I have two 2007 Heritage Angler Featherlite 12.5 and have had many years of fun. My dad owns a Wilderness Tarpon and my kayaks are far more functions than that heavy barge my sister owns a Necky Elisa that is almost inoperable my kayaks can be used by all. Those other kayak spend the rest of the season in the shed and everyone wants the Heritage when it's time for a ride. My father has bought a second kayak because he is unable to lift his Wilderness Tarpon that "tracks well" but takes skill and effort to turn in he bought a blast for 100$ he has more hours on an entry level kayak than his tarpon all these reviews I have read I cannot believe. I have had the chance to ride a perception as well and tippy doesn't begin to describe it's ride and the Necky is in the same class. If you like playing with skegs and taking a unwanted swim I recommend those.
Pound for pound Heritage is the best; so sad to hear that they are out of business I have had several offers from friends and family to buy my used kayaks and my family is looking for more heritage kayaks so any if you unhappy heritage owners should contact me for resale!Just wanted to do a follow up on my last post, The 12 Heritage Featherlite 2009 models seam to have some issues with deformed bottoms (thas why they dont track well). We have an older model of the 12 & the 10 rt & they both do very well on speed & tracking. I have also noticed that the fouth 12 Heritage that I bought is deformed to just not as bad as the other three.
Backcountry has ben working with me & the maufactor to do a FACTORY WARRANTY CLAIM. Like I say we have an older model of the Heritage 12ft featherlite Kayak & it will out run all are other kayaks. The best track Kayaks we have are the Victory Blast but the seats are very hard on your bottom side...LOL.I agree with the last post. The ONLY kayak I never test paddled. WHAT A MISTAKE!!!!!! I bought it thinking it was a simple rec. yak and it would be fine. It would track straight then for no reason veer off... usually to the left... and nothing short of almost stopping could bring the front back around! It would do it right but not as much as left. It baffled me so I brought it back to the place I bought it and he brought out another and I paddled the other and the guy there paddled mine. It did it for him and the other one did it to me. He was baffled as well. I said this sucks... I don't want this and they took it back.
We also have a few of the 10ft Pelicans & my kids love them.
We traded it for a Necky Zoar Sport for my girl and I ended up with a 09' Wilderness Pungo 140. Now that is what I expect from a kayak! The Heritage Featherlite 12 left a bad taste in my mouth and I think the salesmen was a bit surprised as well. He is a good guy and has been kayaking for YEARS. I've been at it for 3 and knew something wasn't right the first day. I'm glad to get rid of that thing! It was all work and no fun. The design should be trashed.After paddling a few kayaks I decided on a 12 footer (easy to handle, carry etc...) 30" wide (stable,roomy etc) and the Featherlite 12 fit the bill however despite the name it really isn't light at 51#.
I got the fishing version with (2) flush mounted rod holders installed in back but I don't like the back paddle spray getting my reel wet so I intend on getting an upright front mount soon. The boat tracks excellent into the wind but tries to turn sometimes with a tailwind so I have to paddle hard from one side or another sometimes to stay in line however I'm learning a little body english to guide easier.
In general, the boat is rather fast and stable with lots of room for a 12 footer and I adjusted the seat to support my back comfortable all day.
For the price this is an excellent bargain that serves its purpose as an all around kayak that seems to do everything good.For my first kayak I shopped and compared several brands to be used for light fishing and recreation on the Brazos River which is normally a slow flowing river. I was about to buy a Pelican SOT but after reading all the reviews I backed off and went for the Heritage Featherlite 12.
I am 6' & 225 and it is PERFECT for me! Easy to handle, great stability, and tracks nicely. My 3 year old grandson can sit in the dry well behind the cockpit and has a ball in it. Definitely a 10 in my book.Gotta love Heritage. They don't make the roughest kayaks on the market (Ocean Kayak does) but they do make user friendly ones.
Bought my Heritage 12 as a blem and after a quick fix got me a full angler version. Been using her for fishing all over Narraganset Bay, RI and found her to be reliable, easy to paddle, extremely stable and capable of carrying a lot of gear.
For 450/500 you can't go wrong with Heritage.
Only point subtracted is due the foot pegs, There isn't really room for size 9 and up, after a couple of hours you'd wish you were footless.
Other than that an exceptional value for the money.