Perception Rambler Tandem 13.5
If you enjoy spending the calm, sunny days in a kayak and wish you could bring your family along, well, no need to spend a monthly salary to do so. Perception Rambler Tandem 13.5 is the kayak that ticks the requirements. Incredibly durable and stable, the Rambler Tandem can even accommodate your child or dog.
Perception Rambler 13.5 is one of the most affordable tandem kayaks on the market and can still exceed your expectations. It has a user-friendly deck you can stand on and stretch after a paddling session. Its design and remarkable stability are more appealing to beginners. Interestingly, the Rambler Tandem is very popular with grandparents who love taking the kids out on a cruise. This kayak is all about exercise and fun.
Size and Weight
The Rambler Tandem is a heavy kayak for one person. It is 13’6 ″ (412 cm) long, 34″ (86 cm) wide with a deck profile of 15.5″ (39 cm). The kayak weighs 78 lbs (35 kg), which is the main complaint about the boat. It is a bit heavier than the Perception Tribe Tandem 13.5, but being a tandem, two people can carry it without a problem. Transportation and storage will require some landing gear or carts because of the length. Securing the kayak during transport is also something to think about because the Rambler Tandem doesn’t come with molded or sturdy carrying handles.
On the other hand, its maximum load capacity of 550 lbs (249 kg) allows the paddlers to take gear and supplies without worrying if the boat can carry the load. Being on a heavier side means a higher limit for taking anything you need on a day cruise or a camping trip.
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.
Being an entry-level tandem kayak, the Rambler 13.5 doesn’t come packed with features.
At the bow and stern, the kayak features two toggle carrying handles and two molded-in hand grips on each side of the cockpit.
In terms of storage capacity, the bow offers a molded storage tray that is too shallow and lacks bungee cords to secure the items you put there. Adding a bungee is fairly easy, and it would make a big difference for its overall storage capacity.
The rear tankwell is spacious enough to accommodate a cooler, and it comes bungee rigged to protect your equipment. There are three pre-molded round recesses in front of each seat. These fit 8″ or smaller deck plates.
The Ramblers deck comes with ten scupper holes for draining the water, but can also let some inside the kayak if you load it to capacity. Users recommend plugging the scupper holes under the seat to avoid getting wet.
The manufacturer offers a nice, roomy space for the sitting areas.
Perception Rambler Tandem 13.50features three molded seats. The front and rear are the removable Harmony Seats that offer standard comfort and better experience than some of the molded seats with thin padding we see in many recreational kayaks. They feature adjustable backrest and regular back support.
If you plan on spending most of the day out paddling, you may need to consider bringing extra lumbar support. The molded Kids Seat in the middle doesn’t come with padding. Perception added some extra eyelets in this area in case the paddlers wished to pad the Kids Seat as well.
The Rambler Tandem features three sets of molded footrests. Each set consists of three grooves that allow flexibility according to the paddler’s size. This is the second remark kayakers address for this boat. Namely, the footwells are shallow and uncomfortable when placing a wet foot inside. Wearing sandals or appropriate footwear is highly recommendable.
The Rambler 13.5 also comes with a replaceable skid plate that protects the stern keel.
The Rambler Tandem’s strength is its impeccable balance. The hull is designed with excellent primary and secondary stability that keeps the paddlers firmly in place in various water conditions.
The kayak’s best performance is in calm coastal, slow-moving waters and bays. However, it manages moderate winds and light surf pretty well. It doesn’t shine on choppy, open lakes, though. Strong and curvy currents can cause more effort to stay on track, but overall, this kayak is pretty safe for three people on board.
Tracking and maneuverability are satisfactory, considering the bulk of the boat. There are many negative reviews on its tracking abilities. Still, we need to be aware that when cruising the right water types (excluding open lakes, especially in windy conditions), this kayak is very easy to paddle and steer.
Perception kayaks are warranted against material or manufacturing defects in the hull and deck for 5 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.
Specification: Perception Rambler Tandem 13.5