or do you have something else? I like the idea of log rolling the kayak on pool noodles. pool noodles are like duct tape, 1 million uses and counting

No Factory Racks…Foam Blocks
I just use the foam blocks and straps. They’re available all over. I use the “Deluxe” model with the straps, not the rope.

Here is one link to what I use.


I’ve been using this setup for three years, but I recently replaced ALL of the straps because they started to show a little wear. Better safe than sorry.