Gear Review

3 5

Cockpit Size: Small or Slender Person

I just received my Perception Expression from Backcountry and wanted to check the fit before taking it out in the water. Once I slipped in I immediately realized that the thigh pads are going to be very restrictive for leg movement. I am a smaller size paddler, a 5' 7" guy who weighs 175 lbs. I am concerned that this tight fit which restricts (greatly limits) my knees from bending is going to get quite uncomfortable on long excursions out on the water. For me being able to have me knees bent a little is essential for comfort.

NOTE:The purpose of these thigh pads is to hold the occupant in should the kayak roll. They enable the pilot to have better more stable control of the kayak in order to bring it upright again.

So while this Kayak looks like a great, sleek unit which has been rated at 300lbs if you have a larger frame &/or bulky thighs, value comfort on longer trips and don't anticipate a lot of rollovers, you might want to consider the Perception Carolina instead. The Carolina is a great kayak which is a little, 1.5", wider and doesn't have any thigh pads. It is a tried and true Kayak posting high marks in owner reviews year after year having an excellent reputation for comfort, maneuverability as well as it's cargo capacity.

As for my Expression I have removed the thigh pads, 2 screws per side, which has freed up enough space for knee movement and personal comfort. Now I am considering cutting back the plastic which projects from the rim of cockpit inward to mount the thigh pads. The purpose of this plastic is only for mounting the pads and nothing more. Before I do any mods to the hull though I am going to take it out and verify the units stability.

Hope this info helps..