Perception Expression Kayak Review

The Perception Expression offers the stability and handling you might expect from a touring kayak, with the performance of an expedition kayak. It’s fully equipped with rescue lines and sealable hatches. There’s plenty of room for storage equipment, which won’t get wet if you flip (in which case you’ll be glad of the rescue lines too!). Meanwhile the ‘Zone DLX’ seating system is comfortable and fully adjustable. Admittedly the seat back can hinder rolls and rescues, but those are not skills you should be practising while fishing, one would hope!?

Perception Expression Kayak

Product review

The Perception Expression Kayak comes in three sizes. The 11.5-foot model is for smaller paddlers and beginners, while there are 14.5 feet for more experienced people, and 15 feet for advanced kayakers and touring. The Expression is equipped with most of the features you would expect from Perception. After all, this manufacturer considers itself “one of the most trusted brands in the sport”. Being made in the USA, the customer support is pretty good too. Although it’s not designed as a fishing kayak, it has the stability, performance and storage capacity that most anglers tend to look for. It’s also possible to modify it with third-party rod mounts, should the need arise.

Pros of Perception Expression Kayak

  • Great performance
  • Very comfortable
  • Stable enough for novices
  • Three size options, depending on your experience
  • Water-tight storage compartments
  • Easy-to-use, spring-loaded skeg enables you to choose between manoeuvrability and tracking

Cons of Perception Expression Kayak

  • Not purpose-built for fishing
  • Relatively expensive
  • At 50 pounds+ it’s not what you’d call lightweight
  • Skeg cord dangles in the water when not in use

Best Feature

The best feature of the Perception Expression Kayak is probably the fact that it combines ample storage capacity with great performance. It is long and lean, which means it cuts nicely through the waves, and yet it’s large enough to store enough gear for at least one overnight stay.

Worst Feature

For fishermen, the worst feature of the Perception Expression kayak has to be the fact that you’ll need to customise it. At this price, you may want something that’s ready to use straight out of the box, which would be easy to understand. Nevertheless, if you want a Perception kayak you can sit in, this is probably your best option. While Perception does produce fishing kayaks, they’re definitely not (yet) up to the same standard as their other models (as you can see here).

My Personal Tips

Whether or not you should buy this kayak probably comes down to a combination of laziness and how much you like DIY. Personally, I’m lazy and couldn’t fix a shelf to a wall, so I’d probably opt for something that’s purpose built for fishing, like the Old Town Vapor. But if you like DIY and/or you aren’t lazy, you can wave at me cheerily, as you speed past me in your brand new, specially modified Perception Expression!

Customer Reviews

This kayak has a 5 out of 5 rating on Amazon, although that’s due to the fact that it only has one review. Nevertheless, Perception kayaks have a reputation for good design and build quality, so we don’t think that’s too far off!

Excellent light sea/touring kayak for the money. Seat is comfortable enough and cockpit is easy enough for me to get it and out of at 6′ 1″

How to buy

This kayak is available for purchase on Amazon. Buy it now >>


Perception Kayaks have a well-earned reputation for quality, design and customer service. If you’re willing to overlook the fact that this isn’t a fishing kayak, it’s a great option.

Perception Expression Kayak Video

Read our comparison of the best fishing kayaks >>

See more sit-in kayaks >>

James Green About James Green

James Green loves nothing more than casting a fly in pursuit of salmon, seatrout or, when the opportunity arises, a tailing bonefish, tarpon or permit.