Perfect for relaxing fun!
Did the research and decided on this. Lucked out and nabbed one from the downtown Portland store, then another from the Clackamas store in the same day. My girlfriend and myself rented kayaks one weekend and found it delightful, but they were longer and heavier than these. The difference is amazing! These are very stable, the V-hull design allows it to glide easily in the water, the seats are comfortable and easy to lean back to kick the foot up and float happily. The buckles for the seat straps are no different than what you'd find on a backpack. We're both around 120lbs and they're solid, no breaking or signs of stress on them. The foot rests are easy to adjust and though they seem like cheap plastic, they're solid also. The bolts for them are holding well and no leaks at all.
I love having the pads on the side. For the extra money it's a nice addition to keep from sore knees, and they also help to keep the paddle rested nicely without rolling around. The fin on the back works wonders for keeping it going straight as well, and it "completes the look" of the kayak. The vibrant yellow sure catches attention when we're driving by people too!
These are also tough boats. I rammed a log and it didn't even scratch it! The seams are smooth and overall a quality job was done in making it. Glad I didn't buy a cheap $300 boat! This will last for years and keep me happy.
At last, a kayak for short people!
I am a 5'2" beginning female kayaker. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on my first kayak. So, I started out at my local big box sporting goods store, and could not find a comfortable fit. With the foot pegs all the way forward, my knees were straight. The sales person told me this was fine but fortunately I knew enough to know better.
The moment I sat in this one in the REI store, I knew it was right. The foot pegs adjust up so far that I still had extra room. The seat is really comfortable (and adjustable). It didn't feel like a huge reach to get to the water. I love the little semi-waterproof compartment in the back. I also like that there are no bumps, screws, etc along the side where your paddle goes, so you're not banging your hand on them all the time. It has very comfortable leg pads that I can really grip into.
I have compared it with my husband's canoe from the other big box store, and mine tracks better, has a more comfortable seat, and just feels better all over.
REI didn't have this one in stock at the store, so I had one ordered in based on the seller's recommendation. This service is free! If they bring it in, and you don't like it you don't have to buy it.
Elie Sound 100 XE Review
After 13 miles or so of paddling, I'm happy with the Elie Sound 100 XE.
First the good stuff...
It's noticably quicker than any other boat this size I've paddled. I had no trouble keeping up with a pal in his 14ft Pelican Persuit 140. It coasts completely straight. The seat is very nice. I like the two tone color and glossier-than-normal finish that suggests a pricier boat. The rear hatch has been completely dry so far. The beverage holder is a good design. The keel is replaceable if you wear it out from dragging- much better than trying to patch a hole in the back of your boat. I've had no problems with screws loosening or hardware braking. Will update if anything changes.
The not so good...
The carying handles are screwed into the plastic, not bolted through. Looks to me like they could strip out. I'll update if this happens. The construction method creates a slightly protruding rim of plastic around the edge of the boat where the two colors come together. I have picked up one small dent there on mine. You may want to avoid laying it on it's side and take care if you transport it on a stacker-style rack.
I'd buy it all over again.
Great boat, some features need help
My husband and I ordered a pair of these kayaks and are very thrilled with them. However, after only 3, very light use trips, the plastic buckle on the chair adjustment straps broke on both of our kayaks. A little ridiculous if you ask me. Just glad I wasn't on a day trip on the river when it happened. It was made so that you really can't jimmy rig it, and you can't really use the seat when you can't cinch the straps for it. I have several emails out to Elie since they are under warranty, and I am finding that they have horrible customer service. Maybe it will all turn out well (and if it does, I'll be sure to update my review), but until then, I am questioning this new company's customer service practices. Overall, pay the extra $ to get the XE because the more comfortable seat and dry bulkhead are totally worth it. If Elie will take care of my strap issue, I will be extremely satisfied with my purchase and would recommend this brand of kayak to anyone.
Perfect kayak for me
I purchased this kayak with the intention of recreational paddling on calm water with my dog. I wanted a 10' kayak with a large enough opening to hold me (5'3" 120lbs) and my 40lb dog. I was a little nervous about my purchase after reading the other reviews, but happily I haven't had any of the problems the other reviewers reported. Five different people have used the kayak (from my size up to 6' 200lbs). My brother-in-law owns 2 other 10' kayaks, and he reports that this one is more stable. It's heavier than the ones he owns, but I can carry it by myself. The kayak tracks very well, and even with a dog who moves around and sometimes leans over the side to get a drink, the boat has been very stable. I am very pleased with this kayak.
Nice entry level kayak
I bought this kayak about a year ago and really like it. I'm a small woman and I like the fact that I can lift this kayak on and off the roof of my SUV by myself if necessary. Unfortunately, the adjustable seat buckle broke even before I got it into the water the first time, don't know how or when. Fortunately I noticed before hauling it to the lake and was able to "fix" it by tying the straps to a spare carabiner I had. The design has lots of handy features like a bottle holder that actually holds and some room behind the seat for stuff you want out of the way but handy. If I had it to do over, I would buy this kayak again.
Superior 2013 model
The previous concerns about screw anchoring and the seat buckle have been addressed by the Elie folks. After a lot of comparing similar sized boats in this price range, the Elie Sound 100 stood out among the others. Lots of extras, one of the most comfortable seats in the industry, and a state of the art polystyrene hull. When the REI anniversary sale came around, it was time to step up.
If you're looking in this price range for a similar sized kayak, I don't think there's a better value.
Elie sound kayaks
I believe these made in Montreal kayaks are a really nice value. No regrets. My wife has the 100 sound and I have the 120. I do notice it scratches fairly easy up top. On the plus side, it is well thought out. However, I did break the plastic seat cinch buckle when I leaned back. Overall, really glad I chose this brand. It is pleasing to our eyes. My wife and I are using them after work. Nice way to close the day.
Love it! Disappointed
Love this kayak because its adorable, with a most comfortable seat. 1st trip out buckle to seat broke. I also lost the screws to the foot peddles which let in water. Nearly every screw has fallen out. Don't know if the vibration from transporting loosens the screws or what? Wish the manufacter would send me replacement screws that would stay tight and new seat buckles. Stickers rub off too easy. Otherwise I still love this boat because of the comfort.
Yup.... broke the buckle
Absolutely, love it! But... that plastic buckle is going to break. All you have to do is unscrew it from the side, rip the seam to release the remaining bit of buckle and replace it with 2 1"-inch metal "D" rings you find at the fabric store. the same ones you use to make a belt. Hold's the seat even better than before. If that's all I have to worry about, life is good.