Perception Triumph 13 Specifications
We realised fairly quickly, only to have it confirmed on every occasion that we took this kayak out, that if you’re looking for a little more performance, or the capability to carry some more gear without surrendering the stability and versatility you opt for by choosing a sit-on-top kayak, then the Triumph 13 holds answers for you.
Having paddled it in multiple locations and in a number of conditions we are seriously impressed by the tracking speed and haulage capacity of this sit-on-top kayak that offers touring capability far greater than is normally found outside of the realms of sit-in kayaks. This truly is more than just a sit-on-top kayak.
It has long been the case that a sit-on-top kayak isn’t necessarily just a sit-on-top kayak.
We mean this in the sense that there’s the ‘very traditional values’ type of SOT that is cheap, cheerful, user-friendly and (most crucially) a good laugh to mess around on at the beach, but then there are also those sit-on-top kayaks designed for a little more serious usage, which display more performance kayak design values.
The Perception Triumph is most certainly the latter, and in our opinion takes the concept of a functional ‘touring sit-on-top’ to its ultimate conclusion.
We’ve had a Perception Triumph 13 for a number of months, and in that time have had the opportunity to try it out in a variety of locations and settings, from sheltered rivers to much more open waters such as tidal estuaries and stretches of coastline.
We’ve grown pretty fond of it, and can say with some certainty that it is more than just a sit-on-top.
We feel that the handling of the Perception Triumph 13 very much reflects Perception’s touring kayak pedigree.
The slight rocker and hull chines are features very reminiscent of sit-in kayaks made for touring, and the performance is, quite predictably, more similar to the latter than that of many other sit-on-top kayaks as a result.
What do we mean by this?
The slightly ‘v’ shaped hull of the Triumph 13 makes its long waterline very sleek.
The advantage of this lies mainly in the added speed.
This kayak is fast, and notably so, and also offers smooth tracking.
This is something to look for in a touring sit-on-top regardless of your ability level, but beginners will really enjoy how readily the Triumph will go in a straight line if they’re used to paddling more basic designs.
The slightly swept-up bow – the rocker – although decreasing the length of the waterline ever so slightly, comes in really handy when paddling in choppier conditions, say on a lake when the wind picks up a knot or two, or on the coast in normal swell.
Because of this feature, the handling even in these conditions remains predictable and controlled.
In all kayaks, manoeuvrability is always an inevitable casualty of decent tracking, and vice versa. The Triumph 13, though, displays a very nice balance between the two.
This might well still be the area where this sit-on-top kayak would be outclassed by its sit-in touring kayak counterparts, because by its very nature as-effective edging is not possible, but nevertheless as sit-on-top kayaks go you can perform some relatively nippy turns, and the turning circle is not unacceptably large.
This again is thanks to the high-performance hull shape, modelled on those of sit-in touring kayaks allowing you to edge much more than you would on a more basic ‘beach’ sit-on-top.
One of the distinct advantages of sit-on-tops that leads towards beginners tending towards them more is their high level of stability comparative to sit-in kayaks.
We found that this isn’t compromised in the Triumph 13, despite the added performance hull features, and even the most wobbly of beginners will have no problem staying upright on this kayak in good conditions.
There is no shortage of decent storage available onboard the Triumph 13.
A deep recess topped with bungee webbing to hold things in place behind the paddler is a great amount of space for storing all non-dry items, or pretty much anything on a calm and dry day.
Items that require a little more protection from the elements can be stored in a dry hatch in the bow.
Also generously sized, this hatch could easily house overnight kit that needs keeping try, such as a bivvy bag, meaning that multi-day paddling trips on your Triumph 13 shouldn’t be ruled out: a real benchmark in touring sit-on-top kayaks.
A nice little extra storage feature is the small dry hatch between the paddler’s legs, that makes the perfect place for storing keys, snacks, or anything else you want to be readily accessible from your paddling position.
Fixtures & Fittings
There are some really nice design features moulded into the Triumph 13.
The moulded child’s seat in front of the main seating area is a really smart touch, as are the grab handles on the side near the paddling seating area, which come in particularly handy if you’re attempting to manoeuvre the Triumph onto a roof rack on a car solo.
As with most sit-on-tops, there are moulded in footrests, but nice little extras that you don’t see everyday include a mug holder!
With various other moulded-in opportunities for affixing accessories, it is easy to see how this kayak can be adapted for fishing, which is exactly what has been done with the Triumph 13 Angler, an angling spec of this exact model.
Overall, we really like the Perception Triumph 13 which is why we have kept it for so many months. We are confident that any paddler would get good use out of this one, and out of all the sit-on-top kayak reviews that we’ve carried out, this was potentially the most fun.