Ascend H10 Hybrid Kayak Review


Ascend H10 ReviewCooler weather is here and just in time for the cold water kayaking days is the newest kayak from Ascend, the Ascend H10 which is due out soon.

The Ascend H10 hybrid sit in/on kayak is a scupperless kayak that takes great features from canoes and kayaks and blends them together. The Ascend H10 is the little brother to the Ascend H12, a longer version of the H10.

At 31 inches wide, 10 feet long, weighs just 55 pounds, the Ascend H10  boasts a weight capacity of 400 pounds. It will retail for $599.99.

The Good

Building on the reputation of the 12 foot version, the Ascend H10 has front and back mesh covers for holding areas. These are perfect to keep covered if you need sun protection, or take off and roll up to stow if you’d like to put a cooler, backpack, camp roll, dog, or even a small child. The covers are included and both are the mesh covers unlike the H12’s hard cover for the front hatch.

Stability is still great in the Ascend H10 and will see a lot of people being able to stand and fish or just stand and paddle if they’d like because the seat and foot wells are below the waterline while the sidewalls of the kayak offer mid calf support to add stability.

Even though the Ascend H10 is two feet shorter than the H12, the amount of gear track available for attaching accessories is exactly the same. Lots of real estate to mount GoPros, fish finders, and paddle holders.

The chair is comfortable, vented in the seat pan, and allows circulation for hot days on the water. The chair rests into different locking positions and can be secured on each side with bungees.

This also creates a pivot point so if you need to flip the seat up into the vertical position to be out of the way for standing, it moves with ease. The seat also has a couple of cup holders built into it, perfect for holding a canned drink or some quick access to baits.

The glide on the Ascend H10 is great. It holds a line well and continues the momentum of the paddle stroke without drifting aimlessly left or right. With aggressive paddlers you might experience a little bit of side to side nose walk but it is one of the straightest paddling 10 foot kayaks I’ve ever paddled.

Room for Improvement

The front and rear mesh covers for the hatches utilize J hooks that the bungee cord laced into the covers hooks onto. These are all above deck and can grab fishing line, rods, and other on deck items. I’d love to see the J hooks either moved below deck or for a different fastener style like Velcro to be used. Fewer plastic protrusions on top of the deck mean fewer breaking parts and fewer snags.

I’d like to see a more elevated seat. If a design where the seat could sit four to six inches off the deck is possible to add more under seat storage I’d love to see it.

A padded side wall for shoulder carrying would also be a nice added feature to this kayak. At 55 pounds it just begs to be hoisted over a shoulder and carried to the water.

The side walls are tall and will catch some wind so an anchor system or drift chute system would be beneficial if you are in an area prone to wind. Tall walls mean lots of drift. If an anchor trolley on each side were premounted that would be highly beneficial.

Final Thoughts

The Ascend H10 is not only a hybrid kayak but also a hybrid use kayak which is perfect for recreational paddlers and anglers alike. It boasts ample cabin room for storing lots of gear or a pet as a paddling companion. If you want to stay dry and stable, this is a perfect kayak to throw in the back of the pickup or on top of a car and hit the water.

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About Chris Payne

A lifelong Texan, Chris Payne has been an outdoor enthusiast his entire life and has spent the last 15 years fishing mainly from a kayak. He is known for his thorough and helpful reviews as well as how to articles for nearly everything kayak fishing related. If you have questions or comments, you can leave them on this post or email Chris at: paynefish@gmail.com


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16 thoughts on “Ascend H10 Hybrid Kayak Review

  • Jimmy Cantrell Jr

    I have looked at this Yak several times and I am just not sold on it. I have many likes and dislikes. I do agree with you about the padded sides and the J hooks

    • Chris Payne Post author

      Jimmy,this is a newer, smaller version. It’s not out yet. The one you’ve seen is the H12. Similar for sure but much lighter and fits better on a car or bed of a pickup. And $100 less.

  • Jimmy Cantrell Jr

    Ok that makes sense now because I was telling myself that it was not the same boat. Thanks for the information. And thanks for your wisdom and knowledge

  • Cooper

    Any opinion on this vs the h12? I’d like to get this to save on the weight not to mention the price, but not necessarily at the cost of better overall speed/tracking abilities.

    • Chris Payne Post author

      The H10 will turn quicker than the H12 but the H12 will track better. I’m 6’2″ and 210lbs and fish out of the H10 just fine. In fact, I prefer it over the H12 because I can easily put it on my shoulder and walk with it.

    • Chris Payne Post author

      Wind will be an issue because of the high sides on windy days. The H12 will be a little faster but not turn as easy as the H10

  • Rick

    Thanks for the review on this kayak. I like the idea of a 10 foot boat to just toss in the back of the truck. I’ve been considering this one or the Ascend 10T for a simple fishing boat on slow moving rivers or still lakes. Any opinion on the H10 vs. the sit on top 10T?

  • Chris Odom

    Chris, I have a friend interested in the Ascend H10 Hybrid and I have a WS Commander 120. How would you say it compares to the Commander?

    • Chris Payne Post author

      Hi Chris,

      It’s actually pretty similar. The big difference will be in the height of the seat. The Ascend seat sits lower in the water column. The Ascend being two feet shorter will turn easier though.

  • Joe

    I am VERY interested in this hybrid. Coming off years of big canoes, I just can’t (don’t want to) lift them up on and off my Jeep anymore. Is this something light enough to hoist over head and slide onto the racks from the side of the vehicle? Thanks for the article, good read and info!