Read reviews for the X-Factor by Malibu Kayaks 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!
Embed these reviews on your site
After paddling the 2019…
After paddling the 2019 Malibu X Factor for several months ( about 500 hours on the water) there are definite pros and cons. I've owned the original X Factor before and comparing the two, I prefer the older model. So here's my opinion on the 2019 model. First off the quality from the factory is horrible. So many blems, and the holes cut for the flush mount rod holders look like they were cut with a chainsaw. Cons of the design, the xseat is over weight, the stand up bar is useless. The front rod holders are useless, unless your arms are 5' long. Zero storage compared to the original X Factor. The bait tank compartment makes it so you can't steal your rods inside and retrieve them from the front hatch near the seat. Scupper hole drainage is noisy and a wet ride the whole time, doesn't drain all the water, so you constantly have a puddle under your seat and feet. I preferred the four corner locking rectangular patches compared to the single lever rectangular hatch every time you open the hatch it lets water inside from the recessed cavity for the lever. Transducer Mount ready only if you drill a 1 inch hole in by$30 of extra Hardware to install your Fishfinder. Also you have to purchase reinforcing foam blocks due to their design flaw in the seating area. I'm not a big guy but it's ridiculous that the plastic deforms that easily. Hatches don't keep water out. Feels less stable I don't know if they changed the design of the whole to distribute water differently but the original I could literally ride on the bow and paddle. I wouldn't even attempt to do that now on this model. Unfortunately the only Pros that I can think for this model is the recessed track, the carrying handles are nice, and that's about it other than that I would definitely recommend looking into a kayak with some form of drive system.
This is my fourth fishing…
This is my fourth fishing kayak, so I bought this boat after much research, and could not be happier with my decision. I fish large lakes and ocean bays. I was surprised at how dry of a ride it is, even on choppy ocean water. There is ample storage aboard as the gator hatch opens into the hull.
The size of the x-factor leaves virtually unlimited potential to accessorize. I installed flush mount rod holders all over the place as well as extra eyelets for bungee cord and a rope cleat for my anchor. Even with all of that, I am left with plenty of room for future ideas.
Last but not least, the stability of this thing is unreal, not sure I could capsize it if I tried. The width/stability leads to the size, which leads to some tiresome paddling in calm water in large lakes, but that is simply a function of physics, not to be held against the kayak.
Mine is 2012 X Factor and it…
Mine is 2012 X Factor and it is a great fishing platform. I fish an ocean inlet with ease. At 66 years old I ride the tide out and ride the tide in with ease and comfort. I love this Kayak.
I've owned this boat for only…
I've owned this boat for only about a month or so, but I've used it probably 10 times already in every type of water except the ocean. Bought this boat without paddling it first...not sure i would have bought it if I would have test paddled it. It is a good boat and really excels in a few area, but it also has some issues, even issues that I would argues are design flaws.
The areas in which this boats excels:
- Storage, storage, storage. You literally have to see for yourself how much stuff you can pack in this thing...amazing.
- Awesome family boat. I have a 6, 5, and 3 year old. I can COMFORTABLY, yes, I said comfortably, fit all three kids on this boat and paddle them out to the middle of a lake and tend fishing rods for them while they fish. The amazing thing is when I do this, the boat barely grunts...no water even approaches to reach the top of the scupper holes.
- Stability. I have paddled a ton of yaks.. To say this boat is the most stable boat I've ever been on is an understatement. I can literally hop from bow to stern and back on this thing and it doesn't move. You can easily crawl to the bow and access items inside the gator hatch while on the water. Standing is easy. I was actually shocked at how comfortable I was standing, even in 1 - 2 foot chop.
- Best slow-river camping kayak - EVER! With the capacity this thing has for gear, beer, and everything in between, I can't imagine a better kayak for taking a 4,5,6 or even week-long trek down a lazy river. All of the little extra things I used to leave at home when I had other boats, I can take along with this boat.
The not so good characteristics with this boat are:
- This boat is LOUD. If you are looking for a boat to use fishing rivers or big water, this is not a problem, but if you primarily want a fishing kayak to use on small lakes and need something capable of sneaking up on fish or stalking spooky fish....well, they will hear you coming from the dock in this boat. I am about 6' 190 lbs and I can tell you when it is just me in this boat with my fishing gear, the front scupper holes make an awful gurgling noise when the boat moves forward at all. All you hear is chug, clug, chug, clug. At the same time, water shoots up from the most forward scupper holes into the boat. I have noticed that when I have an extra kid on the gator hatch or about 40 extra pounds in the boat, this noise and water shooting problem disappears. This has to be a design flaw. Also, I recently bought scupper plugs and plugged the front two scupper holes, but this causes another issue...that is, the two most forward scupper holes are the lowest scupper holes on the deck. Thus, by plugging them, there is always a small amount of water on the deck, even on a lake where the surface is like glass. This also segways into my next issue...
- The scupper holes on the deck are not the lowest points on the deck. The hole openings are all about an eighth of an inch above the deck surface. Therefore, even in a best case scenario, you are going to have at least an eighth inch of water on the deck. This makes for a wet ride, even on calm waters. Again, this has to be a design flaw.
- The recessed area for the fishfinder transducer is in one of the scupper holes in the tank well. To me, this makes little sense. Because of this, I have to run my transducer cord from my tank well to the front of the boat on the deck. The cord pretty much gets in the way of everything on the deck. I am not sure what I am going to do to reconcile this issue. I absolutely refuse to drill holes in my boat to try to fix this issue. It seems to me that it would have made a lot more sense for Malibu to place the recessed area for the transducer in one of the front scupper holes, a la OK Trident.
- The seat area does not drain very well if it gets wet. Literally, your butt will act as a cork and not allow the water to drain. Wilderness Systems' boats and Ocean Kayak's Trident Ultra boat all have a far superior seating system to ensure that water drains from the seat and you do not have to sit in water once water gets in the seat area. Once you get water in the seat area of this boat, you are hosed. I recently purchased a new after-market seat to try to create some natural channels between my butt and the plastic for water to run out of the seat. So far, this has not worked all that well for me.
- Boat is slow. And when I say slow, it is like paddling a barge. The boat I owned immediately prior to this boat was a WS Tarpon and I can tell you that the Tarpon was a speed merchant compared to this boat. I can also tell you that the OK Trident is also much faster.
- Quality control at the factory is so-so. The hull on my boat is a little boogered from the factory. Not enough for me to send it back when I got it and not enough to affect performance, but, you know, I paid top dollar for a boat, I don't want to see that. Also, one of the anchors for the bungee cord for the gator hatch literally fell out the day I brought the boat home. I glued it with some marine epoxy I got at a local boat shop and it seems to have fixed it, but again, I would have rather not of had to deal with that. Also, I've seen two other boats and both of those boats had minor imperfections. One boat had a glaring deformity in the right side gunwale. Not enough of a problem to ship back the boat or to affect performance, it enough to aggravate you every time you look at that part of the boat. These types of deformities are the types of issues which would warrant a boat being a blem from a lot of other manufacturers.
Overall, I am happy I own this boat because it allows me the ability to spend more time with my kids and the boat is awesome for river trips. This boat is pretty much the ultimate recreational boat.
However, if you are looking for a boat to use primarily as a fishing vessel, this is NOT your boat. Buy a OK Trident/Trident Ultra or WS Tarpon 140/160...those boats are wayyyy faster, a drier ride (believe it or not), and offer a better fishing platform with more practical fishing options.
Have had and paddled many…
Have had and paddled many boats over the years, and this is my favorite boat for taking my trips. 4 multi-day trips so far: 2 river 2 ocean. Have packed gear for 2, plus a full size cooler of beverages, and a friend and I were still able to stand up in it without sinking or flipping... did get some water in it from the back hatch but I'll guess she was floating about 550 lbs at the time.
Fishing the local lakes I stand and fly fish with out any problems at all. hardest trip ever was 6 mile paddle into a 20 MPH headwind going to Capers Island. she tracked well without a rudder, stayed dry when several Tarpons on the trip had water coming over the bow and leaked into the hull at the front hatch. With most of my gear stored in the hull it cut down the winds effect. love that front hatch.
I have owned the older…
I have owned the older version xfactor and had the joys of paddling and playing in the newer version x factor, I personally like the older version bc people with larger legs have more room, but the newer version is def easier to stand in and with the extra well in the front this kayak has more then enough room to store all kinds of gear, I have friends that have added a small ice chest to that front hatch and is where they store there lunches and drinks, the only other down fall is the front rode holders are out of reach for me for a taller male they would be fantastic!
This is a great kayak. My…
This is a great kayak. My main reasons for choosing this kayak was the stability, storage, and weight capacity. I wanted to be able to use it for camping trips with no doubt that everything would it and it does. It is very stable, I stand in it constantly, especially fishin for bass in the spring time. It is a great kayak for stability and storage. It's a great kayak for fishing.
Let me start off by saying…
Let me start off by saying this is a awesome Fishing Kayak. Super stable, easy to paddle, tracks straight. Standing in the X-Factor is easy and no fear of it turning over. I use it mostly for fishing the flats for redfish. Super stealthy on flat water. There are times that I can paddle withing 2 feet of fish and they don't know I am there. Very comfortable to fish from. I fish from them 6-8 hours at a time. Very dry ride. Plenty of storage with the 3 hatches and large Gator hatch.
My first Malibu Kayak was the…
My first Malibu Kayak was the original X-Factor. I normally fish out of the Stealth 14, but had the opportunity to fish out of an X-Factor for a tournament recently. I have to admit that I was blown away with the improvements made to the new X-Factor. It's easier to stand in, and the new raised & fully enclosed tank make it a great yak! The fully enclosed tank offers several different scenarios for a paddler to choose: aerate for a live well, use as a cooler for drinks, or simply use as dry storage!
I was very pleased with the quality of the improvements on this kayak. I prefer to stand & sight fish, and the ability to stand and get into some skinny water was amazing! great kayak!
Purchased the 2012 X Factor…
Purchased the 2012 X Factor approx 2 weeks and have spent the last few weeks rigging her out. Finally got it wet this past weekend on a large freshwater lake in Virginia doing some crappie fishing. I was amazed at how well it performed.
The stability and ride of this big yak is awesome. It was great to fish out of and very convenient to reach storage compartments where tackle boxes, snacks, etc was stored. At one point, there was a power boat that came thru a no wake zone wide open and then shut it down quickly which I knew was going to lead to some serious wakes and rough conditions. I took two waves over the side but thankfully, being a sit on top....it drained great quickly. Also, all three hatches remained sealed and at the end of the day, there was no water inside...it was bone dry!! Thanks Malibu for this design and the water tight hatches!
Got my Factor 2 weeks ago and…
Got my Factor 2 weeks ago and very pleased. I am 6'4" and 275 lbs and the kayak is extremely stable and paddles with ease. My son stood up on it with ease... but he is 27 yrs old and a bit more coordinated than me. Only regret is no stupid cup holder....how could they leave that feature off?
Had my X Factor about 3 weeks…
Had my X Factor about 3 weeks and used it a number of times for fishing and smooth water paddling. I am 6 foot 4 and 270 and found it to be the most stable kayak so far. I trailer it so the weight and bulk is no problem. Handles well and I love it.
Love this boat! Take this…
Love this boat! Take this review with a grain of salt, because it is my first yak, but it is great for what I want it to do. I had some problems with it taking on water in the storage area, but with the addition of scupper plugs it is now keeping everything dry. As a big guy, it has the weight capacity I need, I do need to add some gear/weight to the front to see if it helps the trim a bit. All in all, it is a great boat. My wife loved it so much, she has now gotten into kayaking.
Had the X-Factor since April 2007 and totally love it!
Best storage, dry…
Had the X-Factor since April 2007 and totally love it!
Best storage, dry paddling . But very very comfortable, and a proper fishing platform. If you like fishing search no more, the X-factor is all you need.
I purchased a new blue…
I purchased a new blue X-Factor a couple months ago and had it out once... can't wait for this weekend!! I love this kayak, all the other reviews I've read here and elsewhere are true, it is the most stable, comfortable, fishable and maneuvaerable BIG MAN kayak... this thing is a barge and isn't the funnest thing to portage but I bought it to paddle, not carry. I have mine rigged up with a rudder which is critical on big water like the lakes I fish. I have a fishfinder coming in I'm going to mount and this thing can carry every piece of fishing and camping equipment I have plus a cooler. If you're a big guy or want a big kayak with tons of storage and stability you can't go wrong on an X-factor, I don't think you could flip it if you tried... also the lifetime warranty can't be beat, Wilderness Systems and Ocean Kayak only offer a year warranty..
This is my second kayak and I…
This is my second kayak and I love it. My first kept me constantly wet.....I am a big guy and the X-Factor keeps me very dry. I do get wet in rough surf, but it drains. I can carry a ton of equipment and am very comfortable in it fishing offshore for all day. I have a rudder and find it very useful, expecially on strong windy days. It is heavy to load and transport, but I can do it by myself and it's performance on the water compensates for the loading and unloading. I carry it on the factory racks of my Expedition, with no trouble. I fish a lot offshore in some pretty rough water, at times, and I have never been happier then when in my X-Factor.
Purchased my Xfactor in…
Purchased my Xfactor in March, fully loaded with the rudder system. I have added a scotty flush mount rod holder, bungie paddle clips and one for the stakeout pole, milk crate w/ 4 rod holders, 3# anchor system. I love this kayak, and the best part is when I stand and fish, and can adjust the rudder for drift fishing, all while standing. I can also anchor, set my lines out and lie down and sleep in this thing. Try that on any other kayak!
I've had my X-factor since…
I've had my X-factor since March. It's my first kayak, so I didn't have much to compare to. I ordered it from the website, and the customer service was outstanding. When I went to the airport to pick it up, I couldn't believe how big it was. (I purchased a Scrambler and a Phoenix that week.) It's a little heavy, but the room, stability and comfort are worth the trade off. I paddled 11 miles down Contentnea Creek the next weekend, and it wasn’t bad at all. I finally got out into the Atlantic this summer, she breaks through the waves with ease and is as stable as a barge. I have since been on a Scupper Pro, Tarpon 120, Scrambler and my son's Phoenix, while they are a little more maneuverable and lighter, the stability, tracking and function of the X-Factor are top notch in my book. I have added a depth finder and a few more rod holders. The center hatch cracked and Malibu sent me two more for free, one for the center and one for the rear.
Big, stable fishing machine.…
Big, stable fishing machine. Tons of storage, rod holders, etc can run up the price. This yak is 33 inches wide and a tidal wave can't capsize it. I paddle the St Johns River a couple of miles from the ocean, and tidal currents are a pain, and this boat is as fast as my wife’s Pro Explorer. This has got to be the ultimate fishing rig. Local dealer gave me a great boat show special price! Top of the line kayak with more options than a Chevrolet, so you pay as you play. This is the ultimate salt water fishing/diving rig.