I am getting ready to purchase a kayak for recreational purposes. I do not want to go over $1100 for the kayak and have a few in mind. My main use will be small lakes, creeks and streams. I have narrowed it down to the Old Town Loon 126, Dagger Axis 12, Pungo 120 and the Jackson Tripper 12. I will be going on the yellow breeches and Conodoguinet creek mostly. I am 5’10 and 230 lbs and plan on taking up 70 lbs of gear on some of my adventures. I also have a daughter who might be on my lap if she gets scared in her kayak. My preference is for a sit in kayak and nothing much over 12 feet. I used to spend a lot of time in canoes on the water I will using the kayak in and i know some places require getting in and out. I used to spend a lot of time in canoes on the water I will using the kayak in and i know some places require getting in and out. However I will be planning on going out in cooler weather so I do not want a sit on top.
I am leaning toward the Loon because it look comfortable. I have not had a chance to go to a dealer and sit in one yet. My main questions are as follows. Which of these kayaks is better in shallow water? Some of the water will be only a few inches deep with some rocks and gravel. Which is the most comfortable for taking 3-7 hour trips in? Which will hold its value best for resale? I would love to have a 14 to 18 foot kayak but that isn’t an option due to space at the moment. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.