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PELICAN Unison 136 Tandem Kayak Review

Updated On May 6, 2020

4.5/5

high performance great features

  • Price = 5/5
  • Design = 3.5/5
  • Stability = 5/5
  • Features = 4.5/5
  • Quality = 4.5/5

If you have a partner, significant other, friend, sibling, anyone who wants to go kayaking with you, you have two options. One of them is buying two solo kayaks, and the other one is buying a tandem kayak. For situations where you have two people with different abilities and strengths, a tandem kayak works best, as it allows them to benefit from the extra speed of two paddlers. Another good bonus is that if you don’t have enough space to store two solo kayaks, a single tandem kayak will take up less space. And last but not least, one tandem kayak is most often cheaper than two solo kayaks of comparable quality, which isn’t something that should be neglected. If this is what you need, something like the Pelican Unison 136T Tandem kayak can be a very good choice. It’s a well-made kayak with plenty of room for people and storage, and it offers performance and comfort that won’t leave you asking for more. If you’re interested so far, read through the entire Pelican Unison 136T Tandem kayak review, and decide for yourself if this is what you need.

So why the pelican?

This kayak was designed for both beginner paddlers, as well as intermediate ones, by using extensive computer modeling which results in reduced drag, as well as vastly improved speed in slow moving streams and lakes. The hull is made with a TST (Twin Sheet Thermoforming) technology, and the material used is the RAM-X Premium, which is a multi-layer polyethylene. It has an advanced resin in its top layer, that gives it a glossy finish and guarantees durability and rigidity that single-layer polyethylene hulls can only dream of. The multi-chine hull with a flat bottom and keel extension will ensure that you get great tracking, as well as maneuverability. The kayak comes with 500lbs of capacity, which is plenty, and the flat bottom will make sure that you can load it up with ease when you’re on the ground, before you launch it.

Storage is provided in the shape of a Quick Lock water-resistant hatch in the stern, as well as an elastic bungee cord in the bow, which holds items that should be within easy reach. The stern hatch also comes with a 60-liter storage bag for your essentials. It is worth mentioning, however, that there have often been situations where the hatch didn’t appear to be so water-resistant, and some of the items inside got wet, so be careful what you use it for.

The comfort is something you shouldn’t be worrying about. The cockpit is fairly roomy, which makes it very easy to enter and exit, and you get an adjustable foot peg system, which gives you 18 positions over 14 inches. There’s also an Ergoband seating system, with padded bottoms and back supports for extra comfort. In the middle, you will find a cockpit table with a bottle holder, as well as a 5” hatch which safely holds small essentials, for example your keys. The forward position also has a bottle holder, as well as a slightly smaller cockpit table.

Performance is great, the kayak will maintain its speed, but you will be able to maneuver with ease too. Tracking is fairly good, and the kayak maintains its line without any hesitation. The kayak is actually excellent, especially for small lakes or flat streams, where it excels.

Final Verdict:

At the end of the day, there’s little that you won’t like with the kayak. The only problem may be the possibility of water entering the front hatch, but if you protect your items well, that is easily solvable. Besides that, the performance, storage options and comfort of the Pelican Unison 136T tandem kayak are more than enough for the price range, and it gives you extras, such as bottle holders, paddle holder straps and carrying handles that will make sure that your trip goes as smooth as possible. It is made from high-quality materials too, meaning you won’t be able to damage it as easily as some designs, which may be a key factor. If you’re after a decent tandem kayak that won’t break the bank, this is your best bet.

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About the author 

Andrew Bell

Andrew is a seasoned kayaker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He began kayaking as a way to reduce work stress but quickly became an avid kayak fisher and lure expert. He currently enjoys both lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences.


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  1. I absolutely love this kayak. My girlfriend and I are intermediate to advanced and although this boat won’t do well with white water, for Stillwater or slow currents it is one heck of a deal at that price. Even when my better half cannot join, I take it out all by myself. I load the front up with camping gear and have done several overnights in the back country camping in the upper Peninsula of Michigan. I highly recommend this boat to couples or if somebody wants a nice quality product with a lot of room to do solo adventures as well.

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  2. Buyer beware , I have two pelican kayaks that were designed to spread out your body weight for stability. minor shifting can cause the kayak to completely turn over trapping the occupant underneath inside the canopy. I know because it happened to me two days ago. lucky I was able to swim out under water. safety precautions need to be addressed this is the second time I tried to post this on comments hopefully it will now get posted

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