Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit On Top Kayak Review

Perception Kayaks is one of the most popular companies, famous for creating some of the best recreational kayaks available in the market. The Tribe 9.5 is one of their best kayaks, designed to stay stable and perform well in high tides.

To talk about the Tribe 9.5 in detail, I’ve decided to write a research-extensive and in-depth review for you.

Perception Tribe 9.5 kayak, Tribe 9.5 Sit on Top Kayak review, Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit on top kayak review

Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit-on-Top Kayak Review

Without wasting much of your time, let’s start discussing the pros, cons, advantages, and specifications of the Tribe 9.5.


Length 9 feet 6 Inches
Weight Capacity 300 Pounds
Weight 46 Pounds
Depth 16.25 inches
Person One
Carrying Handles Yes


Sleek Hull Design

One of the greatest things about the Perception Tribe 9.5 is its hull design. It is designed in a way that ensures greater stability on various water conditions. You can take this kayak in the ocean, calm lakes, bays, and rivers and still experience greater stability. The hull design is also helpful in ensuring speed and maneuverability. Even a beginner paddler can easily handle this kayak.

Comfort Level

Perception has taken comfort level seriously with the Tribe 9.5. It comes with premium seating and a comfort seating system that has thick ventilated padding. The seats are adjustable and recline forward and backward for a comfortable paddling posture. You can also fold the seats flat for additional storage.

The Tribe 9.5 also comes with multiple footrest positions so that paddlers of different sizes can fit comfortably. To get easy access to your beverages and drinks, it has a cup holder at the front of the seats.


The Tribe 9.5 is the safest sit-on-top kayak on our list. It comes with built-in buoyancy, which is really handy in case of an emergency situation. The greater stability level is another safety feature that keeps you drier and safe on water while paddling.


It has spacious front and rear compartments that come with a bungee to tie down your gear and bags. There is also one hatch given at the center to store all your other stuff.


The Tribe 9.5 is a lightweight sit-on-top kayak, which makes it easily transportable. Additionally, it has molded carry handles that make transportation easy. There are also two toggle handles given at both bow and stern that assist in easy carrying.


No Dry Storage

Not having dry storage on a sit-on-top kayak is a drawback. Perception Kayaks should have included at least a small dry hatch for water-sensitive equipment. So, if you want to bring your phone or other water-sensitive items, you will need to bring your own water-resistant bag.

What makes Tribe 9.5 the best?

You might be wondering what features make Tribe 9.5 the best sit-on-top kayak in our view. Here are some of its features:3

  • Highly comfortable ventilated adjustable seating system with lumbar support.
  • Seats can be folded for extra space on the deck.
  • It is leak-proof one-piece construction.
  • Molded-in carry handles for easy transportation.
  • It comes with replaceable skid plates.
  • Enough storage space along with a closed hatch given at the center. There is also a cup holder at an ideal position.
  • Multiple footrest positions for comfortable paddling.

Who Should Buy Tribe 9.5 Kayak?

You might be wondering whether you should buy Tribe 9.5 kayak or not. Therefore, I am adding this section for you.

Perception Tribe 9.5 is a perfect kayak for you if you are looking for a vessel that performs well in light waves in the ocean and can also be used for surfing. It is a compact-style kayak that is very easy to maneuver and is easily transportable.

If you are a beginner paddler and want a stable, fast, and easy-to-handle kayak, then Tribe 9.5 is perfect for you.

Perception Kayaks | Tribes Series

Expert Advice for Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit On Top Kayak:

  1. Invest in a Paddle Leash: While the Tribe 9.5 is a stable kayak, it is important to always have a paddle leash with you to prevent losing your paddle in case of unexpected waves or gusts of wind.

  2. Proper Storage: As the kayak doesn’t have a built-in dry hatch, it is recommended to use a water-resistant bag or container to store your belongings. This will ensure that your valuables stay dry throughout your journey.

  3. Practice Makes Perfect: The Tribe 9.5 is an excellent kayak for beginners, but it still takes some practice to master paddling techniques. Take some time to get comfortable with the kayak and practice different strokes before heading out to more challenging waters.

  4. Consider Adding Accessories: While the Tribe 9.5 comes with some great features, you may want to consider adding accessories such as a kayak seat cushion, paddle holder or fishing rod holder to enhance your kayaking experience.

Our team of experienced kayakers and professional paddlers found the Perception Tribe 9.5 to be an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate paddlers alike. While it may not have a built-in dry storage hatch, the kayak’s stability, comfortable seating system and ample storage space make it a great option for recreational kayaking. With proper storage and practice, the Tribe 9.5 can provide a smooth and enjoyable kayaking experience.



Perception Tribe Family!

Perception Kayaks has launched the Tribe family of kayaks which includes three members: the Tribe 9.5, Tribe 11.5, and Tribe 13.5 Tandem kayak. The number in each name represents the length of the vessel.

Tribe 11.5

Perception Tribe 11.5 review, Perception Tribe 11.5

The Tribe 11.5 is 2 feet longer than the Tribe 9.5, providing extra room on the deck, and has 50 pounds of additional storage capacity. It is also one inch narrower than the 9.5, which improves its speed and maneuverability. It is suitable for beginners to professional paddlers.

Tribe 13.5 Tandem Kayak

Tribe 13.5 review, Perception Tribe 13.5 review, Perception Tribe 13.5 tandem kayak

The Tribe 13.5 Tandem kayak is 4 feet longer than the base variant and is designed for family adventures. It has a capacity of 500 pounds and comes with two padded, ventilated seats. There is also room to fit in a child or pet. Two small storage hatches are provided at the front of each seat. The 13.5 Tribe kayak is also 2.5 inches wider than the 9.5 variant, enhancing the comfort level on the deck.

Frequently Asked Questions!


Can Tribe Kayak be used for Taller paddlers?
A. Since, A tribe kayak has enough room on the deck and there are multiple footrests given which makes it a perfect kayak for taller paddlers.
Is Tribe Kayak good for Ocean paddling?
A. Yes, it can track well on ocean as well. The hull design and stability makes it a perfect kayak for ocean waves and surf.
How does this kayak track?
A. Being a Compact kayak, it tracks pretty effectively.


In conclusion, our testing and evaluation of Perception Kayak’s Tribe 9.5 have led us to believe that it is an exceptional sit-on-top kayak that is perfect for beginners and experienced kayakers alike.

Its lightweight, sturdy construction, comfortable seating, multiple footrest positions, and ample storage space make it an ideal choice for a day of paddling on the water. Our team of professional paddlers found it to be very easy to handle and maneuver, making it a great choice for a wide range of water conditions.

Additionally, the Perception Tribe family of kayaks, including the Tribe 11.5 and Tribe 13.5 Tandem, offers even more options for those seeking a high-quality sit-on-top kayak. Overall, we highly recommend the Perception Tribe 9.5 and its family of kayaks to anyone in the market for a top-performing, reliable, and fun sit-on-top kayak.

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