Pelican Pioneer 100XR Review

Kayaking is one of the most exciting and adventurous hobbies and sports in the world, and if you’re an avid kayaker you’ll know that there are many different styles and brands of kayak out there, and that not all of them are as good as they claim.

Whether you’re an experienced enthusiast looking for a new kayak or a total beginner looking to invest in an amazing new hobby, it can be difficult to determine what brands are reliable and what models are quality, and which are better off avoided.

The sheer number of designs and styles of kayak alone can be daunting, making it difficult to find one that you are comfortable purchasing, particularly as many of the popular vendors and brands are sold online.


Pelican Pioneer 100XR

The Pelican Pioneer 100XR is an excellent kayak suitable for all experience levels, thanks to its recreational sit in design which is ideal for kayakers who want a good amount of stability and a more relaxed kayaking experience while still having the confidence to paddle hard and stay out on the water for long periods of time.

The kayak is particularly well suited for calmer or slower waters, and can be used at any time of the year in warm or colder weather providing you are wearing the appropriate attire for kayaking in these conditions.

There are an array of excellent features which we will touch on in the following sections, but suffice to say this is a superb kayak with good storage, good handling and control without being too cumbersome or unwieldy.

It has good stability and speed and while it isn’t as specialised as some more niche kayaks it has great all around performance and can handle most waters fairly comfortably, depending on the experience of the kayaker and the conditions.

Key Features

There are several key features that define this kayak from the materials used in making it to its design and other specifications.

Some of these features are:

  • It's a 10 foot, sit-in kayak - This is a good amount of space for most users and provides ample storage for longer trips. The sit in style is stable and reliable when in the water, and while this makes the kayak a little more difficult to mount, it's relatively easy with a little practice and very stable overall.
  • Perfect for anglers as well as kayakers of all experience levels including beginners.
  • Excellent stability, perfect for beginners and anglers or even recreational use.
  • Decent maneuverability
  • Built using Pelican’s proprietary RAM-X material which is a premium choice offering durability, as well as light weight and rigidity.
  • Very lightweight and portable for a rigid kayak.
  • Well located handles for carrying and moving the kayak sound, as well as for use while launching or mounting the kayak.
  • Portable seating which is very comfortable
  • The seat is removable meaning you can use it for a riverside picnic if you need too or for camping which is an excellent feature and great for value as well as comfort
  • Sturdy, well located foot rests.
  • Comfortable knee pads.
  • Upgraded hatch
  • Bottle cage attached for ease of use and stability while out on the water
  • The front rigging/bungee cords are sturdy and ideal for storing equipment for camping or longer trips, as well as angling supplies and equipment

Specifications and Dimensions

  • Length - 10 foot or 305cm
  • Depth - 12.75” or 32cm
  • Width - 25” or 64cm
  • Cockpit Length - 48” or 122cm
  • Weight - 43lbs or 20kg
  • Excellent storage capacity
  • Weight capacity - This kayak can hold a total capacity of 300 lbs which is for both the kayaker and any accompanying equipment. This is 136kg which is a pretty good amount and more than enough for most recreational uses or even most trips.
  • Material - RAM-X Premium
  • Name - Pelican Pioneer 100XR


  • Long lasting
  • Durable
  • Stable
  • Suitable for all experience levels
  • Good storage
  • Quality materials
  • Well reviewed/Good reputation
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Attractive design
  • Sit-in style
  • Can carry most users capably


  • Not suited for some kayaking situations on rougher waters, such as sea kayaking, touring or white water.

Materials And Construction

The materials of this kayak are really second to none, providing superb rigidity and durability while still being lightweight.

This gives the kayak excellent tracking and maneuverability while still having the strength to handle slightly challenging conditions.

The twin arched multi chine hull offers excellent tracking and is part of what makes this kayak so stable and efficient, however the flat bottom also offers easier loading and launching, while only having a minor effect on the speed of the kayak.

The RAM-X construction is made of a very high grade and durable molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE) which makes it very long lasting and strong, meaning it can handle significant loads very capably over long distances.

The top layer of resin is also very protective and provides an excellent seal making the kayak extremely long lasting.

Pelican Pioneer 100XR Review


As mentioned already the handling of this kayak is a real stand out for such a simple recreational design, and while it may not stand up as well as some of the smaller freestyle kayaks that are out there, for an all rounder this kayak has astonishing maneuvering while still offering very good straight line tracking and speed which is what makes this kayak such a pleasure to ride and explore in.

Carrying And Portability

There are several well located handles which make carrying the kayak a breeze, and this is made even easier by the light weight of the kayak overall.

The handles are made of a comfortable material too so carrying it won’t cause blisters or hurt even after a long day of paddling and casting lines.

This means the Pioneer is easy to load and store, easy to carry out of and into the water and a perfect choice for long distance river or lake tours and exploration and camping, alongside fishing.

Ideal Users

The beautiful thing about this kayak is that it's really suitable for almost any experience level, and if used in the right environment can really show anyone the exhilaration of kayaking. 

The sit-in design in particular makes it a great choice for beginners, and the stability of the kayak and its handling also lends itself to be used by newer or younger kayakers. 

However the kayak is also a great choice for anglers who need stability to haul in fish and handle them, making this a great choice for more niche and experienced kayak enthusiasts.

Experienced kayakers will also enjoy the confidence this kayak inspires, however it isn’t a particularly fun kayak for experienced users who may find it a little bit too much of a jack of all trades. 

Experienced kayakers may prefer something a little less pedestrian, however for those who like the classic style and excellent features of this kayak, it will work perfectly.

Pelican have a great reputation and have been making kayaks for a very long time so it's safe to say this kayak is a great addition to any kayakers collection and has true mass appeal, making it ideal for use at kayaking centers or training areas too.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Pelican Pioneer 100XR is a truly excellent kayak with some excellent qualities, and it presents a superb value option with performance of a much more expensive recreational kayak.

The kayak has superb agility and maneuverability, great tracking for longer distance kayaking, and is stable enough to give beginners the confidence they need to fall in love with kayaking and its joys.

It's also a fairly fast kayak, and has a ton of excellent additional features such as rigging for supplies (which is perfect for longer trips, camping, and angling) as well as good quality foot rests, knee pads, and a comfortable, removable seat and cockpit which can be removed very easily adding to the convenience of this kayak.

Its light and portable, looks great, and is ultimately a superb choice for beginners or enthusiasts looking for a capable all rounder from a reliable and well known brand.

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