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Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Review

Mark Armstrong
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When you’re looking for the right kayak you will need to think about what you plan to use it for and what features might be useful to you.

If you’re looking for a recreational vessel, you might just be considering the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 fishing kayak.

But will this one be the right one for you? Hopefully, after reading our review, you’ll have a better idea of what this yak’s main features and benefits are, and if it will be the best choice for what you want it for.

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 KayakPin
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Depth: 13 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • List Element

Things To Consider Before Buying An Aruba Kayak

The Aruba 10 is a compact recreational kayak, built for having fun on lakes and rivers. It’s a sit-inside, which makes it ideal for all-weather and all-season paddling, as you will tend to stay drier and warmer inside the cockpit, compared to the open deck of a sit-on-top. Sit-insides can also be used with sprayskirts in order to keep water from entering the cockpit.

This yak is lightweight and portable. You should also be easily able to slide it into the back of a pickup truck – making it even more convenient to transport. While there are no fishing features on this vessel, you can add your own modifications in order to make it better suited for angling.

One thing you will need to keep in mind with this yak is that it’s not a fishing vessel. So the weight capacity is not as high as it is on some of the more advanced fishing yaks. This means you may not be able to take as much gear as you would with a craft designed for fishing.

If you’re looking for a vessel that you can load up with enough gear for several days away, then this one might not be the best option. But it should be perfectly capable of holding enough gear for a fun day out on the water.

> Reviews of Sun Dolphin kayaks

Best Features Of The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a recreational sit-inside kayak that’s designed to be used in lakes and rivers. At just 10 feet long and weighing only 40 pounds, the Aruba is built to be easy to transport – being ideal for one person to lift and carry.

Roomy Cockpit

For a sit-inside yak, the cockpit on this one is pretty large. This means it can be a good choice for beginners, as it gives you less of an enclosed feeling. So you might feel a little more comfortable in this yak compared to a sea kayak, for example.

The roomy cockpit also means that you have a little more freedom of movement while you’re paddling, which is great if you like to shift around in your seat or if you’re not quite used to your legs being contained within a hull. Being a sit-inside, the Aruba 10 can be an ideal craft for all weathers and all seasons, as you can stay drier in the cockpit compared to a sit-on-top.

You can also add a sprayskirt to give you added protection against any water coming in, and this can help to keep you warmer during colder paddling sessions as well.

Inside the cockpit you have the added advantage of adjustable footbraces, so you can position them to suit your leg length. Additionally there are padded thigh pads on the rim of the cockpit and a padded seat back that can also be adjusted so you can paddle in comfort.

Convenient Storage

Being designed for recreational paddling, there is not an excessive amount of storage on this kayak. But there is adequate storage for a day on the water. The main storage is behind the cockpit and includes a sealed hatch. You can use this to carry extra gear that you don’t want to get wet, or fill it with ice for keeping your drinks or snacks cold.

Aruba 10 Kayak Overview and Demonstration Video

On top of the hatch there’s bungee cords, where you can tie down additional items, such as a dry bag or small backpack. There’s a handy bungee cord paddle holder at the side, as well as a water bottle holder in front of the cockpit. The water bottle holder has bungee cords to keep your bottle in place.

Keep in mind that the maximum weight capacity on the Aruba 10 is 250 pounds, so it’s not really built to carry a huge amount of gear. But it should be able to hold the essentials for a few hours on the water.

Easy To Maneuver

With the hull of this craft being just 10 feet long, it can be pretty easy to maneuver, compared to longer yaks. Its width of 30 inches also helps to give it that extra bit of stability, making it a good choice for beginners to use on flatwater.

It’s a lightweight yak, which also helps to make it much easier to maneuver and could make it less tiring on your arms than if you were paddling around in a heavier vessel. Because it’s easy to move around on the water, it can be a fantastic yak for kids. But more experienced adults will also get a lot of fun out of it.

To make it easier to carry, there are toggle carry handles at the bow and stern, which can come in handy if you’re lifting your yak with a friend who can take the other end.

Durable Hull

The hull on the Aruba 10 is designed for durability. It’s made from high density polyethylene – a type of plastic – and is UV resistant. Polyethylene is extremely durable and requires very little maintenance. The Aruba 10 can be used in both fresh and salt water, simply requiring to be rinsed afterwards.

Many good recreational kayaks are made with polyethylene because of the high level of durability, as they can often be subject to knocks and bumps.

There’s Also The Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS 

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12 KaykPin
  • Length: 12 foot
  • Width: 29.5 inches
  • Depth: 14 inches
  • Weight: 47 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 395 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 is a 12 foot recreational sit-inside yak that’s designed for lakes and slow moving rivers.

Compared to the Aruba 10, the 12 foot version is half an inch narrower, so with the added 2 feet in length, you should find it moves a little quicker across the water.

The Aruba 12 also has a greater capacity, allowing you more than 100 pounds of extra gear. With the added length and capacity, there is also added storage. This yak benefits from the Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) at the rear, which can float along behind you, as well as a small storage hatch at the bow.

There is additional bungee rigging, both at the bow and stern, which is ideal for securing larger gear. To make it more geared for fishing, there are also two flush mounted rod holders and a covered console area inside the cockpit.

Aruba Alternatives

Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler

Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler AE1006-ANG Kayak - Best Fishing KayakPin

If you’re after more of a fishing yak but you like the idea of a compact yak, this Straitedge Angler could be ideal. The hull is 9 foot 8 inches and 35 inches wide and has a capacity of 300 pounds, so could be better if you plan to take more gear. It also weighs just 41 pounds and can be deflated for storage and transport.

It’s also built for fishing, with rod holders and plenty of storage areas.

> Straitedge Angler review

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 KayakPin

The Excursion 10 is similar to the Aruba 10 in build and quality but could be a good alternative if you plan to fish. This one’s the same length and width, with a spacious cockpit and same weight capacity, but it benefits from having two molded rod holders, as well as a swivel rod holder.  

> Full Excursion review

Perception Conduit 9.5

Perception Conduit 9.5 KayakPin

The Perception Conduit yak is a compact 9 foot 6 inches and weighs just 39 pounds. It has the same weight capacity as the Aruba 10 and is also a sit-inside, but it has no storage hatches, only bungee deck rigging. It could be a good choice for beginners on lakes and rivers and benefits from having a roomy cockpit with a padded seat.

Is The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Kayak Any Good?

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 KayakPin


  • Lightweight
  • Spacious open cockpit
  • All-season paddling
  • Compact
  • Good for beginners


  • Not much storage
  • Low weight capacity
  • No fishing features

By now you’ll probably have decided whether or not the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is the right kayak for you. If you’re looking for durability, ease of use and all-weather paddling potential, then this craft can be a great choice.

Not only that, it’s also compact and lightweight, which can mean it’s easier to load up on your vehicle.

You can check out the Aruba 10 here. Maybe you already have one or perhaps you have a comment or question? Why not share your opinions with us by dropping us a comment. And if you think this review might help your fellow paddlers, share it with them.

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 - Pinterest ImagePin

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