Rated 5 out of 5 by whitehawk Fun from the first
This is my first kayak and I have really enjoyed it from the very first paddle, although I have only been in quiet waters so far. I am glad I went for the 12 footer after reading some reviews here that recommended that. I think it tracks very straight after just a little paddling practice. One needs to maintain their balance in it, naturally. It will tip you over if not careful. The 50 lb weight lets me hoss it around by my 60 yr old self.
January 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Outsidewoodsman Excellent
Took it out for 2.5 hours and enjoyed every minute. Had great stability and utility. First flat water craft and had a great experience. The 12 foot length is a must.
May 15, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Artnut Blue Kayak
Great product, great value. Good sturdy boat. Arrived in a reasonable amount of time and in good condition. Having a ball with it and looking forward to adding a rudder.
September 5, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by ddreal2r 12ft, Manatee Kayak
I took my new Manatee for a test ride this morning. I was very impressed. It tracks well and seems very lightweight. I am thinking of buying the tandum model.
June 14, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by kayacar Great Boat
My wife and I use this boat on a small lake . It tracks well, and isn't bothered by light wind or small waves. It is much easier to get in and out of than our other kayak.
I have to give LL Bean 5 stars also. If you have a problem they will look after it. You talk to actual people , no recordings, and they look after it.
June 10, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by reppohSnaeBLL Great kayak
I bought 3 12' kayaks last year: Pungo 120, Dirigo xt 120, and Manatee Deluxe 12'. 6 different people regularly use the three kayaks. 5 of the 6 prefer the Manatee, 1 prefers the Dirigo, and we all rate the Pungo as the worst of the 3. The 1 that prefers the Dirigo is 5 feet even and she can't reach the foot pegs in the Manatee or the Pungo. They could be moved but we haven't bothered. We all agree that the new Dirigo seat is the most comfortable. The Manatee can carry the most cargo (we often kayak and camp) and it handles rough water better than the other two. I purchased the wilderness systems dashboard for both the Pungo and the Manatee (fits nicely). I'm 5'9" and 200lbs and I find the Dirigo 120 XT to be cramped. The Pungo is very uncomfortable because of the angled floor (feet are never comfortable). The Dirigo rear wall leaks already so I've lost my dry space in that kayak. I'm thinking about adding a 4th kayak. If I do, it will either be another 12' Manatee or I'll try something in the 14' range. For the price and performance, the Manatee can't be beat (unless you're <5' tall!).
August 25, 2011
Rated 4 out of 5
by NewKayaker69 Nice Ride !
Kayak is perfect, except, there is no drain plug. almost inpossible to get water out without a pump, vacuume or a rag. How much could a drain plug cost ? Other than that, a good boat. First ride was down a river, took about 6 hours, only took a couple breaks. Pretty comfortable ! second ride, was about 8 hours.
August 7, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by WellfleetGuy Excellent Kayak
This is a great kayak for casual use. Overall I highly recommend it. My wife has the 10ft version of the same kayak. Aside from a waterproof compartment this boat offers little more than its smaller sibling. While it may track slightly better it is $200 more, heavier, harder to handle out of the water and requires a larger storage space. The cockpit opening and seat are exactly the same so its no more comfortable for bigger people. Nevertheless, if you want a basic 12ft kayak this is an excellent choice which is no surprise as it is sold by Bean.
July 13, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by Bennysmom Bought this boat for my husband
I looked at a lot of kayaks before choosing this one. We needed one for recreational/day use that we could toss in our pickup and go. This one was it. It is a sturdy boat, has extras like thigh pads, cup holder in the seat, and a nice large hatch. It fits a man over 6' tall nicely. We are very happy with the boat.
July 8, 2011
Rated 4 out of 5 by grayscot OK, but....
The Manatee 12 seems a good buy but next time I'd get a used sea kayak. My previous experience was as a 16 year old borrowing my brother's kit-built, so I never knew the difference between styles. It was fast and great fun on the Mississippi in heavy weather and 2-3' white caps or barge wakes. Comparatively, the manatee12 kind of wallows in the waves and I don't think the 62 years between the experiences misleads me. The beam of the Manatee10 warned me off that but another 2-feet doesn't entirely cure the problem. Other issues include the description included on delivery by the manufacturer. This lists two types of plastic bodies, with different directions for care--but doesn't say which the Manatee is (It's the more deformable, polyethylene). Nor does the manual have any explanation for how the included gear works or the possible uses for what I learn are drain kit and other insets. There was only one accessory with my earlier kayak--a paddle. No footrests, seat, dashboards, paddle floats, bilge pumps, life-vest, etc. If we had tipped over the kayak, even in heavy weather, we'd have died of shame, long before we drowned. All of this has to be figured out without help. This is outboard country; a kayaker is immediately under suspicion as a likely terrorist. There is a kayak dealer about 30 miles away, but I never drive that far anymore. Though at 78 I can still get the Manatee up on the car rack, I would have appreciated suggestions about how to do it a few years down the road. Other than that it seems pretty good and I couldn't have afforded a new sea kayak.
September 8, 2010