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Reviews for Patriot Kayak by Mainstream Kayak


Rated: 8.88/10 Based On: 43 Reviews

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09-03-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We paddled the Patriot in a tidal creek and river. A basic kayak. Very stable and paddles easily. Can go through a 1.5' wave and the water slides around the cockpit. Turning is a little bit of work, but overall we are very happy with this kayak
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07-14-2011
Submitted by: craig
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought my 12 ft. Patriot new; I'm on my second season with it. Love the boat; no complaints, it's really stable, big cockpit. Lakes, Class 1 & 2 rivers; no problem.
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03-14-2011
Submitted by: jeffSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just bought a used 12 ft. "Mainstream, Patriot" from an individual in Oklahoma City, and took it out on Ft. Gibson lake. The yak handled well and was extremely stable. Tracking wasn't as straight as I would have wanted, but I think that was my technique more than the Kayak. I'm new to the Recreation of Kayaking, but in my thrust for the hobby, sat in many a kayak, trying to find a good fit.

This Yak is comfortable and roomy, without being too wide. The Seat was comfortable and the bulkhead didn't leak a drop. This particular kayak came with a spray skirt and I would highly recommend using one since the cockpit is so large. All in all, I am very satisfied with this kayak.

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06-14-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     A small addendum to my previous post...
I have not had any seat breakage issues and if anyone is going to break a seat it should be me (I'm rather bulky). In addition my bulkhead doesn't leak a drop. If it did I can't see that re-caulking it would be difficult. And perhaps one should simply be happy that there is a bulkhead. A friend of mine has several Wilderness Systems Pamlico kayaks with a very nice rear hatch but no bulkhead. The Pamlico is quite a bit more money than the Patriot yet lack this basic feature.

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11-04-2009
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     Decent boat, and I think it was a potentially good design. Seats breaking appear to be a common weak spot, and bulkheads leak. It fishes well, paddles fairly well, and I hated to hear that they've had to discontinue these boats so soon after releasing them, but I thought it would be good to give the first review of them just in case someone found themselves considering purchasing a used one.

If willing to replace the seat if/when it breaks with some king of aftermarket one, etc...might be worth buying if you can get a used one at a cheap price. Otherwise, I can't say I'd recommend them.

FYI: The weakest point of my seat was where it attached to the inside bottom of the kayak. The bulkhead really needs to be stripped, and resealed with quality marine caulk. Would've given this kayak a rate of 7 if it hadn't been for the common problems. Local major store has several returned with these problems.

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09-15-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased this Perception Patriot (formerly Mainstream Patriot) from MC earlier this summer for $375. I was hesitant to buy this because low price often means low value but I'm glad I did. I think this kayak is a terrific value for the money and an equal to many costing hundreds more.

My first kayaking experience several years ago was on tidal backwaters in New Hampshire in a 16' or 17í sea kayak. One vivid memory I have of that was almost falling over trying to get out of the kayak after a couple hours because my legs had gone numb. This thankfully is not a problem with the Patriot as you can move your legs around a lot with the very spacious cockpit. And the spacious cockpit and nice stability make getting in and out of the Patriot a breeze too compared to that sea kayak, my previous kayak, and others I have paddled - I no longer suffer the embarrassment of awkward entries and exits while trying to squeeze my big frame (6í1" 230 lbs) into or out of small cockpits.

So far here in Michigan, I have only taken the Patriot out on smaller rivers with moderate to fairly brisk currents and minor rapids scattered here and there - and that is all I will probably ever use it for. I have been very pleased with this kayak in these conditions. I like the stability it has and its 12' length allows it to track quite nicely. Around obstacles and through rapids it maneuvers quite well and it excels at my favorite activity which is putting my feet up on the deck and just floating along with the current. But if you want to move along for some reason and actually paddle it also seems to have quite good speed.

Overall, if you want to race or are of the hyper-competitive sort or simply feel compelled to get back to your car as quickly as possible this is probably not the kayak for you. If you want to simply relax and enjoy your time on the river with a very competent kayak that will also save you some significant money I think the Patriot is a great choice. My only regret is not buying it sooner.
(As far as I know MC Sports is the only dealer that carries the Patriot. It is frequently if not always on sale for $399.)

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08-14-2009
Submitted by: MikeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought my Patriot yesterday, was in the water a couple hours later for my first time. I loved it. It was easy to get in & out of & very stable. I paddled in a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. It tracked fine for my first time paddling & what few problems I had will go away with a little more practice. The only weakness I found was the lack of shock cord,but I plan on putting some on myself.

Overall a great kayak & I'm sure I will enjoy it for years to come.

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06-29-2009
Submitted by: JMLSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased the 2008 Model of the Patriot back in February. I bought it from MC Sports for 399.99 on sale after reviewing the craft in the store. The Patriot is extremely stable and is surprisingly quick for how wide it is.

I took it on the Burnham to Marquette Expedition. This was a trip from Chicago, IL to Michigan City, IN. The trip lasted two days. Many of those with Sea Kayaks thought I was insane to bring a recreational kayak. Due to stormy weather on the first day with 4 and 5 foot waves, many of the sea kayaks flipped while my Patriot stayed upright for the whole trip. In fact, I was able to assist in the rescues. The second day was clear skies and waves at max 2 foot, allowing me to stay in the top 8 for the rest of the trip out of 30 kayakers. Needless to say the Patriot won the respect of the sea kayakers in the end.

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06-18-2009
Submitted by: LWBSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought a 2009 Patriot Deluxe Angler from Gander Mountain. It's my first kayak, but I had done quite a bit of research to, including this site. Took it out on a windy day at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. I was pleasantly surprised at the stability, relative easy of paddling and tracking. I'm 6'1", 230 and found at this kayak works well for me. A couple of waves splashed on me, but nothing unexpected. I found the rod holder a little too far forward to get to easily and wish it had a few more bungees. All in all, I would say that this is an outstanding buy.
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05-11-2009
Submitted by: AMSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Follow up to my review of April 6, 2009.
Still love the boat. One small problem. Even after re-caulking the rear bulkhead, a small amount of water finds its way into the aft storage compartment. It really would be wise to use a dry bag or baggies to stow your stuff.

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04-06-2009
Submitted by: AMSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Picked up my Patriot on Tuesday but could not get it in the water until Friday. I am 67, somewhat overweight. I sold my Sealution about 10 years ago and recently decided to buy a new boat that was light enough to handle and cheap enough to afford. After doing a lot of research, particularly on this site I bought the Patriot. This boat is perfect for me with the caveat, "You get what you pay for."

It is light enough for me to handle, tracks very well and its broad beam makes it very easy for me to enter and exit. The seat is certainly comfortable enough, certainly more comfortable than my old sea kayak. This is a bare bones boat. It has no deck webbing. The foot rests are easily adjusted and sitting in the boat was quite comfortable. There are short lines on both sides of the cockpit, so it is easy to attach a paddle leash or whatever you wish. The hatch in back is large enough and there is a rear bulkhead, something I really wanted. Whether or not the stuff in the rear storage area will stay dry remains to be seen.

The first day I took the Patriot out on Lake Murray (near Columbia, SC) was a good day for kayaking. Water temp. 51, winds 5 to 10 mph. I marveled at how fast the kayak was (compared to my old boat), how well in handled including how well it tracked.

Today was another story. Cloudy and by the time I got out on the lake the winds had picked up to 10 to 15 mph. The forcast was for winds 5 to 10. Light to moderate chop. The boat handled well but paddling into the wind took some effort. The nice large open cockpit which is perfect for me, did take on a little water over the bow. Certainly to be expected. Legs got pretty wet and that 51 degree water is cold. If I can ever figure out how to use the mini spray skirt I bought with this boat, I imagine I will stay dry.

Paddling directly into the wind or with the wind at my back, the kayak tracked quite nicely. Again I highly recommended the Patriot as an inexpensive entry level kayak.

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01-14-2009
Submitted by: Greg MaschekSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have been using the Patriot for 3 years and love it. I have added bungee in the front and back and use it for duck hunting. It is the perfect vessel for a solo duck hunter and many other hunters have offered me money for mine. The low profile helps when there is limited cover available. I would recommend it to any solo duck hunter!
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10-01-2008
Submitted by: DougSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I made the mistake of buying the Patriot Angler from Gander Mountain. There was no test pool there on sight so I had to buy it without testing it. I asked the salesman what their return policy is and he told me 30 days. Took it home and put it gently in the water.

I immediately noticed the difficulty in paddling this boat. It is not designed for the long haul. This boat is designed for people who just want a stable kayak with plenty of room and some helpful amenities. It will work great for them. Not for me. I wanted something that combined those amenities with efficiency and good tracking.

So, I returned the boat immediately expecting a full refund. Even though the boat is in pristine condition (not even a scratch or spec of dirt from my short venture) Gander refused to take it back. So, it looks like I am stuck with this lumbering barge until I can save up some more money to buy the kayak best suited for my needs.

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07-30-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had the Mainstream Patriot for about 4 years now... It is a very good kayak. I use it everyday in the summer and have taken it to several different lakes and two rivers, the Yak handles great in all types of water, sometimes the 3 foot waves are too rough on it.

I just purchased another Yak from WestMarine. I thought I was getting the same Mainstream Patriot, but when it came to my house (3 days later) It showed up with the Perception Logo on the front and on the rear hatch. I got the same flame red, yellow and orange color as the last one. Now I am happy to say I would recommend this Yak to anyone out there looking for a long rec boat. I am 6'5" 280 pounds and have never had a problem with the first Yak... Good Luck to anyone getting one of these Kayaks!

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06-27-2008
Submitted by: KevinSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great kayak for the money, been out in it every chance I get. I'm 6'2" tall and 180lbs and am completely comfortable in it and have room to spare. This kayak is extremely stable, you can hop right off the dock into it without any fear of tipping. It's pretty fast and tracks great. Turns on a dime and cuts through waves and wind with no problem. The large cockpit makes it very easy to get in and out and plenty of room to store things. The paddle holders on the side are extremely useful especially when carrying it to and from the water. My favorite thing about this kayak is how 'safe' you feel in it, it doesn't feel tippy at all, you can rock side to side and feel completely in control. Overall this is a great kayak for the price range.
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06-06-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Two quick notes to start with.
First off, the Patriot I purchased is under the Perception label but every photo/spec I can find online says Mainstream makes them. Second, the only reason I gave an 8 and not higher is that I only have one other kayak to compare the Patriot to.

Now that I have that out of the way all I can say is "wow!" (Ok, maybe more than just one word.)
In March of 2008, I stopped at the local MC Sports and saw they had the Mainstream Streak. At that time the Streak seemed like the kayak for me. I slowly started saving up for one. The more time went by though, the more I realized the lines on the Streak weren't quite what I wanted, and the storage space didn't seem quite up to what I was hoping for.

Today I got to work and found a friend had left me a clipping from this week's MC Sports ad. In lovely full colour was a beautiful looking Perception Patriot in shades of blue. The length was longer than what I originally thought I wanted, but the more I dug around online (took me hours just to find the reviews on here for the Mainstream Patriot) the more I found good reviews and listings for the Mainstream Patriot. After studying what pictures I could find, and specification listings, I concluded the two 'yaks were more than likely one and the same. As soon as I was finished at work I stopped at the store and bought my first "real" kayak. I'm still smiling four hours and sore muscles later.

The only kayak I can compare the Patriot with is my Sea Eagle. To me that seems like apples and oranges, so I will just list my likes and dislikes of the Patriot.

I honestly at this point do not have any dislikes about the Patriot.

As far as likes, its seems very stable. Unless I lean almost all the way over the edge when getting in the Patriot never looked or felt like it might tip. Even with jet ski wakes banging against the hull and choppy waters from the wind on the lake I knew the 'yak could handle whatever I encountered this afternoon.

Despite some reviews I have read, the Patriot tracked great! This afternoon during my two hour maiden voyage I encountered rough wave, little waves, and actual areas with no waves at all. The Patriot always went straight to what I had it pointed at, even more so when I was gliding in still water.

I'm not sure how fast I was going today, but compared to the Sea Eagle it felt fast. I'm sure no where near a touring kayak but for a recreational one the Patriot seemed quick.

The seat was comfortable (although I am partial to gel seats) and the foot pegs left even my short legs (I'm 5'6") in a comfortable position.

I was happy to find a bulkhead separating the aft storage section. Having seen the many different systems for hatches out there the rubber-lid style on the Patriot seemed like a good choice to me. For the type of waves and spray I encountered my gear stayed dry. I also liked how the bulk head left space behind the seat for storing smaller items/bags. The paddle holders on the sides were appreciated as well as the carry handles. Someday I may even try out the pole holders while fishing.

For an entry level rec kayak, I feel the Patriot is worth every cent. It's perfect for my experience level and I can foresee enjoying it still as my skills progress.

As other reviewers have said, this is a good kayak well worth its price and then some!

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03-25-2008
Submitted by: douglasSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My first kayak that I bought was a Patriot. I enjoy the boat the most out of my entire collection. Big cockpit nice dry storage and lots of leg room. When I go kayaking, everyone fights over my Patriot. It tracks great, easy to paddle and is very comfortable to sit in. I would buy another Patriot in a heartbeat.
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08-17-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is my second kayak, the first being a catamaran fishing kayak bought for it's incredible stability; it couldn't be rolled. So I was ready for less stability but I didn't want to spend more than the $450 it was selling for at West Marine, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

WOW! This has got to be the best bang for the buck out there! The only other kayaks I was considering, given that I wanted stability, a comfortable seat, and a low price, were the Wilderness Pungo 120, the Wilderness Pamlico 120, and the Perception Sundance 12.

The Mainstream Patriot doesn't have the great Stage 3 seating of the Pungo, but it's half the price. The Sundance and Pamlico are very, very similar to the Patriot, but about $200 more. The only gripe I have with the Patriot is the webbing strap that holds the adjustable angle seat back in place ripped off its screw mount on the first trip out, so I had to tie it in place until they send me another one. Also, on 3 hours trips I have made so far, I have had to stop about every hour to re-cinch it tighter. I'm going to look into using a fixed length webbing to eliminate this problem.

Otherwise, the Patriot tracks true, it's fast enough for me to keep up easily with my much more experienced kayak buddies with much more expensive and fast kayaks, and it is quite stable for most conditions. Also, the weight is not too bad at 50lbs to stick in the back of my car with the seats folded down, or on top if we are hauling more than 1 yak. Buy this kayak and you won't be sorry.

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06-21-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have run my Patriot in the creeks of Virginia, Florida, and now Texas! On lakes and rivers. The Patriot handles the fast waters of Texas Rivers just like the creeks & lakes. She paddles STRAIGHT - I guess some folks just don't know how. It's not for racing, but she will give you all the pleasures you want to fish/ explore/ take snaps or just enjoy being on the water. The price is right - the size is right !! What else can a guy like me say? Love It.
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04-26-2007
Submitted by: ZHSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I took the patriot down the Brazos River...below PK damn at highway 16 to highway 4. This kayak was awesome. Plenty of room for gear on a 2 night stay. The back dry compartment held 2 gallons of water, tent, sleeping bag, clothes and still had excess room for other gear. The stability was impressive, I could lean over to un-hook fish with ease. Speed wasn't as good as I anticipated but still fast enough for 22 miles on poor current. The back hatch stayed dry and the rubber hatch cover was easy to take on and off. Tracking was better than i anticipated but still moderate. The patriot was very quiet, no annoying noise from water when paddling hard. The seat padding was comfy, and the large cockpit was easy for climbing in and out. A great boat for the price. Would have given it a 10 but gear in the front past the foot braces can be hard to reach...wish there was a front hatch or at least some straps on top in the front.
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12-19-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I like a large cockpit and need a boat that can handle a large body. The patriot is such a boat. It has the most generous cockpit this side of a sit on top kayak. I'm 6 foot, 260 lbs. and I have no problem getting in and out of the patriot. It easily handles my size and isn't tippy even though I carry my weight high. It seems to move nicely and has very little drag. I've spent 7 hours in it over the last two days and enjoyed every minute of it. It won't turn like a ducky but it will track and scoot along on the water. The rear compartment is room enough for just about anything you'd need for an overnighter and it will stay dry. The cockpit has plenty of room for additional items like a small cooler. The seat could have more padding but it is adequate. This boat will let you tour and play.
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09-05-2006
Submitted by: SSSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After my first kayaking experience 3 years ago in a sit upon, I came home to tell my husband, we had to get kayaks for the creek we have a camphouse on. While out of town and just looking in Sporting Goods stores, I found an sale ad for the Patriots. The store didn't have one in stock, but found two for me in Atlanta. The best trip we ever took and some of the best money we've ever spent. As to tracking, I have to agree, it's in the paddler. My in-laws have the Old Maine loons and they don't track nearly as well, nor is it nearly as stable. As the area we kayak on is filled with submerged stumps, the flat bottom of the Patriot is ideal. I would recommend this kayak to anyone, and have nephews that also prefer this to the Loon. My only complaint is the seat. I wish it had a little more padding.
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07-11-2006
Submitted by: Donnie Wise JrSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I really enjoy my patriot I have been paddling mine for about two years and found it to be the best boat for my needs. I have paddled boats that track a little better and are faster. But we (two of my cousins that both have patriots) do a lot of fishing and have packed a lot of camping gear and kayak camped out of these boats. They have a big cock pit that I love as I don't like to feel to confined. The price was good for a rec. boat. I would buy another if anything happened to this one.
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04-04-2006
Submitted by: Richard OttmanSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My mainstream patriot is a great kayak. I got it for an amazing deal of 200 dollars, compared to the retail 500 dollars. I got the kayak for my birthday from my parents. I am 16m 140 lbs, 5'6" and this boat is so versitle with a monster cockpit for a taller person I also just bought my harmony spray skirt which is an awsome accsesory. This boat is good in rough water and has fairly well tracking in calm water. The kayak is very wide with much stability the only flaw that isnt really huge is the back hatch is just you push it down and it wraps around with a little force instead of the actual hatch but overall it is a great boat from beginer to advanced.
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12-04-2005
Submitted by: kathySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased this product last year for our camp in Fish Creek. It was highly recommended to me by the salesperson at Dick's Sporting Goods. I had absolutely never been in one and he felt this one would be ideal. I fell in love with it. I find it easy to maneuver and actually take our chocolate lab in it since the cockpit is so big. He loves it also. Since I have nothing to compare to I must say I will never regret buying it and try to use it as often as possible. I am in the process of finding a camo one for my husband. We are in our late 50's and needed something sturdy and reliable. I swear by this model. Enjoy!
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09-16-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased a Patriot kayak with hopes that it would be a good intermediate boat to float large rivers and small lakes for fish. I use quite often, and I have to say that it is one of the best kayaks I have ever used. The large cockpit is ideal for bigger paddlers, and the weight capacity is great. Paddlers that have never been able to find a decent sized kayak cannot go wrong with this boat. I am anxious to hear what will happen to the Mainstream line of boats since the merger of Confluence and Watermark. Looking at the reputation of the two companies I suspect that there are great things to come.

This boat is a good step in the right direction for people that do not want to go broke in kayaking. Try this boat and I am sure that you will love it.

I have had no problems with tracking or speed in the boat. I think that this $500 boat is a great choice for anyone big enough to handle its mass.

For a twelve foot boat, I think this is almost as nice as you can get without upgrading to something like a Wilderness Systems Pungo. I highly recommend this boat.

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09-13-2005
Submitted by: FJSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Let me first say that the "8" that I rate this kayak is based upon what I WANT in a kayak, NOT how I feel this kayak rates against the best claims. Ultimately I desire a sea/touring kayak which could support many days of camping along a large waterway (either a bay, or a large river).

The Mainstream is my 2nd kayak, my 1st being a 10ft sit-on with very poor tracking. I decided I needed a new kayak, because I would always get wet in my sit-on, when paddling on anything other than a calm lake or estuary. I was also severely compromised for space.

Space is the biggest asset to the Mainstream. I am 6ft and about 180+lbs. There is plenty of room to stretch my legs, and the shape of the "cockpit" would allow me to easily make modifications such a s dashboard, or even a small sail, utilizing the holes provided for fishing poles. (These could be used to insert wooden dowels so a mast cross-beam could be tied to left or right). My sit-on was clocked at about 7.5mph tops via GPS...and I imagine that the Pariot would get about what another responder claimed.

The boat handles large waves very well without swamping. Splash-skirts are also easy to find in the right size. I am able to use the energy of waves to achieve an eye-brow raising speed sometimes. If I could compare this boat to a spaceship, it would be Han Solo's middle-sized Millennium Falcon on Star Wars!

The tracking is definitely not perfect, and I feel like I am losing some energy correcting at times...but all in all this is a great boat for exploring in comfort.

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09-12-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently bought the Mainstream Patriot. It is all I expected and more. All I want to do is fish and cruise around the lake. I think the Patriot is the perfect thing for this. I donít have any problem with the tracking. I plan on building a moveable dash board to hold some stuff closer and maybe a fish finder. I donít want to add much more weight to it. But it has great stability.
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07-18-2005
Submitted by: jdbengeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought the Patriot a week ago and have really enjoyed it. This is my first kayak, and I don't have much experience. I see what people say about tracking, but I tested a Hobie Mirage and it didn't 'track' any better. I've talked to other kayakers that own different models and they say the same thing about their kayaks. I've since learned how to correct the tracking with the paddle and I am very pleased. I take my GPS out to see how far and fast I go and the max speed seems to be around 5.6 mph. Pretty fast for a rec kayak.

I went out to a local club Friday night paddle and three of the four guys there had Patriots. We all agreed it was a good kayak for the money.

A word of warning: inspect it closely before buying. I looked down the keel line of one and the stern was an inch to the left of the rest of the keel. Another had a big dent in the hull in front of the cockpit like someone had stepped on it. It seems that the soft plastic will give if it is stored wrong.

The biggest issue I have with it is the huge cockpit. It is great except I'm not sure where I'll mount my fishfinder and GPS. If I do it in front of the cockpit it is so far away its hard to read and reach. I'll figure something out.

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06-14-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have been dreaming of an affordable kayak since my wife and a friend rented one about four years ago. So while shopping at the PX on Ft. Lewis, Washington I happened upon the Patriot. The wife and I went home and discussed it and decided to purchase two. It a fantastic overall boat with a great price. It was even lower at the PX and no tax to boot!!! The boat handles well and is a blast. The roomy cockpit is an added bonus as one can store additional items. It is a great "all around" boat. I have already gone fishing in it and the built in pole holders were a God send. The only downside I could find is that it didnít come with deck netting on the front to hold easy to get items. But for the price I am not complaining! Great little boat! Great little price!
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06-05-2005
Submitted by: Buck Mustard
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a Patriot for a trip into the BWCA. I got a yoke and pads to help portage it. The boat did an excellent job of hauling enough gear to keep me comfortable for 4 nights. I was able to lay my GCI Everywhere Chair on the floor of the boat, which would be impossible in a boat with a smaller cockpit. I am 6'4", 260 lbs and thought the ride was excellent! Very stable and easy to paddle. I really enjoyed camping out of this boat - my friend was in an Advanced Frame inflatable kayak and is now planning to upgrade to a Patriot. The Patriot's ability to carry almost all the necessary gear below deck (I used one small deck bag) makes it work well for flatwater kayak camping. I really enjoyed this boat!
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01-04-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Another note about the patriot and its poor tracking.... Any boat will go sideways if you paddle it that way and any will turn more one way or the other if you don't paddle evenly, but I use this Patriot in rivers as well as the Gulf of Mexico and many of the bays around Destin Fl. where I currently reside and have had absolutely no tracking problems. By poor planning and less than optimum choices made, I have been caught in the Destin Bays more than once when a storm came up and even though my kayak was laden down with about 100lbs of gear and 190lbs of thick headed paddler together we always make it home despite sometimes being in nearly 3ft seas. If I were in a 16ft arrow straight tracking speed machine, I would not be able to steer properly in the big waves, the Patriot points me where I need to go and if I have to yank the front around 60 degrees or so in just a second or two it is forgiving enough to let me do it. Try that in a boat the sits lower in the water and is made for purely straight lines and you will have a visit from the coast guard if you are lucky.
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12-06-2004
Submitted by: ThomSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I just recently bought my 1st kayak - a Patriot. Years ago I use to canoe and remember how easy it was to tip the canoe over. My Patriot is extremely stable. I wear an artificial leg and that makes getting in and out a bit troublesome, but the Patriot is stable enough I can enter and exit the boat with little problem. The cockpit is very roomy and although I have not spent long periods in the seat, for the 1-2 hour runs I've made, I find it comfortable. As far as tracking goes, I have had little difficulty and expect to improve more with little practice. The size and weight are good and I load it in my pickup easily. In short, my Patriot is making me into a yaky fan.
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12-05-2004
Submitted by: Victor DiPramperoSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     A very good boat for a big man. At 6' 240lbs there aren't many options. This boat is perfect because of the huge cockpit and storage in the back. They make it in camo but Gander Mountain had a red, white, and blue one in stock therefore I am now a very patriotic paddler.
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11-21-2004
Submitted by: tmannSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am no novice. I own 2 Mainstream kayaks and will buy a 3rd one next week. All three will be Patriots. I have heard some talk about the Patriots not tracking well and need to refute this since I coached and observed many kayakers who think they know what they are doing. Every kayak I have tested for tracking passes easily when tested under windless/currentless/calm conditions. Simply push the empty kayak through the water and if it tracks off course it will be immediately obvious. Most kayaks have tracking problems because the paddler either pulls harder on the side he has the strongest arm or dips the paddle closer and strokes longer on one side than the other. If your strokes are consistent on both sides, then tracking will not be a problem.

Bottom line, the Mainstream Patriot is a well crafted kayak and is designed to do many things which is does very well. It performs with little effort, is safe and stable, and can carry all that you need for an enjoying day on the water. I have made some simple modifications to my two kayaks for extra bungy cords and a cleat for tying off an anchor cord. The longest I have sat in my kayak has been 7 hours to photograph wildlife and found it a bit stiff, but I can modify the seat for comfort if need be. Weight can be an issue when tired but is not unmanageable if loading is planned for taking in account terrain between your vehicle and the waters edge. I rate this kayak an overall 9 for practicality and suggest a padded seat cover to minimize the only detractor which is a hard seat. Buy one. You won't regret it.

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05-25-2004
Submitted by: Tenacious DSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Being a novice, with varied paddling interests, I wanted a kayak I could use on flat water up to Class II rivers. And I figure that any stream you can take a canoe on, the Patriot would do just fine. I went out planning to buy a Wilderness 12' at REI, but they were out and back ordered (big sale going on). So I stopped in at Dick's Sptg. Goods and saw the Patriot. I liked the big cockpit, although I am 5'7" 140 lbs and don't need the room for me. Just lots of space for a small cooler or my dog. The bulkheaded aft storage compartment was also a plus, since I plan to overnight and weekend with this boat. Large watertight hatch makes for easy access. Plenty of storage forward as well. Seats are not the best, but few kayaks are exactly Miller-Eames recliner comfy! As to the complaints about tracking, I think it may be the skill of the paddlers. I took this boat straight from the store to a small lake to shake it down. Lots of lillypads and grass. I would pick two objects about a boat's-width apart and, say, 25-50 yds away, and aim for them. On almost every try I was able to flawlessly slide through these targets in an arrow-straight line. So much for being a poor tracking boat! Getting it on and off my Forester took a little effort, but now I know the drill and it is no problem. A little heavy at 50 lbs, but still easy enough to carry when necessary. All in all a great kayak.
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05-17-2004
Submitted by: doc
Rating: 8 of 10

     I just bought one and as a bare bones novice all I can say is ..never a canoe again..I love to fish and lets remember thats what it is made for.. speed demon No...avg tracker....stable ...hell yes...four friends of various ages tried it and wanted to know how to get one all serious fisher folk btw no regrets here...the 8 is just...... because there are to many 10's.... aint nothin ever perfect....but close is the pat...nifty price to...nuts to the snobs who think yakking is just for the young and skinny stud..its ...for all...wish I had made the move years ago...happy paddels..doc
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05-11-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have been canoeing for a few years, and was intereted in a recreational kayak to slow river and small laker fish. Being a big man, (hence the name), it was hard to find a one man boat that could carry my weight and some overnight gear, plus fishin pole an such. At Bass Pro shops, i found the Patriot, for less than $500.00 and could carry it home. It's a little heavy, but very sturdy. It tracks so-so, curves a little to the right after about five or six strokes, so I make an extrea stroke or two with the right blade every once and a while. Love the rod holders, lets me troll in the lakes for white bass. Handles the New River and French Broad like a champ. Not the fastest, quickest turning or lightest boat, but it fullfills all my needs as a beginner flatwater/slow water kayaker, takes dings, gets me downriver and home with plenty of room for a 6'5" 350 lb man who loves to smallmouth bass fish. If you want to economically small water kayak, this is a good one man boat. Not great, but good, and a lot of times, being just good is good enough..... Big Dee.
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05-10-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 6 of 10

     if you just want to fish or piddle around in a lake, this is the boat for you. I think you could jump in it and it won't tip, and it's pretty manuverable. However, it's slow, feels heavy in the water, and doesn't track that well. If you want to do something more than slow rec kayaking, this isn't the boat for you
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02-02-2004
Submitted by: RoloSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a great beginner kayak, however it also has a lot to offer the more experienced kayaker as well. I use this kayak to fish slow to moderate moving rivers. The carring capacity is great. The cockpit is huge and gives plenty of room to manuver or landing of fish. This kayak is not very heavy and I can easily carry this kayak and all of my fishing gear at the same time. I am a bass fisherman so I do take quite a bit of tackle. I really like this kayak and would recommed it to anyone getting into the sport. It is perfectly at home on a pond or lake and can also handle slow to moderately fast rivers. This is a great kayak for freshwater fishing and the price can not be beat.
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01-16-2004
Submitted by: gator
Rating: 10 of 10

     I tried out many kayaks at a local dealer's river-based demo and was very uncomfortable in most of the upscale, "tippy" feeling offerings. Saw the Mainstream Patriot at Sports Authority and bought one, then a month later, bought a second one. My wife and I love the yaks because they are so stable and comfortable. We can easily bring our knees up to stretch and avoid cramps. Although the red/white/blue colors are not my favorite, this yak is a great value for the beginner to intermediate enthusiast who wants an all-around performer. I have taken the Patriot to the beach and on rivers and lakes and it handles well in all three locations. Don't waste your time or money on a high-end kayak if you just want a steady performer for all family members. Mainstream Rocks!
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12-01-2003
Submitted by: Don
Rating: 5 of 10

     I'm a big guy looking for a recreational kayak primarily for fishing, but also for general paddling. Being 5' 11" and 305 lb. there are not a lot of optins for a kayak with very high capacity and large cockpit. From the research I have done, there is the Perception America, Old Town Loon, and Wilderness Systems Pungo. Then I saw the Patriot at a Gander Mountain store. Now I admit I have no experience but I just thought I would share my thoughts... I went to Gander Mountain store to compare what they had in stock. I tried the Old Town Loon 138, then the Patriot. This was my first time ever in a kayak and even in the little pool in the store I could tell a big difference between these two. The Patriot had lousy tracking, It immediately drifted sideways, (now I know exactly what is meant by the term tracking), It was like trying to sail upwind without your centerboard down, if anyone can relate to that. I thought the seat was horrible. A molded plastic bottom with an adjustable back rest that would not stay in place. So I would not buy this boat at any price and I'm glad I'm taking the advice of others and trying them out before I make my decision.
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07-07-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     When I finally decided to get my own kayak. I sort of obsessed over it. I wanted to get the perfect boat for my needs. I enjoy lake and river fishing and photography. I enjoy the weekend camping/float trips, as well. I'm 6'4" and weigh in at 270 lbs so my choices of course were limited. I did tons of research on the internet and I was finally looking at the Perception America which is over 13 feet long. While I was sure that it would track well, I wasn't sure how it was going to handle on some of our more twisted Missouri rivers. I wanted an all around rec boat with as few compromises as possible. I sat in the America in the showroom and my size 12 feet had to turn at the top to fit in the boat. I was dissappointed. Then the salesman suggested the Patriot. I had to drive over to the warehouses to try it out because they had sold out of their showroom demos. I went over there and when I sat in it, I knew I had to have it. It was roomier than the America and nearly a foot and a half shorter. It had the same weight capacity (400 lbs), as well. And it's depth allowed my feet to be comfortable. It doesn't have deck rigging or a drain plug but those problems will be easy enough to fix. I took it to the water before I took it home. It handles perfectly for my needs. I had my 10 year old daughter in the boat with me! I paddled us around the lake for about an hour before heading home. I couldn't believe it. Arrow tracking, excellent maneuverability, roomy comfort, and enormous capacity all in one boat. The dry stern storage is cool. And the trolling rod holders are cool. Their position behind the seat is a little awkward. The rod/paddle holders on the sides are convenient, too. All of this at about 100 dollars less than the America. If you're a larger paddler looking for the all around perfect rec boat with the compromises balanced superbly, don't purchase another boat without sitting in the Patriot.
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