Great starter kayak. Easy to use. Easy to get in and out. Almost a sit-on-top ease for movement. Good stability and tracks remarkably well for a small boat. Very versatile. Easy to carry compared to larger boats. Very durable. Roomy. Get the package and you'll be ready to go. A very good deal. Much more comfortable seat than cheap box store boats, but still a great price. Good for kids to learn on.
I bought this boat for my wife. She has been paddling a 10.5 Fusion for a couple of years and I wanted her to have something that would track well and be easier paddling. The 12' Manatee provides just what she needs. Because she has bad knees she needs a cockpit that makes entry and exit easy. The Manatee has plenty of space and is easy to get in and out of. The sealed compartment is nice too.
The boat tracks well and is nice on the lakes here in NH.
Solid recreational kayak that can actually move pretty fast if you need it to. Big opening with accessories you can add on. Very stable. Fun. Works well for most situations but don't take it in rough seas as it is not meant for that.
Extremely durable kayak. Priced well. Comfortable enough, and nice and wide at the seat. I'd recommend this to friends and family.
These kayaks are well-designed with good water dynamics, buoyancy and balance. The plastic is of high quality and has not become brittle even with extreme temperature changes due to being stored outside but covered. The seat is durable, easy to clean, and moderately comfortable up to about 2 hours, when a good leg stretch is needed. The footrests are fully adjustable and easy to move, yet they stay in place when set. Overall, these are great little kayaks for lake and moderate stream use.
This is my third kayak and I like it the best. It handles well on flat water with a slight wind & current. Have two trips on this boat for three hours of paddle time. Plenty of room for my legs and the seat is very comfortable. I am 5' 11" and weight 240. This boat is easy to carry, load & unload on top of the car. Plenty of space in the rear water tight compartment for the gear I carry. I can't wait to get back out on the water.
The Manatee is slow and stable. Although well enough made, it is too slow and stable to satisfy me because I am looking for a performance boat.
The Manatee serves the "occasional beginner kayaker looking for an easy boat outting" market well enough, but if that is what you want, go for the Calypso instead.
I find it to be easy to use and tracks well. As a newbie to kayaking, I find it very satisfactory. In addition, a big plus for someone in their sixties, it's light enough that I can lift it on and off my Outback by myself.
I would recommend these "LL Bean Manatee" Perception kayaks for anyone who loves kayaking!
My daughter-in-law is new at paddling and after trying 4 or 5 other rec boats, she tried my Manatee. Her first word after paddling it was..."SWEET"....now she and my son want their own!
I have owned many kayaks through the years and I find the Manatee to be a great little kayak for casual flatwater paddling...and well worth the price.
Recently, I went kayaking with a friend in a Necky Manitou 13. We traded off so I had an opportunity to compare the Manatee with a sleeker craft. Although I was able to keep up with the Necky, I had to expend much more effort. It soon became evident that the longer craft would track and glide much better than the Manatee. Where the Manatee did shine was when we came to some small rapids and current. The shorter kayak was much more maneuverable and less susseptible to getting turned sideways in the current.
The bottom line is that there are trade-offs. While not the sleekest craft, the Manatee is very stable and can slip in and out of tight places easily. It is a good kayak for beginners, but if you are looking for performance.....spend a little more and get something longer and sleeker.