Tribe 13.5 T

13' 5"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Tribe 13.5 T Description

Three is company in the Tribe 13.5 tandem.

The versatile sit-on-top design features a three-seat configuration for up to two adults and a small child or pet. Other features include self-bailing scupper tubes and bow and stern storage areas with bungees to safely secure backpacks, picnic baskets, and coolers. You also have the option to paddle solo from the center seat – it's up to you!

Tribe 13.5 T Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Tandem
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Additional Attributes

  • Comfort Seating System (CSS)
  • (2) High Back Sit-on-top Seat
  • Small Molded-In Center Seat
  • Molded-In Foot Wells
  • 6" Deck Plate w/Catbag
  • Tankwell with Bungee
  • Molded-In Side Handles
  • Soft Touch Handles
  • Skid Plate
  • Hatch Centerpoint Marked
  • Stackable
  • Self-Bailing Scupper Holes

Tribe 13.5 T Reviews

Read reviews for the Tribe 13.5 T 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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Purchased the T13.5 about…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/21/2020
Purchased the T13.5 about 2014 and haven't used it as much as l'd hoped, l originally bought it for fishing and whenever l need to double up. As far as a stable fishing platform goes it's second to none, the outstanding grip this has on the water is fabulous. I've recently purchased a pair of hard plastic fins that will further stabilize the craft and help it track dead straight, looking forward to testing this out. I thought rather than an outrigger of sorts the twin stabilizers would add that bit more without creating extra drag an assist the tracking. These things are strong and solid with great internal space for storage modifying. Although a sit on top it's actually quite deep giving a confident enclosed feel with aide gunnels similar to a sit in. It's pretty heavy for 1 person but it can be managed, l put it up on a caged 6x4ft trailer one end at a time. I think the weight is in the quality which l don't mind, you're not getting a flimsy cheap build here. I would suggest they're worth looking at if you want a larger purpose boat.

We have the new 2020 Tribe…

Submitted by: Paddle_Marco on 10/19/2020
We have the new 2020 Tribe 13.5 FT kayaks. The seat-backs are much nicer than the previous years. They do have more hardware on them and we have had some issues with bolts coming off, but it's an easy fix. Parts are hard to source, so you'll have to visit the hardware store to fix them yourself during covid. No more water leaking through the plastic storage area - the new model uses a rubber lid. Overall, the new model is much better than the previous tribe models.

2020 Perception Tribe Tandem…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/24/2020
2020 Perception Tribe Tandem Review: Overall a good intermediate kayak at an excellent price point (especially on sale) with several new features that make it good for non-hardcore fisherman and families to go on lakes and easier rivers. I definitely recommend. The 2020 Tribe tandem underwent a redesign that brings in several modern features. I recommend going to the perception website to see the new design and features. What I like: this model has upgraded seats, 2 Ram mounts for accessories like fishing rod holders, redesigned storage areas with bungees, ability to go with 3 people ( 2 adults and 1 child), bungees to hold down the seats when traveling, tracks very straight in lakes, stable enough to stand and fish in lakes, paddles well solo. What bugs me: small round storage cavities are small and do not seal out water completely, back storage area does not fit the typical 13x13 milk crate( it is more like 13x12, why redesign it not taking this into consideration?), requires 2 people to move and load onto cars(of course it is a tandem and weighs 65lb). I have taken it on lakes and several MI rivers (no rapids, but tight turns and down trees like the PM, Betsie & Huron)

We bought our Tribe 13.5…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/13/2020
We bought our Tribe 13.5 about 5/6 yrs ago and have loved it. It has taken on all that Florida could throw at it...flat spring runs, lakes, surf, etc. and handled it all admirably. We have taken it up to Virginia to run some class I/II and it handled that challenge as well. So, overall, a very versatile boat. It is extremely easy to get in and out of, in or out of water, and it is almost impossible to tip. Me and my wife are able sit on the same side of it, even, without it tipping. It tracks well and with us both paddling it can reach some good speeds. Our model is older so we have made a few mods like adding a dry storage hatch, which I believe is now standard, and adding paddle holders and upgrading the seats. We have used this for long overnight paddle/camping and taken our dog and even a few of our nieces and nephews and has enough room for the whole "tribe" and enough storage for all our needed gear. Also, we did purchase scupper plugs separate and we use them in the rear storage well and under the rear seat. You sit high enough in the rear seat that you really don't get much water in the seat, so they just keep the water from popping up through in choppier conditions. Obviously, we remove them when out in the surf which, by the way, is the most fun. You will get thrown off of this into the surf well before it tips, but that's the fun part. As I mentioned it is extremely stable and easy to reenter directly out of the water. The only real con is the weight which can be awkward given the length for one person, but for the two of us it's a breeze. Highly recommend this boat if you want a seriously fun tandem. You won't be disappointed.

I'm a noob to kayaking. This…

Submitted by: Gheazey on 5/24/2020
I'm a noob to kayaking. This thing is noob paradise. Solid, stable, rugged and damn near unsinkable. I take it out with my wife and son (toddler)...moves along nice and quick when my wife is paddling with me, but is totally controllable when she's busy watching out for him. To date, it's all been flat water, but I'm looking forward to some estuary tours and a little surf action.

The perception tribe tandem…

Submitted by: ss_a7x on 8/5/2019

The perception tribe tandem kayak is a great versatile kayak. With the narrower hull, it slices through water like a hot knife through butter. I've used this kayak on the open ocean, in canals, and in lakes and bays and I can say it does the best when it's calm, but it can definitely handle some roughness. It has two small dry storage spaces, one for each person, along with straps in the front, and a rear storage area also with straps. This kayak is difficult to fit fishing poles on without extra attachments or accessories. All together this kayak is great for going out in multiple environments and to bring someone else along for fun, but I would not use it for much else.


Love this kayak. I can take…

Submitted by: KristinaJH on 7/31/2018

Love this kayak. I can take my two smaller kids out with me and it's totally safe and easy to maneuver. The colors are fun and my kids absolutely love it. There is a lot of space to take dry bags, bring water and drinks, and a small cooler. It's not that heavy - I can get it up on top of my car by myself (after a couple tries, easier with two people but can do it alone). Highly recommend.


I bought this kayak over an…

Submitted by: paddler437296 on 6/4/2018

I bought this kayak over an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL because of the improved storage and seats. It's been great fun paddling in this boat; there's plenty of room for two people, the boat tracks well, handles waves well, and is all around well made. It is a bit heavy, but that's expected for a tandem kayak this size.

The storage is not as great as I'd hoped; the bags hanging from the screw-on covers do get wet and the opening is sort of small. After one trip on the ocean (a few hours of salt, sand, and sun), the threads got stuck and I had to remove the entire cover piece (remove the screws holding it to the boat's body) in order to unscrew it with the help of a vise.


I love this Kayak, I bought…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/30/2018

I love this Kayak, I bought this kayak in January of 2014. 4 years later we've got good family stories and adventures together. We have taken it to: the beach on some pretty choppy water in the Gulf of Mexico; Choctawhatchee Bay, one of those times was real choppy too; and then rivers, creaks, streams, and lakes. Never really been on white water rapids with it. Not sure it's really rated for that though.
It is rated for recreational use and we have certainly proved that.
It is very versatile and has stood up to quite a beating.

This tandem sit on top kayak has three molded seats. Not one, not two, Three! It is called Tribe because of that I think and we have put our Tribe in this kayak. My large family has fit 4 adults on this kayak. We moved a lot slower but we were still floating and we made it back and forth across the three acre lake. Pretty sure we were over the weight rating, which is 500 lbs.
Another time, my parents and I took my four children down a calm river/creek to see the Real Florida. So that was 3 adults and 4 elementary age children and snacks and drinks. My little daughter liked sitting up front on the bow. Again, we moved slow and we were sitting pretty low in the water but it was another enjoyable time, and the kayak held up.

At 2.8' wide it has been plenty of room and comfortable enough for the larger family members riding with us as well. Multiple molded foot rests at each of the three molded seats for the short family and the tall family alike. Also, with the width and length my kids have used it as a floating dock jumping off and climbing back in when we are out on the lake.

For 13.5' boat it can be difficult for a small one person to load and unload off of a vehicle, but, not really a problem for two, or one adult and a couple little helpers.
It tracks a straight line. Turns like I need it too. When paddling alone I sit in the middle molded seat. I think that helps with maneuverability.

Front and back bungee areas for cargo. The back is nice and deep w/ scupper holes for a cooler or tackle box. My daughter and I have used the scupper holes for rod holders as we get in and out of the tackle-box for bait and hooks,etc. I believe there are 8 scupper holes; makes it real nice when you're out in the choppy water on a warm/hot day. I bought supper plugs separately so on colder days you can stay dry and warm on calmer waters.
It has molded handles on both sides at the middle of the boat that make it very handy when getting the boat where it needs to go on land.
It also came with bungees and ergonomic handles at the bow and stern to help with handling the kayak as well.

So, if you are looking for a versatile sit on top kayak to fit a small and possibly growing family. I highly recommend the Perception Tribe 13.5' kayak. One might say, why not just buy a canoe? I have a canoe also. You can't tip the Perception Tribe like you would with a canoe. And with the self-bailing scupper holes you definitely can't flood this kayak like you would a canoe. Again, so versatile you can take it to the beach out on the waves or cruise up and down the lakes, rivers and streams.


Had this kayak for 4 months…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/25/2018

Had this kayak for 4 months now and I love it. It's perfect for family kayaking. I usually paddle with my 3 year old and my 70 lb lab. I have had no issues with stability and I have no problem being the only paddler. This boat seems like it holds up better than the cheaper options and I believe it will be a beloved adventure friend for years to come.


Pros: Tracks well,…

Submitted by: Paddle_Marco on 11/14/2017

Pros: Tracks well, comfortable seats, straps for storage, replaceable plastic in back for scraping/dragging., stack-able.

Cons: Fills up with water no matter what - even when storage lids are closed. Straps break easily when carrying them. Not as thick as the Rambler/Rhumba model, so it will crack easier.


Our go to kayak for Tours and Rentals

Submitted by: paddler309301 on 2/13/2017

We use this kayak for all our Austin Kayak Tours and Rentals in Austin, Texas with . It is a quality kayak that can be paddled single or tandem.


Amazing kayak, we rented one…

Submitted by: paddler237052 on 8/18/2016
Amazing kayak, we rented one on Daytona beach and paddled it in the surf. Super stable and a lot of fun hitting the large surf head on. We are planning on buying one of our own now that we have tried the kayak out. can't wait to get one back out in the ocean.

Got this for my wife and I. …

Submitted by: amjretired on 8/10/2016
Got this for my wife and I. Extremely stable tandem and has a spot in between the included, fold-down seats where a large pet or child could sit as well. with both of us paddling it is certainly faster than my solo Hurricane Phoenix 14 despite the Tribe's ample beam. In a good bay chop, the front seater does get a little spray, but nothing out of the norm. We got ours in a bright lime green for visibility and safety as the wife did not want another bright yellow. There are scuppers bow stern and midships. The molded in carry handles on the sides amidships are only slightly off the exact balancing point and not a problem to lift it up onto the roof racks of my pickup. Weight-wise, its a bit hefty at 65 or so lbs but as a tandem with two people loading or unloading its not a problem.

Handles very well and is stable under most conditions that we encountered. The…

Submitted by: Artandsusan on 5/9/2016
Handles very well and is stable under most conditions that we encountered.

The third seat and other space is great for our grand kids and a dog. We found it easy to carry due to the side and end handles and its light weight.


Pros: It is stable and it has…

Submitted by: ggazcamper on 3/30/2016
Pros: It is stable and it has 3 seats. The middle seat does not have a pad, but is suitable for a child or pet.
Cons: As mentioned in another review, the front person gets quite wet. The kayak is very wide, suitable for someone with long arms in front, but challenging for someone like me with short arms!
Biggest Con: It is so heavy that it takes a rachet lift and two very strong men to lift. At 67 pounds, it is a handicap for average men and women. I would think it would not be portable, except if you are a heavyweight lifter.

All around this is a great…

Submitted by: Jtribe1 on 8/26/2015
All around this is a great boat! I'm able to take two of kids with me every time we go down the river. It's very stable and is able to get through some of the shallowest areas with ease. I would recommend this one to anyone. And for the price it's hard to beat!

We got to test this AWESOME…

Submitted by: lmhernandez78 on 7/13/2015
We got to test this AWESOME tandem at a "Day at The Park" outing. They wouldn't let me paddle with my daughter, and they wouldn't let my son paddle alone. Solution? This Awesome Kayak!!! I was a bit nervous because I have not paddled such a long boat in some time. My son is a beginner and my daughter is a rambunctious preschooler. I thought that at best we would end up out in the middle of the lake, capsized, bobbing until we got rescued. (the mom mind!)

I am so impressed with this kayak. It was a joy to paddle. My son and I had no problem paddling this yak at all! It was very easy to handle and maneuver. We fit in it VERY comfortably and it was very stable. My daughter was bouncing from side to side, so excited to be on the water. never once did I feel that we were going to tip, let alone flip it over. This is my dream yak and someday I am going to have one!


I bought the kayak for my…

Submitted by: paddler236276 on 6/18/2015
I bought the kayak for my boyfriend and I to take long river trips. We've been on a few now and I'd like to inform everyone about this boat. First off I love it! I would like to explain all about this boat for those who can't see one now. It comes with two seats that are bolted on the boat. It has a bungee x pattern over both ends of the boat for storage. The back end storage stance is deeper then the front end storage space. Also the end handles are bungeed to those bungees. It's quite a weird concept and I for one am not a fan. I haven't had any problems with this design. I'm just not sure the bungees won't wear out and stretch and/or break. The side handles of this boat are actually a built in part of the boat shell which I think is pretty neat but it doesn't ratchet to the top of my SUV very well.

One thing I really do love about this boat is the front end of the boat is deeper then the back end. So the person in back is kinda sitting up higher then the person in front. There is also so much leg room in this boat for both people. We haven't had the chance to strap a third seat in and go down the river with three people yet but I'm sure it will still be comfortable. Infront of both seats there are turn caps that go down into the boats insides. The screw tops are tied to the boat so they will not be lost and there are little storage bags inside which I think are really neat.

One more downfall that I can't get over is there are 4 scupper holes in the front of the boat. I sit in front normally and two of them are directly in front of the seat and every time we paddle or hit any small waves (which is all the time) water splashes up and gets that whole area of my seat and my legs and everything all wet. The front of the boat is deeper so the holes are not as deep. The front holes by my feet let in a lot of water also and when that water comes in it comes in in little splashes and those splashes hit me I my face a lot. The poor design of these holes are a huge turn off. But there is a very simple cheap solution. Get scupper plugs and plug the holes! I haven't done this yet but I'm sure it will make a world of difference. The scupper holes are meant to help keep the water out of your boat so it doesn't flood so I suggest only use these plugs if your in low tides. But please don't let my scupper hole explanation scare you away from buying this boat. I love this boat!

There are 3 other sit on top tandems at our house we've used many times including two cobra kayaks and an emotion kayak and I love the Perception Tribe 13.5 the best by far of all our boats! It is an amazing boat for many reasons and I highly recommend it (and some scuppy plugs)!!!


I am satisfied with this…

Submitted by: aguyinct on 9/3/2014
I am satisfied with this kayak. It is stable and feels sturdy. It fell out the back of our pickup onto the road and was not damaged. We have used it on flatwater and some calm ocean with no problems. We did see some kayaks with extra features but they cost a lot more.

The Perception Tribe 13.5 is…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/25/2014
The Perception Tribe 13.5 is the best sit on top tandem kayak period. Stable, tracks well and it has a 3rd center jump seat so you paddle solo a must have on any tandem kayak. We use this kayak on springs, rivers and the gulf and island hoping. Great kayak!

Rented this unit for a 2 hr…

Submitted by: Ernieinpilot on 7/11/2014
Rented this unit for a 2 hr trip down the New River launching near Radford, Va. My wife and I are evaluating kayaks for a future purchase. Overall, it was OK. But, our initial observations, immediately upon launching, was this boat was lacking in control and maneuverability of single kayaks. Towards the end of our 2 hour trip we encountered strong winds blowing upstream. It was a chore to keep pointed on our mark.

The standard seat supports are weak. I wish they were stiffer and higher.
The kayak we rented had no dry storage, paddle holders or adjustable foot rests.
I sat in the stern but felt as thought I was sitting higher than my partner in the bow.

May be OK for recreational use on lakes, but we will continue looking for our dream kayak (light, dry storage lockers, paddle holders, adjustable foot stops, easily controlled in strong currents and wind).


Our family tribe 13.5 has…

Submitted by: mjlanger on 3/27/2013
Our family tribe 13.5 has been a part of the fleet for a year now.
Con: it is heavy.
Pro: it is stable.
The tribe has been down the river and did great with two adult. It's been on lakes with an adult and two kids, and again it did great. It's also been paddled solo and stable enough for adults to stand and fish from. I've added hatches and rod holders and for the money it's a great versatile boat! The only addition I might consider in the future is a downwind sail! It's definitely a keeper in my fleet.

Wow!! I don't mean to sound…

Submitted by: paddler234628 on 6/29/2012
Wow!! I don't mean to sound too enthusiastic but I went to Pelican Sports in Morris Hills, New Jersey to buy a OK Malibu Two XL. On my way out of the store I noticed the Tribe 13.5 tucked into the back corner. I inquired about this kayak to the sales rep (Jim), who was very very helpful by the way and he told me that is was Perception's answer to the OK Malibu Two XL. Upon closer inspection I noticed the apparent build quality of this boat was excellent. The hull was shaped in such a way that made it feel sturdier and less likey to warp under heat and pressure whereas the OK Malibu Two XL's hull was flat in the front quarter making it susceptible to warp. In fact the model that was on display at the time WAS slightly warped and it hadn't even left the store yet!!

I have nothing against OK and have heard nothing but positive reviews about them. However I believe that the Perception Tribe 13 is the clear winner as far as a tandem that can be converted to solo goes. I took her out for a day trip in the Raritan Bay solo with about 40 lbs of gear. She tracked well for a big wide boat and wasn't as slow as I expected either.

I am sold; extremely happy about my purchase and here are my two favorite things about this boat. 1) it's $200 cheaper than the Malibu Two XL!!!!!
2) go solo and take the two seat straps off and lay down, you wouldn't believe how comfortable it is!!!

I do not work for Perception and am not affiliated in any way with Perception. This glowing review is here because I was overwhelmingly compelled to tell people about it. I did a lot of hemming and hawing and researching before deciding to buy a new kayak and the OK Malibu Two XL appeared to be the best one on paper. Maybe it is a good boat, but if you get a chance to see both of the together you will know why I went with the Perception Tribe 13. Can't wait to outfit it for fishing!!!!


Just bought the Tribe 13.5.…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/25/2012
Just bought the Tribe 13.5. Considered an number of other recreational tandems. VERY pleased with the purchase. Adapts very quickly and easily to a competent solo. Not great for speed but face it that's not the target market. Would have gone "10" but for the weight. Several competitors are about 10 lbs. lighter.

A couple of concerns…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/17/2011
A couple of concerns first: top surface could be better for washing dirt off, sides of kayak are little high - wind catching.

Positive: Tribe 13.5 is very stable, tracks very well, but is good enough maneuverable. This kayak is very comfortable for 2 adults + child, or 1 adult + kids. Having tankwells with bungeed are great for short fishing trips or small picnic items.


Just purchased this boat as a…

Submitted by: BriYak on 7/21/2011
Just purchased this boat as a general use boat for my family, We have used it on local lakes and rivers with great success, it is very popular with the kids, they kick my wife off when ever they have a chance. It seems to handle well even for a big SOT, it is very stable (naturally) and the seating flexibility is excellent, it can be paddled as a single, double or even triple if you can get the kids in sync :-)

If you are looking for a stable and flexible family boat, this one deserves a good look. We can't wait to try it in ocean surf!

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