The Pelican Trailblazer 100 kayak is a well-liked model. You will almost certainly see someone paddling one of them while travelling about. It’s a budget-friendly recreation sit-in kayak produced by Pelican International Inc., which has been in operation for over 50 years and was granted prestigious Canada’s Best Managed Companies award. It costs $199 at Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as through their Field and Stream subsidiary, which sells it for $199.
Why is this vessel so popular? Is it simply because it is inexpensive? Is there some special knowledge that only Trailblazers owners have? We didn’t know either, so we took one for a spin.
At a quick view:
We have to confess, that the two-tone colour scheme used by Pelican in this boat stands out from the rest of the recreational kayak class because of its unusual appearance. We were shocked to learn that it comes in ten distinct hues.
It’s 10 feet long and 28 inches wide, with adjustable footpegs, bungee cords on the front deck, and tiny non-watertight storage space on the rear deck. The built-in dashboard has a small tray for keeping little valuables, while the seat sports a tiny cup holder.
Instead of utilizing polyethene, as most recreational kayak producers do, the Trailblazer is composed of RAM-X, which is only manufactured by Pelican. It’s very resistant to impact and usually returns to its original form following significant impacts.
This kayak was very light for a 10-foot recreational kayak, weighing only 38 pounds. It was simple to pick up and put down from the top of a car. This is beneficial because many others in this category weigh 45 lbs. or more, which at first sight does not appear to be much, but when loading alone, it makes a significant difference.
The cockpit is generous in size and allows for a lot of movement. It is easy to enter and exit the boat, with a length of 51.25 inches and a width of 23.5 inches.
With a capacity of 275 pounds, the Explorer is on the lower end of this category. Yes, there are others with capacities of 300 or more, such as the Perception Swifty 95, Old Town Vapor 10, and Ascend D10, but none come close to matching the price of the Pelican.
On The Water:
The twin-arched boat offers outstanding stability and a dry ride, allowing the novice paddler to feel at home rapidly. The Trailblazer tracks fairly well for a ten ft. kayak without a skeg on calm, smooth water, and while it isn’t a quick boat, it is simple to steer and performs as you would anticipate an entry-level kayak to do. When you cease paddling, though, it has a propensity to turn.
The seat is thinly padded, and the adjustable backrest provides little support when compared to other more expensive kayaks. We needed a rest after spending an hour in the Trailblazer cockpit.
When we exposed the Trailblazer to windy conditions, it became obvious that it is extremely vulnerable to weather-cocking, making it difficult to maintain on course.
We never felt the Trailblazer was going to tip over in the choppy water we dove into, but it was impossible to keep it on track and the large open cockpit, which we liked for its simplicity of entry, allowed a lot of splash into the boat.
- It’s not only affordable, but it offers excellent value.
- The design of this kayak is great for fishing or touring on calm water because it is very stable and well-built.
- It’s simple to get in and out of.
- Paddling on calm water is a breeze with this kayak since it is lightweight (approximately 42 pounds).
- There are several colour options to select from.
- This kayak is light (about 42 lbs)
- For lengthy periods of time, the chair is not particularly comfy.
- Cocking the gun in windy weather
- In choppy water, it does not do well.
We liked the Trailblazer for what it was intended for: light recreational paddling on still flat water. It’s a fantastic kayak to cruise your favourite lake or pond, a slow-flowing creek, or an enclosed seaside ocean. In our opinion, while it can be used in choppy and windy situations, we don’t think it is the greatest option for that kind of trip.
It’s for the individual who wants to go boating but doesn’t want to sink a lot of money into it while still getting a well-made boat. It’s an excellent entry-level kayak that won’t break your budget, and you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your money as long as you understand its benefits and limitations.