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Product Reviews > Kayaks > Pelican International > Potomac Pathfinder 100 Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Potomac Pathfinder 100 Kayak by Pelican International

Rated: 8.71/10 Based On: 7 Reviews

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Submitted by: RMSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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.

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Submitted by: BESend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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?
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Submitted by: Kathleen DuRantSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     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.

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Submitted by: WillSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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.

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Submitted by: DJSSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     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.
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Submitted by: CRGSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     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.
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     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.

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