Old Town Adventure XL 139 or 160?

Newbie asking questions. My apologies if this is too obvious for some of you.

I have a choice of buying either an Old Town Adventure XL 139 or 160. To tell the truth, I haven’t tried either one although I have tried the Old Town Dirigo 120 and thought highly of it. That seemed to fit me pretty well.

I have two reasons for considering the Adventure XLs.

  1. I’m on the fat side. 5’ 8-1/2" tall but 250 lbs, mostly in the gut. So I’m looking for a bigger boat with a decent sized cockpit. I tried getting into a Wilderness System Tsunami and barely fit. It was painful getting out!
  2. I plan on using it for more than recreational use. Day trips on the Hudson River through the locks and such. I want a kayak that has a good glide so I’m not expending a lot of energy paddling. I’m not strong but I have pretty good endurance.

    From what I’ve been reading it seems that the longer the boat, the beter the glide per stroke. That’s why I’m interested in a 14’ or 16’ boat. I figure I can cover more distance with less effort. Is that accurate?

    Anyoe with experience with the Old Town XL’s have any comments?

    Care to enlighten me?


maybe longer
Well I just got a Cayuga 146 this year. It does everything I hoped and glides very well. I am ALMOST wishing I got the 160. Only for the glide and speed. I use it for excercise so I am pushing myself most of the time. These shorter models are not bad at all. Remember, to get that extra 0.3 mph out the the longer, “faster” hull, you must be pushing it. It does not go faster by itself. It only has the POTENTIAL to be faster.

Glide will be more a function if WEIGHT in these two offerings. I believe they may be the same width. Since the 160 will be heavier, it should glide better at a given speed. But you will use slightly more energy to get it to that speed.

Loading and unloading these boats you will notice that weight.

If you paddled these both to 2MPH then glided without wind, the longer one will most likely start showing it’s perfomance as you approach zero. Are you going to glide to zero? Probably not. The heavier boat will accelerate slower with slightly more effort.

Honestly, if you have the measurement instruments and the time, you might be able to find the numbers. I bet you would find the differences very small. If you think you might find yourself on some restricted maneuvering areas, shorter is the way to go. But if you envision yourself on open waters, stick with longer.

But if you got the bucks and you THINK MAYBE the longer boat might be better, I would go longer just because after you own something a while you really tune into the finer aspects. You will develop more muscle and skill and that is when that little voice in the back of your head will knaw at you and wonder what-if? Fact is as your skill increases, you will most likely want to try bigger waters. That is when the bigger boat will really come into play. The glide difference in these two as far as human perception goes is very minimal. (until you develop a highly calibrated butt)

Neither of these boats will be especially noted for exceptional glide. That is when you get into those uncomfortable boats you already said you did not like. This does not mean they have NO GLIDE. But you will not glide like the many fiberglass skinny rails. Longer will glide more for a given hull design and width, period. Enough to be actually humanly perceptable? Very debatable.

My Dad has a OT 139 XL
and it is one wide kayak. Too wide, and wide enough at about 27 cinhes to offset your gain in glide. Then, I have a paddling friend Dale1234 who paddles an Adventure 160 XL, and can make it sing, but he;s 6 foot four and huge and 29 years young.

I agree with zen above, go even longer. I had a 12 footer, went to a 14.5 footer, and then a 17 footer. Never looked at the 14.5 footer again; it;s sort of good for nothing. I use the 12 footer on small waterways and streams.

Check out a boat like the Prijon Kodiak, fast, 17 feet one inch, 23 inches, and sweet! Will fit you sweetly. A real blow molded sea kayak See the reviews on Pnet reviews. Just one thought.

But definitely, for the paddling you describe, go longer.

Old Town Adventure XL 160

– Last Updated: Oct-05-07 11:45 PM EST –


I've owned my XL160 for 3 seasons now, and it has really grown on me. I also wanted a roomier cockpit and did not like the tight fit of the Tsunami's that I tried. I've use my boat on the Hudson River and various lakes and creeks. I can average about 2.5 to 3 mph with it, but mostly I'm a lazy paddler and do a lot of floating and napping. I've been on one 4 day camping trip with it and I love that the bulkheads really hold a lot of stuff compared to my wife's Cayuga 146. Also, when fully loaded with about 100 lbs of stuff it glided very nicely indeed.

Good luck with your choice.


Luis Leon

both good
but I think I would go with the 16. I have 2 of them, and the 16 is longer,obviously, and about 2 inches narrower I believe so should be faster. I find them quite stable, have sat and relaxed with one and a half foot chop coming at me broadside and didn’t have any worries except when they would break at inoportune times and dump a couple of cups of water in on me.

I think that if you got the 13 9 you will like it until you try out a 16, but it all depends on where and how you are going to use them.

XL160 hands down

– Last Updated: Oct-07-07 1:22 PM EST –

great rec boat. Tracks well, stable. You might find the 16 footer is actually easier to paddle than the 14 footer in bigger rivers like the Hudson.

Oh well…
On Friday I googled the Adventure XL 160 and found a place in CT selling a demo. I called them and the woman there verified they had it. So yesterday I drove 2-1/2 hours down to Connecticut to check it out only to find out that they didn’t actually have it.

They had mistaken a Loon 160T for the Adventure XL 160! T as in tandem. How in the world do you mistake a tandem for a solo kayak?

So it was a wasted morning. 120 miles for nothing.

I’ll keep looking and I’m keeping my options open. I may be biting off more than I can chew. After looking at the Loon 160T I realized how large it really is. And heavy. I would have a hard time getting a Adventure XL onto my Honda Pilot - it’s a tall vehicle and I’m not the strongest guy in the world.

I may have to look into lighter kayaks made for big guys but I’m not in a position to spend $ for fiberglass or other lighter materials.

Decisions, decisions…


Just remembered
OT has stopped making the 16 XL. Unless you find a used or demo you may have to opt for the Cayuga if you stay with the Old Town line. Check it out though, as it has a smaller cockpit.

Adventure XL160

The Old Town Loon 160 T was my first kayak, I still have and use it when my wife and I want to be in the same boat. She sits in front pretending to be the queen and I paddle for the both of us. My payment is the good food and drink she packs along. The 160 XL is much lighter, to me, than the Loon 160 T.


Luis Leon

I got mine at Kittatinny Canoes

1147 Delaware Dr

Matamoras, PA 18336

(570) 491-2508

Hi Phil …
There are lots of possibilities for larger guys without breaking the bank, but the bottom line is you need to sit in some of these boats to see how easy it is to enter and exit, and ideally, paddle them. Some of the Tsunami’s have smaller cockpits than the larger models, so it’s good to keep a journal of what boats you’ve tried and what was good or bad about the fit. So, is the problem the length or width of the cockpit or the depth? I believe the larger Tsunami’s cockpit is about 35" long by 19" wide. If the length is OK, but it’s too narrow for comfort you might try a Perception Carolina 16 (A.K.A. Perception Captiva). This is a large persons boat. I think the cockpit is 34.5" long x 21" wide. It has been around for a while and is fairly common in the used marketplace where you can save substantial bucks. I think it was discontinued by Perception this year. Lake George Kayak has one (according to their website), so you might be able to try it out.