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Dagger Zydeco 9.0 Review

Mark Armstrong
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The Dagger Zydeco 9.0 is a 9 foot sit-inside recreational kayak that’s designed primarily for flatwater but can also handle moving water. However, it’s not recommended for rapids.

  • Length: 9 foot 1 inch
  • Width: 28.5 inches
  • Weight: 36.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 220 pounds

This lightweight craft comes with a multi-adjustable seating system, as well as an adjustable foot brace system and soft knee pads. Its compact size could make it a good boat for navigating smaller rivers and lakes where maneuverability is preferred over speed.

Before Buying A Dagger Zydeco 9.0

The Dagger Zydeco 9.0 is a recreational kayak for a solo paddler. It is a sit-inside which means it can be great if you want to paddle all year round, as the cockpit could give you a little extra protection from the elements.

This craft has a large cockpit, which can be ideal if you’re a beginner or if you’re new to sit-insides, as it could be easier to get in and out of and could feel less confining than a narrower touring yak.

The Zydeco is a compact and lightweight boat that can be easy to carry and may even fit inside some SUVs or the back of a truck. Its compact size can also mean it’s easy to maneuver on the water, making it a good choice for smaller bodies of water.

If you’re looking for a boat that can handle faster speeds or a multi-day trip, this may not be the right vessel for you. But if you’re after a stable boat for exploring lakes, rivers and bays then this one could be ideal.

Dagger Zydeco 9.0: The Main Features

Compact Size

The Dagger Zydeco is a 9 foot kayak. This can make it a great size for both beginners and kids. It is also lightweight, weighing just over 36 pounds, which could make it easier for you to carry it down to the water.

Its short length could also make it more suitable for transporting in the back of your truck or even on top of smaller cars.

For easy carrying, there are carry handles at the bow and stern.

Comfortable Paddling

A great feature of the Zydeco is the seat. It has a ConTour CFS-R seating system, which has a padded seat back and bottom for improved comfort.

The seat bottom can be lifted up for added support under your legs and the seat back can be adjusted both up and down for height and forwards and backwards to suit your paddling posture.

To help with stabilizing, there are large adjustable foot braces with SlideLock technology to make adjusting easier. There are also ConTour knee pads for added comfort.

On The Water Performance

The Zydeco 9.0 benefits from having a V-shaped hull, which can help with its performance on the water. This means the tracking can be better on this boat compared with flat bottomed yaks.

Video: Dagger ZYDECO 9.0 Overview

The short 9 foot 1 inch hull also means that it can be easier to maneuver. This can make it easier to paddle in narrower rivers or smaller areas. Its ease of maneuverability could also be useful if you’re a beginner, as you may feel more in control of the vessel.

Storage Solutions

With this being a compact recreational kayak, it’s not generally designed to hold a lot of gear. The maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds means you probably won’t be able to bring a lot of heavy gear anyway, but there is still some space to bring along your essentials.

Both the bow and stern have deck bungee rigging so that you can secure some gear to the boat. There is also a limited amount of space in the cockpit behind the seat, for example for a small dry bag. However, there is no dry storage on this craft.

Video: Dagger Zydeco: Adventure Recreational Kayak

Zydeco 9.0 Alternatives

Eddyline Sky 10

The Eddyline Sky 10 is a 10 foot sit-inside kayak that could be a could alternative if you’d prefer to have storage hatches to hold your gear. This one has bow and stern hatches as well as deck bungee rigging. It’s also a little narrower, which could make it faster and more efficient.

This boat is designed for mostly flatwater recreational paddling and has a stable hull and spacious cockpit that could appeal to beginners.

Zydeco 11.0

Zydeco 11.0Pin

The Zydeco 11.0 can be a great alternative if you’re looking for a more spacious craft. This one is 2 foot longer and a little narrower, which could make it quicker over the water and more suitable for longer distance paddling.

It has similar features but benefits from having a dry storage hatch at the stern for holding additional gear, for example for an overnight trip.

Pelican Premium Athena 100XP

The Pelican Premium Athena 100XP is a 9 foot 7 inch recreational sit-inside kayak that was designed for women and smaller framed paddlers. It’s almost 6 inches wider than the Zydeco but could be a good alternative if you’re looking for an extra stable vessel.

It has a large cockpit for easy entry and added comfort. It’s also lightweight and could be a good option for beginners.

Wrapping Up


  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Ideal for a range of water conditions


  • Not ideal for larger paddlers
  • No dry storage hatch

If you’re looking for a stable, easy to maneuver boat, the Zydeco 9.0 could be a great option, particularly if you’re a beginner. Its compact size means it should be easy to transport and haul to the water and it can perform well for recreational paddling in lakes, rivers and coastal bays.

If you think this could be a good fit, click here to check it out for yourself. What are your thoughts on this little boat? Leave us a comment to let us know. If you think any of your buddies could use this kayak, share this with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Zydeco Good For Beginners?

Yes, the Zydeco could be a great boat for a beginner, as it’s stable and easy to maneuver.

Should I Get The 11Ft Version Instead?

The 11 foot version could be better if you’re looking for a little more room for your gear. The Zydeco 11 can be more suitable for a longer paddling trip or overnight adventure.

Is This Kayak Good For Rapids?

No, the Zydeco is not built for rapids. It is designed for flatwater and some of the mild currents found in slower moving rivers and bays.

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