In the world of kayaks, Pelican is a trusted name. They have been around for 50 years, making them one of the best-known brands in kayaking.
Age hasn’t dwindled their sense of adventure and excellence, as every so often, a new product will emerge from their stores, and these kayaks will have the same standout quality.
Taking the sea-fairing community on board, Pelican is often one of the first to adapt their products and utilize the new ways to streamline their water vehicles.
Who Are Pelican?
If you are new to kayaking, then this name might not hold the punch it ought to. We will show you who this company is and why they are considered to be one of the top kayaking manufacturers out there.
Pelican is one of the largest suppliers of kayaks in North America. They ship 30 million hoses and replacement kits each year alone.
This doesn’t mean that the products are likely to break, but they value customer satisfaction over selling a whole new kayak. Repairing a kayak is better for the environment, cheaper for the customer, and an easy way to keep their customers happy.
The brand themselves make kayaks specifically for long distances, but they also make fishing kayaks, tandem kayaks, and kayaks used for simple recreation.
This means that you can buy affordable equipment for those who just want to paddle, and you can purchase higher-quality equipment for the specific needs of your adventures.
Pelican is renowned for its high resistance materials, which reduce shocks and vibrations, thereby keeping you in the water and protecting your water vehicle for longer.
These kayaks are almost always made out of UV-coated materials, which means that the lifespan of the kayak (used often or hardly ever) will be much longer.
Now you know a little more about Pelican, let’s look at their Odyssey 100X kayak. This water vehicle balances recreation and performance.
You will notice in the front peak that there is a water-tight lock chamber where you can put your phone, keys, and money (or anything you don’t need straight away but should be kept near you).
In the back peak, there is a net storage area to put your backpack. The net is crisscrossed to hold your items in place. There is also a gap at the top so you can get into the bag without any worries.
This is, of course, the minimum standard that you would expect from a good recreational kayak; however, the versatile nature of the boat makes it more than just beginner-friendly.
The kayak is lightweight and can carry around 275 pounds (or 125 kg), with a shallow V chine. This means it is super responsive and has a lot of mobility which is perfect for river runs, lake days, and fast-moving currents.
If you are new to kayaking, this level of mobility might make you a little shaky. And as the kayak is super responsive, you might find yourself moving in directions you weren’t expecting.
It shouldn’t take long for you to get the hang of the momentum, and we would even say that the ease of use will make it easy for low-muscled beginners to keep their stamina up.
The seats themselves are super comfortable, to the point where you forget you are sitting on plastic, but the footrests are a little narrow for our liking. Ideally, there would be more space to rest your feet.
- Great Carrying Capacity
- Great Mobility
- Uncomfortable Footrests
Compared to Other Pelicans - Review
The Odyssey looks pretty great in isolation, but the best reviews compare items to those they are similar to. We want to compare the Odyssey to other well-known and much-appreciated kayaks, so you can judge if the Odyssey is really for you.
The Pelican Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak is probably the Odyssey’s biggest in-company competition for lightness and comfort. It has two handles to carry the boat with, and it only weighs 50 pounds which is a ridiculously low number.
Its maximum capacity is also larger, with a carrying ability of 325 pounds. This is because of the greater need to carry equipment for fishing.
Anglers will also need to stay still for a large amount of time, which is why comfort is super important. After being removed, washed, and re-stuck to the velcro sections, the well-placed pads are still super comfortable. This added level of cleanliness is something that the Odyssey should also have available.
The Sit-On-Top Fishing kayak also has customization available in its holders. You can add on moveable handles for your fishing rods and extend or reduce the amount of carrying space.
Most of the Sit-On-Top Fishing’s highlights are designed for the fishing community, so you can easily argue that these customizations are not relevant to the recreational kayaking made available in the Odyssey. This lack of added extras is also why the Odyssey is much cheaper than this rival.
- Best Carrying Capacity
- Very Stable
- Fishing Accessories
- Easy To Clean
- Worst Mobility
The Odyssey’s second-biggest rival is the KFF10P300 (also known as the Sit-In Lightweight Recreational Kayak). These two are incredibly similar, and you would be forgiven for thinking they were the same kayak.
The difference is shown in KFF’s spacious cockpit and the overall price tag. The KFF has a wider sit-in space, making it easier for you to get in and out of the boat.
This wideness adds to the kayak’s overall stability, meaning that unexpected waves won’t push you into the water. This extra width comes at the price of mobility, though. Like the fishing kayak, neither can compare to the Odyssey’s quick mobility and easy-to-turn ability.
If you are new to kayaking, the extra stability might be more valuable than the ability to move around efficiently.
Paddlers and nature enthusiasts will enjoy the slow and steady rhythm that the KFF can produce, but the Odyssey is better used on people who already know how to kayak and are looking for more fast-paced adventures.
This kayak model also has some added extras, like bottle holders, which show you that this ride is meant to be relaxing and not thrilling.
The design has a flat-bottomed multi-chine, which means it is super stable and has better maneuverability than the fishing boat, but it’s not as mobile as a shallow v chine.
- Good Carrying Capacity
- Very Stable
- Cup Holder
- Easy To Get Onto
Compared To Other Kayaks - Review
So far, the Odyssey has been the best for budgets and the best for adventurers, so when it came to looking at kayaks outside of Pelican, we wanted to challenge this top quality. This brings us neatly onto the Challenger.
The Challenger is a nimble kayak that is designed to be light, cheap, and easy to maneuver. Because the kayak is inflated, it has a ridiculously low 27.2 pound weight, which means that turning corners and following the stream can be as easy as walking.
However, if you add too much weight to the kayak, this nimble nature will become clumsy. The kayak can hold 220 pounds, but the inflatable materials will not distribute the weight evenly, creating a top-down issue, forcing you to turn one way or another.
When it comes to maneuverability, the Odyssey keeps its agile nature regardless of your items.
Back to the Challenger. The inflatable seat and backrest are super comfortable as the bouncy nature will hold your body and almost mold to it, creating the best seat that someone could manufacture.
The legs are a little short for some people, but the majority will find the whole experience similar to sitting on a cloud. This is where the Challenger beats the Odyssey, as plastic and cushions simply cannot beat balloons.
You might wonder that an inflatable kayak is a synonym for disaster, but the Challenger is made out of durable welded materials which can hold firm even over a rocky river bottom.
Of course, you should try and avoid these patches, but the boat won’t pop at the first sign of a rough patch. It also comes with repair patches, hand pumps, and construction vinyl in case the worst does happen.
The Challenger is much cheaper than any Pelican product because the inflatable materials are less expensive.
But with a weaker material, you will receive a less robust kayak that doesn’t have accessories and cannot move with the grace, stability, or mobility as the other kayaks we have mentioned.
- Very Comfortable
- Lowest Carrying Capacity
- Less Stable
- Less Mobility
Depending on what you are looking for in a kayak, the Pelican Odyssey is a fantastic choice. It is stable, has the best mobility, can carry a fair amount of weight, and is durable. If you were hoping for a fast-paced adventure, kayaking through rivers, lakes, and the sea.
Then the Odyssey would be a great pick. If you were hoping for a slower and more stable adventure, then it would still do a great job, but there are others in Pelican and other brands which are more suited for you.