Are you looking for a new kayak but don’t know which one to choose? The market is flooded with brands and models, making it difficult to choose the one that suits your needs.
Two popular options (and rightly so!) are Pelican and Hobie brands of kayaks. I’ve owned Hobie kayaks as well as a couple Pelican ones so in this article, I’ll compare these two brands and some of their top models to help you determine which one is the right choice for you.
Pelican vs Hobie Kayaks: The Differences
I’m comparing the comfort level for both kayaks as well as maneuverability, weight and portability and much more:
Comfort is another important factor when choosing a kayak. Pelican kayaks are engineered for optimal comfort and support, with adjustable seats and footrests that accommodate any size. The Argo models have some awesome cushioned seats which I do love!
Meanwhile, Hobie kayaks offer luxurious, high-quality seating and adjustable lumbar support, ensuring you feel comfortable all day long. These are truly luxury kayaks!
Maneuverability in the water is crucial when selecting a kayak. Pelican kayaks feature a lightweight design, making them ideal for maneuverability. They are easy for beginners to handle and perfect for kayaking in shallow water.
However, Hobie kayaks are much larger and more stable, making them better for longer kayaking excursions and rougher waters.
#3. Fishing Features
Fishing enthusiasts will be happy to know that both Pelican kayaks and Hobie kayaks are excellent for fishing!
Pelican kayaks come with compartments and mounts for fishing rods and tackle boxes. Meanwhile, Hobie kayaks come with pedal systems, allowing you to navigate the water hands-free while fishing.
I prefer the pedal system which means my hands can now fully focus on holding my fishing rod and my favorite drink instead of worrying about paddling!
#4. Weight and Portability
Pelican kayaks are designed with portability in mind, making them easy to move around and transport. They come in lightweight designs that are easy to carry over long distances.
As far as Hobie kayaks go, they are much heavier due to their larger size and features, making them difficult to transport.
If you hate carrying heavy items or have arthritis and your arms can’t carry much, then you’ll want to consider Pelican kayaks heavily.
Pelican kayaks are known for their affordability. They are a great option for beginners or anyone on a tight budget.
Hobie kayaks are expensive but well worth it if you have the budget. They are high-end kayaks that come with a lot of features, making them the perfect option for professional kayakers who want a top-of-the-line product.
Lastly, versatility is an essential factor when selecting a kayak.
Pelican kayaks are excellent all-around kayaks and are versatile enough for different types of kayaking. They are perfect for recreational activities like exploring calm waters, fishing, or even kayaking in the ocean.
Hobie kayaks are also versatile; however, they are primarily designed for longer kayaking trips, fishing, and even racing. If you want adventure and long term comfort, opt for a Hobie!
Top 5 Recommended Pelican and Hobie Kayaks
Editor's All Around Pick!
Budget Friendly Fishing Kayak
To help you choose the perfect kayak, here are my top 5 tested (for over 25 hours) and recommended models from each brand:
#1. Hobie Mirage Passport
A lightweight, pedal-driven kayak perfect for recreational use and fishing. It’s perfect for anglers who want a paddle free experience and need their hands for fishing and comes with fishing rod holders and a livewell.
#2. Hobie Mirage Compass Tandem
This pedal-driven kayak is great for couples who want to explore together. It has a dual steering system and features two adjustable seats, as well as plenty of room for gear and supplies. It also includes two cup holders and a storage compartment.
#3. Pelican Argo 100XR
The 100xr is perfect for recreational use. It’s lightweight and easy to carry and features adjustable footrests and an ergonomic seat with adjustable lumbar support (that seat is one of the most comfortable kayaking seats I’ve sat on!)
It also comes with a storage hatch and bungee tie-down straps to secure your gear.
#4. Pelican Argo 100X
This fishing-specific kayak is perfect for novice anglers. It has adjustable footrests and an ergonomic seat for comfort, as well as several storage compartments for tackle and gear. It also includes two rod holders, a paddle holder, and four cup holders.
#5. Pelican Sentinel 100X
The Sentinel 100x is great for both recreational use and fishing. It’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, and features adjustable footrests and an adjustable seat with ergonomic support. It also comes with several storage compartments for gear and supplies, as well as two rod holders and a paddle holder.
Does Hobie Still Make and Sell Kayaks?
Yes, Hobie still makes and sells kayaks. They are renowned for their high-end designs and features, making them the perfect choice for professional kayakers who want a top-of-the-line product.
Are Pelican Kayaks Better Than Hobie Kayaks When It Comes to Materials?
The materials used in both Pelican and Hobie kayaks are of high quality.
However, the materials used in Hobie kayaks tend to be more durable and long-lasting than those used in Pelican kayaks. This means that a Hobie kayak is likely to last longer and perform better over time and for that reason, are higher priced as well and understandably so.
What Countries Are Pelican and Hobie Kayaks Manufactured In?
Pelican kayaks are manufactured in the US, Canada, and Europe where as Hobie kayaks are primarily designed and produced in the US. Both brands also have manufacturing facilities in China to meet international demand.
Which One is Easier for Portage?
Pelican kayaks are generally lighter and more compact, making them easier to transport and portage.
They also come with a carry handle at the stern for easy carrying. On the other hand, Hobie kayaks tend to be heavier and larger due to their features so they may not be as easy to carry around.
Sea Eagle vs Hobie: Which One is Better?
Both Pelican kayaks and Hobie kayaks are excellent kayaks.
It really will come down to your preferences, budget, and intended use.
Personally, I love Pelican kayaks because my dad owned them when I was growing up and I’ve made a lot of memories in them.
However, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the Hobie Mirage as well as the Island and they are some of the awesomest kayaks around, though not easily found.
With that said, if budget is no restriction and have you patience, then check out the Hobies. If you want a cheap but reliable kayak, then Pelicans are the shiznit!