Best Pelican Kayaks

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As someone highly interested in boating, I am on a never-ending search for vessels that offer great value. Pelican Sports is among the best-known names for paddleboards, surfing boards, and kayaks.

For that reason, I was eager to make a thorough comparison of their best models. It resulted in a list of the best Pelican kayaks featuring budget-friendly and high-end products. Let’s get right to it, with high hopes that it will help you in your search for the perfect touring vessel!

Comparison Chart

318AXCQgQsL. SL500
Pelican Sentinel 100X Exo Sit-on-Top Kayak
31XJkYcPnpL. SL500
Pelican Argo 100Xr Cosmos Sit-in Kayak
Pelican Kayak Sonic 80X Sit-On-Top Kayak
41vtvSBNAqL. SL160
Pelican Argo 100XP Angler Sit-in Kayak
31xeH+T 2uL. SL160
Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak

Pelican Kayaks Reviews

Pelican Sentinel 100X Sit-on-Top Kayak

318AXCQgQsL. SL500

I started with a kayak that is affordable and comes in a few different designs. The Sentinel 100X is available in a recreational and an angler fishing structure. There are also two colors to choose from, including the EXO Neptune White and Fade Black Green/Light Khaki (my personal favorite). Because it is a vessel for a solo rider, the 9’6“ construction is more than suitable.

Product Highlights

First and foremost, let’s discuss the difference between the two available models. While both feature exceptional stability, the angler/fishing model also includes a multi-chine-flat bottom hull that makes this product a perfect choice for fishermen that cast their lines while sitting down. As for the structure, there is a slight difference in the size as the Sentinel 100X Exo is set at 114″ x 30″ x 11″ while the Sentinel 100X Angler is 114″ x 30″ x 13.25″.

What I was most impressed by is that both kayaks offer a load capacity of 275 lbs which is great for a single rider vessel. It is important to know that the recreational model is 2.2 lbs lighter than the fishing one sitting at 41.8 lbs. Furthermore, I found it to be a little bit easier to navigate, although both are beginner-friendly.

As for the highlighting points, I would start by pointing out that it is pretty agile. The Sentinel 100X is one of the best kayaks for touring on both saltwater and freshwater as long as it isn’t too rough. Although the lightweight construction does enhance its speed and tracking ability, it also can’t stand through a lot of heavy waves.

One of the coolest features is its EXO Shell 13L compartment that can be removed and attached back again. It allowed me to put away all of my valuables and fishing equipment. The second design detail that I want to point out is the sturdiness of this vessel.

Yes, it may not be ideal for rough waters, but the foam blocks and the RAM-X material work together to ensure sturdy construction. Another guarantee of quality is the fact that the manufacturer provides a limited lifetime warranty on the deck and hull, both made out of triple-layer polyethylene.

Not to forget, I had a fantastic time sitting down in this kayak, given the EVA sets that provide ultimate comfort and an adjustable backrest. With that in mind, the only concern that I had is that I couldn’t use it on fast-moving rivers. Other than that, it justifies the mid-end price and is a product that I recommend to both kayak enthusiasts and recreational fishermen.

The Good

Apart from the fact that the Pelican Sentinel 100X is pretty easy to put away and is highlighted by a lightweight construction, its main highlighting point is its sturdy design. The RAM-X material ensures that you can use it on a daily basis without the risk that it will break or allow water inside the vessel.

The Bad

I was disappointed that it doesn’t perform as great in rough waters. On the other hand, it isn’t something that Pelican Sport advertised in the first place, so I can’t blame the manufacturer. The other concern, if I was to get into the pettiest details, is the fact that hooks are positioned near the paddles, increasing the chances of a hand injury.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to navigate
  • Comfortable cockpit
  • Padded seats
  • Made for all seasons

Cons

  • Not for rough waters

Read our detailed review of the Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X.

Recreational ARGO 100XR Cosmos Sit-In Kayak

31XJkYcPnpL. SL500

Talking about kayaks that are made for a single rider and that come at an affordable price, I came across the ARGO 100XR Cosmos that is one of the most popular Pelican Sports models. It is available in two attractive colors – Tin Grey and White, which I preferred. Similar to the product mentioned above, it is incredibly lightweight, simple to transport, and suitable for beginners, which made me excited about whether it performs well in different conditions.

Product Highlights

The first thing that I want to discuss is the construction of this vessel. It is set at 120″ x 29″ x 12.75″ and weighs around 42 lbs. It allows a load capacity of 300 lbs, which is something to respect. For a couple of weeks that I tested this product, I realized that it is a perfect choice for beginners on a tight budget.

Although it may not satisfy the needs of a professional, it is agile and stable. I was able to get in and out of it within just a few seconds, given the twin arched multi-chine hull that allows great maneuverability and is highlighted by a stable bottom. Thus, loading your 100XR Cosmos kayak with cargo or other adventure essentials on uneven ground shouldn’t be an issue.

Discussing cool design details, I liked the ergonomic handles that allow for easy portability. As for its sturdiness, I have to highlight the RAM-X material that features a top layer of premium resin and supports its rigid construction. The triple polyethylene that Pelican Sports use for most of their kayaks is hard to compete with.

The fact that it withstands heavy use while supporting lightweight construction is what makes it a fantastic solution for touring vessels. On top of all that, the Argo XR Cosmos kayak also includes an ERGOCOAST seat that can be removed and adjusted according to your needs.

The only issue that I had is that I had to buy the paddle attachments separately from the Pelican Sports product. Other than that, there is nothing to put against it as it is newbie-friendly and made for touring in saltwater and freshwater.

The Good

My personal favorite is the ERGOCOAST seating highlighted by an adjustable backrest and allowing a spacious leg rest. The fact that I was able to remove it and set it to a position that fits my body construction made the Argo kayak more enjoyable. Furthermore, I was pretty satisfied with its stability and response to fast-moving waters.

The Bad

I expected that a brand as reputable as Pelican Sports would include a pair of paddle attachments. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and buying this piece of equipment is pretty annoying.

Pros

  • Suitable for fast-moving waters
  • Comfortable ERGOCOAST seats
  • Triple-polyethylene construction
  • Great stability
  • Lightweight construction

Cons

  • No paddle attachments

Pelican Kayak Sonic 80X Sit-on-Top Kayak

Moving on with my list of the best Pelican kayaks, I came across a Sonic vessel that I consider to be the most attractive out of all the models that this brand offers. It is available in a fluorescent orange color that is perfect if you are stranded in open water and you need rescuers to notice you. Lightweight and made for a single person, it is a recreational kayak that won’t break your bank.

Product Highlights

Pelican Sports is able to perform a great job in terms of constructing sturdy and stable vessels as well as provide their users with attractive designs. This 8-foot product weighs just around 30 lbs and offers a load capacity of 225 lbs. Although it is not suitable for people over that weight and 6’0″ in height, I found that it fits everyone else (a few of my friends gave it a go).

It is newbie-friendly and a vessel that I had a lot of fun with. As for its design details, I would highlight the twin tunnel that has a few purposes. Firstly it is integrated to make navigation and tracking easier for riders that don’t have a lot of experience. Additionally, it enhances the stability of what is a lightweight kayak.

As for the little design details, I was pretty happy with the drain plug (that prevents water from staying in the kayak) and the bottle holder. Not only that, but there is also a spacious tank that is secured with a bungee cord and can be used as a storage compartment.

The manufacturer offers a two-year limited warranty on all of the built-in defects. While it is not suitable for rough waters, the ERGOFORM seat makes this kayak a good choice for enthusiasts that want to tour lakes and slow-moving rivers for hours at a time.

Considering its price and the comfortable design of this vessel, I found the Pelican Sports 80X Sonic a great choice for touring beginners.

The Good

The point that I was most impressed with is its attractive and stable construction. It is highlighted by a fluorescent orange and twin-tunnel structure that allows for simple self-bailing. Additionally, I was surprised that it includes a spacious compartment even though the vessel isn’t too long.

The Bad

Similar to the Sentinel 100X, this watercraft isn’t an ideal choice for rough waters. Although it does allow good stability, its construction won’t withstand heavy waves and fast-moving rivers. For that reason, I think that it is the perfect choice for recreational lake touring.

Pros

  • Spacious open cockpit
  • Twin tunnel for simple maneuvering
  • Spacious compartment
  • Attractive fluorescent orange
  • Drain plug

Cons

  • Not as sturdy as similar options

Related: Best Sit-on Top Fishing Kayaks

Pelican Argo 100XP Angler Kayak

41vtvSBNAqL. SL500

I understand there are a good number of people that are enthusiastic about fishing. This is why I needed to review the 100XP Angler that is considered to be the best Pelican Sports model for this purpose. While not for professional use and high-end tournaments, the specifications of this 10-foot vessel allow it to be stable, fast, and perfect for everyday practices.

Product Highlights

The Argo kayak is available in three different designs, including Classic White, Magnetic Gray, and Sandstone which is the one that I went for. I found it to offer great camouflage when fishing in lakes and rivers. The first advertised point is that it is incredibly simple to get out of this kayak.

To my surprise, the 100XP is highlighted by a self-bailing design and a spacious cockpit. In my opinion, Pelican Sports does a fantastic job constructing kayaks that are lightweight and simple to carry. So is the case with this fishing watercraft that is set at just above 41 lbs and offers a few ergonomic handles.

Not only that, but a load capacity of 275 lbs is enough for a single rider and all the necessary fishing equipment. Similar to the products reviewed above (except the Sonic 80X), it is made out of RAM-X material, a triple polyethylene that provides impressive stability. I can testify that this vessel is made for heavy-duty use, including fishing in the ocean and freshwaters.

Another design detail that I was pretty happy with is the Ergofit Seating System that integrates an adjustable backrest and great leg area. The cushion is incredibly comfortable and allowed me to sit for hours without my glutes getting sore.

As for the storage compartments, there is a 4″ hatch, a storage tank, and a smartphone holder. It is safe to say that it includes everything that a rider might need while on a touring adventure.

The only issue that I had? The pole holder is a bit far from the seat. Apart from that, I think that the Argo 100XP Angler is an impressive watercraft for everyone interested in recreational fishing.

The Good

This kayak offers superb performance in both rough and calm waters, which isn’t something that happens with most fishing vessels. It is because of the RAM-X material and the reinforced floor that work together to provide spectacular stability.

The Bad

The fact that the pole holder isn’t next to the seat means you will have to stand up while casting fishing lines.

Pros

  • Rugged construction
  • Impressive stability
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Storage tank
  • Great leg area

Cons

  • Pole holder is a bit too far

Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak

31xeH+T 2uL. SL500

I am ending my list with a twin arched multi chin hull kayak that is available in a fade deep blue color and offers great value. Although not suitable for fishing, this vessel is highlighted by its lightweight construction and adequate stability, making it a nice choice for both experienced riders and newbies.

Product Highlights

It seems that Pelican Sports enjoys manufacturing kayaks that are simple to get in and out. It is certainly the case with this product, given its spacious cockpit and flat ground. Among the points that I look for in recreational kayaks is lightweight construction.

This 100X is set at just below 36 lbs and features ergonomic handles, making it pretty easy to transport. As for other highlighting points, I would mention the twin arched multi-chin hull, which supports its stable construction and allows excellent maneuverability. While this kayak doesn’t come with aluminum oars, I found that it is suitable for whatever size you go for.

On the other hand, it does integrate several cool features such as a bottle holder and a drain plug to prevent water infiltration. Among the most important points in a watercraft is that it is comfortable to spend time in. Fortunately, it is something that this product allows with an ERGOFORM backrest and an adjustable seat cushion.

Not only that, but I also found that it allows a lot of legroom. Is it suitable for more extended adventures? While it is something that you should evaluate, I can tell you that its comfortable structure and a spacious storage tank make longer trips much more manageable.

With that in mind, the only incorrect advertising statement is that the footrests are adjustable. Although there is a lot of leg area, you can’t change the position of it. Other than that, this is a kayak of great value and something that I would recommend if you are into kayaking as a hobby.

The Good

The Recreational 100X Sit-in Kayak is highlighted by a 36 lbs construction and a twin arched multi chin hull that make for a stable vessel. I enjoyed its maneuverability and the fact that switching direction while touring on lakes and rivers is incredibly easy.

The Bad

As mentioned above, I wasn’t happy to find that a brand as reputable as Pelican Sports would provide false information. Although spacious, the footrest isn’t adjustable.

Pros

  • Great stability
  • Spacious tank
  • Impressive manuevrability
  • Light structure
  • Several accessories

Cons

  • Non-adjustable footrest

Pelican Kayaks Buyer’s Guide

Each product has features that you should research more about. To help you with that, I have prepared a list of the most important traits to look for in Pelican Kayaks:

Different Types of Pelican Kayaks

Firstly, you should understand the difference between recreational and angler vessels. The first one is perfect for newbies and everyone who is into boating out of a hobby. On the other hand, the angler kayak is constructed for fishing and is a bit harder to navigate.

Related: What Type of Kayak Works Best For You?

Pelican Length and Weight

Size depends on the type of Pelican kayak that you are interested in. You should look for watercraft that are between 110 and 140 inches in length (unless it is a tandem vessel that you want to invest in). As for the weight, this company does a great job manufacturing kayaks that are between 36 lbs and 42 lbs, which makes them simple to transport with solid stability.

Pelican Kayaks Capacity

The load capacity of a kayak is directly determined by its weight and construction. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be satisfied with less than 225 lbs for a single rider vessel. My recommendation is to get those are highlighted by 275 lbs of weight capacity as it supports more cargo and a larger body size.

Pelican Kayaks Stability

You shouldn’t expect to roam the rough waters unless your kayak offers adequate stability. Consequently, Pelican showed that a single feature such as the twin arched multi chin hull goes a long way in terms of supporting a rigid construction and great maneuverability. Keep in mind that flat reinforced floors also contribute to a kayak’s stability.

Pelican Kayaks Transportation

It all depends on what you are planning to use your vessel for. If it is simple touring adventures, then you won’t need much more than a small tank and a comfortable cockpit. For transporting a few pounds of cargo, you should look for a kayak that offers a spacious compartment and adjustable footrest.

Related: How to Transport a Kayak

Pelican Kayaks Safety

The key to safe touring is that the watercraft fits your skill level and that it is stable. Not only that, but every kayak should have a drain plug that prevents water infiltration as well as a self-bailing cockpit.

Pelican Kayaks Essential Accessories

Firstly, a padded seat cushion is a must. It is an essential feature for allowing long-distance adventures. Along with it, a bottle holder, a cargo net, or a compartment in which you can put away essentials and necessary equipment should be considered.

Pelican Kayaks FAQs

What Makes a Fishing Kayak?

The most important difference between a recreational and an angler kayak is the sit-on-top design, along with a spacious compartment for fishing equipment and several mounting points. Not only that, but I found that a pointed nose and a hollow hull are great additions. The idea is that while it isn’t as agile and simple to maneuver, the fishing kayak meets all of the fisherman’s needs.

What Type of a Kayak is the Best for Fishing?

As mentioned above, the shape of a vessel is of great importance when making the difference between a recreational and an angler one. For fishing kayaks, you are best off with those that are short and wide, as they offer more stability and standing support.

What Are the Best Fishing Kayak Brands?

Discussing where you will get the best offers for an angler kayak apart from Pelican Sports, I would say Driftsun, Advanced Elements, Ocean Kayak, and Perception Kayaks are brands to consider.

How Much Do Fishing Kayaks Usually Costs?

It all depends on the complexity of the model as well as the company that you are buying from. In my experience, the starting price for a fine angler vessel is set at $400, while the more expensive ones go all the way up to $3000/$4000.

How to Get Started in Kayak Fishing

Anyone who wants to combine their kayaking and fishing enthusiasm should start by investing in a recreational vessel. Once you master a beginner watercraft, you should move to a fishing kayak.

Wrap Up

I am confident in saying that all of the listed products are worth investing in. My personal favorite is the Recreational Sit-In Kayak ARGO 100XR Cosmos because it offers impressive stability and can be used to tour rough and calm waters. The second place goes to the Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak Sentinel 100X that comes in two different designs (recreational/fishing) and is simple to maneuver in different environments.

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