Read reviews for the Trailblazer 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!
We recently bought two of the Trailblazer 100 and one of the Vortex 80 from Dick's sporting goods.
So far we love them, we have had them on the lakes in northern Arizona and the Salt River on the south side of Arizona. I am 5'5 and 180 lbs and the Trailblazer 100 works excellent for me. I have no problem keeping it going straight with very little effort. I just keep my paddling side to side even and it's fine. My husband is 5'9 and 185 lbs and he hasn't had any issues either. The Vortex 80 belongs to our 14 year old son who is only 4' 2 and 76 lbs. He has absolutely no problem paddling it at all. I honestly expected some issues because of his size, but he figured it out in less than an hour.
I should mention this is the first time we have ever kayaked, so we are definitely beginners and still have had zero issue with these kayaks. For under 300$ these kayaks are proving to be well worth it to my family!!
I give this 5 stars because I guarantee this kayak has not been pushed to the limits like they were with me.. This is my first kayak i take it down 3-5 mile hr platte river in Missouri religiously with enough room for my tent sleeping bag fishing gear and a full cooler or a trip out with the dog.. That being said the room in this kayak if you weigh under 200lbs is ridiculous so on white water rapids staying above water and having a spray skirt are key unfortunately the cheap name brand spray skirt is more of a drip skirt.. I used a lot of velcro n super glue which works for a single run on white water but if you bail out you will have to re velcro.. I did class 3 falls first day easy 4 miles and one bail out on a class 4 fall this is where all that room and no floatation comes in when this kayak fills with water u have to be in great shape to recover on moving water but is possible i shoved pool noodles under seat for help on my class 4 rapids day.. A water fall ate me up and filled with water kayak took a 2 hr beating before getting winched out.. Took it to a lake after and baby still rocking
We have 2 of the Pelican Trailblazers and we take them out about every weekend on the Little Miami River in Cincinnati. We bought them at Dick's and we could not be more pleased. Great price, great value, fun colors, easy to manage, carry and steer. My husband and I use them and so do our kids: 19, 17, 14.
I didn't expect much from a $200 kayak but I must say I'm very happy with it. My boys and I have put in several hours on the river in the 2 days since buying it and it's been great. No dry storage, but that was evident before I shelled out my cash so no worry there. No way to secure it if setting a shuttle (we drop bikes and bike back to the truck then come back for the boats) I solved that with a simple u-bolt secured thru the top......Yes, I bought a boat and promptly drilled 2 holes in it.
Lots of space to store fishing gear, coolers, dry bags, whatever you may require. The weight isn't bad at all, but only being only 5'3 it does require myself and one of the kids to lift onto top of SUV. We manage to squeeze all 4 on top. (I know, some people may cringe at the thought of fitting all 4 on top, but you do what you gotta do!)
Not the fanciest kayak but a great choice for first timers who don't want to spend a lot, or have to buy enough for the whole family!
Bought this at Dicks just like everyone else did. Took it out today for the first time and I'm reasonably impressed. Like most others, the back rest could be better. Tracking seemed good, but not like my Riot Eudoro 12, which is for a totally different purpose. I'm just over 200lbs at 5'11" and 56yrs old and I fit well into the cockpit
The rear storage is not even close to water tight and doesn't really hold much, but for a 4 hour trip, it works. With the max weight at 275lbs, it does sit a little low in the water, but with her in it and at 125lbs, it's a perfect kayak for my girlfriend. I was surprised just how much she loves it. She's a beginner and within an hour she was very comfortable paddling this around a very calm stream.
You can't beat this kayak when it comes to the price.
About me: Beginning paddler, 6'2", 200 lbs., using kayak for 2 hrs at a time on area lakes in calm and windy conditions. I had some previous experience with an inflatable SeaEagle kayak, and purchased a Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 kayak recently.
Thoughts about Trailblazer 100:
Size - This kayak feels a little more narrow and a lot more shallow in comparison to my other kayaks, but I did not notice any difference in stability. This could be helpful if you have T-Rex arms! The huge cockpit opening makes it very easy to get in and out of, but I have not found a condition yet where water was entering the cockpit. The footpegs extend a couple inches beyond what I need, and I am 6'2". So I would think this kayak would be comfortable for someone up to 6'5".
Tracking - I have seen a few reviews claiming poor tracking with the Trailblazer (and other makes/models for that matter), but I saw no problem with tracking. It could be that my lack of experience means I don't know any better, but the kayak did seem to hold a line really well. I did expect it to perform better than the Aruba 10, since the Trailblazer has more of a arched hull, but I found there to be no noticeable difference between the two.
Extras - I do wish the Trailblazer had a paddle holder... The water bottle is great, I don't mind having the bottle between my legs. The storage compartment is ok. It's not water tight, but I have been able to throw some waters or beers in there with some ice to keep everything cold for a while. Otherwise you will need a dry bag or some Ziploc bags to keep everything dry.
Comfort - I have seen many complaints about the seat. Specifically the lower back support. I also experienced some discomfort in my lower back after being out on the water for an hour, so on a whim I undid the buckles on my life vest, pulled it up over the back rest, and was then very comfortable. The next time I went out I wore a different life vest and had no problems at all.
Summary - Great price, great performance. Personally I prefer the Aruba 10 (barely), due to the paddle holder, storage compartment, and the deeper feel of the Aruba 10. That said I am very happy with the purchase of the Trailblazer 100. Plus the Trailblazer looks cooler!
Recently my girlfriend and I purchased the Trailblazer 100 as our first kayaks. We had looked at $1k-ish models at first and after a financial review we knew that we had to settle for a cheaper starter kayak. We have used it a handful of times so I've broken down my review into a few important topics:
1. Price - Can't beat it. We found it for around $200 at Dicks.
2. Aesthetics - Not many colors to choose from, but the colors are bright. Kayaking on a lake you sometimes deal with boating yahoos and the bright colors help identify yourself as "Please dont run over me".
3. Design - Not to informed on "Kayak engineering" but the design seems "ok". The seat was simple yet surprisingly semi comfortable. We kayaked for better part of 3 hours for each of our trips and both of us didnt have too much of an issue. My back support needed a bit of adjustment after some time but it supported me well. I'm at 6', 220lb guy so the cockpit fitted me was great. My legs rested comfortably against the sides and didn't rub either. The handles held up great for transporting & the tie downs worked great for strapping down our dry bags. We managed to go up and into a few very shallow streams without issue so the bottom of the boat scrapped a few times but the bottom held up great, no scrapes. 3 Complaints though:
(A) I could not find a comfortable place to rest my feet. The Foot stops worked well but the bottom of the boat pushed up again my heels awkwardly and I couldn't get them to be comfortable. More experience time maybe? I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards design issue.
(B) The water drain on the rear of the boat is about 4-5" from the tip of the boat so you cant completely drain the kayak of water. There is enough water in it to be problematic if you bring it in your house to store or if you leave it outside (mosquito breeding ground etc).
(C) Again, I'm not an expert, but this thing missed every lesson on "Kayaks and Tracking". We both spun during paddling and had to fight a bit it to stay straight. However, we did test in calm streams and in a choppy lake, both did maintained the same level of "tracking". Which says at at least it does track somewhat.
3. Weight - It's not light but it's easy to transport solo if you lift a few milk jugs daily. We have a car with a low roof and we both would not have an issue getting it on and off. However, we transport it on our Jeep Liberty with a higher roof where I would recommend 2 people loading and unloading.
All this said, we both couldn't be happier for our first kayak. The price was the biggest winner as we couldn't afford a high end recreational. The Trailblazer 100 is a a great starter for anyone.
Hard to beat sit-in kayak for the money.
For under $300, I'd rate this a 9 out of 10.
I live on the Neshanock Creek, which is nearly a river, and I had to buy 4 kayaks for me and the kids.
The Trailblazer was our first kayak purchase, and I couldn't be more satisfied.
PROS: The Trailblazers handle and track very very well. They are very light, two 12 and 13 year-olds have no problem carrying 2 kayaks. The seats and storage are sufficient for 4-6 hours of yaking. A depression between your legs for a water bottle and a small catch-all tray at the forward end of the cockpit opening.
Because of Pelicans building process, they are able to install blocks of foam in the forward and aft sections of the kayak, I don't think you could sink this yak if you tried to. CONS: The seats are only sufficient. I had to add paddle keepers, and I saved $100 and added my own rod holders.
Some say, you get what you pay for and this is cheap thrill kayak and it does me well on the rivers here in North Carolina. It was the ram-x material that sold us on this kayak becasue we have a 17ft canoe that is close to 30 years old and it looks brand new yet. I would have gave it a 10 if it had thigh pads...but you get what you pay for and this one is good for what we use it for...traveling the black waters of NC.
Cup holders (there is a groove in the seat you could place a bottle but it won't stay put in rough water).
There's no knee braces, no rod holder, no oar holder...
.. But it's a fun kayak nonetheless.
It tracks remarkably well for such a cheap 10ft Kayak. It also turns well, it's responsive to your lean and body control.
You won't win races with it but it's zippy enough. It seems fairly resistant to scratching, has great stability and an easy access cockpit.
I'm not sure about connecting a skirt to this kayak, I have no experience with them. The opening is huge... I stayed dry on flat water.
The foot braces are easy to adjust and have a wide variety of positions. The plastic looks rather fragile on them to me though.
For a cheap 2nd Kayak under $200 I'm very happy.
What I love about them:
The light weight. I'm old - 60 years old in October, and when I want to paddle on the man-made lake here in my retirement community, by myself, I can. I can easily load and unload these gems. And I'm not a secret body builder either.
I love the room. As anyone over the age of 55 knows, your hips and butt spread horizontally with age. The seat in this boat cradles my bum in perfect comfort! I don't feel like I have to shoehorn myself into the cockpit at all. VERY roomy for those of us who like to eat when we're not in the water. Leg room is great, very easy to get in and out of the boat too.
Tracks well! This is the most important thing with any kayak - how does it track? Well, considering its light weight and design, I was shocked at how well it tracks. VERY easy to keep in a straight line, to turn, to maneuver. Even the beginners who have borrowed it when we go out feel like they're pros after an hour, and are very comfortable controlling the boat.
Wide Beam. The wider the boat, the more stable it is. However, past a certain width you feel like you're having to drag yourself through the water. The Pelican Trailblazer is wide enough to be stable, but not so wide you feel like you're paddling a big box that drags in the water.
Bright color choices: Love the colors it comes in - all bright, easy to see on the water colors that will, hopefully, keep some powerboat from hitting me.
There is plastic construction, which is heavy and feels and moves like a heavy tank, then there's however Pelican constructs their boats - lightweight, tough, scuff and rock resistant.
I gave this boat a 9 because, well, I'm picky. There aren't many serious cons to this at all, and some folks might not even consider them cons, especially considering the price (which is a plus!) but here goes: The wells, the place where you might want to stash lunch, or an extra shirt, suntan lotion etc., are
(1) tiny...and there's only one well. It's shallow and there's no gasket or anything that really keeps water out. It is too small to be of much use for anything over a half day trip. I use it for bug spray, lotion and an extra water bottle.
(2) The coaming (the part of the cockpit where you put a spray skirt) is not designed to be used with a spray skirt. I suppose with a very tight bungee cord you could hold a spray skirt on, but it is not meant for serious whitewater or any kind of water that breaks over the boat. However, it's nice to have something to keep drips, spray and sun out of the cockpit. 99% of people will never notice, want or use a spray skirt however, so it's just those who do, or want to, who will find it a negative.
Heat: I've noticed that sometimes heat will contort or alter the bottom of the front or back of the kayak, distorting the bottom until it hits cold water. It's annoying, but not a serious issue as it seems to pop out when it's needed.
SUMMARY: EXCELLENT boat for the price and well worth investing in one for every family member. Great ride, fun, lightweight, handles well in the bay, in a river, or in class 2 rapids or on quiet ponds. Draws almost no water, so even a one-foot deep stream can be navigated. I'd feel comfortable fishing out of this boat too.
So we took a flyer on two yellow Penguin Trailblazer 100's. We live 4 blocks from Puget Sound and close to many lakes and rivers. I must say we were prepared to be very disappointed, as these should be quite a comedown, at $199.95 on sale at Dicks, but they are great, and exceeded every expectation we had. We are back into the sport and loving it
I will say that the Trailblazer is by far the best Kayak for the price I have ever used. It tracks so well you find yourself testing it without thinking. It is roomy and comfortable. The foot pegs are easy to use and the seat was comfortable for a three to four hour paddle. Could use some padding for the knees, but I am sure I can add that.
For a 10 foot Kayak this is a great starter kayak. Very stable for a 265lb guy. The kayak tracks well. I have taken it through a couple class two rapids with no issue.
My only complaint is there is no dry storage. The seat is very comfortable, the back rest adjusts very well. the cargo area in the front works well and holds things well. The TST that the kayak is made out of is very durable. The cockpit is very big and is great. well built kayak great for floating rivers and lakes.
The Trailblazer has good initial and secondary stability, tracks well and with the roomy cockpit (51.25"L x 23.5"W) there is plenty of leg room and is easy to get in and out of, even for larger paddlers. A convenient drain plug, adjustable backrest and surprisingly comfortable seat pad are some other features the Trailblazer offers paddlers. The molded poly Trailblazer comes with a manufacturer's limited lifetime warranty and is manufactured in Canada exclusively for Dick's Sporting Goods.
The Pelican Trailblazer 100 offers paddlers on a budget an affordable and comfortable kayak for quiet water paddling with many value-added features not seen in other budget recreational kayaks.
The day I bought it I took it out on water and headed over to a little island we love. We went at high tide so we went right through the chop and my kayak didn't even pretend like it could flip. The wind did pull me around but I didn't expect anything less as the wind was really whipping and my kayak is so light. Not a bother for me. The storage is a little limited as we plan to make camping trips in our kayaks, but thank god for dry bags!
In the end, I am ecstatic with my purchase for the money I have spent!
I have been really surprised with the stability of this kayak! I think you would have to want to flip it. I have taken it everywhere from small creeks and lakes to larger rivers and open bays and had no issues. It is affected by the wind but put that down to it's light weight. look forward to many years on the water with it.
Very stable, tracks decently for a 10 footer. It does get moved easily by the wind being as light as it is. It has a good amount of features for the price range, though it would have been nice to have the back end open for storage. It is closed off by foam behind the seat, and there is only a small "dry hatch" in the rear. I'm not sure how dry it will stay in rougher waters, but it stayed dry for us. it's definitely not sealed in any way. The seat looks good, though my wife complained that she would have liked it to be a it higher.
All said, a very good beginner kayak for $220. (Missed the $199 deal at Dick's)
The stability of these kayaks are awesome considering they are only 28" wide. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking to start kayaking or even for intermediate yakers. All I can say is THANK YOU Pelican for a quality built, Yet inexpensive kayak. See you on the water!!!
Seat back is not great for someone with back problems. If you have back problems get a support or kayak with a high back.
I would only assume (after reading other reviews) than tracking could be a problem but I use it in the calm Charles River in MA and have no problem. I may have a different review if I were in rough water. I think for 180.00 this is one great kayak. NOW, let's see how well it holds up over time.
The only down side I have with this kayak is that its cargo compartment is not water tight. However a short trip to the hardware store and $5 will fix this issue. If you're looking into buying your first kayak or considering picking up kayaking recreationaly, this is the kayak for you. The Trailblazer 100 will give you years of enjoyment at a price you cant beat.
• 1-person sit-in kayak • Versatile • Designed for: recreation • Perfect for beginners • Built on an ultra-stable hull platform • Dashboard • Drain plug • Adjustable foot pegs • Seat pad • Adjustable padded backrest • Carrying handles • Storage hatch with bungee to secure items
Cockpit dimensions: 51.25"L x 23.5" W
Weight capacity: 275 lbs