Old Town Dirigo 106
A recreational kayak with a touring-esque design, the Old Town Dirigo 106 is an easy-to-paddle boat for long days on the water. This boat is made specifically for novice kayakers looking to improve their paddling technique, providing them with the maneuverability and gear storage necessary to take on trips a bit further from shore.
- Lots of dry storage
- Perimeter line and deck bungees for safery and gear storage
- Spacious cockpit
- Good mix of stability and tracking
- Seat could use some more padding
- Retractable carry handles can be less durable
Size and Weight
The Old Town Dirigo 106 is a solid recreational kayak that measures 10’6” (320 cm) long, making it small enough to easily transport to and from the water. It has a deck height of 14” (35.6 cm), which is fairly average, but still provides plenty of interior space within the cockpit.
At a weight of 42 lbs (19.1 kg), the Dirigo 106 isn’t overwhelmingly light. But it is slightly more portable than the similarly sized Wilderness Systems Aspire 105, which weighs in at 48 lbs (22 kg). Plus, it comes with retractable carry handles at the bow and stern to make carrying the boat a bit easier.
Featuring a weight capacity of 300lbs (136.1kg), the Dirigo 106 is strong enough to accommodate most paddlers. That being said, it’s best not to load a boat with more than 80% of its weight capacity, so this kayak is best for day trips and short overnights where the weight of your gear is at a minimum.
Although it’s crafted with newer paddlers in mind, Old Town didn’t skimp on the features with this boat. The Dirigo 106 features a spacious cockpit, as well as a contoured poly seat with a high back for added comfort and support as you paddle.
For added convenience, the boat has a molded paddle keeper system so you can quickly set your paddle down for a short break on the water. It also has a cup holder in the cockpit for staying hydrated during longer days outside.
To help you get out and enjoy trips a little further afield, the Dirigo 106 also has an assortment of different gear storage options. This boat has a single large dry hatch at the stern, as well as a small dry hatch toward the front of the cockpit that can be used to store keys, wallets, phones, and even snacks. Unlike many other recreational kayaks, it also has front deck bungees for lashing down maps and smaller pieces of gear.
Other great features on the Dirigo include its safety perimeter line, which provides a secure place to hold onto the boat should you capsize.
The first thing that many will notice when comparing the Dirigo 106 to other kayaks is its shape. Unlike many other boats this size, the Dirigo 106 has a mostly V-shaped hull with only a small rounded section toward the middle of the kayak.
In fact, the Dirigo features Old Town’s “Stabil-form” hull design, which features full chines (a.k.a. sharp edges) that allow it to better glide through the water, making each paddle stroke more efficient. Additionally, this hull design allows the boat to have decent amounts of both primary and secondary stability for a more comfortable paddling experience.
Furthermore, the Dirigo’s unique hull design allows for better tracking through the water, especially when compared to other similarly-sized boats. The kayak also has a Glide Track foot brace system to provide you with more power and control as you start to develop more advanced kayaking skills and techniques.
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Specification: Old Town Dirigo 106