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Pelican Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak Review

Mark Armstrong
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The Pelican Maxim 100X is a 10-foot recreational kayak that’s aimed more at intermediate paddlers than beginners. It is a budget kayak with basic features. 

Pelican Maxim 100XPin
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 28 inches
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

The Maxim 100X is a compact sit-inside kayak that can be great for short trips on calm water, such as slow-moving rivers and lakes.

With the shallow V-chine hull with its increased secondary stability, it can also handle some small waves and moving water. This can make it a good choice for more experienced paddlers looking for better performance than an average beginner’s recreational kayak.

However, if you’re looking for a feature-packed kayak, this is probably not it. This is an affordable kayak for paddlers on a budget.

Similarly, if you’re after a high-performance kayak with lots of space for a longer trip, this is also not the kayak for you. This can be an ideal recreational kayak if you want a boat that’s lightweight and easy to maneuver.

This kayak also comes in an angler version with built-in rod holders.

Kayakers The Pelican Maxim 100X Is Aimed At

The Pelican Maxim 100X is aimed at intermediate paddlers but it can also be good for beginners looking for a lightweight sit-inside kayak.

With its large, spacious cockpit, the Maxim 100X can feel roomier than some sit-inside kayaks. The size of the cockpit can also make it easier to get in and out of while also helping you to feel less confined once you’re seated. However, if getting in and out might be an issue, a sit-inside kayak might be a better fit for you.

This can be a good second kayak or first sit-inside kayak if you’ve already learned some paddling techniques in a sit-on-top kayak. It’s made for exploring calm lakes and rivers, with enough secondary stability to handle gentle moving water and small waves.

For first-time paddlers, this boat might feel a little tippy because of the hull. Unlike many starter recreational kayaks, this one does not have a flat bottom.

While there is some storage space, and enough room to bring along gear for a day trip, you might find you’re limited to what you can bring.

The Maxim 100X came number one in our Pelican kayak list.

Big Features Of The Pelican Maxim 100X


The Pelican Maxim 100X is designed with both primary stability and secondary stability thanks to the shallow V chine hull. This means that it can handle gentle to moderate moving water and small waves in addition to flatwater.

While this can make it feel somewhat tippy if you’re a complete beginner, it can be more stable in a wider range of environments so you can explore in more places.

The design of the hull also means it can track well and can generally cut through water more efficiently, making it easier to paddle.

This kayak is designed to turn easily in small spaces and can be ideal for smaller bodies of water, such as ponds and narrow rivers


One of the main features of the Pelican Maxim 100X, and most other Pelican brand kayaks, is durability. It’s made from Pelican’s durable multi-layer RAM-X material, which is a type of polyethylene that is designed to withstand impacts and resist breakage. 

Video: RAM-X Polyethylene

The kayak also benefits from having a UV-resistant layer which helps to protect against damage from UV rays and provides added scratch resistance.

Another benefit of this material is that it uses 95% recycled plastic so it has less of an impact on the environment.

Lightweight Kayak

Weighing just 36 pounds, the Maxim 100X is a very lightweight kayak. This means it can be easier to load on your car roof rack by yourself. And it can be less of a struggle to haul it to and from the water.

The Maxim is also a compact size, which can add to its maneuverability both on and off the water. The short hull means it can be more convenient to car-top and store, as well as being less awkward to carry on your own.

Storage Options

For a compact budget kayak, the storage is pretty decent. However, if you’re planning a long trip, it’s probably not going to be able to hold all the gear you want to take.

It has a front storage hatch but this is a shallow hatch that can only hold small items, such as sunscreen or bug spray. It won’t hold a lot of gear. The hatch lid is secured by bungee cords which can also be useful for stowing a jacket or small dry bag.

At the back, you’ll find a tank well that is roomy enough for a small kayak cooler or a dry bag. The storage deck has a mesh cover to keep your items secure.

Video: Pelican Maxim 100X

There’s also space for your water bottle on the cockpit table, with a molded cup holder and accessory trays for small items or snacks.

Comfort Features

The cockpit features a cushioned Ergobase seat pad and an Ergoform padded backrest.

The backrest can be adjusted to suit different paddlers. The seat is designed to be comfortable for short trips. If you plan to paddle for longer periods, you might want to invest in a better seat, but it can be ideal for quick recreational trips.

There are molded footrests to suit different leg lengths and to help you stabilize yourself comfortably.

Pelican Maxim 100X Alternatives

1: Old Town Manitou Sport Kayak

Old Town Manitou SportPin

The Old Town Manitou Sport is 11 inches longer than the Maxim 100X but it’s also narrower at just 26.5 inches wide. This can be a good alternative if you’re looking for increased speed and performance.

It has a large cockpit and excellent storage, including a full-size storage hatch. A great feature of this boat is the ergonomic seating system, The seat is fully adjustable for improved comfort on longer trips.

This can be a great recreational kayak for lakes, bays, and mild to moderate rivers. It is more expensive than the Maxim 100X but it comes with a paddle.


  • Paddle included
  • Comfortable seat
  • Excellent storage


  • Expensive

2: Pelican Maxim 100X Angler

Pelican Maxim 100X AnglerPin

The Pelican Maxim 100X Angler can be an excellent alternative if you plan to do a lot of kayak fishing. This compact boat features the same specifications as the non-angler version but is a pound heavier and has knee pads in the cockpit.

This is a lightweight fishing kayak that has two flush-mounted rod holders as well as a swivel rod holder. The spacious rear cargo deck can be ideal for storing a fishing crate or cooler.

This can be a good kayak for fishing in smaller rivers and lakes where maneuverability is important.


  • Rod holders
  • Knee pads
  • Lightweight


  • Basic seat

3: Azul Kayaks Expedition 10 Deluxe

Azul Kayaks Expedition 10 Deluxe 10 DeluxePin

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly sit-inside kayak on a budget, the Azul Expedition 10 Deluxe could be a great alternative to the Maxim 100X.

It has the added benefit of being seven and a half inches wider than the Maxim for improved stability on flatwater, which can feel more initially stable if you’re a beginner.

It has a small storage hatch, deck bungees, and a mesh-covered storage deck, plus a fishing rod holder. It also comes with a paddle included and is around the same price.


  • Lightweight
  • Great for beginners
  • Stable


  • Basic seat

Maxim 100X Recreational Kayak: FAQs

Are The Footrests Adjustable?

No, they’re molded. But there are multiple footrest positions to suit various leg lengths.

Is The Maxim 100X Suited To Rivers?

Yes, the Maxim 100X can be ideal for rivers.

Is A Paddle Included?

No. But this can give you more freedom to choose the right paddle for your height and style of paddling. Find the best ones here. 

Wrapping Up

Pelican Maxim 100XPin


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Good secondary stability
  • Ideal for intermediate paddlers
  • Budget-friendly kayak


  • Not the best for long trips

The Maxim 100X can be a great choice for improving paddlers and intermediates looking for a lightweight kayak that’s easy to paddle on a range of waters.

If you think it could be the right fit for you, check it out here. And let us know what you think. Remember to share this if you think it might help your fellow paddlers.


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