The Perfect Budget Kayak: Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT

There’s a kayak for every adventure, and the Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT is the ultimate option for your weekend escapades.

If you’re looking for an affordable kayak that can handle your trips to the local lake without breaking the bank, the Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT is the one for you. Made by the renowned Canadian-based company Pelican, known for their top-quality kayaks, the Trailblazer 100 NXT offers impressive maneuverability and stability, providing everything you need for a fun and relaxing time on the water.

Things To Consider Before Buying

Choosing the right kayak is crucial, especially with the wide variety available on the market. While the Trailblazer 100 NXT suits many needs, it’s important to remember that it is best suited for calm water paddling in protected settings. It is not designed for rough water conditions or bad weather. If you’re looking for a kayak that can handle more challenging conditions, consider a higher-performing model like the Old Town Sorrento 106sk.

Additionally, keep in mind that the Trailblazer 100 is a sit-in kayak that can be outfitted with a spray skirt to keep waves and rain out of the cockpit. It’s also important to have dedicated storage space for this ten-foot kayak, preferably with protection from the elements.

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Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 28 inches
  • Cockpit Dimensions: 23.5 inches
  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 275 pounds

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT Kayak Design


The Trailblazer 100 NXT is crafted from Pelican’s exclusive plastic called Ram-X, offering similar durability to the commonly used polyethylene found in other recreational kayaks. This material can handle bumps, drops, and on-water collisions, quickly regaining its original shape if warped.


As an entry-level model, the Trailblazer 100 NXT may not be the fastest kayak out there. However, it’s perfect for leisurely paddling on lakes and rivers. If you’re paddling in a group, you may need to put in a little more effort to keep up with kayaks that have longer or narrower hulls.


The Trailblazer 100 NXT surprises experienced paddlers with its sharp turns and maneuverability. Its short keel allows for tight turns, offering a fun and agile paddling experience. However, its performance may diminish in rougher waters.


The Trailblazer 100 NXT features a decently comfortable seat with padding and a backrest, making it suitable for shorter outings. However, for extended periods on the water, you may want to consider a more ergonomic option.

Stability & Tracking

Designed with stability in mind, the Trailblazer 100 NXT’s 28-inch wide hull provides a solid center of gravity, ensuring a stable and comfortable paddling experience. However, it lacks a skeg or rudder, so maintaining your course and direction is entirely up to you. The wide cockpit can lead to water filling the seat when waves pop up.

Durability & Portability

With its hard plastic hull, the Trailblazer 100 NXT is built to withstand rough handling. However, it’s always recommended to handle your kayak with care to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. The kayak’s compact size makes it easy to transport, and at 38 pounds, it’s manageable for most individuals to carry short distances.

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Pelican Trailblazer Kayak Features & Accessories

The Trailblazer 100 NXT offers a range of features to enhance your paddling experience. With ten different color options, you can choose the one that suits your style. The adjustable foot braces accommodate various leg lengths, providing additional comfort during your adventures.

For storage, the Trailblazer 100 NXT has a closed hatch located in the stern, although it’s important to note that it’s not completely waterproof. Bungee cords in front of the seat secure any items you need within reach while paddling, and a bottle holder keeps your favorite beverage nearby.

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT Kayak Value

While slightly pricier than inflatable recreational kayaks, the Trailblazer 100 NXT offers better performance and storage space, without the hassle of inflating and deflating before and after each use.

It’s worth noting that the Trailblazer 100 NXT does not come with any included accessories, such as a paddle. It’s also not designed for tandem paddling. Additionally, the absence of a skeg or rudder may present a challenge for beginners who need assistance with tracking. However, the Trailblazer 100 NXT offers improved maneuverability, making it ideal for those eager to develop their paddling skills.

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT Kayak Alternatives

If you’re considering alternative options, here are three kayaks worth exploring:

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a nine-and-a-half-foot recreational kayak that shares many similarities with the Trailblazer 100 NXT. It offers an expansive cockpit, impressive maneuverability, and a lightweight design. However, it comes with a slightly higher price tag and lacks adequate storage capacity.

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Future Beach Fusion 124

The Future Beach Fusion 124 is another entry-level kayak that prioritizes stability. Its watertight stern hatch makes it suitable for longer trips, and it handles rough water better than the Trailblazer 100 NXT. However, the Fusion 124 comes at a higher price point and has received criticism for its uncomfortable seat.

Intex Challenger K1

For those on a budget, the Intex Challenger K1 is an inflatable kayak that offers stability and user-friendly design at a lower cost. However, inflatables come with certain drawbacks, including reduced performance in windy or wavy conditions and limited storage space.

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT Kayak Review – Conclusion

As a recreational kayak, the Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT is a maneuverable and stable platform, suitable for paddlers of all experience levels. While it may lack some of the included accessories found in other models, its cost efficiency, light weight, and portability make it one of the best budget hard-sided kayaks on the market. So, get ready to explore the lakes and rivers in style with the Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT.

Check out UpStreamPaddle for more information and to start your kayaking adventure today!