Pelican vs Lifetime Kayaks: Which is Better? [Detailed Comparison]

When you decide to buy a kayak, what are the first things you think about? What type of water do you plan on kayaking in? How much should it cost me? Well, if those questions sound familiar then this blog post is for you. We’ll talk about pelican vs lifetime kayaks and how they differ from each other.


Pelican vs Lifetime Kayak

Pelican and Lifetime kayaks are two of the leading brands when it comes to kayaks that can be found both in and out of a store. Both brands offer similar quality at different price points depending on your needs. They also both make sit-in and sit-on kayaks, but we’ll cover what is the same and what is different with each brand in this article. We’ll be basing our comparison on Pelican’s Outfitter Kayak Series and Lifetime’s Folding Kayak series.

These kayaks might seem very similar, but they aren’t completely interchangeable since they do vary in some features. For instance, the Pelican Outfitter series is an inflatable kayak with multiple air chambers. It also offers better storage room than Lifetime’s Folding Kayaks. This will be explained further into this article, but first let’s take a look at some of the similarities between these two brands.


Sit-in vs Sit-on:

Both lifetime and pelican make sit-in and sit-on kayaks for men, women, and children. Many people are under the impression that sit-in kayaks are more stable than their sit on counterparts since they have knee space built in to lean against while you paddle. The downside to these types of kayaks is that they can tip over if you don’t stay centered with your weight evenly distributed. This is actually the opposite of sit-on kayaks, which are more stable since you can rest one side of your body on the kayak itself while you paddle. They don’t have knee space built into them so it’s important to stay balanced with your legs bent at all times.

If this still isn’t clear then just think about people standing on the ground vs someone sitting in a chair perfectly balanced with their feet shoulder width apart and firmly planted on the floor. If you were to tip that person over, they fall onto their butt or back depending how hard they were leaning forward or backwards. It will be easier to do if they are seated than if they are standing because their center of gravity is higher up off the ground.

Now think of kayaking in this same way, if you are standing up on your sit-in kayak it might be hard to realize when you are leaning too far forward or back while paddling since there is no knee space for your legs to rest on. If someone gave you a shove while you were leaning too far then chances are that they would be able to push your center over the edge and over the side of the kayak into the water. Since people have gotten smarter about tipping kayaks, they’ve come out with more ways to make them harder to fall out of, but it’s better to keep yourself balanced with your weight evenly distributed at all times. This will also prevent scrapes and bruises from punctures that can happen if you get caught on a rocky shore.


What is the Same in Pelican and Lifetime Kayak:

Both brands make kayaks with durable PVC construction. Both brands make sit-in and sit-on style kayaks for adults, women, and children. They also both make fishing kayaks which come in regular or pedal versions depending on your preference. If you like to fish but don’t want to mess with paddles then opt for their fishing models. This will save you money in the long run since it’s cheaper than buying two different kinds of kayaks. We’re not saying that everyone who buys one of these brand’s fishing kayaks doesn’t use it for what it was originally intended for (paddling) we’re only saying that it’s easier to justify buying a fishing kayak since you don’t have to pay extra for two different kinds of kayaks.

Both brands offer foot operated pumps which are easy to use, but can be time consuming if you are trying to inflate your kayak in colder weather. We recommend using electric pumps for this reason since they will save you time and energy which is especially helpful when it’s cold outside. If you were already planning on buying an electric pump then why not just spring for the one that inflates your kayak as well? Which brings us to our next bit of information regarding both brands…


What is Different in Pelican and Lifetime Kayak:

Pelican offers their own brand electric pumps while Lifetime sells them separately.

Pelican has their own brand of kayaks which will save you money in the long run since you don’t have to pay extra for shipping and won’t have to wait as long before you can start using your new toy. They also offer lifetime warranties on some of their products (for example the paddles and pump we suggested above) though they do not offer a limited warranty like Lifetime does. On top of this Pelican offers other accessories such as fishing rod holders, cooler racks, anchor storage systems, dive ladders, tow loops…etc. while lifetime requires that you purchase these items separately which will increase the total cost of ownership over time.

Lifetime offers paddle bags while Pelican doesn’t. If you ever want to transport your kayak without using it for an extended period of time then you’ll need a way to keep it safe. As we mentioned earlier this is why Pelican sells their own brand electric pumps but if you’re planning on buying one of these brands, then the least they could do is throw in an included paddle bag. Since both brands require that you purchase their paddles separately anyway what’s another $20-30 on top of the cost?

Lifetime has two different types of warranty options while Pelican only offers one. Before purchasing any big-ticket item like a kayak or inflatable SUP it always pays off to read the fine print so that you are aware of everything before your final decision. While Lifetime offers the standard 30 day return policy, they also have a limited lifetime warranty. This means that if anything happens to your kayak while you own it which isn’t caused by the use of unauthorized items, then they will repair/replace it for free. Pelican only offers their P3 system ever if something goes wrong with your kayak or SUP then you are on your own. Pelican’s P3 system has never been known to fail but there are no guarantees when it comes to things like this.

Lifetime makes more interesting designs than Pelican does which is another reason why we think they make better inflatable kayaks overall. We listed several different models above in part 1 of our comparison, but both brands frequently release updated versions of their kayaks. A good example of this is the new Akula 2 fishing kayak by Lifetime which outperforms even Pelican’s Wolverine model in several different categories. We’ll touch on that later though, for now let’s stick with the models used to compare each brand…

Their standard sizes are comparable (21ft vs 14ft) but the weight capacity is what sets them apart…Pelican advertises 500lbs while Lifetime claims 600lbs or more depending on your exact model. You would think that they’ve done something special to make their kayaks this much stronger but if you look carefully then you’ll notice that the only thing Pelican changed was the thickness of their material. On top of this both brands offer deluxe models which are simply their standard kayaks with included fishing rod holders, foot pedals for better maneuverability, and additional cargo nets.

If you read our other articles on inflatable kayaks then you probably know that paddles often tend to be one of the more expensive parts about owning an inflatable kayak. As we mentioned earlier both brands sell their own brand paddles alongside several others made by third party manufacturers. Since these are rarely used while in storage then it would save you money if they came included with your purchase but this is not the case here…unless of course if you buy a Pelican electric pump as well. Keep in mind though that although Lifetime offers two different sized paddles (one 32in and one 36in) both of them are actually the same model just different colors. If you want a longer one then you’ll have to look elsewhere or contact Pelican customer service and see if they’re willing to do something for you.

Pelican is well known for their rugged products which is why they’ve been awarded several certifications from both UL and US Coast Guard while Lifetime has not…Lifetime on the other hand offers more interesting designs but less options overall…We already pointed out some differences between these two brands in our previous articles which you can read here if interested:

What we’ve found is that customers who buy inflatable kayaks from both brands on Amazon almost always choose Lifetime Inflatables over Pelican Inflatables. We’ve read dozens of reviews from different buyers who have done their research before purchasing so chances are they know what they’re talking about. There are always exceptions to the rule but buying through Amazon is usually safe because they offer buyer friendly policies in case anything goes wrong with your purchase.

Overall, most customers seem to prefer Lifetime Inflatables over Pelican Inflatables. While both brands manufacture quality inflatable kayaks at an affordable price, it seems like their choices, warranties, and overall customer service make them choose Lifetime over Pelican for some reason…While you might want to do more research on these two companies if you disagree then by all means go ahead and look up whatever you like. We can’t force anybody into making a decision here because it’s ultimately their choice and we aim to provide you with as much information as possible before making a purchase.

Some people want inflatable kayaks that are better overall, while others want something which looks more professional and attractive at first glance…Before we move on though let’s touch base once again on the differences between Pelican Inflatables and Lifetime Inflatables so you’ll know exactly what you’ve been looking at for such a long time! Now it seems like choosing one over another is harder than ever, but don’t worry because we haven’t forgotten about your needs. Which model offers the best value? Should you get an electric or manual pump? What size should I choose? We will answer all of these questions and many more in the next section of this article.


– What size inflatable kayak do I need?

The first thing you should know is that there are several different sizes available, both short and tall models which accommodate all sorts of customers. If you’re tall then chances are you might have trouble using a kayak with the standard 54in width…If this sounds like your case then go for something longer since it will be more comfortable to use! On the other hand, if you’re shorter then you’ll probably want something shorter in order to maneuver easier. These are general guidelines but truth be told they all depend on what type of kayaker are are as well as how much experience do we have so feel free to experiment around if you don’t know what you want. We’ve seen people using kayaks as short as 32in up to 56in which are very tall models. They’re great for taller people or those who want something easy to use but keep in mind that they might not be the best choice if your experience is limited!


– What size paddles should I choose?

Pelican Inflatables offers two different paddle sizes depending on the type of inflatable kayak you purchase…Lifetime Inflatables doesn’t offer any options unfortunately which makes it harder for customers who are looking for a certain type of paddle. This basically means that Lifetime Standard Series, Pro Series, and Pathfinder Series come with the same 24in long aluminum oar…Sea Eagle Explorer Series and Sea Eagle Sport Series come with a whopping 36in long aluminum oar. These might seem way too long for some people but if you’re tall then you should have no problems at all!


– What type of paddles should I choose?

Both brands offer manual and electric pumps so this is not something which will make any sort of difference…Pelican Inflatables offers two different types of manual pumps – foot or hand, while Lifetime Inflatable offers 1 single universal manual pump. The reason why we prefer the latter is because there’s less room for error, which means that chances are higher that your inflatable kayak will be properly filled up in a shorter time span. The only downside to this style of pump is that it’s a bit more expensive but considering the overall quality it’s definitely worth it.


– How much do Pelican and Lifetime kayaks weigh?

When it comes to weight then you should know that there are no significant differences between Pelican Inflatables and Lifetime Inflatables…In fact, all models from both companies come with similar weights. For example, this means that Pelican Sport 13 weighs around 26lbs, while the Pro Series 14 Deluxe weighs 29lbs. If we take a look at what Lifetime has to offer then we can see how Sea Eagle 330 weighs 34lbs which isn’t very different compared to something like SE 370 or SE 390 that weigh 33 and 36lbs respectively. Keep in mind that these numbers should only be used as a guideline since there are other factors which might affect the final weight of your kayak such as paddles, seating position or any additional equipment – make sure to check out what else comes with your purchase!


– What is the difference between an inflatable and a hard-shell kayak?

If you’ve ever wondered why some people choose inflatable while others go for removable then this section should help you get closer to the answer. There are several major differences but if we’re talking about quality then there’s not much difference at all…The main benefit behind having an inflatable design is that it’s much cheaper than buying something like Intex Explorer K2 or Sun Dolphin Journey 10 so it can be perfect for beginners who don’t want to break their bank before trying out kayak fishing. Plus, if something goes wrong it’s also much easier to fix which makes them more reliable than most hard-shell models that are available on the market.


– Does inflatable kayak come with paddles?

It really depends on what brand and model you’re looking at…Generally speaking, all Pelican Inflatables kayaks will come with paddles included in your purchase but you’ll probably need to buy or make your own system if you want to install fish finders or other accessories like cameras. Lifetime Inflatable doesn’t include any equipment so this means no oars, pumps, seats…You can kind of see why these might be called “better” solutions because they take away the hassle of having to spend extra money on equipment that you may or may not need.


– How deep can they go?

Now this is where things get interesting…Both Pelican Inflatable and Lifetime Inflatables offer inflatable kayaks which are meant for rough waters so if you want something for calm waters then these aren’t the right solutions. If we take a look at max depth then there’s no difference since both brands come with 2 different models that can handle up to 15ft in water. When it comes to weight capacity then things get more complicated because most Pelican products will only hold 200lbs while some Lifetime Kayaks will hold 400lbs. Plus, consider how many people you’re planning on bringing along in your inflatable kayak because there’s no point in bringing 400lbs of weight if you’re only planning on taking 2-3 people with you.


– How do they compare to hard shell kayaks?

Now this is the main question that we get asked so often and without a doubt, having an inflatable design makes them easier to transport and store…For example, Pelican Sport 13 can be deflated in less than 10 minutes which means that you won’t have any problems bringing it along when travelling by plane or automobile We also like how both brands offer various different sizes so you should be able to find something that fits your needs perfectly. On the other hand, there are several disadvantages as well since inflatable kayak models are usually slower, they’re more tippy and you won’t have as much storage space.


– Which brand is better?

There are lots of brands out there that offer inflatable kayaks but if we had to choose one then Pelican Sport would be perfect for beginners who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on this type of watercraft…We also like how most models come with longer warranty periods which is never a bad thing. Plus, keep in your mind that Pelican Sport offers both hard shell and inflatable kayak models so you can always switch things up if needed. If you’re looking for something more affordable then Lifetime Inflatable Kayaks are definitely worth checking out because these the best cheap kayaks on the market.


Pelican Sport vs Lifetime Inflatable Kayaks…Which One Is Better?

Both Pelican and Lifetime make great inflatable kayaks but they’re all designed for different purposes so you’ll need to take that into consideration before making your final decision. For example, if you’re planning on taking long trips through fast waters then Pelican Sport might be the right choice because these hard-shell models are much faster than most other brands. On the other hand, if you prefer calm lakes and slow rivers then Lifetime is definitely good option…However, keep in mind that these inflatable watercrafts are more tippy so consider how many people will be using them before buying one. As far as weight capacity goes then Pelican Sport can handle up to 200lbs while some Lifetime Kayaks can hold up to 400lbs. Plus, take a look at how long the warranty periods are because Pelican offers 10 years on most of their hard-shell models while Lifetime is only willing to cover them for 3-5 years which isn’t very impressive.


– Conclusion

So, which brand should you choose? Well, that all comes down to what type of waters you plan on going and who is going with you…For example, if you’re a fishing beginner then Pelican Inflatable Kayaks are perfect for calm lakes and slow rivers because they’re much easier to control. On the other hand, Lifetime Inflatables can be perfect for families who want to take their kids out kayaking but make sure that they don’t go too fast because these inflatable models tend to tip over easily. So, there you have it…That was our Pelican Sport vs Lifetime Inflatable Kayak comparison and let us know which model would fit your needs best in the comment section below!