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Top Pelican Kayaks Reviewed

Mark Armstrong
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If you’re trying to find the best Pelican kayak you could be faced with a lot of options. Most of their vessels are built with durability in mind and many of them can be ideal if you’re a beginner.

We have put together some information that we hope you’ll find useful in your search for your next boat.

The History Of Pelican Kayaks

Pelican began making kayaks back in 1968 and is a family owned and operated company based in Canada. Their mission is to create durable, affordable kayaks, pedal boats and canoes so that more people can enjoy the great outdoors and be inspired to care for nature’s survival.

They’re known for their durable materials, particularly their exclusive Ram-X multi-layered polyethylene that’s designed to regain its shape even after impact. They use more than 50% recycled materials to make their boats and 99% of their plastic scraps are recycled.

Video: About Pelican International

Pelican also supports several wildlife and conservation charities to help protect the environment for generations to come.

Why Buy Pelican?

Pelican kayaks are designed to be affordable and they can often be great boats for beginners because of their stability and durability.

Many of their kayaks tend to be made using Twin Sheet Thermoforming technology rather than rotomolding. This can result in more efficient production but can also produce higher performance kayaks with increased durability.

Pelican kayaks come in both sit-on-top and sit-inside models to suit many different paddlers and weather conditions. There are also specialist fishing kayaks, pedal kayaks and tandems.

A lot of these boats can be great budget-friendly options but if you’re an experienced paddler you might find they don’t offer the comfort or high performance features that you might expect on a more expensive touring kayak, for example. You may also find that some of the storage is limited on some vessels and they might not be the best crafts for extended trips or multi-day adventures.

However,  they can be ideal for recreational paddling, particularly on calm lakes and slow moving rivers. Some of them have more storage options than others and some will offer increased stability for fishing, for example a tunnel hull.

With their often compact designs, they tend to be easy to maneuver on and off the water and can be easy to paddle for beginners.

The 7 Best Pelican Kayaks Reviewed

1: Pelican Maxim 100X (best all-rounder)

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

The Pelican Maxim 100X is a lightweight sit-inside recreational kayak that is designed to offer stability and maneuverability, making it ideal for beginners. It features a shallow V-chine hull for improved performance, which could be useful if you already have some paddling experience.

It has good storage, including a front hatch for smaller items and a mesh covered rear hatch for larger gear. There’s also a bottle holder in front of the cockpit.

The large cockpit benefits from having molded foot rests to suit different leg lengths, as well as a padded adjustable ErgoForm seatback with an ErgoBase seat cushion.

Video: Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-inside Recreational Kayak

This could be a good choice for rivers, lakes and bays and features Ram-X impact resistant construction for increased durability.


  • Lightweight
  • Good storage
  • Improved secondary stability

Full Pelican 100X review

2: Pelican Prime 100 (recreational)

Pelican Prime 100Pin
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 30.5 inches
  • Weight: 50 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

This Pelican Prime 100 is a recreational sit-on-top kayak that is built to be stable and easy to paddle. It has a spacious seating area and an open deck with adjustable foot braces so you can slide them into the correct position to suit your paddling style.

The ErgoFit seat has an adjustable backrest and a padded seat cushion. However, you might find you need additional support or cushioning if you plan on making a long trip.

A useful feature of the Prime is the Quick Lock hatch at the bow, which can be ideal for keeping smaller items safe during your trip. Additionally, there is a spacious cargo deck at the rear that has bungee cords to tie down your gear.

This is a pretty lightweight boat that is designed to be compact and easy to maneuver. Its wide hull helps to improve the stability of the kayak while giving you more space on deck and at the seating area.


  • Stable
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Paddle holder

3: Pelican Sentinel 100X

Pelican Sentinel 100XPin
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Weight: 43 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

The Pelican Sentinel 100X is a sit-on-top recreational kayak that’s designed for calm and slow moving water. It has a stable hull and a spacious open seating area that can be ideal if you’re a beginner or looking for a durable craft for warm weather paddling.

It’s a lightweight boat that features molded-in footrests and a padded adjustable ErgoForm seat. There is a cargo deck at the stern where you can carry a couple of dry bags and your gear can be secured using the mesh cover. The bow also has a small storage area with bungees for additional gear.

To make it easier to lift and carry, there are carry handles at both the bow and the stern. It should also be lightweight and compact enough to carry yourself.


  • Stable
  • Molded footrests
  • Lightweight

4: Pelican Premium Argo 136XP (best tandem)

  • Length: 13 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 31.75 inches
  • Weight: 67 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

The Pelican Premium Argo 136XP is a sit-inside tandem kayak that’s built for flatwater paddling, such as on slow moving rivers, bays or lakes. It can be a good choice for year round paddling and features two separate spacious cockpits, each with an adjustable padded seat and molded-in footrests.

There is also a handy cockpit table at the front of each cockpit, for holding your water bottle and other essentials. Additional storage can be found at the bow where there is bungee rigging to tie down some of your gear on the deck.

At the stern, there’s a large hatch with a lid so that you can store some of your gear within the hull.

It’s a stable, durable craft that can be ideal if there are two of you paddling. The cockpits are roomy so you could potentially bring along your dog(s).

This is a relatively lightweight tandem yak that should be easy to carry with the help of your paddling partner. Its short hull should also make it easy to paddle and maneuver in tight spaces.

It might be worth noting, however, that you can’t move the position of the seats, for example, to make it a single person yak. This is because there are two separate cockpits so the seating cannot be rearranged.


  • Two person kayak
  • Stable
  • Flatwater paddling
  • Two separate cockpits

5: Pelican “The Catch” 120 (fishing kayak)

  • Length: 11 foot 8 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 69 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

This Pelican Catch 120 is a sit-on-top fishing kayak that is designed for maximum stability. It features a tunnel hull to optimize tracking and maneuverability.

One of the main features of this yak is that you can stand up in it to fish. It has a spacious deck with an anti-slip standing platform and a stand-assist strap to make it easier to stay balanced when you get up off the seat.

It features a dual position elevated mesh seat for improved visibility and comfort. It also benefits from having flush mounted rod holders and gear tracks for mounting additional accessories. Bungee paddle holders are located on both sides of the deck.

There is plenty of space for your gear too, with a large bow hatch and a rear cargo deck with bungee rigging. The high weight capacity of 400 pounds should mean that you can bring enough gear for a full day of fishing.


  • Tunnel hull
  • Standing platform
  • Elevated seat

> Full Catch 120 review

6: Pelican Premium The Catch 110 Hydryve (pedal fishing yak)

  • Length: 10 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight: 67 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

This Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve is a 10 foot 6 inch pedal kayak that’s built for fishing. It features a Hydryve pedal system that lets you power the fins under the hull using your feet, meaning you can move quicker and with less effort. The pedals can also be used whether you’re barefoot or wearing shoes.

This yak also benefits from having a tunnel hull for increased stability and performance. The attached rudder can help with tracking and navigating through current or wind and can be useful if you paddle in open water.

Another feature is the adjustable dual position mesh seat, which is designed to provide support and give you a better vantage point. The seat is also quick to dry and breathable.

Just like on the standard Pelican Catch, there is a standing platform for improved casting. This features a non-slip floor to provide you with added traction. It also has a stand-assist strap to help you get your balance as you stand up or sit down.


  • Pedal drive
  • Tunnel hull
  • Rudder

7: Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler (fishing kayak)

Pelican Sentinel 100X AnglerPin
  • Length: 9 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler is a single sit-on-top fishing kayak that can be ideal for calm and slow moving waters.

It has a multi-chine flat bottom hull that can provide great stability on flat water and can be helpful for beginners. The hull is also designed to offer improved tracking and maneuverability.

The Sentinel features rod holders, paddle holders, accessory eyelets and a phone holder.

There’s lots of space for your fishing gear, including a large rear tank well, that also has an ExoPak, which is a separate storage compartment that can be removed to free up space and can be packed at home before you leave.

The mesh covered storage area at the bow can also hold some of your gear. The center console can be ideal for keeping your tackle handy.


  • Lightweight
  • Rod holders
  • Removable storage compartment

In Conclusion

A Pelican kayak can be a great choice if you’re looking for a stable, durable boat while sticking to a tight budget. Whether you’re looking to fish or explore your local waters, you should be able to find something to suit your needs, especially if you’re a beginner.

Maybe you have another Pelican yak that didn’t make our list? Let us know and feel free to share this if you think any of these boats could be what your buddies are looking for.

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