Rated 5 out of 5 by Mark94 Great Value
I searched around for a good, affordable kayak for my wife to use while I solo paddle a canoe. I wanted one with at least one storage compartment and was happy to find this came with two (although the front one is fairly small.)
I have a Yakima Roof Rack with gunnel brackets but nothing specific for kayaks. I was able to get both this and my Old Town Pathfinder canoe on the top of my Jeep and securely fastened so off to the nearest lake to try it out.
To cut to the point, she loved it. We were even caught in a heavy downpour with strong winds and she was able to keep the kayak moving straight forward to shore, while I struggled to keep my flat-bottomed canoe aimed the right way. If you look at the bottom and it's "tri-keel" (my word, not theirs# design, you can see why it held its course so well. Toward the end of our outing, I got in it for a bit and found that while it does do a good job going straight, turning is pretty easy as well.
I can see us taking this on some of the local rivers, but probably would not feel comfortable in it beyond Class III rapids #and more likely Class II.) But that's ok, we didn't get it for whitewater, just for recreational paddles.
The rear storage compartment is lined with a "dry bag" but I assume you could go so far as to put ice in there and anything you want to keep cold, rather than dry. As I said, the front storage is fairly small, but I put my phone, camera, keys, and other small items in and they stayed safe and dry. I like the twist-to-seal method of locking the compartments.
We did not adjust the seat, but that basically means tightening two straps for a more upright position. The footpegs do move as noted and work fairly well, though the actual peg seemed a little small and I am only in size 9 shoes.
There was a T-shaped piece of Styrofoam in the front of the kayak, beyond where your feet reach. I wasn't sure if we remove it or not, so I left it in for extra buoyancy and structural support.
The only negatives I can think of is that I wish it had a hole somewhere for a cable-lock and maybe for some additional color choices, though as yellow goes, its not a bad shade and looks more orange-yellow when you get next to some bright-yellow boats.
The other kayaks I found that had the feature set of this one were quite a bit more expensive, but were also better suited for whitewater. Since our needs weren't so rugged, this one worked out perfectly. Now, I just have to fight off the urge to get one for myself. My garage space is limited, after all...
September 5, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Haken459 Great Kayak
I purchased two of these on 8-31-13. Tried them out on 9-1-13, both performed better than expected. Very stable and easy to use. Looking forward to our new hobby!!
September 4, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Frank O Catalyst 100
I shopped around local and on the web, read reviews and choose the Pelican Catalyst 100. I'am 6'3 185 and fit in the cockpit with room to spare. There is lots of leg room also. It tracks very well even when paddling hard. Took it out on a river that has class 2 rapids and put it through lots of white water with no complaints. I would buy another one with no hesitation.
August 21, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by kayaking grandpa look no further
Our family just returned from a kayak/camping trip to keuka lake. We launched at hammondsport and paddled to keuka state park about 12 miles north. My yak was the only catalyst 100 in the group of 8. The dry lock was full of phones, cameras, wallets,etc. It is very comfy at 6 ft 210. As far as wake, not much need to nose into it. Just keep paddling since it is very stable. If you are looking for a first or last or in-between kayak don't hesitate to buy a catalyst 100. They are great handling and worth every cent.
August 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by wikallen 1st time kayaker
I purchased 2 of these during a Memorial Day sale and have logged around 55 miles so far on them. I use them on lakes, streams and rivers and they work great. I would like to get one or two more when they go on sale again.
August 5, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Zoomer167 Catalyst + Pathfinder Comparison
Ok - so reviewed the Path100 about 3 months ago and have since bought a Cat100. We now have a 'fleet' of 2 Path100s and a Flagship Cat100. I have used both - this is for those of you tying to decide between the 2. I am 6 ft. 200 lbs. and use them on lakes and < Class 3 rivers.
Hull - The Path100 has a more 'V' shaped hull which tends to be a little tipsier than the Cat100 whose hull is more of a flat 'U'. Both handle well in the water but you must sit lower in the Path100 to get the same stability as the Cat100. The Path 100 is definitely more tipsy upon getting in and out of the boat. The Cat100 hull also has a more defined keel which means it does track better. The Cat100 handles better with motorboat traffic #always paddle into the waves# the Path100 feels like you are more of a fishing bobbin bouncing up and down.
Storage - The Path100 has a single storage container in stern but it is not waterproof at all - although you could use some silica compound to make the seal more waterproof. The Path100 has storage in stern and bow that are both very water resistant - but not airtight waterproof. According to specs you can carry 50 more lbs. on the Cat100 and I believe it.
Seating / comfort - Both the Path100 and Cat100 have good open space for your legs and body. You will not feel cramped at all in either. The Cat100 does have a much better seat that is more durable and comfortable - especially good for longer trips or picky people! The Path100 seat has torn from attachments already but is still in place and functional for now. I use / recommend a cushion with both boats.
Build / amenities - The Cat100 definitely feels more ridged and stable but it weighs 10 lbs. more than the Path100. Both are 10 feet long. Both can be carried like a suitcase to and from the water. A reasonably strong person can get them up on the roof of a vehicle, both the Path100 and Cat100 can easily be handled by 2 people.
The Cat100 also has deeper cup holders and designated places to mount fishing hardware. Cat100 is definitely has more and better options and stability when it comes to fishing if that is your thing.
A spray skirt could be put on the Cat100 but I don't think the Path100 is cut deep enough to do that.
10 feet is a good length for recreational lakes and up to class 3 rivers. I have no idea about class 4 or 5 and do not care to go there. Longer kayaks go faster and ride smoother but are not as nimble . . .shorter ones are more nimble but slower and do not ride as smooth. It is a tradeoff you must decide . . .
Both these Kayaks float when submerged #not all kayaks do# but I added a noodle to each just bc they are cheap and flex and fit easily and add more floatation without compromising space - a good thing.
Is the Cat100 worth $150 more than the Path100? If you have the $ and think you want to get kindof serious with trips, tougher water and value comfort or fish then definitely yes. If you are just going to be an recreational occasional user then the Path100 is a fine inexpensive boat to get started in then upgrade to Cat100 later.
Hope this helps - Zoomer.
July 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Kdish Absolutely Amazing!
I bought myself the Potomac Catalyst 100 kayak for my birthday, and man what a gift did it turn out to be. This is my first personal kayak, but have done lake/recreational kayaking before. I researched many kayaks from many different stores and found this to be the perfect price for my application. A group of friends and I planned a kayaking trip down the Quinebaug River which has some class 1 and light class 2 rapids (so the site says). So I took my Catalyst out for her maiden voyage with everyone else. The dry boxes are water resistant like it says, but not waterproof. I ended up with some water in my hatches from rolling once (the drain plug was a huge life saver after this one) and going through some rougher areas, but had my gear in a separate dry bag so I had no issue with it. The cup holder was large enough for my coozie/can combo. The paddle cord was also nice when we were just floating or beached. The kayak itself is extremely comfy and I am 6' 225 lbs. I could also reach the back hatch with relative ease while still sitting in the kayak. The kayak was very stable at all points during the trip and upon entry and exit as well. It was very responsive when maneuvering through rocks. All in all this kayak was the talk of the group with everyone pointing out the different 'luxury' features like padding and the hatches. I would also recommend getting a paddle leash and kayak grips. Both were nice additions to have. Lastly, I pulled the handle out on the bow and stern and inserted a carabiner to secure my tie-down straps to. I then attached the handles back the carabiners to make it easier to carry. Finally, I would have to agree, the Seals 5.5 Cockpit Cover is the perfect fit! I'm super excited with the Catalyst 100 and can't wait to pick one up for my fiance!
July 16, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Tim63 Very good value
Purchased two at Dicks during their May holiday sale. My wife and I are very pleased with the value and how they track. Would say if you plan to purchase. Do you homework and find an employee at the store who Kayaks.
July 1, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by New Owner Catalyst 100 over Pathfinder a no-brainer!
I made a horrible mistake and bought a Potomac Pathfinder last week because it was $100ish less than the Catalyst 100. Picked it up on a Saturday night from Dicks during a big sale and went to the lake the next day....hated everything about this Kayak. Unstable, light, thin skin, seat killed my back, etc. at 6'2" 205 control was even an issue. Went back to Dicks on Monday explaining my "dislike" and I'm being kind of this Kayak, no problem or issues and they exchanged for the Catalyst. Dicks gets an A++ on service!
There is no comparison and could tell from the start since this Kayak didn't almost blow off the car to the lake a week later. The Catalyst is strong, floaty, tracks well, more room in cockpit plus has two locking hatch's, one watertight. All being the same 10' length as the Pathfinder. Long and short, for the tiny difference in cost don't make my mistake. Night and day, the Catalyst is superior in every catagory. Well just a great Kayak!
June 16, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by AB Buy this kayak
We bought two of these. They are spacious and comfy. They stay straight without a lot of fight with the paddles. The cup holder holds my drinks and the lockboxes hold my phone and camera so they do not get wet. The kayak is roomy so my 6'1" husband fits comfortably as well. I have been in Perceptions and Old Towns, but this one rides the smoothest for me. Stop researching and get this one.
June 15, 2013