Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Kayak Review

Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Kayak Review

Stand Up Fishing Kayak Review of Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12

The Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 is designed for use in multiple bodies of water including lakes, rivers, surf and ocean use.  And, if that isn’t enough, it’s for fishing as well as a diving for those who are advocates of the many forms of water sports. As a sit on top kayak, the design allows for Stand Up fishing from various points.  One point about kayak fishing that many overlook:  it is an equal gender sport.

What’s the difference between Malibu Kayaks Stealth 14 and Stealth 12?  This one is 2-feet shorter. That means it’s easier for one person to carry and maneuver on large and medium lakes, fast moving rivers and tracking through turbulent waters.

A second difference is the fact that this one can be used on large lakes but when it comes to fishing in the ocean with 10’ – 20’ swells that are likely to erupt at any moment, this one is more likely to toss you out because it is shorter.

Weighing only 60 pounds, which is very light for its 12-foot length, it has both speed and stability— thanks to its cutting wedge hull and 33-inch width. Like it’s brother, the 12-foot is built for high-performance and durability. Unlike its brother, the Stealth 12 is much easier for one person to balance overhead and to load into the back of a truck or SUV as well as a car-top carrier.

Product Features:

  • Weight capacity 450-pounds
  • Transport Weight 60-pounds
  • Patented casting platform
  • Patented center bait tank system
  • Excessively large Gator hatch
  • Open well and open deck bungee storage

Weigh Capacity:

With a 450-pound weight capacity and all the variety of storage areas, this solo fishing kayak has more than enough room to load all your gear and head out for your secret fishing hole. You could even pack a small tent, emergency cooking tools and enough food to hold up overnight if a storm erupts and you need to get to the nearest shoreline—- even in remote areas.


Since there is no protection from the waves or splashing as you paddle and a padded seat will be a soggy matted mess in many instances, having a molded seat vs. padded cushion can be a better option.

Casting Platform:

The bow hatch has an integrated casting platform. Additionally, the seat can function as a secondary platform for standing that is textured to reduce slipping when wet.

Storage Spaces:

One thing that Malibu Kayaks is becoming known for is their huge amount of storage in multiple sizes and varieties to give you unlimited space for your fishing and/or diving stuff, as well as keeping things out of the way while you paddle and fish.

The 3-hatch storage systems include the middle location of the bait tank hatch directly in front of the seat, the extra-large Gator hatch at the bow, the side hatches next to the bait well plus the 4-point rear hatch including a bag to fit inside. The bait well is set up to be plumbed to make it a circulating well and keep your bait alive.

Additionally, the day-well in the stern secured by the cross-hatched bungee system is large enough to accommodate 2 diving tanks should that be another of your interests or load up 2 milk crates or 2 medium sized sealed containers.

Rod Holders:

There are two flush mounted rod holders behind the seat plus two more at the sides in the center of the yak. The side holders are especially well-placed for use when you are pulling up your latest catch.


Paddles are not included so be prepared to purchase this unit separately and leashes to keep them near your boat. Because of the length of this kayak, you must choose a really good paddle so that it’s efficient for use even in waves. Good ones range between $125 to $210.

Other features:

Some of the smaller but nicer details that are part of your fish and dive package include molded in cup holders, bow, stern and centered side carry handles, nylon hooks for additional items such as leashes, eyelets, drain plug and the adjustable foot track system that can be expanded to be a comfortable fit for a person over 6-feet tall.

What Real Users Like:

  1. Amount and location of storage
  2. Maneuverability
  3. Speed in the water
  4. Quality of construction
  5. Attention to detail


What Real Users Complain About:

  1. Motor Mounts are not yet made for this model by the manufacturer

Is This Fishing Kayak for You?

Malibu Kayaks is located in northern California and the owners spend a lot of time fishing the waters off the coast as well as fishing lakes and rivers in the nearby mountains. They design their kayaks using their experiences and it shows in every product.

Even though they are the newer kids on the “top” rated kayak makers in the nation, they are proving that they are able to compete with Wilderness Systems— the Number One in the world!

The Amazon price may seem a bit high but if you can afford it,  go ahead and spend a bit more than your low-end budget plan, especially if you plan to fish at least 6 times during the season. What you get back in amenities definitely compensates for extra cost.

At 33” wide, the unit is roomy enough for the big guys and easy for one person to paddle and stretch their legs. You can load this one up without being surrounded on all sides with containers of stuff that get more in the way than becomes useful.

With the interest in kayak fishing becoming very popular, those who are new to the sport should know that a kayak that is too narrow will tip over easily while one that is too wide makes it difficult to control if waves or swells develop while you are out.  That said, having a kayak that is stable and unlikely to toss you into the water becomes very important when making your decision. And  the 33” width is generally considered ideal.

If your final decision is grounded in the price of a kayak, know that you really do get exactly what you pay for.  You could purchase a less expensive fishing yak and it may be fine for outings with the family but it may not keep up with your buddies if you have a guys/gals weekend out. So, purchase the best fishing kayak that you can afford rather than the cheapest one that you may find is unsuitable for more than one type of water.