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Potomac Pathfinder 100

This Product Has Been Discontinued

Potomac Pathfinder 100 Description

Potomac Pathfinder 100 Reviews


Read and submit reviews for the Potomac Pathfinder 100.

Pelican International
Potomac Pathfinder 100 Reviews

Read reviews for the Potomac Pathfinder 100 by Pelican International as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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It's a good, solid first…

Submitted by: paddler828585 on 7/30/2020
It's a good, solid first kayak; if you can grab one used, do so. It's stable and takes a beating. I wish that the seat were a little more comfortable and that it came with side handles. But there's plenty of room inside. it's the first kayak I've ever had, and I don't expect to keep it forever. But for now I'm very happy with it.

We live in Colorado and love…

Submitted by: paddler812402 on 7/2/2020
We live in Colorado and love kayaking. We have different kinds of kayaks. Recently we bought a preowned Kayak Potomac Pathfinder 100 on Craigslist . Last week we decided to do a test drive for the kayak on the nearest lake. It was OK at the beginning on still water. But as soon as the wind started to blow the kayak started to swing from side to side and the water got inside.

I bought this kayak for $100…

Submitted by: paddler797358 on 6/14/2020
I bought this kayak for $100 on craigslist almost 6 years ago. It's not a bad kayak for the price, but finding any information about it is horrible. I didn't receive a user manual with it to tell me the basic information about this kayak, and there is nothing online to help with questions. there's only a few videos on YouTube who have the kayak but never show it in the water, and never talk about the stats of the Pathfinder 100. I'm here to help for people looking for Info. some information I was able to dig up from different people include: 1.) There are no bulkheads 2.) The weight limit is 275 3.) There is foam substance under the seat and through the back half of the kayak. I do not know if it stops it from sinking, and I don't really want to find out the hard way I only rated it a 4 for the fact you will never find information on this particular kayak. If this information was easily available anywhere online I would of rated it a 5. This just seems like a very uncommon kayak to own

Lightweight, easy to paddle…

Submitted by: paddler524681 on 7/8/2019

Lightweight, easy to paddle kayak. Storage cubby lid comes loose very easily. If you can get one cheap it would be a good first kayak.


I'm new to kayaking, so I…

Submitted by: ceegee58 on 7/31/2018

I'm new to kayaking, so I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a top of the line kayak. I found this one on Craig's list for a steal, so I thought I'd take a chance. So far, I've been more than happy with my purchase. It's light enough that I can get it on top of my car and then into the water by myself. I love that it's not really very "tippy", therefore I've never tumped over. I think this kayak was the perfect choice for a novice like me, and it has made me want to go paddling as often as possible. Highly recommend!!


Bought there kayak maybe five…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/15/2016
Bought there kayak maybe five years ago and I love it. Always feel safe. Even on choppy Lake Erie!! I would deff recommend this kayak!! Easy to handle and it flys with ease!! light weight and sturdy!!

I am 6'2", 235lbs. I bought…

Submitted by: paddler236517 on 9/14/2015
I am 6'2", 235lbs. I bought two of these kayaks, used, and in almost brand new condition for the family to use on weekends and as a daily workout for myself on a nearby pond.

I am extremely pleased with the purchase. For no more than $225 each set, I got the kayak, a tarp, life jacket, and paddles. My 5 yo, my 9 yo, and my wife have all taken turns using these kayaks and have had a lot of fun in them, cruising up and down the pond. I have noticed that both primary and secondary stability are excellent for all of them, to the point that my son actually leans over the side to watch the fish go by underneath with no problems. My 5yo can paddle the kayak as well, and has a lot of fun doing so. My wife, a first time kayaker, at 5'7" and 140 lbs, has a great time on them and feels confident enough to go out on her own at times.

For me, who am almost 100 lbs heavier than my wife, I seem to be bringing the kayak to its limits of performance. Yet, even then, I am finding the kayaks to be extremely useful for a great workout up and down the pond. Yes, it is not a perfect tracker, though with good stroke technique I managed to travel in a straight line in no time. And yes, I make the kayak sit a bit low due to my weight, which makes the primary stability a bit tippy for me, though nothing that a little practice won't correct (it gives a great core workout!).

The ONLY negative I have to say for it, is that the storage compartment is definitely not watertight. Every time I reach back there to pull anything out, I find my belongings swimming in a pool of water. However, this is nothing that wide mouth jar won't fix.

Overall, you can't beat the kayak for the money. I'm very pleased with the purchase.


For the price, this really is…

Submitted by: ripleeakaz on 8/26/2015
For the price, this really is a great kayak. I bought mine 3 years ago and it's still going strong. It's really good for a beginner, like I was. It is very easy to turn around and back up, but slightly difficult to keep straight. If you are looking for a cheap kayak that will last and will be a good one to have for a while, I can definitely recommend this one.

Two days ago bought two…

Submitted by: rmeyers618 on 8/17/2014
Two days ago bought two Pathfinder 100 kayaks used from a private party. Was looking for a fun and comfortable to use kayak for lakes and slow river use. Wanted to have something that would track and have some storage.

The kayaks were like new. In fact the clear plastic coverings protecting the name plates were still on the boats. The owner had used them once. No scratches or scuffs.

Took out the boats last night then again this morning on the local lake. Daughter liked it found it a little more challenging to keep on track then the longer 14ft boat. But with some practice she got it tracking better.

Wife who had never kayaked tried the boat. She was always afraid of kayaks and thought they were tippy. She found herself very comfortable and didn't think it was tippy at all. She soon had basic strokes down and was paddling very controlled. She kept it tracking well. She liked the large cockpit it was easy to enter and exit.

I found the boat a great boat for beginners and intermediates. It tracked really well for a 10ft boat. Loved how well it would turn and how leaning into the turns made it even tighter.

The boats are very light and super easy to transport. We can have them loaded(or unloaded) in a matter of minutes. Leaving more time for fun on the water. The length and weight is great for anyone to carry. The large cockpit will allow me to also take a grandchild with me.

Seat back is a little hard. Seat bottom is comfortable and the leg rests adjust easily. The rear deck storage is not water tight. Wish there was more storage space in rear.


I bought this Kayak used…

Submitted by: paddler235813 on 8/6/2014
I bought this Kayak used because I got a really good deal and I figured it would be a good temporary one until I got a chance to pick up a better one. Well, I think I will keep this one. I feel kind of guilty not getting an Old Town since I live one mile from the factory but this kayak is lightweight, tracks nice, looks nice and is quite stable for the river so why bother getting anything else?

My Potomac Kayak is not the…

Submitted by: kdurant on 7/27/2013
My Potomac Kayak is not the best Kayak ever made but it was a good choice for me. I have used this boat for 3 years. I was an absolute beginner and after renting boats for 2 trips I decided I needed my own boat but did not want to invest in an expensive boat and did not want to spend lots of money because I did not have a good storage space for my boat.

It is lightweight. I can load it, launch it, and clean it out by myself if I need to and I am a very small female. It is very stable and has never flipped. It is best when traveling down river. It does not track well when paddling in still water so going with the current is the best way to use this boat.


This was my first kayak…

Submitted by: paddler235128 on 7/22/2013
This was my first kayak purchase. I purchased two because I wanted to have a second for a friend to go along. I have rented a couple in the past for white water tours. I knew when I purchased this kayak, that it was not built for white water. I use the kayak for lakes and rivers for exercise and fishing.

On a lake or river with a lot of wake, the kayak can be tipped about, but knowing how to handle it, is key. I have never flipped the kayak. On a clam lake(no motors permitted), the kayaks handles a lot better. When paddling right or left, it will propel forward, as it should and I do not notice it drifting more to one side or the other, or not allowing for a stable path. I do realize that after 6 or 8 paddles, my boat may start steering more to the left and I have to give a couple consecutive paddles on the left side to correct, but I attribute this to the fact that my right arm is stronger and I am able to paddle harder on that side. With a good rhythm, this is easily avoided.

When sitting still, I do notice that, if I make a sudden move to the right or left, the kayak will tip a little that way, but it's not that big of a deal and, like I mentioned before, it has never flipped. I purchased the kayak on sale and it was a pretty good deal. These little quirks are something that comes along with the territory of a cheaper kayak.

The hull of the kayak is very strong and sturdy. I have ran over rocks and trees and I still don't have a scratch on it. I am able to enter and exit the kayak effortlessly.

Most of my friends have never been on a kayak and they are able to learn quickly on this kayak and we always have a great time. This kayak is great for someone who is not interested in white water and wants to have a great time on a lake or river.


It's a lightweight easy…

Submitted by: paddler234785 on 9/24/2012
It's a lightweight easy kayak, but not necessarily for beginners. You have to get in with the same mentality as getting on a bicycle - push to get some forward momentum and then step in keeping yourself centered. Once you're in, it's stable as long as you're stable. Tracking this kayak is all about your paddling technique - it has no features of its own to keep you straight. The rear of the kayak is better buoyed than the the bow. If you take bottles of water with you and store them between your feet, you might also want to get 1 or 2 styrofoam noodles to stuff in the front. I use the back hatch to store my sneakers (in plastic bags) because I don't like using my water shoes to carry the kayak over terrain from the car to the water. Even though it's really quite a cheap kayak, it is actually quite fun, easy to haul and ideal for calm water.

I have logged at least 20…

Submitted by: paddler234745 on 8/30/2012
I have logged at least 20 hours paddling this kayak in salt water coves and bays. I am very happy with it, especially the light weight and the low price ($200). Good starter kayak for flat water. The hull material is thin so would not recommend for any swift or white water where collisions with rocks were likely. Only complaint is seat pad which is simply a sheet of foam held down with plastic rivets. It is already ripping away from fasteners. I will likely upgrade seat. I would recommend manufacturer put in better seat and raise price accordingly.

I purchased the Potomac…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/20/2012
I purchased the Potomac Pathfinder 100 made by Pelican Industries at my local Dicks Sporting Goods for $180 which was 50% off the retail price of $360. First, let me say that this is not a $360 kayak. It maybe a $200 kayak which sold for $180. (I noticed on Dick’s web site the price has risen to $229 since my in-store purchase.) I read all the reviews on the Dick's web site and knew what I was getting, so my rating reflects the Pathfinders as a low-end introductory model kayak.

The Pathfinder is my first foray into kayaking. I've rented a SOT Prism before but decided on a sit-in model for a drier ride. I've had it out on the water only once for about an hour on a flat gentle river with calm winds. Some of my initial observations:

  1. The RAM-X material seems very thin. I have the two-tone blue with white bottom. The hull bottom looks almost translucent. I wouldn't trust in on rocky rapids.
  2. The cockpit is adequately spacious with plenty of leg room for my 5'9" 170-pound frame. The footpegs are easily adjustable. The cushioned seat is secured in a molded seating area giving more back support. The seat bottom cushion is very thin—about 1/8" thick. One of the first things you'll want to do is replace the seat or add some cushioning. There are also no thigh pads. It's supposed to have a cup holder between the legs, but mine appears to be only half formed. I don't know if that's a design flaw, but it won't hold a water bottle in place.
  3. Some of the reviews I've read complained that it does not track well. I did notice that there was a tendency to track left or right while paddling upstream, but that might have been the effects of the current or even my paddle techniques. I found that if I allow my paddle to transition too far out, the boat will move off line. Good paddle technique could be the answer to some of the tracking criticism. Again, it's a 10' flat-bottom kayak. Don't expect great speed or laser-straight tracking.
  4. The Pathfinder is light, weighing in at only 36 lbs. I was easily able to top it onto the roof of my Hyundai Sonata sedan and secure it using the Yakima Universal Kayak Carrier system. Carrying to and from the put in was easy enough. I'm fairly athletic, so lugging the thing is not an issue for me.
  5. The fore and aft bungee fasteners look cheap. They may need replacing.
  6. The Pathfinder is not roto molded. Some customers have reported cracks in the seams. That's something I'll have to keep an eye on. The yak doesn't run too deep in the water for me, but I also haven't loaded it to its listed 275 lb capacity.
  7. There is a small dry storage compartment aft of the cockpit. The cover doesn't look too watertight and is held in place by bungees. Remove the bungees and the lid easily comes off.
  8. The Pathfinder felt stable in the water. The area of the river I paddled is a highly used recreational spot with lots of powerboats. The wakes rocked me pretty good, but the yak didn't feel tippy at all.
Analysis: This is a simple no-fills kayak best suited to lazy rivers, small lakes and ponds. The price point is low enough to leave you with some coin to buy a fishing rod holder, thigh pads, quality seat and other upgrades for less than a pricier kayak. I bought mine mainly for fitness paddling and occasional fishing. It will easily serve the needs of the budget conscious recreational play paddler.