7 Best Pelican Kayaks: Reviews & Comparison in 2024

by | Last updated Apr 12, 2024

Best Overall Pelican Maxim 100X
Pelican Maxim 100X

Pelican Maxim 100X – Stable and comfortable, the Maxim 100X is a reliable 10-foot kayak perfect for beginners seeking relaxed exploration.

Best Value Pelican Mustang 100X
Pelican Mustang 100X

Pelican Mustang 100X – The Mustang 100X offers fishing features and a stable 10-foot design, delivering excellent bang for your buck.

Most Featured Pelican Catch 100
Pelican Catch 100

Pelican Catch 100 – Anglers will love the Catch 100 for its stable design, comfortable seat, two-rod holders, and generous storage.

pelican kayak

Were you tired of skimming endless kayak reviews and feeling more confused than when you started? Finding the perfect Pelican kayak shouldn’t be an expedition in itself. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or dipping your toes into the sport, we’ve got you covered. We’ve analyzed the top Pelican kayaks, dissected expert opinions, and boiled them down to the best choices for 2024. Get ready to discover your ideal Pelican kayak and confidently hit the water!

What is the Best Pelican Kayak?

The best Pelican kayak depends on what you need it for! Pelican has something for everyone, whether you’re a fishing fanatic, a casual paddler seeking relaxation, or an adventurer craving white water thrills. Let’s dive into the top recommendations for 2024:

1. Pelican Maxim 100X

Think of the Maxim 100X as a reliable and comfortable friend in your kayaking adventures. It’s perfect for exploring calm waters and relaxing day trips.

Pelican Maxim 100X

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Maxim 100X is an excellent choice for beginners and those seeking comfort and ease of use.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-in recreational kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 10 feet long, weighs only 39 lbs
  • Features: Adjustable seat with backrest, storage hatch, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $456.13. You get excellent stability, easy maneuverability, and all-day comfort at this price point.
  • Upgrades: Accessories like fishing rod holders and anchor systems are available separately.

Pros

  • It is very easy to carry and transport due to its lightweight.
  • Excellent stability for beginners and recreational paddlers
  • Comfortable for those long, leisurely paddles.

Cons

  • Tracking is more precise than longer kayaks.
  • Limited storage space compared to larger models.
Pelican Maxim 100X

2. Pelican Catch 100

The Pelican Catch 100 is your ticket to fishing adventures! It's designed with anglers in mind, so get ready to spend quality time on the water.

Pelican Catch 100

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Catch 100 is a fantastic value for dedicated anglers who want a stable platform and fishing-friendly features.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-on-top fishing kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 10 feet long, 54 lbs
  • Features: Ergonomic fishing seat, two-rod holders, a storage platform with bungees, carrying handles
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $735.97 – Stability, fishing-optimized layout, and an incredible price for what you get.
  • Upgrades: Add a paddle leash, anchor trolley, or small fish finder.

Pros

  • Super stable, you can even stand up to cast if you practice!
  • There is ample space for gear and tackle.
  • Comfortable seating for those long fishing sessions.

Cons

  • It can be slow compared to sleeker kayaks.
  • It could be better for rough or choppy water conditions.
Pelican Catch 100

3. Pelican Mustang 100X

If you want more versatility than the Maxim 100X offers, the Pelican Mustang 100X is a significant upgrade. This kayak is a solid all-around choice for paddling and light fishing.

Pelican Mustang 100X

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Mustang 100X is a superb choice for beginners and those seeking a versatile kayak for casual paddling and occasional fishing trips.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-in recreational kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 10 feet long, weighs 39 lbs
  • Features: Adjustable seat with backrest, two flush-mount rod holders, storage hatch with bungee, carrying handles
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $389.99 – This price gets you a stable kayak with some angler-friendly features for various uses.
  • Upgrades: Opt for a premium paddle or a dry bag for longer excursions.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Great price-to-features ratio.
  • Offers enough comfort for short to medium-length outings.

Cons

  • The seat might be more comfortable for some-day paddling.
  • It could be better for rough water or more extended expeditions.
Pelican Mustang 100X

4. Pelican Argo 100XR

The Pelican Argo 100XR provides convenience and comfort for those leisurely lake or river paddles. If relaxation is your priority, this kayak is worth checking out.

Pelican Argo 100XR

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Argo 100XR excels in relaxed paddling thanks to its comfort features – perfect for a relaxing afternoon on the water.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-in recreational kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 10 feet long, 43 lbs
  • Features: Premium padded seat, knee pads, storage platform with hatch, bottle holder, carrying handles
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $595.06 – Competitive price point for the comfort and features.
  • Upgrades: A dry bag for your valuables would be a brilliant addition.

Pros

  • Super plush seat for those extended outings.
  • It is sturdy and easy to handle, even for beginners.
  • There is plenty of storage for snacks and drinks.

Cons

  • Doesn't track quite as well as longer, narrower kayaks.
  • It might feel a tad slow for those seeking speed.
Pelican Argo 100XR

5. Pelican Sentinel 100X

The Pelican Sentinel 100X is another tremendous all-around option if you enjoy a mix of fishing and recreational paddling. It's a solid, budget-friendly choice for those just starting.

Pelican Sentinel 100X

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Sentinel 100X is a great entry-level kayak for those who want to try fishing and casual paddling.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-on-top kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 9.5 feet long, 44 lbs
  • Features: Adjustable padded seat, two-rod holders, removable storage compartment, carrying handles
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $503.54 – You get a versatile kayak with some fishing features at a friendly price.
  • Upgrades: A better paddle and a fishing crate for your gear would be good additions.

Pros

  • It's a super stable platform.
  • Easy to manage and transport due to its size.
  • Comfortable for beginners and those who like sit-on-top models

Cons

  • It only offers as much storage space as dedicated fishing kayaks.
  • It could be better for longer journeys or rougher waters.
Pelican Sentinel 100X

6. Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT

The Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT is a classic choice for a reason. It's a reliable and beginner-friendly kayak, perfect for those getting their feet wet (sometimes literally!) in the sport.

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT is an excellent choice for beginners and paddlers looking for a simple, no-frills kayak at a great price.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-in recreational kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 10 feet long, 36 lbs
  • Features: Adjustable footrests, padded seat, storage hatch, cockpit table, carrying handles.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $274.99 – Excellent value for a simple, durable, stable recreational kayak.
  • Upgrades: A dry bag for your phone or other essentials is a good investment.

Pros

  • It's super easy to learn and paddle.
  • Very affordable!
  • Lightweight and manageable on land.

Cons

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT

7. Pelican Sonic 100X

If you want a kayak that prioritizes speed and agility, check out the Pelican Sonic 100X. It's a great option if you have paddling experience and want to zip across the water.

Pelican Sonic 100X

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Sonic 100X is an excellent choice for intermediate paddlers who value speed and maneuverability over plush comfort.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Sit-in recreational kayak
  • Material: Durable RAM-X plastic
  • Size & Weight: 10 feet long, 39 lbs
  • Features: Adjustable footrests, rear storage compartment, contoured padded seat, carrying handles.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $322.34 – It offers excellent responsiveness and maneuverability for its price point.
  • Upgrades: A premium paddle would improve performance even further.

Pros

  • Tracks well and paddles efficiently.
  • Offers more speed than more comprehensive models.
  • Lightweight and easy to transport.

Cons

  • The cockpit might feel snug for taller paddlers.
  • It could be better for all-day outings due to the minimal seat padding.
Pelican Sonic 100X

A Short History of Pelican Kayaks

Pelican International Inc. has been recognized in the water sports world since its founding in 1968. Here's a look at its kayak journey:

  • Early Years: Pelican initially focused on pedal boats, snowmobiles, and other plastic-based products.
  • First Kayak (1974): Their innovation with thermoforming plastics allowed the creation of the first Pelican kayak.
  • Growth and Diversification: The following decades saw steady growth, expansion into various recreational boat types, and different manufacturing processes for a more comprehensive product range.
  • Focus and Strength: Pelican's kayaks are known for:
    • Durability: RAM-X material handles everyday wear and tear exceptionally well.
    • Value: Competitive pricing for the features offered.
    • Family-friendly Options: Many kayaks are designed with stability and fun in mind.

What Types of Kayaks Does Pelican Make?

Pelican caters to a variety of kayaking needs. Here's a breakdown:

  • Sit-in Kayaks: Traditional design with an enclosed cockpit, offering some weather protection and often more efficient paddling.
  • Sit-on-top Kayaks: They have an open design for easy entry/exit and greater freedom of movement, which is ideal for warm weather and fishing.
  • Fishing Kayaks: Both sit-in and sit-on-top models are tailored explicitly with rod holders, gear storage, and often a stable platform for standing or casting.
  • Recreational Kayaks: Stable, beginner-friendly models in various lengths, emphasizing ease of use and comfort.
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Kayak

What to Look for When Buying a Pelican Kayak?

Here's a quick checklist, including some less-obvious factors:

  • Type: Sit-in kayaks are classic, while sit-on-top kayaks are easier to get in and out of. Consider preferences and where you'll be paddling.
  • Size and Weight affect how easy it is to transport and maneuver. Consider storage space for your kayak and your ability to lift it onto your car.
  • Features: Does it have rod holders, dry hatches, gear storage, and comfortable seating for your intended use?
  • Stability: Wider kayaks are ideal for beginners and fishing. Sleeker kayaks are faster but might feel tippy at first.
  • Your Experience Level: Are you a seasoned paddler or just starting? Some kayaks are geared towards beginners, and others offer more advanced features.
  • Price: Luckily, Pelican is known for value-friendly kayaks. Set a budget and see what features fit within that range.

How Can Kayaking Benefit You?

Kayaking isn't just a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon – it offers a range of physical and mental health benefits. Getting out on the water in a kayak can help you:

  • Enjoy a low-impact workout: Paddling engages your core, arms, and shoulders, strengthening muscles without harsh impacts on joints. It's an excellent option for people of many fitness levels.
  • Boost your mood and reduce stress: The rhythmic motion of paddling and being out in nature has a naturally calming effect. Kayaking can be a great way to de-stress and clear your mind.
Kayaking

Buyer's Guide: How We Conducted Our Research

Here's how we carefully selected the best Pelican kayaks for this guide:

  1. Focus on Variety: We aimed to include a mix of Pelican kayak types (sit-in, sit-on-top kayak), lengths, and price points to cater to different needs.
  2. Feature Analysis: We prioritized kayaks with features important to most paddlers, like fishing kayak options with flush-mount rod holders, stable designs for beginners, and comfortable seating.
  3. Honest Assessment: We looked carefully at the pros and cons of each kayak. Pricing was evaluated alongside features to determine overall value.
  4. Real-World Experience: When possible, we drew on hands-on experience with Pelican kayaks and cross-referenced that with online reviews, expert opinions, and customer feedback.
  5. User-First Approach: Our goal was to find kayaks offering incredible experiences for various users, not just niche appeal.

Wrapping Up

Whether you're a seasoned paddler seeking a new adventure or dipping your toes into kayaking for the first time, Pelican offers a fantastic selection of boats. Remember, the best kayak for you is the one that fits your needs and aligns with the activities you enjoy most.

With a focus on durability, family-friendly designs, and great value, Pelican kayaks are a brilliant place to start when looking for a reliable companion on the water!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the advantages of Pelican kayaks? 

Pelican kayaks are known for their rugged durability, comfortable designs, and competitive pricing, making them a popular option for beginners and families.

2. Can I take a Pelican kayak in the ocean? 

While some Pelican kayaks are suitable for calm ocean conditions, their design often prioritizes stability and ease of use over the speed and agility needed for rough waters.

3. Do Pelican kayaks come with a warranty? 

Yes, Pelican offers a bounded lifetime warranty on their kayaks, ensuring peace of mind and protection against manufacturing defects.

4. Are Pelican kayaks suitable for fishing? 

Several Pelican models cater to anglers, featuring rod holders, stable platforms, and ample storage space for your gear.

5. How do I choose the right size Pelican kayak? 

Consider your height and Weight, intended use (fishing, recreation, etc.), and how much gear you typically carry. Pelican often provides weight capacity guidelines for each model.