LL Bean Calypso vs Perception Tribute

Hi, I’m thinking of getting one of these in the 12’ size. I know that the Calypso is made by Perception for LL Bean. I see that the Perception has more rigging, but are the boats identical otherwise? Or are there other differences? I just started kayaking this season so have a lot to learn.

I’d love to have some feedback on this. Would it help if I posted links to pics of both boats? I’d love to have a Wilderness Tsunami but its weight precludes it as a choice for a small woman handling her 'yak alone.


– Last Updated: Jul-11-14 3:38 PM EST –

Looks like your questions were completely overlooked. You might want to glance though this thread as it offers some good suggestions and there's even a mention of that Perception kayak you referenced.


There are some slight differences between the Calypso and Tribute in weight and cockpit sizes. Both have one stern bulkhead. Neither mentions if there is built-in flotation in the bow.

other lighter boats
Tsunamis are all pretty heavy for their length. There are other choices and a boat does not have to be short to be light because a longer boat can be more slender, which is also a bonus for us smaller people with shorter arms. I have a Venture Easky 15LV which is 3 feet longer yet only weigh 6 lbs more than the Calypso 12 and 4 lbs more than the Tribute. It has full bulkheads and is 2" narrower, more fun to paddle and more versatile due to the added length. I find longer boats easier to load on the car as well since you get more leverage sliding up from the back onto the rack.

For real lightness, consider folding kayaks (I mention them because I love them myself and many people don’t realize they are an option.) A Pakboat Quest 135 only weighs 29 pounds and can also be folded down and carried in a duffel bag in your car trunk or checked as baggage on an airline. These lightweight boats paddle just as well as hardshell kayaks and are so easy to transport. If I was only to own one kayak it would definitely be one of my folders, for that reason alone.


Lots to think about
I had not considered a folding boat; I will now. And I am not exactly sure of the length I want anyway. I bought a 9.5’ Old Town Otter from a club member just to get started. I like that it turns easier than the 12’ Calypso and it fits inside my minivan. It’s my grab n’ go boat. But I know that if I get into any kind of longer trips, I’ll soon be struggling to keep up in it. I’ll have to be able to load a boat on the top of my minivan if I don’t get a folding one.