Twin Otter or T138 --- any suggestion?


My wife and I are looking to buy our first tandem kayak, and we like the Old Town models. Can you offer guidance on which to choose?

Our goal is to get a quality, versatile craft; good tracking, but reasonably light to carry & as compact as possible for limited storage space. We’re primarily planning to paddle on lakes placid rivers; nothing exotic or high-performance.

From the reviews, we’re leaning toward the T138. But most people seem to use it for an adult and child or adult and dog. So, two questions:

  • Is the T138’s space suitable for two adults?
  • Is its weight capacity OK for two adults? Old Town lists it as 380 pounds max.; we should be about 320 to 340. But if we get that close to capacity, will we seriously hinder performance and speed?

    Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Don in Connecticut

Kind of small
The T-138 will be a little small for 2 adults. The Otter has more room. But the T-160 is worth a look.

You may want to look at the

– Last Updated: Jun-05-05 12:02 AM EST –

Wilderness Systems tandems (135T and 145T) if you haven't already; both of which are quality rec tandems. We fit two adults in them easily. IMHO they are faster and track better than the Old Town models.

Good luck in buying a yak.

Two things
Old Town discontinued the T-138. So the can be hard to find. And as the other poster said it is made more for an adult and child. Unless you are both (don’t take this wrong) fairly short and light weight adults. It will be a tough fit.

Wilderness has a good boat or if you want light weight take a look at the Heritage featherlite tandom.

Either way Try before you buy. There is a nickname for tandoms DM’s Devorce Makers. They are great for some people nasty for others. Good luck and Good Journey’s


I tried paddling the T138 with a competent paddling partner and there still was a bit of banging paddles. The T160 has more room for stroke error, and more cargo capacity if I remember right. If the T138 is being discontinued you might find a good sale price. Then again, I agree with the divorce boat thing. Try a pair of single Loon 138s, or a 111 and a 138. I haven’t paddled the 111, but I keep reading that the ladies like the size and can load them for an alone paddle easier.


I also recommend the 160T
I own a Loon 160T.

My wife likes to paddle with me, and does not want her own kayak. Yet, I’ve really enjoyed paddling this yak solo, even on 100 mile trips.

I’ve found this to be a very roomy and stable boat. It has a 500 lb capacity, much greater than the 138T you’re considering.

Make sure you check the Product Reviews.

Now, for the down side:

This boat is heavy at about 80 lbs. Even with two of you, it is a LOT easier to wheel it on a cart than try to carry it to the water. The cart is also valuable if you do any portages.

Tracking on open water in wind and waves can be a big issue or a non-issue, depending on how you distribute the load in the boat. After I bought my 160T, I was tempted to buy the optional rudder package. Two years later, I really have no desire for a rudder.

Try before you buy is good advice. Check local liveries. The Loons are popular rental boats.