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Gear Advice: Help choosing a pedal drive kayak

I am looking to buy a pedal kayak and have narrowed down the options to the Perception Crank or the Ocean Kayak Malibu.  Can you comment on the main differences between the two outside of the items in your comparison tool (weight, length, width, etc)?  I don't plan to use it for fishing...just looking for something fun to use on the Mississippi River and some local lakes.

3 Replies


Pedal kayaks are so much fun, and you have narrowed it down between two great kayaks. 

Both have a lot of similarities:

  • recreational design
  • pedal design can be lifted for low water paddling 
  • both have retractable and steerable rudder systems
  • similar weight capacities
  • both have adjustable seats

A few differences:

  • The Malibu has a small dry storage connected to the pedal system, whereas the Perception has the dry storage at the back of the kayak, right in front of the rudder.
  • The Malibu is already set up with rod holders, and the Perception has designed spots to accommodate rod holders if you would choose to fish from your kayak
  • The Perception seat is a mesh suspension system seat, which dries really fast.  The Malibu has a padded foam seat which is great for comfort on those long paddle sessions.
  • The Malibu is 2ft longer and 6in narrow than the Perception, which should allow for greater tracking abilities and faster speeds than the Perception.  The shorter length of the Perception should allow for more agile paddling.

Both kayaks would work great on the Mississippi and local flatwater, and you’ll have a great time.

When you do decide on your kayak, getting the right paddle is as equally important. There are some great resources here for selecting a great paddle.   

I think you are getting a great kayak no matter which one you pick.  If you need more info, let us know!

Have fun out there!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

This is super helpful...thanks!  Do you expect kayaks to be included in the upcoming Anniversary Sale in May?


@AH Sorry for a delayed response!

While we haven't announced just yet the details of our Anniversary Sale, stay tuned! While you wait, don't forget to check for updates on our deals page!  

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.