Old Town Heron 11XT
Comfortable to the core, the Old Town Heron 11XT is designed with the casual recreational paddler in mind. With a nice selection of features designed for convenience and a reasonable price point, it’s a budget-friendly boat for longer days on the water.
- Comfortable seat
- Spacious cockpit
- Dry storage
- Rod holders
- Relatively lightweight and portable
- No front deck bungee
- Does not perform well in wind
Size and Weight
The Old Town Heron 11XT has a length of 11’ (3.35 m), which puts it on the longer end of the spectrum for a recreational kayak. It’s also built with a deck height of 13.5 inches (34.3 cm), which is about standard for a boat of this length.
With a weight of 41 lbs (18.6 kg), the Old Town Heron 11XT is light for its size, especially when compared to sit-on-top models like the Vibe Sea Ghost 110, which weighs in at 62 lbs (28.1 kg).
Despite its relatively low weight, most paddlers will find that it still takes 2 people to lift this boat onto a car. But the Heron 11XT’s two molded handles – one at the bow and one at the stern – combined with its reasonable length make it a highly portable option for the enthusiastic paddler.
Old Town sets the weight capacity of this boat at 325 lbs (147.4 kg), which is about average for a recreational boat of this size. For example, the slightly shorter Perception Sound 10.5 has a maximum capacity of 335 lbs (152 kg) and the slightly larger sit-on-top Native Stingray 11.5 can handle up to 375 lbs (170.1 kg).
Keeping in mind that it’s best not to load a boat past 80% of its maximum capacity for best performance, the Heron 11XT is a good choice for paddlers who, when combined with their gear, weigh less than 260 lbs.
It also has one large rear dry hatch for storing your gear, though it doesn’t have any front deck bungees. This makes it suitable for smaller paddlers that are interested in day trips and short overnight adventures rather than longer touring trips.
The Old Town Heron 11XT was made to keep recreational paddlers comfortable and happy throughout a long day on the water.
Even though it’s a sit-in kayak, the Heron 11XT is designed with a high-volume cockpit to provide extra legroom as you paddle. It also has a fully-adjustable Comfort Flex seat that’s well padded for lumbar support.
Other nifty features include two flush-mounted fishing rod holders to make it easier for the anglers among us to manage multiple lines. The boat also has a molded paddle keeper to help you quickly store your paddle when you want to stop for a break or to take a photo.
Oh, and it even comes with a cup holder within the cockpit that can safely store your beverages as you paddle to help you stay hydrated on the go.
As a recreational kayak, the Old Town Heron 11XT is designed more for leisurely paddles around your local lake or flat river rather than expeditions on the open ocean. With this in mind, the boat has a relatively rounded hull at the middle, which provides it with good primary stability, making it good for newer paddlers that aren’t as comfortable on the water.
Although rounded hulls often lack good secondary stability, the Heron 11XT transitions into more of a V-shaped hull toward the bow and the stern. This has the added benefit of slightly better secondary stability and improved tracking in calm conditions.
Additionally, it has thigh pads on the edge of the cockpit, as well as a Support Track foot brace system. These features, when combined with the boat’s hull shape, give paddlers a surprising amount of control and maneuverability.
Kayaking on the Grand River - Blair Landing to Galt in my Old Towne Heron 11XT
Old Town Heron 9 & Heron 11 Recreational Kayaks
Specification: Old Town Heron 11XT