While Pelican Sports might have recently acquired Confluence and its coveted watersports brands, including Dagger, Perception, Wilderness Systems, Mad River and more, that hasn’t affected its bread and butter of boats for the masses, including one of the world’s leading array of recreational and fishing sit-in-tops and large cockpit rec kayaks.
Paddling Life got their hands on a few to put few their paces at the end of the summer on tranquil waterways and lakes of the Rocky Mountains. Here’s how the sit-on-tops sat with us:
We took this baby out to good ol’ Pearl Lake, where the boat’s colors flew as high as the golden-leafed aspen trees across the shore (the world’s largest living organism, thank you). At just 43 lbs. (the boat, not the world’s largest organism), the polyethylene craft is uber-easy to cartop and carry — even briefcase-style — which was particularly appealing for my wife, who’s always had conniptions about cartopping heavy craft.
As a sit-inside, with a large, comfy cockpit, the Argo 100XR was stable from the get-go, even while getting in off the dock, thanks to its twin-arched multi-chine hull, whose designers nailed it on the head. It stability makes it perfect for lakes, bays and slow-moving rivers, and even climbing back inside once you cannonball off.
For gear storage comes a quick-lock rear box and a storage bag/platform, which seemed overkill at first but proved its worth when we pulled out our picnic ham sandwiches, chips and trendy LaCroix’s. Its adjustable footrests moved easily when we swapped around and two bottle holders proved convenient when we moved onto more adult beverages. For safety come two floating blocks on each side for added buoyancy. Bonus: Its ErgoCast seating system is easily removable, which we used as a beach chair in the alpenglow sunset. $519.99
Sentinel 100X Exo
At 9’6”, the Sentinel 100X Exo rec kayak is a compact sit-on-top craft serving up a stable, comfortable platform as well — perfect for those wanting an easy to load sit-upon kayak. With the same twin-arched multi-chine hull of the Argo 100XR, it offers an uber-stable ride and is even easier to get on and off of since it’s an SOT. The first thing you’ll notice is its adjustable ErgoLounge seating system, with extra-thick cushioning and an extra high, wide padded backrest; you won’t want to get out of it.
But it’s as tough and light as it is comfortable. Built with additional flotation inside the hull for safety, its durable, high molecular density polyethylene (RAM-X) requires less material, so it weighs just 42 lbs., making it easy to carry. It will also take whatever you throw its way, absorbing any and all dings (even when my daughter speared a rock on shore). Another nice feature is its Exoshell 13L removable storage compartment, which lets you pack everything up at home and drop it into the tank well when you hit the water. That’s what we did on Pearl Lake, using its front storage platform and rear tank well (with bungee cords) for our coolers and food, and its molded-in holder for keeping bevvies at hand. Another nice feature is its anti-slip carpet/non-slip mat, that also easily accommodates pets. Other features include molded footrests, scupper holes for draining water, two paddle tie downs and carrying handles. $409.99
Sentinel 100XP Angler
The 10-foot, 45-lb. Sentinel 100XP Angler version carries all of its cousins features and more, as a fishing kayak complete with molded footrests, a smartphone holder with bungee cords, and paddle ties for hands-free reeling and dealing. It also comes with such fishing add-ons as 4-inch rigging tracks to install accessories and two recessed rod holders. And its ErgoCast seating system can be removed telling your fishing tale on the beach. A front storage platform and a tank well come equipped with bungee cords to lash down milk crates full of fishing gear and Pelican’s compatible ExoCrate fishing crate bag. Bonus: its twin-arched multi-chine hull provides the balance for casting and reeling, even while standing. And its maximum capacity is 300 lbs., so worry about the size of your catch.
$419.99. Info: https://pelicansport.com