Malibu Stealth 12 HONEST Review | Kayaks Hub

Discover comprehensive Malibu Stealth 12 reviews, including an honest evaluation of its features and performance. Get the inside scoop on this popular kayak model.


Malibu Stealth 12 Specs

Body TypeSolid
FeaturesWith Storage Hatch
Length12 ft
Maximum Weight Capacity450 lb
Number of Riders1 Person
Rider PositionSit-on-top
TypeFishing, Recreational
Weight60 lb

Herein, going to share my thoughts and experiences with the Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12. I’ve been cruising around in this kayak for about two months now, and I believe I can give you an honest lowdown on what this vessel has to offer.

Bow to Stern Overview

Let’s dive right in, starting from the bow and working our way back to the stern. The first thing you can’t miss in Malibu Stealth 12 convenient carrying handle that comes standard with the kayak. It’s a comfortable grip that fits snugly in your hand, making it easy to transport. However, I’ve noticed that the rope connected to it seems a bit fragile. It’s taken a bit of a beating, and I’m concerned it might wear out over time. A minor issue, but worth mentioning.

Exceptional Deep V Hull Design

One of the standout features of the Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 is its deep V hull design. This design not only allows the kayak to handle rough waters like a champ but also keeps it tracking straight and true.

Front Compartment with Secure Hatch

You’ll also notice a sizable compartment right at the front. This hatch is secured by four sturdy buckles and a couple of bungee cords. It’s pretty much waterproof, with only a minor amount of seepage. Inside, I’ve stashed my battery box to power my fish finder and a handy Scotty transducer arm. The latter allows me to lower the transducer when fishing and raise it for transportation, preventing damage and ensuring accurate readings on my fish finder.

Adjustable Foot Pedals

Speaking of fishing, the Stealth 12 comes equipped with adjustable foot pedals to accommodate different foot lengths. These pedals allow you to customize your position for maximum comfort and control.

Rod Holders and Aftermarket Solutions

The kayak also includes two built-in rod holders at the front. However, I found them a bit awkward to access when my feet were positioned nearby. Plus, if you happen to hook a big one, they might just snatch your precious rod away. To address this, I added aftermarket rod holders, the Ruff T’s, which provide a more secure hold without getting in the way while paddling.

Staying Dry with Scupper Plugs

Moving on to comfort and convenience, I’ve added scupper plugs to keep me dry during my fishing excursions. They do a decent job of keeping water out, but some minor leakage can still occur.

Comfort and Convenience Features in Malibu Stealth 12

On the sides of the kayak, you’ll find two carrying handles in the middle and four straps for securing your gear. One of the standout features of the Stealth 12 is its massive live well or storage compartment. By opening a plug, you can create a fully functional live well, perfect for keeping your bait fresh and lively.

The Crack of Dawn Seat

As for the seat, I opted for the Crack of Dawn model, which provides excellent back support with its tall backrest. However, it could use a bit more cushioning for extended comfort. Adding an extra foam cushion beneath it solved that issue.

Rear Storage Options

In the rear of the kayak, you’ll find two recessed areas that can accommodate a 12-gallon bucket or your kayak crate. They come with bungee cords for securing your gear. There’s also a drain plug at the back, allowing you to easily remove any accumulated water. Another carrying handle is located at the rear for convenience.

Customizable Design and Rudder System

What sets the Stealth 12 apart is its customizable design. You can cut out sections to add a pulley system for a rudder, making it a breeze to steer. The kayak even offers a hatch at the back, allowing you to access the rear of the kayak. It’s a versatile feature that enhances the kayak’s functionality.

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Lastly, if you ever want to convert this kayak into a tandem vessel to bring along a small child or furry friend, there’s a designated seat for just that purpose. It’s an added bonus, along with more storage space for your belongings.

In conclusion, the Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 is a solid choice for both novice and experienced kayakers, especially those with a passion for fishing. It handles well in rough waters, boasts plenty of storage options, and can be customized to suit your needs. While there are a few minor quirks, like the handle rope’s durability and the seat’s cushioning, these issues can be easily addressed. All in all, I’m thoroughly impressed with this kayak and look forward to many more exciting adventures on the water. Thanks for tuning in, and if you enjoyed this review, don’t forget to like and subscribe for more content! Happy paddling!


While it’s a versatile kayak, it’s better suited for those with some kayaking experience, especially if you plan to use it for fishing. The adjustable foot pedals and aftermarket rod holders may require some familiarity with kayaking and fishing techniques.

The deep V hull design of the Stealth 12 is excellent for handling rough waters, providing stability and keeping the kayak on track. It’s known for its ability to handle challenging conditions.

Yes, you can convert the Stealth 12 into a tandem kayak by utilizing the designated seat for a second passenger or gear. It’s a convenient feature for those who want to share their kayaking experience.

Absolutely! Malibu Stealth 12 kayak offers several customizable options, including the ability to add a rudder system and other accessories. It’s designed to accommodate various add-ons to enhance your kayaking experience.

While scupper plugs are effective at keeping water out, some minor seepage may occur. To address this, ensure that the scupper plugs are properly seated in the scupper holes. Additionally, you can use a marine-grade sealant for added protection if needed.


  • David Graham

    Meet David Graham, an avid kayaker based in Florida, USA, who has been mastering the art of kayaking since 2013. As a former trainer with three years of experience, David has shaped the skills of numerous kayakers, sharing his passion for the sport. Living in a state known for its diverse waterways, his expertise and commitment to kayaking go beyond personal pursuits, making him a valuable contributor to the local kayaking community.

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