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Tupelo 12.5

12' 5"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Tupelo 12.5 Description

Designed for cruising the waterways with comfort and efficiency, with loads of storage and convenient accessories, the Tupelo is your premier, feature laden recreational kayak. Like touring and whitewater kayaks, the Tupelo comes sized for the paddler, with the 12.5 for larger paddlers and the lighter, narrower 12.0 ideal for medium or smaller paddlers. Ideal to match one of each for a couple. Both feature Jackson's removable and super comfy Elite Seat, with adjustable lumbar support. YakAttack tracks around the deck allow for you to accessorize with RAM products like rod holders, GPS, camera mounts, smart phones and more. Versatility, comfort, ease of use....the Tupelo has it all!

Tupelo 12.5 Reviews


Read and submit reviews for the Tupelo 12.5.

Tupelo 12.5 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • 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

Additional Attributes

  • Elite Seat 3.0 - Therm-a-Rest
  • Quick-open stern hatch
  • Yakattack gear tracks fore and aft of cockpit
  • Go Pro Ready
  • Classic tri-hull design

Jackson Kayak
Tupelo 12.5 Reviews

Read reviews for the Tupelo 12.5 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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This Kayak truly does not…

Submitted by: falconwings905 on 7/27/2020
This Kayak truly does not disappoint, very stable in the water, durable, easy to paddle, I've been kayaking for 3 years now, still have yet to flip over, I have never regretted this purchase, I got at a local kayak/canoe retailer. This meets a standard of excellence, very happy with it's performance.

I paddled a rental Tupelo…

Submitted by: paddler805932 on 6/24/2020
I paddled a rental Tupelo 12.5 for 3 hours, and it was more comfortable than I expected. The folding chair seat provided support for most of my back (though I did need a cushion at the base to increase the lumbar support). However, after about 1.5 hours of sitting in the chair, my butt was a bit sore, but I'm sure that's nothing a cushion couldn't fix. The Tupelo is decently fast compared to my old Pelican Apex 100, but it doesn't track that well which is annoying for birdwatching. This kayak always veers left or right when I stop paddling, which makes it tricky to track birds with my binoculars. The rear compartment is roomy, but it can be hard to reach while paddling. Though the thigh braces are comfortable, I found the cockpit to be too large. I had to cover my legs with a towel to keep them safe from the sun. Since the seat is so high, I doubt a spray skirt would fit this boat unfortunately. As for the foot pegs, they are sturdy but you really have to reach in there to adjust them. Like another reviewer said, this kayak would greatly benefit from a skeg system. In fact, if this boat had a skeg system I would definitely buy it. PROS: -comfortable seat that you can remove if you want a beach chair -decently fast -easy to carry by myself -paddle keeper -lots of room for gear in the cockpit -thigh braces are comfortable -4 small tracks to add gear, like rod holders or go-pro CONS: -poor tracking -seat is a bit high, so you always lean either slightly left or slightly right -foot braces tricky to adjust while in boat -difficult to access dry storage while in boat -no front bulkhead for safety (though there is a large foam block, which might aid in flotation) -probably impossible to find a spray skirt for this boat for surf or rain This is a decent boat that could be a good boat with some slight improvements.

As recreational kayaks go…

Submitted by: paddler534279 on 7/26/2019

As recreational kayaks go this is an excellent boat. I purchased one at the beginning of the season and have been very pleased with it. * Comfort/Stability - I cannot say enough about the ergo seat. It is incredibly comfortable and the fact that it can be removed from the boat enables super access for cleaning etc. We regularly kayak for 6+ hour treks without the numb-butt syndrome. In addition when we do get into rougher water and you get that occasional splash you don't spent the next several hours sitting in a wet seat. Getting in and out of the boat as well as leaning around turns the boat is very stable. it can go way over before becoming uncomfortable. * Speed and Tracking - it is an efficient boat. A typical pace without burning out is 20 to 25 minute miles. The Tupelo tracks true so no wasted effort while paddling. This is also the one area that I had to get used to since it seems to be designed around tracking and speed in quick moving rivers up to class 2 (Its not designed to go higher) one needs to keep pulling forward else the current will grab the stern and kick you around a bit. Its not uncomfortable just a trade-off for speed and tracking. I am extremely pleased with the boat and would highly recommend it to anyone who is going to be doing longish treks across lakes or slower rivers.


Lucked out and picked this…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/22/2019

Lucked out and picked this as my first kayak. Sssuper easy to paddle. Comfortable. Durable.


I've had my Tupelo 12.5 for…

Submitted by: kirothehero on 7/9/2019

I've had my Tupelo 12.5 for about a year now and have been loving it. It's super comfortable, tracks nicely, and is a breeze to paddle. It has a ton of gear storage for overnight trips and is super stable in choppy water. I'm also a photographer, and the stability is super nice cause I can trust the boat in rough conditions with my camera out. Only thing that I don't like about it is the location of the nalgene bottle elastic loops - they're hard to reach and kinda wonky. Luckily though a nalgene bottle snugs nicely under the front of the seat. Also beware that because it is a slightly flexible hull, you'll absolutely need foam rooftoppers or j-cradles.


Remarkably comfortable yet…

Submitted by: Jdncpa on 7/16/2018

Remarkably comfortable yet great for rivers, lakes, and overnight trips. Light tracks well, turns smoothly, and every part built in America.


Just got my Jackson Kayak…

Submitted by: Jdncpa on 7/16/2018

Just got my Jackson Kayak Tupelo 12.5. I'm 6'2" 245 and it fits with room to spare, tracks straight, nice maneuverability, and large storage compartment. Jackson shines with their color combinations and comfortable seating without sacrificing performance. My other Kayaks are Prijon Kodiak, and NDK Explorer HV both are great kayaks but not for narrow rivers, creeks, or lakes where fishing or nature watching are important.

Lastly, after receiving it there was a manufacturer defect, a crack, the customer service at Jackson Kayak is excellent. In a matter of minutes after sending a picture of the crack the Warranty Manager authorized shipment of a new kayak with the promise of decommissioning the old one. In this day of "please press a #" customer service it is great to speak with a real person who immediately solved the problem.

Jackson Kayak should always be on the go to list for anyone seeking to buy a new kayak.


I love my Jackson Tupelo…

Submitted by: paddler438655 on 6/11/2018

I love my Jackson Tupelo 12.5 it is smooth on the water. I only have some small request for improvements, but overall it is while crafted, fast on the water, and comfortable to sit for hours! Highly recommended for first time buyers or people looking to upgrade like myself. You will not be disappointed with your purchase. Take it from a picky person! lol


Took the 12.5 out for two…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/19/2016
Took the 12.5 out for two days once on the Heart River and once on Apple Creek (both in ND). My first impressions of the Tupelo 12.5 were great, however after 2 days on the water not so much. The initial stability of wasn't the greatest but the secondary was awesome. This thing will stick on edge and darn near hold you there until you fall out. I did manage to tip the thing over but it was pretty much impossible to do. I went over a small section of rapids sideways on purpose just to see how it would handle it. The yak did great until I got hung up on a rock and tipped over just enough for water to get inside the cockpit. The water was only 2 feet deep so all I had to do was stand up and drag it to shore. Getting water out was pretty easy, just flipped it upside down and the water runs out. The drain holes on the rim of the cockpit allow just about everything to run out. The Tupelo handled the 1-2 foot shallow water great, got hung up on a few sand bars but slide right off. Only a few spots of deep water but stability was still great.

Storage is also awesome, the dry hatch on the back stays DRY (even after I tipped over). Storage in the Cockpit was great as well, even fits a 4 year The kiddo sat between my legs for the whole trip and fit great, even got an hour long nap in. I had enough room behind me to stow a long sleeve light coat a small water cooler and a 40 ounce water bottle all of which were easily reachable while in the yak.

The seat is absolutely awesome, my tail felt great after a 5 hour trip. The foot pedals adjust easily even go short enough for me, I'm 5'4" and about 205.

Alright now for the bad parts, I'm not sure if it was me or what but I couldn't make this thing go in a straight line to save my life. Every time I would get some speed going it would start veering to one directions or the other, constantly making me have to turn and lose all of the momentum I had built up. Even just floating it turned to one direction or the other. Again not sure if it's just me or if the tracking is terrible. My wife tried it as well and had the same thing happen. Both of us are pretty new to paddling so could be us. Turning was a little difficult as well, the wife couldn't make it go anywhere she wanted. Speed was pretty good but figured it would have been a little better for a yak this size.

Durability seems great, wasn't trying to hurt it but it bounced of rocks, trees, and the bottom of the river quite well. Had to portage it several times around river blockages, I'm a pretty strong individual but carrying it over the dike and back down to the pick up was a workout, same with dragging it up the side of the river channel. Getting it into the truck was no problem just hauling it up and down the river banks. I carried it over my right shoulder and across my back and both were about the same as far as comfort wise.

Overall I like the stability and the comfort of the yak but it got awfully frustrating when I couldn't get it to go in a straight line. Adding a rudder or skeg would probably make a huge difference. So 6.5 out of 10 for me due to the tracking and speed issues. Wifey gave it a 5 due to the tracking and speed...Wifey was not impressed...

All in all I will NOT be buying this one, need to try a few more and see what else is out there.
Hope this helps anyone looking at the Jackson Kayak Tupelo 12.5


Hi I've had my Jackson Tupelo…

Submitted by: paddler236944 on 7/13/2016
Hi I've had my Jackson Tupelo for 9 months and am really happy with it.
I paddle lakes and rivers in Tennessee the kayak is extremely comfortable for long trips and very stable. It comes with a lumbar support that is really easy to use and plenty of storage in a water tight bulkhead. As a plus it has mount's for a GoPro two on each side and one in the center.

The only problem for me (and it's not really a big on)is the support that runs down the center, it make's it so you can't sit cross lagged. Like I said, not a big problem

I picked up a Tupelo 12.5 for…

Submitted by: paddler236692 on 4/10/2016
I picked up a Tupelo 12.5 for my wife.ive had it out a couple of times by myself. The boat is rated for 300 pounds, I'm 265 plus my fishing gear and I'm sure I was pushing the weight rating. But the Tupelo wasn't phased one bit.

The Tupelo paddles great, tracks straight, and is fast. Not to mention it handled being overloaded just fine. I even managed to catch a bunch of fish in it.