Orion or Quest

I currently own and love a P&H Orion that I might have a chance to sell to compesate the cost of a possible new Quest. I do a lot of teaching, kids and adults, but I am starting to do more 3-4 day trips for my company. Now I have paddled both boats and liked them both, but I am looking for an outside opinion (or two or ten) on which boat seems better for my purposes. I also try to get in as much rough water and surf play as I can.

well now…
take it from someone who works for Wildy (if you want) but…

the Orion is more fun in rough stuff and surf and the Quest is better suited to multi-day trips. the length and deep entry on the Quest makes surf play less than optimal.

I have paddled the Quest some and the Gulfstream (Orion’s P&H twin) a bunch.

good luck


The quest is a big boat
and will be faster than the orion. the quest is very suceptable to weathercodking.

The orion is pretty close to the gulfstream a heck of an allround boat.

If you are packing some weight Like over 260 the quest will begin to shine

Vote for the Orion!
I have owned both kayaks and prefer the Orion. I just purchased a a new carbin/ kevlar this Spring. Have done multi day trips in the Orion with not problem. The Orion is more fun to paddle and turns on a dime. The P&H Orion is much better than Gulfstream which have the plastic calked in bulkheads. P&H still makes the Orion on special order.

I have a Quest (extensively fitted out) and love it for multi-day expeditions–it shines loaded. However, it is not a great boat for surfing (quick to broach), tends to weathercock when not loaded, and certainly doesn’t turn on a dime, though it will edge nicely. I don’t use it much for teaching due to the more limited maneuverability, but prefer my Pintail, as it is nice to be able to get to students without a lot of boat control strokes. Also, if you use a GP, the deck is rather high for a pure GP forward stroke.

another boat has entered the running
I now also have a choice of possibly buying a Nordkapp h20, right now im leaning towards keeping the orion, but does anyone who has experince in all three boats wish to comment?


– Last Updated: Oct-07-05 11:09 AM EST –

hands down. you're talking 3-4 day trips -- maybe a week. it's no contest. the orion's got plenty of room and will be much more fun to paddle--way more fun. i like to think of the orion as a pintail-stationwagon.

two weeks or more?....then i would begin to consider the quest but only if you're a packrat.

also with the orion, you get a boat that's a blast to paddle empty or for daytrips.

i have owned an orion, paddled a quest.


The Nordkapp H2O is the sexiest of the three. It is also the fastest.

It is a foot longer and has a much narrower beam than a Gulfstream or Orion. A Nordkapp’s secondary stability is unbeatable.

The Orion and Gulfstream are very much alike, the Nordkapp is an entirely different boat.

Staying with the Orion
Yep, Im Keeping her. Course she’s getting “turbo’ed” Kevlar Keel Strip and possibly a recessed compass just aft of the forward bulkhead

a very very good choice!!!
may she bear you with grace!