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 as my first kayak. Sssuper easy to paddle. Comfortable. Durable.
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 great for rivers, lakes, and overnight trips. Light tracks well, turns smoothly, and every part built in America.
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 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
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 old...lol. 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
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.