Cruise 12

12' 3"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Cruise 12 Description

The Cruise 12 is a great option for anyone simply looking to get out on the water. With outstanding comfort and ease of access thanks to the unique Hi-Lo elite seat, you’ll want to stay on the water all day! Deck storage space along with a large sealed front hatch and day hatch make it so you can take everything you might need for a picnic, day outing, or even an overnighter. Interested in fishing…. with multiple Ram mount attachment points, adding rod holders takes only minutes. Whatever your paddling desires, this boat is a great starting point, and can grow to accommodate your needs.

Cruise 12 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Jackson Kayak
Cruise 12 Reviews

Read reviews for the Cruise 12 by Jackson Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I have owned my Cruise 12…

Submitted by: paddler2221725 on 7/26/2022

I have owned my Cruise 12 for 7 years. It is a well built kayak that is a great fishing platform, but has a few traits that are undesirable. Speed is a problem, when fishing with people using sit in kayaks good luck keeping up. I am an avid paddler and cruising speed on this hull is about 3.5 mph. Anything over 4 mph is paddling like a madman. The Cruise also sits high out of the water so it is a dry ride but not the greatest in the wind. Really makes it tough to fish and paddle if the wind is up in the 15-20 mph range. It is also a fairly heavy kayak, get a wheeled trolly if you are hauling it to water more than 100 yards. Great stable platform for fishing, not great if you have a distance to go in wind or with friends in canoes or moderately fast kayaks.


Ive owned the Cruise for 7…

Submitted by: paddler1827812 on 12/14/2021

Ive owned the Cruise for 7 years. This platform is super stable for a 6' 2" 220lb. paddler.

The cost of stability comes in speed and not a good boat if you plan on tracking open water for miles.

The upside is you are going to have to try to turtle this kayak as I doubt you could by accident.

The seat is super comfortable even on all day trips.

I mostly Crappie Fish Creeks and this boa is great for that purpose.

Previously I owned a Pescador 12 and it was super fast but I did turtle 2 times by accident in the 5 years of use.


Great to fish off of, but…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/16/2021

Great to fish off of, but put secure lines on your gear ! Very easy to turn over & dump you.

the Bite is a little slower, but much more stable.


Use several times a week and…

Submitted by: paddler822492 on 7/13/2020
Use several times a week and love it. Handles very well

This is one of the best…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/22/2019

This is one of the best paddling fishing kayak hulls out there. Looks like Jackson may be phasing it out since they now only make the recreational version. Very stable, fast enough, tracks nice, and turns easily. With manufacturers going with heavier and wider kayaks, the cruise 12 is a manageable weight. The front storage compartment has the tupperware type lid and is large enough for rods and an extra paddle. The rear tankwell is huge. The con for me is the hull cracked where the seat legs make contact with the kayak. Jackson did honor their warranty and replaced the kayak after I paid the amount the warranty required. I wish they would update this hull, but not make it too wide and heavy.


I bought a Cruise 12 in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/1/2018

I bought a Cruise 12 in 2013. It fit me very well (6'3", 250lbs). Easy to handle, enter/exit, etc. My complaint is that the hull cracked open where the seat "foot" rests. Jackson's warranty had "just" run out by a few weeks. 40 such boats in this category failed at the same spot, but Eric Jackson (owner) say's this is an acceptable number compared to how many went out their door. I ended up buying a new one at a "discount" but it was heavily damaged when it arrived. Jackson failed.


In July, I rented a Jackson…

Submitted by: biinsam on 10/12/2016
In July, I rented a Jackson Cruise 12 from an outfitter for a 9-mile float on the Duck River in Tennessee. The next weekend I returned and purchased a demo model from the outfitter and put my old kayak up for sale.

This sit on top has an exceptionally comfortable seat, I felt like I was sitting at home on the couch! The Cruise is very stable and tracks as well as a sit-in. It maneuvered well even in tight and faster moving spots. I never felt like I was going to turn over or go astray.

I am 60-something 5'10 225 lbs so this is a kayak I can keep for the rest of my life.


I love this kayak. It's…

Submitted by: paddler237096 on 9/7/2016
I love this kayak. It's stable, and fast. I was reluctant to purchase one due to reviews that said it was slow. It's not as fast as some of course, but I wouldn't consider it slow. Lots of storage space. The kayak is hollow and you're able to put rods, sleeping bag and camping gear inside no problem.

The only thing I struggle with is the weight, but I still manage to put it up on my suv by myself. Obviously, it's way easier with two people. I don't think there is a 12 foot angler kayak that isn't over 60 pounds. Not many bells and whistles but you can rig it up yourself.

I'd recommend this kayak unless you've got the extra cash to upgrade to a Coosa which has a few more features. This one does more than enough for me.


Very nice kayak, an all…

Submitted by: fishnmusicn on 5/4/2016
Very nice kayak, an all around model that should appeal to a lot of people. Well thought out design with nice foot pegs, high and low seat, room on each side of seat for a Plano plastic tackle box. Sparse layout makes for a simple platform that won't have you getting hung up if you fly fish. It has four removable screws strategically placed fore and aft of the seat along with one up front middle - these will all accommodate screw in Ram balls at 1" or 1 1/2" for rod holders, depth finder, or camera mounts. Sheer ingenuity that makes the simplified design transform into a great fishing platform.

At 12'3" the boat has good volume and is roomy, much more so than my Perception Tribe 11.5. I still recommend the Tribe to those on a budget though, very good kayak. The Cruise however basic it may seem compared to Jackson's pricier models, has so much potential for using the mounting points that are given, and doing some additional upgrades of your own, that you can make it into what you need to fish out of. Hopefully I'll slowly learn to stand in it from the high seat position. 10 years ago with the old style WS Ride I had no problem, but my legs aren't what they used to be.

This is also a very quiet hull design with zero noise in most conditions, making for a stealthy fish stalking craft. There is only one slight negative, it is a little on the slow side and if you need to cover lots of ground this wont be your boat. All that being said it's not a slug and you'll get a comfortable middle ground pace without too much effort. It's not a kayak to be pushed in the speed department. I'll compare it to my Necky Vector 14 in terms of speed. The Vector is effortlessly fast and efficient. It's drawback is it's niche, but when I want to get down to the Chesapeake Bay it will be my choice. Otherwise the Cruise will do nicely in terms of comfort stability quiet and things most fisherman want.

Great all around boat that I highly recommend. If you are ever near Phoenixville, PA I also highly recommend French Creek Outfitters where I bought this boat - great selection and service.


I bought a Jackson Cruise 12…

Submitted by: Genxcide on 4/27/2016
I bought a Jackson Cruise 12 Angler this year with the intention of fishing the lakes and rivers I have access to. Fishing season has not opened yet but after paddling this kayak on a couple short, non-fishing trips I can not wait to fish from this. The boat is very stable but also tracks very well. It is 12' long so can be a bit cumbersome to maneuver though some of the tight stretches of smaller rivers or creeks jammed with fallen trees and logs but it is responsive enough and small enough to make it through most obstacles I've faced so far.

I bought this boat because I wanted a kayak that I could take on the small rivers and creeks to fish close to home but also big enough to take out on the lakes and bigger rivers with confidence.

I am absolutely in love with this boat. As an angler first and a paddler second I figured this would be a perfect boat for me,and it is but let me tell you, its fun enough, fast enough and stable enough for me to consider an entire day of paddling with no fishing.

All that being said, This boat is a perfect, entry to moderate(and even advanced) fishing kayak. Easily customized with the pre-fitted holes for mounting ram ball mounts and accessories, it's like a blank canvas just waiting for an artist to give it purpose.

I would strongly recommend this kayak to almost anyone, and from my experiences Jackson Kayak has my stamp of approval.


Won a Cruise 12 in a fishing…

Submitted by: paddler236383 on 7/21/2015
Won a Cruise 12 in a fishing tournament, previously had a Pescador 12. The only thing it didn't have on the Pescador was speed which turns out matters a lot to me since I want to get to and from my fishing spot as quickly as possible. Still wanted a Jackson so I sold the Cruise and pesky which paid for a 2014 Cuda 12 which is faster than the Cruise but still not as quick as the Pescador.

All in all it's a great kayak that holds value and can be easily outfitted to your needs thanks to the ram mount screw-ball fittings. Wouldn't recommend if your trying to paddle long distances like extended bay fishing or BTB though it's stable enough for that kind of fishing.


The Jackson Cruise 12 Angler…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/2/2015
The Jackson Cruise 12 Angler is my first kayak. I am 64 yrs old and began paddling last spring after winning this kayak at the Shenandoah River Fest in Warren County, VA. The sit on seems to fit me very well, I am 6 ft. and 220 pounds and I find getting on and off the Cruise 12 very easy. I have no comparison, this being my first kayak, but I find it very easy to paddle and control. Most of my kayaking is done on the north fork of the Shenandoah river and this kayak seems perfect for this. It is easily transported on my utility trailer, along with my son's Loon 10. I am mostly a recreational paddler, with some fishing every once in awhile. Considering my limited knowledge and experience, I think this is a great kayak.

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