Perception Carolina 12.0
The lighter weight of this 12-foot design makes it easy to carry and maneuver as you explore quiet coastal and inland waterways. Full days and overnight excursions are a pleasure thanks to spacious dry storage compartments and deluxe comfort of a six-point adjustable seat.
There are many good-quality day touring kayaks to choose from such as the Conduit 13 or the Expression 11.5, but being the size in between these two boats implies a difference in speed and place for storage and that can, more often than not, influence a decision.
Size and Weight
With a somewhat bulky length of 12′ (366 cm), a width of 26″ (66 cm), deck profile of 14.5″ (37 cm), but weighing only 49 lbs (22 kg), the Carolina 12 is surprisingly manageable to cartop singlehandedly if you often visit the gym. Otherwise, the help of your paddling partner and a tailgate extender, if you don’t have truckbed, will easily solve the 12 feet length issue.
Perception optimized the boat’s weight and load distribution, making it ultralight, yet capable of bearing a maximum load of 275 lbs (125 kg). Depending on your stature, and being careful not to load the craft with more than 80 percent of its maximum weight capacity, this touring kayak can keep you and your gear dry and safe throughout the day.
Perception makes their kayaks from a proprietary High-Density Polyethylene material using the company-specific, one-piece rotational molding technology. The process involves pouring beads of polyethylene into the mold, which gets heated up and slowly rotated so that the material fills up every nook and cranny. After the mold cools down, you get a one-piece, leak-proof construction that is extremely rugged and durable.
Simultaneously covering the bow and stern and moving towards the cockpit, the Perception Carolina 12 comes with two retractable carry handles on each end of the kayak. The stern is rather capable.
The front deck features a round neoprene covered hatch, while in the rear, the oval hatch opening is double in size, and likewise, secured with a neoprene cover. Both decks are rigged with bungees enabling you to stow the gear you need at hand during the day, but of course, if you plan on keeping an extra jacket or other water-sensitive items, better put them in sealed dry bags. The front deck bungees can be useful as a paddle park in case you need to rest or go for a swim.
Exterior safety features of the Carolina 12 are the reflective deck lines that enframe the front and rear deck providing good visibility of the kayak regardless of the weather conditions.
Interior safety features of the kayak are the bow and stern bulkheads that significantly improve the buoyancy of the boat and keep the storage compartments bone-dry during splashes.
The cockpit coaming is spray skirt ready and of medium size. The front rims feature thick leg padding for knee and thigh protection and on the left-hand side, there is a paddle tie-down for stowing your paddle. Inside, the cockpit is rather spacious and can accommodate taller paddlers. The adjustable footrests have multiple stop-lock points for better leg positioning.
In the center of the kayak, on a low-sitting position, the Carolina 12 features the ergonomic Zone DLX seating system that includes high, extra cushy backrest padding with multifunctional adjustability in all four directions and at various angles to provide maximum comfort.
The base seat additionally includes leg lifters that allow the paddler to place the legs in a relaxed position or tilt them down for more efficient paddling. The seat also includes decent lumbar support, thus providing natural body posture for a whole day of kayaking.
Perception Carolina 12 is a well-rounded performer.
The sleek, spear-shaped hull gives us the right idea of how fast this kayak can be. If the paddlers are synchronized, the 12-footer can achieve efficient top-end speed.
The Carolina offers superb stability with its 31.25″ beam, but more important is the low seating that keeps the paddlers centered. The added flotation from the bulkhead is another factor why it is difficult to capsize this kayak after you get used to its construction and behavior on the water.
In terms of maneuverability, the Carolina 12 has a fast response to paddle strokes, and demonstrates pretty decent flexibility in the water, considering the kayak’s length. Under the circumstances, the Carolina handles well on the water. The only reported scenario when this boat slows down in reaction to steering is when it faces whitewater rapids.
On calm waters like sheltered open lakes and peaceful bays, the Perception Carolina 12 tracks remarkably well and can hold the line independently. This may change if you enter more choppy, open-lake water, but if a rudder is deployed, the kayak can track remarkably well in rough and windy conditions as well.
Perception kayaks are warranted against material or manufacturing defects in the hull and deck for five years from the date of the original purchase of the kayak. Parts, accessories, and outfitting are warranted for one year.
To learn more about Perception Kayaks’ warranty terms and conditions, click here.
Perception Carolina 12 Kayak Review and Walk Around
Specification: Perception Carolina 12.0