Old Town Heron 9
Need a simple and lightweight grab-n-go recreational kayak? Old Town Heron 9 may be a good option. Measuring just 9’6″ and weighing only 37 lbs, this boat is stable enough for beginners and has foam bulkheads for safety. Two flush-mount rod holders make it suitable for an occasional fishing trip as long as you’re OK with the paddle sitting on your lap while you cast.
- Compact and lightweight
- Foam bulkheads
- Rod holders
- No thigh pads
- No paddle holders
- No storage features
Size and Weight
Old Town Heron 9 is 9′6″ (290 cm) long with a 28.5″ (72.4 cm) wide hull. At 37 lbs (16.8 kg), it is a very lightweight and compact boat that you can easily handle and cartop alone.
Heron 9 can carry up to 300 lbs (136.1 kg), which is more than decent for a small recreational kayak.
Old Town Heron 9 has a clean design with a minimum of features.
On the bow, there is a rigid plastic carrying handle. We like those more than bungee-based handles found on some other beginner models.
There are no hatches or bungees on the front deck, so there’s nowhere to put a rain jacket, lunch bag, or other gear you may have with you. You can put stuff behind the backrest, but it won’t be easily accessible on the water. Even a simple bungee on the bow would increase your comfort. We’ve seen people trying to overcome that by stretching a short bungee tie-down with hooks between the front handle and the cockpit rim, but a factory-installed bungee would’ve worked better, of course.
Inside the hull on the bow, there is a foam bulkhead (flotation block). It is a great safety feature because it ensures that the kayak does not sink even if flooded. There’s another foam bulkhead on the stern.
The footrests are adjustable, although you may find them a little weak.
The cockpit is quite roomy, measuring 39.5 in x 19 in (100.3 cm x 48.3 cm). Unfortunately, there are no knee pads on the cockpit rim so your legs will touch directly on the edge of the plastic hull.
Another feature that is missing is any kind of paddle holder. You can only put the paddle on your lap and risk it rolling off the kayak. Even a simple indent on the cockpit rim would help a lot.
The seat is contoured and padded. It’s not the most comfortable one we’ve been in, but it is good enough for short relaxed trips this kayak was designed for. The backrest is adjustable for tilt and folds down for transportation. There’s a simple molded bottle holder between the paddler’s legs.
Behind the seat, Old Town Heron 9 now has two flush-mount rod holders, which makes this kayak suitable for an occasional fishing session.
Finally, there is another sturdy plastic handle on the stern.
If you like Heron 9 but want more features, you may want to check out Old Town Heron 9XT which also has a stern hatch, thigh pads, and a paddle holder.
Old Town Heron 9 is rotomolded from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The concept of rotational molding is simple. Beads of polyethylene are poured into a mold. The mold is then rotated inside an oven until the inside of the mold is coated with a layer of plastic. After the mold cools down, you get a hollow one-piece construction which is very rugged and durable.
Old Town kayaks are covered by a lifetime warranty for the hull and deck (for blemished boats marked as BLEMs, the warranty is 5 years). The PDL drive comes with a 5-year limited warranty, which covers defects in workmanship and materials. The accessories, including paddles and life jackets, are covered with a 1-year warranty from the original purchase date.
The warranty applies to the original retail consumer only.
For more information about Old Town’s warranty terms, click here: https://www.oldtowncanoe.com/warranty
Specification: Old Town Heron 9