Tribute 12.0

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Tribute 12.0 Description

A kayak that is ergonomically engineered for women or small paddlers that also offers sporty performance used to be unheard of.

Today, the tribute 12.0 continues to gain popularity as people experience effortless paddling in a manageable kayak sized just right for them.

Tribute 12.0 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Additional Attributes

  • Zone DLX Seat
  • Zone Knee/Thigh Pads
  • Keepers Foot Brace System
  • Stern Hatch
  • Bungee Deck Rigging with Reflective Static Perimeter Safety Line
  • Molded Thru Handles
  • Stern Bulkhead

Tribute 12.0 Reviews

Read reviews for the Tribute 12.0 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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Love the kayak. Speedy.…

Submitted by: paddler2920925 on 5/17/2024

Love the kayak. Speedy. Nimble. Quick. Light. Only thing I hate is the tracking. I was hoping someone else would have same issue as me on reviews but apparently not. I have paddled a lot of different kayaks and even have a perception sea kayak with rudder. I've tried everything and unless I overcompensate by paddling harder on my left stroke the kayak wants to hook right. I've tried everything like sitting more upright, sitting slouched, sitting to left, sitting to right, leaning but nothing seems to help. Ive even tried taking out the foam block between your feet hoping that might do something. Nope. Wish the kayak was rudder or skeg compatible because I think that would fix my problem. Any ideas? I've even sighted down bottom of kayak and there don't appear to be any visual clues (defect) as what might cause kayak to hook one direction.


I purchased my Tribute 12…

Submitted by: waterbeatle on 12/27/2023

I purchased my Tribute 12 used, late last summer (2022). I had considered a Tribute for years but since I had 3 other yaks I waited as there was no great necessity. However, when a Tribute12 became available at the right price I jumped. For the record i am a 5'7" male at about 155 lbs. Fitting in the cockpit is no problem. My consideration was for a lighter boat that could be used in rivers up to class 2 and also have good traction and good maneuverability. This one has good traction and pretty good maneuverability. The keel limits the quick turning ability, but I am working to compensate this with better paddling skill. The most surprising thing I found about this boat was its speed and how quiet it was. With a few strokes of the paddle (I use a low angle one), I was gliding effortlessly, quickly, and so quietly. My paddle made more noise than the kayak. It's a stealthy boat. Once I tried out a Tribute 10 and found it noisier but perhaps it was because it was overloaded. I'm still curious about that. Back to the 12, storage space is good. I've had no problems with the hatch leaking. Due to its low height, I'd recommend a skirt if you're going into rapids. The seating is comfortable. I do prop a seating cushion under my thighs to add back support and ergonomics on long excursions. It works. The thigh braces are also helpful for control. The only minor drawback: when encountering very low downfall requiring me to slip down in the cockpit, I'm hindered by the flotation foam in the bow. As such I have to prop my legs outside the boat to get underneath. Fortunately, this happens rarely, and I can often just duck under or scoot down partially. I have considered removing the flotation foam and replacing it with a flotation bag that I can stuff further up on the bow. If anyone has done this successfully let me know and what size bag to get. Lastly, I do notice the difference in boat weight as I load it onto my car...much easier even though the Tribute 12 is longer than my other boats (Perception Proline Sport, America, and Montour). I'm happy with this boat and hope this review assists anyone else looking into getting into a Tribute 12. Happy paddling!


Purchased new a few months…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/14/2020
Purchased new a few months and from north shore watersports, although the description says designed for women and smaller paddlers I knew this was the kayak for me, I am 75kg 5ft8 male and found this kayak a nice fit, it's only 24. Inches wide but still very stable, i have not capsized so far, mainly use on calm waters and being so narrow it glides excellent and I only need the lightest of paddle strokes and I'm away, great tracking also when I stop paddling it glides in a nice straight, seat is very comfortable and gives good lumber support that I like. If this kayak also had a front storage hatch it would be even better but I guess you cannot have everything. Very happy with my purchase.

Love it! Its light enough to…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/6/2020
Love it! Its light enough to carry easily (barring strong winds) and load. It handles well and rolls smoothly.

This boat fits me extremely…

Submitted by: RecipeForDisaster on 7/31/2019

This boat fits me extremely well and has gone just about everywhere with me. Ocean, class II whitewater (not its specialty), lots of touring, rivers, lakes, etc. it's comfortable, very fast for its size, super agile, and tracks nicely. I can stand in it although it's narrow. One thing that is really special about it is its balance while being carried - I can manage it myself and that isn't true of other boats of the same weight.

I'd add a bow bulkhead for floatation as I've sunk the bow during rescue practice. Plus, storage! I also wish it came in some of the really pretty colors.


I love this boat! It was…

Submitted by: jgbex1 on 6/13/2019

I love this boat! It was made for women and small paddlers. Tracks very well.


I have the Airalite build.…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/31/2018

I have the Airalite build. Light, strong. I'm a 6'1" 160 lb male. I reinstalled the seat hangers farther back as necessary. Installed a bow bulkhead with marine glue. Now I have plenty of legroom, and the high deck accommodates my knees and size 12 feet. I paddle everything from this boat to a 19 foot 20" wide surf ski. This boat moves well enough that it's not boring. I keep the seat back loose enough for a quick exit. With proper modifications, it clearly doesn't have to be pigeon-holed as a women's kayak.


Love this kayak. I use for…

Submitted by: paddler444024 on 6/18/2018

Love this kayak. I use for Dry-Tri races and it eases through the water and is quicker than the wider kayaks. Perfect for a smaller person. I love how lightweight it is . I can easily pick it up and load in a truck. The cockpit does have a smaller area though-I would like it a bit bigger. The foot peg adjustment is very easy to adjust. Overall great kayak.


This is an agile, straight…

Submitted by: RecipeForDisaster on 5/31/2018

This is an agile, straight tracking, light boat for a small paddler and it's nice to have a decent fit in the cockpit. I actually have pressure on the thigh braces! It's even balanced well to carry alone. The seat is comfortable and I like the static lines. I do wish it had a front bulkhead and therefore wouldn't fill with water up there (pool session taught me that this boat will sink in front when submerged!), but otherwise, it's a swift little boat that is fun to paddle in all kinds of waterways.


This yak does it all! I am a…

Submitted by: Krysta-Buckner on 7/6/2017

This yak does it all! I am a 5'6 125 lb woman and I feel like it hugs my body like a glove. The adjustable seats make all the difference in the world. It cuts through waves and can wind around creek bends with total ease. The smooth bottom makes this boat glide through just about anything. If you are looking for a playful boat that handles great in all bodies of water, this yak is for you.


I purchased the Perception…

Submitted by: paddler236443 on 8/19/2015
I purchased the Perception 12.0 ultralight. This is the perfect kayak for women, and I am a small woman of 5'1" and 140 pounds. This kayak only weighs about 40 pounds and was easy to get on and off of my SUV; it tracks beautifully and was very very responsive.
I would recommend this kayak to any woman looking for a great touring kayak.

It's my first kayak and I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/13/2015
It's my first kayak and I love it! It's light weight and easy to handle. It's comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. The only real complaint I have is that the hatch is difficult to open and close. Definitely not able to access while in the kayak.

My wife and I researched and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/2/2015
My wife and I researched and tried out a lot of kayaks until she chose this one. It's a bit too small for me, as I'm a good bit bigger than she is, but for most women, I think this would be a real nice choice. She loves the boat, it fits her perfectly, and she likes the narrowness of it and finds it much easier to paddle than my Carolina 12. And when she decides to up the pace, I have to work to keep up with her. She's very happy with it.

Narrow cockpit makes it ideal…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/27/2014
Narrow cockpit makes it ideal for a smaller paddler; the thigh rests made for comfortable paddling; very responsive, tracks well; sits lower in the water so you feel like you are part of the kayak and can use your body to steer, in addition to your paddles. Fairly light, about 40 lbs.

I love my Tribute! It is my…

Submitted by: purplegardencat on 7/9/2014
I love my Tribute! It is my go-to boat for most of our creek and river paddles. It also can compete with bigger boats when we lake paddle.

As far as fit goes, yes it is marketed to a smaller person. I am 5'6" and weigh 140#. With the addition of 1 layer of thigh paddling on the inside where my thighs/knees touch the side of the boat, it is a perfect fit. With 10-15# of gear it seems to be the perfect weight for optimal boat performance. The cockpit opening is not real big. In order to not scrape my shins when getting out, I have to release the seat back although I do keep the seat as much forward as possible because that balances my weight so well.

Earlier this year I took this boat on a 5 mile WW trip that consisted of 100-300 yard standing waves that were class II-III. Some of the waves were about 4 feet tall and when I went thru them the breaking waves knocked me in the face and chest. The boat handled superbly and I did not swim. It will handle equally well in lake waves. I feel very confident and comfortable in this boat. Another big plus is that I can easily pick it up, sling it on my shoulder and carry it over uneven terrain.

I would not recommend this boat to anyone much bigger than I am.


I have been paddling my…

Submitted by: purplegardencat on 3/27/2014
I have been paddling my Tribute for close to 2 years now. I have the thermoform/airlight version and am 5'6" and weigh 140#. With a bit of knee/thigh padding this boat fits me like a glove. It is my "go to" boat for most of our larger creeks and river. It can also 'hold its own" when I paddle flatwater.

I find that it has ample footroom for whatever footwear I choose. The seat has ample adjustments and works well with a nylon skirt. The back hatch now has some leakage but this is new and I plan to reseal it this spring. Initial stability is good and secondary stability is great. Turns well and takes up to class 3 waves like a pro.

I can easily toss this boat over my shoulder and transport 1/2 mile to the put in. The low volume of this boat means that in never interferes with my stroke. There is ample room behind the seat for lunch/dry boxes.


While I understood that this…

Submitted by: paddler235305 on 8/23/2013
While I understood that this boat is designed for women and smaller paddlers, I (5'10"/210 man) bought it because I like light, low-volume boats, and it costs a half or a third of long boats meeting that description. Though ~50% larger than the target demographic, I nevertheless find it roomy, and the freeboard more than ample. I have at least three more inches of adjustment margin on the foot rests, and it is the only kayak I've ever paddled where my legs don't "fall asleep".

It doesn't track like a 16 footer, of course, and it's hull-speed limited (take a few quick power strokes and you'll start climbing the bow wave), but that's just physics. I agree with those who'd prefer a bow bulkhead to minimize swamping; on the plus side, the stern bulkhead and hatch, punching through surf that broke over my head (and capsized me several times) never leaked a drop.

The biggest drawback for me is the big plastic seatback that prevents proper use of a skirt (the front seals well and keeps waves out of my lap, but anything from the beam or stern pours right in).


The Tribute 12 is a…

Submitted by: jgumby on 7/27/2013
The Tribute 12 is a versatile, sporty kayak for smaller paddlers. We bought the plastic version after trying a few competitors. Nice acceleration, tracking and glide, easy to turn. It lacks a front hatch, but that's its only drawback so far. It fits both my 5'7", 130 lb. wife and me at 5'8", 170.

I'm a male, 49, 5'11", 145#,…

Submitted by: paddler235026 on 6/3/2013
I'm a male, 49, 5'11", 145#, size 10 shoe, 30" waist. This kayak was made for me. The seat adjusts for the paddler to make this boat "fit" you. I have had several other kayaks over the years and this one really works well for me. Light to carry, easy to paddle/turn/tracks straight. The bottom rear of the kayak is straight - almost like a molded in skeg. If you have a bigger foot or want to physically move the seat toward the rear because of the thigh pads then you have about 4 1/2" of space to move the seat back. You will have to drill new holes but it can be done. By the way, this kayak might have been designed for women but my p***s hasn't fallen off.

This review is for all the slimmer guys that ask "will I fit in this boat?". Yes , like a foot in a comfortable shoe if you like a snugger fit. Not tight, just snug (responsive). I would rate this a 10 if there was a front hatch... not for storage but for buoyancy if the boat should ever roll. I might add a forward bulkhead only for this reason.


This is a terrific kayak on…

Submitted by: ldonner on 9/6/2012
This is a terrific kayak on lakes and rivers. It is very responsive so is more of an intermediate kayak. Very lightweight (41 lbs) for a 12 ft kayak. Very comfortable kayak.
12' Length, 24.5" Width, 240 Max Capacity. 41 lbs Weight

Best kayak ever! Granted, I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/24/2011
Best kayak ever! Granted, I haven't paddled every kayak there is out there but for a plastic kayak, this one is perfect! Lightweight, perfect fit for me (5'5, 130lbs), very very stable, turns easily and tracks very well. I average 3.7 mph on this little boat. I've never gotten swamped by waves no matter how much those pesky seadooers try.

This thing loves waves and will ride right over them. Too much fun! I'll only trade up for the aerolite version. Wish it had a bow bulkhead but that's the only drawback.
Love it, love it, love it!


I am 5'9", weigh 130 lbs, and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/9/2011
I am 5'9", weigh 130 lbs, and have shoe size 10 (US Men's). I have paddled this boat (poly version) in up to 7' high, frequently crashing chops, and it performed perfectly.

I was fully prepared to love…

Submitted by: paddler234068 on 6/20/2011
I was fully prepared to love this kayak, based on the reviews. I am a small framed woman, 115 lbs, 5' 4" so I thought it would be perfect. However, the kayak did not work for me because I was unable to get my knees far enough apart in the cockpit to provide a comfortable fit. My knees had to be straight out from my body, whereas I think the ideal position for legs in a kayak is like at the 10:00 and 2:00 position so that the legs are at an angle to the body to provide stability and maneuverability. I wish I had been able to make this kayak work because I liked everything else about it but the fit. Tracked well, lightweight, easy to handle.

I paddle on the 3 rivers of…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/30/2011
I paddle on the 3 rivers of Pittsburgh, PA, and this kayak is perfect for it. The water is usually flat, though this boat has been great on choppy days too. When I was in the market for a kayak, it was really important to me that I be able to lift it and load it onto my car by myself, and I can do that with this boat. Tracks well, is extremely stable, and is moderately fast. Though I have yet to try it, I suspect this boat would work out great for a short camping trip. Highly recommended for recreational paddling.

My girlfriend and I both…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/30/2011
My girlfriend and I both loved this kayak when we tried it at a demo day. She's a complete newbie, but tried several kayaks that day. She raved about the Tribute so much that I had to try it, not knowing at the time that it's marketed primarily to women. Now, I think "Who Cares?". The Tribute tracked and glided far better than other similar sit-in's we tried, coming close to the 14 and 16-foot tourers. It felt racy - I couldn't paddle hard enough to make it "plow" water, and turning was very easy. If you're on the small side like us (5'7" 150lb and 5'1" 115), you owe it to yourself to try this kayak.

I tried a few kayaks, but…

Submitted by: catsim on 5/20/2010
I tried a few kayaks, but found this one fit me best. I wanted to try it due to all the great reviews it had from smaller women. I love it. I don't find it's fast but it is stable and tracks well. It is built for smaller paddlers and I like the fact that I can handle it myself it only weighs 40 lbs.

I think I've found the…

Submitted by: paddler233334 on 8/27/2009
I think I've found the perfect kayak. I'm a woman 5'10", 140# and have room to wiggle when I'm sitting. The Tribute is stable on water, but not so much that it's tedious. I move fast and straight on slow rivers and yet can enjoy whitewater. This kayak feels really graceful. Storage area offers space enough for a backpack. I have no complaints, I'm more than satisfied.

My girlfriend and I both…

Submitted by: paddler233051 on 3/23/2009
My girlfriend and I both loved this kayak when we tried it at a demo day. She's a complete newbie, but tried several kayaks that day. She raved about the Tribute so much that I had to try it, not knowing at the time that it's marketed primarily to women. Now, I think "Who Cares?".

The Tribute tracked and glided far better than other similar sit-in's we tried, coming close to the 14 and 16-foot tourers. It felt racy - I couldn't paddle hard enough to make it "plow" water, and turning was very easy. If you're on the small side like us (5'7" 150lb and 5'1" 115), you owe it to yourself to try this kayak.

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