Pelican Kayaks Review | Epic Kayaks or Flop?

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Even during the most uncertain times, you can still take advantage of local bodies of water and go out using Pelican kayaks. This brand allows you to enjoy your favorite lakes and canals and allows you to relax.

When shopping for a kayak, always choose from a reliable brand like Pelican. Over the years, this company has produced dozens of user-friendly kayaks that can perform very well in gentle and rough waters. They also come with higher weight capacities, allowing you to bring another person or a pet.

Nevertheless, before purchasing a particular kayak, you need to narrow down your options. Check which of the contenders suits your needs and preferences. Reading some online reviews is also a great idea to know everything about a particular kayak’s performance and durability.

In this topic, you will see the top Pelican products in today’s market. We carefully reviewed and researched each item to help you narrow down choices and choose the best one for your needs. Although this brand is slightly more costly than others, you will surely get the best value for money.

Top 9 Best Pelican Kayaks Reviewed

  1. Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak – Best Overall
  2. Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak– Best Value
  3. Pelican Sprint XR Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak – Editor’s Choice
  4. Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak
  5. Pelican The Catch 100 Kayak
  6. Pelican 100 Angler Kayak
  7. Pelican Icon 100XP Angler Kayak
  8. Pelican Blitz 100X Exo
  9. Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II

#1. Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak – Best Overall

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This Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak can paddle countless miles and offers a large cockpit and padded seat for extra comfort and convenience. Amazon reviewers praised its quality since they got the best value for their money.

According to its product description, this Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak can accommodate up to 275 pounds, which is more than enough to let riders bring some valuables. Besides that, this vessel offers a storage hatch with a bungee cord that acts as an extra compartment for your gear.

Furthermore, this Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak combines a stylish design with top-level quality. This way, Pelican can bring the most enjoyable and fantastic kayaking experience for all skill levels. Using this vessel is also very safe, thanks to its wide and thick hull design. According to Pelican, this kayak uses military-grade materials to deliver excellent stability, portability, and security.

Moreover, Pelican equips this Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak with an adjustable seat to help riders maximize comfort in any situation. It may not have the most spacious area, but the boat’s wide deck and high weight capacity can help you bring enough gear. Nevertheless, if you need more space, you can install dry hatches in some spots.

Overall, this Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak is extremely stable, safe, durable, and spacious enough for all skill levels. With this vessel, you don’t have to limit yourself to flatwater since its specially molded hull can handle swift-moving water and comfortably drift safely in up to Class II whitewater.

#2. Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak – Best Value

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This Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak is another stylish and durable vessel that brings a fantastic water experience. Using this boat is very safe since it has a wide and flat hull design. Besides that, Pelican produced this product with the unique Twin-Arche Multi-Chine Hull design that delivers excellent stability.

At only 36 pounds, this model offers a spacious deck with a high weight capacity. This way, riders can conveniently carry their fishing gear while exploring the great outdoors.

If you want to catch some fish, this Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak is surely an excellent option. Aside from being stable, it is very lightweight and easy to transport, so we placed it at number two.

With its exceptional resistance to damage and impacts, we can confirm that its hull and skeg ensures that you can enjoy this Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak for many years. It is fast and tracks well, making it suitable for the pickiest kayakers.

Furthermore, Pelican designed this kayak to give riders full comfort while fishing. Its deck is very well-organized and spacious. Besides that, it is slightly longer than your recreational boat, making it more suitable for advanced river and lakes paddling.

Many Amazon reviewers praised this vessel for its unique styling that excels in all environments. Whether you are paddling across a large section of flatwater or not, you can surely take advantage of the Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak.

#3. Pelican Sprint XR Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak – Editor’s Choice

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Those who love hitting the rivers or punching through rapids should choose the Pelican Sprint XR Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak. This boat is way better than your average recreational kayak since it drifts smoother and more steadily on lakes and rivers. Besides that, its length helps riders manage well on a variety of medium to large-sized rivers.

According to the product description, the Pelican Sprint XR Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak comes with the latest Deep V Chine Hull design that produces better stability on choppy conditions. Besides that, it is more responsive to body weight and position shifts. We can confirm that these details are true since the boat performs with better maneuverability and tracking.

Thanks to its exceptional design, comfort, and quality, the Pelican Sprint XR Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak has won the hearts of countless kayakers. Whether you love exploring rivers or lakes, this vessel will do a very impressive job. Plus, we appreciate its budget-friendliness, ranking it as one of the best sit-in kayaks when considering money value.

Since this Pelican Sprint XR Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak came from puncture-resistant materials, we can guarantee that it can handle any challenge on the water effortlessly. Its floors provide outstanding rigidity and tracking. Besides that, the surface is pretty spacious that you can bring your fur baby.

#4. Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak

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Reveling in a river’s beauty will never cost you a fortune, thanks to the Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak. Fortunately, Pelican made this boat one step closer to the highest-end kayak. Its quality will surely let you explore the great outdoors for many hours at a quicker speed.

Many Amazon reviewers recommend this vessel since it is highly durable and easily adjustable. According to its product description, the Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak can carry up to 275 pounds, which is more than enough for beginners to advanced kayakers. As a bonus, it comes with a very stylish look, making it an excellent option.

Furthermore, this Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak is more rugged and UV-stabilized than other kayaks in the same price range. Its hull design glides and tracks great while remaining stable in choppy conditions, too. Because of this capability, the Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak is indeed a reliable multi-purpose kayak for all water conditions.

Despite being a sit-inside kayak, this boat offers plenty of space for kayakers of all sizes. We can guarantee that your legs will not feel restrained, and you can comfortably move around. To improve comfort, Pelican equipped the vessel with footpads.

When it comes to compartments, the Pelican Trailblazer 100NXT Kayak is good enough for longer trips. You can store all of your valuables within arm’s reach. Besides that, it comes with an easily adjustable backrest to improve the rider’s sitting position.

#5. Pelican The Catch 100 Kayak

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Next on the list is the Pelican The Catch 100 Kayak, which is suitable for the fishing enthusiast. Thanks to its shape and design, this boat offers stability and performs smoothly on flat water. However, despite being a fishing kayak, this model can still hold some chops. You should note that this Pelican The Catch 100 Kayak is one of the most reliable fishing kayaks in today’s market.

The Pelican The Catch 100 Kayak’s durability and high weight capacity make this model more user-friendly. According to the manufacturer, this kayak splashes through rapid smoothly without making the riders feel uncomfortable. If you ever hit some rocks, this boat will only bounce off and keep on drifting steadily.

We can guarantee that this Pelican The Catch 100 Kayak is an excellent choice for calm oceans and rivers since it provides space-saving capabilities. It is extremely versatile and secure for its price point. With this product, any kayaker, even the first-timers, will surely perform well on most rivers.

#6. Pelican 100 Angler Kayak

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The Pelican 100 Angler Kayak is a versatile and portable vessel suitable for both amateurs and pros alike. Whether you love kayaking for day trips or camping, Pelican built this kayak to perform well and last for many years.

 According to its product description, this Pelican 100 Angler Kayak carries plenty of features that make it stand out. First, it comes with an adjustable and comfortable seat pad, suitable for longer excursions. Another selling point is it is its faster and easier assembly time.

If you are looking for a heavy-duty and versatile boat, this Pelican 100 Angler Kayak is the best option. We can confirm that this model can bring you a smooth kayaking experience and the best value for money.

Furthermore, you will love this Pelican 100 Angler Kayak if you prefer a faster kayak. It may not be the fastest, but its quality and speed are more than enough for adventure purposes. With the Pelican 100 Angler Kayak, riders can easily maneuver since its high-density construction hull has been carefully engineered. Besides that, you don’t have to worry about safety since Pelican is a trusted brand with durable and user-friendly products.

Many kayakers appreciate the Pelican 100 Angler Kayak since its cockpit gives more comfort and space to anyone who uses the kayak. Its rugged and UV-protected design also guarantees the board’s rigidity that can last for many years. However, aside from durability, this product has a better storage capacity. This way, riders can store and carry all of their fishing kayak accessories for a hassle-free experience.

#7. Pelican Icon 100XP Angler Kayak

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The Pelican Icon 100XP Angler Kayak is another reliable vessel that offers better stability, speed, and tracking. This vessel makes kayaking more convenient, even in rougher weather and water conditions. Thanks to its longer length, the Pelican Icon 100XP Angler Kayak performs more stable and straight. It is also easy to control and paddle even you are in the heavier ocean surf or rough lake.

According to Pelican, the Icon 100XP Angler Kayak’s versatility is one of its biggest strengths, making this vessel suitable for day trips and multi-day outings along the rugged coastline. This model also features a spacious and comfortable cockpit that allows riders to carry everything they need inside the kayak. Thanks to its ample cargo space, the Pelican Icon 100XP Angler Kayak is ready for any outdoor adventure.

We can guarantee that you will get the best value for money with this one since it is surprisingly agile and easy to navigate. The Pelican Icon 100XP Angler Kayak does not feel like a boat, and beginners will find it enjoyable. Despite its size, this model can turn on a dim. Thanks to its unique shape, this vessel maintains excellent tracking with relative ease.

#8. Pelican Blitz 100X Exo

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Pelican gets bonus points with the Icon 100XP Angler Kayak. This model offers maximum versatility and comfort for a full day on the river. According to Pelican, this vessel performs the smoothest across lakes and rivers.

The rise of kayaks is increasingly noticeable in recent years. Therefore, more brands are introducing their versions. Unfortunately, none of them come close to this Icon 100XP Angler Kayak. First, this model offers plenty of space. It helps riders to carry some valuables and accessories needed for kayaking conveniently. Second, its size stashed comfortably at your apartment or garage.

According to the manufacturer, this Icon 100XP Angler Kayak is very maneuverable. Controlling and padding this vessel is a breeze, especially in quick-moving white water. Besides that, this fantastic product boasts a decent level of comfort and stability. When the water conditions get rough, the boat’s shape can help you maximize maneuverability through rapids.

Although the Icon 100XP Angler Kayak is not popular for the speed, this version can compete with other lighter-weight and shorter vessels specifically made for lakes and rivers. Still, this kayak is an excellent choice if you need to move and maintaining a constant pace, even with a changing speed.

#9. Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II

Pelican Recreational Performance Sit-in Kayak - Sprint XR - Lightweight one Person Kayak (Laval/White/Orange, 12 ft, KNP12P100-00)

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The Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II was specifically designed for recreational boating, flat water, and gentle rivers. Therefore, this model is comfortable, easy to navigate, and offers all-around performance. According to its product description, the Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II blends speed, maneuverability, and stability to suits all skill levels. It is also wide enough to help you get in and out conveniently.

Furthermore, the Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II tracks extremely well and maintains a straight line on the water effortlessly. We can guarantee that this board glides smoothly and steadily, making it much easier to appreciate the natural surroundings.

Besides that, this Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II’s padded seat provides excellent support and comfort. Therefore, if you love kayaking for long hours, this vessel can perform very well for your needs. It almost feels like this model is specifically developed for you.

Pelican designed this kayak to give riders the ability to carry more valuables and accessories. They also upgraded its surface to add more storage areas for larger valuables. However, keep in mind that the Pelican The Catch 110 Hydryve II Exo works very well for casual paddling. It may be a slight turn-off for picky experienced kayakers, but its design can surely give anyone a more versatile experience.

Buyer’s Guide: What to Know When Buying Pelican Kayaks

To experience the most enjoyable kayaking trip, you have to start with having the right Pelican boat. Over the years, this brand has evolved and designed dozens of kayaks, and each of them has unique features. For instance, if you love exploring the ocean, you need a longer and more stable kayak. On the other hand, gently flowing rivers and flat lakes require a touring or recreational vessel.

In deciding the best Pelican kayak, you need to consider a few factors. For instance, do you want a sit-on-top or sit-in model? Always remember that sit-in versions offer better security and performance since it comes with a closed cockpit. Fortunately, most kayaks from Pelican are sit-in.

Here are some of the essential factors that you need to consider when purchasing a Pelican kayak.


Before settling with a particular kayak, you need to double-check its performance on the water regardless of the brand. This way, you can quickly determine its stability, maneuverability, and speed across various water conditions. Besides that, the performance also displays how easy it is to paddle or steer. Of course, some Pelican kayaks are versatile, but it is still essential to do some tests.


A recreational Pelican kayak may not be the best one in today’s market, but it still offers an impressive versatility for all skill levels. Even if it is your first-time kayaking, you can still guarantee that most Pelican kayaks perform well in all water conditions. Versatility is one of the brand’s biggest strengths, making Pelican kayaks suitable for day trips and multi-day outings along rugged coastlines.


Your kayak should take a beating, whether they are getting transported to a garage or thrown into the back of the truck. Always consider durability since it will help you determine whether the kayak will last you for many years. Fortunately, Pelican only uses military-grade and premium-quality materials to assure the products’ longevity. Always choose a vessel that can last for at least a few years.


Price may not matter to some, but it is still better to spend on slightly costly and high-quality Pelican kayaks than to spend less on shoddy ones. With this mindset, you can surely guarantee the rider’s safety and comfort throughout any kayaking trip.

Pelican Kayaks: Company & History

Growing up, Pelican has been known as a reputable and trusted brand for kayaks. Tons of paddlers and kayakers lusted after this brand sine offers top-notch recreational, fishing, sit-in, and even hunting vessels. For over 50 years, Pelican has been creating affordable, innovative, and user-friendly kayaks. According to critics, this company is one of Canada’s best-managed companies. Therefore, it is difficult to get wrong with Pelican kayaks.

This company started last 1976 by Dave Parker and his wife. They are both avid Scuba divers and recognize the need for better water sports products at the market. After many years of hard work and sacrifice, Pelican became known across the United States and spread across different parts of the world.

Currently, Pelican’s headquarters is around 200,000 square feet and is located in Torrance, California. This company serves as the home office of over 1,200 employees from different parts of America. Pelican has expanded its business throughout the years and built additional branches worldwide, including Europe and Asia.

Currently, this brand operates in 26 countries and has 24 international offices. When it comes to Pelican’s manufacturing locations, you can find them across North America, Australasia, and Europe.


Overall, Pelican has introduced dozens of innovative kayaks for beginners to experienced riders. Most of their products are lightweight and very convenient to transport as well. If you are a passionate kayaker who need a durable, user-friendly, and reasonable vessel, do not hesitate to consider this brand. We can guarantee that this company offers uniquely designed and cooler-looking boats with excellent speed, maneuverability, and versatility.

Furthermore, Pelican kayaks move swiftly and provide ample storage for kayakers. What’s more, some of them allow users to bring their furry babies. If you are a first-time kayaker or a speed junkie, you can surely find something great here at Pelican.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What shoes should I wear in a Pelican kayak?

A water bootie or shoe is the most recommended footwear for kayaking. These protections stay comfortable, keep you warm, and prevent rocks from hurting your feet. However, water sandals are also great options. Don’t forget that it might give you chilly feet if the weather is cooler.

What is the best length for Pelican kayaks?

The most reliable Pelican kayaks are usually eight to thirteen long. These sizes are suitable enough for lakes, rivers, creeks, and other calm waters. If you want to navigate narrow passageways and inlets, avoid choosing longer kayaks. For touring, about 14 to 8 feet long vessels are the best options.

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