Perception Drift 9.5
Perception Drift 9.5 is an entry-level sit-inside kayak that offers decent stability, comfort, and good quality without breaking the bank. Take it out on calm lakes, slow-moving rivers or sheltered coastal waters and enjoy paddling.
- Easy to transport
- Good storage options
- Tracks pretty well
- No dry storage
- No knee pads
Size and Weight
With its 9’6″ (290 cm) length, 28.5″ (72 cm) width, and 11″ (28 cm) deck height, the Drift 9.5 is easy to transport and store. The molded bow and stern handles provide sturdy spots to strap it on the car racks or in the truck bed.
Perception Drift 9.5 weighs 40 lbs (18 kg), which is two pounds heavier than another similar model, Perception Sound 9.5. The Drift 9.5 has a load capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg), which means that it is designed for people with a weight range of 140-220 pounds. For best performance, it is generally recommended not to exceed 80 percent of the kayak’s capacity.
Perception makes their kayaks from a proprietary High-Density Polyethylene material using the rotational molding technology. The process involves pouring beads of polyethylene into the mold, which gets heated up and slowly rotated so that the material sticks to the inside of the mold. After the mold cools down, you get a one-piece, leak-proof construction that is extremely rugged and durable.
The Drift 9.5 comes with a nice set of features at an attractive price level.
On the bow, there is a molded carrying handle. Molded handles are our favorite because they are sturdy, snag-free, and can serve as additional strapping points when transporting the kayak on car racks or in truck beds.
Behind the handle, there is a bungee paddle park. This is a great comfort feature that’s missing on a lot of entry-level recreational boats. Having a spot to quickly stow your paddle really makes a difference.
Next, there’s a molded dashboard in front of the cockpit opening. It includes a large cup holder and another bungee-secured paddle park. This one lets you put the paddle across the boat if you need to take a break.
The dashboard also features two inserts for Perception’s 1.5″ Solo Mounts. This lets you easity mount your phone, GPS, camera, or even a rod holder if you wish.
The cockpit opening measures (LxW) 55.5″x23″ (141×58.5 cm), so getting in and out of the boat is easy. The Drift 9.5 comes with adjustable footrests, making it easy to find a comfortable position, even for taller paddlers.
Perception Drift 9.5 features a padded seat and backrest. The backrest is tilt-adjustable via two side straps. The cushioning is sufficient for shorter recreational trips that this kayak was designed for. On longer outings, it might be a good idea to bring an extra seat pad. The kayak also doesn’t come with thigh or knee pads, but at this price point, it is understandable.
Behind the seat, Perception included two flush-mount rod holders.
The round 10″ hatch at the stern is covered with a soft plastic lid, allowing you to stow some extra clothes or gear for your trip. Note that the lid is not waterproof, so you’ll need to put your gear into a dry bag. There are two bungee cords on top of the hatch for items you need quick access to while on the water, such as your rain jacket. There is also some storage space behind the seat. Overall, Perception Drift 9.5 offers a lot of storage options for an entry-level recreational kayak.
The Drift 9.5 offers excellent stability on calm waters. Its wide, soft-chined hull is very forgiving, even for novice paddlers.
Being a short boat, the Drift is very responsive to paddle strokes and very maneuverable. It also tracks pretty well for its size. Its shallow V-shaped hull helps the kayak stay on course. Also, this hull shape provides both good primary stability and decent speed characteristics.
That said, it is important to realize that this kayak was designed for calm, flat waters. You would not want to take it into rapids or tight streams. It also won’t do too well in windy conditions and choppy waters.
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.
Brand New Perception Drift Walk Around and Review
If you are looking for a stable, durable, quality entry-level kayak for a great value, the Drift is what you are looking for.
Perception Drift 9.5 Kayak Cover, Sun Shield and First Impression
Information on which Perception Cover fits the Drift 9.5. How the Sun Shield fits and looks on the Kayak.
Specification: Perception Drift 9.5