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Reviews for Pamlico 100 Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 9.04/10 Based On: 46 Reviews


Pamlico 100 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Length: ' " - Starting at: $
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07-29-2013
Submitted by: BSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Buying a kayak is a lot like buying a car. There are a lot of things to consider. I wasn't planning to cruise around in it all day. The kayak I have is a Wilderness Systems, Pamlico 100. It is only 10' long, but I had to consider size due to transport. It fits good in my truck.

I choose the Pamlico so I could fish out of it without being cramped. There has to be enough room to stow the tackle, anchor, and bait if carried. It fit the bill after I looked under the hood. The seat has to be comfortable, since I like to stay out all day. It is not like a car seat, but it is somewhat comfortable. I made sure there was room to put accessories on, like fish locator, rod holder, rubber paddle holders, anchor and rope tie on's. There is enough room in the back for lunch bag and battery box.

It isn't easy twisting half my body around to open the hatch, but somehow I do. Lucky the hatch cover has a tie down. I looked for a sporty outdoor color and got army green. It goes well with the murky water I fish in. The yak is made of tough poly so it takes rock landings well that scar the bottom.

The yak is tough, stylish and works well for fishing. I have fished out of this yak for 10 years and never complain. Who would listen anyway? A bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office. My yak gets good gas mileage and the wife doesn't fit in it. Only kidding. I take her picture.

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07-27-2013
Submitted by: JOHN KUNASCHKSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     This is a great kayak for the lazy river. It trails in the water great. I found the only problem is mine came without a drain hole, I had to install one myself
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07-27-2012
Submitted by: G TSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great Kayak. I use mine about 10 times each summer on the local lake and once or twice on a longer trip, and I'm in a cold climate. I have never flipped it and I have even gone diving from it in the middle of the lake and climbed back in. I recently did a 30km route in one day and usually I do 10-20km island hoping days with this kayak. The thing beaches fine and climbing out is no problem. I'm sure there are faster ones but for this size and weight and stability this is great. I live in a building and 10ft is the max you can fit through the doors.
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06-25-2012
Submitted by: P.D.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought this two years ago and use it every day I can. I live two blocks from a beach and drive a Toyota Matrix. My front passenger seat folds flat and I can slide this 10-foot beauty right up to the dashboard. I leave the rear hatch up and strap the kayak inside. Ease of transport, good handling, an all-round beautiful boat at a great price. This Pamlico 100 makes my summer.
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05-23-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     great rec sit-in kayak, light weight, solid build, comfort, easy open hatch, bulkheads, paddles well for what it is, stable very open for a sink, great seat.
Cons: models with added bulk heads make drain plug ineffective. A ten with an extra plug added.

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11-15-2010
Submitted by: CarlSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Pam10 is ideal for me because I needed one short enough to fit in my condo's service elevator and able to take my 6'4" comfortably and light enough for me to pick up a set it on top of my 2" lifted SUV.

I was very pleased that this compromise kayak was not labor intensive. It tracks great with easy paddling but when I start leaning into it for speed it does have some yawing but pushing on the foot pegs while padding counters this. The big cockpit is wet so I use a skirt which allows Cls1 w/o banking and dumping. I have not had it in ClsII, I expect that would be exciting. It is stable; I have pulled alongside a canoe to assist a paddler in getting back in and took some water but not even enough to bail. I was able to lean it with the cockpit flange touching the water and felt stable.

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09-09-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have paddled my pamlico 100 for several years, crashed it against thousands of rocks, "schooched" through many shallow rocky areas, and have just generally "put it through the wringer "in up to class 3 rapids. It is awesome. I can not say enough good things about this great kayak. An amazing boat for the money.
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09-07-2010
Submitted by: FaulknerSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Pamlico 100 is one of three different kayaks I bought last winter for me and my two sons. The Pam 100 is the best of the three for calm water touring and class I rapids. The rear storage area bulkhead is not fully water proof, but after a couple of trips I added a good deal of clear silicon sealer on both sides of the bulkhead and it's pretty much 99% leak free, but I still put items that need to be kept dry in a dry bag. The Orbix Stern Hatch does seem to be 100% water tight. The storage area also gives a good bit of floatation should you swamp the kayak.

This kayak is very comfortable even after a long day of paddleing and the knee pads are a plus. It tracks extremely well. The cockpit is pretty large at 47.5 x 22. The large cockpit has it's positives and negatives. On the plus side, it's big enough for my border collie to ride along with me without her being right up in my face. She had a blast on all day float on Arkansas's Buffalo River.

On the negative side, the big cockpit takes on water over the bow pretty easily. I know, it's not designed for whitewater, but I've had it in Class III's several times and though she handles well, if the bow dips under the water any at all you are going to get a lapful. You pretty much have to bank and dump after every patch of rough water. This is definitely a wet boat. (I've got a skirt coming, we'll see if that helps some).

It's a good, solid kayak. Definitely more solidly built than a Pelican or even a Old Town.

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07-23-2010
Submitted by: Anton NSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have the 2010 version of the Pamlico 100. In my area, every one opts for the Pungo 120 and for good reason, it's a great boat. But for me, I think the Pam 100 is a better fit. From ease of solo portability to agile turns in a pinch, I'm glad I made this choice. As stable as the dock itself, and with proper paddle technique, it will track like a gem.

I prefer the compact version to things anyway (I'm 5'9"), a Jeep Wrangler instead of a Grand Cherokee and that kind of thing... agility was key for me as a beginner.

I give it an 8 because the decking is just so so. Nothing that additional decking mod can't fix! Also, the rear bulkhead is NOT waterproof. A little water seeps in occasionally. Maybe I can fix by adding more bulkhead goop? Oh and what's with the drain plug in the stern (storage compartment) & not the bow?? Still a great boat. Highly recommended!

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07-30-2009
Submitted by: frank beifusSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I love this little vessel. In Florida, except for the Swannie River, it's all flat water. The St Johns flows north and I can easily paddle against the current and pretty fast..big boats pass and I cut through the wakes like butter. The spray skirt is a good idea, but it would get really hot. For getting through lillypads and small tributaries it's stealthy; just what the dr. ordered. I paid $300 and change a few years back and I can say its the best $300 I ever spent.
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07-06-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Palm 100 is the first boats my family has owned. We bought 3, as we wanted an activity that we could do as a family. The Palm 100 is a sweet, stable boat. beginners will feel as if they have 'yaked before, as it is very easy to master this boat. Our use is on a 150 acre pond, flat water, and the Saco river in NH.

This boat can carry enuff stuff for an army. I plan to purchase bulkheads for the storage areas, and dry bags for the fronts. Fishing is easy from these boats too, as they are soooo stable. We have 84" paddles, that are the 'economy' style...on the cheap. they work well, but I could see where spending the $$$ on a better paddle could pay off.

Highly recommend this stable, sturdy boat.

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06-23-2009
Submitted by: scubawingerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Pamlico 100 for 2 1/2 years now and I can say that I have put this thing through the wringer. I have paddled everything from glass smooth lakes to class III rapids. My only complaint is that this boat needs more flotation for rapids. I do suggest that you get a spray skirt before you do any rapids even class I because this boat will flood easy with such a large cockpit. The sprayskirts that are available for this boat don't seal very well and will cave in with about a liter of water on it. I just keep my knees up against it to make the water run off instead of pool up. I am 6'1" and 260lbs and am very comfy in it. It floats me very well as is but I worry about losing the boat when I turn over in the rapids, that's why I say it needs more flotation. My last suggestion is a drain plug. If you paddle then the boat will get water in it and holding it over your head and sloshing it back and forth to get the water out is not the best way to do it believe it or not.
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05-04-2009
Submitted by: talk2dtSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After several years of renting and reading the paddling.net reviews I finally decided on the Pam. $329.00 at Dicks Sporting goods and my Mango river runner was ready for action. I've added a $40.00 bulkhead to the rear so my gear won't wash to the front in case of a roll.

I've taken her out 6 times so far and couldn't be more pleased with her performance. Mostly river runs in the northern NC mountains. I weigh 250 so the added carrying capacity comes in handy. She turns on a dime and tracts well enough on the calm water as long as you keep your speed up.

If you want a easy transportable boat that works well on calm and whitewater you won't regret this purchase decision. Class 3 rapids or an evening on the pond, this is your boat. Buy it, then rinse and repeat.

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04-28-2009
Submitted by: JonathanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my first yak and I absolutely love it! It is super stable and I was comfortable right away. So was my wife who has zero boating experience of any kind. I bought it initially for the large cockpit and width because I planned on taking my 2 year old son with me on the local lakes and calm waters. It works perfectly with my son aboard and he sits very low and comfortably. I have since added and anchor trolley and anchor, paddle clips, rod holder, and dry bag storage. That's the other thing... the storage space is huge for a ten footer. I plan on taking my tent and camping gear soon. I spend a lot of time in creeks and rivers and this boat is perfect. It has enough speed to get upstream with ease, maneuverability to 360 in its own length, and storage capacity to carry whatever I need. I have fished from it several times and find that it fishes quite well. It is quite simply a fantastic all-around boat. I will probably pickup a touring boat at some time for Lake Erie and for long distance speed, but I am never getting rid of this boat. It is so easy to throw it up on the roof or through the back window of our SUV that it will always be my "go to" boat. Beginner or not you will enjoy this boat.
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02-27-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I own this kayak... it's a beauty!!! It has many great features such as: wide cockpit also lengthy. Has knee rest, you can adjust your pegs without having to reach all the way down. Has outstanding amount of storage room (More than most tourings). Seat is the most comfortable I've ever been in (I've been in a lot of kayaks). The weight cap is a + 300lbs.

I do a lot of creeks, rivers with logs, and lakes and it's small enough to get out of trouble and big enough to go into the wide open. My best suggestion when buying a paddle would be to get the 230cm because of the width of the cockpit. Great deal for the money!!!

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12-31-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Inexpensive entry-level kayak that's great to learn the basics in, or just have some fun in protected waters. I bought one for my teenage son and he was comfortable in it right away, lots of initial stability and easy to paddle. I took it out for a spin and was pleased with how easy it is to turn yet it's not hard to keep it going in a straight line, nor does it feel sluggish for being 30" wide (note: you may find a 230cm paddle is better suited for this boat than 220).

You can fit a surprising amount of gear in it if you want to, and a 20L drybag can be squeezed in forward of the footpegs. Austin Kayak sells a $39 bulkhead kit if you want to convert the stern to dry storage. The Phase3 seat and other features are the same as you will find on W.S.'s touring boats. I think the cockpit is a little too big especially for a slim teenager, but at the same time that makes it comfortable if you have long legs and easy to get in and out, and you can carry your lunch and fishing gear for a day out on the lake.

As a testament to how versatile this little boat is, we took it on a 26-mile day paddle, and although my boy had a little trouble keeping up with the sleeker kayaks, he and the Pamlico did just fine, both on choppy and flat water. Well-made, fun and cheap -- due to the good value of this model and ease of carrying/loading, I am considering getting another one just for pokeboating on easy rivers and bays.

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09-09-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I would like to start with thanking the people who reviewed this kayak it was very helpful in my search for my first kayak and I couldn't be more happy. I was looking at getting a pelican 100 until I seen one, the hatch has no seal and looked very cheap. Then I seen the Wilderness Systems kayaks and fell in love, phase 3 seat is very comfy, sealed hatch. Easy adjustable footrests what more could u ask for this kayak tracks nice and it moves through the water like a dream. I live near a fast river and I had no problem going up stream at all. I bought a Werner paddle and my yak for 612 tax included and its worth every cent.

If you're looking for a 10 footer that tracks good, looks great, moves through the water nice and has plenty of room for a day out water you will not find a better kayak for your money then this one. I seen someone say this yak tracks bad; maybe their's had a defect or they need more skill, I've been out twice in a Swifty 9.5 once in my w.s.100 and I have no problem keeping my yak strait and can't wait to go out again.

I know I made the right choice and won't need to look for a new kayak for years to come. So thank you everyone who wrote reviews you made me a very happy yaker...

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09-04-2008
Submitted by: BruceSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Ok, the Pamlico 100 is a great flat water kayak and we are very happy with them but, DON'T take them on rivers with class II/III white water rapids! Of course they weren't designed for rapids but we thought we would try them anyway, DON'T! With the open cockpits and limited flotation and maneuverability, you will certainly wet exit. Overall they are great kayaks at a reasonable price.
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08-12-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have the rotomolded plastic Pamlico 100, and love it. I wanted a kayak that could handle me at the paddle with my 6 year old or my dog seated in front of me, and that would also make a good first kayak for my daughter when she gets older. This is it. The kayak is very stable without feeling like a tank.

Another advantage of this particular kayak is that I am 5'8" tall and about 150 pounds and feel pretty comfortable picking up the kayak and putting it over a shoulder to carry it to the shore when I'm on my own. At 42 pounds, it's heavy, but the padded knee and thigh brace system on the Pamlico also provides decent padding for a shoulder carry.

The seat dries wonderfully quickly, which is nice when a wet dog or child is your kayaking companion. I also find it fun to paddle, and surprisingly fast. Given my needs, this kayak was a great choice. I plan to keep it for a long time.

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07-18-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had a canoe for 30 years, and rented kayaks before, but this is the first kayak I've owned. I'm impressed with this kayak, I've had it out on the mild stretches of the Chattahoochee river and a small lake, and was impressed with both the stability and the tracking. It feels stable and gives a feeling of confidence and the large cockpit makes entry easier than other sit-in kayaks. I've also purchased a bulkhead kit from Austin Kayak so I can seal off the rear hatch, and also got a Harmony fishing console that fits well on the front. If you want a low priced kayak to get you started so you can do river or small lake touring then this is a great kayak to do it in. Highly recommended! This feels like a sports car compared to my canoe and easily fits in the back of my pickup truck.
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06-23-2008
Submitted by: dan1990Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I just got my new Pam100 Tuesday, and I've taken it out twice. Super fun, and I can't imagine it being beaten for the price I paid. Love it. Dave at D&D Outfitters in Cincinnati is the MAN! I 100% recommend getting your kayak there. Service was well worth the minimal shipping cost I paid.

Anyway, my bud has a Perception Carolina 14.5, and while his is a GREAT boat, mine does just fine alongside for 1/3 the price. I shopped around a LOT online, and decided to go for a good, inexpensive boat to make sure I stick to the sport. Well, I love it, and my boat's just fine for me right now.

Initial stability is great (better than his) and secondary stability is good too -- I even jumped out to swim and could climb back in easily (I'm sure I looked graceful doing it too--yeah, right). Fit and finish is nice. Plastic isn't as nice as my bud's big smooth Carolina, but plenty strong. Seat is comfortable enough, but improved greatly when I put my PFD behind me.

Tracks well for a short boat, but does slightly zigzag due to its short length. Very maneuverable. Will be great for running rivers (I've only been on lakes so far). Note: cockpit is huge. Most newbies will like that because there's no claustrophobia, but you will end up wet with this boat unless you're real careful (I'm not) or have a spray skirt (I don't). Super convenient and easy to pack around. I have to help my buddy load his on his roof rack after I've thrown mine in the bed of my truck. ;)

If you want cool looks or bells and whistles like dry hatches or more bungees to not use, go spend more money. But if you're looking to get into the sport and want an inexpensive boat that's well made and performs well, this is a excellent choice.
Happy paddling!

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06-10-2008
Submitted by: RickSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my second review of this Red Pamlico 100 kayak. Again, this is my first kayak. We just spent the week at Barren River Lake. The wind was around 15-20mph, and the waves were whitecapping. The waves were as big as I have ever seen them on this lake, and I have camped at this lake every summer for 34 years. The wind and the waves barely affected me. I am 6'1" and 220lbs, and I could just sit in my kayak and act as a bobber, and could not be tipped, even without use of any muscles.

My 6 and 10 year old girls took turns climbing onto the bow and diving into the water. What fun!! Very easy to maintain stability.

I then got into my newly purchased Pelican Ultimate DLX 100, which my 19-year-old son just loves (it is also his first kayak), and I was immediately struck by the feeling that I was going to tip over. The Pelican Ultimate forced me to lean left, or right, I could not just sit like in my Pamlico. That would be fine if it didn't hurt my back to lean all the time.

My wife and I are going to Nashville, 60 miles away, tomorrow to buy a blue Pamlico 100. I LOVE MY KAYAK!!!

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05-28-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just purchased the Pamlico 100 Red from the local Gander Mountain for $427 + tax. They also gave a $50 coupon to be used at Gander Mountain, so I picked up a BendingBranches Whisper 240cm basically for free, as its price was $49.99.

I took it down Trammel Creek into Drakes Creek which finally spills into the Barren River in Bowling Green, KY. This is my first kayak, and I loved it. Knee padding was a must for me. I'm 6'1" and 220 lbs. and I had lots of room and found it to be very stable. I had no problem keeping up with my friend who was in a Dagger Element 10.0 on our paddle up the creek. I wish it had a bulkhead, but I'm not going to do any rapids anyway. There is ample room for my dog to sit on a towel in between my legs.

I gave it a 9 because the Pamlico, apparently like all kayaks with a cupholder, has its cupholder placed a little to close to my groin. It forces me to sit up a little straighter then I would like to. Please understand though, that I am wanting to use this kayak as almost a LazyBoy recliner as I float down the creek. I lay my legs along the rim of the cockpit and just enjoy the ride. Wow, what leisure.

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05-24-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a great beginner kayak. Everyone has pretty much covered everything I wanted to say, but I will add that I too experienced the hull bending in when strapping it to the top of my car. It does not seem to be a problem though because it returns to its original shape as soon as I release the straps. The owners manual suggests that if you do experience a hull deformity you can place it outside in the sun and it should regain its original shape.
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04-11-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     WOW! okay so I have been looking around for a starter kayak for the past year and half. I've been using a Sevylor inflated kayak, and although that has been fun and portable, I soon got sick of not being able to kayak normally.

I had a limited budget to work with so I was just going to go with a Pelican Pursuit 100 or a Victory Blast. But after trying those 2 out at the store, I decided my 6ft frame was a bit cramped in those little kayaks. Now the Pamlico is no 12 footer...but the 10 feet is plenty long for me! So I spent $350 on a beautiful Smoke blue (cloud design) of the Pamlico. It was definitely love at first sight. I definitely trust Wilderness Systems over others as my beginner kayak.

I just got back from paddling it around... the winds were gusting around 30 MPH at the local lake and the waves were pounding. But I actually was able to stay in a straight line and the kayak remained really stable!!! I had no trouble paddling it. Like one lady said... switching from an inflatable to a hardshell is definitely like going from a Honda to a Porsche!

***This kayak has great tracking and the speed is fine by me. But I'm only a beginner so I don't have a ton to compare to. But if you're just getting into the sport and don't want to get a Walmart quality kayak...then get a Wilderness System Pamlico 100!! It's definitely worth it!!!

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11-02-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     For what it was designed for, this boat is as good as it gets. It's my first kayak, so I wanted one that would be stable, handle well, store easily (leaned up against the garage wall), and that I could (literally) throw into the back of my pickup to hit the mountain lakes or the river through town on my way home from work. It does all of this well.

It tracks well and paddles easily, although the laws of physics limit speed. The cockpit is roomy, so neophytes like me are able to get comfortable without feeling claustrophobic. It also was tame enough that it got my wife interested in kayaking. I agree with a previous reviewer that it seems a little funny to have an access hatch to the stern when there's no bulkhead behind the seat, but what the heck, it looks cool...

My wife and I have other kayaks now, but will keep the Pamlico for friends or just to play around in. If I were rating it just as a beginner's boat, it would be a 10, but nothing is perfect...

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06-15-2007
Submitted by: JeffGSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my WS Pamlico 100 two years ago and realized after the first trip I was a genius. My first outing was in early May. A sunny morning with calm winds and only a few fishing boats on Delavan Lake. After a long winter missing the paddling I did the perfectly normal thing and cruised the length of the lake. (did I mention my IQ level?) After covering the 4 to 5 miles (approx) down wind (did you know wind can sneak up on you?) I turned back into a stiff breeze of perhaps 10 - 15 mph. It was then I realized what a great purchase I had made. The boat tracked true and I made steady headway with minimal water intake from the 1-2 foot waves being created by mother nature. Did I mention the few fishing boats? Well, by this time, since the temp had risen into the mid 70s I was joined by some 20 - 25 ft. power boats that also were assisting mother nature in challenging my wisdom of a 5 hour trip the first time out for the season. When I finally arrived at my friends home, I rested in the boat for about 10 minutes before attempting to exit onto terra firma. The large cockpit made this an easy job for this 57 year old.
All in all, a great kayak for the money. A real 10 out of 10.

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04-03-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I just picked on of these up as my first sit in. Price was good, under 450, boat seems fast and tracks well. Even though its a 10 ft boat its very comfortable and stable, I actually fit in it better than the Perception Pungo 12. Drawback: There is no sealed bulkhead, but there is top acsess.
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04-02-2007
Submitted by: BobSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have really enjoyed the Pamlico for the 2 years that I've had it. It tracks well on flat water and is very stable. This is a great introductory boat. I have the model with the padded seat. It's really comfortable. Recently I've taken the boat on Class 2-3 whitewater. This boat just pounds through the waves. NRS sells a very effective spray skirt for this boat.. a must if your going out on a river or creek. The draw cord on the skirt makes for a nice fit, but never too tight so you won't separate from the boat if you flip. I haven't had much trouble with bending during transportation. I load my boat opening down onto Thule load bars.
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01-26-2007
Submitted by: RandySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have a Pungo 120 that I really enjoy. My son bought the Pamlico 100 this past summer. We have made several day trips on calm lakes. He loves his boat. Only problem, if we are paddling all out, he really has to fight to keep up with me.(How often do we need to paddle all out?) The trade off though, we took them for a day trip in a shallow river that runs through our county. In my Pungo 120, I got stuck on the rocks 6-8 frustraiting times and had to climb out to free myself. He, in the Pamlico 100, got stuck once, and was able to free himself by scooting. His feet stayed dry and warm, mine were cold and wet. I am going to get myself a second boat, the Pamlico 100.
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08-07-2006
Submitted by: LindaSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently bought my Pamlico 100 and have used it five times. Kayaking is new to me and I love it. It is easy to get in and out of. Lots of room for dry bag and lots of leg room. Tracks very straight and not too heavy to move around. I added two plastic cleats to it, one in front and one in back to tie things off to it. I absolutely love it. I live in Florida and we have tons of places to use kayaks. Awesome!
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06-29-2006
Submitted by: WurstSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     They say first impressions are everything. The Pamlico 100 made one on me! I'll qualify this review by stating I've only had it out once - on a quiet evening in a calm lake - but it exceeded my expectations for an easy, comfortable, stabile ride. Tracked straight, excellent stability, easy to get in and out of (large cockpit), and plenty of leg room (I'm 6-1" - 240 Lbs). I bought it with hopes of being able to fish from it, and have no doubts it will serve my purposes well. Now I'm getting fired up to start accessorizing. Mini spray skirt, rod holder(s), anchor / anchor cleat, paddle clips, etc. The positive reviews I read in this forum sealed the deal for me on the purchase. They weren't lyin' - it's a great yak for the $$.
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05-22-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I'm a beginner at Kayaking. This being the first kayak I've ever owned. I've had lots of experience with canoes over the years. For the money, I think that the Pamlico 100 was a great kayak for starters. We've taken it on calm lakes and slow streams. My Pamlico tracks to the right slightly, no matter what. I'm rating this a 7 since I'm quite please with it, as my first kayak.
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05-02-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     My experience is that this is an OK boat, not great but OK. I bought the basic model - the one with the plastic seat and the hatch that isn't cut out. It seemed to be a bit faster than my Sundance 9.5 for the same paddling effort and I really liked the drink holder molded into the seat.

On the down side, as other reviewers here have noted, the plastic hull deformed even under moderate strap tension while cartopping. I had no problem with tracking in a straight line while paddling but if i would stop paddling and lean, the boat would always turn to the left regardless of the direction I leaned. On a windy day with some chop on the lake the boat seemed to "pound" on the waves more so than other boats I've used. All in all, it's an OK boat for its intended purpose. Of the Sundance and Pamlico that I bought at about the same time, I still have the Sundance - I guess that about sums it up.

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10-24-2005
Submitted by: HarrisSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased a Pamlico 100 as my first kayak back in the spring. Originally I looked into the Tsunami 140 but decided I wanted something small and more manageable to develop basic skills as well as something I could easily store on the deck of our sailboat. The salesman warned me that I would probably outgrow this boat within a season. Now at the end of the season (here in Ontario) I wholeheartedly agree with him.

The majority of my paddling was on a small calm lake where I would paddle 2-4 hours a day. For this usage I found it to be more than adequate. I however, found myself immediately wishing for something a bit longer and faster. The area where it really shines is in it's convenience for storing and transport as well as it's user friendliness.

I had the chance several times to try it out on Long Point Bay (Lake Erie), paddling from our anchored sailboat to shore. It tracks reasonably well (I don't have much for comparison) although for someone of my paddling ability I found it to be a fairly intense workout in windier conditions and wouldn't want to be far from shore on days like that.

Two problems that I had: one is that the plastic was very quickly to deform on the hull bottom after a couple car rackings. I tried to be careful not to make the straps too tight, but still seemed to have a little bit of cave in. Perhaps this is due to my own inexperience. The second and most critical point is the lack of bulkheads. I did several test wet exits and when this sucker fills (and it fills fast) it is hard to recover from. I ended up getting a lot of extra bow and stern flotation just for peace of mind. You most likely will never tip this boat unless you try but if you did and did so without flotation, you could find yourself in an undesirable situation fast.

As a first boat I was happy with what the Pamlico had to offer, knowing before I bought it that it would neither provide me with the tracking and speed of a rec/tourer or the swift water skills of a white water boat. The lower price allowed me to get into a boat without too much commitment into one aspect of kayaking. I have since taken several white water clinics and have decided that it is more to my liking than open water paddling.

For its purpose as a purely recreational boat for casual play and paddle I would give it an 8 or 9. This boat is for the true beginner / younger / leisure paddler and anyone getting serious about paddling will look for something more robust.

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10-23-2005
Submitted by: JohnSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     A member of WKFA recently purchased this model as he said, "for his wife", but has ended up using it regularly himself. It is a nice handling yak, with the typical top-notch Wilderness workmanship. This is a perfect platform for fishing small bodies of water, specifically lakes, and slow moving flow. Rock on!
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09-12-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We bought our first kayak this summer, a WS Pungo 120, and we've really enjoyed it. We plan on buying another next spring. However, we came upon a season-end closeout by a local dealer that had a few WS boats in stock. We ended up buying a Pamlico 100 just to have as an extra boat in case one of the kids wants to bring a friend or something like that. We had it out on the water for the first time today, and it surprised me how well it tracked and how much fun it was to paddle. It handled the wind and large boat wakes very well too. No bulkheads, and not a lot of room for gear, but the Phase 3-Lite seat was almost as comfortable as the Phase 3 in the Pungo, and we only paid 280.00 for the Pamlico. A couple of float bags and a mini-skirt, and it will be a fine little day boat for the lakes and slow rivers.
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09-05-2005
Submitted by: hop31Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My work place borders a FWA with many stripper pits and my canoe was too much trouble to carry back and forth each day. The 100 is great! Light, handles wind and chop, easy entry & exit, stable enough to fish. A little padding on the seat hinge and I'll be able to nap in this thing.
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07-18-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     We finally chose to buy our own kayak after using friends' kayaks and renting (in dire cirucmstances). Fortunately, we found a place in NH that had a ton of kayak-age on a lake nearby, and we tested out a bunch. From this site, and word of mouth, I had my eye on the Blackwater series, the Sundance series, and the Zydeco. I was about to get the Black water when I jumped into this boat.

For its price, it can't be beat. Sure, its tracking is not mint, but as DJC said, good paddling makes that a non-issue. It has decent speed - I was able to keep up with my friend who has a Carolina 14.5! Everything about it is easy - easy entrance, easy adjusting (seat/pedals), easy portage. Its seat is very comfortable, too (something that eliminated the Zydeco for me).

I'd try one if you're in the market for an inexpensive starter kayak. My wife, a non-adventuresome lass, loved the boat, and I (the fairly good paddler) see me using this one for a good long time, until I can afford a Cadillac.

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06-02-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just want to update a review I did earlier on this model. I bought it in November last year without first trying different boats. This year, I've had the opportunity to borrow and demo a good number of boats in the $300-$600 range including the Pungo 100. I believe I still made a good choice with the Pamlico 100.

First, this boat has outstanding initial stability and is still quite stable to the point where the cockpit starts to flood. The cockpit is very large and the coaming is very strong so anyone can get in and out of it. This boat would be very good for fishing or bringing along the dog. The wide, flat bottom hull enables it to go in very shallow water and it's easy to go through eddys. There are two tracking channels along the length of the hull and the bow and stern have good entry and exit. As far as speed goes, I found it to be faster than the Dirigo 106 and Otter, slightly more than the Zydeco and just a little slower than the Pungo 100. Tracking is okay; not as good as the Pungo, but the Pam turns quicker. Still, it can be kept on course with good paddling technique. Mine has the basic plastic molded seat; the Phase 3 seat is a lot better. Still, the basic seat can be padded to make it easier to live with and save a few $$$.

The boat does well on lakes and rivers with up to class II rapids. It handles choppy water and swells very good, too. For more open water I'd recommend getting a spray skirt and make sure you can get back in without flooding the cockpit. Overall a very good boat and just plain fun to paddle.

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05-12-2005
Submitted by: frreedSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just got a new Pamlico at REI's Anniversary Sale. I was looking for a boat to fish out of and decided on the Pamlico because of price and the size of the cockpit. I've had it out twice now and it is a blast. Never been in a kayak before, so I was a bit nervous. Paddled in circles for about a minute and then took off and haven't looked back. It will serve my purposes well. I fly fish the rivers and lakes here in Texas and this boat is stable and maneuverable to get to where the fish are. The seat (Phase 3 lite) is tremendous. I've heard so many people talk about the poor tracking on a small boat. I'm having few problems getting from point A to point B in a straight line. I trust that with some time I'll get better. If first impressions are any indication I have made a great choice.
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02-24-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought the Pamlico 100 in August 2004 for $268. First impressions were favourable. The boat was small and lightweight. I liked the sleek lines and look of the boat. I easily put it on the roof of the car myself. Surface finish of the hull however was a little disappointing. I worked to remove the many rough imperfections from the moulding. I found the speed to increase with less effort after my work (Now easily 4 mph). Paddling is a breeze. The boat is very stable, maneuverable and immense fun to use. In moderately rough water you do get wet from water over the bow however this adds to the fun. This is probably the best buy I have made for many years. Excellent value for money and a great fun boat which I've used far more than I expected since buying it.
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01-27-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had a Coleman Quest (Pelican) sit-on-top for some time and wanted an additional boat of a different type. Right away on its first trip I found it to be far and away a much better boat. I'm 5'10", 215 lbs. and it's easy to get in and out of. The molded seat is good for a couple of hours. It's about as stable as a rowboat and moves along quite well, too. I did a 6-mile trip in half the time it took to do a 5-mile trip in the other boat, and with less effort to boot. I'll give it a 10.
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10-01-2004
Submitted by: bsSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought the Pamlico 100 after paddling a secondhand otter for about a year. I tried my girlfriend's Pungo 100, and loved it, but the full length keel left much to be desired in moving water. Letís just say that the Pungo is not the best boat for Class 1 and 2 whitewater. The Pamlico, on the other hand, is well suited to paddling in flowing water. Its rounded hull is very maneuverable, and eddy turns and peelouts are a breeze. The boat also has enough room for an overnight trip, or an extended trip, with careful packing. My Pamlico is the EXP model, which has the Phase III outfitting, which is very comfortable, but the leg lifts made me feel like I was sitting on top of the boat, rather than in it. My only other gripes about the boat are its lack of flotation, which is easily remedied, and the omission of a drain plug, also easily fixed. Other than that, the boat gets a 9 of 10 for its ease of paddling, speed, and excellent maneuverability. I would recommend this boat for anyone looking for a small, responsive boat for ponds, creeks and flowing rivers.
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09-09-2004
Submitted by: CindySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I tried out both this kayak and the Liquid Logic Tryon. I was surprised because I did not like the Tryon at all. It was tippy and my hands hit the high hull. I'm 47 yrs old and just do flat water, birdwatching, nature photography etc. The Pamlico is perfect, very stable feeling. Mine has the fancy seat, which was well worth the money - I think it is very comfortable. My dog (a Bedlington Terrier ~ 20 lbs) fits just great in the large cockpit with me. It is also relatively easy to get in and out of. Did I mention I also appreciate that the Pamlico is fairly lightweight? I have owned a little Kewee for MANY years - this boat is a BIG improvement.
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08-20-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I went to a local demo day to try out several kayaks back to back. I initially bought the victory Blast (rebadged WS critter) It was nice, but I realized a pamlico was just a little more $ and had more features. It also looked much better, more modern. I tradded my Blast for the Pamlico 100 the next week. It was a little faster, but didnt track as well. While the plastic seat is comfotable, mouse pads are a good alternative to the expensive phase 3 upgrade. The cockpit opening is large and that helps with getting in and out, but it lets in water too. I put a mini spray skirt on her. Shes very stable and decently fast for a 10 foot boat. After trying the Victory Blast, Perception Sundance 9.5, liquid logic Tuxedo back to back, I have to say that the Pamlico is pretty much equal to those boats in performance. And at $250 (on sale), its a much better deal!
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