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Sierra Description

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Sierra Reviews

Read reviews for the Sierra by Perception 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've owned this kayak for…

Submitted by: paddler1472463 on 6/3/2021

I've owned this kayak for nearly 20 years and have owned several other kayaks (Hobie, Native, Vibe), which have been sold but always kept the Sierra. It has been a wonderful kayak that is easy to paddle, quite stable and handled some pretty tough beachings and so durable. I did add some flush-mounted rod holders behind the cockpit and a custom aluminum flatbar at the front of the cockpit to mount a Scotty rod holder base and this has been my travel fishing kayak. I've only used it in freshwater and mostly on lakes and slow moving rivers and it tracks quite well and is fairly fast, but would not recommend taking into the ocean without a skirt since the cockpit opening is so large. The molded seat and adjustable back are good for about 2-3 hours out on the water but that's fine with me. I am 5'9" and about 165 pounds and my wife is 5'2" and 115 pounds and we both really enjoy our time paddling in this kayak. We recently got a class B van with high roof (Winnebago Travato), and with the use of two ladders we can load this kayak on the roof rack system I developed without too much trouble. We plan to keep this kayak for many more years.


My wife uses this kayak and…

Submitted by: paddler235160 on 7/25/2013
My wife uses this kayak and works really well for her. It paddles easy and handles all types of water well. I paddled it once and it felt a little tippy but I am used to a Ride 135. She feels right at home in this boat and says she is more comfortable in a sit inside. We have had this boat on small creeks lakes and rivers and would recommend it for someone wanting to get out and paddle or float. She also fishes from it and it seems like it would be a good fishing kayak for a sit inside.

A surprising boat. At…

Submitted by: paddler233230 on 7/13/2009
A surprising boat. At approximately 43 pounds, its light and easy to maneuver. I had no problems loading it myself on top of my CRV without the use of rollers; and at 5'2" and 51 years of age, I'm no Hercules. Large-size cockpit makes entry a breeze regardless of your klutz-level. The seat is very comfortable. The high back support is much appreciated.

One debatable problem; there's no bulkhead. On the one hand, this means I can easily chain the kayak to a secured object. On the other hand, no bulkhead means I need to find a flotation assist in the event of a capsize. Rather than spending money on bladder bags, I'll probably use a few beach balls. Hey, air is air.

I've paddled this boat on a river under choppy/windy conditions and the boat handled fine. All in all, I'd say this is a fine recreational kayak.


I'm a beginner and I've been…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/8/2009
I'm a beginner and I've been really happy with this kayak. I've taken it out on a couple of local lakes several times and its worked out great. It tracks well, handles well, and is very portable. It fits pretty well with in my Jeep Liberty with the seats folded down and part of it sticking out the back glass. The cockpit is huge and I plan on purchasing a deck to avoid excess runoff from the paddle.

Overall, I've been really pleased with the kayak. I've paddled a few others and none have met my needs as well as the Sierra. I look forward to several day trips in the upcoming year.


I love this kayak! I recently…

Submitted by: paddler230302 on 8/5/2003
I love this kayak! I recently purchased this kayak on sale at EMS (which as of 2003, sells the Sierra exclusively). After trying many kayaks I kinda of lucked out because I was not able to test this boat on the water before buying. I just went on feel and the dimensions, cockpit size, etc. Well to my relief it is the best kayak I ever paddled! I am a larger person and this kayak handled me well! Tracked great, not to big or small, very stable and FUN, FUN, FUN! I am a novice and I handled this baby like a pro! My husband has had a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 14.0 for awhile now and wants to sell it for a Sierra! He loves the fact that it is fast, comfortable and more managable at only 11 feet. You can basically just throw it on the car and go..I can even carry it. His Pamlico takes two people and is so awkward. The footrest are a breeze to adjust, you can do it while sitting in the boat, lots of leg room and great hatch for storage. Large cockpit for easier entry and exits. This is the perfect all around boat in my opinion! And at $399. (on sale) it can't be beat!

My husband and I are Sierra…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/2/2003
My husband and I are Sierra fans, for us it is the ideal yak. I have bad knees and getting in and out (while not graceful) is easy with the large cockpit. It has a large storage area, comfortable seat, foot-braces, and is very stable. The size and weight are easy to load on our van.

The highlight of one of our "paddles" was seeing a moose browsing along the shore and being able to get close enough to not bother him at all. The Sierra is the kayak that suits our paddle time.


I was looking into a vessel…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/9/2002
I was looking into a vessel to use for fishing, and I settled on the Sierra after considering and testing a bunch of boats. I liked the Pungo, Loon 138, and the Walden Scout, but the Sierra couldn't be beat. Everything the folks here say about it is right on. It's light weight, durable, manueverable, it tracks well enough, it's stable, and it's less expensive than almost every other rec. boat out there. I bought the expedition model with the rear flotation that really came in handy on an extended day trip. The rear hatch held my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, and a couple extras. It kept it all dry after running class I and II rapids. For about 15 extra bucks, I also installed front deck rigging. I've run mine through class II without a skirt, and I only took on a little water. But, I carry a pack under the front deck rigging that protects me from a lot of splash. This boat will provide any paddler with a great sense of confidence. The Sierra was also by far the most comfotable for me. I'm 5'10'' 235lbs. and I have a long torso and shorter legs. The boat is a great fit for someone like me. If you're looking into a rec boat that is short enough to manuever in creeks but also tracks well and has a high weight capacity, then you have to test out the Sierra.

I fell in love with Kayaking…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/18/2002
I fell in love with Kayaking and second time out on the water had my own kayak, a Sierra. The Sierra is an absolutely delightful craft for me. I am a larger kayaker and I need knee replacement surgery. The Sierra is relatively easy for me to get in and out of... with lots of room so I can stretch my bad leg every now and then. It is so lightweight I have no trouble transporting it by myself. I have kayaked from Key West along the salt marshes, the Piankatank in VA and lots of rivers, lakes and bay areas in NJ, the Sierra has performed admirely in all types of water. Even others have commented about how surprising stable and fast it is. It is extremely comfortable... now if only I can figure out how to rig it with Netting so I can sleep in it : )

This is really an all around…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/13/2002
This is really an all around great recreation kayak. A wonderfull starter that provides many avenues to use beyond the basics.

(1) Incredibly stable. I guess if you put a concerted effort into rolling this over it would be possible.
(2) Solo but can add a child seat for young child. STILL VERY STABLE!
(3) Great platform for fishing.
(4) Tracks very well, and I found an average stroke achieved about 2.9-3.0mph, have paddled it up to about 5.4mph on still water.
(5) Good all around boat for slow-medium rivers (not WW), lakes, ponds, and possibly shore line ocean.
(6) Awesome boat for the $$$.
(7) Kid can jump in and use in - no worries!

Would recommend to someone looking for a boat to test interest and use for a multitude of environments. I recently got a Corona and can now completely appreciate the benefits of this (and the Corona) in terms of their unique value to a given paddle.

Buy this and a Corona/Sole and you (and the family) will be in yaking heaven!


After weeks of running this…

Submitted by: paddler229658 on 5/23/2002
After weeks of running this yak up and down the rivers in my area, I am completely satisfied with the Sierra. It has proved to handle a beating better than I expected and its handling in rough water is great to. At first kayaks may seem tipsy, but after hours of playing, I actually fill more safe in my yak than I do in my Old Town canoe. With the lower center of gravity, you have more control when hitting or bumping hidden rocks. I have also found that when in shallow water (1”-2”) you can just kind of shuffle along with a little body action, but this will result in some scratches, but that what its really made for. At the moment I am rigging my yak for fishing mostly small mouth and a few largemouth. I have found it very easy to modify and during modifications I have discovered a few cheap but very effective ideas. I know when I was starting to modify mine; I had a hard time finding examples. So I will attach a link to my site so you all can get some ideas. I hope to get some more pics of the yaks on what in the next day or two.

I purchased this Kayak in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/21/2002
I purchased this Kayak in 2/2002, after wanting a kayak for many years. It has provided me with much enjoyment and new insight to the water. I use it on the ocean, mainly in inlets and bays, thae fact that it would be many many miles to open ocean would hinder me using it much on open ocean.

I like the way that the Sierra handles, it turns easily and tracks very well. Additionally, it handles rough seas(within reason) very well. The only time I had trouble was around the Cape Cod Canal, I was abot 30-40 feet away coming around a jetty/sandbar and was in 6-7 feet swells(not reccomended for anyone, OY!). It is also a light kayak for its group. My friend has a Pungo(Wilderness Systems) and curses when he has to move it, as it weighs 10-15 pounds more. The Sierra can be moved by one person very easily. I have also found accessories very easily for my Sierra. I have seen other yakkers have trouble getting accessories for their kayaks.

I gave a 9 as believe a 10 to be kept for only the best of the best. (this may be the Bentley of kayaks, as opposed to the Rolls Royce of Kayaks). However, I would give the enjoyment factor of the Sierra an 11.


After days of researching and…

Submitted by: paddler229658 on 4/30/2002
After days of researching and hours of paddling, I have finally decided on a kayak for me. With me being a rather larger yaker, I needed a yak that was roomy, stable, maneuverable, and one that had a high carrying capacity.

When first looking, I kept adorning the sierra some reason. Though after I demo ride I defiantly had a sparkle in me eye. The boat seemed to track extremely well, and also even glided well when I would stop paddling. At first the boat seem to turn well, but once I learned to put it on an edge, I found that I could turn this yak on a dime, literally. Though the thing that caught my fancy the most was the large cockpit, with me being a large yaker (5'11" and 240 lbs. with 18” hips) I needed a yak with a lot of hip room. This boat seem to do this the best.

When purchasing, I ended up getting the Expedition edition for many reasons. For about $50 more, you get the rear entry hole with a NICE rubber cover and also a watertight foam bulkhead that provided flotation and watertight storage. I think this will be excellent for those camping trips and it should also pride me a place to store dry clothing, for those wet accidents.

Though the thing that made the final decision for me was that I will manly be using this yak for fishing, camping, and recreational use on shallow rocky rivers, such as the Shenandoah, James, and ect. That flows throughout Virginia. With this kind of use in mind, the flat boat of the Sierra, allows it to easily and stablaly glide over those rocks and boulders when a collision does occur.

Though this was the best choice for me, I would defiantly do a demo ride in a boat before buying, because the yak that I went to purchase and the yak that I bought were totally different boats.

If you are in the same category as me and looking for a similar yak, I would recommend that you look at the Pungo (deep water yak, but FAST), Big Critter (cheap, but sits bad), Swifty or Sparky (Small, but almost identical to Sierra), Delta (large shallow yak, but VERY STABLE)

For its rating I am giving it a 9, for the simple reason, it does not blow away its competitors in comparisons. So maybe next year perception will give it a better seat, more bungee straps on top, and a paddle holder included.


I needed a kayak for fishing…

Submitted by: paddler229567 on 1/23/2002
I needed a kayak for fishing the bay and local lakes and rivers here in MD and researched for several months all my options in the 400-600 range and finally selected the Sierra for 400 bucks new. Having fished warm water discharges 5 times now in January on the upper Potomac, I couldn't be more pleased with my boat. I easily paddled as a complete beginner, upstream and against a strong headwind; the boat tracked straight as an arrow and proved very stable. The seat was quite comfortable despite the lack of padding and the footbraces worked very well. I've logged several "yak" fish now in a few short weeks in the dead of winter and can't wait for spring to hit. It's a great boat.

Had my Sierra about a year,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/22/2001
Had my Sierra about a year, it handles well and I find it easy to track. Only problem I have is finding someone to kayak with, always looking for someone to go with.

Just purchased the Perception…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/8/2001
Just purchased the Perception Sierra yesterday and LOVE IT! I've had it out on our local river twice now. First time went out by myself to get the feel for it. Today I took my dog (Cocker Spaniel) along and we had a blast! I thought it would ride low in the front with the dog up there, but noticed no difference in the ride or tracking. This is my first kayak and I'm very happy that I did lots of online research and was fortunate enough to decide on the Sierra. Also, it's relatively easy to get in and out of. I took a small cooler that was attached to the stern and it rode very well. If you're thinking of getting a Sierra you won't be disappointed.

The Sierra is an excellent…

Submitted by: paddler229347 on 7/16/2001
The Sierra is an excellent light weight recreational kayak. Tracks well, foot braces are easy to adjust and comfortable. After market seat cushions improve comfort but not necessary. Tends to ride over waves rather than slice through them like the Pungo. No regrets to date.

Tested 3 Perception…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/11/2001
Tested 3 Perception recreational yaks against each other last weekend: Swifty, Sierra, and Acadia (all 3 within 2 feet of each other in length & 10 lbs difference). I would gauge the Sierra the worst of the three. The good points of the Sierra, in my opinion, are: large cockpit for those needing a large cockpit, and relatively light boat weight for loading/unloading the boat by oneself. The low points of the Sierra, to me, are: tracking, speed, and maneuverability. While the Sierra is smaller than the Acadia, turning is more of a chore thanks to the gargantuan cockpit, which almost completely prevents you from bracing your thighs anywhere against the boat - in fact, the cockpit is so large there's almost no top TO brace your thighs against. The boat, to me, seemed more to plow through the water than glide through it, which made getting up to speed more work. Finally, the tracking was much poorer than the Acadia and felt poorer than the Swifty.

Unless you have a real need for a huge, oversized cockpit, the Swifty would be a better choice here - at $150 less in price, 1 foot smaller length, and 6 pounds lighter. Interestingly enough, my wife, who is a beginner paddler, preferred the enormous cockpit and really liked this boat. So it may depend upon your experience level - those with more experience paddling will probably find the Sierra like paddling a rowboat.


Perception Sierra. Great…

Submitted by: kawat9 on 5/14/2001
Perception Sierra. Great kayak. Took me a year to make up my mind, tried all different models and styles. Finally decided on the Sierra for several reasons: weight (I have bad arms), cockpit size (at 5'8,200+ & 50+) I needed something that would let this ungraceful being inside, stability, (I don't want to fall out and if I do, can I get back in), handling, (can I keep up with my friends in their 18 footers). The answer to all that is a definate YES!!! I would recommend this boat to anyone that can't make up their mind. It is extremely stable, handles easily and I can load it on top of my car by myself at the end of a long day on the water. It is big enough to have fun on the big lakes, sure the 18 footers beat me in speed but I can turn quicker, have more fun with the boat wakes and carry mine by myself. AND I can get into areas they can't. I paddle mostly Sierra & No. Calif lakes. In a quandry about which kayak to buy? I think you will be happy with this one.

I bought my Sierra after…

Submitted by: paddler229180 on 3/5/2001
I bought my Sierra after trying a Wildeness Systems 'Bandit'. I loved the Bandit, but at 6'0" and 220 lbs I needed a bigger boat. The 'Sierra' has many of the same features and is similar in design but has a lot more room and a huge cockpit. Took it on the water for the first time yesterday and loved it. (Would probably still be out there but made the mistake of taking my pager with me). Very stable, tracks great, good speed, roomy and comfortable, and easy to turn and manuver. I am planning on using mine for fishing (did some yesterday), overnight camping (plenty of room for gear), and just having some fun on the water with fellow enthusiasts. Will also be doing some light whitewater (I's II's and maybe III's) later this spring, will provide my whitewater review then.

Bought my Sierra in October;…

Submitted by: paddler229052 on 1/7/2001
Bought my Sierra in October; it was my 1st kayak. it's light (poly) at 45 pounds, and a good tracker considering how beamy (28.5") it is. it isn't fast, but turns on a dime. i am upgrading to an america because i want a longer boat----but the huge cockpits of both the sierra and the america are great for 1. stuff, 2. dogs, 3. small kids, and 4. anyone over 250 pounds. a breeze to get in and out of. by the way it IS possible to roll a boat like this, if you need or want to; and the cockpit size makes wet exits and entries much easier than on conventional boats.

I bought a Sierra after…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/6/2000
I bought a Sierra after trying a Swifty, a Dagger Delta, and Old Town Loon. It tracks very well, is light in weight,has a big cockpit and is rated for 450lb. max load.Well suited to the big paddler, like me 5'10" & 240.It has a decent glide for an 11'4" boat.Overall I liked it.

I bought a used Sierra an I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/6/2000
I bought a used Sierra an I Love It!! I paddle this little jewel with my six year old son in a kids seat (optional) in front of me and it makes for some cool times. And my 12 year old daughter is able to paddle this puppy with my son in the kids seat. I LOVE IT!!!

Wow! After testing the…

Submitted by: paddler228875 on 9/2/2000
Wow! After testing the Swifty, Zydeco, and Bayou, I settled on the Sierra. You can't beat it as a recreational boat. Anybody can paddle it. Tracks well, turns easily and goes fast enough to make paddling fun. The large cockpit makes entry and exit a breeze. I use mine for fishing and just plain messing around. Had it in Sierra lakes and San Francisco Bay and performed well in all cases. Loaded it up with cooler, fishing box, rods, strapped a lawn chair on the back and towed a very large innertube for an afternoon of lakeside water fun. Even with all that junk attached, handled well in afternoon winds. I have two Sierras, one for my 13 year old daughter and another for myself, and everywhere we go people come to inquire about the boats. They are attracted because they perceive the Sierra as a boat that even they could paddle! And they're absolutely right! As a small woman, I appreciate its low weight of 43lbs, and with hully rollers, I manage to get the boats loaded on top of my van without dieing. If you want a boat to get you out on the water, have fun, and that everyone from the grandkids to grandma can paddle, this is the boat for you. Cheers!

Bought Sierra for 10-yr old…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/27/2000
Bought Sierra for 10-yr old son. He loves it!! He can turn it quickly in tight coves and can handle the white caps (until those skinny little arms get tired), then I hook him up to my tow rope and give him a breather. This boat is light to carry and easy to turn. Very stable which is great for kids. He has been in some nasty situations for his strength, but he said he never felt that the boat was going to tip over. Sometimes the current & winds would push him backward, but that wasn't the boats fault ... he's just not strong enough yet to battle mother nature.

Needed a small, light,…

Submitted by: paddler228717 on 7/6/2000
Needed a small, light, durable 2nd boat for recreational outings instead of using my 18'x21" glass kayak. Narrowed my purchase down to a sale priced Sierra. Very stable, put it on it's side & it just about turns on a dime....... very manueverable, and excellent tracking for a short boat. Hull plastic is rigid enough and overall construction quality is good. Comfortable and I like the large open cockpit for hot weather use. Great for mild water and am adding floatation bags and a sprayskirt for anything rougher. Average speed and glide. Fun boat at a decent price.

I just purchased a Perception…

Submitted by: paddler228637 on 5/27/2000
I just purchased a Perception Sierra after trying several makes and models at a local dealer "paddling day". What sold me on the Sierra was its relative short length, light weight, very roomy cockpit, depth of the kayak and good tracking. The tracking channels, foot braces, drain plug and deck rigging are also nice features. I plan on using it to get me into the small lakes, rivers and swamps for duck hunting. It should very easily be able to carry myself and equipment. The Sierra was very stable, tracked well and has good maneuverability. Other kayaks I tried in this length and weight class either did not offer the room, stability or tracking that the Sierra does.