The 13 Best Pelican Kayaks in 2020 [with Buyer’s Guide]

Best Pelican Kayaks

The 13 Best Pelican Kayaks in 2020 [with Buyer’s Guide]

One of the biggest names in the kayaking business is the Pelican brand. Over the year, the company has built a reputation for itself as being a producer of high-quality vessels that rarely disappoint.

We can speculate that one of the reasons for the brand perfection is that it has been in the game for close to five decades. Therefore, they have had ample time to learn and rectify any flaws in their products.

In this article, we have done detailed Pelican kayak reviews that would help you make an informed choice when it comes to choosing the appropriate Pelican vessel.

It entails:

A detailed run-down of the 13 best Pelican kayaks, a detailed buyer’s guide, FAQs, and our verdict. Read on.

Top-Rated Pelican Kayaks Reviewed

They come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. But one thing is for sure, they all come from Pelican Sport, a US-based that has been around for more than 5 decades.

1. Maxim 100X Sit-In Recreational Kayak by Pelican Boats

Pelican Maxim 100x

buttonWhen it comes to the Maxim 100X Pelican kayak, your level of experience would not matter as it should give you the exceptional performance that you were expecting.

There are several reasons why this one of the best sit-in recreational kayaks in the market.

First, it is well-built from triple-layered Ram-X polyethylene which should ensure that you get a durable product.

Then, at 39lbs, it is lightweight such that a solo kayaker would have it easy in carrying the vessel from their pickup truck to the river. The load capacity of 275lbs is also quite decent.

Another feature with this vessel is the shallow V chine that gives the kayak excellent maneuverability.

Lastly, it is highly comfortable with Ergofoam seats that would keep you comfortable even on long trips.


Impressive load capacity


The footrest can be challenging to adjust while you are in the water

2. Pelican Saber 100X Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Best Pelican Kayak?

buttonIf you are looking forward to a solo fishing trip, the Saber 100X fishing kayak would be an ideal vessel for the job.

To start with, it is lightweight at 50lbs and with retractable handles at either end. This makes it for a solo angler to carry it.

The Ram-X polyethylene construction contributes to its stability and durability. Further, it is camouflaged to make it hard to spot by the target in the water.

Then, the ergofoam cushioned seat with a backrest will ensure that you remain comfortable all through your fishing trip. This would come in handy, especially if your trip turns out to be longer than you expected.

You should also appreciate the two rod holders located close to the seats that would allow for a hands-free fishing experience.

Lastly, you also get bungee cords and tie-down straps for securing your items and paddles.


Camouflaged colored


Not stable in windy conditions

3. Pelican Pursuit 80X Kayak

Pelican Kayak reviews

buttonAre you a beginner looking for the appropriate vessel to introduce you to kayaking? If you are, then the Pelican Pursuit 80X would be a decent pick.

The first bit that would impress you is the polyethylene construction that makes the kayak durable and fade-resistant such that it would remain in good shape for a long time to come.

Then, at 28lbs, it is one of the most lightweight vessels around which would be easy to carry around alone. What’s more, is that it features carrying handles that would help you in moving around this vessel.

You should also appreciate the bottle holder that would allow you to enjoy your beverage as you go about your kayaking activities.

Are you worried about your comfort? Then you can relax in knowing that the molded seat would keep you comfortable all through your trip.

Lastly, the vessel features elastic bungee cords in the stern for tying down your luggage.




Not stable in rough water

4. Pelican Prime 100 SOT Recreational Kayak

Recreation pelican kayak

buttonFor those who appreciate versatile vessels, the Pelican Prime 100 should be at the top of your list. It may be pricier than most other kayaks, but it comes with bonus features that would make you see the value for your money.

For instance, it has sufficient storage onboard for different items. First, there is the bottle holder that would allow you to enjoy your favorite drink during your trip.

Then, there are also secure tie-down points that would hold your paddles when they are not in use.

Lastly, it also features bungee storage for stuff that you may find useful outside the water, such as a dry bag and a fishing crate.

The vessel has a load capacity of 325lbs, which is quite decent. On top of that, it has a flat multi-chine bottom that gives it excellent stability and maneuverability, and this is one of the reasons for its versatility.

It has a Ram-X thermoform construction for durability. As for your comfort, the adjustable Ergoform seat would ensure that is what you get from this vessel.


Decent load capacity
Impressive stability



5. Pelican Premium Unison 136T Kayak

Unison 136T

buttonIf you wish to go out paddling with a friend, the Premium Unison 136T kayak would be a reasonable choice. It features two ergolite seats that would ensure you and your companion are comfortable all-through the trip.

The vessel also features adjustable footpegs that would also contribute to your comfort during your trip.

The cockpit is roomy and features a bottle holder that means you can enjoy your cold drink comfortably as you paddle the vessel.

It has a multi-chine flat bottom that is crucial for the kayak’s stability. Further, it is designed such that it experiences minimum drag in the water for more speed.

There is also the paddle tie-down that holds the paddles when not in use. Let’s not forget the elastic bungee cord in the bow for tying down any luggage that you may have brought for the trip.

The kayak also has a quick lock hatch in the stern with a storage bag for additional storage.


Ample storage onboard
Fast and stable


Only for small water bodies

6. Pelican Apex 130T Kayak

Orange Kayak from Pelican

buttonAnother kayak that is suitable for individuals who prefer having some company during their kayaking trips is the Pelican Apex 130T.

It has a Sit-On-Top design plus is highly spacious to fit two people. On top of that, it features padded adjustable backrests that would assure you of maximum comfort during your trip.

When it comes to its construction, the Apex 130T is made of two layers of thermoforming that would ensure you end up with a sturdy and durable vessel.

It may be bulky, but the carrying handles should make things easier for you.

Do not worry about any accessory you may have for your trip since the vessel has sufficient storage on board.

Lastly, this is a maneuverable kayak that would give you an easy time controlling it.


Roomy and comfortable


The seats are not that comfy

7. Pelican Solo 6ft SOT Youth Kayak

Youth Kayak

buttonDo you want the kayaking tradition to carry on in your family? If so, the Youth Kayak would be the perfect way to introduce your kids to the art.

First, it is only 6ft long, which is ideal for making it easy to maneuver by the child. Then, it has a sturdy construction comprising of three layers of Ram-X polyethylene.

As a result, you would end up with a durable product that should serve you for a decent period.

You should also appreciate the ergonomic seat which is constructed into the hull. For added comfort, you could always invest in a backrest separately.

The 100lb load capacity is not only sufficient for a child but a young adult as well.

On top of that, the rear end is designed such that the child would climb back on board safely in case he falls into the water.


Wide for stability
Decent load capacity


The seat is not adjustable

8. Pelican River Gorge 130X Tandem Kayak

Lightweight Kayak

buttonYou do not always to go kayaking on your own. Instead, you could bring a friend to enjoy the fun. The Pelican 130X kayak is one vessel designed to make this possible.

The kayak features two Ergofoam cushioned seats with adjustable backrests to ensure that you and your partner remain comfortable all through your trip.

On top of that, it has a convenient length of 13ft to accommodate two individuals. Further, the weight capacity of 500lbs makes it possible for the vessel to accommodate a third passenger.

At 73lbs, it is not the lightest vessel around, but since it is designed for two, it is likely that you would always have a helping hand for carrying the vessel.

Lastly, it has a multi-chine twin-arch hull that enhances the vessel’s stability.


Decent load capacity
Stable and easy-to-maneuver



9. Pelican Strike 120X Angler Kayak

Adjustable footpegs

buttonThis is an affordable option of the Pelican premium series. It features a double-layer thermoform Ram-X construction that makes it sturdy and durable.

This kayak has a Sit-on-top design with minimum drag to ensure that it has impressive speed.

What’s more, is the cushioned seat with adjustable backrest for ultimate comfort.

Do not worry about the storage since you should have enough of it on board, starting with the stern storage with bungee cords, the dry hatch with storage bag and the quick-lock hatch in the bow.

Lastly, the vessel also features two flush mount holders, a swivel rod holder and a paddle tie-down.


Impressive speed
Ample storage


Not very stable

10. Pelican Argo 100 Blue Kayak

Pelican Argo 100 Kayak

buttonAnother Pelican kayak that you should consider acquiring is the Argo 100 vessel. It has a Ram-X polyethylene construction for durability and sturdiness.

The cushioned seat plus the adjustable footrests aim to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your trip.

It weighs 36lb and comes with carry handles for easy transportation. The weight capacity of 275lbs is also pretty impressive while the storage compartments ensure that you leave nothing that you may need for the trip behind.

The vessel is quite stable due to the twin-arched multi-chine hull.




Has no rod holders

11. Pelican Strike 100X Angler Kayak

Pelican Kayak Reviews

buttonIf you are looking for simplicity in a fishing kayak, that is what you should get from the Pelican Strike 100X vessel.

First, it is easily maneuverable plus is easy to enter and exit. On top of that, it is well-suited for use in calmer water bodies, including slow-moving rivers.

You should also be impressed with the storage capacity of the vessel, including the rear storage coupled with the heavy-duty bungees that aim to keep everything in place.

The Ram-X construction should also give you peace of mind in knowing that you have a durable product that would deliver exceptional performance for a long time to come.

Still, on your peace of mind, the vessel comes with a limited lifetime warranty.


Sufficient storage
Stable and straight tracking
Reasonably priced


Not for rough water bodies or conditions

12. Pelican Castaway 100 Kayak

Adjustable padded backrest

buttonFor the complete package, the Castaway 100 kayak should be on top of your list. From the comfort, the load capacity, stability and tracking, this vessel is designed to offer you all that you may be looking for in a kayak.

It weighs 43lbs plus features carrying handles to enhance its portability. The kayak also features an adjustable padded backrest as well as molded footrests to enhance its comfort.

The paddle tie-down aims to secure the paddles when not in use while the swivel, as well as the vertical rod holders, ensure that your rods to not get lost in the water.

Lastly, the stern storage backed by bungee cords should ensure that your luggage is always secure.


Easy to maneuver
Very stable


Not very durable

13. Pelican Pursuit 140T Kayak Paddle

with Drop Down Skegs

buttonThe last item on our list is the Pursuit 140T which is for you if you like having some company for your kayaking trips.

It is spacious enough for two individuals plus has sufficient storage courtesy of the day hatch with an 8-inch dry bag.

The kayak features adjustable padded backrests as well as footpegs that aim to assure you of maximum comfort during your trip.

Finally, it is a stylish vessel that is available in white and yellow colors.


Roomy and comfortable
Sufficient storage onboard


Has no drain plug

Brush Up On

Different Kinds of Materials Used to Make Kayaks

Tips for an Overnight Float Trip

Key Muscles Used in Kayaking

The Buying Guide

In your search for the ideal Pelican kayak, there are several aspects that you need to focus on if you want to land a reliable product. These factors should always be at your fingertips.

The Seats

If you are going for a sit-in kayak, then you should ensure that the seats are cushioned as this would be the only assurance of your comfort throughout your trip. Ideally, the backrest, too, should be padded and adjustable.

On top of that, the sitting space should also be adjustable to ensure that you get your ideal sitting position.


A shorter vessel tends to be more stable and easier to maneuver. However, you would have to sacrifice on speed since longer vessels tend to be faster.


An ideal kayak should have ample storage compartments onboard that would ensure you can bring with you everything that you may need for the trip.

Bonus Features

These are features that aim to make your trip in the particular vessel to be more comfortable and enjoyable. They include rod holders, cup holders, bungee cords, carrying handles, and so on.

All these features should be easily accessible to add to their convenience.


Your ideal vessel should lie within a particular price range so that you can prepare a budget that you would guide you. This would ensure that you remain organized with how you manage your finances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following queries aim to boost your knowledge on the best Pelican Kayaks available in the market.

Q: Do all Pelican kayaks come with backrests?

A: Unfortunately, no, although some models give you the option of purchasing the backrest separately from the vessel. Backrests, together with seat cushioning, are crucial in ensuring that you have a comfortable ride in your vessel.

Q: What determines the stability of a Pelican Kayak?

A: The first obvious factor that affects the stability of a kayak is the width whereby a wider vessel is more stable than a narrower model.

Additionally, a vessel that is built on a shallow v chine hull should offer more stability and maneuverability.

Therefore, you need to pay attention to these two factors if you want to end up with a stable vessel.

The Best Overall

After looking at the above options of Pelican kayak, we have concluded that the Pelican Pursuit 80X Kayak is the best of them all. It is ideal for beginners plus is very comfortable to ensure that you have a memorable kayaking experience.

The kayak is also well-built to ensure that you have a sturdy product that would give you remarkable service before you start thinking about replacing it.

Final Verdict

Pelican kayaks are some of the best vessels in the business. However, although they belong to the same brand, they tend to have differences in terms of how they are built as well as purpose.

We hope that this article would be of great help as you search for the ideal Pelican Kayak that would serve your needs.

You could always refer to the brands that we have reviewed, and we believe that you would find the best Pelican kayak somewhere on the list.

Erick Thompson

Hi, I'm a fishing & kayaking enthusiast who likes to share tips and tidbits with newbies, intermediates, and experienced anglers alike.

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