Pelican Summit 100X – My Next Kayak

After my little adventure around Peanut Island the other day, not to mention the excitement of paddling Sparky to shore on a few windy days recently, I think we’re finally due for an upgrade. Both of us almost went for a swim trying to get back on the boat in some choppy conditions, so I decided it we really need a bigger and more stable kayak.

That kayak is going to be the Pelican Summit 100X kayak. This kayak is a great balance between performance and other features that makes it perfect for full-time use on a boat. It’s very strong, light weight, and at a great price.Pelican Summit

Size Matters

At 10′ the Summit 100X is on the larger side for recreational use sit in kayaks (I consider 12′ and up to be performance and/or specialty). What this means is it’s going to be a little faster due to greater hull speed (the maximum speed for any boat is determined by the length of its hull).

It also means it’s going to be better in choppy water than smaller kayaks thanks to the greater buoyancy of the larger hull. Besides being a little more stable, waves are also less likely to break over the bow and into the kayak. We got drenched by a breaking wave, while trying to get back onto the boat from the little guy we used to have. That won’t be a problem with this one!

Thanks to Pelican’s manufacturing process, even at 10′ it weighs less than 35 lbs, so getting it on and off a boat will be very easy.

Key Features

The adjustable padded backrest and seat pad will keep you comfortable even after hours of paddling. The summit features adjustable foot pegs as well, which translates to more power. Having your feet firmly planted will help stabilize you, and therefore give you a little bit of a stronger stroke.

There is a large stern storage hatch and bungees on the bow for carrying plenty of gear. The hatch isn’t watertight, same as with most kayaks in this price range, but you can easily keep it dry with this simple fix.

The large cockpit makes entering and exiting this kayak very easy, a must if you’re using it on a boat. And there’s even a bottle holder in front of the cockpit, great for flat water paddling…or for holding a beer if you’re in the Keys. The shallow v-chine hull on the Summit helps with tracking and provides great maneuverability, while not being too unstable for beginners…or crazy little dogs.

Pelican Summit 100X Kayak
The Summit 100X is available in both Red/White and Fade Blue-White/White

Length: 10’ – 305 cm
Beam: 28’’ – 71 cm
Depth: 14’’ – 36 cm
Cockpit Width: 23.6’’ – 60 cm
Cockpit Length: 51.25’’ – 130 cm
Weight: 35 lbs – 16 Kg
Max Capacity: 275 lbs- 125 Kg

Required Gear

As with most kayaks, the Summit 100X doesn’t come with a life vest or paddle. The one I’m currently using is the Carlisle Magic Mystic. The Magic Mystic is right hand indexed, which still works fine for me as a lefty, and it paddles very efficiently with very little splash.

Final Thoughts

The Pelican Summit 100X wasn’t designed for big waves or rapids, but it will do better in heavy chop than the smaller sit ins. It’s fast for its size and very maneuverable, even in tight spaces.

The light weight makes it very easy to move around, and easiy to haul out of the water, so it’s great for use on a boat. With the large stern storage area, and the large cockpit, it may also be a good choice for use as a dinghy.

Get the Pelican Summit 100X now!

Update: It looks like the Summit 100X is no longer available. The Matrix 100X and the Intrepid 100X have similar tops and both appear to have the same hull as the Summit. These models also feature knee pads on the cockpit coaming, for more comfort when paddling.

12 Responses to Pelican Summit 100X – My Next Kayak

  1. I’ve kayaked before so I know what you mean about waves and the smaller kayaks being a problem. I used to take mine out of the beach of the gulf of mexico and it was rough sometimes. It’s really cool that you have a dog companion that enjoys coming with. Do you think Pelicans are the best brand of kayak to buy?

    • It can be pretty rough launching from a beach if there’s waves. I was actually debating the 12 footer, but in th end decided the 10 was big enough to suit my needs. Sparky loves being on the water, kayaks, paddleboard, dinghy…and jumping off of all of them.

      I think the Pelicans are a good all around general use kayak, and plastic hulls generally last forever. For real serious paddlers, though, there are some performance brands out there. Many of these models have composite or fiberglass hulls, watertight storage, and other more advanced features. The prices on the higher end models start at about $1100-$1500.

  2. I don’t have a kayak, but I would love to get one! I live on Lake Michigan, and one of these would be perfect. The waves do get choppy at times. It seems very light which is a plus. I am in love with the red one! How does it handle for a first time user? Should I go with something smaller, or could I start with this one?

    • I love the red one too, but wound up going with blue. Being the poor captain that I am, I bought an almost identical model that I found someone selling on craiglist. It’s an older model with a slightly different deck, but it has the same hull as the Summit. I’ve had plenty of inexperienced paddlers use it with no problems.

      You definitely don’t want to go any smaller, because it will be much less stable. Depending on your balance and fitness level, many first timers are more comfortable in a sit on like the Ocean Kayak Scrambler.

  3. I certainly learned a lot about this kayak with this post. Sounds like you’ve found a kayak that fits your needs and works better than the one you had before.

    I imagine the smaller kayak you had was lighter than this one but your surprise at its light weight seems to suggest that the weight difference is not much. Is that right?

    Also, you mentioned this kayak being able to handle some heavy chop but not rapids, so I was wondering: how much of a difference is that compared to your smaller one you had?

    • Yes Adrain, the small kayak was a little bit lighter, but this one is still very light. It’s really easy to get it on and off the deck of my boat. I’ve taken some pretty good wakes with this one, and yet to have any water break over the top of the kayak, like it did on the smaller one.


  4. G’day,

    Awesome website. Are you using the kayak for long trips or are you just using it for day trips around the bay and small off shore adventures. And if you are using it for longer trips how does it go for gear carriage? And is it easy to re right after a roll over if you are carrying extra gear?



    • Thanks Nick!

      I’m just using it for shorter trips around the bay, and through some of the mangrove tunnels. I’m sure it would do fine for just an overnighter, where you’d be taking minimal gear and just a small tent. But for longer tours I’d go with something a little bigger for the extra load capacity, more room for gear, and a little more speed.

      I actually just picked a 12’6″ touring paddleboard at Surf Expo that I plan to do some longer trips on in the future. I can’t answer your last question because I’ve never rolled it.


  5. Hey there,

    Hey I came across your site, which is amazing I must say! Such useful and quality content.

    Very well written and easy to understand. I’m more into paddle boarding but I don’t mind a kayak ride down some white waters

    I will definitely visit in the future, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

    Kind regards


    • Same here Chris! Since I discovered paddleboarding, I barely touch a kayak unless conditions are much too windy to SUP. I’ve never paddled in rapids before, but I have had this kayak out in some choppy conditions. I finally saved up enough to buy a SUP, though, so this little guy isn’t getting as much use lately.

  6. Love this post!! I am looking to get the same Pelican Summit 100X model. I plan to use it in very cold water, so I’d like to take on as little water as possible. Being two pieces, does the kayak let in much water? Any leaks? I expect to get a little wet (duh!) But don’t want to be sitting in water. What are your Thoughts? Thanks!!

    • No leaks at all John! The seam is above the waterline, and the 2 halves are pressed together very tightly, so water from splashing can’t get in. If you are in very rough water, you could get an occasional splash over the top, though.

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Summit 100X is available any longer. The Matrix 100X and the Intrepid 100X are somewhat similar, and even slightly better models.

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