Beginner Surf Gear

The Ultimate Perception Kayak Buyers Guide for all Paddlers

Perception Kayak is dedicated to making kayaking fun for all kinds of paddlers. This brand offers a versatile range of kayaks for all experience levels and types of water users. Whether you’re looking for the perfect fishing vessel, a high-performance ocean kayak, or just a fun recreational kayak for splashing around the lake, Perception Kayaks will have the solution.

Beyond the versatility of their range, Perception Kayaks also offers a superior price/performance ratio. This is a brand that focuses on high-quality vessels while still making sure they’re accessible and affordable. 

No matter what kind of paddling activity you’re taking part in, there will be a Perception Kayak designed just for you. Read on for our Complete Perception Kayak buyers guide to help you find the perfect model for your needs.

perception kayaks

What is a Perception Kayak?

Perception Kayaks is a leading kayak company with a factory based in South Carolina. Perception produces a wide range of kayaks, suitable for all kinds of paddlers and experience levels. This brand focuses on high-quality vessels that are still affordable for the regular paddler. 

All Perception products are durable and built to withstand all kinds of rugged conditions. Special attention is always paid to the small design elements to help create a range of kayaks that match many different uses. 

This brand produces sit-inside kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, pedal kayaks, fishing kayaks, kids kayaks, and more. There are loads of different options available, specially designed for different specific uses. If you want to get into paddling, then there will be a Perception kayak available to match your requirements. The only type of kayak they don’t offer is an inflatable kayak.

What to Look Out for When Buying a Perception Kayak

There are many different types of Perception Kayaks available, each with its own unique design features and specifications. Take note of the following when choosing the perfect vessel for your needs. 


Perception Kayaks are available in a range of different sizes. Always pay attention to the length of the kayak. Generally, longer narrow kayaks are faster and more streamlined. Shorter and wider kayaks are often more stable and convenient. Understand the type of performance you want from the kayak, and choose a size accordingly.

The size is also an important factor when it comes to storage and transport. Make sure that the kayak is a suitable size for the space that you plan on storing it in.

You should also pay attention to how much space is available in the kayak for the paddler. If you’ve got particularly long legs, then make sure that the kayak can comfortably fit them. Of course, things like adjustable footrests also play a role here.

Seating Options

One of the big considerations for any kayak is whether you choose a sit-inside or a sit-on-top design. Sit-inside kayaks have a hollowed-out cockpit where the seat is positioned, these are generally more stable. Sit-on-top kayaks have a seat positioned on the upper surface of the kayak. These are more accessible and give you more space to move around. 

Neither one is better. If you’re looking for a fishing kayak or a simple recreational kayak, then sit-on-top is often preferred. If you want a kayak for slightly more serious paddling or faster moving waters, then a sit-inside option is good. 

Also pay attention to the seat itself. You want to be comfortable when you paddle, so things like padded seating and adjustable backrests will make a big difference.

kayak storage

Storage Space

Storage space is an important consideration – especially if you plan on doing longer excursions or fishing trips. Your kayak should offer some kind of dry storage area, as well as space to put whatever you’re paddling with. This can include things like coolers, fishing tackle boxes, snacks, drinks, and so on. 

The best kayaks will have a large dry storage area, as well as a dashboard to keep smaller items that you want to grab. Bungee cords are also very useful for attaching your gear and for helping to secure a kayak cover.

Perception Kayak Accessories

Beyond storage space, you might also want to attach certain accessories to your kayak. This can include things like fishing rod holders or fish finders. 

Most Perception Kayaks come with special attachment mounts to make it easy to attach your accessories without having to drill any holes. If you plan on adding accessories to your kayak, then make sure you have these mounts. This is particularly important for fishing kayaks. 

7 Best Perception Kayaks

You can’t go wrong getting a Perception Kayak. The trouble is choosing which one is best for your needs. Here are our top 7 Perception Kayak picks, suitable for all kinds of paddlers and activities. 

Perception Kayak Expression 11.5

  • Sit-inside touring kayak
  • Adjustable premium seat
  • Spacious dry storage
  • 11’ 7” length

The Expression 11.5 is the ideal everyday touring kayak. This vessel perfectly combines stability with forgiving handling abilities to produce a kayak that is easy to paddle in all kinds of environments. You still get the speed and storage of an expedition kayak, but with superior maneuverability. 

This sit-in kayak has a fully adjustable seat made from soft and cushiony ergonomic material. The seat supports your body in the perfect paddling position, making this a comfortable kayak for long days on the water. There are also easily adjustable footrests, as well as cockpit control of the TruTrak skeg.

The one-piece construction is solid and completely leakproof. There’s also loads of dry storage space available. This is further enhanced with plenty of bungee cord lashes to secure your gear. 

The Expression 11.5 is UV-protected, impact, and abrasion-resistant. This low-maintenance Perception kayak is a convenient choice for day trips. Its size is also pretty easy to store and transport.

expression 11.5 kayak

Perception Kayaks Crank 10

  • A pedal kayak
  • Fully-adjustable folding captains chair
  • Large rear tank well
  • 10’ length

The Perception Kayak Crank 10 is a seriously nifty pedal kayak. The pedal drive system is fun and easy to use on any calm waters. You can pedal the kayak forwards and in reverse without removing any drive from the boat.

And don’t think that because it’s a pedal kaya you’ll be uncomfortable. The Crank 10 comes with a big lawn chair-style seat positioned on top of the kayak. This seat can fold up and is fully adjustable. The seat offers plenty of support while pedaling.

Steering the kayak is also easy with the one-handed rudder control. The short kayak is incredibly easy to manage. If you’re into fishing, then the crank 10 is a great choice. There is plenty of surface space for rigging and accessories. There are two solo mount recesses, and a large rear tank well for your cooler, tackle box, or kayak crate.

This Perception kayak is a fun choice for calm water pedaling. The kayak is stable, effortless to pedal, and fun to use. 

crank 10 perception kayak

Perception Kayaks Pescador 12

  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Loads of dry storage space available
  • Leak-proof one-piece construction
  • 12’ length

The Pescador 12 is a brilliant fishing kayak or a versatile recreational vessel. This is one of the best sit-on-top kayaks, complete with a comfortable padded seat. The longer length of the kayak makes it faster and easier to manage. This also means more storage space, which there is plenty of. 

The kayak has an easy-open front hatch which makes a big difference when you want to quickly grab something out of it. There are gear tracks included to add all kinds of accessories and fishing gear, as well as two molded-in rod holders. The convenient drinks holder is also a nice touch. 

The heavy-duty one-piece construction makes this a safe and stable vessel. If you’re looking for a fishing kayak that’s easy to manage, then this Perception kayak would be a top choice. 

pescador 12

Perception Kayaks Sound 10.5

  • Sit inside fishing kayak
  • Tri keel hull for better stability
  • Convenient dashboard with two mounting points
  • 10’ length

If you’re after a solid, affordable fishing kayak, then this is a great choice. The Sound 10.5 is not particularly fast or streamlines, but it’s solid, comfortable, and completely stable. The tri keel hull design makes it incredibly smooth to steer on calm and slow-moving waters. 

This is the perfect fishing kayak for larger paddlers. The sit-inside design is wide and spacious, complete with a cushy ergonomic seat with a fully adjustable backrest. The footrests are also completely adjustable. 

For fishing, this kayak offers plenty of storage options. There are two mounting points on the dashboard, as well as two molded-in fishing rod holders. There’s also a large open storage area at the rear – perfect for a cooler or fishing crate.

perception kayaks sound 10.5

Perception Kayaks Pescador 10

  • A well-rounded sit-on-top kayak
  • Easy open front hatch
  • Leak-proof one-piece construction
  • 10’ length

The Pescador 10 has all of the same great features as the Pescador 12, except that it’s a bit shorter and more stable. This is one of the best value-for-money kayaks for any new paddlers. The well-rounded design is versatile for all kinds of paddlers and experience levels. You can use this kayak for fishing, cruising, and exploring lakes, ponds, and flat-water rivers.

The sit-on-top design is easy to use, and it has a really comfortable adjustable seat. It’s also ready to fish right out of the box, with plenty of great fishing features. These include the two-rod holders, gear tracks, solo mount recesses, open storage, covered dry storage, and more. 

The 10-foot kayak is ideal for beginners or non-serious paddlers. This Perception kayak is durable, comfortable, and safe – perfect for fun and easy paddling.

pescador 10

Perception Kayaks Flash 9.5

  • A durable sit-inside kayak
  • Easy-to-paddle design for all skill levels
  • Spacious cockpit
  • 9’ 6” length

This isn’t the most advanced kayak, and it isn’t loaded full of features. However, the Flash 9.5 offers amazing performance for all kinds of paddlers. This fun and easy-to-use kayak is short and stable. The sit-inside design is comfortable, with a padded and fully adjustable seat. The hull is stable, tracking is impressive, and the easily maneuverable design is a good choice for various situations. 

You can store any small gear on the easy-access dashboard in the front. There are also molded-in rod holders for convenient fishing. The rear storage bin offers plenty of space for your bigger items, like dry bags or small coolers. 

This Perception kayak is designed for simple, low-maintenance use. The kayak is stable, easy to use, and conveniently sized for storage and transport.

perception flash

Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5

  • A fishing kayak with a standing platform and seat
  • Two double barrel rod holders
  • Plenty of storage and accessory space
  • 11’6” length

If you’re after the ultimate fishing kayak, then the Outlaw 11.5 would be it. This is not your typical kayak for recreational paddling, so don’t choose it if your main goal is not fishing. 

The kayak has a really unique design with its wide-open deck and elevated seating console. This deck creates a big standing platform. The Outlaw is stable enough for you to quickly go from sitting to standing, which is perfect for reeling in and casting. The big comfortable seat can be easily folded up and stowed away.

Being a dedicated fishing kayak, you can expect plenty of great storage and accessory options. The two double-barrel rod holders give you the best rod setup possible. There is plenty of rigging and attachment points, with room to add all kinds of accessories. The three solo mount recesses make it easy to add mounts without drilling.

There are also unique molded bow and stern handles. These make transportation easy, while the handles can double as gear tracks. When it comes to affordable fishing vessels, this Perception kayak is one of the best. The design can accommodate all kinds of paddlers, and the kayak is fully equipped fr the ultimate fishing experience straight out of the box. 

outlaw 11.5

Where Can You Buy a Perception Kayak?

Perception Kayaks has dealers located in various areas around the world. While this kayak brand is popular, the problem is that most dealers dont stock a wide enough range of these kayaks. 

If you really want to find the best option for your needs, then it’s best to look for your Perception Kayak online. This gives you the best selection available so that you can find your ideal vessel. 


Whether you’re a total beginner or an experienced pro, there’s a Perception Kayak for you. This brand produces some of the best quality, and most versatile kayaks available. From specialized fishing kayaks to excursion kayaks and paddle kayaks, you’ve got loads of options available. 

We chose 7 of the best Perception Kayaks for all kinds of paddlers. These include various designs, styles, and specifications to suit a range of needs. Whichever one you choose, you will be sure to have a quality vessel that’s a pleasure to cruise in. Happy paddling!


What are Perception Kayaks made from?

Perception Kayaks are rotomolded and made from high-density linear polyethylene. This material is durable and requires basically no maintenance.

Where are Perception Kayaks made?

Perception Kayaks are made in the USA. The company is stationed in Greenville, South Carolina where their kayaks are made.

How Do You Clean a Perception Kayak?

Simply clean the kayak with mild soap and water. For extra care, you can also add a plastic protectant to protect the kayak against UV rays while maintaining its shine. 

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