Perception Carolina Kayak Review

perception kayak logoThe Carolina range of kayaks from Perception is aimed at the day or weekend tripper. It is a versatile kayak, that comes in two models, the Carolina 14.0 and the Carolina 12.0.

Perception is a well known brand of kayak, and have been one of the leading manufacturers for many years. The Carolina models have been very popular, and continue to outsell their competitors, for good reason.

View the full Carolina range of kayaks

Carolina 14.0 Review

The 14.0 is an incredibly versatile kayak, and is probably the most useful in the entire Perception range of kayaks. The extra two feet means loads of extra storage. The added length also means more speed, so you can cover even more distance on that extended weekend trip.

This great all-rounder kayak edges very well for its size, and you won’t struggle to manuever in twisting and turning spring runs.

Some negatives on the 14.0

  • While the storage is adequate, it is tight when on a week long trip. That being said, I don’t think there are many kayaks where space won’t be tight if you’re packing for a week!
  • While the seat will work perfectly for 90% of rowers, it might be a little uncomfortable for larger people. I have found that installing a sit-on-top seat addresses this nicely.
  • I wish they had included a cup holder. I know it is a small thing, but the small things matter.
  • If you enjoy rowing narrow winding streams, this is probably not the best kayak for your need.
  • If you are in a windy area, consider getting the rudder as the yak tends to struggle a bit when the wind is coming from behind.

The final verdict on the Carolina 14.0

This kayak is a great all-rounder, and with the sealed front and back bulkheads you have enough storage for those extended weekend trips. The yak is on the big side, and if you struggle to fit in other kayaks, the 14.0 might just be the one for you.

This unit is easy to to paddle, very stable and is quite comfortable.

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Carolina 12.0 Review

The smaller sibling of the 14.0 has some great things going for it. It is more maneuvrable than its big brother, and is easier to transport.

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Similar to the 14.0, the 12.0 tracks very well, handles easily, and is fast. With the shorter length, this kayak is even more versatile and can be used in the smallest of streams, backwaters and ponds.

I have also read of people who took this kayak out on the open seas with 30mph white caps, and 8 feet rollers. Sure, you will need spray skirt and a rudder, but that is seriously impressive!

While the 14.0 is a great option for those taking extended trips (long weekend, or perhaps even a week long trip), the 12.0 is for those that take shorter trips, and might need the extra manuevrability.

This yak comes with sealed front and back bulkheads for decent storage. It is quite light, and you should be able to load it by yourself without any issues. I know a 46 year old lady that loads the kayak on top of her Ford Explorer by herself.

Some negatives on the 12.0

  • The seat could be more comfortable, but again you could easily install a sit on top seat.
  • A day hatch would have been nice.
  • The hatches aren’t quite as watertight as I would have expected. It might be the unit that I tested was just not sealing perfectly.

The final verdict on the Perception Carolina 12.0 Kayak

If you are looking for a boat that has storage for short trips, is short enough for easy transport, has a roomy cockpit and is reasonably fast, the 12.0 is the kayak for you.

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Read more about Perception Kayaks here