your paddlesports destination

LL Bean Manatee Reviews

See all reviews for Perception

Average Consumer Review:

(12 Consumer Reviews)

Read reviews for the LL Bean Manatee 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!

This Kayak weighs in at...

This Kayak weighs in at 42lbs. It comes with an LL Bean paddle and cockpit cover. It does not have a dry box, but I can easily seal off the bulkhead to utilize and create dry space.
This is my first Kayak. It feels stable and tracks well. I have taken it in some lakes and the bay by Lido beach in Long Island NY.

The LLBean Manatee is a...

The LLBean Manatee is a Perception kayak rebadge. A nice point about this is you can use your LLBean discounts and credit card points towards purchase, and you can also buy during LLBean's annual spring and fall boat sales to save 20%. This is what got me looking.

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.

This is my first kayak. It...

This is my first kayak. It is solidly constructed with large access holes. It has two built-in rod holders and additional detachable Scotty rod holder. It does not have a drainage hole. It tracks well due to its hull design.

My experience with my...

My experience with my Manatee is awesome. It is by far one of the best purchases I've made for outdoor adventure's. I personally recommend these kayak's for beginner's. I love my kayak.

This kayak is a rebadged...

This kayak is a rebadged Perception Prodigy 12 built for LL Bean. I also own a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 and wanted another 12 footer for my wife or friends to use. I bought both boats during Bean's 20% off sales and have been very pleased with the two of them. The Manatee is very stable and I find the seating system to be as comfortable as the Pungos. The cockpit is large and easy to enter and exit. For a very reasonable price, you get a stable, comfortable kayak that tracks well. I would recommend this boat wholeheartedly.

This is branded as LL Bean...

This is branded as LL Bean but is actually a Perception model. I bought it used last fall. I've used it several times, once on an indoor pool in the winter as I learned to use it. I've been on a lake and lazy rivers this summer.

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.

My wife and I purchased...

My wife and I purchased two LL Bean Manatee 100 kayaks for exploring local rivers and ponds. I am 6'2", 290 lbs. and was worried that I would swamp the boat, but it holds me just fine, though I sit a wee bit lower in the water than my wife. We love these kayaks. They don't track as well as a longer boat or one with a keel, but they are easy to transport (at about 40 lbs, my wife can lift it easily) and store. I would probably more comfortable in a 12' boat, but I like the smaller Manatee a lot.

We ordered our Perception...

We ordered our Perception 10' kayaks from LL Bean two years ago, and have loved, loved, loved them. It was something new for us, and after a maiden lake voyage, we were on our way!! We had to discover the best way to get in, to get out, and, as 60 something year olds, how not to be too sore afterwards! We found them stable with great tracking!

I would recommend these "LL Bean Manatee" Perception kayaks for anyone who loves kayaking!

I recently purchased a...

I recently purchased a Manatee on sale from LL Bean. I already have a WS Tsunami 140, but wanted a smaller, lighter boat to use for local paddles. The Manatee is great for that! I got it on sale for just over $300 and I'm impressed, not only with the way it handles, but also with the little extras that make paddling just that much more relaxing. Extras such as the paddle holder, the foot pegs that adjust very easily while you're paddling, a comfortable seat, and the lower seat back...which is both comfortable and makes entering and exiting the boat so much easier. Besides all of that, she's a breeze to paddle. Very stable, and while she isn't a quick touring boat, she's not a barge either.

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" 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.
Happy Paddling!

My wife and I recently...

My wife and I recently purchased the 2008 Manatee (Perception EXP) kayaks from LL Bean and are extremely happy with them. We are smaller in size and these boats fit us perfectly. They are light weight and easy to transport. The cockpit is roomy and comfortable. The kayaks track well, are easily maneuverable and overall perform well in the water. We would recommend these to anyone looking for a very high quality recreational kayak.

I LOVE my Manatee! This is the first kayak Ive owned…

I LOVE my Manatee!
This is the first kayak Ive owned and it is just what I wanted. I only go to calm waters and its just perfect for lakes and slow moving rivers(this is all I am physically able to do). The cockpit is VERY roomy. I am 6 foot 1 and I have the perfect amount of room length wise and width wise. I have the robins egg blue one from LL Bean (2008 model). Great little boat!

First off, I should point...

First off, I should point out that as far as I can tell, the Manatee, is a re-badged Perseption Swifty. I've seen them side by side and they are identical...(the Manatee even includes a Perception water bottle as part of the package) This is my first kayak, although I have canoed for years. I bought it on a whim while vacationing last year in Maine. The Manatee is made of plastic and is short and wide with a roomy cockpit. I am 5' 8" and can sit with my legs folded up or straight out. Weighing 39lbs, it is easy to load on the car. The seat is nothing to write home about, but comfortable enough for several hour trips. As might be expected of a short wide craft, it is very stable but doesn't track very well. Almost immediately I regretted not buying a longer craft. On the positive side, I took it out in the ocean and rode out some prety large swells with perfect confidence. It also will turn on a dime, something that longer kayaks don't do as well.

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.