Native Ultimate 12
The market for lightweight budget kayaks has become highly competitive in recent years, but Native makes a strong case for having the top product with its Ultimate 12. This kayak is light on features, but delivers great performance where it counts—on the water. Thanks to its super-lightweight design and simple features, this might be one of the most portable kayaks available. The Ultimate 12 is priced at around $750 and is an excellent choice for young anglers, or seasoned veteran fishermen and women who are simply looking for an affordable kayak that gets them where they need to be.
- Comfortable seating
- Canoe/kayak hybrid
- Anchor Trolley
- Good capacity
- Super lightweight design
- No rod holders
- Not transducer ready
- No dry storage
Size and Weight
The Ultimate 12 certainly stands out above the competition when it comes to its overall size and weight. Its namesake comes from the 12’1” (368 cm) length while the kayak also offers a width of 30” (76 cm). This kayak weighs in at a fitted hull weight of just 44 lbs (20 kg) and a fully-rigged weight of 49 lbs (22 kg). For anglers looking to find a great kayak that can easily be car topped or carried, the Ultimate 12 is an ideal fit.
Most super lightweight kayaks offer a considerably decreased overall weight capacity due to design and limited space. The Ultimate 12’s canoe/kayak hybrid build and Tunnel Hull design create a vessel that’s capable of holding up to 350 lbs (159 kg). This capacity is nearly perfect for users looking for a simple pleasure kayak to go on camping and fishing trips, or those who might need a lightweight, sleek kayak to reach their favorite hunting spot.
As with most budget-minded kayaks, the Ultimate 12 offers only a few of the premium features typically found on a high-end fishing kayak.
Both the bow and stern of the Ultimate 12 are fitted with durable, padded handles that add to the kayak’s portability.
Unlike most other budget-friendly kayak’s, the Ultimate 12 features an anchor trolley along its starboard side that helps anglers safely place their anchors any the specific position along the side. The anchor trolley can be moved and fitted onto the kayak’s port side.
The bow’s molded thwart helps to add rigidity and stability to the lightweight design. Some users have opted to mount rod holders and other items to this thwart using various means.
The Ultimate 12’s cockpit area features adjustable footpegs that each user can move to fit their desired leg length or height. The cockpit’s deck area is separated by the molded hull design, allowing anglers to stand up and fish in a canoe/kayak hybrid that would otherwise limit users to sitting only.
There are gear tracks on either side of the cockpit area for users to mount anything from camera gear to rod holders, GPS units, and anything else that can be fitted to a standard gear track.
The aluminum-framed seat is said to be very comfortable and is crafted with hand-sewn breathable mesh material that aids in allowing users to stay dry. The seat can easily be adjusted forward and backward to fit each user’s specific preference.
The stern also features a molded thwart to aid in rigidity. This thwart offers some more flat space where users can mount any additional rod holders or other items. The stern portion features a bungee cord that will aid in securing any gear stored in the open well behind the rear thwart.
The stern portion features rudder-mount recesses and bolts to allow users to easily add a rudder to the Ultimate 12.
The Ultimate 12 might lack many of the common features found on premium fishing kayaks, but the overall performance is to be noted. The stability is good enough for most users to feel comfortable standing up while fishing without the threat of tipping. The seat is also said to be very comfortable and easy to adjust. The Ultimate 12 has excellent tracking and speed thanks to its lightweight, canoe-like design which cuts through the water with laser-like precision. Many users have reported that the rudder also greatly improves tracking and can help avoid being windblown in most situations.
Native Ultimate 12 Walkthrough
Native Ultimate 12 Basic Review: My Setup & Where NOT to Take the U12
New Kayak Tour -- Native Ultimate 12 -- Native Kayaks
Specification: Native Ultimate 12