Pelican vs Lifetime Kayaks: Which Is Better For You?

Both Pelican and Lifetime make quality kayaks, but there are some key differences. Pelican specializes in high performance rough water boats and Lifetime offers affordable recreational boats.

Kayaking is becoming more and more popular as a recreational sport, sports, fishing, etc. With so many kayak options on the market, choosing among the top brands can be difficult. Pelican and Lifetime are his two major companies that stand out.

This detailed comparison report reveals the main similarities and differences between the Pelican and Lifetime his kayaks. We discuss builds, performance, features, pricing, and more. Read on to find out which brand is right for you.

Pelican International Kayaks

Lifetime kayam

Pelican International is a leading manufacturer of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards (SUP) and other water sports equipment. The company was founded in 1968 by owners Gerald Ellie and Remi Bernard. Pelican developed the technology to manufacture his seamless molded plastic kayaks in the 1970s.

The brand is currently headquartered in Irvine, California and operates a major manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina. Pelican uses a proprietary high-quality polyethylene plastic called RAM-X for the hulls of their kayaks. This unique formulation creates a boat that is impact resistant yet lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Many Pelican kayaks come with built-in or retractable hull skegs. Skegs improve directional stability and tracking, especially in windy conditions and rough waters. The brand’s kayak line includes recreational sit-ins, fishing sit-ins, pedal-powered boats, and premium sea kayaks.

Top-end models range in price from about $300 to over $3,000. Pelican kayaks are designed with performance and durability in mind. Their boats are suitable for paddling on lakes, rivers and coastal areas. Many serious kayak anglers and paddling enthusiasts prefer the Pelican for its quality construction and reliable performance in rough waters.

Notable Pelican Kayak Models

Pelican kayak

Pelican Argo 100X: This 10ft sitdown kayak has great stability and great tracking. A built-in skeg facilitates handling, and adjustable footpegs accommodate different sized paddlers. Storage space includes a rear fuel bay bungee, hatch, and dash tray. The price is around $450.

Pelican Catch 120: His popular 12-foot sit-on-top fishing kayak powered by pedals rather than paddles. Thanks to the pedal drive system, your hands are free and you can focus on fishing. Includes rod holders, hatches, adjustable seats, and storage space. The cost is approximately $1300.

Pelican Premium Sprint: Handcrafted high performance sea kayak with carbon infusion for light weight and strength. Developed for long distance paddling in difficult sea conditions. Starts at around $2500.

Lifetime Kayaks

Lifetime Products was founded in 1986 as a manufacturer of basketball hoops and other sporting goods. This privately held company has expanded into manufacturing sheds, tables, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and recreational equipment.

Lifetime doesn’t just specialize in water sports, but he’s grown into one of the largest manufacturers of polyethylene kayaks. The brand focuses on stability, ease of use, and affordability to appeal to beginner and intermediate paddlers.

The Lifetime Kayak features a UV-protected High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) hull. This durable plastic is highly impact resistant, but not as stiff as Pelican’s RAM-X material. Most Lifetime hulls have no skegs or fins, improving maneuverability at the expense of performance in windy or high wave conditions.

The company offers a wide range of recreational sit-in and sit-on-top kayak models. Many are designed for use in calm lakes and rivers, not rough seas. Expect prices for Lifetime high-end fishing kayaks to range from $200 to around $1,000. Boats are popular with hobbyists and families because of their low prices.

Notable Lifetime Kayak Models

Lifetime Tamarack Angler: A stable 10′ seat kayak perfect for lakes and calm rivers. Comfort is ensured by the padded seat and multiple footrest positions. Also includes bungee storage, rod holders, and bungee mounts for tackle and gear. Usually around $400.

Lifetime Payette 116: This 12 foot sit-inside kayak has plenty of stability and great tracking for beginners. It has a small shelf for small items and a bungee cord attachment for additional equipment. Usually costs less than $600.

Lifetime Yukon: His two-seater sit-on-top fishing kayak with standing stability. This 10ft kayak can carry up to 500lbs and features an adjustable seat, pole holders and gear storage. Great for tandem paddling and usually costs around $700.

Comparing Pelican vs Lifetime Kayaks

Now that you know a little bit about each brand, let’s do a head-to-head comparison of the major similarities and differences between Pelican kayaks and Lifetime kayaks.

Kayak Construction

Both Pelican and Lifetime manufacture their kayaks using polyethylene plastic for their hulls. This high density plastic is extremely robust and impact resistant. The polyethylene construction makes the kayak relatively affordable compared to other materials.

Pelican uses his 3-layer polyethylene with his proprietary RAM-X formulation designed for increased stiffness and durability. The Lifetime Kayak is made from marine grade HIS HDPE that is also UV stabilized. Pelican’s RAM-X hulls are generally stiffer and more impact resistant. However, both materials result in a strong and durable kayak construction.

Many mid-range to high-end Pelicans have skegs, or retractable fins. These allow the kayak to glide in a straight line without going off course. Lifelong kayaks often lack skegs or fins, which improves maneuverability but can affect tracking.

Stability and Performance

When it comes to stability and performance, the Pelican Kayak tops the list for experienced paddlers. The Pelican’s hull shape is designed for superior directional stability and excellent directional stability. This allows for efficient paddling without going off course, even in wind and waves.

The Lifetime Kayak has a wider, flatter hull shape. This provides excellent stability for beginners looking for a boat that is easy to balance. However, the Lifetime Kayak is not as well planned and flattened as the comparable Pelican model, as its wide hull does not cut cleanly through the water.

Comfort and Customization

Both brands of kayaks feature padded, adjustable seats for personal comfort. Pelican boats include options such as his Ergocast G2 seat with molded foam and ergonomic construction. Lifetime often uses high-back DuraBeam seats as lumbar support.

As for foot support, most Pelican models come with adjustable footrests to accommodate different leg lengths. The Lifetime Kayak features multiple molded footrest positions to suit a variety of paddlers.

When it comes to storage, both brands offer plenty of room to stash your gear. Shock cord rigging and bungees ensure extra deck supply.

Features and Extras

When it comes to included accessories and add-ons, Pelican kayaks are geared towards fishing and adventure. Angler models include rod holders, tackle tray, bait and tackle storage. Some Pelican models come with a rudder system for better control.

Lifetime kayaks come with extras like paddle holders, glove storage, and multiple carry handles. Their boats have more cup holders and space for small items for family rowing. However, serious anglers may seek more professional fishing.

Prices and Value

One of the biggest differences between Pelican and Lifetime is pricing. Pelican kayaks are priced at a premium, but are often more affordable than other high-end brands like Wilderness Systems. Prices range from around $300 for a basic recreational boat to his $3,000+ for a professional sea kayak.

Lifelong kayaks are generally much more affordable for casual enthusiasts and occasional paddlers. Their boats are about $200 for small basic models. Prices for large fishing kayaks and tandem lifetime kayaks range from $500 to about $1,000.

Extra cost creates added value due to Pelican’s special materials and high-quality construction. But Lifetime Kayak is affordable, so it’s a great option for beginners. Their boats are perfect for a low risk introduction to kayaking.

Availability and Purchasing Options

Pelican kayaks are available at outdoor stores like REI and kayak retailers. Sporting goods stores such as Dick’s carry a selection of Pelican models. Purchasing directly from Pelican allows you to customize the features of certain luxury boats.

Lifetime kayaks are sold at major retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Menards and Amazon. This wide distribution makes it easy to obtain. However, the in-store selection may be limited compared to buying at a watersports specialty store.

Pelican and Lifetime also work with third-party co-branded companies for promotional purposes. For example, Pelican worked with Cabela’s to develop a special edition Fishing his kayak. Costco also sells two packs of Lifetime Kayak under the brand name Body Glove.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have found some questions that people ask often. That’s why we decided to put some common questions and answers for you.

Is Pelican better than Lifetime kayaks?

These two are popular brands and have their own uniqueness. They both have lots of options for buyers. It is a little bit tuff to say the best one of them just seeing their overall structure.
As they offer lots of varieties that’s why it is impossible to judge the full brand by one or two products.

Is Lifetime a good brand?

They started their journey in 1986 and nowadays they are working hard to make their products top class. They are a sports company whois work to take your experience to the next level.

Is the Pelican kayak good for you?

Pelican is one of the most renowned and well-featured kayak brands in the market. They are well known for the quality and durability of their sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, and inflatable boats.

Is Lifetime kayak good?

A lifetime kayak is specially designed to be more comfortable and safe. A lifetime kayak is comparatively less expensive than other kayaks.

which kayak is better for you: Pelican kayak vs Lifetime kayak

When comparing the Pelican kayak vs Lifetime kayak, the hard shell Pelican kayak is a great choice for a kayak that is durable, best for rough waters, tracking, and more. But a Lifetime kayak is also valuable as money kayaking brand.

Choosing Between Pelican and Lifetime Kayaks

So which kayak brand is better, Pelican or Lifetime? As with most purchases, the “best” option depends on your specific needs and budget. Here are some key factors to help you decide if the Pelican Kayak or the Lifetime Kayak is right for you.

  • Kayak Style: The Pelican excels in a stiff, high-performance boat for paddling in rough seas and wind. Lifetime prioritizes stability and ease of use over tracking.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced paddlers looking to cover distances more efficiently may prefer the Pelican. Lifetime is suitable for beginners and casual hobbyists.
  • Primary Use: The Pelican’s specialty is fishing kayaks that can handle large bodies of water. For light recreational activities like paddling in a pond, the Lifetime model is sufficient.
  • BUDGET: Lifetime kayaks offer superior quality at a more affordable price. The Pelican Kayak is more expensive, but well worth it for the avid enthusiast.
  • Availability: Lifetime is widely distributed, making it convenient to purchase. Pelican availability is even more limited, but offers customization options.

If possible, take a personal test ride with different kayak models. This will help you evaluate comfort, handling and performance. Check out other users’ kayak reviews to narrow down your choices.

Research is required to find the right balance of quality, features, and affordability. But choose the perfect Pelican Kayak or Lifetime Kayak and you’ll be paddled with fun and confidence for seasons to come.

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