Our Top 10 Picks for the Best 12 Foot Kayak Worth Buying!

Are you looking for the best 12 foot kayak? If you enjoy kayaking, you know that it promotes the sport of paddling in open waters such as lakes, bays, and oceans. These kayaks are stable and seaworthy, with some having a covered deck and the ability to include a spray deck if necessary. 

What characteristics distinguish an excellent kayak? You should think about the size of the kayak you want. The most common sizes are 12 ft to 24 ft kayaks. Longer kayaks are preferred by paddlers because they provide more storage space. A 12 foot kayak is ideal because it has enough room for your cargo.

Sea kayaking
12 foot kayak


They are extremely maneuverable and versatile and can be used for straight-line paddling as well as long journeys. In this post, we will discuss the best 12 ft kayaks that will allow you to paddle comfortably while also having fun!


In a Hurry? The Test Winner After Hours Of Research

Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120

Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120
Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120

Why is It Better?

  • Perfect for small to medium-sized paddlers
  • Best Selling in the Market!
  • The seat is Fully Adjustable
  •  Patented Phase 3 AirPro seating system
  • Stable 
  • Excellent Performance
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Removable Dry Box
  • 2 Cup Holders
  • Sealed Bulkhead for Storage
  • SlideTrax to Mount Accessories


Buying Guide – Features To Consider For 12 Foot Kayak

three sisters springs kayaking
Three sisters springs kayaking with a 12 foot kayak

Budget

How much do you want to spend on a 12 foot kayak? This is the most important factor to consider. Kayaks are also available at various price points. The easiest approach to finding a good value on a kayak is to compare the prices of different kayaks.

There are so many different kayak manufacturers and styles of kayaks that if you do your research, you will be able to find a kayak that fits within your budget. Also, look for kayaks that are on clearance or sale, as this is a great way to get a high-quality kayak at a low price.

Deck material

Balance board decks can be made from various materials, such as wood, plastic, or foam. Consider the durability, comfort, and grip of the material.

Quick Tip: If you’re new to kayaking, don’t spend too much money until you know how long you’re going to use it!

Kayaking Adventure

Which activity will you use your kayak for? There are several varieties of kayaks, and you must determine which one is best for you! Leisure, fishing, surf play, and touring kayaks are examples of these! Purchase a kayak that will also provide you with comfort.

Stability

With so many different kayaks available, one of the most crucial things to consider is steadiness on the water. Some kayaks are more stable than others and can easily tip you over. The design of the kayak will determine how well it stays upright in the water.

Material and Construction

Kayaks are made from a variety of materials and structures. Determine the construction of each potential kayak and the materials used to make the kayak when reviewing your kayaking options. You can research which materials are better to use and which last longer online.

Kayak Accessories

When purchasing your new kayak, don’t forget to get the appropriate kayaking accessories, which should be purchased at the same time as your 12 foot kayak. Paddles, safety equipment, and a spray skirt are all necessary items that you should add to your shopping list because you can’t do much kayaking without them. You may also be able to get good package deals if you buy the kayak and kayaking equipment together, which will help you save money.

Everything We Recommend

Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120

Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120
Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120


This is the winning 12 foot kayak, and I’m very proud of it! The outstanding stability, glide, and maneuverability! It has a large open cockpit and is one of the most comfortable sit-in kayaks I’ve tried! This is a fun 12 foot sit-in kayak for both novice and experienced paddlers. This kayak will meet your kayaking needs while also being enjoyable, high-performing, and well-priced!

Pros

  • Very Stable
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Spacious
  • Plenty of Storage

Cons

  • Heavy
  • The removable Deck pad is Flimsy
  • Draining Issues

Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Perception Pescador Pilot 12
Perception Pescador Pilot 12


This is a sit-on-top kayak with fishing capabilities and a pilot pedal driving system. The goal of these ideal pilot drive models is to achieve perfect balance and hands-free fishing. This is likewise a strong 12 foot kayak composed of long-lasting and high-quality materials that will not leak. Whether you paddle in lakes, slow rivers, or calm coastal waters, this kayak will provide you with comfort and stability.

The mesh seat is adjustable and comfortable, with two height settings. The kayak includes an open storage area in the front and a closed storage area in the back that can contain your goods or gear. A fantastic 12 foot kayak for anglers!

Pros

  • A kayak that is long-lasting 
  • Provides comfort while paddling 
  • Exceptional maneuverability 
  • Hull is made of Polyethylene. 
  • Outstanding stability 
  • Simple to maneuver 
  • Breathable Mesh
  • Seat Adjustment 
  • Foot Rest Adjustable 
  • The seat Can Be Removed 
  • There is plenty of storage in both the front and rear. 
  • Mounts are available for additional equipment. 
  • Portable 
  • There are color choices available.

Cons

  • Problems with Seat Straps and Clasps 
  • Holders are unstable. 
  • The package does not include a paddle.

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About The Sit on Top Kayak Type

Perception Kayaks Carolina 12

Perception Kayaks Carolina 12
Perception Kayaks Carolina 12


This 12 foot sit-in touring kayak is suitable for both novice and experienced paddlers. You may explore any river in comfort and stability with this 12 foot kayak. Because of its adaptability on the water, this is also a terrific value touring kayak.

It also boasts great speed and agility, which any expert paddler would appreciate! It includes plenty of dry storage and a six-point adjustable seat, and you can tweak the rudder to improve agility and tracking. This 12 foot kayak comes with a 5-year guarantee!

Pros

  • Comfortable Kayak
  • Back Friendly Seats
  • Large Open Cockpit
  • Excellent Stability
  • Easy To Enter / Exit
  • Durable Kayak
  • High-Density Polyethylene
  • Wear Proof Colors and Graphics

Cons

  • Heavy

Pelican Sprint XR Sit-In Kayak

Pelican Sprint XR Sit-In Kayak
Pelican Sprint XR Sit-In Kayak


The Pelican Premium Sprint 120 XR 12 foot kayak is built to track smoothly even in challenging conditions. It is light and keeps you calm when going on leisure trips. Its deep V chine shell allows it to adapt to changes in body weight.

This is comprised of high molecular weight polyethylene and has a resin coating on top. The ergonomic carry handles make it simple to load in and out of the water, and it weighs only 51 pounds. This is an Ergoflex G2 sitting set with an adjustable footrest for your convenience. You may also use the pre-installed bungee cords to secure your baggage and strap down your stuff.

Pros

  • Beginner-Friendly 12 foot sit Kayak
  • Excellent Stability
  • Responds Quickly and Tracks Nicely
  • Comfortable and Adjustable Seat
  • Wide Cockpit
  • Durable Kayak
  • Convenient placement of Drink Holder
  • Fair Price

Cons

  • Plasticky Feel
  • Drain Plug Issues

BKC PK12 Angler 12 Foot Sit On Top

BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Sit On Top
BKC PK12 Angler 12 Foot Sit On Top


This 12 foot sit-on-top kayak boasts a long, thin hull and a built-in trolling motor for easy traveling in any water condition. It includes many closed compartments to tighten storage and a large rear cargo area with bungee tie-downs.

You can pack adequate stuff in your kayak if you want to go on several outings. This 12 foot kayak is ideal for fishing or other water activities. The adjustable seat makes cruising more pleasant. This kayak features an anchor trolley, which allows you to stay in a certain spot for an extended period.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble 
  • Excellent Stability 
  • Excellent Cargo Space 
  • The battery fits well in the Rear Hatch. 
  • Adjustable Comfortable Seat 
  • The rudder is pre-assembled and included. 
  • Included Trolling Motor 
  • Excellent Value for the Features

Cons

  • Water enters the hull through the trolling motor slot.

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120


This is the company’s award-winning design. The features that it provides will overwhelm you. It is intended for anglers and anybody else who wishes to go on a water adventure. It has improved the performance characteristics.

This is also an excellent choice for fishermen searching for a shorter kayak. This 12 foot sit-on-top kayak features a Helix MD Motor Drive Flexible, completely adjustable, and comfortable kayak seat, as well as sturdy mounting platforms for any extras. It also has an easy-access storage compartment with a cover that can be easily installed or removed.

Pros

  • Excellent 12 foot Sit on top design 
  • Outstanding Stability 
  • The tracking is excellent. 
  • Plenty of dry storage 
  • The seat is adjustable and comfortable. 
  • Out on the water, it performs admirably. 
  • Excellent Speed 
  • With molded side carrying handles for simple entry and exit

Cons

  • Extremely Heavy

Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak

Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak
Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak


This 12 foot kayak is a great multi-purpose kayak for families and people of all ages. This kayak is also suitable for beginners, while seasoned paddlers will love the thrill that it provides. This 12 foot kayak can accommodate both tall and large people.

This kayak is stable and capable of handling Class I to Class II rapids in lakes, inlets, bays, and coastal oceans. The ideal kayak for any water condition, including rocky beaches, shallow waters, white caps, and strong winds!

Pros

  • Aluminum rib frame technology is built in. 
  • Outstanding tracking, rigidity, and hull speed 
  • 3 layers of high-quality material for long-term use 
  • Simple to put together and inflate 
  • Padded seats that may be adjusted for comfort 
  • three seat options

Cons

  • Drainage Problems 
  • Because of the fabric cover, the drying process for storage is quite long.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem


This 12 foot kayak is an excellent example of a long-lasting, high-performance kayak. This kayak can be converted from a two-person kayak to a one-person kayak. This is a tough and adaptable kayak that can be utilized in a variety of water situations.

This is also useful for touring and fishing. The open, sit-on-top hull makes getting on and off the kayak simple, and it comes with molded-in handles and a skid plate.

Pros

  • Kayak of superior quality 
  • Outstanding Stability 
  • Versatile Kayak 
  • Because of the Sit On Top Hull, getting in and out of the kayak is simple. 
  • Featuring molded handles and a skid plate 
  • can be converted into a single or tandem kayak 
  • Comfortable seats

Cons

  • Not designed for speed 
  • Heavy

Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120

Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120
Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120

The Sportsman Salty PDL 120 is a great kayak for having fun on the water. This is a pedal kayak that you can grab and go. It includes a forward and reverses feature, as well as a PDL drive, which allows it to zoom through waves and surf without compromising stability. This kayak has one forward-facing and two rear-facing flush-mounted rod holders that are accessible when needed but out of the way when not.

Pros

  • Instant forward and rivers because of pedal-powered drive
  • Removable bungees
  • Large stern and bow tank
  • Breathable and comfortable seats
  • Adjustable seat length
  • Intuitive pedal drive
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Big Storage
  • With Non-slip EVA decked to provide traction when standing

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Vanhunks Bluefin 12’0ft Tandem Kayak

Vanhunks Bluefin 12’0ft Tandem Kayak
Vanhunks Bluefin 12’0ft Tandem Kayak


The Vanhunks Bluefin is produced from sturdy 5mm polyethylene and has UV protection integrated with the molding process to guarantee that it is strong and durable. All components and fittings are top quality and fastened with marine-grade stainless steel bolts and captive brass inserts. The hull shape flows from a deep V in the front to a flat middle with deep twin arches and exits with a deep V in the stern, ensuring stability and effortless paddling.

Pros

  • High-quality 12 foot kayak 
  • Stable kayak 
  • Great recreational kayak for families 
  • UV protection infused in the molding process 
  • A kayak that is strong and long-lasting 
  • Carry-in handles are located in the bow and stern. 
  • Beginner-friendly 
  • Handling and maneuvering are effortless. 
  • Featuring a molded cup holder 
  • The seating is movable.

Cons

  • Heavy Kayak

READ MORE: Kayaking near me: Where, When, and How to Kayak like a Pro

Criteria Used For Evaluation

Cup Holders for Kayak
12 foot kayak


Portability

With so many available 12 foot kayaks in the market today, we are considering portability a great factor when choosing a great kayak! Inflatable kayaks may be easy to store but what about those hard-shell kayaks?

Just in case you like this sport or activity, owning a portable kayak is a terrific benefit. It would undoubtedly make it easier for paddlers to move a kayak.


Size and Weight

The size and weight of the kayak are important factors that we considered when selecting these recommended kayaks. A 12 foot or short kayak has a significant edge over the water and the people who will be riding it.

The performance of the kayak out in the water such as the speed, maneuverability, and tracking is important for paddlers. It has an impact on your boat’s stability, buoyancy, and storage capacity.


Capacity

Every kayak has a weight capacity limit, which we must take into account as part of our evaluation. If you go kayaking, whether as a solo kayaker or in a tandem kayak, this weight limit capacity may or may not allow you to carry certain stuff while paddling out on the water.

This is why you should consider these things. This is especially important for kayakers who want to bring friends or family along with them while paddling, or who want to bring other items with them.

Features

Every kayak brand has its features that attract customers to buy that certain kayak. But you should focus on what you truly need to make your paddling a lot of fun and kayaking with ease.

One of the great features of the kayak is that it has an adjustable seat, is hands-free, has a pointed bow and stern, and a lot more! There are also excellent 12-foot kayaks that are versatile and can be used in a variety of water conditions. So make a well-informed choice.

Conclusion – The Best 12 Foot Kayak Picks

12 foot kayak
12 foot kayak

I hope our selection of 12 foot kayaks has helped you decide which one is best for you! I know there are many excellent kayaks out there that were not included on the lists, but I believe these are among the finest based on my experience, product evaluations, and considerations and variables to consider when hunting for a great kayak!

I simplified the selection process for you, so you’ll have a shorter list to consider! The truth is that the best kayak is the one that best suits you and your needs. There are numerous factors to consider before making a purchase. The good news is that these lists are among the best and should be considered if you’re looking for the best kayak!

If you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments section below; I’d love to hear from you! You can also keep up with our latest posts and activities by following us on Facebook and Instagram! I’ll see you in my next review, and until then, happy paddling!

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Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)

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